Tuesday, August 13, 2019

You Can Do It: Writing your LinkedIn Profile

Last week I posted about writing your own resume.  Yes, you can do it!  Here's how.  You can also write your own LinkedIn profile.  A good LinkedIn profile is becoming as important as your resume.  There are a lot of similarities, and if you can write your resume, you can definitely write your own LinkedIn profile.  Here are my notes on how to have an effective LinkedIn profile.

Make it look a lot like your resume:  You just spent all that time working on your resume, now incorporate that into your profile.

Photo:  Put up a recent photo that looks professional and engaging.  No, not the photo cropped from your wedding with someone else's cropped torso in the periphery.  Also, not one of you in your car.  (A Cranky Recruiter aside:  I see so many LinkedIn profile photos from the vantage point of a car's dashboard.  Makes me wonder, was someone so mad, they ran out to their car and snapped a selfie so they could start looking for a new job?)  Take a photo of yourself when you are looking good, have good lighting and can say cheese for the camera.

Contact Info:  When setting up your profile, make sure you put complete contact information on your profile.  This can be kept private, but if you want someone to find you here, it is good if they can contact you.  The email you use is the one InMail messages will be routed to, so use one that you can use for LinkedIn messaging.  Your work email might not be best, but if you only look at your work email inbox, putting a secondary, unread email address could backfire too.  I experience this all the time--especially when I have found the ideal candidate on LinkedIn, but have no way to contact them.  Maddening!!!

Background photo:  Find a picture you can put up that reflects something about you.  My profile has a vineyard scene behind me.  I think that makes sense.  The default background is fine, but very uninspired.  Doing a random scan of my connections, approximately 90% of profiles use the default, so that is quite functional.  If you have a social media presence, I think you can find something to put up for your background picture.  You would be in the 10% club of unique background photo profiles.

About:  Write a summary of your experience and what types of positions you are looking for.  Of course, you are probably gainfully employed, so write the summary with that in mind.  Make it sing the praises of your work accomplishments, without it sounding like you are looking for a new job.  Adding a skills section is smart, as is adding information about your educational background, if applicable.

Experience:  This will be pulled straight from your resume.  Put company, title, employment length, and work location.  Then add relevant information within each job.  This can be a paragraph per role, or a paragraph per key responsibilities, depending on length of employment in each role.  Keep it relevant.  If you've been working for 20 years in the field you want to continue in, you don't need to list old, irrelevant jobs outside of your industry.

Education:  List school, degree, any additional accolades (Summa Cum Laude, president of student government, study abroad courses, etc.), and if relevant, date of graduation.

Licenses and Certifications:  Are you an MS?  Put it on there please.  Just got your WSET Level II?  Put it on there.  Are you a certified Cicerone?  Put it on there.  CPA:  PLEASE!  Put down relevant licenses and certifications that add to your marketability.

Skills and Endorsements:  List relevant skills.  Now for endorsements, I think this is a bit of crowdsourcing, but once you put your profile together people can endorse you on the profile.  So put down skills, and hopefully the endorsements will follow.

Recommendations:  If you can, ask former colleagues and managers to recommend you on LinkedIn.  The request process is pretty easy, and if they do not want to do it, they can easily ignore the request.  If you are asking for recommendations, be good and give recommendations for others when asked.

Groups:  Link to some groups of interest to you.

Following:  Get some follows on there for organizations, celebrities, or companies that interest you.

Accomplishments:  If you hold a board seat, have published an article or research paper, have secondary language skills or are hold a patent, put it down.  There are several things you can list, so use this area to enhance your profile.

Interests:  Are you part of a trade group?  Do you like to follow Mr. Wonderful?  Show your interests here.  Yes, just like on your resume make sure they are relevant and give a positive impression of you.  But some personality is good to show here too.

Connections:  Once you've put your profile together, link up to your friends, family and colleagues.  The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more likely you will make more.  The funny thing people like to say is that they are very promiscuous on LinkedIn.  They connect with anyone and everyone.  Doing this,  you'll be more easily findable by recruiters, like me!  Isn't that one of the big reasons you are on LinkedIn.

