How to Land the Perfect Job - Part 4 (Resume & Cover Letter)

Continuing our Job Search posts

Part 1 - Job Boards & Recruiters
Part 2 - Networking & Other Job Search Methods
Part 3 - LinkedIn & Tips for Senior Job Searchers

Writing a Resume for a Senior Level Position 

Despite being in senior management positions, most people do not know how to write a winning resume. When it comes to executive positions, crafting a resume requires a bit more prowess in order to convince the employer that you are good enough for the C-Suite. 

One of the things that you should tweak from your old resume are the resume objectives at the top. In an interview, you want the employers to look at your executive professionalism that claims you suit the role before they can view your personal goals and aspirations. 

  • A five-bullet summary of your value propositions will act brilliantly in convincing the employers of your qualified status. 
  • For your executive objectives, you can include a section on the resume to highlight your core executive principles. This section should display some of your areas of expertise in senior level management. 
  • If you intend on posting the resume online, you can use keywords which will make it simpler to be found in an online search.
 In writing a resume, you have to update your current skills and achievements in order to be most appealing to the employer. For most people, they don’t find it necessary to change their resume when applying for a new job and this can negatively affect their hiring. 

In the case of senior-level positions, most employers will expect you to fit the role of an executive profile and your resume will help in building this. One of the things you can do to boost your resume is getting a professional to review it. This can help you see what your resume may be missing to awe the employers. 

In your resume, you should have valid numbers and data that supports your credentials. Numbers speak a lot in a resume and they can easily convince the employers instead of having to explain every single executive achievement. Your relevance to the job position should also reflect on your resume. Having a current and updated resume will make it less tedious to convince the employers and land a job. 

Creating a Cover Letter 

For top-level executives in Customer Service, writing a cover letter may prove to be quite hard. This is because the cover letter is the first impression you will have on the employers. 

First of all, your cover letter should be well suited for the specific role you want to get. Ensure that you are the exact fit for the job you want when writing the resume. 

A brief and detailed cover letter is more inviting than one which is crowded. Always make your cover letter short and to the point so that the employer can have the entire scope of what you can do in a moment. You can use bullet points to list down executive prowess in a simple and reliable manner. 

It is important to always leave your contact information on your cover letter because this is what the employers will use to determine whether you are fit to hire.  Employers will always want to see the team building and leadership experience skills that a top-level executive has to offer and this is what you should provide on the resume. 

Sharing statistics can be more compelling than simply writing the task you had undertaken although it is important to keep the cover letter as brief as possible. It may add you some points if you choose to start the cover letter with a salutation that is directly aimed at the employing board. This will show that you have done your research and know what you want. 

Is the Terminator our Eventual Fate? AI in the Contact Center

Artificial intelligence is the future of customer service and the CX world is excited to grab the opportunity by the scruff of the neck. As many analysts and professionals have already deduced, AI will change the way contact centers work. 

AI like many other new technologies has a lot of misconceptions since it is in its infancy stages. So it would be important to expound on what artificial intelligence is at its core. While humans and other animals use “natural intelligence”, machines use artificial intelligence where every data input makes it smarter; like learning new chess moves after a match. This is called “machine learning” and is combined with “natural language processing” where AI analyzes written language to maximize its abilities. This is how AI can categorize queries from chatbots and answer accurately or transfer the customer to the right agent.

How AI can be Used in Contact Centers

CX managers will be delighted to hear that speech technology has evolved and virtual assistants can now communicate with customers. There is an increased adoption of virtual assistants that are backed by AI-powered speech technology according to a speech by Jon Arnold of J Arnold and Associates at Enterprise Connect 2018.

Google, for instance, have developed speech recognition AI that is 95% accurate. At such high accuracy rates, we can confidently say that speech recognition AI is ready for the market and CX managers can take advantage of this. Another advantage of speech recognition is that it converts large sets of unstructured data into structured data that can be enforced in sentiment analysis where new customer trends can be identified. Other benefits of this conversion of data include quality monitoring, compliance with internal procedures, boosting the efficiency of call centers and recording calls.

Contrary to popular opinion that AI will replace call center agents, AI can actually help the agents. First off customer facing AI, be it chatbots or speech bots, will handle routine tasks and free up the agents’ time to handle more complex queries. This makes call centers more efficient and it is easier to meet key performance indicators (KPIs) for call centers.

Another reason to employ AI is that it can accurately give customers the right information negating the need to call in the first place. Agent facing AI can also supply call center agents with enough information to sort out complex issues. Additionally, the AI can listen to calls and analyze the impact on the customer i.e. how well the issue has been resolved and the effect on customer loyalty.

