Job search

Psst! One secret that will land you the Interview.

How important is LinkedIn really in the job search? New research findings by ResumeGo has our answer. The study found that job applicants who listed their LinkedIn URL (that led to a robust profile) on their resume were 71% more likely to land an interview than those that didn’t.

Meg Applegate, resume writer & job search coach.png

So, there are two takeaways here:

Meg Applegate, Certified Resume Writer, Hinge Resume.jpg

1.   Include your custom LinkedIn URL hyperlink on your resume AND

2.   Spend time crafting a comprehensive, on-brand profile.

Increase your chances of landing an interview by making a good digital first impression.

Need help unlocking the door to your next opportunity? Check out our writing and coaching services here.

Career Passion: Destination or Process?

Meg Applegate, Hinge Resume Collaborative, Indianapolis, IN.jpg

“Do what you love.” “Follow your passion.” How many times have you received similar career advice?

I love what Angela Duckworth said in Adam Grant’s WorkLife podcast to “develop your passion" not follow it.

We treat career like a calling – something that needs to be found like uncovering a secret treasure. With this philosophy, there is even a possibility of missing it if we don’t dig around enough.

I love the idea of career passion being developed rather than found. It isn’t a destination; it’s a process. Have you missed opportunities by pursuing a singular focus? How can we encourage others in their career pursuits based on inquiry and learning rather than a linear, planned path?

Celebrating a Career Win - Officially a Published Resume Writer!

Meg Applegate, Published Resume Writer.JPG

I have a page 252! Can you believe it?! One of my resumes was included in the most recent release of Resume for Dummies (8th edition)

If you are a job seeker this book will guide you from a blank page to a visually stunning resume, rich with keywords and quantifiable career wins and stories to land your dream job.

Read more about the launch of the book and the other amazing resume writer contributors here.

I am going into the weekend celebrating being a PUBLISHED resume writer!!! 

What personal or professionals wins are you celebrating this week?

Develop in a Group to land Higher Roles

Carrot Club. It got my youngest son to eat his vegetables. What partnership might you need for personal and professional growth?

Meg Applegate_Hinge Resume.jpg

My three-year-old was not into veggies. My husband started face timing him at lunch to eat together. In an effort to prove carrots are in fact digestible and tasty, my husband would munch on his with great delight. My son totally bought it. Now, each weekday they bond over their carrots and eat lunch together. Hence, the start of carrot club.

Do you need a 'carrot club'? For women, in particular, your inner circle matters. According to a January 2019 research conducted by the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University, over 75% of women executives had an inner circle of 2-3 women. The research found that women in particular who communicated and relied on a small group of women placed at a higher job level.

So, who are your people? Who can you rely on to get you over the hurdles of personal and professional life?

If you haven't found your tribe - start one! Rally grad school friends or like-minded colleagues. Attend networking events to find your people. If you are local to Indianapolis, try Linking Indy Women

How have you seen the power of community work in your professional life?

Find your Person: 4 Cover Letter Writing Strategies

Meg Applegate_Hinge Resume_Resume Writing Service_Indianapolis.jpg

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?

Burn Out: Know the Signs

Two-thirds of U.S. employees are feeling burned out at work.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, employees attribute their burn out to an unreasonably, heavy workload, among other reasons. In fact, 63% of burned-out employees were more likely to take a sick day. Has it ever occurred to you that your body may be sending you messages of your burn-out before you even recognize it!

If you are getting sick more often, suffer from chronic headaches or developing a pattern of insomnia, according to Monica Torres from the Huffington Post, these all may be red flags alerting you that your job may be toxic to your body.

micaela-parente-642849-unsplash.jpg

Avoid the danger zone of burnout! A few cautionary tips:

- Listen to your body. Notice when symptoms are happening. Are you getting stomachaches on a Sunday evening in anticipation of work the next day? Is your typical tendency to worry crossing an unhealthy threshold? Take note. Get help when you need it. Exercise! Put taking care of yourself as a top priority.

- Take breaks. According to the IBJ, 212 MILLION vacation days were unused in 2017. So plan now for a vacation (or staycation)! If that isn’t feasible, sprinkle in a few mental health days to relax or do activities that bring you joy.

- Reframe your thinking. Take control of what you can. Manage unhealthy rumination through prayer or meditation. Focus on the blessings in your life through journaling.

With all this being said, sometimes the job just isn’t a good fit for your natural giftings and temperament. So, if possible begin a job search. Ensure that you do the work of knowing what settings and positions your skills and abilities may thrive!

Need help finding your direction? Download our free DIY tips to hone your job target for a more effective search and a healthier you!