And keep it current!  Go into your profile from time to time to make sure it is up to date and relevant.




Wednesday, August 7, 2019

You Can Do It: Writing Your Own Resume

Recently I've been talking to several people who are just starting to put out feelers for a new job.  Some people haven't updated their resume in a couple of years, others for decades.  Now, a good resume writer can be a great way to get your resume up-to-date, but the DIYer in me says you can do it yourself.  Here are some pointers on drafting up your new resume:

Make it easy on the eyes:  First, I think using a free resume template is smart.  Canva.com has some great, free templates you can use.  Some people have also found good templates on Etsy.

Make your resume get noticed: Using a template with some color-blocking or splashes of color is my advice.  Nothing brightens my day like a smart, well-written resume with some good subject headers and some color, any color.  Please!

How do I reach you?  Yes, put your contact information at the top of your resume.  Name, phone number, email and your city and state of residence is what I want.  I recommend not putting down your home address.  Let's keep some personal information private, for your safety.  

Quickly, who are you?  For most people with some industry experience, put a professional summary section at the top of your resume.  It doesn't need to be long, but putting your career highlights in there is smart.  I like seeing numbers.  Percentages of revenue increases, number of new customers brought in, total increases in revenues you were responsible for.  Now, not every job has a lot of numbers, so use information that is important to your role.  Quality improvements in winemaking, new efficiencies in your administrative management, reduction in staff turnover, new software implementations, etc., are all good things to put in there.

Education or Work Experience:  I think if you've been working in progressively more advanced roles for about the last 10 years, start with work experience.  List Title, Company, Dates of Employment, and City or State you worked in.  Now, there are a lot of companies out there, even lots of wineries in wine country.  Don't expect someone to know the company you are working at.  Put a short blurb underneath this info that summarizes what the company is.  I like it in italics underneath.  Something like this shameless plug works:   WineTalent is an executive recruitment company that focuses on individualized searches in the wine industry.   

Give me bullet points!  Within your work experience, call out the main functions of your job.  This can include similar items as I mentioned in the Professional Summary, but keep it unique to each section, not copied from another area on your resume.  List major responsibilities.  For sales positions, I like to see key customer relationships, key accounts, and related information.  For hospitality positions I'd list information such as how the tasting experience is conducted, how you grew your wine club or how many staff you managed.  For winemaking positions list your involvement in the vineyard, your responsibilities in the cellar and in winemaking decisions and your involvement in customer/trade engagement.

Logos?  I like it when people use company logos on their resume in the experience section.  A nice, easily identifiable logo goes a long way, so use it to your advantage in your resume.  But make it look right.  One company logo in a list of several different companies doesn't work.  Too many logos and it starts to get busy.  But think about using them if it looks right.  

Can you list your education now?  If you are a fairly recent graduate, highlight your education above your experience.  Or if you are a newly minted MBA, scream that at the top of your resume.  But if your work experience has eclipsed your education, list education information afterwards.  You need to make the judgment call here, but those are my words of advice.

Do you have hobbies outside of work?  I may be old fashioned, but I like seeing some interesting facts at the bottom of the resume.  It lets me see you a bit more multifaceted.  Be smart, think about what you are putting down.  

Keep it to one page!  I know, I know, you are so much more than one page!   But I can have a 22 year old recent graduate and current Barista with a three page resume and an industry veteran with 30 years of work experience who has a one page resume.  You really can be concise and wow me with your experience and do it all on one page.  Please!  But if it doesn't feel right, make it two pages.  Stick to two pages or less.  

Avoid Errors:  Have someone check your spelling, grammar and details.  I have had to throw out too many resumes of candidates that can't spell, have terrible grammar or odd dates of employment.  Don't end up in my circular file.  Check your work, have someone else check it over, and maybe another person too, just for good measure.    

Check for formatting issues:  Not only do resumes end up getting tossed for errors, formatting issues can cause you headaches too.  Some headers don't show up on programs, meaning your name and contact info is invisible, and in turn, you are invisible.  Send your file to some friends and make sure it looks okay on their computers.  And read this article about how to format your resume best for applicant tracking systems.  