The Maturity of Current AI

Right now, we are in an era where customer expectations are rising by the day which has forced CX managers to use AI to fill the void. However, AI hasn’t matured as such and most companies are only dipping their toes in. Most companies are trying their hand at chatbots and there are currently more than 100,000 Facebook Messenger chatbots in operation today. A recent report by Gartner revealed 55% of companies have already started investing in AI or have plans to adopt the technology by 2020. A new trend has emerged where companies are rushing to promote their brands on social media.

This has led to the adoption of real-time chatbots (like Facebook Messenger chatbots) to communicate with new and existing customers. We can now see AI rapidly changing customer service through automation where the AI can respond to customer queries with greater speed and accuracy than humans can achieve. AI has matured to the point where it is used to identify customer issues, behaviors and patterns and process this data. This, in turn, enables the company to identify customer preferences, resolve issues before they appear and offer alerts of personalized offers and promotions.

The Future of AI

When contemplating the future of AI, the sky is literally the limit. This can be evidenced by advanced digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa. Users like them so much that CX managers are forced to integrate such virtual assistants in their customer journey.

At the same time, other benefits are accrued such as cost reduction, a boost in productivity and streamlining processes. Customer facing AI is increasingly being used to take control of repetitive tasks that previously took up the majority of agents’ time. Nowadays, chatbots can resolve 10 – 35% of customer queries without the assistance of a human agent and this number is expected to rise.

CX managers can attribute higher accuracy of issue resolution to AI and chatbots; call center agents are left with time for more complex issues which boost their confidence and sharpens their skills. As of now, AI is reactive but in the future, chatbots can be expected to predict customer questions and give accurate answers by analyzing the conversation. This leads to a higher personalization of the customer journey leading to increased customer retention.

How to Land the Perfect Job - Part 3 (LinkedIn)

Check out Part 1 - Job Boards & Recruiters & Part 2 - Networking & Other Job Search Methods.

Using and Leveraging LinkedIn

For professionals who are seeking to get a new job, having a LinkedIn profile can be of great service.

As we know, LinkedIn is one of the top professional social networking sites which provides a platform for companies to find qualified employees. It's a site I've been using and writing about for years!

LinkedIn is not like every other job searching website in that you can have the chance to show your full profile. For most people who are successful in using LinkedIn to land a senior level position, they can tell you for free that how you present your profile is what determines if you get hired.

Having a welcoming profile with frequently updated skills and achievements will make it easier to land a job on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn headline is also an important tool in job searching. People usually see your profile picture and your headline when they search for candidates and it would be quite convincing if your headline was a brief statement highlighting all that you do.

LinkedIn has numerous features that you can use to make job searching much easier. First of all, you can employ the Advanced Search on LinkedIn to find specific businesses or people and learn more about them from their profile and bio. Like all social platforms, LinkedIn gives you the option of following companies you are interested in and stay informed about their news and vacant positions that may arise.

You can only fully benefit from LinkedIn if you are active and current. Posting recent objectives and accomplishments can help improve your profile to prospective employers. The more interaction you have, the more you are noticed and the more likely you will land a superb employer. 

Targeting the Hidden Job Sector 

In the Customer Service Field, it is true to say that not all jobs are posted on the common job searching websites. Sometimes you have to look for the hidden jobs that do not make it to advertising platforms. 

This hidden job sector accounts for up to 80% of Customer Service jobs that are not advertised. To get to this hidden job market you have to be creative and smart. You have to look where others are not looking. For example, you can use Google Maps to locate companies that are hiring around your area. 

You can also reap from online alerts like Google Alerts to learn what is happening in different companies that you are interested in. Use your network of friends and associates to find the jobs that are available but not posted on the websites. 

What to Avoid when Searching for a Job as a Senior Level Executive 

In most cases, senior-level professionals don’t see the need to sell themselves. They think that their reputation and work experience will be enough to awe the employing company to hire them. 

This is a wrong mindset to keep in today’s world. C-level executives have to be even more convincing in interviews if they are to be given responsibility for managing or being in charge of a section of the company. 

Preparation is just as important for a C-level executive as it is for a technical employee. As a senior executive, you have to be prepared for confronting questions that may put you on the hot seat. A thorough preparation for the role you desire to get is crucial in winning your interview. 

Avoid asking too many questions about the role and focus on selling your skills and management prowess to the employing company. Being proud of your previous achievements will not help you land a job with new employers. 

How Storytelling Helps in Customer Service

Agents as the Organization’s Ears and Voice

Call center representatives play the vital role of being the ears of the organization. Most customers find filling formal surveys and questionnaires to be too cumbersome and a lot of feedback is left uncollected. However, customers give out titbits of information during phone conversations which can be eye-opening for the company. Call centers are data rich for this reason and as such should be more efficient in collecting customer stories. 

Agents at the same time are the voice of the company and customers will often judge the company according to their support team. How your agents carry themselves in conversation and share information adversely affects your brand image. This is why the reps shouldn’t give stories of how they are in a powerless situation where they would like to help but their hands are tied. It gives off a negative impression. Encourage agents to create their own hero stories where they are the main character in the story, who gets the job done.

