Welcome to our blog.

I recently started using the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt and shifted my entire goal setting, calendar, and planning to good old fashioned pen and paper. Several colleagues asked,

“Why lose out on all the convenience of automation, copy/paste functions, and on and on.”

They asked why take more time and go analog?

Here’s why:

  1. Less distractions equal clearer thoughts. How many times do we actually get to leave the busy world we live in to really focus on what’s important and chart our course? Going analog takes us away from our electronics and all the distractions of our email, text messages, etc and gives us the time to clear our heads and think.
  2. Stay focused. Being forced to write things down, sometimes more than once, really makes you think about how important each item and task really is. If it’s not important enough to spend the time writing it down (sometimes more than once), it’s not that important. We live in a world where we are driven to do every task that appears before us, but chasing everything often leads to accomplishing nothing. Staying focused is key.

Give it a try, reconnect with your thoughts this year, stay focused, and have the most productive year yet. Ditch the tech and go for the paper and pen.

If you’d like more time management tips or would like to speak with one of our career coaches on ideas that could take you to the next level in your career, please connect with me at cole.sperry@optimrecruiting.com

Cole Sperry
Managing Director

Why aren't you getting your dream job?

There are 8 million jobs open in the United States in any given month. So, why aren’t you getting any of these? One big reason may be your resume.

Your resume is more than a piece of paper with words – it’s a painting. Just like you, hiring managers have imaginations and they will use that to read your resume. The question is, do these words paint a picture of you as a competent worker? Energetic? Joyful? A team player? Honest? Do they paint a picture of you as young, middle-aged, or old? No, those things aren’t covered in your resume and they may be right or wrong, but it’s human nature to imagine.

There’s also a difference between company size in how long someone will look at your resume. With a small employer, you might get as much as two minutes. With large employers, you will get between four and fifteen seconds of attention. That’s not long, so the top third of your resume better be good.

Every employer is going to be looking for something different, but two things that almost everyone looks for are competence and compassion.

Let’s tackle the first one, competence…

Stop it with the empty claims such as able, accustomed to fast-paced environments, analytical, bottom-line focused, dependable, driven, go-to person, problem solver, self-starter, etc. Yes, you and everyone else who has ever made a resume are these things. The problem with these is that most managers consider them to be empty claims devoid of proof.

These days managers want evidence on your resume before they’ll call you. They want numbers, dollars, percentages, illustrations – that sort of thing.

  • Experienced accountant (blah)
  • Experienced cost accountant (okay)
  • Experienced cost accountant with 5 years in manufacturing companies (better)
  • Experienced cost accountant with 5 years in food manufacturing, managing standard costing for 1,000+ perishable SKUs (now you’re getting somewhere)

Numbers are the most important evidence. Employers want to make money and you are a cost. They want to know if the money you make for them or the money you save them will exceed your cost. They’ll even guess at how much. Giving them figures regarding your past achievements helps them gauge that. They want to see things like:

  • I reduced costs by 10%
  • I streamlined our inventory management process by xyz which resulted in adding $75,000 annually to our bottom line.
  • I created and automated our month end close procedure to cut the closing time down by 2 days.

Everyone will be asking are you going to cost me money or save me money. Remember all those empty claims from before. Try replacing those with these:

  • Accomplished (and say what)
  • Accomplishments include (make sure you have factual numbers)
  • Time saved
  • Increased profits
  • Reduced costs by
  • Created new
  • Developed
  • Improved
  • Increased productivity by x percent
  • Initiated cost savings of x
  • Secured five new x worth $x
  • Under budget by

 Keep in mind these 4 questions when writing your resume:

  1. Think of some mythical person that the company may have hired who would have done the job poorly. Compared to you, how much more would that person have cost them?
  2. Did you save the organization time and thus increase profit? Either by accomplishing more work in less time than your predecessor, by meeting impossible deadlines and always saving the organization a penalty, or by taking on additional responsibilities so that they didn’t need to hire an additional person? Put a guesstimate number on all of these!
  3. Did you save the organization money and thus increase profit? Either by finishing a major project below budget, while others would have gone over, or by coming up with some true cost-saving ideas with respect to procedures they had always done the “old way. “Again, put a guesstimate or number on these.
  4. Did you increase the organization’s total sales and thus increase profit? Either by attracting new customers or clients, by generating new business, by altering the organization to a problem they were missing that could easily be solved, or by pointing out an opportunity or new market they were missing? Again, numbers!

If you don’t feel like your resume is getting the attention that you deserve or landing you your dream job, send it over to us and for feedback.

Happy Job Hunting!


Writing Your Accounts Payable Resume

Our team has reviewed thousands of resumes this past year and the vast majority of professionals don’t have concise and compelling resumes. Let’s face it – writing resumes, interviewing, selling yourself is not what you do every day and for many people, it’s not what they’re good at. You’re good at processing accounts payable, preparing accruals, and managing cash flow. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking to #upgradeyourcareer and start exploring new opportunities.

First, stop with the objective at the top of your resume. For the most part, these are generic statements and hiring managers have become immune to them. Instead, go for a concise and compelling summary of your skills and list some stats.

Focus on the things that matter in your resume. When you think of your accounts payable function, a few things come to mind.

  1. Accuracy. The number one goal is to make payments and accurate, on-time payments only happen with accurate error-free data entry. ex. Match and code 5,000 invoices monthly from key suppliers with 100% accuracy, ensuring all payments are made within contract terms.
  2. Efficiency. Can you do more than others? ex. Created a spreadsheet for tracking AP aging which reduced the time to produce aging reports and schedule invoices by 20%.
  3. Automation. What automation projects have you been involved with? ex. Part of Concur implementation which resulted in a $5 per-invoice savings on processing.

Think of examples of how you are the best at these three things and highlight them with statistics throughout your resume. You’re guaranteed to start grabbing the attention of leaders at companies you want to work for.

For more advice on #upgradeyourcareer, resume tips, or interview prep – send us note here!