How to Manage a Career Change Regardless of Your Age


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Switching careers can be just as daunting at age 30 as it is at age 50 but regardless of where you want to go next, there are viable steps you can take to make sure you land in your new career path with sure footing.

If you are not experiencing the job satisfaction you did when you first started out or now have a curiosity to learn and work in a new industry, it's never too late to make a career change.

Here are some things think about to help you discover what may be next in your career:

Dig Deeper

Before you move to make a big career decision, assess whether you want to change your whole career or if you’re just burnt out at your current position or company. Ask yourself:

  • Do I not like my boss? or am I not able to strike the perfect work-life balance?

  • Are there things I could do to make my current career more engaging?

  • If I get a similar role in another incredible company, would I want to take it?

Answering these questions will help you make a well-established decision before you take a big leap.

Research

Once you have decided you want to make the career switch, you have to answer a big question: What do I want my next career move to be? (And yes, I realize this sounds as easy as ‘go find your soul mate.’) Therefore, long before you quit your current job, you should: 

  • Discover careers that look promising to you.

  • Shortlist a couple of careers based on your inclination and liking.

  • Finally, select one where you think you’d be able to make a valuable contribution, enjoy your work and create an impact.

Create a plan

The next major step is to create a plan. To do this, make an inventory of everything you have so far:

  • What is the likely time frame you’d give yourself before you start your new career?

  • How should you go about getting the necessary skill sets and experience?

  • What approach will you take to get to know the people in the industry?

  • How will you approach jobs that will retain your current pay scale?

There is no dearth of opportunities out there, and once you have a viable plan, you can take daily action steps towards achieving your goal. It won’t be easy but diligence, guidance, and ambition go far!

Network

Since you are already a seasoned professional, you have cracked more deals, met more people, and know how the corporate business culture works better than any newbie out there. Use this to your advantage during your transition period and don’t be shy.  

  • Get active on LinkedIn and connect with acquaintances and colleagues.

  • Go through the stack of business cards you have and reach out to people in the relevant industry.

  • Ask close friends and relatives to introduce you to people who are currently working in the career you desire.

Get Credentialed in Your New Industry

This is a vital step to gather the required skill sets for the new position. Your current experience and credentials should be a baseline for your new career, but if necessary, you can add on to it by attending seminars and conferences that interest you. These will not only help you network with people in the industry but also learn the current qualifications and training that are most desired in your chosen career path.

If a certification or credential is needed prior to entering the new industry, you can work steadily to get the required components. Also,

  • Get training and certifications from reputed institutes. 

  • Take up a one- or two-year correspondence or online course through a respected university.

  • Volunteer time with non-profit organizations to get practical experience.

Apply to Jobs

The time will eventually come when you have to take the step and apply for jobs. If your completely shifting industries, it’s important to make sure your resume and career documents are targeted to your new career path. It may be prudent to work with an experienced professional resume writer.

Even with targeted resumes and cover letters, the chances of getting your foot in the door are always better when a personal acquaintance has referred you rather than applying online or from a job posting. So, when you apply to jobs in your new career:

  • Try to make a connection with a company employee to learn more about the position before you apply.

  • Beef up your resume with skills sets required for the position and target your career documents for your desired field.

  • Build on your experience and highlight your strengths to show you’re not only qualified for the new industry but ready to take on the challenge.

Changing careers may sound daunting but with proper preparation and efficient execution of a well-planned strategy, you will be able to gain confidence that this is the right decision for your career and your future.

If you’re not sure yet if you’re ready for a career change, reach out to Rachel at RVP Career Services to get a free copy of How to Know If It’s Time for a Job or Career Change at rachel@rvpcareerservices.com

How To Spice Up Your Resume Summary

Writing an Executive Resume Summary

As the old adage goes, “The first impression is the last impression.” This is definitely true for your resume. With less than 6 seconds being spent scanning a resume before a hiring manager makes a decision, your first impression will either land you in the Yes pile or the No pile.

This is why the summary on your resume needs to be hard-hitting to drive your brand—and what you offer the team—home.

When approached accurately, your resume summary will “wow” hiring managers and ensure that your first on their ‘To Call’ list.

Since you have just a couple of seconds to grab the recruiter’s attention, here are 4 things you can do to spice up your resume summary:

1. Incorporate results in the summary

As an executive, you’ve attained your position because you know how to get results — work that into your summary! An impressive opening, preferably in bullet points or a graphic, displaying your 2-3 strongest achievements and ideally including numbers or metrics are a perfect way to encourage the recruiter to read on.

Here are three examples on how to include numbers into your summary statements:

Think Money: Realized 20% cost savings by researching and recommending new internet service provider. or

Think Time: Reduced manufacturing time 33% to 60 days through machinery layout changes that significantly increased efficiencies. 

Think Amounts: Created 3 training programs for 1,400+ employees to ensure company-wide understanding of sexual harassment, anti-bribery protocols, and occupational safety procedures.

2. Use quotes

Quotes are a great way to show potential employers the respect and status you hold in the industry. These could be from emails, letters, performance reviews, LinkedIn or any other source. The objective is to select quotes that highlight the key qualities needed for the desired role.

If you’re applying for an executive or C-suite position, try to use a quote from the CEO, Board Chairman, or another respected leader in your industry.

3. Drop some names and tout yourself

If you have worked with well-known brands or respected companies make sure to highlight them in the summary.  You can say, ‘As VP of Strategy at Amazon, I helped the company XYZ’ or ‘During my time at Apple, I designed the training for XYZ.’  

