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 Many times the problem is not simply a weak resume – they may also lack a focused goal or are using outdated job search strategies (for example, not active on LinkedIn).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.
[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.
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
‘Tis the season to celebrate with friends and family. ‘Tis also the season for year-end performance reviews, which is the perfect time for you to position yourself for success.
Performance reviews can be stressful, especially coming as they do during the holiday season. You naturally hope that your manager notices all of your hard work and recognizes the value you offer your organization. But does management really know how valuable you are? As part of the review process, many companies ask their employees to provide a self-assessment to their manager. This is your best opportunity to remind your manager of your contributions and highlight the impact of your efforts. It is also a great first step to developing a strong resume.
Not sure how to show your value to an organization? You are not alone. To make it easier for my clients, I recommend that they start with the following questions: Continue reading
Whether you are transitioning to a new career or looking to achieve your next professional milestone, a successful job search is all about selling yourself to prospective employers. Never thought you’d be in sales? When competing for a job, you are marketing yourself as both the product and the salesperson, and your most effective tool is your resume.
In my experience as a Career Coach, I’ve found that many people don’t know how to sell themselves when looking for a job. Writing about yourself is difficult, no doubt about it. That is why so many people hire professional resume help.
Here are a few key points to make it easier:
Let’s talk about your career. I don’t mean your current job that’s so unrewarding that it feels like a prison sentence, or the one that you’ve been told is being eliminated in a few months. No, I mean the career you dream about, the one that you really want, that you know you were meant to have. Let’s talk about THAT career.
Changing careers can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve already devoted a long time to your present career path. I know how it feels – I left a high burn-out job and successfully reinvented myself several years ago. I had heard (and told myself) all of the reasons why career change is impossible and bound to fail. “Competition for good jobs is fierce,” and “I’m too old to change careers now.”
Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be so scary. Continue reading
The Importance of Career Assessments
Guest post by Lynne Bossart independent college advisor and owner of Muse College Consulting LLC
As a child, you probably had any number of answers to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But, as a teenager and a college-bound student, the answer is not always so clear. You may think you have to decide on your major before you even look at colleges. But did you know that according to the National Center for Education, about 80% of college students change their major at least once during their
college career? And, “undecided” is one of the most popular majors for incoming college freshmen. In fact, there are jobs and careers that haven’t yet been invented but will be by the time you graduate college. So, the real question is, “What do you need to know before you embark on your post-secondary path?” Continue reading
Hiring the wrong executive or senior level employee can be one of the most expensive mistakes a company can make. To prevent a bad hire, more and more employers are conducting InBox Assessments (also known as In-Tray Exercises) during the interview process to evaluate how an employee might actually perform on the job. In addition to the typical skill-related questions and the often-bizarre behavioral questions, you must also be prepared to demonstrate how well you would handle the daily responsibilities of the role.
An InBox Assessment is a simulation of a typical day on the job and shows the potential employer how you would handle the variety of tasks, questions and problems that may cross your desk. Among other things, they are looking to see how well you manage your time, organize your workload, communicate and make decisions. You may be presented with a variety of incoming requests, projects and problems to solve, be asked to demonstrate how you would prioritize and respond to each item, and then explain why you chose that course of action. It sounds intimidating, but like anything, practice will pay off. Interview preparation can be the difference between winning the job offer and losing out on the opportunity.
Tips to Prepare for an InBox Assessment:
Since we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, career satisfaction is key to our overall happiness. Yet, until we are mid-career, many of us do not pause to consider our happiness and satisfaction with our life. We push forward to earn the accolades, annual raise and the next promotion. Day after day; year after year. Then one day, we wake up and realize we really do not enjoy our jobs. You know you deserve to be happy and feel the urge for a more rewarding career. Where do you start? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality inventory is a very useful tool to help you identify your ideal role – one that aligns with your strengths and how you operate best.
Who Should Take the MBTI®
As a Career Coach and certified MBTI® practitioner, I work with many mid- to late career professionals looking for more career satisfaction. The good news about us baby boomers working longer is that there is time to build a successful encore career. I reinvented myself mid-career and have never been happier. I want everyone to have the same career satisfaction and work tirelessly to help my clients achieve it!
