Posts Tagged 'career coach'

Ask for What You Want At Work. Or: Don’t Ask for Orange Juice if You Want Grape Juice

Have you ever known someone who doesn’t ever seem to know just what he or she wants? I know someone like that. In fact, I know him really well. He’s my 2-year old. He is in a constant state of not knowing exactly what he wants. A typical conversation:

Him: I want peanut butter and jelly. On bread.

Me: You want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Can you ask in a nice way?

Him: No. I want a waffle. (He proceeds to start removing an apple from the refrigerator.)

Another typical conversation at our house:

Him: I want orange juice.

Me: What’s a nice way to ask? (Pouring orange juice.)

Him: Please! No, I don’t want orange juice. I want GRAPE juice. In a cup.

I think you get the picture. If I’m lucky, he changes his mind before I prepare what he initially requested, but more often than not, I’m faced with trying to convince him to eat what he originally wanted or starting over. If I had a dollar for every time I say, “Oh…I should have known that when you asked for orange juice (and took it out), it really meant that you want grape juice!” – I would be on some island somewhere – someone would be serving ME drinks!

So, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? What does it have to do with your job?

Think about it – Do you really know what you want? Are you like the 2-year old who is asking for orange  juice, but really wanting grape juice? Are you impulsive, asking for (or wishing for) the first thing that comes to your mind? Unlike my 2-year old, whose only real consequence for his indecision is needing to say a few extra “pleases” or being stuck with whatever he first requested, there are real consequences for professionals who either don’t know what they want or don’t know how to ask for it.

What to do? Stop and think! Tiffany Monhollon writes that you should “stop, listen and move.”

It isn’t always easy to figure out what you really want. It certainly isn’t easy to decide to make a major change in the hopes of accomplishing what you really want. It is worth it, though. Don’t let life, or your job, just happen TO you. Stop. Listen. Move. If you want grape juice – don’t just ask for it – do what my 2-year old does when he is really desperate and I’m taking too long – get it out and pour it yourself!

Realize that you are ready to leave your job? Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

A Resume is Just a Resume?

Last week, a client asked me if I thought “a resume is just a resume is just a resume.”

No, I replied…I don’t think so! A resume is a reflection of the resume’s owner. It must represent what you have to offer and directly target the employer you hope to reach.

Just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t just walk up to a rack of birthday cards and randomly select one to offer a loved one, you shouldn’t think of your resume as inconsequential to your search. Even as networking and personal branding become more and more important in job search, it is still necessary and important to have a solid, well-designed and written resume.

I recently spoke to a potential client who explained that he didn’t have a resume of any kind. He had been able to land an interview or two based on well written letters to targeted employers. The jobs didn’t pan out, but I reminded him that, at some point in a hiring process, he probably would have needed to produce a resume, even as a formality, for HR.

So, while you try to network your way to a job, using every tool at your disposal, take a good, hard look at your resume. Many times, clients believe that they aren’t getting interviews because of a specific thing that cannot change. Their age. Their level of experience. Their field. All of these may be factors if you are not landing interviews, but more often than not, there is something specific about your resume that is holding you back.

Make sure that your resume isn’t the one everyone is calling home about – for the wrong reasons! You want to stand out, but not because you misspelled “Public” or forgot to list your contact information. Your resume shouldn’t be a laundry list of “stuff” you’ve done, at the expense of listing your skills and accomplishments. Make sure that your resume isn’t a 5-page autobiography of every computer program you have ever touched in the last 12 years.

Review. Revise. Re-envision what you have to offer. You’ll be better off!

I’ll be happy to give you a free resume assessment. Just email it to results@keppiecareers.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by abiznessdigital

Questions to Consider for Your Cover Letter

Once you have a great resume, writing a terrific cover letter is the next important step. It’s not a good idea to skip the cover letter, as many employers think of it as the equivalent of an introductory handshake. If you wouldn’t skip the handshake, don’t skip the cover letter!

I’ve written all about cover letters…Follow THIS link to read my suggestions for how to compose yours.

I recently read a post by my colleague, J.T. O’Donnell that I thought offered some terrific, thought provoking questions for job seekers to consider when writing a cover letter. She suggests that they answer questions such as:

—Looking at your past professional success, what makes you good at what you do?

—How has your work inspired you?

—What value does it provide?

—If asked to describe yourself in an honest, humble, funny yet confident sort of way, what would you say?