Awards, nominations, and board leadership roles are also can be showcased in the summary section. Remember, your career documents are meant to brag about your accomplishments! This is your time to shine! If you’re uncomfortable doing that, working with a professional resume writer will help you feel confident you’re doing just the right amount of bragging.

4. Use relevant keywords

Keywords are vital for two reasons. First, they can help show you’re a good fit for the position a hiring manager is looking to fill. Second, if you’re applying to jobs online, they will help you get past applicant tracking systems (ATS), algorithm-based software used to sift and shortlist resumes even before a human eye sees them. 

Using relevant keywords from the job description will also keep your resume targeted on exactly the job you’re seeking. Use bullet points to break down a paragraph into your individual key selling point. Addressing the company's key concern, pain points, and the problem they are looking to solve will help show you’re the one for the job. 

A good resume summary will help you put your best foot forward!

Not all of the above strategies will be applicable or appropriate for you resume but writing a summary with the right components will enhance your chances for getting your resume noticed by the right people.

If you’re wondering what your resume summary should look like, it may be time to hire a professional resume writer! Book a free 30-minute call at rvp.youcanbook.me to see how RVP Career Services can help you. 

 

 

How to Digitize Your Personal Executive Brand

Digitize your personal executive brand

Building a personal brand today is not just limited to your business card or elevator pitch. To get in front of hiring managers and executive recruiters or to even be seen as an expert in your industry, you need to have a strong online presence that is thoughtful and consistent.

As a leading executive, your personal brand directly impacts the current organization's digital relevance. Along with social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, it's also important to leverage other online activity such as business forum posts, leadership articles, industry-relevant guest posts, press releases and more to build an all-round online persona.

In this post we'll cover three ways to digitize your personal executive brand and build a strong digital footprint:

1. Leverage Social Media Properly

It's just not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter handle and think that you're engaging on social media platforms. Real engagement means providing your audience with new, fresh content and always staying on top of your game. Beyond just making a post a day, or marketing a product or service, use social media to provide real, genuine value, which will elevate your personal brand and make you stand out to hiring authorities and industry leaders who often consort to these platforms for finding candidates and connections.

Here are two ways to promote your personal brand on popular social media platforms:

- Join a LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn Groups are an excellent place to meet key decision makers. Your main intention here is to establish your expert status by initiating a discussion, leaving thoughtful comments and contributing new and relevant content.

- Participate on Twitter

Twitter is a great place to convey the value of your personal brand and your position as a thought-leader and an authority in your niche. Leverage Twitter by posting original content, giving your take on industry-relevant topics and making sure to optimize your content so it's seen and read.

Remember though that your whole Twitter account is your personal brand, so posting irreverent, divisive, or inappropriate content will damage your brand and will come back to haunt you. Use common sense and post only what will put you in a positive light. Even engaging in strong ‘debates’ online can be damaging to your image. Be careful and thoughtful in how you interact online.

2. Create Your Own Website

It seems like everyone today has their own website or personal blogging site—and for good reason. This is an excellent way to build your expert status and leave your digital footprint on the web. If you don't have a website already, to start you'll need to purchase a domain name that reflects your personal brand. Your name would be the logical choice here. If that’s not available, find something that captures who you are and the image you’re building.

Next, do some research and choose a web hosting provider to host your website. These days there are easy ways to create a website quickly and stress-free. Squarespace is a simple, inexpensive, elegant platform that will get you up and running in a couple hours. If you don’t want to do it yourself, hiring a web designer will take longer and be costlier, but it’s another great option.

Once the site is ready, make sure to update it often. Blog regularly or hire a content writer to provide original content that is SEO-optimized with relevant keywords and tags to help it rank and attract traffic. You want your content to be relevant to your personal brand. If you’re blogging on your own site, remember to post it to LinkedIn as well! Utilizing the same content on more than one content helps you expand your reach and helps your SEO.

If building and maintaining your own website is not a viable option for you presently and you're not willing to make that commitment just yet, consider guest blogging on other relevant sites.

3. Get In The Media Eye

Attracting positive publicity and getting in the media's eye is always great for self-promotion. You can work with a media marketing contractor. There are a lot of independent marketing managers who work with individual clients and can help you build your personal brand by providing placements in different platforms such as radio, local newspapers, TV, magazines and online publications.

Also subscribe to HelpAReporter.com, a service that allows reporters to find industry experts in a wide range of topics. It’s an easy way to get your feet wet with the media.

Once you have truly digitized your executive brand, you'll differentiate yourself from other executives in your industry and stand out in front of industry leaders by conveying the value you'll bring to any organization looking to work with you.

An established personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, but consistent branded content and strategic interactions will help you gain a solid footing in your industry to be seen as an expert.

3 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn in 2019

Executive LinkedIn Profiles

Since the advent of the digital era, there have been exponential advancements in the way people find new career opportunities, connect with people, grow within an organization and discover new and challenging roles. 

Even though the traditional methods of hiring employees may have changed over the years, there is one common ground that remains the same: building relationships and connecting with people with similar interests is always beneficial.

Networking is important to anyone looking for new opportunities, and within the many social media platforms out there, LinkedIn is the most effective way to grow your network. 

