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The Executive Resume 
The following material, although presented in an abbreviated version, is unique in that it was originally developed to teach executives the steps required to fill a new position. And since most of the questions you are likely to be asked at interviews about your experiences, accomplishments, skills, and personal qualities are a byproduct of these steps, it seems logical to understand how the process works. Obviously, such preparation is not for everyone, particularly those who prefer to “wing it” when answering questions at an interview. But for people willing to invest a little time, it can go a long way in making them feel more confident and better prepared for the interview.

The Job Description and Performance Factors
Before a new position can be formally approved by the executive committee, it is generally the responsibility of the hiring executive to complete two steps to justify the request. Specifically:

Develop a Job Description which clearly delineates the principal responsibilities and duties for the position, as well as the job’s scope of authority within the organizational hierarchy.
Establish the Performance Factors to show the exact type of experience and knowledge that is required so that the person selected for the position can become an immediate contributor.
For example, just because someone has had great success managing a large manufacturing facility in the United States, does not mean he or she would enjoy the same level of success as an expatriate managing a similar type of operation in a culturally different environment such as in Argentina. Therefore, one of the Performance Factorsin this case might very well specify that all potential candidates must be: “Experienced at managing indigenous supervisors accustomed to leading low-cost labor for a large manufacturing operation in Latin America.” OtherPerformance Factors might include things such as specific industry or technology experience, knowledge of international labor law, quantitative skills, fluency in a foreign language, ISO-9000/ISO-9001 expertise, and so on.

Developing Selection Standards to Evaluate Candidates 
After completing the Job Description and identifying the relevant Performance Factors, it is then possible to create a list of Selection Standards. This becomes the key to ensuring that all applicants who are subsequently interviewed for the position will be evaluated by using the same selection criteria. It is essential, however, that theSelection Standards be relevant for the position in question, and not based on the personal “wish list” of the individual who will be conducting the interviews. While there is an almost unlimited variety of potential Selection Standards that may be used to evaluate potential job candidates, the following five examples are provided as a general guideline: 

1). Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills

  • Must be effective at utilizing complex risk management engines with a focus on optimizing the risk-reward formula and driving the business forward in a rapidly fluctuating market.
  • Must employ sound logic and be able to translate conceptual business development models involving multiple courses of action into specific business growth strategies.
  • Must be a flexible decision maker skilled at synthesizing multi-faceted, complex problems and formulating/implementing effective solutions in a tight market with swindling sales.

2). General Operating Skills

  • Must be able to plan, organize, manage and complete multiple seven-figure projects on-time and within budget by effectively leveraging the firm’s existing strengths and resources.
  • Must be able to form cross-enterprise alliances with core operating groups across the entire organization, with a focus on eliminating operating inefficiencies and reducing costs.
  • Must be able to manage a flexible business model, and develop effective product delivery and go-to-market strategies despite a weak balance sheet and more entrenched competition.

3). Manufacturing Leadership Skills

  • Must be able to design, install and manage automated manufacturing systems and execute Operational Excellence initiatives to increase productivity, improve quality and reduce costs.
  • Must be experienced at executing a strategic revitalization initiative for a consumer products manufacturing facility, while reducing off-spec production by a minimum of 75%.
  • Must be experienced at leading plant start-ups and integrating acquired facilities on a global basis to eliminate or consolidate redundant functions, operations, programs and products.

4). Sales and Customer Retention Skills

  • Must have the ability to formulate strategic sales programs and strategies, while establishing an environment of trust and confidence with potential customers over a long sales cycle.
  • Must be an expert at identifying critical gaps slowing sales growth and implementing the changes required to remedy the situation, while also ensuring superior brand visibility.
  • Must be adept at capitalizing on established networks and personal liaisons in order to identify new business opportunities and close six-figure, long-term supply contracts.

5). Finance Skills

  • Must combine strategic and operational financial planning with strong qualifications in operations, business development, organization transformation, and general administration.
  • Must be experienced reversing financial declines by improving operating efficiencies and capturing cost reductions through process redesign and performance management.
  • Must be able to evaluate existing financial operations and implement the policies, procedures, systems, programs and metrics required to enhance long-term corporate value.

The goal of this exercise is nothing more than establishing an objective set of Selection Standards that each candidate must meet in order to be considered as a viable candidate for the position. These standards will, of course, vary depending on the type of job, its functional area, level within the organization, and a variety of other important factors. Nevertheless, every standard must have a direct correlation to a positional requirement so that the interviewer can develop the type of interview questions required to discover if an applicant actually has the appropriate background.

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