Tag Archives: Wally Bock

Why onboarding is vital

Onboarding

And why probationary periods are Ok
So you’ve  created a winning resume,  negotiated any number of telephone screenings, sailed through all the face to face interviews, maybe even  aced the behavioral tests.  Finally you are opening that coveted offer letter.   Your heart races as you realise you’ve landed a great job, maybe a salary increase and fantastic future career opportunities.

But one phrase stands out, casting  a dark shadow over a great moment  ” subject to the satisfactory completion of a x month probationary period”   

What does this mean?
This pretty much means what it says. Before your contract will be definitively confirmed,  you need to successfully complete a x month trial period. Does this mean that you will be giving up a job for a position that isn’t necessarily secure?  Well, yes actually it does.

But before you get into a flat spin let’s take a closer look. Hiring companies invest thousands of dollars/euros/pounds in a selection process.   There will also be an impact on revenue during the period the position is open and in any subsequent onboarding  process which can take up to a year.  The company want you to hit peak efficiency as early as possible and should be doing everything they can to make sure that happens.

According to research by the Wynhurst Group ,  new employees who go through a structured on-boarding programme are  58% more likely to be with the organization after three years and the cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times their salary.

Worst case scenario
So no one wants you to leave!  You will also have left a job and  probably don’t fancy the idea of unemployment appearing in  your  short-term future. So both parties are heavily invested in making sure that the appointment and transition period are successful.

What is being catered for is a worst case scenario which allows all involved an easier exit strategy with a specified notice period. It is usually more about cultural and team fit than core competencies, those indefinable and intangible things that come about when people interact with each other in any relationship or organisation. It’s a bit like dating – without being dumped overnight.

What is onboarding  ?
Wally Bock suggests  somewhat cynically that  the term onboarding  has been  made up by people  ”  ..who revel in jargon…. it means many different things to different people  …who have different ideas about where it starts and ends and what is and isn’t included  ..”

That’s certainly true.  Essentially it is the process that will accelerate the new employee’s learning curve and increase the chances of early effectiveness and productivity for the new hire and also reduce the possibility of early attrition ( biz speak for you resigning). Where it starts and finishes will vary from one organisation to another and  for some companies includes the interviewing and hiring process.  On arrival the new appointee should be given detailed information not only about the location of the coffee machine,  stationery cabinet and the position they’ve just accepted, but also key company information,  as well as insights into corporate culture, ethics and vision.

Jane Perdue,  CEO of the Braithwaite Group told me that in her corporate HR days,  programmes could last 1 week or 6 months depending on the level of the position  “ the perspective was to teach culture, process, procedure and not let the water cooler conversations be the only introduction that new folks receive.”

Hiring phase
In an ideal world employers will have covered many of the issues that  could result in early attrition in the pre-offer stage, through clear and open communication to avoid any surprises, or worse still, shocks.  At the point of making an offer , the hiring management team should have examined the fit of the new appointee,   not just with the profile, but with the new boss and the existing team.  Plans should have been made to fill any anticipated  skill set gaps.

The existing team
The arrival of a new team member or even boss, also causes the existing team members to be in transition, so any impact on that dynamic should also be appraised. Any anticipated repercussions both positive and negative have to be factored in. This is a bit like bringing a new baby home! Some ” family ” members will adapt quickly, others may take longer and sometimes some members may not like the fact that the “baby” is there at all and react badly. Ideally contingency plans will be in place and the situation reviewed regularly, so that early steps can be taken to resolve any issues.

So what should be clear to both parties?

  •  A job description should exist with defined, achievable goals.
  •  The review method should be stated and transparent with regular review periods and clear feedback.
  •  Reporting lines should be outlined and all parties involved in the review process will be clear.
  • Methods of preferred communication should be made clear. If there is  a flat, open door,  informal culture then new hires need to know that. If the line mangers prefer written reports and formally scheduled interviews that needs to be clear too.
  • A mentoring structure should exist either internally or through the provision of an external coach.
  • Provision should be made to cover any periods of sickness.

Wally adds sagely ” We know that their first impressions of our shop are going to be important and lasting. So we want to make the process of getting hired, joining the company, and becoming a productive member of it as effective and seamless as possible. I just don’t know what parts of that constitute “onboarding”

Possibly all of it!  A successful onboarding process should provide an opportunity to align the expectations of all the players for the best possible outcome for all concerned.

Everyone should be happy! Right?