The key thing is to connect what you have to offer with what will appeal to the employer. I think these questions are a great way to start thinking!

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

What to Eat Before Your Interview

Who would have thunk it? It turns out that eating yogurt and nuts can help reduce anxiety, according to a new study by scientists in Slovakia. (Hat tip: Speechworks)

Joey Asher reports on Speechworks’ blog:

The scientists gave either amino-acid supplements or a placebo to a group of men and asked them to give a speech. The men who had taken the supplements experienced half as much anxiety according measurements of stress hormones in their bloodstream.

Yogurt and nuts have very high levels of the type of amino-acids used in the study.  So a healthy snack might help reduce your anxiety.

It seems logical that this stress-reducing snack might be a good choice in advance of an interview, which is kind of like a super-stressful speech and presentation all rolled into one!

So, prepare for your interview, and give yourself an extra boost by downing some yummy amino acids!

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Anxious about your job hunt and don’t think that eating yogurt and nuts will solve all of your problems? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by josephp

Social Networking Bridges the Generational Gap and Propels Your Career Forward

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So, I’ve written that participating in social networking can help you look younger without the aid of botox or hair dye! Since I’ve been writing about Twitter this week, and how you can use it to help you network and find a job, I thought I would end the week with some stories of people just like you who believe that using social networking tools are useful to propel them along the right career path.

Veronica Gliatti, a 40-something, experienced public relations and marketing expert, believes that her blog, which she created to help her look for not just a job, but the right career position for her, has helped drive interest in her for job opportunities.  She notes that the blog also “Helped instill more confidence in [her] own abilities” and that she knows several recent leads were directly related to writing a good effective blog with a powerful message.

Melissa Balmer, of Creative Conscious Connecting, 44, emphatically believes that being on line with her website, blog, Facebook profile, yelp profile, etc., helps keep her seeming younger, hipper and more connected in the eyes of her current and future clients.

Melissa notes, “Now that I have quite a dynamic web presence, including an updated photo, blogs in more than one place, presence on myspace, Facebook, linkedin and more, I’m finding that the ageism I grew to fear doesn’t exist for me. People are looking for great, responsible, tuned in people who can connect cross- generationally, and the internet is truly the way to go for this – it’s not someone’s age that matters so much as how ready they are to understand what makes things happen now.”

John Williams, Partner in B2B CFO® believes that having a presence on linkedin and other networking sites gave him more visibility than just being on The Ladders, Exec-U-Net and similar job sites. He also suggested that having a Blackberry “created an impression of being connected” and gave him an edge during his search. He notes, “Utilizing the web was very useful [during his search] and much more efficient than networking at the C level.” He suggests that “Job seekers will miss a major outlet if they are not on the web in this fashion.”

Perhaps one of the more persuasive arguments for using social networking to make yourself seem younger in the job hunt (especially for older workers) comes from Gary Stewart, an executive recruiter in the pharmaceutical industry. He says, “The problem that I have experienced as a recruiter is that there is a definite gap between those who are familiar with [social] networking” and the people he seeks – those who have a minimum of 10-20 years of experience.  He notes, “Most people with this much experience are not aware, or do not know how to take advantage of this sort of medium.” Gary acknowledges that anyone with that experience who participates in online networking would have an advantage in his book.”

If you’re convinced that learning about social networking can help with your job hunt, I can help you! It’s not rocket science, but if you’d like a helping hand to guide your entree to the online market, Keppie Careers is here for you. Email me at results@keppiecareers.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

picture by skampy

Can You Find a Job On Twitter? Yes You Can!

Networking and social networking tools are big topics of conversation when it comes to the job hunt. I’ve written about using Facebook to find a job, but I wondered if Twitter, the microblogging platform/social network would be a rich source of potential job opportunities.

So, I asked, “Can You Get a Job on Twitter?” It seems that the answer is a resounding (Bob the Builder-esque) YES you can!

Jessica Smith found her current “dream job” as Chief Mom Officer simply by tweeting to approximately 400 followers, “Anyone looking for a marketing or biz dev person?”  She reports receiving a DM from Max Ciccotosto, Founder of Wishpot.com, within minutes, asking for a phone interview! The result, Jessica landed “a flexible, family-friendly job doing marketing, biz dev, and community management for Wishpot’s baby channel making competitive pay.” She makes a point to pay it forward, and now helps other companies connect with moms who have the skills they seek.

