Think Before You Selfie

Let’s face it – there are a million things to consider when you are on the job hunt. One of the most commonly overlooked considerations is your personal brand. We know that over 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. LinkedIn is one social media account that is great for networking, staying in touch with current and past counterparts and getting those recommendations. It is also a great job search aide – allowing employers to find you.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating. Take the time to clean up your social media accounts and beef up your LinkedIn profile. Ideally you aren’t posting rants or other items in poor taste… Keeping an eye toward your personal brand, make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is professional – if not taken by one. First impressions matter. Make sure you are setting a positive and inviting tone. The goal is, after all, being invited to interview!

Don’t have a LinkedIn account? It’s time! Use it as an excuse to re-connect with past bosses and coworkers. Many of my clients thank me for pushing them to do this, being pleasantly surprised by the responses they receive. Plus, you never know when a connection could result in a job offer.

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Winds Of Change.

I don’t know about you, but my personal life is in a big transition phase this summer. While there is no denying that change amps up tensions, there is such a sense of peace and rightness in the changes my family and I are making. It is emotional and exciting at the same time. Alright, it is mostly exciting!

While I plan to continue blogging to share hiring trends, tips and tricks for those of you going it alone, I will be pacing back my resume writing. For my current and furture clients and referrals, don’t worry, I will continue to support you, your resume needs and those you have referred to my service until October. After October, the projects I accept will be fewer and based on very limited availability. In other words, I am sticking with you during prime resume season.

Why this particular change? Primarily because the needs of my family are changing. In addition, and while I feel resumes are here for the near future, I do see the very real trend toward digital portfolio’s and personal websites. Am I able to meet this new trend in the industry? Sure. However, I enjoy writing resumes… Building websites – not as much. I also don’t like the prices I would have to charge clients for creating their personal websites. My goal from the beginning has been to create high-quality product at affordable prices.

At the same time I began looking more closely at which direction I should take, going all-in on YRW or seaking out a new opportunity, I received a call from a friend about an amazing opportunity with an impressive organization. After speaking to John it would seem as though the stars have aligned for my family, clients and career. Great Impressions and it’s leadership are as passionate about putting the customer first as I am. At the same time, they believe in taking care of their team and, just arriving a few months ago from Dubai, they are at the top of their field – bringing cutting-edge, high-end marketing, communications and design to our front door.

My hope for each of you is that the winds of change are kind and the stars are aligning for you also this summer. I can not thank you enough for your endless support and your business. Grateful to you. Talk soon.

Salary & Negotiation

salary pic

First, let me begin by stating openly and emphatically that I am not a career coach. What I share with you today comes from my experience and the experiences my clients have been wonderful enough to share with me. Disclaimer. Check.

When it comes to salary and negotiating yours for a new position, remember not to settle. Once more I am going to ask you to do your research. Look at the salary range for the position on Glassdoor or Google Jobs. Think about your worth and the skills you bring to your potential employers’ table. Consider what your bills and living expenses are. These factors give you a good idea of what you need to ask for salary-wise – and what your walk-away point is.

A word of caution. Although the job market has come back full-force, employers have continued to use some of the tight-market tactics with candidates. Things to watch out for and, in my mind, walk away from, are; offering the base salary, offering the base salary with promises of increases and no plans/steps to see them materialize and agreeing to the mid to high-end of the salary range with the responsibility of supervising 10 extra people and 4 additional territories. You may think this sounds crazy and wonder who would go for it, but it happens more often than you think. And it happens to some pretty talented and sharp candidates.

While these are extreme cases and there are examples of employers behaving badly that run the gamut, I believe most organizations and corporations truly mean well. You need to remember that their ultimate responsibility is to protect their bottom line. Your responsibility is to provide for your family, and, hopefully have some work/life balance. There are many mutually beneficial employer/employee relationships to be had. If you are dealing with a situation or potential employer where the benefits seem to be all one-sided, it may be time to walk away.

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Keywords Versus Power Words. Which One Wins?

All my clients are super sharp people. Without exception, each one is highly trained, skilled and has a multitude of excellent achievements to their credit. You can be an intelligent person and still get tripped up by keywords. In fact, most of my clients are on the right track when they come to me – meaning that their resume has a good portion of quality content and, what I like to refer to as, power words.

Power words and industry phraseology are important on a resume. A hiring manager must believe you know the industry or role you are submitting your resume for, after all. It is important not to mistake power words for keywords. Keywords, like the hiring and resume industry, are constantly changing. Therefore, each new resume requires complete, fresh, industry and position-specific keyword research.

Keywords need to be included throughout your resume and cover letter. Keywords specific to your target position / industry are populated in the applicant tracking system (ATS). If you do not have the right mix of keywords in your resume, ATS filters you out and your resume is not seen by a human being. Similarly, if your format and content aren’t visually engaging when your resume makes it through ATS, the hiring manager will not add your resume to the stack for interview.

Without keywords, you don’t stand a chance. No chance of your resume being seen. No chance of be invited to interview. No chance at landing the job. Keywords win.

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Do What You Love

Are you doing what you love? Yes, I mean in your career. But, also, in your personal life? Many of us need to take a job in order to get experience to build toward the career we will love. Work, though, doesn’t have to be what you love, as long as you are able to pay the bills – and afford to do a little of what you love / are passionate about in your personal time.

If you want to see an unhappy person, look for the person who isn’t doing what they love. Get creative. Perhaps you love volunteering (incidentally, volunteering frequently leads people to jobs and, the careers they love). Maybe it’s planning and you buy and work in a planner that helps you organize your family’s lives. It might be playing a sport, or reading, or learning. Whatever you are passionate about, make a little time in your life to do it each week.

As the phases of your life come and go, so too will your passions. Take inventory and adjust for the new passion in your life in each phase. Just make sure you are making a little time to dabble in your passion each week. You will find you feel more fulfilled and happier – and I am pretty sure this is what people are talking about when they say, “Make sure you take time for you.”

For those out there able to mingle their passion and career, congratulations. You are way ahead of the rest of us, but we’re getting there! 

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What is the Biggest Obstacle to Getting Hired? – Part 1

In my experience,the answer to this question is twofold – so be sure to tune in for Part 2! For now, the obstacle I want you to consider in your career search is… you. There have been many times my clients have come back to me and shared stories of how the interview got the better of them. It could be going into the interview unprepared and/or not researching the company, but, in most cases, it’s a lack of confidence that I see holding those few candidates back.

Regardless of why you are looking for a new career, if you made it through ATS to the interview,your resume is doing its job. Now, its your turn. So, shake off that layoff, those doubts about your skill set aligning perfectly with the job posting or feelings of inferiority because you have been managing your household and every fundraiser at your kids’ school for the last several years. Sing that rock ballad that makes you feel like the rock star you are and nail that interview.

 If you have been invited to interview, you have already beat out hundreds of candidates to be the average 1 in 5 interviewees, per job. Your achievements, consistent track record of exceeding expectations and repeated successes have already impressed the hiring manager and laid a strong foundation for you to build on in your interview with the organization. Know what the company is about, be confident in how you fit in and let that shine through in your interview.

Not getting interviews? Then your resume isn’t doing its job. Take a hard look at your resume to see if it is visually interesting, makes you stand out and accurately reflects what you have achieved in your career. Does your resume help you outshine your competition? If not, it’s time for re-write. Or, to just give me call.

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