5 Things I Learned from an Online Professional Career Coach

Regulars, you’ll know that I recently saw a life coach, who helped me make changes to big-ticket areas of my life, such as my previously dismal savings account, my love life, and my (messy, always) home. I set some fairly lofty New Year’s resolutions this year, and in an effort to actually achieve them and generally be a successful adult, I’ve been working on them diligently ever since. And, seeing as the one thing we didn’t tackle during life-coach sessions was my career, I hunted down a job coach who could help me set some work-related goals and—hopefully—brainstorm ways to nail them in 2016.

It’s not so much that I’m looking for a giant work overhaul, but—after being in the same role for a year and a half—I wanted her thoughts on not only how I can work toward earning more money, become more skilled in my industry, and find a better work-life balance but also how to rekindle that new-job enthusiasm one feels in the first 12 months of a new gig.

I decided to book a coach through the Muse’s “Coach Connect” service, seeing as I obsessively read the career site anyway and trust it. After scrolling through a ton of coaches, I booked with Joy Lin, who specializes in working with professional women and had great reviews.

A 30-minute career Q&A phone call with Lin comes in at a pretty affordable $49 (sessions with my life coach were a whopping $400 an hour, for context), and she can also review your résumé and LinkedIn for $179 or help with a job-search strategy or networking strategy for $79 if you’re looking for a new job.

Before our chat, Lin asked me to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test (I’m ENTP) and another quiz that points out your strength and weaknesses to give her a deeper insight into what makes me tick and what I’m good at. If you’re stuck in a career rut, I recommend filling out both and reading your results—it might just be the introspection you need to switch careers or adjust the way you tackle problems at work.

Lin told me that the most common topic she gets approached for is planning a job change, but people also commonly want help balancing their passions with full-time work, crafting job application materials, and networking—all of which she’s an expert in.

I found her advice practical and actionable—kind of like talking to a very logical, knowledgeable, and completely objective friend—and was impressed with the level of insight she came armed with after just reading my personality test results. And, while a lot of what I learned was specific to my industry, I also asked her some questions that might help you too. Here’s what she told me.

If you want to earn more money, you must become more valuable.

When clients tell her that they want to earn more money at work, Lin advises them to determine how they can give more value to the industry or company they work for. “When the value you provide increases, you have leverage and quantifiable proof that your income can follow suit,” she said. If you’re not sure where to start, she said it’s a good idea to start learning from people who make the level of income you want to have, which can help you identify key traits that make their contributions valuable or unique. “Ask yourself: Do they go to the meetings that others won’t take? Do they have a skill set that you could obtain? Do they have a closely curated network?” Lin said.

Rewrite your LinkedIn summary before you start looking for a new job.

The summary section in your LinkedIn profile is apparently the best place to make yourself stand out and engage someone (such as a potential employer) with your voice. “I often find that many people don’t take enough time to craft a unique and memorable summary section, and instead I just see another version of their résumé,” Lin cautioned. She also suggests job seekers make an effort to ask contacts for recommendations on LinkedIn. “The job-searching ecosystem is all about relationships with people, and having more voices on your profile who can vouch for you and recommend you is so important,” she said. 

See all 5 things and the complete article

Top 23 Twitter Tips for Job Seekers

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One best resource which is perfect for your job search is twitter. Twitter gets you linked with new people, organization, jobs, courses and ideas. This online tool can be used in the right manner so that your online brand is improved and you stand on top of the search results. Apart from other social networking sites, twitter is your entry way to expand your network. Being an open network twitter is a perfect platform to get you linked with other professionals. Let’s run through a few twitter tips for job seekers.

3. Username for twitter: The username used for twitter must be unique and so pick the one that supports your job search. The username can be altered later. In the retweet usernames are the ones which are included and hence making use of descriptive, short and memorable ones are vital. Descriptions can be aspects that you do professionally and your name would be what you mention. Using real name for twitter account can be helpful in recognizing. For adding a username, 15 characters can be used in twitter excluding @ along with any mix of upper and lower case.

8. Tweets related to brand: Professional and job seekers should bear in mind to have a quality history of tweets and tweet something related to profession. Make a habit of updating yourself with blogs, news and latest updates in the industry and tweet accordingly.

12. Making use of third party application (API): A third party application can be used by users who find twitter to be baffling and disorganized. Seismic.com, hootsuite.com, tweetdeck.com are few API’s which assists in organizing tweets according to the columns as desired such as reference name, ones consisting hashtag or keywords and listing of followers ones are interested in.

See all 23 tips and the complete WiseStep article

Learn These 5 Time-Saving Job Search Tricks

Arnie Fertig

You’ve probably heard countless times that you should consider looking for a job to be a job in and of itself. In truth, to do it well, it takes a good deal of time and patience. With that said, wouldn’t you like to take some of the drudgery out of the process and use your time more efficiently to connect with the people who can help you and be more organized in your overall approach?

Here are five tips to help you along the way.

1. Name your resume. The document central to any job search remains a resume. But do you have any idea how many people circulate this central piece of their personal brand saved simply as “resume.doc?” It is a pain for people to have to rename your document to save and later retrieve it.

Instead, make a new folder on your hard drive called “Resumes.” Save your resume into it using this formula: “{firstname lastname} resume for.doc.” Each time you are about to send it out, click “save as” and add the name of the person or company you are sending it to. Keep all the versions of your resume in this one folder, without deleting any of them.

