Kara Varner, MAOM, CPRW, CRS-MCT
A Platinum Resume 719-339-2659
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER AWARDED INTERNATIONAL WRITING CERTIFICATION
Kara Varner, President/CEO of A Platinum Resume, LLC has been awarded an international certification as a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer (CARW) by Career Directors International (CDI). She has demonstrated her proficiency in résumé writing through an intensive examination and professional writing process to assess her industry knowledge and résumé writing skill. Recognition as a CARW sets Ms. Varner apart from industry peers, and positions her to better assist her clientele by providing a standardized level of résumé writing excellence. CDI is an international association that provides proactive resources and assistance to empower its members in the undertaking and application of career development, résumé writing and employment practices.
A Platinum Resume, LLC offers expert resume writing and interview preparation to entry-level through executive clientele, transitioning military members, and government employees in the global marketplace. Ms. Varner's expertise is in empowering clients who wish to transition either within their existing career fields or to another industry by clearly articulating their value proposition.
She is a recognized and highly-referred resume writer, speaker, author, federal resume writer, and workshop facilitator with over six years of experience assisting clients to meet their career goals. She has been published in national résumé and cover letter compilation books, online articles, and local/regional publications.
To learn more about A Platinum Resume, visit their website at www.APlatinumResume.com.
Hiring and replacing employees is extremely costly; a point made by Susan Stabile, a professor of law at St. John’s University in her article, “The Use of Personality Tests as a Hiring Tool: Is the Benefit Worth the Cost?” The typical cost of replacing a bad hire is about 1.5 times the worker’s salary and benefits.
The average length of job tenure is 2.8 years for employees age 25 to 34 — according to a 2016 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 65 % of employers use some sort of pre-employment skills test. According to a survey by the American Management Association, “Almost 90% of firms that test job applicants say they will not hire jobseekers when pre-employment testing finds them to be deficient in basic skills.” According to a Harvard Study, 15 percent of the reason a person is hired is based on hard skills, while 85 percent of the reason people excel on the job and are successful is based on their people skills (soft skills).
Types of Pre-Employment Tests: The testing discussed here does not include drug and physical exams/ability tests or testing required to earn professional certifications/licenses.
1. Job Knowledge Tests & Employment Aptitude Tests measure a candidate’s technical or theoretical expertise in a field. These kinds of tests are most useful for jobs that require specialized knowledge or high levels of expertise (hard skills).
2. Cognitive Tests: Cognitive or aptitude tests determine an applicant’s potential ability to perform job functions once trained. The tests are written or oral and are used to measure a candidate’s reasoning (verbal, numerical, and inductive), memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, as well as skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension.
3. Personality Tests: Personality tests have taken on a 20% rise. Personality assessments can offer insight into a candidate’s “cultural fit” and whether their personality can translate into job success. These tests typically measure 1 or more of 5 personality dimensions: extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.
4. Integrity Tests: Employee theft and fraud can cost a company on average $9 per day, per employee. Integrity tests examine an applicant’s attitude and approach towards risky work behavior, theft, and lying; misuse of company resources, email, and the Internet; use of drugs and alcohol; trust with confidential information; and personal responsibility, including safety and dependability.
5. Emotional Intelligence Testing: Emotional intelligence (EQ) is an individual’s ability to understand his/her own emotions and the emotions of others. Strong EQ is important for most jobs — and critical for some — since emotionally intelligent people can work well with colleagues, interact with the public, and handle disappointments/frustrations in a mature and professional way. For example, the online application for McDonald’s includes 35 questions for jobseekers, and they range from the very job-specific to more general questions.
Legal and Ethical Considerations of Pre-Employment Testing: Company testing cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age. The test must comply with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful for private employers with 15 or more employees — and local, state, and federal government employers — to discriminate against qualified applicants with disabilities. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) of 1988 prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests with certain exceptions.
Although pre-employment testing may appear to be only beneficial to the employer, in reality, the jobseeker also wins. It is far better to be screened out of a position and/or company that does not fit one’s skills, values, and personality than to be hired for the position, and eventually dread going to work every day.
Learn more about pre-employment testing and utilize sample testing here:
The Modern Job Search in today’s digital world requires that job seekers prepare and target their career marketing documents specifically for each job opportunity. Two of the most popular job search letters are the Cover Letter and the newly evolved e-note.
One of the most popular questions I get from clients is: “Do I need a cover letter?” The answer is - well sometimes…but not always. Through my research, I have learned that some recruiters and hiring managers look for cover letters because it demonstrates the ‘proper etiquette’ when applying for a job. Some could care less, and never read the cover letter, and still others read it before looking at the resume to find out your ‘story’ or why you are applying for the position. Many potential employers scan your resume, and if you have the right credentials, then they may read your cover letter. So better to have it and not need it, especially when you do not have any previous contact with a potential employer.
When to use a Cover Letter: Cover letters are the tried and true job search letter that introduces a candidate, details their desire and qualifications for a specific position, and asks for an interview. Cover letters are formatted with a heading and ‘tone’ to match the resume and provide contact information, along with the opportunity to personalize your job application. They are especially effective for career changers, new graduates, and military transitioning personnel to relay their ‘story’ and ‘enthusiasm’ for a position. Cover letters are also appropriate for very senior level positions where the tradition and formality are an important part of the presentation.
When to use an e-note: When you are sending your resume to a prospective employer, recruiter, or network contact by email alone (not through a job board) - then an e-note is best. E-notes relay similar content as a cover letter; however, they are more concise and contain short bullets for a quicker read. Make sure to put the title of the job in the email subject line; craft a short introduction followed by 3 to 5 short key bullets directly related to the job, and close with referencing your enclosed resume.
End both your e-note and your cover letter with a call to action such as, “I look forward to discussing my qualifications for the position.” or “I would welcome and interview to discuss the specifics of the position.” Without a call to action - a cover letter is just a letter and an e-note is just an email.
Follow the instructions from the company website, job board, or recruiter when uploading your resume, cover letter, and any supplemental documents.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about how to craft and use job search documents.
Beyond your standard interview questions, in the subtlety of your body language and woven into your ‘rehearsed’ interview question responses, hiring managers are looking for intangible qualifications that you possess. These are your Personality Traits, Values, and Soft Skills - ‘extras’ that you bring to a position / company.
However, in today’s extremely competitive workforce and job search environment, there is a new level of qualifications that candidates may need to possess in order to ‘get the job’.
With employee turnover at an all-time high, according to an article in Business Journal, “Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation” - Millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs; 6 in 10 millennials are open to new job opportunities, and Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workplace. Whether that is true or not, employers now vet candidates longer and more thoroughly - think - [skype, video, and 2-4 layers of interviewing], and have begun to place more value on traits that are not always obvious on your fantastic resume.
Here are 8 Personality Traits, Values, and Soft Skills that employers may be taking into consideration
when looking for the perfect employee.