Here are 3 ways in which you can leverage LinkedIn to your advantage in 2019:

1. Engage yourself in professional groups

The key to successful networking lies in building new connections and working towards maintaining the relationships. In order to expand your network, start by joining professional groups. Begin by doing an advanced search to identify professional groups that are relevant to your industry and those that are within your area. 

The next step is to slowly start showing your expertise by engaging in conversations and providing possible solutions and answers to questions that come up. This will increase your chance of connecting with the right people in the organizations that you desire to work in.

Ensure that you participate in active groups. If there is an absence of regular interaction online in the group you’re likely wasting your time.

2. Look for alumni associations with your university

It may have been years since you graduated but when you talk with any alumni, they usually have a soft spot for their alma mater. When you connect with a person on this common ground, they may be willing to connect with you.

Using the Alumni toolis one of the easiest and best ways to leverage the potential of LinkedIn. You can first follow your alumni college and later when you join the group, connect with those alumni who are working at the organizations and companies you are interested in.

3. Create a brand for yourself

LinkedIn is highly effective in marketing yourself as a brand. Similar to a marketing strategy for a product or service, you will have to create a strategy, and then continuously work to build your brand. 

Interacting with other members, commenting on their posts, asking leading questions and posting replies to queries are all great ways to strengthen relationships in your LinkedIn network.

However, it is important that your responses and communication are authentic as well as current. Posting videos on related topics and in your niche, and writing articles that are educational and informative are also great ways of getting your name out there. The more you post and interact with your network, the more you’ll be regarded as an expert and thereby build recognition.

Honing your networking skills both online and offline is an art and requires both time and effort since relationships won’t develop overnight. Approach each individual as a gateway to learning something new and interesting and in turn be willing to share and extend help to the other person.

Regularly making it a point to connect with new people will also ensure that you are abreast with the latest trends in your industry and within companies that interest you. It might just land you your perfect dream job which you might not have discovered otherwise.

LinkedIn was and will remain a powerful platform for professional networking. If you feel your LinkedIn profile is lacking, I can help! Email me at rachel@rvpcareerservices.com to hear about my services. 

Is It Time for an Executive Resume Refresh or an Executive Resume Rewrite?

If you’re contemplating an executive job change, you know it’s time to take a look at your resume again. However, do you need a full resume rewrite or will a refresh suffice? 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make the best decision possible for your situation: 

  • An executive resume writer wrote your last resume.

  • Your resume has been updated within the last year.

  • You haven’t moved positions since your last resume update.

  • You’re applying to a similar role from your last position.

  • You’re staying in the same industry that you’re currently in.

If you answered yes to ALL of the points above, a resume refresh is a good option for you. You’ll most likely be able to go back to the executive resume writer you used previously and get a refresh for much less than your original investment. However, be prepared for the writer to ask you pointed questions in order to make sure she has all the information she needs to make sure a refresh if your best bet. 

Answering no to any of the above questions means it is time for a full executive resume rewrite. If you haven’t updated your resume in more than a year, you’re looking to switch industries, or you’re hoping to climb the ladder, a full resume rewrite can do wonders for your executive job search.  

Regardless of whether you need a refresh or a rewrite, getting the advice of a professional executive resume writer is a great place to start. Their experience and knowledge will help you get started on the right foot as you approach your job search. 

If you'd like a professional’s opinion on what steps you need to take to make sure your executive resume is up to snuff, l encourage you to schedule a free 30-minute discovery call to learn about my services and client-focused process.

Rachel Vander Pol
RVP Career Services
(760)270-0275
rachel@rvpcareerservices.com
www.rvpcareerservices.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 4, 2018

 
LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER RECOGNIZED WITH 
TWO INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRY AWARDS 

Escondido, CA—Rachel Vander Pol, Principal at RVP Career Services, was recognized for two résumé writing awards this week by Career Directors International (CDI) in their annual TORI (Toast of the Resume Industry) contest. Ms. Vander Pol was awarded second (2nd) place in the Healthcare/Medical category and third (3rd) place in the Hospitality category. 

Recognition of this caliber denotes Ms. Vander Pol’s commitment to ingenuity, creativity, clarity, and visual appeal in professional résumé development, and further demonstrates her unparalleled performance against international professional résumé writers in this competition. 

CDI holds its contest each summer, conveying 24 awards from first to third place for eight categories, including Accounting & Finance, Executive, Healthcare/Medical, Hospitality, Information Technology, International, New Graduate, and Sales. 

Rachel Vander Pol is an executive résumé writer and personal branding expert for the C-Suite. Specializing in crafting career documents for upper-level managers and executives across diverse industries, she collaborates with her clients to ensure their résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles not only demonstrate what they've done in the past but also show and tell what they're capable of in the future. Find out more about Rachel’s results-focused career narrative process and client wins on her website: rvpcareerservices.com


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Why an Executive Job Search Takes More Than a Google (or LinkedIn) Search

Executive Job Search & Executive LinkedIn Profile Writing Services

With technology seemingly taking over the world, it’s no surprise that many people go to the Internet for their executive job search. Regardless of how many years you’ve been in the workforce, you are one of the millions of people turning to Google, LinkedIn, or Indeed.com to search for your next job. While these tools aren’t bad per se, remember that they are just tools. There is still some (old-school) heavy lifting you need to do on your own to land your next executive position.  

Did you know that 85%+ of open positions are never advertised, especially positions at the upper-management and C-suite levels? Yes, that means only 15% of jobs are actually posted to job boards!

