Job Search

Don't forget O*NET - A Trusted Career Resource

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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.

Personal Policies for your Job Search

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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?

The Informational Interview: The Art of the Request

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?

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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.

Find your Person: 4 Cover Letter Writing Strategies

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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?

More than Google: Online Tools for Target Company Research

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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.

Company Information:

https://www.crunchbase.com

http://www.vault.com

https://pitchbook.com

Nonprofit:

https://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx

Real-time compilation of social media channels:

http://socialmention.com

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?

Be YOU in your resume - Choose your words Wisely!

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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

and

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.


Do you have a Free Range Career? 3 tips to coalesce your Professional Experiences

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. 

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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.



3 Steps to put feet to your Career Dreams

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Put feet to your dream career. Envision it so clearly you can taste, see, hear, smell and feel what it would be like to be in that job, a particular company, or leading the charge on that new business.

You can create dimensions to your dream by creating a vision board, writing it down or (gasp!) telling someone.

The feet of your dreams hit the pavement when you place parameters around it: the what and when. So:

☁️ Clarify your vision and/or job target. Know your specific dream job down to the detail. Create your own job description as a guide or find a posting that represents your ideal gig.

☁️ Set a due date. Set a goal of 'when' you want to be realizing your dream.

☁️ Decide on your daily effort. Decide what you will do each day to achieve your goal. Will you be reaching out to a certain number of people each day? Tweaking your career documents? Researching a company?

Then don't talk yourself out of it! Look at your vision board and/or written goals each day to remind yourself that your dreams are real...that you can say yes to them each day!

How do you practically pursue your career dreams each day? Unsure how to nail down your perfect job target? Download our free tips here.

Remote Work is here to Stay: Is it right for You?

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Remote work is here to stay. It's not all laptop beach photos and working in your PJs. Remote workers report feelings of loneliness and isolation in Buffer's State of Remote Work 2019 report. A few considerations to ponder before accepting a remote gig.

According to those surveyed, 99% of remote workers want to work remotely (at least some of the time) for the rest of their careers. 95% of those same workers encouraged others to do the same.

Amir Salihefendic, CEO of Doist, said “remote work isn't just a different way to work – it's a different way to live," with workers enjoying a great sense of flexibility for both work and play.

However, many in-office professionals don't see behind the sexy side of remote work. 22% of remote workers have difficulty unplugging from work and 19% experience loneliness, a slight uptick from Buffer's 2018 report.

When on the hunt for a new gig, consider if remote work is right for you. Take into account:

+ A workspace in your home. 84% surveyed work from home. Ensure you have an area that is primarily dedicated to your work in the hours you need it.

+ Remote costs. Most companies do not cover costs associated with working remotely like the internet, a co-working membership or drinks when working from your local coffee shop.

+ A community to support you. To combat feelings of isolation and loneliness ensure there is collaboration across company channels as well as in your personal life.

Informational Interview: Make the Ask

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Necco's candy conversation hearts are unavailable this February. Don’t worry! I'll help you bridge the conversation from awkward to intentional with a free conversation card for informational interviews. 

The informational interview is the secret to a successful job search. Job search experts and resume writers alike (myself included) encourage job seekers to connect over coffee or over the phone with people who are in the job they want or working at a company of interest. How do you make it happen?

▶︎ LinkedIn request + a note

▶︎ Personal email

▶︎ In-person ask

▶︎ Phone call 

 Do you have to actually know the person? No, but do provide context to why you want to meet up and be specific in your ask. Provide a couple days/times for the conversation. Be specific on when you will follow-up to your initial request, too.

 Once you've booked a meeting, then what? What do ask? How do you make the most of both of your time? I'll hook you up this Valentine's day with a conversation card.  Sign up to receive it in your inbox free next week.