Close the Gap: Gain Confidence for your Career Leap

Hinge+Resume%2C+Meg+Certified+Resume+Writer%2C+CPRW.jpg

Career confidence. Do you have it? Does it require a leap of faith or steady steps forward?

Whether it is pursuing advancement or a leap in another direction, you’ll need to gather your courage.

Teeth gritted, dirt and rock under your feet, bent knees, arms back and then the lean forward...

To spring up with confidence you’ll need to take intentional steps before a BIG jump.

If you are looking to create forward momentum in an upcoming career change, consider these small, brave steps before you leap:

+ Volunteer (or job shadow). This sage advice is not just for college students. If you are looking to switch industries, put your boots on the ground by shadowing the position you want so you can live a day in the life. After, reflect on the fit particularly how it aligns with your giftings and values.

+ Talk to people. Is there someone living out your dream gig right now? Talk to them! Ask them how they got there and what tips they may have for you. Then ask who else they recommend you talk to! This way your conversation continues with new perspectives.

+ Rally a community. Surround yourself with wise friends, colleagues and mentors as you consider a change. Whether you call it your personal tribe or board of directors, seek others’ advice for a 360 view.

You will have more confidence in your career leap because you’ve done the work to close the gap of the unknown. Then, JUMP!

If you you want to make a change, but are unsure of your career direction nail down your job target with these free DIY tips.

Showcase your Difference in your Job Search

I lived in Sweden for a year after I graduated college. I learned a lot that year and was introduced to many wonderful people and Scandinavian treasures – Fika. H&M. IKEA.

Meg Applegate, Certified Professional Resume Writer_Hinge Resume, Indianapolis, IN.jpg

The most interesting was a Swedish cultural concept - “Lagom.” It comes from the phrase “laget om” (correct me if I am wrong, Swedes, as I struggled in that 6-week language course!) which means middle, median, appropriate.

While this concept permeates Scandinavian culture from social interactions to what you wear or eat, it won’t do you any favors in an American job search. In fact, if you stay on middle ground in your job search, you will be anchored there. 

Most people who are applying and networking for your new job of interest, typically have a similar degree, qualifications and skill set. Don’t stay similar. Be different. 

Hinge Resume Collaborative.jpg

Identify your competitive edge. 

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What strengths do others consistently acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you really good at?

Leverage what sets you apart in your job search and career documents. Need help discovering your 'difference'? Find resources here.

Cover Letter: Less is More

Meg Applegate, Certified Professional Resume Writer.jpg

I used to jam pack all the words I could on a page to describe why I was the best candidate for the job in my cover letters. More words = more qualified, right?

Wrong.

I recently was having this same discussion with a client. The verbosity of complex experiences doesn’t mean more readership, it means less. Do you have that person in your life that is constantly talking versus the one who refrains, but when s/he does speak up - it is profoundly worthwhile to listen? Be the latter in your cover letter.

The purpose of a cover letter is to illustrate how you are the perfect (or near perfect!) candidate for the job. Land an interview to tell more! Here’s how:

+ The job posting is your compass. Demonstrate your skills and qualifications for the job by first knowing what experience the company/job are requiring. Customize your letter accordingly.

+ Use bullet points to draw attention to hard and soft skills, education and/or professional experiences relevant to the posting. Let your text breathe with white space. Pack a punch with succinct sentences and powerful accomplishments.

+ Highlight memorable stories. Those applying for the position have a similar skill set. Convey what makes you unique. Illustrate your skills instead of listing them. Share a distinct professional accomplishment or a personal story tying you to the company or brand values. Stand out!

Give yourself the advantage by sending a strong cover letter even if not required of the posting.

Who to Reference?

Meg Applegate, Certified Resume Writer_Job search coach.jpg

Including references on your resume will date you as an older job seeker (even if you aren’t one). This common practice from thirty years ago has dissipated today.

However, according to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, 59% of recruiters speak to professional references during the hiring process.

So how do you cultivate professional references and submit them in today’s job market?

Ask for them! Request references from previous colleagues or bosses. New graduates with little work experience, ask college professors who know you well and can vouch for your skills and work ethic.

Submit references when asked. Follow a job posting’s directions on this. Typically, you will submit 3-5 names with contact information on a separate document from your resume. I recommend using the same contact information header as your resume so it is obvious the document belongs with your application materials.

Notify references. Ensure your references are prepared to speak knowledgeably about you. Arm them with information about the opportunity, your resume and specific stories that will speak to your accomplishments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been contacted by a company to give a reference when I had NO IDEA I was listed as a reference. Avoid this faux pas. Make yourself and your reference look good!

Now is a good time to start building your reference list for your job search in 2019. Ask colleagues you trust!