10 Job Search Tips to Keep Your Search Productive

These Job Search Tips Will Keep Your Search Productive Even During Covid-19

Many often say that the best time to look for a job is while you have one. But we all know that things aren’t always perfect. Many times we find ourselves having to do something unexpectedly. COVID-19 for many has proved to do that with the lay off’s and furloughs. Yet, life must go on, and the job search must continue. That job search can be a daunting task, and especially when we do not have one. Here is a shortlist of 10 tips that have helped many of my clients get back into the marketplace within just a few weeks. Note that during this pandemic, it may take a little longer, but don’t get discouraged; the show must go on, and businesses are still hiring!

  1. Get clear on your job search. Know what your ideal next step is and what positions interest you. Think about what is essential for you, i.e. money, growth, being challenged, culture, etc. (wants, needs, bonus).
  2. Polish your professional tools. Once you get clear on your strategy, it’s time to update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and also have a cover letter template ready to customize and send. No, this is not so 1989, cover letters are still required in 2020 even if they don’t ask for them.
  3. Make a list of target companies or industries. Having a strategy includes knowing what companies you want to target and industries that interest you. These will be your focus at the beginning and where you will begin your search. Remember where attention goes energy flows.
  4. Write out an action plan. How many positions will you apply for daily or per week? When and where will you start your search? What platforms will you use? Who will you contact and when?
  5. Schedule time daily. For example: Search on Indeed from 10-11 am, type cover letters from 11:30 am-12:30 pm, and apply for ten jobs from 2 pm-4 pm.
  6. Network. Use LinkedIn to get in touch with old colleagues and friends that could help you. Identify people you could connect with within your industry that may be hiring. Reach out to recruiters, email, and make phone calls, etc.
  7. Don’t forget self-care. The job search can be stressful. Take breaks, skip a day, go for a walk, exercise, journal, meditate, do anything that makes you feel good, and keeps you motivated.
  8. Keep the momentum. Consistency is key! Even when you are not in the mood. Keep going, and you will get the job eventually. It may take longer than you expected it. It may be daunting, but if you stop, you will lose momentum. Do not quit!
  9. Prepare for what’s next. Get your interview skills in order by practicing with a loved one. Be ready for an on-line zoom interview. Create a follow-up schedule (yes, you may follow up on applications). Have your thank you notes or emails available.
  10. Ask for help. If you need help with your tools or interview skills or a professional reference, do not hesitate to ask. People love helping people. Use your resources. If you do not feel comfortable asking for help, then hire a professional. Do not be afraid to invest in yourself and your career. You are not alone!

 

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How to Prepare for Job Search & Career Planning During the Coronavirus & Financial Crisis

These are indeed uncertain times for all of us amid this Coronavirus outbreak. It’s the topic everywhere…on TV, Radio, Social Media, etc. Everyone is talking about how we can protect ourselves, practicing social distance, all the toilet paper that is missing from the shelves…etc. But the truth is that this is the first time we all experience something like this, which is why we see all of the reporting, panic, and opinions.

Some of us may remember living through Anthrax, West Nile Virus, SARS, Human Influenza, MERS-Cov, Ebola, Measles, Zika, and Chikungunya, but none of those were Pandemics. According to my research from 1900-2020, there have been 5 Pandemics (Sources: https://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/country/usa/en/ & https://www.mphonline.org/worst-pandemics-in-history/) as follows:

  • HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC (AT ITS PEAK, 2005-2012): Death Toll: 36 million / Cause: HIV/AIDS  
  • FLU PANDEMIC (1968): Death Toll: 1 million / Cause: Influenza 
  • ASIAN FLU (1956-1958): Death Toll: 2 million / Cause: Influenza
  • FLU PANDEMIC (1918): Death Toll: 20 -50 million / Cause: Influenza
  • SIXTH CHOLERA PANDEMIC (1910-1911): Death Toll: 800,000+ / Cause: Cholera

As of March 15, 2020, YTD, we’ve seen 5,839 deaths from Coronavirus worldwide (Source:https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/), and from what we are all learning we will continue to see that number rise which means that we must do our part to keep our selves and our communities safe. We also need to prepare to continue with our lives and the changes that this may bring.

An area that is already being affected is the job market. With all of the events that have been canceled, the theatres, museums, and businesses that have closed, we see that the effects of this virus go way beyond a health crisis. In preparation, I want to talk to you about how you can prepare for your job search and career planning during these uncertain times.