Kyle Flaherty‘s use of Twitter for a job hunt resulted in moving his family to Austin, TX from Boston. In March, he tweeted the news to approximately 650 contacts that he had left his job and had no immediate plans. He included a link to a blog post outlining his interest in connecting. He explains, “Within hours I had several emails, IMs, phone calls and Tweets about the topic and it actually ended up that I took a new job… This may have happened without using Twitter, but since I was looking for a job that would allow me to use social media tools like microblogging, I knew that this was a targeted way to network myself and could lead to a job more inline with what I was wanted.”

Kyle’s boss at the job in Austin, Pam O’Neil, explains that she had the firm’s PR agency on the lookout for someone who would make a good addition to their team. Her contact saw Kyle’s tweet and alerted her that he would be a fantastic hire. O’Neil explains,

“Kyle really took an out of the box approach using Twitter. He had already informed his employer that he wanted to make a career move and made a list of the exact opportunity he was looking for, so he posted an announcement to his 700+ Twitter followers and described that role. So, between the agency referral, Kyle’s use of Twitter and the insights he’d posted on his blog, I knew he would be a great addition to the team. I emailed him immediately.”

Heidi Miller, the “Podcasting Princess” found a three-month freelance project using Twitter. She harnessed the power of her Twitter network (around 900 people) by tweeting updates about her job hunt. (“Applying for a social media position in Boston,” “Applying for a cool social media position in London,” etc.) Although many of her colleagues questioned the wisdom of being so open about her search (would she look desperate? foolish?), in the end, the ends justified the means.

Heidi explains, “One day, one of my Twitter buddies, Amy Gahran, sent me a DM that our Twitter buddy Susan Mernit was looking for people for a project. I’d met Susan at BlogHer the year before, so I sent her a Tweet asking about the project. A resume and phone interviews followed, and I got the position.”

Heidi says,

What I discovered is that Twitter is just another way of communicating with your network. When you are seeking a position, you tell your associates, colleagues and friends so that they can keep their ears open for you. That’s exactly what I did on Twitter–by updating on my job search, I ended up with a contract position that since has opened doors to several offers for permanent positions for me once I finish up here.”

(It’s interesting to note here how Heidi’s story really combines both in-person and social networking. She used online tools to keep in touch with people she may have met at conferences or via other means, which ultimately led to her finding a job.)

Clearly, if you are looking for a job involving social media, Twitter is one great place to cast your networking net. However, don’t ignore the possibilities to use Twitter to make connections that could lead to opportunities in any number of areas. The fact is, job search networking is much more effective when you make “loose” connections – touching base with people you do not know well, but whose networks and contacts are much different from your own.

I’ve noticed that Twitter has been getting quite a bit of press in mainstream media outlets lately. My colleague Dan Schawbel, the Gen Y Personal Branding guru, notes that Twitter already has 3 million users. Surely, there are some great connections for your job hunt just waiting to be found! As more and more get involved (dare I say addicted?), the more opportunities there will be to leverage Twitter for job search networking. Don’t be the one left behind!

Some information you may find useful:

Common Craft’s great video explaining Twitter
Chris Brogan’s 50 ideas for using Twitter for business
Marci Alboher’s Shifting Careers blog at the New York Times – How Twitter Can Help at Work

Convinced that Twitter may be a good use of your time? Feel free to follow me:
http://twitter.com/Keppie_Careers

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by jevy

Networking for Success…Think Being, Not Doing

Today, columnists JT O’Donnell and Dale Dauten of JT and Dale Talk Jobs included a quote from me in their Best of the Month – Career Resources Worth Checking Out:

J.T.: A lot of job-search advice boils down to more and better networking. That assertion always frustrates people who aren’t naturally outgoing. Those who think of networking as mere “schmoozing” will always struggle. Networking is about sharing information, about being genuinely interested in what you might learn from others and what others might learn from you. You don’t need to be a smooth talker or the life of the party to network properly. There’s a great discussion of this in a blog written by a fellow career coach, Miriam Salpeter. Find it at www.KeppieCareers.com. I particularly like this quote: “I try to think of networking as a way of BEING instead of something to DO.”

In light of today’s economic situation, it has never been more clear how important it is to network effectively and with goals in mind. Stay tuned next week for more about how to network well, including a post about people who actually found their jobs using Twitter!

(If you haven’t started using Twitter, NOW is a good time to start! Feel free to “follow” me at: http://twitter.com/Keppie_Careers.)

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by vasta


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