By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
RetiredBrains.com has found its place among those respected denizens of cyberspace at least partially because its subject base as a job and information resource for boomers, retirees and people planning their retirement cuts a wide swath through the aging population.
However, the real force behind the website that has not only survived but thrived since 2003 is the founder, Art Koff, who runs the company from his Chicago office. He’s worked with PwC and others and dealt primarily with hiring managers over many years to build a solid library of what works and doesn’t in the interview process. That knowledge comes in handy for older and younger professionals alike.
Summary of Experience
“Hiring managers have found that when they interview, they have to ask all the questions they
want answered,” he said. “The other thing that frustrates them tremendously happens when they get a resume with a job objective at the top. What they’d rather see is a summary of experience and that needs to be applicable to the job they’re applying for.”
This kind of feedback should be one of the yardsticks candidates are using to prepare a resume or for an interview according to Koff, who stresses these points aren’t his opinions, but the results he’s gathered from years of research. These are axioms he says are well known in the industry.
“Most people in HR understand that their clients are the hiring managers and that’s often where the budgets come from.”
Koff also says that practicing interview skills with friends and family only goes so far in perfecting the skills you’ll need to get back into the workforce or land a job for the first time. He says he’s heard reports of people that actually go on several job interviews to sharpen their skills for the one they want the most. His comments are thorough and well thought out, reflecting the fact that RetiredBrains is a website/portal with sections for both employers and those looking for jobs.
For those looking to navigate the interview process, Koff stresses due diligence in the form of researching the company where you’d like to wind up. Taking stock of how your situation has evolved is another metric Koff suggests as an excellent arrow you can place in your interview quiver before the meeting starts.
“Basically, if you’ve assessed your situation last year, the year before or even five years ago, you’re in a much better place when an interviewer asks you where you see yourself in the future,” he says.
Finally, Koff tells us the widespread interview belief that you should couch examples of your work in narratives or stories to make your point works best in specific circumstances.
“There are some types of jobs where that story is of substantial advantage particularly in marketing and sales, but in some of the more technical positions, they aren’t necessarily appropriate.”