Millennials are actually pros when it comes to networking! Read more in my latest article here.
InterviewSnob and CAREEREALISM have teamed up to bring you a dynamic resume writing webinar!
Check it out the webinar here.
New Year, New Job!
Did you know that millennials change jobs every 2 to 3 years?
According to article, "Job Hopping is the 'New Normal' for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare", recently published in Forbes Magazine, 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job less than three years. If you were born during 1980 – 1999 you are a millennial and, I bet you can testify to the revolving door of jobs. If you haven’t experienced this yet, trust me, it’s coming. I call it the “second year itch”. As a millennial myself, I used to change jobs every 2 years just like clock work. Once I made the tasks or primary project of the job faster, better, stronger – I was ready for my next job.
I bet that at some point in 2014, you are going to start looking for your next job. You may even want to change your career path all together and that is fantastic! Each new job or new career direction can bring you closer to your life’s purpose, and help you discover the unique deposit inside of you. You are destined to share something great with the world – we both know it!
I want to help! I want to be a part of your journey as a cheerleader, coach, resume writer, or point of connection linking my network to yours. I grew up with the old school wisdom that “the time to be ready is not the time to get ready” – start preparing for where you want to go now! When you dream job comes open or the right opportunity for promotion enters your life, there is NOTHING worse than not being able to put your best foot forward. You want to submit a stellar resume and cover letter, not the 50th version of the resume you developed in college as part of your grade – ha! You want to look your best and wear the confidence of a prepared interviewee and demonstrate that you are the best fit for the job. You want to and should SHINE.
I encourage you to take the first quarter of the year to invest in your hopes and dreams. Your career preparedness is just as important as personal fitness, and is directly tied to achieving your financial goals. In life “you don’t get what you want, you get what you prepare for” – more of that old school wisdom!
I have personally package new services and enhanced our standard services to take YOU, specifically, to the next level. Most resume writers and career coaches only work with senior level or executive level professionals, but I don’t. I am committed to, you right now. I want to help you reach the C-suite or launch your own business faster than ever before.
It all starts with sound career coaching and mentoring to establish and refine your brand; is immediately followed by creating professional documents that speak on your behalf when they arrive on your future employers’ desk; and are completed by having the knowledge to know how to leverage new opportunities, your network, and resources to confidently build the rest of your dreams. Don’t reinvent the wheel, don’t do this alone – if you want to go far, take someone with you for two heads are better than one (preferably someone wise with lots of connections!).
You are standing in one of the most valuable seasons of your life. The decisions you make today – right now in your 20s and 30s – can determine just how far you can go. I want to pour into you all of the wisdom, advice, tough lessons learned, and connections I have to support you as you go after your dreams. I am ready when you are. Call or e-mail me and let’s get started!
Cheers to one amazing year of success,
Try These Resume Formats When Job Searching: with resumes, format is just as important as content
By EVAN TAYLOR
November 23, 2013 RSS Feed Print
Originally published in U.S. News & World Report
Like any cohesive story, résumés need a beginning, middle, end and takeaway. You need to explain who you are, how you have succeeded, a scope of why that's important and what you will do for your potential employer. Here are some ways to use common résumé formats to effectively tell your career story.
[See: 6 Overused Résumé Statements to Nix.]
Chronological. Chronological résumés organize career experience and achievements according to time periods. Gala Jackson, owner and senior consultant at the career consulting boutique InterviewSnob, says these résumés "are a good, standard, simple format and could work in any industry." Heather Wieshlow, chief career strategist and owner of Turning Point Coaching and Consulting, says this type of résumé is a good general source for information. "Recruiters like to see where applicants started, their progression, gaps, levels of companies," she says. "It's a clear snapshot." On the other hand, Wieshlow says chronological résumés don't work well for someone switching careers or with unexplained gaps in employment history that highlight missing qualifications.
Targeted. Targeted résumés use a job's requirements and qualifications as its foundation to provide direct examples to hiring managers and recruiters of how your skills match the job you're seeking. "The objective should be targeted to what the potential employer is looking for. The résumé should highlight the skills the HR manager is looking for," says Vicki Krotzer, human resources consultant with Maximum Business Consulting, LLC. Even though this is one type of format, targeted content should be included in every résumé. "You have to adapt your résumé to what a company is looking for to fill a position," Wieshlow says.
