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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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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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! 

Talk soon. Thanks for reading, liking and subscribing!

The Top Job Search Apps for You

In follow up to all these posts about the big obstacles to getting hired, I thought I would share some helpful apps to aid you in your search for your next career. According to http://cio.com, here are the top job search apps:

Glassdoor

Good & Company

Switch

Indeed

Monster

ZipRecruiter

LinkedIn

SnagaJob

Personally, I am happy to see LinkedIn made the list. I heard rumblings that it was trending out but have always found it to be a useful tool. On that note, be sure you are using LinkedIn to its fullest. Connect to counterparts, current and past. Be sure to request recommendations from your teammates, direct reports and previous supervisors. As you request recommendations, remember to jog their memory with a note about a successful project you worked on together, the time you led the team in results or the goal you exceeded, etc.

Hopefully you are already using these tools to your benefit or there are one or two new resources for you to get familiar with in this list. Either way, happy hunting.

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Beginning Your Job Search This Weekend?

If you are one of the 40% or so of candidates looking to make a career change now that the jobs market has made it’s come-back, there are several things to consider before you get started.

  1. Have you updated your resume (to current standards)?
  2. Have you populated keywords for your target role/industry throughout your resume and cover letter?
  3. Have you researched your target company in preparation for the interview phase and tailored your cover letter accordingly?

To further help you along, here is a helpful article from CareerFAQs regarding some of the skills the majority of employers are looking for in potential candidates. As a final step in your preparation for your career search, you will want to be sure to demonstrate these skills throughout the body of your resume:  https://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/the-10-skills-you-ll-need-by-2020-and-beyond .

Thanks so much for reading. Talk soon.

Trying Something New…

Drum roll please… I am stepping out of my comfort zone.

Again.

Not so far out as the vlog, but intended in the same spirit. Here is where I thank all my wonderful friends, clients and family for the encouragement and great counsel.

Again.

Today I am growing my community and launching a group page, Resume Central. You can read the group description for yourself, but, in a nutshell, I am hoping it will be a supportive and uplifting group. In my heart of hearts it is a positive place for professionals to commiserate and share wise counsel based on their experiences. Zero judgement.

Of course, I will share what I know about the industry, answer your questions, share industry factoids, my blog / vlog – and anything else I can to support you in your professional endeavors.

Looking forward to having you join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/461959227636089/?source_id=482220901902592

Click on the link above and then on the “Visit Group” button in top, right of the page below the banner.

professionals

DO YOU WRITE FOR MY INDUSTRY?

My answer to this question is, “Yes.” I can say this without knowing what industry you are targeting for your career search, because I am confident in my ability to conduct quality keyword research and my knowledge of the resume industry. And really, in the resume game, keyword research is everything! Remember just a few blog/vlogs ago when we talked about the power of ATS as a first line of defense for hiring managers. ATS eliminates over 50% of candidates without their resume ever being seen.

Keyword research and inclusion in a visually appealing, well-formatted (in other words, professionally written) resume enhance your chances of being seen, therefore considered, by 40% by hiring managers. Beyond keyword research, you want someone who is going to make a deep dive into your career history. Learning my clients’ story is an honor that translates, for me as a resume writer, into a customized format and highest quality content for each client.

So, while a resume writer specializing in an industry – as long as keyword research is current and in-depth – can certainly be a benefit to a candidate, the better question to ask is, “How good are you at research?”

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