Give + Receive: The Power of LinkedIn Recommendations

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Help a colleague grow. Add to their credibility and visibility by giving them a recommendation on linkedIn.

Profiles with recommendations rank higher in search results and you are three times more likely to be contacted than someone without a recommendation.

Unsure what to write? Tell a compelling story about a particular project, accomplishment or skill of your colleague.

Are you looking to add recommendations to your profile? Don’t be shy. Request them! Ask a potential recommender in person or over phone/email before sending the request on LinkedIn. I actually encourage my clients to write their own recommendations.

Yep, you heard me. This way you get to highlight the specific skill or achievement of your choosing (and it cuts the work out for the recommender!). From there, encourage the recommender to tweak, add or delete content from your original draft.

It’s a win, win for everyone!

Remember recommendations you write for others can be viewed on your profile as well so check your grammar and spelling and take pride in what you’ve written!

Need LinkedIn help? We can help you unlock opportunities with coaching!

Discover + Own your Personal Brand

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I had a lot of fun presenting about personal branding at the Career Development Professionals of Indiana annual conference yesterday! We chatted about how to help college students:

▶︎ Coalesce their co-curricular, academic, professional and personal experiences to articulate their value in the workplace.

▶︎ Showcase their value and express why they are uniquely positioned to do what it is they want to do in their career documents.

▶︎ Be FOUND and ENGAGE on LinkedIn.

Beyond professional development it was fun to connect and brainstorm with new people and reconnect with IUPUI colleagues.

I'm looking forward to becoming a newly minted CDPI board member next month!



Find Strength in your Job Search

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Take a note from The Terminator. If you are feeling discouraged or facing obstacles you are developing mental muscles.

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger

How can you develop strength in your job search?

💪🏻 Lean on your people. You will face rejection and discouragement. Seek out personal cheerleaders that will speak the truth about who you are and give you a boost of encouragement.

💪🏻 Try something new. If you are facing walls in your job search - switch it up! Go for a quick win by talking to someone new, researching a new target company or complete a #linkedin learning course to enhance your #skills.

💪🏻 Flex your physical muscles. Take time to take care of yourself. Complete the workout or go for a walk. Do a physical activity that you enjoy!

Are You Facing Obstacles? Return to Work with Confidence!

Flexjobs surveyed over 900 Stay at Home (SAH) parents about their decision to return to work. 58% of SAH parents surveyed took more time away from work than they expected. What obstacles did they face to return?

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The study found their barriers were:

Don’t want or can’t be in an office full-time: 59%

Don’t know how to find a job that fits my life: 54%

Don’t know what I want to do for work: 36%

Don’t know where to begin: 34%

Don’t have networking contacts/stayed in contact with them: 33%

Not sure how to balance career and family: 31%

Need an updated or new resume: 30%

Don’t want to go back to the same career: 27%

Lack of confidence: 25%

The local job market isn’t great: 22%

Haven’t kept up my skills: 23%

Need guidance or coaching: 19%

Commuting to work is prohibitive: 17%

Are you stuck in your return to work strategy? Start by unlocking your career focus! Download our free DIY tip sheet to get started and gain confidence!

Does Your Career Still Fit?

I've been buying cheap sandals my whole life- flat, floppy and flimsy, trendy-in-the-moment sort of sandals. And you know what? My feet hurt. Are you feeling the same in your career? What once worked for you no longer does?

This season, I took the time to research and investigate. I went to a store (gasp!) and tried on several brands. I found a pair that fit, where my feet feel supported (I didn't know that was a thing!) and I can walk longer than a block before my feet hurt. Now, I probably wouldn't have worn this pair of sandals years ago - but they are the best fit now.

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Are you in a career that once fit and no longer does? Do you feel the pinches of your ill-fitting role? Worn-out? It's time to do an analysis of YOU!

Take a minute to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).

Strengths + Weaknesses: Look inward and identify your unique value proposition.

Questions to ask:

- What do I do well?

- What can I improve?

- How do I compare to my peers?

-What comes naturally to me that seems to be like work for others?

Opportunities + Threats: Look outward at your current organization and/or where you want to go ( a career pivot to a new industry, another company, new role, etc.)

Questions to ask:

- What positive opportunities face me in my current (or different) organization?

- What obstacles do I face?

- Are the specifications for my job changing? Does it still suit me well?

The more you know, the more well-suited career decisions you'll make. Walk confidently toward a career that fits you now.

Need help unlocking a new job target? We can help with six free, DIY tips. Get them here.

Don't Hide! Bring your Accomplishments forward with one simple Question.