Motherhood and the CV Gap

 Wally Bock in Momentor says “Even with men taking paternity leave, women face a career challenge that few if any men will ever face. This one of those situations where there are no easy answers, only intelligent choices. Dorothy Dalton lays them out for you in what is the very best post I have ever seen on this topic.”

How to bridge the gap in your resume
One of the most frequently asked questions  that I am ever asked,  both as a recruiter and as a career coach,  is  about handling gaps in a CV caused by taking time out to raise a family. Response: there is no one magic wand answer. Or at least not one that I can think of.

Starting and raising a family is one of  the greatest challenges of  not just being a woman, but being a woman in the work place. We all handle it differently. There is no right or wrong way. Some return to work and balance  a career and professional demands with a variety of child care and support arrangements. Others decide to focus exclusively on their families for different lengths of time.

Experience
Both my kids are in their 20s and I can honestly say that I am familiar with many of the thought processes and situations that professional women go through when they have a family. I have probably experienced most combinations of childcare and work set-ups  imaginable: flexi-time, part-time, remote working, NOT working (aka ME) and  self-employment. I have been guilt tripped by pretty much everyone, including my kids and bosses in equal measure. My son is dyslexic and required  educational support when younger, but my business/family stress was finally reduced  when he discovered as a teenager,  that dyslexia is an anagram for “daily sex”. That helped with his learning difficulty more than anything I ever did.

Tough decisions
Becoming a full-time parent today is a luxury decision that few are able to make, but many still do. Very often for either economic reasons, or simply a desire to have a different purpose, many women choose to go back to work.

But frequently Rosanne Barr’s  one-liner  ” I can do anything. I’m a  mom”  doesn’t ring true for a large number.  It certainly doesn’t ring true for many employers.

Transferrable skills
Employers tend to want new hires to hit the ground running and are reluctant even to look at the transferrable skills from individuals who  come from another  business sector,  let alone anyone whose sector activity  has been running a home (hospitality, finance and facility management) school runs  (logistics) raising kids (team building, succession planning, change and conflict management, negotiation) supporting a partner (coaching, internal communication and external relations).

The soft skills that women possess in abundance, combined with the hands on managerial abilities ,  which are a prerequisite for running a family, should be easily transferrable into a business environment, particularly with some on boarding support. Unfortunately, many employers are unwilling or unable to see this. But equally many women don’t see it either. The years outside a corporate environment leave a large number feeling less than confident.

Strategic preparation
Some  career columnists recommend  adding a cover letter  of explanation as a returning Mum that you are now willing and able to re-join the work force.  Truthfully, that will no longer cut it.  That cover letter may not even make it past an ATS system. The pace of change in the recruitment sector has been so great that strategic preparation is important.

The earlier you start preparing a viable business case for your return to the market place the better. If you create a strategic plan before your offspring arrive on the scene, so much the better, but if not, just as soon as you can. You’ve heard of planned pregnancies? Well career planning is the same! It’s not enough to say  “Hey -ho, I’ve got a babysitter, I’m back”  and doors will swing open.  Whether the gap is 7 or 17 years the principles are the same.

  • Stay or get up to date in your profession. It’s not easy after spending a day dealing with the minutiae of every day family life to flick a switch and get into biz mode and read up on any developments  or trends in your now old profession but it’s worth it.  Cosmo  might be more appealing  than the Economist, or the packed lunches might be calling,  but try to allocate some time for your once professional self.  If you let this slide over the years , start getting up to speed quickly.
  •  Stay or get connected:  carry on if you possibly can with your professional networks. Subscriptions,  workshops and conferences can be pricey without corporate funding.  But there is still a lot of material  available on-line and social media networking is free. Sign up on LinkedIn  or any other professional site. LinkedIn has many different groups for mums –    over 26 pages when I just checked. There has to be something that suits you. If not create your own.   There are special groups on-line and in your own towns, specifically to support women in transition. Find yours and attend their events.
  • Stay or get in touch with old colleagues. They will give you the heads up on any opportunities.
  • Network –  any contacts you make in the course of your daily life may help.  Keep business cards, follow careers and stay in touch ( see above)
  • Consider working from home: is there anything you can do before you return to work to ease yourself gently into a business environment ?
  • Consider setting up your own business: Read my post Women who Make it Happen.  4, really normal  women recount their successful transition into entrepreneurship following periods raising their families. If they can do it –  so can you !
  •  Re – train  – this is a good opportunity to think about doing something different. What are your passions? What would you like to do with the rest of your life?  What are your skills? On- line courses make it easier to combine acquiring new skills with childcare and domestic responsibilities.
  • Invest in yourself – think long-term. Make your personal development ongoing.
  • Volunteer  – many women are very often involved in voluntary activities that rival any corporate activity. Fund raising , event management, PTA President, school or charity treasurer. Make sure that when you write your CV you include any metrics that support your efforts in terms of results and  processes. Raising  250K  for the new school library is a big deal and no different from meeting sales targets! Organising a gala garden party for your church with 600 people attending is no different to corporate event management.
  • Check your business image: if your wardrobe is full of office attire circa pre-motherhood –  a trip to the charity shop is essential. Nothing dates you more than looking out dated.

