Wanted to share this inspirational story with you about a recent grad who was brutally honest on his cover letter – and it paid off. He said he would fetch coffee, shine shoes, do whatever it took to get and keep the internship he was applying for. And he wouldn’t send them a list of inflated credentials-the same old same old. Will this work for you? It could – and here’s what we would suggest. It’s more likely to work for a recent grad applying for an internship where you can get away with being less formal and saying things like this because it’s in internship. But, the strategy of being up front and direct regardless can pay off. You can let them know it’s a career transition for you and explain why you’re incredibly passionate about your change. Tell them you are willing to do what it takes to succeed in that job. Have a reference contact the hiring manager via email to put in a good word for you. It is ok and actually a good idea in your search to take some risks – as long as they are professional, tasteful, authentic ones that will help you stand out. It can be hard to know the difference so run your ideas by friends, family members or your career coach. Here’s the article: Brutally honest cover letter lands grad dream job

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Clients ask us these questions all the time: Should my resume be 1 or 2 pages, or longer? (Academic resumes tend to be much more than 2 pages). Do people even read my resume? Do I include all my experience? What about objective statements, are those still pertinent?

We wanted to share a wonderful article that address those questions and should give you an idea that there is not set format for resumes, however some rules of thumbs you should think about! Search our blog as well for resume advice from Jasmine regarding how to best work with a resume writer and how to be a polite pest using your resume to get your foot in the door. Here’s the resume myths article: Major Resume Myths

Thank you to one of our resume experts Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.

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We wrote about a similar topic a few posts ago and there’s another great article we wanted to share about optimizing your resume with keywords, but also where to place them and how to determine what to include. This is a must for your resume in this technically savvy day and age!

Add to your job search strategy list – before you apply to each position – conduct keyword research and apply those words to your resume. This will help ensure that it gets noticed! Click here to read the article.

Thank you to one of our resume experts Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.

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Discouraged with your job search? Try positive thinking. Norman Vincent Peale and Wayne Dyer are just two of the prominent people who advocate the power behind positive thinking. And just how does positive thinking relate to your job search?

See yourself not as you are, but how you want to be. Visualize your bank account with the large pay check you’d like to have. Imagine yourself smiling and satisfied with your work. See yourself surrounded by competent coworkers. Get the idea? See the future as you’d like it to be and watch reality conform to it.

You can even take this technique a step further using affirmations. Affirmations are declarations of how you want your life to be using the present tense and omitting the word, don’t. For example:
· I am happy and fulfilled in my work.
· I make more money than even before.
· My boss and coworkers appreciate me and my contributions.
Write your own affirmations and read them at least three to five times a day.

Another way to stay positive is to create a vision board or treasure map. Cut out pictures and words from magazines depicting the future you want and paste them on the inside of a manila folder. You can even print them from the Internet. Your pictures can include a scenic view from your office window, an organized desk, laughing coworkers, and money. Words you choose can include “fulfillment, satisfaction, enjoyment, appreciation, money, and fulfilled aspirations.” Get the “picture?”

Don’t believe these technique works? Just ask your friends who use them to tell you their stories. Better yet, try them yourself and tell others your own stories. The bottom line is to focus on the way your want your life and career to be, believe your desires can become reality, think positively, read your affirmations and look at your treasure map daily, then enjoy the journey of walking into the future you create for yourself.

Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC and Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coaches

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“I’m so nervous, I’m just so nervous.” If you tell yourself you’re nervous before an interview, you will probably follow your own instructions and you will be nervous. Instead of being nervous, before an interview, tell yourself you’re excited – and believe it! Relabeling your emotions is an effective way to control your reactions. After all, nervousness and excitement feel a lot alike.

What you say to yourself makes a world of difference in calming your nerves during an interview, so don’t even think of telling yourself that you’re nervous. Instead, tell yourself:

· I’m prepared and confident.
· I want to find out more about this job so I can decide if I want it.
· I have an opportunity to meet people I haven’t met before, talk about my skills and abilities, and show off my personality.

Once you’re in your interview, keep your composure the entire time. If an interviewer asks you a question and you don’t know how to answer, simply say, “Will you give me a minute to think about that?” Then, give the best answer you can. Remember, since interviewers are human and have been an interviewee themselves, most will understand.

Here is a recap: Relabel your name for your emotions, talk positively to yourself, act confident, look directly into the interviewer’s eyes, and show your excitement about having this job interview. Enthusiasm is contagious so if you’re enthusiastic about your interview, the chances are high that your interviewer will be enthusiastic about you too!

Ready? Show your best side and ace your next interview!

Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC and Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coaches

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Career coaching clients ask us all the time about the software companies use to filter through resumes online and how to get past it to get the interview in their job search. They don’t want to get booted out of the process in this first stage if they feel qualified for the job, just because they may not know the keywords the company will use to filter. It’s an understandable concern and something critical to consider not just on your resume but on your Linkedin profile as well (In the summary, expertise and experience section as well as the header. Be careful though – don’t clump them all together, it will appear too obvious and won’t read well.) Employers and headhunters will search for people with your brand of talent using specific keywords as well. So, it’s critical to consider this article for both – as well as your cover letter.

