March 2017

48 APAC / March 2017 , 1702AP23 Staying Ahead of the Curve TomHannemann of Advance Yourself Career Services tells us more about the business and howhe stays ahead of the curve. “I help executives, managers and professionals advance their careers,” explains Tom, giving us an overview of the firm and its core services. “The focus is on developing their professional marketing collateral, which includes their resumes, LinkedIn Profiles, application letters and other documents they need to effectively position themselves for career opportunities. In addition, I help people prepare for interviews to give them an edge by providing them with the tools and techniques they need to present themselves most effectively. “My clients are from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and from several countries in Europe and throughout Asia. Because everything is done using email and Skype, I work with clients wherever they are in the world. “I have been in this business full time for more than 16 years.” The intent of Tom’s business is to help his clients gain an advantage when they pursue career opportunities in competitive markets. “Most people find it difficult to express in writing what they have to offer,” he says. “And this applies to people across the board. Even senior managers in advertising, public relations, human resources and recruitment ask me to help them develop their resumes! “Most people don’t like to ‘brag’ about what they have done. But, your resume is the very place you have a licence to ‘show off’ … a little. I make sure that people’s resumes and LinkedIn Profiles reflect the value they have added and the impact of the contributions they have made.” Tom’s experience ensures that the firm stands out from the competition and provides the best option for clients. “My background includes 10 years as a human resource development professional and 10 years as a consultant working with senior executives across a vast range of sectors and enterprises. I also have an MBA from the University of Melbourne. “My background ensures that I have the insight and understanding needed to decode, distil and convey a person’s contributions, expertise and accomplishments in a convincing way. I adopt a clear and direct communication style, avoiding vacuous marketing hype and empty buzz phrases that don’t say anything of value. “I have been told that I have a rare ability to get inside people’s heads. While this might be a bit scary, it certainly helps when it comes to creating documents that clients are confident to call their own. “I guess the proof of my effectiveness and the value I add is that a high proportion of clients come back to ask me to update their documents and refer colleagues, friends, relatives and even people they don’t particularly like!” Tom runs us through the process and steps he goes through when taking on a new client. “The process starts by obtaining the right kinds and levels of information from clients. In doing this, I adopt the perspective of hiring executives, executive search and recruitment consultants. I delve into a client’s experience to clearly identify the impact and benefits of what they have accomplished and contributed during their careers and the challenges they have faced and overcome. “I call it the “what, so what, how hard?” framework. Many people leave out the “so what” component and rely on the readers of their resumes to deduce the impact and benefits of what they did. I make sure that people tell the readers of their resumes about the issues and problems they had to address to get the results they achieved. Doing so sets them apart from their competitors. “We typically go through two or three drafts to enable clients to provide their input and make sure that their resumes say what they want to say in a tone with which they are comfortable. The document has to reflect their personality, approach and style.” Recent trends within the industry include the emergence of infographic resumes and video resumes. However, because most people don’t have the necessary expertise, their efforts are often ineffective. “It takes more than the ability to use a camera or navigate a graphics package to communicate why you should be considered for a sought-after role in an organisation which many well qualified people want to join,” explains Tom. “I engage with recruiters, human resources executives and hiring managers to identify changes in their needs, expectations and preferences. I am confident that what I do for my clients is on point because they get interviews, come back to me year after year and recommend other people to me.” Tom has future plans to ensure the firm’s ongoing success. “I am looking to offer webinars on interview preparation because the framework and tools I have developed are universally applicable and can be learned in 90 minutes. This will enable large numbers of people to receive the benefits that can currently only be obtained on one-to-one basis.”