Since more and more interviews are being conducted virtually, I have received countless questions from clients who are wondering how they should prepare, how they should act, and believe it or not, what they should wear! With so much having changed over the past year alone, I can understand their uncertainty. Here are some helpful tips to have you dressing your best:

1.) Dress as you would for an in-person interview.

First and foremost, yes, you SHOULD dress for a virtual interview – the same way you would for an in-person interview (which includes from the waist down). Dressing for your interview gives the impression that you are excited about the opportunity (while helping you feel more prepared and confident as you answer questions virtually). Dress for your success!

2.) Avoid any busy prints or bold colors.

Prints and bright colors may not appear as well as they do in person (and may even appear as something they are not), so avoid them altogether. Keep your attire neutral and pleasant to ensure that nothing you wear is harsh on the eyes (or can be confused with something inappropriate). Remember, YOU should be the focus of your interview – not your outfit!

3.) Dress up your workspace as well.

Though most individuals opt to use a standard background, if the person interviewing you is going to be able to see your workspace, ensure that it is “dressed-up” for the interview also. Feel free to have a few family pictures in the background as well as some industry-specific books you enjoy. Any questionable material should be removed.

Whether you have been searching for a job for quite some time, or have just started on your job search journey, my comprehensive training program here at The Job Search School can help you master your interview – in-person or virtual. With a personalized plan and approach, I have helped thousands of professionals land their dream job, and would love the opportunity to help you too. Feel free to sign up for my FREE Masterclass, today! What are you waiting for?

If you are looking for a new job, you have likely spent time researching how to write a resume. With so many different websites offering to write your resume for you, you may be wondering what you should do. As a leading Career Strategist and Job Search Coach, my opinion on this may surprise you.

There is absolutely no one more qualified or better suited to write your resume than YOU. Let me repeat that. YOU are in the best position to write your resume, no matter what the resume-writing services tell you. Here’s why:

1.) Share your voice. How can you feel confident presenting yourself to a recruiter or hiring manager when the documents they have read through aren’t even your own? No one knows or understands your accomplishments more than you. Writing your resume in your own words means you landed the interview yourself. There is no better feeling.

2.) Sometimes, resume services can be highly automated. Think that the content you are receiving from a resume writing service is 100% unique? Think again. Many of these services utilize the same scripts, merely entering your name, contact information, and one or two of your accomplishments. Recruiters and hiring managers recognize these resumes right away. They may receive several for any one job listing – which doesn’t exactly bode well for your candidacy.

3.) You can customize your resume for each position. Applying to numerous positions and need to make some changes? You can do so quickly yourself without having to wait on someone else’s timeline. This will help you get your applications in faster, which is quite essential when searching for a job.

4.) A resume is just a piece of the puzzle. To have your resume entirely rewritten can be incredibly expensive and only pertains to one part of your job search. A job search isn’t just about your resume – it is about searching strategically, networking effectively, knowing how to prepare for an interview, and negotiating your salary.

Here at the Job Search School, I provide my clients with resume templates that are easily customized for each position. My comprehensive training program has helped thousands of job seekers land their dream job, by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to succeed. You can take your career to the next level. Learn how by signing up for my FREE masterclass, today!

“How did you become a Job Coach?” is a question my clients typically ask, wondering how I transitioned into this career as they look to make a transition of their own. You see, I had lost my job in 2009 due to the housing crash. My background was within property management and interior design. I had quite the impressive resume, and thought landing a new job would be a breeze. Truth be told, it was not. I spent hours each day sending out application after application, with no response.

Even though I was highly qualified for the positions I was applying to, I did not understand how the job search and application process had changed. After sending out what felt like hundreds of applications, I realized that this wasn’t working. I had to make a change. 

I decided to learn all I possibly could about the job search process: how recruiters source talent, how companies sort applications, how employees should position themselves, etc. I attended conferences, spoke with hundreds of hiring managers and recruiters, and studied all the materials I could possibly get my hands on. 

Turns out, the way I was conducting my job search was wrong, and as soon as I made the necessary changes, calls for interviews came pouring in. That’s when I knew I was on to something.

You see, if I couldn’t land an interview, I knew others couldn’t either, so why not find a way to help them? More than 10 years and thousands of clients later, I can say without question that my comprehensive training program works, and I couldn’t be any prouder. 

They say that you should find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life, and it’s true. I love my job. If you are looking to transition into a new industry, I want to encourage you to take that next step. It can be scary to branch out into the unknown, but I can tell you first-hand that the journey is worth it. Here’s how I suggest you move forward:

1.) See a need and fill it.

