Is It Time to Add a Career Coach to Your Job Search Toolkit?

This whole process of looking for a job is just one more thing that’s changed drastically over the last few years. It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? It used to be easy to find and land a new job, but today’s digital job search is so much more complicated. The job market is crowded and super-competitive because digital platforms like LinkedIn have expanded the candidate pool. To gain an employer’s attention in our highly connected world, you need to rise above the online noise to stand out among your competitors. To do so takes strategic action and a willingness to let go of outdated ideas that may no longer serve your interests. Is there a job search 2.0 tool that can help? You bet.

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Take a minute to see what Certified Career Transition Coaches do. As trained professionals, they help you apply industry best practices so you can avoid the hassle of learning by trial and error. Offering an impartial view of your career goals and personal branding, a career coach can help you gain the competitive edge so you can get in front of decision makers at your target companies. Continue reading

What Does a Career Coach Actually Do?

Do I need a career coach? Where do they fit into my job search?

how a career coach can accelerate your success

If you’re wondering about the difference between a career coach and a recruiter, it’s actually pretty clear-cut. A recruiter works for the employer – a career coach works for YOU. When it comes to helping you reach your career goals, that’s a big difference. As your career coach, I have your best interest at heart. I will make sure you are prepared for success and will guide you along your journey.

Now you’re thinking, “Okay, so you work for me. But what exactly do you do?” I’m so glad you asked. My role is to help you gain a competitive edge in a crowded job market. I do this by helping you establish realistic career goals, articulate the incredible value you offer an organization and actually get in front of decision makers.

As a Certified Career Transition Coach, I can help you identify your career drivers and preferred communication style as well as the work environment in which you thrive. When you are in a role that aligns with who you are as a person and how you operate, you are generally happier and more successful.

As a leader, you drive success by filling your team with experts. Why should your approach to managing your career be any different?

Career coaching is a truly collaborative process through which I help you determine what you’d like to see in your next role and where you would like to work. We develop a branding strategy and then a step-by-step action plan to get you into that new role.

Want more? As a professional resume and LinkedIn profile writer, I also help you position yourself as an expert in your field. Through our conversations and coaching exercises, I will pull all the important content from you, and weave it into a compelling career narrative written in your voice. Describing your own career accomplishments is difficult for many people, but the objective viewpoint of a trained coach facilitates this process. Another bonus? A professionally written resume does so much to boost a job seeker’s confidence, which in turn, promotes success!

Can a career coach really help?

How many times have you thought: “Why should I hire a career coach? I have always written my own resume.” It’s a common question. Let’s look for answers. Continue reading

A Career Coach’s Tips for Connecting with Recruiters

How to connect with recruiters is one of the most frequent questions I hear from my clients, even more so now as we close out a very long year of covid lockdowns. If you are considering reaching out to a recruiter for help landing your next role, you may want to try these techniques that have helped many of my clients build positive relationships with recruiters.All geared up and ready to connect with recruiters

Where Do Recruiters Fit in Job Search?

Let’s first look at how recruiters work. It’s important to note that you – the job seeker – are not the recruiter’s client. They work for the employer (vs. a career coach who does work for you and has your best interests at heart). Companies pay recruiters to fill their open positions with candidates who have the qualifications the employer requires and will be the right cultural fit. That means a recruiter will Continue reading

Are You Ready for the Post-COVID Hiring Blitz?

Even execs need to network www.edgecareersolutions.comIn today’s competitive job market, the difference between advancing your executive career and spinning your wheels is leveraging the strength of technology to promote your professional brand.

You’ve embraced technology in nearly every other aspect of your life, so why not to advance your career ? New job search rules require new tools.

Executives need to be on LinkedIn too

As a group, executives have been resistant to the digital job search, but most are now finding that it cannot be ignored. Case in point: my client Ambrose, who was looking to make the jump from Sr. VP into the C-Suite. For nearly five years, he had been passed over for internal promotions and could not make any headway at his target company. After working with me for only three weeks, he was asked by his Board of Directors to consider a newly created leadership role and received a meeting invitation from the CEO he’d been pursuing at his company’s biggest competitor. We clarified his goal, mapped out a strategy to enhance his professional image and made it happen using a combination of LinkedIn and online industry resources.

Everybody and everything is online these days, including career management. From recruiters locating and screening candidates online to job seekers expanding their professional network using social media, finding your next opportunity is firmly entrenched in today’s technology. You know that exposure and reputation management are crucial to career advancement. Here’s how you can use technology to expand your reach beyond your immediate sphere of influence through strategic planning and consistent, intentional effort. 

Technology and Your Job Search

Before online technology, a job search consisted of Continue reading

How To Get In On The “Hidden Job Market”

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, nearly 80% of open jobs are never advertised. So why do so many jobseekers spend countless hours in front of their computer scouring job boards? Because they are using job search techniques that served them well in the past. Nevertheless, those techniques are not working very well.hidden job market Today’s job search is a different animal. To find a job today — you must adapt your job search techniques to today’s competitive job market. Job search best practices suggest that you should spend 80% of your time actively looking for work through networking and only 20% of your time passively searching online.