Do you see why you need more than a Google search to find your next executive-level position? Here are some tips to help land your next C-suite position.  

No, You Can’t Just Apply Online, But You Can Use The Internet to Target the Companies You Want to Work With

First of all, remember the statistic above – the numbers don’t lie. More than three-fourths of jobs are not even found online – and that number increases when looking above the director level. So, while you may find some luck applying for jobs online, having that be your main source of your executive job search is bound to leave you disappointed. 

So, what can you do instead? Research online and network. There is no harm in using the Internet to research the company you’re looking to work for. Called ‘Company Targeting,’ this job search secret is a great way to find the other 85% of available jobs. While it is more time consuming than hitting ‘apply now’ on LinkedIn, it is well worth the time investment. 

Senior executives find that company targeting works upwards of 80% of the time, which is a much higher stat than being one of a thousand applying for the same role online. How is company targeting so successful? Good old networking. 

Yes, Networking Is Still a Thing and Yes, It Still Works 

Now that all introverts have all cringed, it’s important to remember what networking actually is and why it’s so successful. Targeting companies you want to work with begins with finding people you’re connected with who are connected with that company. And LinkedIn isn’t the only networking tool – in-person networking works also. 

It’s not about who you know, but about who the people you know know. Do you know the CEO of a company? Guess what? That CEO most likely knows other CEOs who may be looking for the skills you possess. You see, networking is not only about meeting as many people as possible, but strategically building relationships with influencers in such a way that they will vouch for you when needed. It’s building a track record with your network so they trust you and will recommend you to their peers.

Do you see how that could be more successful than applying to a position online? Yes, it’s more time consuming and involved, but 80%+ is a much better odd than 15%.

Use the Internet to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry

LinkedIn is a great way to network and target companies you want to work with, but it’s also a great way to showcase yourself as a thought leader within your industry. As a senior executive, you’ve risen to the top and through that trajectory, you’ve become a leader with your own unique viewpoint of your company, industry, and the business world as a whole. Why not share that with the world? 

With Linkedin’s publishing tool, you don’t even need your own blog. You can establish your credibility, show off your track record, and build an audience all within LinkedIn’s built-in tools. By drawing from your own experience, you have a huge opportunity to use the power of LinkedIn to your advantage and show your larger network what you have to offer. 

As much as I’d like to say your next executive-level position is just a single click away, unfortunately, that’s not likely. But with strategy, networking, and a little bit of time investment, you’ll soon be able to discover a whole world of open opportunities around you.  

If you’re looking at your LinkedIn profile and realize it’s not quite at the executive level you’d like it to be, I’d love to chat to see how my executive LinkedIn profile writing services can help you. To see what I have to offer, book a free 30-minutes consultation at rvp.youcanbook.me

How to Determine Your Ideal Culture Fit During Your Executive Job Search

Did you know that cultural fit is more important in predicting employee happiness and productivity and commitment to an employer than talent, skill or even experience. 

So even if an executive job seems picture perfect on paper, if the company's culture does not align with your values, goals and personal expectations, it may have a major impact on your long-term job performance and satisfaction.

But What Is "Company Culture" And How Do You Determine Your Ideal Fit?

Cultural Fit in Executive Job Search

Conventionally, company culture would be defined in the company's workplace policies, HR handbook and often in the mission statement itself. However, company culture is more latent and lies in the organization's behavior, beliefs, and values. 

In the mind of the job seeker, the term "company culture" often means something different. You could probably be looking for their work style, level of formality, transparency in communication, work habits, employee engagement, and personal growth.

In this post we'll take a look at how you can determine your ideal culture fit during your executive job search to find a rewarding executive placement that brings out the best in you:

Do Your Research 

In any job search, it’s important to do your homework. All that glitters is not gold, and no matter how rosy the job description looks, once you've done your research you'll have a better sense if the company's culture matches with your ideals and expectations.

The first thing to do would be to find out the core values of the company. Visit their website and read the “About Us” section. An observation of the pictures and language used will give you an idea of the kind of image they want to portray to the world. 

Many companies have pages on their website that talk about what it’s like to be part of their team. A fine reading of the job listings can also reveal what benefits they offer and how their employees experience personal and professional growth. 

You can also check out what people are saying about the company on popular review sites. Reviews by ex-employees, of course, need to be taken with a grain of salt, but if you do find a common thread, you’ll know what to watch out for.

Read recent press releases as well their posts on social media especially on Facebook and LinkedIn. This will give you some insights on what projects the company is currently working on and which direction they are headed.

Ask a Person on the Inside

There is no better way to find out what life inside the company is really about other than to talk with someone who is currently employed there. Approach this strategically, though. If you currently don’t know anyone at that organization, reach out to people on LinkedIn who are at a similar level that you’d be at the company. Start out by explaining your intent to apply and ask if they (or someone they recommend) would be willing to have a short phone call to learn more about the work environment and corporate culture.

A couple of politely phrased open-ended questions could be a little bold, but most people will likely share interesting tidbits about their jobs and companies. Whether you get to hear them bragging about their job or just complain, either way, you will get a feel of the work culture.

Ask the Right Questions During the Interview

Your interview is a great way to gauge company culture – or just flat out ask about it. Many executive interviews tend to be made offsite or in tucked away offices. If you have the chance, ask for a tour of the office. You’ll not only see the layout of the workspace (do they have an open office space or 6-foot tall cubicles?), but also get a quick glimpse into how people interact with each other in the office.  