[Read: 8 Red Flags Employers See on Your Resume.]
Functional. A functional résumé works well for job seekers with limited work experience because the format prioritizes skills over employment history. Functional résumés tend to start with skills and qualifications before the education and work experience sections. "It is more focused on core competencies and pulls out relevant experiences," Jackson says. Michelle Aikman, founder of employment strategy services company Skilled Assets, LLC and a certified résumé writer, says they work for people who have no paid experience and significant gaps in employment. However, she warns that "it raises questions and concerns" because the résumé might accent gaps in relevant experience.
Nancy H. Segal, owner of career coaching and HR consulting firm Solutions for the Workplace, LLC, says a functional format works best for people switching careers, but she doesn't recommend them for most job seekers. Functional résumés often raise suspicion about what an applicant has chosen to leave off, she says, and "they can be too clever for their own good."
Combination. Combination résumés, which are a mix of chronological and functional formats, tend to highlight the strengths and mask the weaknesses of a job applicant. Composing one "is an art, not just a science – like painting to highlight areas and downplay shadows," Wieshlow says. This format works well in conservative industries such as business, health care and technology, and allows applicants to customize and order elements more effectively. "Combination résumés tell the story of who you are as a professional by showcasing your skill sets and experience ... They tell excellent stories for mid-level, senior-level managers and C-suite applicants," Jackson says. The mix of chronological and functional can be adjusted to meet the needs of the applicant. "It can be more chronological or functional dependent on the challenges you may have," Aikman says. However, Krotzer says combination résumés can be lengthy, so you have to be cautious to avoid the common pitfall of including too much information.
[Read: The 411 on Infographic Résumés.]
Non-traditional. Visual, story and interactive résumés are considered non-traditional. Visual résumés use pictures, illustrations and graphics to show traditional résumé elements. Story résumés craft a narrative about how the applicant has contributed to companies over their career while interactive résumés create a user experience for hiring managers to understand the applicant holistically. All three formats can be applied on paper or through digital mediums like videos, and they offer a way to stand out and show relevant skills. "Visual résumés and interactive résumés can work with technology and gaming companies, but a person with phenomenal experience could get one of those jobs with a chronological résumé," Wieshlow says. Some popular free websites for creating visual resumes include vizify.com, vizualize.me and Re.vu.
However, non-traditional résumés can cause problems and can be expensive. While visual résumé templates are available for very little cost online, custom design résumés can range from $600 to $2,000 on sites like storyresumes.com. Applicants also have to consider the digital footprint and trends of a potential employer before choosing one of these styles. "Non-traditional résumés are fine between colleagues because they are interesting and entertaining, but they make a reviewer work too hard to find information," Segal says. Simple additions, like a picture, can complicate HR professionals' decisions when considering an applicant for hire, since physical appearance and characteristics such as race and ethnicity should have no bearing on hiring considerations. Non-traditional résumés also aren't ideal if your target company uses an applicant tracking system that strips pictures and logos from submitted files, or refuses to accept applications with these elements.
Article published in BossNews Atlanta Fall Edition, September 24, 2013
"Getting LinkedIn to Advance Your Career"
Many employees and recent graduates are questioning the usefulness of LinkedIn. Many wonder if LinkedIn is another social media trend or if it really is beneficial to an employment search and career advancement. There are more than 200 million users who utilize LinkedIn to connect with others to conduct business. With 2.7 million business pages on the site, LinkedIn is definitely more than a social media fad.
LinkedIn is quite different from widely known Facebook. Instead of receiving the latest updates on family and friends personal life, LinkedIn provides its users with the latest update on employment trends, job opportunities, and networking opportunities. LinkedIn is the answer to virtual networking. We all have very busy schedules, but know the importance of face-to-face networking. While we may not always have time for in-person networking we should always be sure to make time to stay abreast of relevant, cutting edge information about current employer, potential employers, and professional organizations. LinkedIn makes it very simple to do just that. Here are 3 quick ways to start utilizing LinkedIn:
Develop your LinkedIn profile. Your profile should include a professional headshot, a professional summary describing your unique skill set and qualifications, education, and your employment history. Your profile should also include your community involvement, professional affiliations, and any awards or recognition that you have received. Think of your LinkedIn summary as your 30-second elevator pitch that you would use during face-to-face networking. If you are stuck on completing the rest of your profile regarding employment history, you can use the content from your existing resume.