We’ve all seen that many companies are now implementing working remotely because the business must go on. My gut says that as the weeks go on and the uncertainty remains, we’ll start seeing the rise of “virtual interviewing”. What does this mean? It means that if you are currently looking for work or looking to transition sometime in 2020, you MUST get your telephone interviewing and video interviewing techniques on point. This means practicing and getting comfortable over the phone and video.

The next thing we may also start to see is a slowdown in decisions because they may wait to see what is happening with the economy and/or they may decide they want to meet you in person before making a final decision. This is the time for you to be patient and communicate well on their timeline.

Here are some tips to make sure your phone and video interview go well:

  • Be aware of your environment – Get rid of distractions – they can cost you the job: Pets, Loud Noises (typing, etc.), People in the background, Messy Desk, or Background. Try to use a blank wall as your backdrop and do not do it in public.
  • Lighting – Make sure you have good light around your face and in the room.
  • Personal Appearance – Look professional from head to toe. You never know if you must get up.
  • Eye Contact – Always keep video at eye level and maintain eye contact with the camera. Edited 3/16/20: Check out my friend Ray Franklin’s new post “Look them in the Eye – A Primer to Improve Video Conference Eye Contact” the video tutorial in this post gives you some great tips on how to practice. Click on this link to view: http://www.stageamerica.com/audienceadvocate-blog/videocalleyecontact?fbclid=IwAR0e976jkfd3BijBaFs9Cq5vubPIjv_yRnMVtrHYhw7NcTXmerbNjsYXn_0
  • Seating & Posture – Don’t move around in your chair and make sure you keep good posture.
  • Camera – If your camera does not work well, then purchase an external camera.
  • Audio – Make sure your audio is excellent and, if not, purchase an external mic.
  • Connection – Try not to be on WIFI and connect to a hard connection.
  • Test – Ask what Streaming Service they will use and test it out.
  • Practice – Use Google Hangouts or Zoom to practice with a friend.
  • Notes – Use sticky notes on your computer screen for things you do not want to forget.
  • Be prepared. Be yourself.

The third thing we need to prepare for is what can happen as a result of a financial crisis. We’ve all seen the wall street rollercoaster this past week, and we have no idea where we will end up, but with all the closings and shutdowns, we could be heading towards a financial crisis. This, unfortunately, could lead to the restructuring of businesses and layoffs. We may not see this right away as this takes a little bit of time as companies come up with a strategy to restructure, but this is the time for you as a professional to make sure that you are prepared for whatever comes.

This means that all your professional branding tools should be updated and ready to go. This includes your Resume, LinkedIn, Cover Letters, and Interview Skills. You do not want to be caught unprepared and scrambling to put these together at the last minute. So, take this time to plan ahead and prepare yourself.

If you want to learn more about how to update your professional branding tools, check out this other article I wrote https://www.linkedin.com/post/edit/6636042944530964480/ or feel free to email your questions to vimari@beproductivecoaching.com.

Interested in career coaching or creating a career transition strategy? Schedule a complimentary consultation: https://calendly.com/vimariroman/free-consultation?month=2020-03

What Are Professional Branding Tools?

Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo.

personal brand is, in many ways, similar to a corporate brand. It is who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace, and how you express those values. So, as you can tell, having a personal, professional brand is just as important as having a company or corporate brand. Keep in mind that your professional brand must also be memorable. 

A lot goes into the making of a memorable professional brand. If you do not define your professional brand, others will. You can strengthen your professional brand by making sure you create a good reputation, networking, making your voice heard in meetings, and attending conferences. Beyond this, your professional brand must be able to make a good impression when you are not present, especially when you are looking to make a career transition.

These are documents you’ll need throughout your career. Tools you need to help you get to the next position. It’s how you show up on paper and online—the first impression. Whether you are looking to grow into the next position, moving companies, or make a complete transition, your professional branding tools must represent you as a professional. Think about what makes you competitive and how you want others to remember you.

There are three simple steps you should take to making sure that you are building a professional and memorable brand.

Step 1: Resume & Cover Letter: Recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. Make them count!

➡️ Resume: Think of how you can seperate yourself from the competition. Recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of 6 seconds browsing at a resume which means you must make them count. Focus on highlighting your accomplishments and write the resume for the job you want. One page if you are just getting started. Two pages for professionals with ten years of experience and three pages for C-Level executives are acceptable.