Even if you have done none of the above – it’s never too late to start.  As covered recently in Forbes , hiring managers are convinced by commitment , backed up by evidence that you can add value.  Their eyes will glaze over if the  only talk you can offer,  no matter how proudly,  is of raising your family.  Regrettably,   sometimes professional women can be  tougher than their male counterparts.

But occasionally wisdom comes from unexpected sources:  “ I’m a mother with two small children, so I don’t take as much crap as I used to.”  Pamela Anderson

So do you?

Cave in… or leave the cave?

I’ve  had  lots of comments on my series of posts on women :  salary negotiation and the gender divide ( Let’s go girls… Negotiate!   and   Don’t be Afraid of “No” ). Thank you!   One topic still to be covered  is the issue of  us ladies stepping up to the negotiating table in our current organisations, as much as six times less than our male counterparts. This can mean a loss to net life income of up to half a million dollars.  So, let’s look at what can be done about that.  Just to be clear, this is only about women taking control of their own situations and dealing with passivity,  rather than covering flagrant cases of outright discrimination ( bullying?) where there are separate procedures both internal and legal to take care of those sort of issues.

Easier than you think!

It’s complex , but  not harder, or impossible, or any of   other those self sabotaging words  to initiate salary negotiate at this point.  The process just needs a minimally different type of preparation and understanding.  And can be learned which is very important.   So it’s all good. Women are long on empathy and process orientated.

So where to start?

You're going to hate this, but I'm afraid it's back to basics and preparation

This has been going  on for a while, right?  Feeling discontented and “put on” ,  so another few months won’t make any difference, seeing these guys making more money than you? But  you’re in a marathon,  not a sprint,  so  intensive training is required to undo lots of bad habits and perceptions  ( theirs and yours)  to position yourself for the finishing line.

Laying the foundations: Now is the time to be strategic, active  not re-active.

Reality check : The suggestions that I am going to make are based on the premise that you are at least a competent performer! If you have any chinks in your armour – absenteeism, missed deadlines, any performance warnings – deal with those first.

Also make sure that your understanding of your situation is based on fact. Perception can be  misleading.  You may have been in the job longer,  but if Joe and Pete in the next offices earn more than you,  if  they have an MBA and a PhD in Rocket Science, speak 3 languages  or are more measurably productive in some other way, then your  case isn’t necessarily clear-cut.  Sitting at your desk whingeing about your workload, miserable conditions and generally playing the victim will not help.  Squeaky wheels sometimes get changed instead of oiled.

So back to basics:

Positioning : try and volunteer for projects with strong visibility. Some shameless self promotion never goes amiss when preparing for salary negotiation.  What you are doing is paving the way to create opportunity. Start taking greater initiative, even if your efforts are turned down at least you  are practising  being assertive. If you keep getting negative responses,  establish  if there is a pattern. What can you change?

Ask for feedback:  get into the habit of  doing this and also asking if there’s anything you could be doing differently to meet expectations.  Do not use the word better.   Respond with an email of thanks to positive comments.  It’s good to have a  trail, even a soft one,  so that everyone starts believing your message about how good you are and the high standard of your work.   Including you!

Personal Development : if there is an area of personal development you can undertake which will increase your added value – do it,  even if currently it might be at your own expense.  Discuss this with your boss – and make sure that he/she is aware of what you are doing and connect this effort  to future added value for the company.

Know yourself.  Decide on your life and professional goals.  Where are your strengths and skills and where do you ultimately want to go with them?

Know your metrics ( e.g  turnover, transactions per day, customer satisfaction ratings.. etc) You are the product  – so manage your business.!  What have you achieved and contributed or could possibly contribute further in the future?