Now get to work and write your resume!  I know this is a good DIY project for you.



Friday, July 26, 2019

Favorite Interview Questions of Business Leaders: Business Insider

Are you gearing up for an important interview?  If so, take a look at my recent post about common interview questions.  http://winetalent.blogspot.com/2019/07/prepping-for-interview-common-interview.html

While researching that I came upon some favorite interview questions of business leaders that Business Insider posted.  I really enjoyed these questions, and did see that often there is a bit of the interviewers personality that comes out in their question, and also in how they interpret the answer.  Take a look at that article here:  https://www.businessinsider.com/favorite-interview-questions-highly-successful-bosses-2017-7

Here are their questions, and sometimes their interpretation of the answers:

Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder: 
"What didn't you get a chance to include on your resume?"

Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO: 
"On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?"  And another question, "On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you in life?"

Larry Ellison, Oracle CTO and Executive Chariman:
"Are you the smartest person you know?"  And why he asks this?  If someone answered yes, she'd get hired.  If someone answered no, the recruiters would ask who is, and then try to hire that person.  Brilliant!

Lori Goler, Facebook HR Chief: 
"On your very best day at work--the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world--what did you do that day?

Peter Thiel, Paypal co-founder and Clarium Capital President
"Tell me something that's true, that almost nobody agrees with you on."

Drew Houston, Dropbox founder has 5 top questions:
Who is the best in the world at what you do?"
Who are your influences?
What have you learned in the last year?
If you were able to sit yourself down 10 years ago, what advice would you give your younger self?
What are the most important lessons you've taken away?"

Hannah Paramore, Paramore founder and EVP
"How old were you when you had your first paying job?"

Jenny Ming, Charlotte Russe president and CEO
"Tell me about your failures."

Marla Malcolm Beck, Bluemercury CEO
"What's the biggest impact you had at your past organization?"

Yasmin Green, Jigsaw head of research and development
"How would you make money from an ice-cream stand in Central Park?"

And my favorite, and my current dinner party question that Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO has:  "You are standing on the surface of the Earth.  You walk one mile south, one mile west and one mile north.  You end up exactly where you started.  Where are you"   (For the possible answers, go here:  https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-favorite-job-interview-question-answer-2016-5)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

WineTalent Classified: Staff Accountant in St. Helena, CA


WineTalent is working with our client, Long Meadow Ranch on a Staff Accountant role to join this growing company. 

About Long Meadow Ranch: Long Meadow Ranch is a family-owned agricultural enterprise producing grapes and wine, olives and olive oil, grass-fed beef and lamb, fruits, vegetables, and eggs in the Napa Valley, Anderson Valley and Marin County. The Long Meadow Ranch operations also include an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, a general store and wine tasting bar in the historic Logan-Ives House, an outdoor cafe, a farmer's market, a working garden and a variety of unique event spaces all located at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. 

About the opportunity: Long Meadow Ranch has a unique opportunity for a Staff Accountant to join our Finance team to provide quality service to our winery management team, farm production team, and other business partners. Reporting to the Controller, the Staff Accountant will provide general accounting support, maintain financial reports, records, and general ledger for multiple affiliated entities. This position requires ethical conduct and thoroughness, along with critical thinking, attention to detail and time management.

Responsibilities
Facilitate and complete monthly close procedures
Prepare journal entries and perform analysis and reconciliation of general ledger accounts
Support accounts payable where necessary, including invoice processing, coding and approvals. Provide additional support for corporate credit card processing and facilitating employee expense reimbursement as needed
Support Senior Staff Accountant with daily financial reporting
Support other critical accounting areas as needed, such as fixed assets and accounts receivable. Liaison with sales team and order processing team to effectively manage wine accounts receivable
Collaborate with Controller to ensure that the financial information is prepared in strict adherence with US GAAP, company policies and procedures and sound financial management practices

Education, Experience and Requirements
Minimum of 3 years of experience in general ledger accounting practices
Wine or consumer beverage product accounting experience preferred
Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Business or a related discipline
Experience with QuickBooks and/or NetSuite preferred
Proficient in MS Office with advanced MS Excel skills
Sharp attention to detail with good oral and written communication skills
Able to work in a team environment as well as operate independently
Able to lift 40+ lbs
A pre-employment background check is required

Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time, salaried position.
Competitive compensation depending on experience plus benefits including medical/dental insurance, paid vacation and 401(k).