In your interview, you can ask specific culture questions. Here are a couple things you’ll want to find out:  

  • “How are executives viewed in the company?” For an executive placement, ask how the executive team is seen by the other employees. Is there an ‘open door’ policy or is it an ‘us versus them’ mentality? If you’re looking (or being hired) to influence the culture, ask candidly if employees would be open to the shift or if it will be an uphill challenge. 

  • “How often do you promote from within? What incentives are in place for outstanding performance?” Reading in between the lines to the impromptu answers can tell you a lot about their corporate culture and what you might be stepping into. How do they treat their employees? Are they motivated—and rewarded—to succeed?

  • “Is there a social culture here?” It is also important to learn how close-knit the team is. Do they socialize regularly after work? Is the company open to changes in a personal situation by allowing remote work or fewer hours when such a need arises? This will give you an idea to the extent the company is willing to be flexible in supporting you or your employees’ personal needs.

Cultural fit is becoming a more critical aspect of the job hunt. Finding out as much as you can prior to accepting a position is important to your own success and the success of the company.  

Do you know that your current company isn’t a cultural fit for you? Or do you have a company you know would be a great fit culturally and a great next step in your career, but don’t have the executive-level resume created for it? I can help! Schedule a free 30-minute discovery call to learn about my services and client-focused process to make sure your documents are ready for your next career step. 

How to Approach the Modern Executive Job Search 

Photo by  Hunters Race  on  Unsplash

Millennials are getting a lot of attention because they’re considered “job hoppers,” only staying in a position for a year or two. And while it’s true that more seasoned workers generally stay at jobs longer than younger ones, these days, few workers retire from the same job they’ve held their entire career. 

In fact, research from the United States Department of Labor’s Current Population Survey found that workers have been with their current employer for a median of 4.6 years. 

When you haven’t looked for a job in a while, a job search—especially an executive-level job search—can be intimidating. One of the biggest things to consider is how much the ways to go about finding a job have changed since the last time you looked for a new position. 

Regardless of whether you’ve been an executive at several companies or have worked your way up the ranks at the same company, how employees find new jobs is an ever-changing environment.  

How Executive Job Search Has Changed

Think about how much your life has changed in the past few years. Remember what your life was like the last time you searched for a job. If it was 15 years ago, flip phones were the rage. The iPhone wasn’t even introduced until June 2007. Google started working on the self-driving car in 2009. If you think back to how much has changed in your life since the last time you looked for a new job, it’s no wonder that the job search has changed as well.

Whatever your reason for making a change now, you will find lots of conflicting advice online about résumés and the job search. Some articles will tell you that the résumé is dead and Google or LinkedIn are the “new résumé.” That’s not entirely true. The vast majority of recruiters and hiring managers still rely on résumés in the hiring process. 

And from your—the executive jobseeker’s perspective—the work you do with a professional executive résumé writer is instrumental in identifying the specific value you have to offer to a prospective employer. This valuable content will also populate your LinkedIn profile. So even in the changing digital landscape, you will need a résumé and a LinkedIn profile or some other type of online presence.

Speaking of LinkedIn, it can be an important job search tool, helping you be found online by recruiters and hiring managers looking for someone with your specific skills and experience. A “complete” LinkedIn profile — that includes a current photo, targeted Headline, succinct Profile, and full content in the Experience, Education, and Skills sections — is important. But it still doesn’t replace the résumé, especially in the executive realm.

The Modern Executive Résumé

While the need for an executive résumé hasn’t changed, the résumés themselves have changed. The old “objective” statement at the top of the résumé has been replaced with an “executive summary” or “qualifications profile” that immediately showcases who you are and what you have to offer a prospective employer. Objective statements were about what you wanted; the new summary is about what you can do for the employer. 

The days of the “generic” résumé are also gone. Instead, your résumé must be specifically targeted. A résumé that is not tailored towards a specific type of position is a “career obituary” and tells the story of the past — not the potential you have to offer to a prospective employer and how your specific experience, education, and skills can benefit the company or organization.

An interview-winning executive résumé spells out the specific value you offer the prospective employer without including additional, irrelevant experience. To create such a document, it is important to understand the specific needs of that particular role — and, in many cases, tailoring the résumé for the needs of a specific company. 

If you'd like to learn how I can develop an interview-winning executive résumé for you, l encourage you to schedule a free 30-minute discovery call to learn about my services and client-focused process.

The Top 7 Job Search Mistakes Jobseekers Are Making

Job Search Mistakes Resume Writing

Starting a job search can be intimidating and overwhelming. But if you’re not sure if you’re even doing it right, you may feel like you’re spinning your wheels.

Fret no more! Here is a list of the top 7 mistakes jobseekers are making in their job search. Are you making any of them? Chances are, you’re making at least one or two — if not more! Go through this checklist and mark which mistakes you’re currently making — and then follow the suggestions to learn how to stop making that job search mistake!

Top 7 Job Search Mistakes

[ 1 ]   Looking for a Job.

Wait, I shouldn’t look for a job? Don’t just look for a job — look for a career. A calling. What are you meant to do? How can you use your skills, education, and experience for maximum benefit? You may not see that position advertised in a job posting. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. What kinds of problems could you solve for a company? What kind of company needs those problems solved? Investigate how you could solve that problem for that kind of company.

[ 2 ]   Not Targeting Your Job Search.

