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Stop selling yourself short – Top 10 tips for your search

Business CardIt’s almost cap and gown season, time for recent grads to look for a job. With the economy slowly on the rebound, their prospects look better but… these 10 critical tips still stand regardless of the state of the job market. Grads can feel an unsettling sense of urgency in their search which doesn’t help them in their search because they come across as desperate. Listen to this 20 minute radio interview  to learn the top 10 tips for recent grads. To help you or your grad get any experience they can to put on their resume, how to stand out from the crowd, and approach their search with confidence.

Watch Video Here

Hallie Crawford
Career Transition Coach

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InterviewYou’re interviewing for the job of your dreams and the interviewer asks a question and you have no idea of how to answer. What do you do? Ask for a moment to think of your answer. Particularly when an interview asks you a thought-provoking question, you may need time to think of what you want to say.

For example, an interviewer may ask, “If you could be any car, what car would you be?” People who don’t know anything about cars may be as stumped as those that know all about them. Calmly reply, “Would you give me a minute to think about your question?” The key is to only take some extra seconds to decide how to answer; you don’t want to literally keep the interviewing waiting for five minutes as you review makes, colors, and prices of cars in your mind. When you do decide on an acceptable answer, calmly state it, such as, “I would be a Volvo because they score so well in crash tests.”

You may leave an interview and never know the real reason an interviewer asked you a question. Unless you were asked an illegal interview question, you don’t need to know the reason. Just know that asking for time to think of an answer is perfectly acceptable during an interview. In fact, doing so may even make you look good if the interviewer perceives that you’re the kind of person who thinks before you speak.

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

P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.

Categories : Interview Tips
Comments (0) – Hallie Crawford, Certified Career Coach, discussing three critical elements you must include in your strategic career plan, and how to define and clarify what each one means. Hint – understand your unique selling points, even when you are not in job search mode, it will serve you well beyond that! Especially when it’s time to ask for a promotion or a raise.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

Categories : Job Search
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LinkedInI wanted to share this great client story with you. I was talking to Janice in Ohio recently, she applied for a position at Pitney Bowes. Right away she noticed two Pitney people viewed her LinkedIn profile. She asked me if it was appropriate for her to reach out them, or would she look like a stalker. I said go for it, just be careful of how you word your message and be professional. Here is the conversation thread you can use if you are ever in this situation – and her story of how it worked well:

Hallie: Write them both and say something like:

Hi NAME, I recently applied for X position at X company. I wanted to reach out to you to let you know I am very interested in working at XX to (for example) to facilitate and enhance the research process (mention how you could impact the organization through that role). I would love to have the chance to interview for this position. If we can connect on LinkedIn that would be great, but at the very least I wanted to re-iterate my interest in the position. Thank you, NAME

*Side note: You could also ask this person for 10 minutes of their time to conduct an informational interview to learn more about the organization.

Janice: Thanks, Hallie.  I took your advice and contacted both.  They each accepted and one of them invited me to call them tomorrow or Wednesday. :)  Hopefully this can help start getting the ball rolling on something!

Here’s the logic everyone: What do you have to lose? You do want to be careful of contacting people you don not know on LinkedIn so they don’t report you as spamming them. But if you handle it professionally and are clear with your intentions, the likelihood of that happening is low. Worst case they ignore your request. My client Jeremy in New Jersey said the other day, “You’re always pushing the envelope.” He’s right. You have to be assertive in your search to get noticed.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

P.S. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Consulting Program where you can learn how to effectively leverage your LinkedIn account for your job search and ongoing professional development.

Categories : Social Media
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Check out my latest video as I share why starting with fulfillment in your search for your dream job is a critical first step.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

Categories : Dream Job
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ResumeRead the following bullet point describing a secretary’s duties and form a picture in your mind:

  • Answer telephones, file, and word process.

Do you have a picture of this person’s level of responsibility in your mind? 

Now, read the following bullet points quantifying the same duties:

  • Answer as many as 25 customer service calls per day.
  • Maintain and update filing system of over 4,000 accounts.
  • Word process all correspondence for 8 managers.

Did the picture in your mind change substantially?

The best way to convey the level, depth, and breadth of your responsibilities to an interviewer is by quantifying each accomplishment. If you can’t think of a way to add a number to your responsibilities, then add a statement of why your duty is important.  For example:

  • Compile monthly report and submit to manager for use in company’s monthly financial forecasting.

Quantifying makes the difference in an acceptable resume and an outstanding one, so review your resume and quantify, quantify, quantify. If you need any help, just contact us. We’ll help your resume look exceptional!

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

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.

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LinkedInWe get questions all the time from clients regarding their LinkedIn profile and how to handle some uncommon situations. For example, if I’m unemployed, what do I put in my summary at the top? Or, if I want to change industries, do I list my current one or the one I want to get into? We interviewed our own LinkedIn expert Stacy Smyk-Santiago to find out answers to these questions and more… Thank you Stacy!

What do I list as my title under my name (in the profile box at the top) if I’m looking to change industries?

  • This is your brand and should only be your current title if you are seeking that type of position. If you are looking for something different than your current industry, list that position and industry instead. If you have concerns about your current employer viewing your updated profile, use key words in your summary that blend your current experience and skills as they are relevant to what you want to do in the future. Keep in mind, key words in your profile are more effective than a job title for branding and recruiters searching LinkedIn. So if you need to leave your job title as is, that’s ok.

What do I put under my name, in the profile box at the top – and in the summary section – if I’m unemployed?

  • Under your name in the profile box at the top, you have 2 choices: You can say “Seeking position as XX in XX industry”. Or you can list volunteer, part time or pro-bono work as your current experience.
  • In the summary box: List previous experience relevant to the positions you are looking for.

What should I say in the summary section if I’m interested in or open to relocating?

  • In the profile box at the top, you must list where you currently reside. If you are looking to relocate or are open to doing so, mention that in the summary section, being as specific as possible about your desired location. If you do not have a specific location determined, you can say “open to relocating.”


  • Be sure to list here the education you want to appear first, the most relevant to the jobs you’re applying for. One of our clients listed a Dale Carnegie course as his most recent educational experience and as a result, it appeared at the top of his list as if that was his only degree. Be sure to review your profile one more time once you save your profile information after entering it, to ensure it looks the way you want it to.

Summary info – can I make changes here?

  • This is pulled from what you enter in the more detailed sections below it and for the most part cannot be altered; however, LinkedIn has recently offered more flexibility in the arrangement of content under each section. For example, you can re-order your work experience so that the top position will appear in your summary box and first in your experience section.

How do I customize my public profile so it’s not a jumble of random characters?

  • To customize your public profile URL
  • Click on Edit next to the given URL
  • Second box in the right side column – click customize your public profile URL
  • Delete the random numbers and type in your name
  • Include your customized link as a footer in your resume.

Hallie Crawford and Stacy Smyk-Santiago
Certified Career Coaches

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

Categories : Social Media
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I very much enjoyed this Ted Talks from a CTI instructor whose courses I’ve attended, Cynthia Loy Darst. I wanted to share  this link with you. It’s an interesting perspective on our negative self talk, how it impacts us, and how to better manage it. Some may consider it a variation on the Taming Your Gremlin concept from the book by Rick Carson.

Hallie Crawford
Certified Career Coach

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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.