I recognized that people may not know how to search for a job since the landscape continues to change, and are likely looking for some guidance and direction (I sure was). For you, it could be recognizing an industry that is growing, or a field that is about to boom. Once you recognize that need, determine what it is you can do to meet it.

2.) Focus on transferable skills.

My background was not in career coaching, resume writing, head hunting, etc., but I did have transferable skills that I knew would be beneficial, such as client relations, customer service, operations management, marketing, communications, business development, research, project management, and team leadership.  You have skills that are transferable, too. Think about your “soft” skills and figure out how you can use them to promote your ability to transition into something else.

3.) Gain experience.

I took my transferable skills and immersed myself within the material, building a successful team and business. You can do the same. Take advantage of opportunities to learn all you can. Sign up for various courses, and consider taking on a volunteer or internship opportunity if applicable. The more you know, and the more connections you can make, the easier your transition will be.

If you would like more information on how to position yourself for a transition, my comprehensive training program here at the Job Search School can show you how to do just that. With a personalized plan and approach, I will be with you every step of the way, cheering you on to the finish line.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” You CAN do this, and you will. Once you do, you will be so glad that you did. I certainly am. Contact me today. Your dream job is waiting!

You’re in the final stretch! With the interview almost complete, you feel you have done your very best. You showcased your accomplishments, provided seamless responses, and appeared to have built a positive rapport with the hiring manager. You’re feeling confident, to say the least, until she asks if you have any questions.

While you may have entered with a few, they seem to have all been covered. Your mind goes blank, and you start to feel a bit unsure. Not asking any question or the “right” question could reflect poorly on your performance. You politely let the hiring manager know that she was more than thorough and if you do think of any, you will reach out…still. You can’t help but think that you missed an opportunity.

The good news is, all is not lost. We’ve all been there, unsure of what to ask or say. And, while a positive interview isn’t going to be thrown out the window due to the lack of a question, it can be further enhanced by asking the right one.

But asking a question during an interview goes beyond just the impression you make. I want you to remember something… During an interview, you aren’t just there for the company to see if you’re a fit for the role. You’re there to see if the company is a fit for YOU. This is YOUR opportunity to decide whether you WANT to work for this company or not. You are essentially interviewing each other. Asking pointed questions is a key part of that. Here are the top 3 questions you can ask, and why.

1.) How would you describe your company’s culture?

Does the answer align with your personal values? For example, if you have young children at home, you may be looking for a family-oriented culture, where flexible, work-at-home days prevail, and babies on laps during Zoom calls are the norm. Or you may be just out of college or nearing retirement, and searching for a more formal atmosphere. You want to be a part of a company that you feel comfortable in.

2.) What are some of the qualities you think of when you recall your top employees – past or present?

This will not only show you what the hiring manager is searching for, but it will also provide you with some serious insight. If the manager describes the work culture as “extremely family-friendly” but goes on to say her best employee was the one that stayed late and came in on weekends, that wouldn’t exactly align with what you were told. Watch out for red flags…

3.) Can you tell me what projects you foresee me working on (if I were to be selected for this role), and what you hope to achieve?

Visualize yourself within the position. Do the responsibilities associated with the role line up with the job description, your skillset, and what you have been told? The answer to this question will allow you to set a realistic expectation, helping you to mentally (and technically) prepare.

Interviews can be tricky. If you are just starting out on your job search journey, or are well on your way, my comprehensive training program here at The Job Search School can help. Sign up for my free Masterclass today… Your dream job is waiting!

Congratulations! You have just graduated from college or are looking to break into a new and exciting field. The only problem? The entry-level positions you are finding require experience… but you (obviously) don’t have any! Frustrating to say the least. While it may feel as if you are hitting roadblock after roadblock, there are opportunities IF you know how to find them.

Here are 3 simple things you should do:

1.) Sell your soft skills, and think long and hard about your previous experience (you likely have more than you think).

Most entry-level positions require some basic “soft skills” to navigate daily tasks, such as customer service, communication ability, MS Office, light sales, teamwork, analysis, phone skills, problem-solving… you get the picture. Optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight these skills, so that you are a front-runner.

Also, think about your “previous” experience. Did you contribute to a research assignment? Did you find ways to improve processes while assisting an organization or club? Did you increase participation, donations, or community engagement for a non-profit or school event? Though you may not have been “paid” for these accomplishments, they do qualify as experience and can be listed as such.

2.) Network: Online, in-person, at a birthday party… Wherever you are!

