Reset & Restart your Career this Summer

Summer and holidays are a time when most people sit back, relax and do their best not to think about work but, for many, it’s a time to contemplate a new career altogether.

These breaks in your regular routine provide an opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working life and consider taking a big leap to do something different.

As part of that decision, you will need to have a strategy.

For beginners, Avoid these 5 common pitfalls.

 

  1. Don’t jump into a new career before some serious reflection

You might be miserable or unfulfilled but make sure you don’t just make the change to escape your current situation.  Take the time to complete some self and career assessments as well as researching a “day in the life of” that profession you have interest in pursuing.  A good resource is www.Onetonline.org, especially when combined with connecting with someone already in the job so you can ask candid questions.

 

  1. Don’t chase what is popular; make sure you see yourself in it for awhile

Research the forecasted workforce needs of your newly discovered interest to make sure you don’t make the change to only discover the job soon becomes obsolete due to technology or lack of Continue reading

Get Hired by “Showing”, not “Telling”

show-dont-tell
Shawn was a stubborn client.  Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation.  When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he.  Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.      tip-the-hiring-scale-with-an-achievement-based-resume-and-profile

A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work.  But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.

“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”

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What’s Costing you your Dream Job? Your Online Digital Footprint?

No; I am not talking about having inappropriate postings on FaceBook.  Everyone is wise to cleaning up or managing visibility of social media postings which could jeopardize your job search.

Your Online Footprint - Build it and they will come

Your Online Footprint – Build it and they will come

I am talking about simply NOT having an online presence that is relevant and conducive to your career.  Here is the classic example.  When I am talking to a potential client, I ask about their LinkedIn profile and usually hear, “Yeah; I have a profile but don’t do much with it.”  That is exactly the problem.  It is not sufficient to simply have your profile posted, even if LinkedIn gives you an “All Star” status.

The Profile is just the beginning, folks. 

Most people incorrectly remember Kevin Costner’s famous line as, “If we build it they will come”.  In the movie, Field of Dreams, he plays an Iowa corn farmer who hears a voice telling him: “If you build it, he will come.” He interprets this as Continue reading

Brand your way to a Career Change

How to showcase your Brand when changing careers

Sandra had been in banking operations for a decade, was very successful and was given professional development opportunities through rotational assignments.  One of them was in the corporate recruiting department and, as she explained it, “Even though I liked working with bank customers on resolving issues and providing solutions, this was different.  I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning when I worked as a Recruiter.  I discovered my passion and now I want to change professions.”

Reinvent your resume – Brand it!

Plan for your Career Change

Plan for your Career Change

  • We revamped her resume by de-emphasizing the financial operations verbiage and adding words and phrases based on her HR and recruiting experience.
  • We also focused on the transferable skills gained while in banking operations. Sandra hired new bank tellers, trained them and authored a new on boarding program for all new hires.  She was also part of a select team who were selected to interview job candidates  once HR had screened them.  We highlighted those examples, resulting in a resume which was clearly “branded” as HR vs. Banker.  Those changes in keywords proved to be critical when she applied for an HR Recruiter position a month later.

What if you are not Changing Careers – How to Brand

Your resume’s job is to create a story of what you have done, how you want to be seen and the value you bring to a potential organization.  A branded resume ensures that

Continue reading

Hired or Not? Emotional Intelligence can make the difference

Emotional Intelligence often is the “final” factor

If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer.  In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. WRONG!

More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge.  What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.

Hired or Not?

Hired or Not?

Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on Emotional Intelligence, referred to as the “Other Kind of Smart” like Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More than IQ which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year.  Additionally, some companies use Continue reading

Invasion of the “Networking Thoughts Snatchers”

Though I look forward to and enjoy networking events, it was not always the case.  I remember feeling like a fish out of water or a stranger in a foreign land when attending a job fair or professional networking event and not knowing how to act, what to say and even how to stand.

Networking may not appear to be a natural thing; it can seem contrived and less than authentic.  But that doesn’t have to be true.  Let’s  take a step back and think about WHY we are attending the event, whether it be a career fair or your first meeting at a professional organization.