➡️ Cover Letter: No, this is not old fashioned. Even if they do not require it send it. Even if it’s a fast application online – send a cover letter. PDF your document to include your cover letter and send it as one document. A cover letter is where you tell the recruiter or hiring manager why you’re the person for the job. You compare their requirements with your skills and accomplishments. Show them you’ve done your research and tell them why joining their team would be an excellent fit for both. Keep it to one page.

Step 2: LinkedIn Profile: 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find top-notch candidates. Make your LinkedIn profile match your stellar resume and land the interview you want!

➡️ Let’s face it…we live in a digital age. LinkedIn is the professional site where recruiters and hiring managers go to learn more about you. Make sure you are present and control what others see online. Don’t make them have to Google you. LinkedIn is an extension of your resume. Make sure it aligns and make sure you utilize the space to tell them more about you. Get recommendations from others in your network, have a great headshot, and get creative with your cover photo, have it be relevant so that you can stand out. All of this is important and makes a difference. 

Step 3: Interview Preparation: Overcome your fears, refine your pitch, and tackle even the hardest interview questions. Communicate what makes you stand out from the competition and gain the confidence you need to relax at that important interview.

➡️Be prepared…be prepared…be ready. You can have a great resume, but if you do not back it up with a great interview, then it’s useless. Practice your introductions. Practice the questions that are difficult for you. Anticipate what’s going to be asked and get yourself prepared. Preparation includes having questions ready for you to ask the recruiter. Remember that the interview is for both parties. They are interviewing you as much as you should be interviewing them to make sure it’s going to be a great fit. Must I mention that you should look prepared too? What does that mean? Professional at all times. Pull out the jacket or suit even if the company is known to be casual. There is no such thing as being overdressed. Ladies, keep it classy and stay away from low cuts or too tight.

Once you have these tools in place, do not forget to keep them updated. I cannot tell you how many outdated LinkedIn profiles I come across. Imagine how many outdated resumes there are. Is your’s one of them? There is nothing worse than having to rush to update these tools when you are trying to put your name in for a position. Take charge of your career. You don’t have to wait. Be prepared at all times by keeping these tools updated so that you are ready at all times.

Need help with your tools or have a quick question you would like answered? Schedule a complimentary consultation: https://calendly.com/vimariroman/free-consultation

New Year, New Job! Tips to Updating Your Resume

Leading companies are adding new talent to support a digital operating model. To develop sharp insights using digital tools, procurement teams will need data science and analytics expertise.

Resumes: Why Your Outcome Is The Result Of Your Investment

I received a call yesterday from a new prospective client who found me on Craigslist….yes, Craigslist. It turns out that as I was exploring ways of getting new clients earlier this year and I happen to be selling something old on Craigslist when the thought came to me to place a $5 AD focusing on my Resume Writing and Interview Coaching services.

Why you may ask?

Well, I realized that not everyone understands what “Coaching” is and how it can benefit them but everyone does need a resume (not to mention most resumes are horrific – but I’ll leave that for another post), and I figured there could be a chance that people may look for this service on Craigslist. It turns out that I was right.

After a few minutes of speaking to my new prospective client yesterday, he asked how much it would be for me to write his resume and although my pricing is clearly noted on the AD, I gave him the quote. He immediately responded that my quote was higher than what he had hoped to “spend” but that he would have to end up spending it because he was in desperate need of a resume as he needed to apply for a new position the next day. I explained that he was not “spending” he was “investing” and I agreed that I could certainly meet his deadline and would not charge extra for that.

When I asked if he already had an existing resume that he can send me he confessed that he recently spent $60 on someone with an HR background to do his resume but when he looked at it the day before and printed it he realized what a crappy job that person had done (why he didn’t go back to get his money or revise it is another story). Before I could speak the words he took them right out of my mouth and said: “I guess you get what you pay for”. I could not help smile and reply “exactly”. I went on explaining that is the exact reason why the AD he read on Craigslist says “Don’t forget…you get what you pay for!”

Turns out my new client’s resume is actually costing him and upward of $259 because he didn’t want to invest in the first place. Why an upward? Because time is money. The time he spent going on Craigslist to find a new service provider, the time that he took to call me, the time he took to speak to me, the time he took to email me his current resume and then the time he took to answer my questions all have value. The question is…how much is his time worth? How much is YOUR time worth?

So, the next time you are thinking of making an investment in yourself think about this: “You get what you pay for!”