Why you Should use Storytelling in Contact Centers

The reason storytelling is so powerful is that it assists in getting buy-in from both the customers and top executives. After collecting data from various feedback channels like surveys, CSAT, NPS and CES, it is best to deliver the insights in form of stories. Bombarding agents with charts and presentations to show them how to make changes to the customer experience is highly ineffective. Telling a story instead helps the agents to comprehend how they are going to fit changes and improve the customer experience. 

At the same time, the stories that agents collect are supposed to be shared with the team since they are a rich source of data. CX managers ideally should come up with a framework for sharing stories e.g. a roundtable discussion or channels to communicate with top-level management.

Another overlooked advantage of storytelling is that it helps the story-teller to fly under the radar. Stories are so effective since the listener gets to learn a lot without knowing it consciously. Nowadays, a lot of companies are being exposed and ridiculed for their blatant attempts at advertising themselves, especially on social media. 

These range from awkwardly referencing social media trends to tracking website cookies and conspicuously sending tailored adverts based on the viewer’s browsing history. Storytelling is a more covert way of spreading information in an engaging way that makes the customer recognise that certain steps lead to the expected outcome. Customers can also be hesitant to be open and honest when they are asked for feedback about a certain feature or product. But when telling a story about their experience with the new product, they unknowingly offer a sea of valuable and honest information. As highlighted before, stories are also easier to remember and a well told story will leave a lasting impression on the customer.

How to Create Customer Hero's out of Your Agents

Doing this might mean some organizational changes as well as training. Not everyone is a good storyteller but it is a skill that can be taught. A recent study by Microsoft and Nucleus discovered that companies with successful contact centers have designed their organizational structure and leveraged technology to their advantage. As such, the structure can be renovated to accommodate more internal exchange of stories and insights. 

To teach storytelling, one should break down stories into individual parts e.g. the usual details, the customer problem, the business problem, the steps to take, the actions to take and finally the desired outcome. 

It instantly becomes easier to relate an interaction into a story and advise the customer. The agents should weave in their own anecdotes or prior experiences to show empathy, but shouldn’t resign themselves to the victim role. Stories should also stay on topic to avoid diluting the message. Integrating storytelling into call center conversations will make the organization more productive and improve the customer experience as well.

How to Land the Perfect Job - Part 2 (Networking)

Continuing on from our previous post (How to Land the Perfect Job - Part 1), let's stay focused on the Job Search process.

Thought Leadership in Job Searching

Have you tried thought leadership in your job search? Thought leadership is a job searching method where you share your opinions, views, and insights within your target companies or on your online career profile. This is aimed at attracting employers who are looking for that specific mindset. 

The main aspect of thought leadership is to be able to show your employer how you think and how you would react in most circumstances. Thought leadership is not about re-blogging and reposting other people’s opinions and posts. 

Thought leadership is a brilliant job searching technique for management level professionals. This is mainly because managerial positions require an opinionated person who can make firm decisions and ensure usual business activities are run despite shortcomings. Thought leadership will also work best if you have a powerful profile that people can associate your ideas with. This will help build your professional image to the public as well as prospective employers. This method is easy to implement given the technology advantages that we have today.

Networking in Job Searching

Networking is not for everybody. Some people prefer getting a recruiter or someone who will help them get a job. What these people don’t know is that networking can help you build your career profile. 

In customer service, communication and social skills are some of the automatic instincts that a professional should have. This will put them in an easier position to network with other managers. 

Networking is all about forging business relationships that are mutual and supportive of both parties. One of the benefits of networking is that you never lose. Even though a contact may be unsuccessful in landing you a job in a certain company, you don’t leave empty-handed. Since the contact is a professional as well, they can offer guidance and advice on how best to tackle a specific interview or how to sell the profession. 

Having a network of business contacts is also important in letting you know the latest business posts and news in major firms. This can help you be among the first to learn about a hiring program or a vacant position that you are suitable for.

Company Targeting

Company targeting is a way through which you can search for jobs in companies that are yet to provide the job vacancy. Company targeting is like requesting for jobs that are not yet available but when they do become available then you will be the one of the first to be notified. It is quite convenient for senior executives who are not interested in hiring or looking for recruiters. 

Company targeting can be applied by people who cannot find their specific job descriptions in the listings online and so they can approach a business owner directly to pitch their idea. Although you won’t get a job immediately with company targeting, you can become a prospective employee of the stated company.

Connect with Your Alumni

Associates from University and College can help you get a desirable job. In order to reap career-wise from your alumni, you have to have networking skills. These skills will help you interact with the individuals you are sure can lend a hand in the corporate world and possibly find someone who can get you a job. 

Today, you will find that most schools have created groups on social media where alumni can interact, share ideas and get details about each other’s lives. This platform, if used correctly, can be a great tool in searching for jobs.