*** As a recruiter I like it when the candidate names their resume using this format as it also makes it easier for me to keep resumes organized.

2. Save search result links. Whenever you conduct a search – on Google, within a job board or a company site – the results page is a unique URL.

Create a spreadsheet in Excel, Google Sheets or Apple’s Numbers. Create one column for your search terms, another for the URL of the results page and a third for any other notes you want to make about the search. As time goes on, you may think of more things to track, but this is a good start.

Copy the links of all your search results into the appropriate spreadsheet column, then go back on a regular basis and copy that link back into your search engine, and you’ll find the latest updated results to your searches. You’ve saved time and organized your searching.

See all 5 tricks and the complete USNews article

7 Tips for a Successful Job Interview

After you’ve put together your resume and cover letter and applied for a job, a job interview can be the final obstacle in the way of you landing a new job. It goes without saying that an impressive performance in a job interview can be the difference between success and failure in your job search. A job interview is always a nervy affair. You want to be honest without portraying flaws. You want to be confident while at the same time remaining humble. You want to seem knowledgable but also inquisitive. The short period of time that makes up the duration of a job interview can be the difference between you starting a new career or continuing your job search.

Many of the factors affecting the outcome of a job interview are out of your control. Your personality may or may not synch up with that of your interviewer. You may be feeling on the ball on that particular day, or you may be feeling under the weather. Maybe the preparation and research you’ve done will cover the questions that you’re asked, but it’s possible that there will be gaps in your knowledge and you’ll be caught off guard. No matter what you’re interview is like, there are concrete steps you can take before every interview to make sure that you’re feeling confident and as prepared as you can possibly be.

Tips for a Successful Job Interview

1) Research, Research, Research

The last thing you want is to sit down for an interview and realize that you don’t know exactly what your perspective employer does, or the history of the company. The more you know about the job, your potential position, and the person interviewing you, the more natural you’ll be in conversation. You won’t have sit nervously hoping you won’t get a tricky question. More importantly, you’ll be able to fire questions back at your interviewer, which is considered to be one of the things looked for in a successful interview. Insightful questions show your employer that you’ve done your research, and that you’re interested in more than the salary. Use the company’s website, search engines, and whatever professional or personal contacts you have to amass as much knowledge as you can before the interview rolls around.

3) Research Some Common Interview Questions

In a job interview, interviewers are looking to give you stimulating and revealing questions that will make you think on your feet. While you’ll likely have to do some talking off the top of your head, you can prepare yourself for the more common interview questions like “where do you see yourself in five years” or “what would you say is your greatest weakness.” Using search engines, you can find countless lists of the most common questions that interviewers will spring on interviewees. Some of these lists are even composed by former recruiters or employers, which will truly give you an inside edge.

4) Don’t Talk Too Much

One of the most important things to do in a job interview happens to be one of the most important things to do in life generally: listen. You interviewer will be giving you information throughout the interview that you can use to show that you’re paying attention. Your questions and comments should build upon what has already been said; they shouldn’t seem to come out of nowhere. To answer questions as well as you possibly can, you need to be paying attention to exactly how questions have been phrased. The best way to do this is not to fill the room with your own voice too much; focus on listening.

See all 7 tips and the complete GazetteReview article

 

7 Tips To Help Dust Off The Old Resume And Get It Ready For Your Job Search Now

Don Goodman

4. Keep Everything Bite-Sized

Most employers today aren’t sitting down and spending several minutes on each resume, it’s more like seconds – 7—8 seconds to be exact. When you keep information bite-sized, it makes it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to read and find information they need to determine if you’re worth a callback.

5. Dates

Since many of today’s resumes are run through the ATS, you need to take caution with how dates are presented on the resume. The ATS reads information on the resume with a different approach than how a human reviewer would, so you want to avoid throwing in dates randomly as you describe experience or accomplishments because the ATS will typically associate it as an employment date. You also need to avoid using seasons like Winter or Summer to indicate and employment period because the ATS does not know how to interpret that information. For more tips and insight, read: “How To Make Dates On A Resume Work For You.” Lastly, it’s unnecessary to state the year you graduated from college because it can give away your age, which can be a factor for discrimination.

7. Spelling

A resume filled with misspellings and other writing errors call out unprofessionalism. Don’t rely on Word to help you catch mistakes because they may catch some, but not all. Always get the help of another pair of eyes to read it over for you.

See all 7 tips and the complete Careerealism article

10 tips on negotiating a salary or raise

Shanna Landolt

1) Know what you are worth: Almost all roles have “salary bands” or a range that is typical for that job. If you aren’t sure what people make with your education and experience, ask a recruiter that specializes in your field. Or go to websites like Payscale.com, Salary.com and Glassdoor.com.

6) Change: Sometimes the best way to get a raise is to change companies. When the economy is healthy it is typical to see an 8-10 per cent increase when you change companies. When you stay with your current company a 3 per cent increase is common. For example, people who have worked for 3 companies over a 10-year period usually make more than people who have worked at the same company for 10 years. It’s okay to change companies every 3-5 years as long as you are getting a promotion with each change.

9) Other perks: There are also non-financial perks such as Friday afternoons off in the summer or Christmas shutdown, flex hours, the ability to work from home a day or two a week, free food and onsite gym or yoga classes. It’s harder to attach a monetary value to these perks, but you should definitely factor them in the total value of your package.

10) Here are some things you can negotiate if you can’t get the company to budge on base salary:  — See the other things, all 10 tips, and the complete article