I know what you are going to say… “Ugh, I can’t stand networking”. And believe me, I get it; but, to successfully market and sell yourself – you MUST learn how to network effectively. I think that one of the reasons networking conjures up such a negative emotional response is that people often overthink it, feeling pressured to perform. I encourage you to change your thought process. Networking is simply making natural connections with others, which is something you and I do each day.

Practice a short pitch in which you describe what your background is and what it is you are interested in doing. Nothing long or overly scripted; keep it concise and casual. For example, “I just graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Communications and Marketing, and I am really interested in learning and growing within an organization. A non-profit would be ideal.” Boom. Not so difficult is it?

I recommend connecting with individuals via LinkedIn, and finding in-person and online networking events and conferences to share your “pitch”. And remember, you can express your career interests wherever you go—whether it be at a child’s birthday party, at the local dog park, at a church gathering—you are not limited to speaking at formal, professional events only. Countless positions are filled because someone knows someone else… Put your feelers out there and connect away!

3.) Find an internship or volunteer opportunity… That’s right. Work for FREE!

You need the experience to get a job, but you do not feel you have the right experience for your industry. Find an internship or volunteer opportunity through your school, or by contacting an organization directly, and offer your services for a limited number of hours per week. You will not only build hands-on experience within your field but will make additional connections that can provide a clear career path.

I remember one client who graduated with a degree in Political Science and didn’t know where to go or what to do. She ended up interning for a State Senator (by simply calling and asking if she could), stuffing envelopes and answering phones while working at Target. Within 3 months, she was offered a part-time position, and then a full-time position 6 months later. In just under a year, she was serving as a Legislative Aide and was given the green light to create and direct that Senator’s internship program moving forward.

In the words of Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” By selling your soft skills, expanding what you consider to be work history, seeking opportunities to connect with others, and offering your services on a volunteer basis, you will gain the experience and exposure necessary to get your foot in the door.

Wishing you a wonderful start and a successful career!

Over the course of my career, I have interviewed hundreds of recruiters and hiring managers. Regardless of their work style or industry, they each have red flags they look for in a resume that almost always result in a hard pass. Here are the top 5:

1.) The candidate has no long-term positions.

If you have been at each of your jobs for less than a year – sometimes even less than a few months, recruiters will automatically assume you are a job hopper that is looking to get ahead too quickly, or that you are a poor performing employee. There are a few exceptions to this, as some industries (such as manufacturing) are known for hiring short-term, contract-based positions. However, those industries are far and few between, so if you have many different positions on your resume, you may want to reconsider searching for a new job, and stay exactly where you are for a longer period of time. 

2.) The dates and positions provided by the candidate are inconsistent with their application, LinkedIn profile, or background check.

When dates and titles listed on your resume do not align with your LinkedIn profile, your application, or your background check, recruiters will almost immediately assume you are trying to hide something and simply move on to the next candidate. Honesty is always the best policy, and the only way to ensure that all your information is consistent across platforms. Do not try to inflate your titles or stretch your dates. Recruiters and hiring managers understand that it takes time to find a new job, so if you have gaps, be prepared and comfortable speaking about them.

3.) There are numerous grammatical errors, with a lack of consistency or attention to detail.

Listen, everyone has a typo hear or there (catch that?), but if your resume has a plethora of grammatical and spelling errors, it is a big turn-off. Do note, if English is your second language or the type of high grammar that is required for a resume is not your forte – you can always have a friend, family member or editor review the information for content accuracy. In fact, I strongly encourage you to, no matter what your background is. Two sets of eyes are better than one!

4.) The resume is missing a personalized touch.

One recruiter told me that they had three candidate resumes come through that were basically the same since they each copied and pasted the job description, verbatim. It showed a lack of personalization, and while it was pulled by the ATS, was shot down immediately. While there is nothing wrong with using a job description for direction (as you should ensure your resume is customized), plagiarism is never okay. Take the time to describe your skills and accomplishments in your own words, using the job descriptions for guidance only.

5.) The candidate is arrogant. 

It is one thing to draw attention to your accomplishments, but it is another to be boastful. For example, check out the difference between these two statements:

– Developed a sales strategy that targeted new customers and increased market share, growing revenue by 25% 4Q.

– Lead the best team in the company’s history, taking over from an underperforming manager to maximize sales by 25%.

One is straightforward, the other is well – not very nice! Be proud of your achievements, but not condescending.

If you are having trouble writing your resume, my Perfect Resume Builder Course can show you exactly what you need to do to get past the ATS systems and through to the recruiters and hiring managers. My program provides an ATS-friendly template, tips, and tricks to quickly customize your resume, my personal review, and much, much more. 

Feel free to contact me today. Your dream job is waiting!