Start meeting people! Connect with individuals whom you know personally as well as those that you would like to know, and those that currently work in your desired industry. Take the time to write a more personalized invitation instead of the standard text provided by LinkedIn. Let your connection know why you would like to connect and how you could have a mutually beneficial networking relationship. If you have met your connection in person before remind them of where and how you met.
Expand your network by joining groups and following business pages. Target potential employers by following their page on LinkedIn. Companies will often post career opportunities on LinkedIn and not on other well-known employment search engines. Likewise, connecting with targeted groups on LinkedIn will allow you to follow, learn about, and participate in discussions regarding important industry topics or trends, professional development opportunities, as well as general “insider” information that you would want to know. Once you start to join groups, follow companies, and post questions or answers to questions, LinkedIn will start to notice your preferences and provide a digest of information you might be interested in; keeping you up to date on the latest jobs and news.
If you spend time utilizing LinkedIn everyday to read articles, connect with new people, and post at least once a day you will find that your network will become a fortune. LinkedIn is the formula for six degrees of separation. You are only six people away from anyone in the world!
There is tremendous anxiety when it comes to the dun, dun, dun...interview! But why is that? Have you ever considered that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you? The primary rule of any first date, especially a blind date is don't act desperate. The same rule applies to looking for employment, even if you just spent your last tank of gas getting there. Employers, just like sharks, can smell fear and the outcome is usually an e-mail that says "Thank you for your interest. We had an excellent pool of candidates. We have chosen a candidate who we believe is the best fit for our company. We wish you the best as you continue your job search." Translation, kick rocks.
Just like a date, you want to look your best, know your worth, take the time to get to know your potential significant other, and keep your check-list of must-haves in your pocket.
1. Look your best
The standard for all professional interviews is a black, navy, or grey business suit. Women have the option of a skirt or pants suit. It is important to provide a neutral appearance with the pop of personality until you see what others in the organization are wearing. Never come with less than your best. Employers have expectations and you want to meet and exceed them. As for the pop of personality, showcase that with flattering accessories. Gentlemen, your favorite tie or bow tie, sharp cufflinks, and Johnston & Murphy shoes. Ladies, a cami that is your favorite color matched with a great necklace and earrings, and your favorite (comfy) Nine West pumps.
2. Know your worth
There is a difference between confidence and cocky. Most people do not know the difference between the two. Here's a little reminder to jog your memory. To be confident is to be certain, "full of conviction" (Merriam-Webster.com/Dictionary). Conviction implies that you strongly believe in something and can point to evidence that supports your conviction. In this case you strongly believe in your ability to perform well in the position for which you are applying and have evidence: professional experiences. Cockiness on the other hand is an exaggerated expression of confidence. It displays an insecurity in who you are and the skill set that you bring to the table. Thinking that you are the ONLY person qualified for the job and demonstrating your lack of a team player attitude is the quickest way to get "DENIED" stamped on your application. Don't be an exaggerated version of who you really are; be yourself. Firmly rooted in your convictions, qualifications, and what you can offer your potential employer. The truth always prevails.
3. Get to know them as much as they are getting to know you
ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS ask questions when you have the opportunity to do so. Very little will make you come across more naive then not asking at least three key questions. You're on the date too remember? Ask questions like, what is your department's greatest need and how can this position contribute to the solution? or What personality traits would best match the environment of your staff? or What are the goals of this unit for the next 3-5 years? If your interview isn't going as planned, asking all three of these questions will make your potential employer reconsider their initial judgements of you, and give you at least one more shot if you didn't impress them with the first 2 steps. If they were already impressed, you are almost done sealing the deal.