What kinds of jobs are you interested in? What kind of company do you want to work for? If your answer is, “I don’t care, I just need a job,” your job search is less likely to be successful than if you spend some time thinking about where you want to work, and what you want to do (and how to get there!).

 [ 3 ]  Not Making It Easy for an Employer to See How You’d Fit In.

Generic résumés don’t attract employer attention. Instead, you need to show an employer how you can add value to their company. You need to customize your tool for the job. You wouldn’t use a hammer to tighten a screw, would you? You can’t use the same résumé to apply for vastly different jobs — for example, an elementary teaching position and a job as a sales assistant. Figure out what the key components of the job are, and then showcase how you can do those things in your résumé.

[ 4 ]   Quitting Your Job Instead of Keeping It While You Find a Better One.

Maybe your Mom gave you this advice: “Don’t quit your job until you have a new one.” Mom was onto something. It’s controversial, but hiring managers and recruiters confirm that it’s easier to find a job if you’re currently employed. Jobseekers who have a job are more attractive candidates. Maybe it’s because unemployment can make you (seem) desperate. But study after study shows that currently employed candidates are hired more frequently than unemployed jobseekers … it’s especially tough if you have been out of work for quite some time.

[ 5 ]   Confusing Activity With Action.

Are you confusing “busywork” with progress? Are you spending a lot of time researching jobs online and applying for lots of positions? While it’s recommended that you spend at least an hour a day on your job search if you are currently employed (and two to three times that if you are currently unemployed), make sure you are tracking how much time you are spending, and what you are spending it on. Spend your time on high value tasks — like identifying and researching companies you’d like to work for, and trying to connect directly with hiring managers and recruiters, and having coffee with someone who works for the company you’re applying at — and not just simply spending time in front of your computer.

[ 6 ]   Paying Attention to Other People’s Opinions.

“You have to do this,” “Never do that,” “My cousin’s best friend got a job by standing out in front of the company wearing a sandwich board.” Everyone’s got an opinion about how to conduct a job search. Some of it is confusing, some of it is just plain wrong. Your friends and family can be wrong about how the job search works, and it might hurt your chances to get your dream job. Trust your résumé writer, and trust your instincts. Don’t believe everything you read online, and remember that one person’s opinion is just that — one person’s opinion.

[ 7 ]   Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results.

“I applied for six jobs and haven’t heard anything back.” Well, then something’s not working. Either stop applying for advertised positions, start following up on the applications you’ve already put in, or figure out a different way to connect with your dream job. It’s been said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different!

Did you know I have 20 more job search mistakes?

Were any of these job search mistakes a surprise to you? Comment below! 

 

 

 

Resume Writing & Job Search Articles

Job Search & Resume Writing Articles 2017

There's always a load of information throughout the month that you may have missed. Here are just a few of the best Resume Writing and Career Services content to come out in January. 

Did I miss any?

4 Things Recruiters are Looking For When They Search For You Online

https://www.workitdaily.com/things-recruiters-looking-online/

You know it’s happening -- Recruiters are looking for you online. But what exactly are they looking for? It’s actually not as bad as you think.

How to Actually Have Influence At Your Job -- Relevant Magazine

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/how-actually-have-influence-your-job-0

Key takeaways: Love, Serve, Excel

Take Networking to New Heights in 2017 - Skye Is The Limit

http://skyeisthelimit.ca/take-networking-new-heights-2017/

Update Your Resume. Develop a Tagline. Visualize. You can do this!

Three Reasons Why People Are Ignoring Your LinkedIn Requests - Work It Daily

https://www.workitdaily.com/linkedin-requests-ignore/

Put some work ingot it, and you’ll get there. It’s not as hard as you think.

Overworked? Join the club. -- USAToday

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/07/overworked-americans/9623504/

A large percentage of US workers say they’re overworked. Do you feel like you’re one of them?

A Bunch of Free Radical Ideas for Getting a Job that Beat Applying - Lou Adler

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bunch-radical-ideas-getting-job-beat-applying-lou-adler

Looking for another way to get a job without applying through the black hole of job boards? Here are some fun ideas.

Be Prepared for a Job Interview

Your resume did the trick and you got the interview! But the intimidation factor has set in and now you're freaking out. Now need to worry -- the fine folks at job-hunt.org have helped you out. 

Read this PDF to learn tips on having a successful interview. 

Successful Interviewing: What Candidates Need to Know

by Jeff Lipschulz

Is your resume not getting you any calls? Shoot me a message and let's see what we can do about that. 

Do Hard Things (Including Applying for That Job)

Do Hard Things (Including Applying for That Job)

It's easier for us to assume we won't get the job, nomination, promotion, bonus (or in my life, date) before we even try. It's easier that way, isn't it? But what possibilities are we missing out on if we don't at least try. Who cares if you're up against people who have been doing it a lot longer than you have? It will only take one person to see what you're doing and give you a chance.

Read More

Resume Writing Ticks & Tricks #2 :: Using a Resume Templates

Using a Resume Template, Resume Writing, LinkedIn Profiles RVP Career Services

This is the second installment of my Ticks & Tricks Resume Writing Series -- here I’ll discuss a Tick that will cause any hiring manager (or professional resume writer) to tick when they see it on a resume.

Read the first one: The Objective Statement

Tick: Use a Resume Template

It’s okay -- I know you’ve done it. You’ve googled ‘best resume templates,’ clicked Images, picked the one that looked the best and either bought it or copied it into Word. Or maybe you added the year into your search ‘best resume templates 2017’ to make sure you’re getting the hottest trends for the year.