Interested in having me look at your resume or considering coaching? Book a complimentary 30 min. discovery coaching call by visiting my booking calendar and choosing a time that works best for you: https://calendly.com/vimariroman

Defining Strengths, Skills, and Achievements On Your Resume

In the last two years, I’ve been actively assisting clients in many different industries in updating their resumes. During this time I’ve noticed a trend that I am hoping to help with. Nine (9) out of ten (10) resumes that I review are missing the 3 key elements that make a resume: Strengths, Skills, and Achievements

As a courtesy, I just reviewed a past colleagues resume in order to provide feedback and once again, their resume was missing these three key elements. Hence what has prompted this post.

These elements are what will help you stand out from your competitors. Think of your resume as your brochure; your marketing tool. It must tell the story of who you are and your background but most importantly it must start with the “Why?“.

  • Why should your potential employer stop to read your resume out of the stack of 100?
  • Why are you the best candidate?
  • Why should they call you in for an interview?

To determine the “Why”, think your professional experience as it is relevant to the job that you will be applying for and ask yourself the following questions for each of the past positions you will be listing on your resume:

  • What has made me stand out at work?
  • What have I brought to the table?
  • What do my bosses recognize and mention that I am doing well during my annual reviews?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What are my natural strengths and talents? What comes naturally?
  • What strong skills do I have that my colleagues do not have or that are stronger than theirs?
  • What am I proud of?
  • How have I made a difference at my job?
  • If I am gone, how would I be remembered?
  • How have I contributed to the success of the business?
  • What schooling or training do I have?
  • What are some of the skills I’ve learned through my hands on experience?

After you ask yourself these questions you should have a list of top skills, strengths and accomplishments that you can incorporate into the body of your resume.

Now you may ask yourself, what is the difference and why are these three key elements so important? I’ll tell you why!

Strengths: Strengths are tasks or actions that you can do well and make you stand out from your colleagues. These include talents, knowledge, and skills. People use these traits and abilities in their daily lives to complete work, relate with others, and to achieve goals. Everybody has their own set of strengths. By discovering what your strengths are you learn how to use your natural talents every day so you can thrive in life and at work. Instead of wasting time trying to fix your weaknesses, learn how to develop and apply your strengths for success. To help you identify your strengths ask yourself the following:

  1. How do you absorb, think about and analyze information and situations?
  2. How do you make things happen?
  3. How do you influence others? How do you build and nurture strong relationships?

For example your strengths may look like this: Strategic, Focus, Communication, Development

Skills: Key skills are work-related skills that you need to do a job. Most often, you can find key skills in job descriptions. Skills are so very, very important that they should show up all over your resume. Not just in the resume skills section. There are soft skills and hard skills. When you’re deciding what resume skills to add, technical and other expert-level know-how should definitely get first dibs.

Certain soft skills, like those that signal leadership, negotiation, and communication skills, are great to add to your resume in moderation and where appropriate. But be selective. You want to be avoid being overly fluffy. Employers are looking for concrete skills. If they’re filling an engineering position, they don’t care how ‘outgoing’ you are.

The Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

What Are Hard Skills? Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify. Typically, you’ll learn hard skills in the classroom, through books or other training materials, or on the job.

Here’s a list of typical hard skills to include on a resume:

  • Proficiency in a foreign language
  • A degree or certificate
  • Machine operation
  • Computer programming
  • Accounting
  • SEO/SEM Marketing
  • Bookeping
  • Planning / Event Planning
  • Project Management
  • Data Analysis

What Are Soft Skills? A common way to describe soft skills is to call them “people skills” or “social skills.” Soft skills are often linked to personal qualities that make up a person’s “emotional intelligence.”

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Decision Making
  • Time Management
  • Self-motivation 
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability 
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Relationship Building

Achievements: This is the area that most miss. Remember when a resume mainly listed responsibilities? That’s a thing of the past. Responsibilities are job descriptions pure and simple. Today, employers want to know what you actually achieved—delivered based on key organizational goals. Achievements is what you brought to the table. How you made a difference in the organization.

What qualifies as resume achievements? Think about sales performance, increased team efficiencies, new policies, procedures, and systems … stuff like this.

They want to know how you performed—the results of your efforts, not just a description of your job functions.

For example: Replace such statements as “managed marketing department” with “optimized department by building a marketing team that focused on media needs and captured 15% more market share.”

Stand out and get the attention, promotion, salary, and recognition you deserve by not ignoring these 3 key elements and I promise you will have a resume that will be worth more than 3 seconds.