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Don't make it difficult to spot your qualifications in your resume, draw attention to them! Excite your reader with your career story instead of inviting them to nap between the lines.

YOU create the narrative within the six-second scan so draw the reader in by ➡️ quantifying results, ➡️ highlighting challenges you overcame and ➡️ the action you took to get there.

Replace dense paragraphs describing your professional accomplishments with bulleted, lean achievement-driven statements. How do you get from paragraph to bullet point? Keep asking yourself, "So what?" For example:

I help customers on the phone and increase customer satisfaction.

So what?

I created a procedure for call handling to ensure calls aren't missed.

So what?

I did this so well I was asked to create the customer satisfaction function of our company improving missed customer calls.

And so on. Boil it down to quantifiable, difference-making bullet points:

▶︎ Created the company's customer satisfaction experience function from scratch.

▶︎ Decreased missed inbound calls by 30% in six weeks by developing a new call handling standard operating procedure (SOP).

It takes time and more mental brain power to express yourself succinctly. Resume writing is hard work - so be patient with yourself.

Take time to pack the punch. When you do the work on paper, it is easier to articulate your value in person.

So, keep asking yourself: "So what?"

Need more help unlocking powerful resume statements? Download our free bullet point writing formula.

Avoid Morning Disasters: 3 Morning Routine Tips

I've been there.

Yelling at kids to put on their shoes. Spilled cereal and milk. Working parents, what kind of morning routine helps you get out the door?

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Monday mornings are hard. After the hurricane of gathering small backpacks, clothed children and dropping them off at designated places, many of times I found myself crying in the preschool parking lot in my minivan after the natural disaster of the morning.

Can it be better? Most days, yes, I think so. While my office environment has changed and my kids have gotten older, there are few things I uncovered that worked for me:

☀️ Prep the night before. Pack lunches, bags and set out clothes. Prep breakfast - by that, I mean milk in a closed cup for kids to grab and cereal in a to-go bag.

☀️ Make ‘me’ time. Even if it is just 5 minutes! Whether it's drinking a cup of coffee, looking over your schedule or reading a daily devotional. Make time to wake up and hear your own thoughts.

☀️ Go tech-free. Avoid the distraction of email and social media until after drop off.

April Open Door Interview: Dr. Camie Wright

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It's April’s Open Door Interview release day! As one of Indianapolis’ Monthly’s “Top Docs” and 14-year board-certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Cameual Wright took her patient’s career advice to pivot from full-time clinical practice to managed care after graduating with her MBA. 

Camie shares how words spoken over her by mentors came to pass and how her skills evolved to further her passion for health equity as Indiana's Market Medical Director at CareSource.

Listen in here.

One Simple Trick to Take the Weight out of your To-Do List

Do you have that one thing that you keep pushing down on your to-do list?

Yeah, that one.

Mine has been on my list for MONTHS...and I just checked it off this week. Cue the balloon drop and fireworks!

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What's weighing down your weekly to-do list? Mine was a certification course. It was just TOO BIG to get done in seven days. Looking back, I needed to take my Dad's sage advice on how to eat an elephant...one bite at a time.

Do you feel like this with your resume? You are blowing off the digital dust and it just feels too overwhelming to start. Take one bite at a time.

Gather materials. Collect performance reviews and assessment results, grab your kudos file and revisit projects finished and clients won to remember your professional wins.

Conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and identify opportunities and threats.

Know your job target. Learn the ropes of your next job through online and in-person research. (This can take time - break it up!)

Write. Yep, just start. Go section by section or job by job.

Edit. Eliminate fluff and ensure quantifiable accomplishment statements replace paragraphs of job duties.

What stops you from updating your resume?

Remember: Add only the bites to the to-do list, not the whole elephant.

Need a helping hand? Collaborate with Meg on your professional resume. Find out more here.

Separate Work from Who are Are: An Introduction Change

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You don't have to be defined by your work. When you introduce yourself to someone new replace what you do with who you are.

Our identity tie to work is strong. I realized this when I decided to quit my job to stay home with my third child. It never occurred to me how I relied on my achievements at work to define who I am. I found there are no performance reviews for a stay-at-home parent.

Does who you are change because of work? Most definitely, but WHO you are is separate from what you DO.

So instead of: Hi! My name is Meg Applegate. I'm a resume writer.

Let's replace the formality with: Hi! I'm Meg. A woman of faith, driven by even the littlest of goals. I'm lit up by connections with people and prone to giggling at the cheesiest of jokes.

It's your turn. Who are you outside of what you do?

Need help discerning what makes you unique? Check out Meg’s DIY branded resume statement mini-workbook to set yourself apart from the crowd.