You may have gone to the resume templates in Microsoft Word even. You just needed anything to get started.

I get it. We’re all looking for a jumping off point … or dare I say, a shortcut?

So, what are you to do? If you can’t use a resume template, how else can you get started??

Why is this a 'tick'? Truth be told, templates are boring and can be seen from a mile away. Resumes can have ‘Microsoft Word Resume Template’ written all over them. 

Using a template means you either can't be bothered, or are boring. 

And I'm sure you're neither of those things! 

Here’s the resume writing trick:  

Trick: Format Your Resume to Your Career (not the other way around)

Just like your career hasn’t followed a template, neither should your resume. Your career is specific to you -- and your resume should show that. Your resume format needs to be targeted not only to your career narrative, but also to the job you’re applying for.

Different fields allow for different resume formats. Creative fields are more welcoming to a layout that is contemporary and trendy; whereas financial fields tend to like more traditional. Your resume format should vary based on your industry.

By specifically targeting your resume to a specific job and even hiring a resume writer to help you format your resume specifically to you will help you stand out above the crowd (many of whom are using a template!).

Want to get away from using a resume template? Let's discuss your options. Schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with me!

New Year … New Job in 2017?

Time for Job Change Career in 2017? Resume Writing for New Job

Welcome to 2017. Hey, it’s gotta be better than 2016, right? This past year seemed to be a doosy for most of us, me included. While we mourn those we lost, kick off the dust of goals gone by and look forward to 2017, let’s be hopeful and proactive this year.

I’ve never assigned words to a year before, although I’ve heard other people do it. For me, personally, my 2017 looks to hold a lot of change (moving countries just being one of them!), so I think I’ll be clinging to the words hopeful and proactive.

But as a job seeker hoping for a new job in 2017, how can you also be hopeful and proactive when approaching a career change or job change? Here are a few tips:

How To Be PROACTIVE As A Job Seeker

Let me start out with a little story:

There once was a priest who wanted to win the lottery because he knew he’d be able to do so much good with the money. He’d be able to help the poor, build a new orphanage, and bring joy to many with the winnings.

So he prayed, ‘God, please let me win the lottery. You know I’d do so much good with the money.’ He didn’t win.

The next week he prayed the same prayer again. No winnings. And again he prayed, and again, and again. All without winning anything.

Finally, at the end of his rope, he yelled at God, ‘Why haven’t you let me win yet?!’

God finally answered him, ‘You haven’t bought the ticket yet.’

Wishing for a new job won’t get you anywhere. The chances of a job falling into your lap are slim (although it does happen), so you need to be proactive in finding a new job in 2017. Here are some tips to find a new job:

  • Update Your Resume: this is the most important one. You’ve changed, and the industry has changed. Update your resume to reflect that.
  • Update Your LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn is becoming more and more popular with recruiters. Research shows that 87% of recruiters look to LinkedIn first when looking for candidates.
  • Don’t Rely on Job Boards: Only a small percentage of jobs make it to job boards like Craigslist, Monster and Indeed. Instead, look at the websites of the companies you want to work for, or, even better, see the next bullet.
  • Network: finding ways to get your name out there is one of the best opportunities to be proactive. Put yourself out there with networking events, LinkedIn groups, and events. Bring clean copies of your resume with you to networking events.

How To Stay HOPEFUL As A Job Seeker

We’ve all been there -- you find the ‘perfect’ job only to not get it. It can be so discouraging. But do not lose heart!

  • Say A Mantra: Even the smallest affirmation can help get you motivated for the day, and your job search. Saying ‘I am worth it.’ Or ‘I deserve a better job.’ Or even ‘I’m awesome’ can help stay hopeful when things seems gray.
  • Be Confident: One of the best ways to feel hopeful is to be confident. You know what you’ve accomplished and how you did it. Now be confident enough to talk about it. Have your talking points readily available. Maybe even create an elevator pitch for yourself. This is a short statement that quickly and clearly illustrates what you do. Mine is ‘I write resumes that help job seekers tell their career narrative.’ Can you create something like that for what you do?
  • Do Your Research: Whether you’re targeting your resume for a specific job or preparing for an interview, be prepared with company research, answers to tough questions and, if possible, with a background of your hiring manager.

2017 is an excellent time to kickstart your career and find a new job. Even if you’re not quite ready for that, don’t you want to be prepared? When was the last time you updated your resume?

What will your two words for 2017 be?

If you’d like to discuss what 2017 can hold for you in terms of finding a new job or updating your resume, feel free to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with me! You can do that here:

Resume Writing Tick & Tricks #1 : The Objective Statement

Resume Writing Tips | Do I Need an Objective Statement?

I'm going to start a new series here on this resume writing blog called Resume Writing Ticks & Tricks. Yes, I mean 'ticks' because if you want to see a recruiter, hiring manager, or professional resume writer 'tick' include these things on your resume. But don't worry, I won't leave you hanging on what not to do, but include the tricks on what you should do. 

After all, if you want to tell your career narrative, you need to get rid of the ticks and get straight to the point of who you are and what you bring to the table.

Let's get started:

Tick #1: Include an Objective Statement on Your Resume

You're asking yourself: Do I need an objective statement on my resume? 

