I am squealing with delight over my client's job search success!
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!
Take a note from The Terminator. If you are feeling discouraged or facing obstacles you are developing mental muscles.
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 looking for reliable career information? Check out this oldie, but goodie online resource:
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.
Locate dependable occupational information and use advanced search functions to:
📌Find what’s hot. Identify growing industries.
📌Reverse look-up job titles. Use keywords to discover a new-to-you or unusual job.
📌Skill-based search. Find a new career based on your unique skill set.
Exchange fear with confidence in your job search. Unlock the door of opportunity and hire Meg for a one-hour job search strategy session.
Why is it so hard to say 'no' as an adult?
The word easily tumbles out of my kids' mouths like granola bar crumbs from their wrapper.
Is it because we are afraid to disappoint (who are my people pleasers?), don’t want to appear lazy or is it just a lack of boundaries?
My friend taught me this idea of having personal policies. For example, when I take my kids to the local zoo, I have a personal policy that I don’t visit the snakes. So when it is just me and the kids (sans husband), we avoid the ‘desert’ section of the zoo. Silly, I know, but a personal policy nonetheless.
What could personal policies look like in your job search?
✳️ Consider only positions that require 25% travel or less.
✳️ A two-hour time limit per day on job search activities.
✳️ One self-care activity in your daily regimen.
✳️ Target companies with a high value for innovation.
What are your personal policies? How do they extend to the workplace or your job search?
My career path isn't straight.
Back in the day, I was miserable in event planning and I had my sights set on higher education, specifically advising. I knew NOTHING about the field beside the results that populated from my Google search terms. How did I proceed?
I emailed a COMPLETE STRANGER who was an academic advisor at a local university and asked her to lunch. I inquired about her career story and what I needed to do to get the job she had. And you know what? She HELPED me…over said lunch! She even gave me feedback on my written statement for my graduate school application (per her advice to apply to grad school)…A STRANGER!!
So, how do you request an informational interview? Let lunch (or coffee) lead the way.
- Be curious. Request to learn about their company and/or career story. Know a bit about the person to explain why you are asking for their time (flattery never hurts!).
- Be specific. Ask for 20-30-minutes of their time via phone or in-person. Include possible days/times as options.
- Be professional. Avoid grammar and spelling errors in your email request. Be conscientious and grateful for their time in advance.
Dear Whom It May Concern:
Nope. Try Again.
Attention Hiring Manager:
There is a better way.
Write to a person and make it personal when writing your cover letter. While a bot will typically be sifting through your career documents first, a PERSON will be hiring you.
Take time to find out who will read your cover letter and address it to them. A few simple tricks to track down your reader:
- Company website. Search the staff page for the person behind the job title listed in the posting.
- LinkedIn. Leverage your connections and the search function to track down the 'who' for your letter.
- Call the company. Inquire over the phone. You mean use my phone to actually *call* someone?! Yes! Chat with the receptionist/ administrative assistant (whoever answers!) and ask who you can direct your cover letter to.
-Sleuth. Use Hunter [dot] io to track down any professional email address. You will need a first and last name and company name.
What other tricks do you have up your sleeve to find your cover letter reader?
Target a company of interest they say. Understand company pain points, jobseekers. But what about when you are stuck with lackluster search results? There is more than Google in online company research.
Check out these online tools to find more organization information and about the people within them.
Real-time compilation of social media channels:
Use what you learn to inform how you can add value to your target company. Integrate what you’ve learned into your career documents and let it inform how you present yourself and your professional brand in your interview.
What online tools have you used to bolster your research in the job search?
Mind the language you use to describe yourself in your resume. It matters. Language is powerful. Wisely use a mix of words that describe only YOU. No one should be able to lift content from your resume as their own because it should describe only YOUR story, not solely the responsibilities of your job title.
A branding statement is key in articulating who you are on your resume. I use a three-step process when writing branding statements for my clients focusing on:
1. The distinguishing factors of WHO you are.
2. The WHAT of unique professional achievements
3. the WHERE of career direction.
What method(s) do you use to make your resume stand out and really describe YOU?
Need resume branding help? Grab a DIY mini-workbook here.
When we talk about a 'career path' it gives the sense of a linear direction, but when I look at back at my professional history - my path is not well-worn or straight, but squiggly and intersecting.
Have you roamed in wide open professional spaces creating trails instead of a well-worn path? Perhaps wandering from job to job has been your MO and now you are getting tired of lacking direction. Maybe your career path is similar to the chickens that lay the free-range eggs that you eat for breakfast. You like me, have a free range career.
If you are ready to gain a sense of direction or connect the dots of your wanderings to find a meaningful true north, start by nailing down a career target. To start:
+ Reflect on your professional paths. Take note of the wanderings that brought you to life and which drained you.
+ Identify your key skills. What are you known for? What problems are you an expert at solving?
+ Uncover your career values. Discover what motivates you and is most important to you. Is it prosperity? Creativity? Achievement? Discern the career values that are unique to you.
Need more tips to clarify your career focus? Download them here.