Know your market. Where do you sit on the salary spectrum both within the organisation and outside it? Facts.

Craft your elevator sound bites: your USPs  and success stories.

Anticipate objections :  “no budget, it’s a recession, you’re a poor performer ( yes, they might play dirty) ,we’re going bankrupt, boss is busy etc”.  If there is any implied criticism you should have your feedback email trail to back you up. In any situation that is potentially intimidating,  ask for precise examples and dates of the issues.  That normally  de-fuses situations.

Rehearse your  constructive communication strategy:   Socratic questions ( What makes you say/think that? How do you reach that decision?  etc)  and Attentive Listening  (” Help me understand”,  I feel that…”)

Set your ideal outcome and the fallback position you can live with ( benefits in kind, shorter hours, review in 6 months, childcare , working from home, flexi-time etc) benefits in kind have a high monetised value when grossed up.

Prepare for “No:”  Remember you love “no.. , ” make it work and use all the strategies you’ve prepared. But have a clear plan if the  answer is final.

Know your audience :   You  have  worked in this organisation for some time and have a relationship with the players. You know the corporate culture and  have observed him/her in other or similar situations.  What are their own goals and aspirations  and what is the business plan for the department?  You are prepared,  but be cautious. You might have coached yourself into neutral mode  for this  transaction, but there is no guarantee that the person sitting across the table from you will be in biz mode too. They might see this request as some sort of personal slight on their managerial skills and become ego defensive. That is not your problem.  Maintain  your cool no matter what,  but  be aware that this is the point when  any negotiation could become adversarial.  They  may not even have realised that there is a new, evolved, assertive you in front of them.

Living in the village

Now it is important to be clear in your own mind what you are prepared to settle for and what happens if your request is firmly rejected in any form. You still have to  “live in the village  ” to quote my friend Wally Bock .  So if you decide to let it go,  it’s important not to close doors and to remain measured and business like. The alternative is  of course outside the cave.

One size fits all

A number of you emailed or messaged me ,  truthfully a little angrily and frustrated. Your stories were of being single parents , living in areas of  high unemployment ,  with domestic circumstances that limited your flexibility and mobility.Plus your company is the main employer  in the region and could call the salary shots, so voting with your feet was not an option.   “What  have you got to say about that? You’re targeting high fliers! ” you  commented  somewhat belligerently!   But coaching is not elitist.

Without knowing all the individual circumstances and if these concerns are real,  or FEARs  ( false expectations appearing real)  the answer is that there is no one answer.  But no I’m not – these strategies are a one size fits all. They can be tweaked and adapted to fit most situations.    My suggestion is that you focus on you. Add to your skill set and if this can’t be done in a professional context in your existing company,  set yourself some goals for personal development.  Think long-term. No situation is ever static, so at least you will be prepared for any changes that may arise. Kids graduate, companies get taken over, recessions end and opportunities come around when you least expect them.  Can you work from home or take on-line classes for example?

There are always a multitude of possibilities. You just have to be open to seeing them.  In the words of someone even  older and definitely wiser than myself  ( Seneca)  ” Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”

Don’t be afraid of “NO”

" No" is your friend. It creates an opportunity to counter.

There was an amazing, interesting  and almost global response to my last post “Let’s go girls…. negotiate”. All sorts of questions and issues were raised around gender differences  related to salary negotiation. Many complex topics were covered  connecting  cultural and historical barriers that prevent women stepping up to self advocate. But I’m not even going to attempt to address those wider topics here and just want to concentrate on the immediate and practical. I’m  also just going to focus on negotiating for a new job  and will  deal with existing situations  later,  although the principles are  still broadly the same .

So let’s deal with what can anyone  of us do.. NOW.

Women are relationship builders
One  of the first  points  raised was that women are  relationships builders and as a consequence we are not good at “winning ” individual encounters and are therefore disadvantaged from the get go.  So OK… let’s look at this in real terms.

Yes,  we are excellent relationship builders – but  all good  functional relationships I believe  are not about winning. In fact if anyone feels like a “loser”   in a deal  ( male or female) , my feeling is that  connection is predicated to be dysfunctional long-term.  Negotiation  is  ultimately about building a relationship. It is constructive communication between two parties to find a mutually satisfactory outcome. Women excel at win/win solutions. Do male managers really see all negotiations as adversarial? Wise and effective ones surely don’t. I have actually tried to find some management theorists who might support this line of thinking- but couldn’t locate any, except perhaps when discussing situations impacting international security- which we’re clearly not. And even in those cases, as we have historically seen, punitive negotiations don’t always work then either.