If you rather have someone help you and want to learn how I can be of assistance schedule a call on my calendar at a time that is convenient for you: https://calendly.com/vimariroman

www.beproductivecoaching.com

Resumes that make the six seconds

“When love and skill work together, expect a MASTERPIECE” Anthony Robbins

Are you ready for a new career or a better opportunity? Do you have the tools needed to get you that interview…that new opportunity?

A good resume can be hard to find; just ask any recruiter or hiring manager thumbing through stacks of them. To stand apart from the crowd in today’s competitive employment market, you must submit a document that makes an immediate impression. In fact, a well-crafted resume is your most effective tool for landing an interview and, ultimately, a new job.

According to quite a few studies, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. What does that tell you? That if you’re a job-seeker, it’s incredibly important to make those few seconds count.

Your resume is the most important document in your career. Job seekers are 40% more likely to get noticed by hiring managers with a professionally written resume. Today, your skills, credentials, and accolades must truly stand apart in order to get a second glance. Once you get beyond the six seconds it takes just another few seconds for a recruiter or hiring manager to lose interest and decide to look at the next resume. Your resume must sell your strengths, skills, and achievements in a precise and organized manner.

Following are some key “do’s” and “don’ts” of resume writing.

Do:

·        Do use action verbs as much as possible. For instance, instead of writing a passive sentence such as, “My company has provided me with five years of meetings and events experience,” write using an active voice: “Possess over five years’ experience in strategic meetings management.” 

·        Avoid vague terms such as ‘familiar with’ or ‘experience with’ — these phrases set off alarms to recruiters and hiring managers, who may question your actual depth of knowledge.

·        Be short and to the point. Use bullets. Avoid fluffy or redundant language. The goal is to communicate your abilities clearly and concisely.

·        Use a chronological format. Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Executives prefer work histories listed in reverse chronological order rather than grouped by skills or job function. 

·        Skills, Strengths, and Key Achievements: these are all different and your resume must sell and highlight these separately. Do remember to tailor your resume for the job you want and make sure that your key achievements and qualifications relate to the position. 

·        Let the job description guide your resume. If you’re applying for a position, and the advertisement for the job asks for candidates with ‘high energy’ and ‘experience with corporate clients,’ integrate those phrases into your resume. Many companies electronically screen resumes for keywords, so you can boost your chances of landing an interview by adopting any applicable phrases.

·        Be honest. Do not lie in a resume. People who try to outsmart potential employers by attempting to lie in their resume usually discover that the only person they have outsmarted is themselves.

Do not:

·        Don’t include a long, unrelated list of job duties on your resume, such as ‘familiar with XYZ design software’ and ’good with numbers’ if you are going for a marketing position. Instead, think outside of your job title and list only those skills that are relevant to the opening.

·        Do not make it too long. Do not include 20 years or history or 20 different jobs if you are a job hopper. Make it relevant to the position you are looking for and keep it at a max of two pages.

·        Don’t include irrelevant facts about your personal life: The fact that you enjoy yoga isn’t relevant unless you’re applying to work at a yoga studio. Only pertinent information — such as volunteer work or connections with professional associations — should be listed.

·        Email address: Do not include an unprofessional e-mail address in your resume, such as ‘onesexygal@gmail.com’ or ‘mrgq@gmail.com.’ Uses your name in the email address instead. 

·        Grammar, spacing and fonts: Do not overlook the little things. A resume that has typos, misspellings or grammatical mistakes and different fonts send the message to potential employers that you lack attention to detail. It is always a good idea to use spell-check and ask a friend or relative to review your resume for accuracy before submitting the document.

·        Once again, do not lie in a resume. The truth always comes out. Integrity is important and you never know whom that recruiter or hiring manager may know. You will also be interviewed and you need to be confident during the interview in order to get the job.

·        Don’t list references or write ‘references available on request.’ Hiring managers assume you will provide this information when asked. I also recommend you give each of your references a copy of your resume so they can more adeptly highlight your achievements when contacted.

Not sure where to start? Today, more than 60% of executives hire a professional resume writer. The best athletes have coaches to take them to the next level, so why wouldn’t you hire an expert to help you with your resume and interview preparation?

About the author: Vimari Roman is a Career & Leadership Coach who helps individuals achieve their peak potential and live a fulfilled life by utilizing their natural gifts and talents (also known as strengths). Learn more at www.beproductivecoaching.com. Contact at 786-340-3174 or vimari@beproductivecoaching.com