No. The objective statement is dated. Plain and simple. It's an old-school technique that makes the resume about you. In an objective statement, you're stating what you'll get out of the job. But you know what? The Hiring Manager doesn't care -- they want to know what you can do for them. 

Confused? Let me give you an example: 

Objective: To find a position that allows me to utilize my leadership skills and abilities while also allowing room for growth and advancement. 

That doesn't tell your career narrative, does it? Do you see how that's you focused? You're only out for what you can get out of the job, rather than focusing on what the company is actually looking for. Let's move on to the Trick ... the Resume Summary.

Trick #1: Include a Resume Summary Instead

A Resume Summary isn't all about you -- it's about what you can do to advance the company you're applying to. When you summarize your career in a short, yet powerful statement, you'll immediately hook the reader to learn more. 

Cross-functional team leader with 10 years retail experience and 5 years directing multilevel programs across a national brand. Leverages a diverse background in IT, business strategy, retail management and operations to execute business growth nationwide.

Can you see how that's different? Is that telling his career narrative? YES! It's focused on what he can do with the company. A hiring manager will see that the candidate has experience in team leadership, business growth and strategy. 

You may be asking, but doesn't that mean I have to target my resume for each job? 

YES! Wholeheartedly, yes! 

We'll talk about this in a future post, but targeting your resume for each job you apply for is essential. Hiring managers and recruiters will be able to tell, I promise. Take the time to target your summary to include keywords and power statements for each specific job you apply for -- believe me, it'll make a much better impact than a standard objective statement.

Confused or need some help in getting away from a resume objective statement into a resume summary? Message me, and I'll help you out! 

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Sunday Inspiration

Every week I check a variety of sources for some of the best articles on Job Search, Resume Writing, and Career Change. Here's what I found: 

Why Good Employees Quit -- Donn Carr (LinkedIn)

I have personal experience with this topic. I experienced #2 in this article's list -- I wasn't appreciated or recognized for my work. Believe me, that's an important issue! And one that drives many employees to leave their jobs. 

Do You Have What It Takes To Change Careers? -- Barb Poole (CDI) 

Changing careers isn't easy -- which is why I love working with people who are seeking to change careers! It take a lot of work, but is totally worth it. This article will help you see if you have what it takes. 

The Cover Letter Formula That Skyrocketed My Interviews From 0% to 55% -- Lisa Siva (The Muse)

Cover letters aren't about you -- it's about the company you're applying to. This article is full of tricks to make sure you're doing it right.

The 4 Pre-Interview Poses to Boost Your Confidence -- Fahran Raja (The Undercover Recruiter)

Because we can all use as much confidence as we can get! 

Take a look at these articles and if you have any questions, please do reach out! 

Want a free guide to 'How To Know When It's Time for a Job or Career Change'? 

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Feedback Friday

As the weeks tick by, I'm realizing I need to really get on a blogging schedule -- I will soon! More content coming your way in the coming weeks! 

In the meantime, here's another Feedback Friday! 

This client was a construction business owner for 25 years and wanted to transition into working as a project manager for an established home remodel and renovation company. After some work with him on his resume, I was so pleased to get this email from him! 

First interview and got a Project Manager job. Great company. They do customs and Street of Dreams homes. Thanks for all your work. Start tomorrow so better enjoy my last day of summer.

My Story

rvp.jpg

I talk a little bit about myself on my (not surprisingly) About Me page. But I thought I'd get a little more personal in this post today, as a lot of my story has to do with what I bring to my business.

I'd entered the corporate world as one does, right after college. I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, but I also wasn't exactly sure that this 'corporate thing' was for me. Sure, I wanted to dress professionally and stroll down the streets of Chicago wearing a perfectly tailored J. Crew suit, but the actual 9-5 bit? Yeah, I wasn't too sure about that. 

Ten years and a move to Seattle later, you've got me quitting my job and moving to Ireland. Yeah, quite the change! But my story, after taking a long hard look at it, had this written in it for a while... it was bound to happen, and 2013 was just as good a time as any. I decided that my love of adventure and travel was greater than my desire for a consistent salary and health benefits (that's the millennial in me coming out, I guess). 

But this didn't come from nowhere -- I'd been working with a great career/transitions coach (please do check Jon's work out at inaliminalspace.com) and through my work with him, it became clear that a move to Ireland was inevitable. I took the plunge in January 2014 and I've been traveling ever since. 

You're asking now 'but what does this have to do about resume writing?' Well, a lot actually. I wrote my first client resume out of desperation. As a freelance writer (to fund my travel addiction), I was taking any job that came my way... including an email from Jon about writing a resume for one of his clients. I said yes, then asked myself 'okay, how do I write a resume for someone else?' And before I knew it, I found a calling.

I loved helping this client work out her job history, pull out the things she was passionate about, and piece it together in a cohesive document to get her a job. And two years later, I'm still hooked. 

I'm now a member of two Resume Writing associations (CDI and NRWA) and am continually learning more and more about what it takes to get my clients into an interview at their dream jobs. 

So, where do I live now? I still live in Ireland, a country that quickly has become a perfect home base for my business. Funny enough, 99% of my clients are American and live in the States. The time change often means I take client calls late at night, or early in the morning. My clients enjoy working with me, even if it's not face to face or in person. In fact, some prefer it! 

If you'd like to know any more about my story and how I got where I am, please don't hesitate to contact me! 

Are you surprised how you ended up with the career you have? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear your story!