Here are a couple of tips to accelerate your job search and improve your results. Continue reading

Why You Should Never, Ever Use a Functional Resume

I have covered this topic before, but am frequently asked about functional resumes by jobseekers, so I figured I’d address them again here. I strongly advise against using a functional resume. Ever. Period. No matter what.

      

Most recruiters and hiring managers dislike functional resumes. They are more difficult to read and immediately raise a red flag. The reader asks him/herself “What is the candidate trying to hide by grouping together their competencies and not showing me what they did where? A gap in employment, excessive job jumping or lack of experience?” Regardless of your reason for using a functional resume, you are doing yourself a disservice. The last thing you want to do is cause any negative feelings — and confusion is a negative feeling. You want the reader of your resume to feel nothing but positive feelings about you and your professional accomplishments.

The goal of your resume is to pique the interest of the reader and entice them to invite you in for an interview, right? So, don’t annoy them. Make it easy for them to see the value you would add to their team. I will help you connect the dots between the results you deliver and their business needs. Packing your resume with specific career achievements provides proof that you are a valuable asset.

Your Functional Resume Is Probably Hurting Your Job Search

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5 Quick Resume Fixes To Improve Your Job Search

If your resume is not winning you frequent interviews, then it is not doing its job. Here are some quick fixes to turn that around.

Quick Resume Fixes to Improve Your Job Search

I recently met a woman at one of my local LinkedIn workshops who was frustrated in her job search. She had applied to many, many jobs, but had not landed any interviews.

I quickly reviewed her resume and could tell in an instant why it was not impressing employers. I suggested a few improvements that she could quickly implement and share these with you here. (Her revised resume worked! She landed an interview the next week and is now working at a job she enjoys.)

1. Address the employer’s needs

Change the focus of your resume to address the employer’s needs not yours. How can you help them achieve their goals? Position yourself as the solution to their problem and highlight your differentiators.

2. Target a specific role

These days, companies are looking for specialists, not generalists. Focus your resume on a specific role, so the reader can quickly see where you’d fit within their organization. They won’t guess – if unsure, they will move on to the next resume and you just missed out on the opportunity.

3. Make sure your resume is age-neutral

Employers are concerned that as a seasoned worker, your skills may not be as sharp as they used to be or you are too set in your ways. Show them that is not true. Don’t include any work history prior to 2000 and play up your tech skills. And please, lose the AOL email address! That screams “Dinosaur!”. Continue reading

How LinkedIn Can Help You Advance Your Career

With 740 million worldwide users, LinkedIn can help you establish a wide professional network. It is also a powerful marketing tool that can boost or derail your job search. A reported 93% of recruiters source passive job candidates on the social network for busy professionals.. So, if you are a jobseeker and not on LinkedIn you are basically invisible.

The keys to leveraging the strength of LinkedIn? SEO, KLT and TOMLinkedIn networking to advance your career

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How to Survive WFH With Kids

deep breathing for stress release

Deep Breathing Games for Kids

Typically, this would be a helpful post I’d share on social media, but I feel this message is one that will stand the test of time and provide ongoing value to my readers. So, blog post it is.

With the additional pressure of this extended COVID-19 isolation, today’s parents of young children are the new “Club Sandwich Generation” who deserve the highest Medal of Honor. Not only do they have to care for their family and possibly their aging parents, they now have to do it while trying to do their job at the same time. There is no more separation of day job and personal life. Gone are the days when the kids were ushered off to school and the parent could focus on their work duties for 8 hours before morphing back into Super Parent at the end of the day.

The New Balancing Act

Parents working from home are asked to juggle a lot, adapting to new ways of doing their jobs with many learning new technology as they go. On top of all this, they had to assume the huge responsibility of enabling their kids to keep up with their school work. Not knowing if we must maintain this pace for two more weeks or until the end of summer in nerve-racking. And none of this will work if the kids are bouncing off the walls consumed by their own anxiety and pent up frustration.

While I love my children dearly and miss them now that they are grown and out on their own, I feel extremely fortunate that I do not have to endure this extended home quarantine with the added responsibility of caring for young kids. After 8 weeks of isolation, I can barely keep myself sane, productively working and trying to maintain some semblance of a normal routine.

The Silver Lining?

Your isolation experience can be fantastic resume material. You can use it as an example of how you persevered and overcame obstacles, adjusted to a new, unpredictable environment and kept business moving forward.

How to Help Children Cope

When life gets crazy, deep breathing can help us feel calmer. Many adults practice some sort of deep breathing exercises, through yoga, mindfulness or meditation. It is a great life skill to teach our children, but how do you convince them to give it a try?

Here are some simple techniques from Shelley M. Greggs, NCSP, a nationally certified school psychologist and adjunct faculty at Florida SouthWestern State College. In her School Smart article in the April 24th Island Sun newspaper, Shelley shares ways to include fun and motion to engage children. The Feather Breathing looks fun to me. Who says games are just for kids? Continue reading

Today’s Resume is Ideal for Mid-Career Reinvention

Because today’s resume is a forward-facing document that positions you for your next job, it has never been easier to reinvent yourself professionally.

