Archive for Career Transition

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
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www.halliecrawford.com – 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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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.”

Education

  • 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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LinkedInThis is an interesting new development from LinkedIn. Posting articles you have written is another powerful way to establish your brand in your field by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise to your peers and possible employers.

If you decide to leverage this tool keep these basic principles in mind:

1) Keep it concise – short and sweet and to the point. Readers online typically want to digest information quickly and articles that are easy to scan are more appealing than those you have to wade through.

2) Focus on 1 topic at a time, going into greater depth and specificity than broad strokes. This will keep your reader more engaged and interested and will better showcase your knowledge and expertise.

3) Take a stand. Don’t be afraid to voice an opinion in your articles. Be mindful that you may need to defend it, but put yourself in an employers shoes, would you want to hire someone wishy-washy or someone who has a thoughtful response to an industry issue. Read more here.

Hallie Crawford
Job Coach

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 : Social Media
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ResumeHere is a great report recently from CareerBuilder.com regarding the language you can and can’t use in your resume. This was also reported on the Today Show March 13, 2014 with several good points. Some of the jargon people want to use on their resume means nothing or tells the reader nothing. How many times have you seen or read a resume and not understood what the words meant – or felt like they sounded like fluff? It happens too frequently. When you are writing or revising your resume be very careful to avoid jargon. Ask a friend or family member to review it for you.

Here are some of the terms to avoid:  Go-getter (27 percent), Think outside the box (26 percent), Synergy (22 percent). Great advice… show them the results you provide, demonstrate how you are a go-getter or how you work well in a team, don’t just use the jargon. Read more from this report here.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

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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Mar
18

Sink or swim?

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New JobI wanted to expand on my recent video blog post about being thrown into the deep end at work because I’ve had this topic come up several times in the past few weeks with clients. And I was honored to be interviewed by Matt Jones again with Q100 and the Cumulus group of stations here in Atlanta. Having this happen to you, whether it’s a new job or a new role within your company – even a promotion – can be overwhelming and stressful. And it can happen to any of us. In some cases, we take a job even if we don’t feel completely qualified because we really need the paycheck. In other cases we may have sold ourselves too well. One of the toughest things about this situation and you can feel completely out of control. You accepted the job, asked for it (in the case of a promotion or transfer) and it can be hard to admit you’re underwater. What do you do? Here are 7 steps to take – in this order – to manage the situation as best as you can.

  1. Don’t panic. First, don’t freak out. And don’t assume you can’t do the job. Take a step back, analyze the situation and think about what’s going on. Is it a lack of manpower, lack of training or lack of process that’s creating the stress? Write down each thing that is the problem area so to speak and create a plan. Doing so will help you feel a greater sense of control again. And remember – they hired you, they must’ve seen something in you that can do the job. Step into it.
  2. Create your own training program. Define your goals with your boss and create an educational plan even if it will take several months to complete. Talk to your supervisor and your co-workers as well to find out their goals and how yours fit into their or are impacted by theirs. Then start small with manageable goals-for example, what are the top 3 things you need to learn in the next 30 days?
  3. Find classes, online or otherwise. There are so many free and low cost educational options out there, especially on the internet (Coursera.org. is one example). Prioritize what’s most important to your career path and your current position and start there.
  4. Manage up. If you are swamped, there’s a chance your boss is too. It’s imperative to manage up with your supervisor. Ask them what their expectations are of you and how your performance will be measured. When and how will you be evaluated? Maintain open lines of communication with your boss, suggest weekly or bi-weekly meetings, whatever’s appropriate.
  5. Take co-workers to lunch to learn the ropes. Ask for advice, learn from them. Pick their brain about who knows what or who is best to turn to in your organization for specific advice or help with things only people who have worked there for a while would know. Find out the culture of the organization and who to turn to when you need assistance.
  6. Go to HR to find out about education benefits. They may not have any but if you don’t ask, you won’t know. And they may be willing to help in some way or create a new policy to provide assistance. At the very least they could give you time during work hours to attend a course.
  7. Find a mentor. A mentor can be inside or outside the company. You can have more than one but no more than 2. Part of Tip #6 and getting to know who’s who in the organization can be part of your process of identifying a possible mentor.

Hallie Crawford
Career Coach

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!

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About Create Your Career Path

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.