PREPARE:           networking and can't remember names

  1. Know your audience
  2. Know your purpose
  3. Anticipate conversations or questions

Don’t Worry; Everyone Has These Strange Thoughts

Don’t let the Thought Gremlins invade and distract. And they can get to anyone. A client of mine, with an outstanding sense of humor, shared some of the thoughts she had during her recent  job search. Continue reading

Career Change? What Does Your Inner Child Say?

There’s a lot of talk about finding your life’s passion.  Webinars and books abound but everyone has a different path to finding a career passion.

How about you?childhood career dreams

Should you pursue your passion?

Do you KNOW your passion?

Are you experiencing the joy of using your strengths daily in your work and knowing the exhilaration that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do?

For those of you who don’t relate, I understand.  I didn’t truly discover what I was best at and what my passion was until 5 years ago, some twenty five years into a career that was successful by most peoples’ standards.

Nobody should wait that long.

And that’s why I do what I do as a career coach.

In discovering your best career options and what to do in your next career chapter, you need to answer these questions:

Continue reading

You are 1 of 300 applicants – “Why hire you?”

 How many others are competing for that job to which you applied?

Though research numbers vary, many workforce planning pundits estimate that there are 300 – 500 applicants for every position filled.  The job market is fiercely competitive.  You know that.  The internet is mostly to blame.  It is just too easy to submit resumes in response to job postings on the big job boards. Sadly, many applicants do not meet the job requirements and qualifications spelled out in the job posting but it is just so easy to click that “submit” button. The rule of thumb  –  meet at least 80% of the qualifications before you apply.  That’s step 1.  Step 2 is:  Stand out!

What's your Career brand?So what must you do to stand out? If you have visited your local bookstore or amazon.com recently and reviewed the management/leadership section, you may have noticed lots of business titles on “branding”.

Now, make the mental leap of associating yourself as a brand. This may be a new concept for you but, as a job seeker, you will be more successful if adopting a marketing strategy to sell your talents and strengths.

Your job search is about more than skills and experience – it’s brand.

Let’s say you are a territory sales manager and pursuing a promotional position as Regional Vice Continue reading

Job Seeker – You cost the same as a BMW

You or the BMW?

You or the BMW?

The Employer’s Dilemma:  The Ultimate Driving Machine or You?

One of the better career websites,TheLadders.com, recently asked me to offer some  job search advice to young professionals and I am delighted to do so; however, I hope the information is relevant to all job seekers, regardless of their level or industry.  I have interviewed many job candidates, during my career, and I offer you these suggestions based on that experience. While the selection process seems like a huge mystery, it is quite simple.  You, as a job seeker, need to understand the “why’s” behind the interview process and I am also offering you some “how’s” which will give you a competitive advantage.  So back to that BMW………………….

Consider the average cost of selecting a new employee:

BMW3

  • entry level professional = slightly used BMW 128
  • mid level manager = new BMW 320i
  • senior executive = brand new BMW 500 – 700 series

You may be surprised at the high cost of hiring and selection.  Studies show that the cost of interviewing, selection and training replacement employees costs between 30% and 80% of the employee’s annual salary.

In my last post, Why only three interview questions count, I explained why the hiring manager’s interview questions are simply designed to answer the following:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you do the job?
  3. Will we like to work with you?

The first two, designed to identify if job seekers have the education and experience, as well as  Continue reading

Why Only Three Interview Questions “count”

What the recruiter really wants to know

1. Can you do the job?      

2. Will you do the job?

3. Will we enjoy working with you?

Tell me about Yourself

Tell me about Yourself

 

Believe it or not, those are the three main questions the recruiters need to ask and they are the focus of every interview.

Every interview question you’ve been asked was designed as a deeper dive into those three key questions. With varying words and scenarios and situations, every question is simply a follow up to better understand you in three areas:

  • Your skills and abilities
  • What motivates you
  • If you are a good fit for the organization.
  1. Can You Do the Job? – Skills, Abilities, Experience & Strengths

It’s not just about your skills, but also about leadership and interpersonal strengths. Technical skills get you in the door but those other attributes help you climb the ladder. As you get there, managing up, down, and across become more important.

Recruiters can’t tell by looking at a piece of paper what some of the strengths and weaknesses really are. They ask for specific examples of not only what’s been successful but what you’ve done that hasn’t gone well or a task you have, quite frankly, failed at and Continue reading