I don’t know how to handle this Business question and need guidance.
This is a two part questions. First I will need the discussion question answer which will be below in bold, 250 words APA format. After that is completed I will extend the time and will need the discussion responses answered. For those response I will need three responses of at least 150 words each and each response should include a direct questions.
This week we discussed ways to market your graduate skills in business and management. Provide your own top 3 DOs and top 3 DON’Ts for marketing your skills. Meaning, what are the three positives you will emphasize, and the three negatives you will remove or reduce from within your professional toolbox?
The first “do” for marketing my skills would be to customize my resume. We all have our general template of education, skills, and professional experience, but it is very important that the resume is tailored to the specific company. The industry I work in is very particular, so showcasing the specific skills, like itinerary planning, port development, or cabotage regulations would emphasize my professional skills and experience. Secondly, I would highlight the projects I took part it. For example, the fuel curves (consumption) for the ships depend on the configuration and amount of engines in use. The speed of the ship is based upon the distance between the ports (which can’t be changed) and expected arrival / departure times. The team I was in was able to show that we could save approximately $2 million over a 1.5 years by making small adjustments (30min – 1hr) across all ports visited. In another project we created a code that could easily identify when / if a particular sailing had been cancelled or adjusted. This benefited the sales and marketing team, revenue, or the commercial development team, which make long-term agreements with ports. Thirdly, I would market my certifications and education. Required training, renewals, and assessments are costly. Fortunately, with my current employer, I have been able to maintain everything through educational assistance programs. If I intended to move companies, this would be a huge benefit as it would save substantial time and money.
Regarding the “don’ts” of marketing myself, I would remove unnecessary training records. This isn’t a negative, but in doing so, it will keep my resume focused and clear. For example, I have a dangerous liquids certificate, which is for use on ships carrying petroleum or chemical products. It was required when I attended the maritime academy, but I have never sailed on such ships, or worked shore side at a liquid cargo company. Although it’s a “check in the box”, it really doesn’t benefit my goals, or would assist in marketing myself. The second “don’t” isn’t a skill to remove, but it is a rule of thumb in general (at least in my opinion), and that is, don’t burn any bridges. It is important to have a solid network of connections, whether it’s past co-workers, bosses, or acquaintances. Regardless of the reason for leaving a company, or transferring departments, it’s important to remain positive and remain professional. I have seen people quit from a job and leave on poor terms to only have that management circulate back into their life. Word of mouth is strong and should be used to an individuals’ benefit. Everybody should work as hard as possible and leave the best impression when at an entry or exit interview. Lastly, a weakness of mine is analyzing data and numbers. I do not have much interest in it, and try to avoid it when possible. In most corporate settings, everything is driven by numbers and targets. I try to take a supportive role and assist, when I should really be leading.
When marketing myself in the business world the first thing a person should do is to identify their niche. One should identify their interest, their talents and their passion and find ways to bring these elements together to sell yourself. As an Operations Manager working in the logistics field I find that one of my strong selling points is time management. I believe the Military gave me the skills I possess to handle multiple operations and job functions at one time and still find a way to complete each task in a timely manner and correctly. People skills are another great tool I have. I have the only department where all of my people come to work everyday and on time. I had a great mentor while in the Military. He once told me a great leader is not great only because they know how to lead but they also know how to be a follower and listener. People will automatically show respect for your rank or title but you as their leader or boss want them to respect the person. Lastly managing, supervising, and scheduling diverse cultural workforces is a great niche or tool I have in my toolbox. Throughout my Military career I have lead a division and department of sailors totaling up to 370 personnel. In the civilian sector I have lead a department of 120 personnel in different logistic functions.
One of the items I know I need to work on is my computer proficiency. I want to be more proficient in programs such as Excel. There are still some functions that I don’t know how to use without instructions. My main goal now is working on my self-control and tolerance of stupidity. I cannot believe some of the things people will try and do while working for a company. It just blows me away every time I have to talk to a grown man or woman about their behavior.
Congratulations to everyone who has made it to the last week! This week we are asked to provide our own top 3 Dos and DO NOTs for marketing our skills. One of the most important things someone can do is understand how to answer a question and apply it to their skillset. I like using the STAR method, which involves explaining the Situation, providing the Task, the Actions taken, and the Result. Using the STAR method sounds easy, but can take some practice when tailoring it to the specific skills you want to highlight during an interview. My next “do” is to have a resume tailored to the specific job I am trying to get. If I am looking towards a finance-related job, I will highlight my finance-related skills. Whereas, if I am looking at a general management position, I will highlight management skills and accomplishments. My final “do” will be to highlight my ability to be an active listener. Listening is a skill that is often overlooked but can be detrimental for communication during an interview. Active listening involves hearing and comprehending what someone is saying, then ideally using the STAR method to give an educated response if there is a question.
My first “do not” that I will remove from my professional toolbox is old and outdated certificates on my resume. Due to not being currently in the job market, I review my resume every six months or so. I often find professional certifications that are expired or not relevant to positions that I would be looking at. Leaving a certificate that is expired is misleading, especially when the job is dependent on that certificate. My next “do not” is not to remain sheltered from the professional tools that we have learned about throughout this course. I limited myself to LinkedIn and a resume before this course. Now, I will be searching for an e-portfolio platform that best suits my needs. Finally, I will try putting more effort into my references. I tend to neglect this area, but a quality reference can seal the deal for a potential job. As I mature in the workplace, I need references that reflect this. Rather than putting my best friend on a reference page, I can put people who have seen my work ethic and products.