Take a look at this straightforward resume article for more information, especially the “How do I find the right keywords” section. Add to your list of ways to find them – 1) Job boards like indeed.com but also industry specific job boards. The latter can really give you specific ideas about keywords to use in your search for your dream job because you’ll only see job openings specific to the industry you are interested in. 2) Also add to your list sites like glassdoor.com where you can search for specific job titles (also salary). This is so you know what to use in your job descriptions on your resume because job titles can vary across companies. Read the article here: http://www.iseek.org/jobs/resume-keywords.html

Thank you to Jasmine Marchong, one of our resume writers, for her help with this article. We hope this is helpful to you! The career coaches at HallieCrawford.com.

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I was talking with career coaching client Kevin in NC this week about working with temp agencies. He is looking for a short term position to keep busy and add structure to his day, but also to let potential employers know he didn’t just sit on the couch while conducting his search for his dream job. I suggested he contact 3 agencies in his area to cast his net wider and increase his chances. And, gave him the following job search advice I wanted to share with you as well.

When working with temp agencies try to establish a relationship with them. If they don’t invite you in to participate in testing, offer to come in anyway. This is your chance to meet one of the placement agents and make a connection. They’ll be more likely to keep you in mind as openings come across their desk and it shows you care enough about getting a gig that you’re willing to do what it takes. And they want to place people who are assertive and who will represent their agency well. While you are there, ask them the best way to stay in touch with them. Can you call them once a week, or is email better? Or do they have a website where they post positions that you could contact them about to stay on top of your efforts. Design the relationship with them so you know what would be most effective, don’t just send in your resume and expect to hear back. Be assertive! If they don’t want you to come in and are adamant about it, still ask these questions. Do as much as possible to establish a relationship with one of their agents, however you can.

When I worked at a temp agency in their back office in Chicago, I remember hearing some of the agents speaking with employees they really liked and when they got off the phone they said they wanted to place them as soon as possible because they were impressed with them. These candidates called the agents once a week just to touch base to keep them top of mind. And – there were people they heard from as well they didn’t want to because they weren’t impressed with them. So job seekers – be the one they want to place! And stay in touch with them in a way that you have pre-designed with them. It will increase your chances of getting that next gig.

We hope this is helpful to you! The career coaches at HallieCrawford.com.

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Have you noticed that most of us want the front row seats at sports events and concerts? Often, we pay a premium for them, too. And, during that time, we let our inner selves go as we cheer on the home team or lift candles (flashlights) swaying in the imaginary breeze to our favorite singer. We let go with abandon, we are fully engaged in the moment and loving every minute. However, when we are unsure of ourselves or don’t want to be seen, we head for the back seats at church, office meetings, training events, family get-togethers. We just want to blend in and don’t want to be called on to participate – we become passive.

Passive participation is not the route to finding your encore career. Discovering your encore career, requires one to sit in the front row of life. It is about investigating the possibilities. Here are 10 tips to help you do that:

1. Shed the inner voice that tells you to take a back seat. It might say you aren’t good enough, who do you think you are, you’re too old. All negative fear-based thinking. Talk back to the voice to squash it! Remember, you are unique and have wonderful gifts to give to the world.

2. Take time to reflect on what you love to do. Reach back to your childhood and early years – is there something that you have submerged that can be reignited?

3. Ask yourself – what do people compliment you on? Often our talents are so innate that we take them for granted. Others, however, appreciate your skills.

4. Ask your friends and family – if money was not in the picture, what would they see you doing in your encore career?

5. Review your past jobs – what did you love about them. What are the common themes?

6. Carve out time to network. Get to know what other people do. You may find a career path you never thought of before. Volunteering is a great way to network.

7. Use http://www.onetonline.org to research careers and the requirements for them.

8. Once you have narrowed your career choices down to 3-4, interview people in those professions to determine how they got into the field, what they enjoy about the job, and any advice they may give you. If you don’t know anyone in that profession, use Linkedin to see if any of your friends know someone in that industry to talk to. Most people will be happy to do an informational interview with you – remember this is not asking them for a job.

9. If you have found a career that requires more education, talk with the chairperson of the department at a local college. They are a wealth of knowledge on job opportunities in the profession for those 50+ and the requirements for entering a college program.

10. Create a support team (family, mentor, coach) who you can share your innermost feelings, brainstorm and hold you accountable.

Honest introspection, following the actions above, and accountability will keep you in the front row seat of discovering your encore career!

Hopefully this post will inspire you to take a more proactive role in your career!

Katie Weiser, Associate Career Coach at HallieCrawford.com

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Our team of career coaches help people of all ages nurture their career, identify their ideal career path, and navigate their career transition. We offer group and individual coaching as well as self-directed learning products. Schedule a free phone consultation with Create Your Career Path today.