The MBTI® offers:
- Increased self-awareness
- More job satisfaction
- Healthier interpersonal relationships
You are successful, admired by your colleagues and proud of what you have accomplished. You have been working your way up the corporate ladder, winning regular promotions and raises. Suddenly, you start to notice that your company is moving in a new direction and you have not been invited to key meetings. Don’t wait until you are notified that their plans do not include you – you need to address the situation head on and take charge of your career NOW.
If it has been some time since you last searched for a job, be prepared for an entirely new process. Here are 3 tips to mastering today’s complicated job search.
Jared called me on a Monday morning as he sat in his car in the parking lot, not wanting to go into the office. Over the last few years, his workload had tripled, new ineffective procedures had been instituted and he was getting no support from his boss. He was miserable and the stress was effecting his health.
Although he knew the unemployment rate was pretty high and the job market was tight, he could not take it any longer. He needed to escape and reached out to me for help with his resume. I knew his story well. I had been there and had felt the same spirit-crushing pressure to perform in corporate America. I assured Jared that I could help him, but explained that there was a lot of work we needed to do together before we got to the resume writing stage. I promised him that he was not in this alone. I would be there to guide him through the process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. I was confident that I could help him find a job that was fulfilling, where he was respected and compensated properly. Continue reading
There is a great deal of hiring taking place in early 2016, but the competition for top jobs is fierce. As the confidence in the job market rises, jobseekers in transition must compete with people who are employed full-time but looking for a better position. You do not have to go through this alone. A career coach can help you gain the competitive EDGE.
Working with a career coach can accelerate your job search results and reduce the frustration typically experienced in a DIY job search. Offering insightful guidance, I will help you navigate the “hidden job market” to find the right opportunities, and develop a structured job search plan that breaks down the overwhelming process into manageable steps. Hiring a career coach provides a significant ROI. Typically, my clients win more job interviews and land job offers with attractive compensation packages. Continue reading
Guest Blog by Gayle Draper, CHRP, of Intentional Careers and Human Resources, in Ontario, Canada. Originally posted December 7, 2015
Don’t these boxes look wonderful, colourful and effectively displayed. What is really important about them?
Yes for my fourth blog on a grey Monday afternoon in December these are deep questions and with the holiday season in full swing give yourself pause to think about it.
It is your brand that sets you up for current and future employment success like one of these shiny boxes; great looking resume with all the right words, LinkedIn looking active and professional and all looks terrific from the outside but what is inside.
Are you happy in the role you are performing?
Is your job giving you intellectual, creative and social opportunities for growth each day? Read More…
Job interviews can be nerve wracking for even the most experienced job seeker. In today’s competitive job market, proper preparation for the interview can make the difference between a job offer and a rejection. You should practice answering questions pertaining to your experience and be prepared to provide examples from your work history that sell you as the ideal candidate for the position. But, do not over practice and memorize a script! It is important to understand the gist of each question, so you recognize it when phrased differently.
I just returned from the Career Directors International annual conference in Orlando, FL, energized and full of new ideas on how to better position my clients for success! CDI is a fantastic organization whose members are among the elite career coaches and resume writers in the world. Attendees came from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Brazil and every corner of the US! It was great to meet so many of my online connections face-to-face and make some great new friends. I learned the latest and greatest resume and LinkedIn profile techniques and strategies to accelerate a job search.
As a Career Coach, I work with many seasoned professionals who are looking to reinvent themselves with a new career. Some are looking for more job satisfaction, while others are changing careers out of necessity as opportunities in their current field are dwindling. One of the best things about today’s resume is that it is a forward-facing marketing document – not an autobiography. I can highlight my clients’ transferrable skills and show potential employers how their experience will enable the jobseeker to be successful in this new role.
One roadblock to career reinvention has been employers’ reluctance to take a chance on an employee who does not have proven success in the same field. Current training can help, but I have recently discovered a better way for mid-career professionals to migrate to a new field! Continue reading
Welcome to Part I of my summer 2015 blog series on what it takes to conduct a successful job search in today’s competitive job market. I know it can be frustrating, so each week I will offer insight on another piece of the job search puzzle. This week, the all-important resume.
There is no denying that a strong resume is key to a successful job search, but it takes more than a professional-looking document to land a job today. Rather than your autobiography, your resume is a forward-facing marketing document that needs to position you for that next job. Employers are not looking for a jack-of-all-trades; they are looking for a Continue reading