Many women  also wrote to me and to paraphrase said   ” … You don’t understand ….negotiating a salary is different to other  types of negotiations.”

NO it isn’t.

Be confident

This is about confidence.  Without confidence we will always find a way to lose, so it is important is to normalise and neutralise  the negotiation process in our own minds and to understand that  as women, we all do it, all the time without a second thought.  We just don’t even notice. Once we realise what an integral part negotiation actually plays in our daily lives, half the problem has been overcome.

 Test yourself:

1. The TV repairman says “ Can’t come for 3 weeks”

2. You have a 4 figure quote from a supplier for a job you feel pretty sure should cost 3 figures

3.  Your 15-year-old wants a party

So what do you do? Do you roll over and  wait for 3 weeks to get your TV fixed  and say to your contractor  “ sure  no problem I’ll pay over the odds for that job?” or leave town and  turn your house over  to your teen for an all night rave?  No. Of course not.

You negotiate.

You research the market, evaluate what you need doing, decide what you can comfortably afford to accept. If it doesn’t work you let it go or change.

So salary negotiation isn’t different.

By becoming a candidate you have already made that  psychological  commitment  to change and have taken that leap into the unknown. You have imperceptibly started the negotiation process.   You have researched the company,  identified your skills, know your value in the sector and must have marketed them well , because  here they are now wanting to make you an offer. You are in a good place! If the hiring company lose you,  they may have to start the process from scratch or fall back on candidate number two. That is an additional cost,  not just in terms of  search fees,  but also in terms of elapsed time before a new hire is effective , which equals lost revenue. They will have done their homework and will know what the salary range for your skill set is on the market.  Generally everyone  should  be looking for successful outcome. Most companies settle at least 10-15%  above the initial offer.

The pre-question

When I started selling,  my boss at the time, a guy called Mike Lowe, the best sales person I have ever met and a formative personality in my career and personal development, gave me a  simple  nerve conquering mantra before I embarked on any project. The pre-question.”What is the worst thing that can happen?”

Mike  also tried desperately hard  to teach me to ski where injury, pain and  death  featured in my option choices ( not necessarily in that order.)  But these  downsides, generally speaking, don’t tend to happen around a negotiating table discussing anything legal.

In any ordinary negotiation process, the worst  case scenario is  usually and I always  unhapppily thought,  pre “Mike” , was a firm ” no” .  But Mike also taught me that “no” is my friend and how to use it .

Make “no” your friend

So even within this negative messagethere is a  hidden bonus which can open up a dialogue and lead you to make informed decisions. So instead of fearing “no” – it’s now a word you feel extremely comfortable with. Take a lesson from your own kids. If you say no to a pre-schooler – what do they say ? Exactly.  ” Why? ”

Why” is now your other new door-opening  buddy.

It hangs around with “no”. It allows you to take each objection and calmly overcome them with your elevator sound bites, which incorporate all your CARS,  USPs and overall added value. So you love “NO.” It can work for you! The evolved adult  you  have become,  may not stamp her foot  like a five-year old  and petulantly pout “why”, but you will counter with something  more grown-up, neutral and reasonable like “What makes you say that?”

Mike  taught me to de-emotionalise  “no” and view it as a vital part of the process. It’s wasn’t about me. “No” doesn’t mean that my value or self-worth are  on the line and reduced in any way, or I’m some sort of mini failure.  It’s only about the transaction.

Research & preparation

But first you have to deal with  negative thinking   and examine the facts and take steps to avoid  being over come by fear ( False Expectations Appearing Real.) So research and preparation are key. Understand the economic viability of the company and know your own market value.

Silence

Mike also taught me about the use of silence. It’s the last member of the  “no / why” trinity. We women are not great at silence. But there are times when the prudent use of silence can be as effective as delivering a great elevator speech. Used wisely it is a great negotiating technique. Deliver your pitch …. and wait….and wait…. and wait….

 Fall back position

It maybe that you will not reach your  first goal  – but  you should always have a secondary goal  in mind  before entering any negotiation.  In the words of Karl Albecht  “Start out with an ideal and end up with a deal.”   If anyone in a negotiation situation that feels  their back is against a wall, trouble and resentment  are going to figure largely in their futures.