4. Keep your check-list of must-haves handy
Before going on your date or in this case interview, always ask yourself, "What am I looking for in a new job?" Brainstorm all the things that come to mind then prioritize your list solidifying your top 10. Don't expect to get all 10. Treat your list like a quiz. Receiving a 9 out of 10 is excellent, an 8 out 10 is still pretty good, but a 3 out of 10, even if they offer you the job, you may want to reconsider. Items on your top 10 list might include: an employer who values work-life balance, is family friendly, uses green products and recycles, or more importantly has a mission that you can believe in and adopt all or part of it as your own. These are things that will keep you happy in the long run. At some point the money still won't be enough so don't say yes the money and end up hating your job.
I hope you found these quick tips helpful. Happy dating, I mean interviewing!
The Fruit of Transition
There is an element to the start of something new that is terrifying. It's so strange how our emotions respond to stimuli. The same emotion from a bad dream or bad news is the same emotion that manifest itself at the end of one thing and the start of another. Maybe that is why break-ups are so bad...the fear of being "alone", transitioning from one place of perceived comfort or familiarity to the reality of a place that is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. No, I am not going through a break up (thank you Jesus!), but I am going to the next place on the journey God has for me. Effective June 28th, I will no longer work for the Georgia Institute of Technology.
I can hear some of the questions now, "Are you crazy? Georgia Tech is one of the best schools in the country," or "You're changing jobs again?" (that one is my favorite), or "Congratulations! Where are you going?" So glad you asked...I have accepted a position at Georgia State University working for academic affairs (finally) to counsel and coach academically at-risk students to aid in efforts to retain students and help them persist to graduation. A job who's benefits supersede any man-made currency.
At-risk has such a negative connotation doesn't it? However, I choose to see the opposite. I will be working with some of the country's most talented students. Students who are more creative than a standardized test, who lack the support of their family because they are a first generation college student seeking a better life or who have a dream but need the encouragement of an administrator to make it a reality. In some ways I am helping students just like myself. We all have an extraordinary gift and have the ability to epitomize greatness. But very few people do and often those who feel they have the least to contribute often fortify the excellence in us all.
I was inspired to write as I identified the emotion that I was feeling when I began packing up my office. My mother asked me the other day, "So are you excited about your new job!?" I replied, "Not yet." An uncommon answer when a young professional has landed a new title and secured more money right? I think so and the 10% of Americans unemployed right would probably think I needed medication. However, I am taking the time to maximize this season of transition. Something so few of us do.
Often we are too focused on where we've been or where we are going to recognize the valuable lesson in where we are. Reflection in this place of transition can teach you lessons that no self-help book or motivational speaker can inspire. The place of professional metamorphosis. If you take the time to be fully present in the moment. I believe you will find that this is one of the very few places you can accurately assess yourself as professional. The place where you can accurately give an account for your current job, your new job, and reasons for changing jobs or careers. It is the place where you can reinvent yourself and catapult yourself into the professional you've always wanted to become.
I encourage you to answer the following questions and hold on to your answers. Over time you compile your own professional career map to sift the good jobs from the great jobs, help you determine who you are as a professional, when is the most effective time to transition jobs, and how to pinpoint jobs that match your professional profile perfectly (that was some good ole fashion alliteration, my sister who is an English pro would be proud!). It's a myth that you need someone to tell you what you all of aforementioned items. YOU are the best answer to all of those questions. You are simply looking for affirmation to launch out ;) So without further adue here are the questions...
1. I started looking for a new job because I couldn't take _______________ anymore!
2. What did I enjoy the most about my current job? or If I had to pick something I liked about my current job it would be______________.
3. What type of supervisory style did my boss employ? How would I supervise differently or similarly?
4. What would my colleagues say about me? What is true, What is false, and Why?
5. Which colleagues did I not take pleasure in working with? How am I similar to and different from these colleagues?
6. If they had given me more money, would I have stayed in my current role? Why or Why not?
1. How did I find out about my new job?
2.Does this company's mission share aspects of my life's mission? (After all you will spend most of your time on your job...)
3. What words in the job description that excited me? What words lacked luster?
4. At what point in the interview, did I know that this job was the best fit for me?
5. How did my future colleagues describe the working environment?
6. Did I negotiate salary? Why or why not? Did I negotiate compensation beyond salary? If so, what did I negotiate? If not, why not?
7. How long do I plan to stay in my new position?
8. What are my goals for my first year in my new job?
Post & let me know what you learned about yourself.
Gala Jackson, M.Ed.