I work with many mid-career professionals looking to reinvent themselves. Their industry may be contracting, job  outsourced or they may simply want a change. Many want to pull back from the responsibilities and headaches that can accompany upper management roles and, once again, become individual contributors. The prospect of leaving your job behind at 5 pm and enjoying a personal life can be pretty attractive.

Until recently, I do not think many of us actively managed our careers. Sure, most of us were told by our parents that we could be anything we wanted to be, but how many of us followed our dreams? I doubt many people wanted to be stuck in an 8’ by 8’ beige cubicle, eating lunch at their desk under glaring fluorescent lights. Yet, that is where many of us Baby Boomers find ourselves. The time to restore your work/life balance and live a purpose-driven life is NOW!  Your New Career

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What Transforms a Resume from Average to Stellar?

As a Career Coach, I guide people through professional transitions to help them build more satisfying lives. Most of my conversations with prospective clients start with a request for a new resume. They call me because they are frustrated, their job search is stalled and they can’t win interviews. We discuss their goals, what they have tried so far and I explain how a few key changes can improve their results. Many times the problem is not simply a weak resume – they may also lack a focused goal or are using outdated job search strategies (for example, not active on LinkedIn).

The resume development process itself is the foundation for a successful job search.

a stellar resume is captivating

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Are Applicant Tracking Systems Rigged Against Jobseekers?

It’s a fact – if your resume does not make it through an employer’s Applicant Tracking System, it’s like you never even applied for the job. Is your resume making it through the Applicant Tracking System?

Too often, Applicant Tracking Systems make life difficult for jobseekers. But once you know how they work, you can use them to your advantage and they will no longer be a barrier to your job search. Not sure what this is all about? They can be confusing and continually evolve, which is why I research, take frequent training and test out the systems myself.

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A 3-Step Year End Review Will Rejuvenate Your Job Search

[Back by popular demand and updated for 2018.]

Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. If your job search is not winning job offers, then it is time to change your approach.

job search success

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

A year-end job search review helps jobseekers to reflect upon their strategies, evaluate their progress and determine which actions they should continue and which they should change.

Step #1: Clarify Your Goal

Do you have a crystal clear picture of what you offer an organization and a defined list of target companies? If you cannot articulate your career goal, how can you possibly achieve it? The crucial first step is to determine who you would like to work for and how you can help them achieve their organizational objectives. What do you offer that other candidates do not? Continue reading

Are Employers Being Unreasonable?

What? They want you to be on time, prepared and respectful? That seems like an awful lot to expect in a professional business meeting – which a job interview surely is. Interviewers have clear expectations of job applicants that impact their decision on whom to hire. By the time you’ve landed the interview, the employer is pretty sure you have the skills to do the job. Now, they want to find out if you are the type of person they’d like to have on their team.

To provide the best possible help to my career coaching clients, I speak regularly with recruiters and hiring managers to stay on top of what they are looking for in a candidate and what they like to see on a resume. We also discuss what bothers them and a few common themes stand out. I’m sharing them here to help you avoid these interview mistakes that can cost you that great job.

no phone in your interview

What Really Annoys Interviewers?

Here are the biggest pet peeves that I hear from hiring managers:

  • Poor manners
  • Lack of preparation
  • Not following up

Let’s take a look at each of these.
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I’ve Applied to Hundreds of Jobs Online, but Never Hear Back

The most common frustrations I hear from jobseekers are related to applying for jobs online. The application process itself is time-consuming, can be confusing and most of the time you don’t hear back after you’ve submitted your application materials. First of all, if you have applied to hundreds of jobs – STOP! Either you are applying for the wrong type of jobs or your resume is not selling you as well as it could. It might not even be making it through the Applicant Tracking Systems. Read on to see how you can turn things around.

Why Is My Online Job Search Failing?

online job application advice

Here’s the problem with applying to jobs online: your application is only one of hundreds, if not thousands, submitted for each opening. With employers’ increased reliance on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen for the most qualified candidates, your application may not even be reviewed by a person if it does not include the right keywords or proper formatting. For more information about getting through these online filters, see my previous blog “Are Applicant Tracking Systems Rigged Against Jobseekers?”.

Making it through the ATS is step #1. Continue reading

Step into the Spotlight! It’s Time to Ace Your Recorded Job Interview.

Welcome to the third installment of my blog series on virtual job interviews. In my last blog, I shared tips on mastering Skype interviews. If you missed it, you can catch up here.

Employers are continually looking to make the hiring process more efficient. To this end, they have started using recorded job interviews as a quick way to screen candidates. prep to ace a recorded interviewIn a recorded interview, also known as a one-way video interview, the company sends you pre-scripted interview questions that you answer on video and submit by a specific date. When you record your answers to the questions, you cannot see the interviewer, but they will scrutinize you when viewing and listening to your answers.

Getting Ready for Your Close-Up

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