But if a compromise still  isn’t possible then  that leaves one  option – seriously consider voting with your feet.

Is it this  final step, which we as women fear most? That primal,  risk taking side to our personalities that keeps us in the metaphoric  “cave”  and prevents us taking that leap into the unknown which separates us from the guys?

The irony  is  of course ,  that  it is the ability and willingness to walk away which can be the single most powerful negotiating tool in any deal.

What do you think?

Special thanks to Wally Bock,    Ava Diamond, Colin Lewis, Rebel Brown , Susan Mazza,  Tim Douglas , Ellen Brown  Anne Perschel    Susan Joyce , Sharon Eden for stimulating contributions!

Choose your words wisely!

Inspired by Wally Bock

Divided by a common language  

Chatting on Twitter the other night, Wally mentioned in passing that he was a vet. Wow I thought. He’s an international leadership guru , writer, poet AND a vet. That’s pretty amazing. I went into recruiter mode. Thoughts about wide ranging skill sets , the long years he must have spent in college and training, plus potential career paths all raced through my mind. Then I realised (just as quickly) that we were probably having a cultural mis-communication moment. In UK English “vet” is a commonly used abbreviation for veterinary surgeon, but in the US it tends to replace the phrase “war veteran”.

Word choice

It then occurred to me if two Anglophones can mis-communicate so successfully and we use vocabulary and word choice as a professional tool all the time, what are the implications for those that don’t? I’m not talking about advertising spin either, but just presenting our message in a succinct and positive fashion, that everyone can understand and easily digest.

The importance of word choice in communicating a message in job search strategies is a vital part of my coaching programme. It’s key in CV writing and drafting internet profiles not only to be identified by Applicant Tracking Systems, but to identify your personal brand, which is the essence of your message. Strong language is absolutely essential in developing a correctly pitched elevator speech used in direct networking and interviews. They all require precise vocabulary, but presented in different styles and formats. Living in an international environment where English is the global business lingua franca, I also see people both communicating and confusing in their second, third or even fourth languages every day.

 Think!

I coached someone recently who used this phrase “Used to work in a multicultural environment : continuous contacts internally with US and European colleagues. Daily contacts with customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa mainly”

What he had actually done was this: successfully identified market development opportunities in key emerging markets,( some very challenging countries which I can’t specify for confidentiality reasons) created multi- cultural and cross discipline teams (requiring the management of significant cultural differences and business practises) to spearhead the launch of the product portfolio. The result was x increase( large number) to his company’s bottom line. Was that obvious? Not at all. Same role, but which one is going to attract attention?
I have observed over time that there are generally two parts to this communication process: communication with yourself (internal message) and then communication with others (external message). Sometimes it is only about the use of effective “brand” language ( vocabulary), but quite often it’s more than that.
 
So what needs to be done?
 
 Internal communication: this is about self awareness and self insight. You need to identify and understand your own challenges and achievements – I know I keep bashing on about this – but it is key. If you don’t know what you’re good at – how can you expect anyone else to know? You are your own best asset. Recruiters don’t have time to look for sub – text and to analyse the possible implications of what you’ve been doing in your career. We need to be told in very precise terms. Self insight also facilitates the interview process so you present yourself strongly verbally as well – this is your own brand development . It avoids the awkward pauses, repetition and embarrassing moments in interviews. But it is equally vital that you own your personal message. How do you define yourself? As the person in “daily contact” or the person who ” spearheads”?
 
External communication: Choosing powerful vocabulary and phrases to get your message across in the best possible way in all media is really important. This is not boasting (that’s about personality and delivery) or falsifying( that’s about lying). It’s your brand marketing. Would we buy Coke if it was advertised as a “brown fizzy drink” Probably not. Suggesting “refreshing” and “thirst quenching” or whatever else they say, produces a different and successful picture. Same about you! Use words such as: identifed, created, instigated, enhanced, extended, exceeded, generated, conceived, won, strengthened, secured, restructured, transformed to list just a few. Lose weaker words such as: facilitates, co-ordinated, set up, played a key role, contact etc. Let the facts speak for themselves and back up your achievements with incontestable examples or numbers.
 
If you are not a wordsmith, or English isn’t your first language, enlist support to help craft the most convincing CV possible to send a message you believe in. Why run the risk of being rejected because of some weak words?
 
You don’t want to be a “brown fizzy drink”!