About WineTalent: WineTalent is a wine industry focused recruitment company. We have worked closely with LMR on job opportunities for over 7 years. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.

WineTalent: The Right People for the Job

Interested in applying?  Email resume to amy@winetalent.net

All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential

Monday, July 15, 2019

WineTalent Classifieds: Guest Services Manager in St. Helena, CA


WineTalent is working with our client, Long Meadow Ranch, on a Guest Services Manager role to support Farmstead and Long Meadow Ranch businesses. 

About Long Meadow Ranch: Long Meadow Ranch is a family-owned agricultural enterprise producing grapes and wine, olives and olive oil, grass-fed beef and lamb, fruits, vegetables, and eggs in the Napa Valley, Anderson Valley and Marin County. The Long Meadow Ranch operations also include an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, a general store and wine tasting bar in the historic Logan-Ives House, an outdoor cafe, a farmer's market, a working garden and a variety of unique event spaces all located at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch.

About the Opportunity:  We are seeking a Guest Services Manager to be an integral member of our team, providing the highest level of professionalism, customer service and brand ambassadorship for Long Meadow Ranch’s businesses. The Guest Services Manager will be responsible for managing the Guest Services department focusing on providing highly engaged, customer-focused service for our organization. 

The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic individual who is personable and friendly, customer service oriented, motivated by providing the details that create superior guest experiences. 

Responsibilities:
Handle all incoming inquiries and communications with guests for Long Meadow Ranch via phone, email, social media and online reservation system
Oversee reservation bookings across the company including restaurant, private events, winery visits, wine tastings, food & wine experiences, trade visitors, and housing guests
Provide outreach both internally and externally to generate new business opportunities
Be an ambassador by educating the guests about the LMR philosophy, history, wines and foods
Ensure proper phone etiquette and standard operating procedures are being used by staff and performing routine and spontaneous staff training to ensure the highest level of customer service
Respond to customer feedback on review sites and manage customer service recovery
Provide training to the staff on guest relations, problem resolution and issue escalation
Build, enhance and maintain long-term customer relationships
Create and maintain scripts for interfacing with guests in-person, on the phone, and by email
Follow company standards to ensure reservation confirmations and encourage cross-referrals to other Long Meadow Ranch experiences
Support oversight of customer service to include reviewing current operations, development of new policies to overcome repetitive issues, and ensuring timely response to guest inquiries
Ensure that all policies and procedures, guest experiences and operating activities carried out by team are consistent with company and brand standards
Attend weekly meetings and prepare department updates
Manage the scheduling, coaching, and regular performance assessment of the guest services associates
Manage ticketing platform for all onsite brand events
Manage our various housing spaces including booking and calendar
Oversee general organization and cleanliness of the office areas

Education, Experience and Requirements:
Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management, Hospitality, Communications, Marketing, Business or related
3 years of hospitality industry experience, ideally including work experience in hotels, restaurants, resorts, customer service and special events
Experience with PBX phone systems, Vin65, OpenTable, Google Business as well as digital tools including iPads, iPhones and related technology
Sharp attention to detail with good oral and written communication skills. Able to work in a team environment as well as operate independently
Highly professional in all interpersonal and business dealings
Must be able to have a flexible schedule working weekends and holidays
Creative problem solver with drive and dedication to succeed
Able to lift 40+ lbs
Must have a valid California Driver’s License and maintain a clean driving record
A pre-employment background report is required

Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time, salaried position
Competitive compensation depending on experience plus benefits including medical/dental insurance, paid vacation and 401(k)

Apply online


About WineTalent: WineTalent is a wine industry focused recruitment company. We have worked closely with LMR on job opportunities for over 7 years. All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential.

WineTalent: The Right People for the Job