2020 was quite the year, wasn’t it? Who would have thought a pandemic would sweep the nation, changing what seems like every aspect of daily life. Over 35M Americans filed for unemployment benefits when COVID-19 hit its peak per the NY Times, causing great economic uncertainty, and over an 8.4M jobs loss. Thankfully, now that businesses are in the process of safely reopening, more and more people are heading back to work — a relief for everyone! And unemployment numbers have edged down to 6%!

The economy is picking back up and companies are hiring, and I have had countless clients ask me what is changed… Heck, it seems as if there is a new normal to everything now, so I understand their concern. While the job market in and of itself was only put on hiatus and is expected to come back strong, the coronavirus has in fact shed some light on various skills employers deem essential as they move forward. Here are the top 5:

1.) Change Management

Adaptability is the willingness to confront and change your own ideas and preconceptions, while flexibility is the willingness to act based on those changes. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that both are necessary for businesses and organizations to navigate highly competitive marketplaces, so the ability to handle and manage change key. 

2.) Technical Aptitude

Being able to hop online to conduct meetings and submit forms is vital to ensure operations run seamlessly (especially if a second wave takes place in the fall). I fully expect employers to continue to have their staff work from home on a full-time, part-time, or hybrid basis. As such, the need for a working knowledge of digital platforms is a must.

3.) Creative Ideas

It is only through unique concepts, compelling designs, and the ability to view standard, “comfortable” processes in ways that make them even better, that we can change and shape what life will be for each one of us. Expect companies, our country, and the world at large to seek those with innovative, creative ideas that will change the “status quo”.

4.) Data Literacy

This is not only due to current events. The importance of data analysis within finance, consumer trends, risk, etc… were all growing fields. Now, after the coronavirus, I am certain that the need to analyze data to make informed business decisions will be in demand. If data is not your strong suit, I encourage you to take some basic courses that are readily available online.

5.) Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion will continue to be important in 2021 and this sort of training should be a priority for any organization with productivity, profits, and success in mind. This is no longer just a compliance matter as emotionally intelligent and fair organizations dominate their business competitors.  By respecting a diverse workforce and promoting this type of culture, companies find that they have more engaged and loyal employees. This will be the next normal for business models.

These skills have always been important, but now, as the world begins to open the doors, they are what I believe employers will be looking for. By remaining open to change, up to date with technology, innovative, data literate, and equitable, you can approach your job search post-COVID with confidence.

Go get ‘em!

Ah – the question that is on every job seeker’s mind! I understand why this is such a challenging topic—it’s the most important, and can be a dealbreaker for many. So, when asked about your salary requirements, here’s what I recommend you do:

1.) Research extensively.

Websites such as Careerbuilder, Glassdoor, Pay Scale, Indeed, and LinkedIn have salary estimates listed based on position title, length of experience, company size, and general location. They are quite accurate, obtaining their information from job seekers (just like you) who input their salary on the condition of anonymity. They then combine those figures with the latest data, generating an assessment for your review. Doing some research will not only provide you with an approximate amount you should be paid, but it will help you set reasonable expectations in case the salary you were hoping for is substantially more than what is being offered.

2.) Let the recruiter or hiring manager take the lead.

It is important that you allow the hiring manager or recruiter to bring up salary first, not the other way around. When asked what your desired salary is, I recommend flipping the question–asking if they are permitted to share the range they are working with. For example, “My salary is negotiable, depending upon the responsibilities associated with the role. Would you mind sharing the amount that is budgeted for this position?” This will prevent you from selling yourself short and putting it back in their court.

3.) Know that there are other factors to consider.

While everyone becomes hyper focused on the amount they will be paid, do remember that there are other factors to consider. Comprehensive medical benefits, a 401k match, and PTO are each a significant part of your compensation package. A salary offered may be slightly lower than expected, but the company may cover health care premiums 100%, or offer generous PTO. Schedule flexibility, work from home capabilities, volunteer opportunities, etc. should all weigh heavily when making your decision.

4.) Be ready to answer, and honest when you do.

It is important to offer a realistic, and honest range when you do answer. There is usually some wiggle room when it comes to PTO, scheduling flexibility, or even the salary itself, providing you are direct (and fair) when communicating your needs. But never start negotiating until you have a firm offer in hand. 

So do your salary research and have realistic expectations. And understand this: To be able to succeed, you need to have a job search plan. This is where I come in!

Whether you are unemployed and searching for a new job or currently employed and wanting something more, my comprehensive training program will provide you with a personalized plan and a step-by-step guide to help you land your dream job. Thousands of job seekers have used my methods, with many negotiating salaries higher than they ever expected.

Contact me today!