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10 ways to nail your next networking event (introverts welcome)

February 16, 2024

UGH. That guy. We all know that guy. The one who goes to networking events and is the loudest voice in the room. He has a stack of business cards to hand out, scans the room while you’re talking, and leaves the conversation after he gives his pitch, never learning one thing about you. I remember when I ran into THAT GUY at a networking event. I threw out his card and waited in a different line so I wouldn’t be stuck in an elevator with him. 

We know that networking is critical to career development, but most of us do it wrong. On one side of the spectrum, some of us are too introverted, scared, or worried about what other people will think. On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got THAT GUY who is too busy talking about himself to make genuine connections. 

Today’s letter offers 10 tips to tackle your next networking event, even if you’re an introvert and the idea of networking terrifies you … 

1) Research the event ahead of time 

What organization is hosting the event? Who is the contact person? Sometimes the event will publish a list of confirmed attendees - look them up in advance (it can make meeting new people less scary). If there is a speaker, contact them too and say you’re looking forward to the event. And look at that! You have made connections before you even walked in the door. 

2) Evaluate your goals

What are you hoping to get out of the event? (More connections? Meet the speaker? Learn more about your industry? Land a new contract? Get a new job?) Depending on your goals, that might affect who you speak to and how you introduce yourself. Set a goal: “I will connect with five people in the tech space before I leave.”

3) Practice your “elevator pitch” or 30-second commercial

Speaking of introductions, practice how you will introduce yourself to a new person. Consider your goals - what do you want people to remember about you? For example, if you’re looking for a new job, your pitch will include the types of jobs/industries that interest you. 

Try the following format: “I am an X with Y looking to do Z.” 

X = Your ideal job title (“I am a social media manager…”)

Y = Your skills/experience (“... with 5 years’ experience helping small businesses grow their brands…”)

Z = What you want to do next (“... looking to use my marketing skills in a large ad agency.”)

Practice your elevator pitch until you are comfortable and it just rolls off your tongue. 

4) Use opening questions to get the conversation going 

My favorite opening question is, “What brings you here today?” Everyone has a reason for attending the event, and this will help you find something in common with the other person right away. They will likely ask you the same question, so practice your answer ahead of time, too. 

5) Get a digital business card 

Virtual business cards work just like regular business cards, but they're even better. You can attach digital business cards to your email signature block, text the cards to a new contact, and generate a QR code anyone can scan with their phones. Some companies even offer a physical card that can be scanned by a phone, which is great for networking events. There are loads of options out there, but the most popular (and free) are Popl, Blinq, and Haystack.

LinkedIn is a great option too - you can make a QR code of your LinkedIn profile. It gives you the option to save the code as an image, which you can save on your phone and share at events. You can only create the QR code via LinkedIn’s mobile app, here's how: https://lnkd.in/eKX2E9JC.

6) Wear something memorable

Don’t dress in boring black like everyone else. Wear something noteworthy so you stand out from the crowd and people will remember you. You could choose a colorful jacket, tie, scarf, jewelry, brooch, or glasses. Later, when you’re following up with people whom you met, you can say, “I was wearing the red jacket” or “I was wearing the tie with fireworks on it.”

7) Attend the event with a friend

It’s easier to walk into a strange room if you’ve got someone friendly by your side. But don’t just talk with them all night - you’re there to meet other people! Help each other get acclimated to the space, then part ways and work the room. 

On another note, try not to stand in the corner and stare at your phone. It may feel more comfortable to you, but you look uninviting and it will alienate others. Only take out your phone to jot down notes or flash your business card. 

8) Take notes 

Bring a pen and a small notebook to jot down notes about the people you just met. (In a pinch, you can use your phone, but see item #8 above.) 

Try to remember at least three facts about each person. Write down their occupation, company, and any personal details they mentioned such as where they live, if they have kids/pets, or their hobbies/interests (people LOVE when you remember these personal details). You can also write down any physical characteristics if it will help jog your memory later.

If they gave you a business card, you can write these notes on the back of the card. You will use these notes after the event when you send follow-up messages, more on that in a moment. 

9) Practice active listening skills 

Does the idea of talking with strangers make you anxious? Just keep asking questions and let them do the work! People love talking about themselves, so ask them questions about their jobs and work - “How did you get into this industry?” ”How long have you been doing it?” “What do you like best about your work?” 

Maintain eye contact while you’re talking - don’t scan around the room while they’re speaking. Finally, use their name often in the conversation - people love the sound of their name and it draws them into the conversation.

10) Thank the organizer of the event

Find the person who organized the event and thank them before you leave. If they seem too busy or overwhelmed, send a message after the event is over. First of all, this is a nice thing to do because they put a lot of effort into organizing the event. Secondly, no one does this and it helps you stand out. Finally, the event organizer knows most of the people who attended and can be a great addition to your network. 

BONUS STEP: Send follow-up messages to the people you meet

Do this within 24 hours, while the event is still fresh in everyone’s heads. 

  1. Connect with them on LinkedIn and send a message
  2. If you got their email address, send an email too
  3. Remind the person when and where you met and mention something from the conversation: “We met yesterday at the marketing conference in Boston, I was wearing the red jacket and we talked about the most effective SEO practices for 2024.”
  4. If they promised to do something for you, remind them: “You mentioned connecting me with the hiring manager at Acme Agency in Boston, and I’m grateful for the connection!”
  5. BONUS: Include an article about something that you discussed: “I found this article about SEO in 2024 and I thought you’d enjoy it.” “You mentioned you enjoy chai tea and I came across this fabulous recipe.” 

That’s it! That’s how you nail your next networking event.

And keep in mind - everyone else at the event is nervous too. They’re not thinking about you or judging you, they’re just hoping for a friendly face. They too are worried about how they look, what they’ll say, and who they’ll meet. You’re in good company! 

To your success,

- Emily

 

How to use numbers in your resume 

February 8, 2024

How do you make your resume stand out? With quantifiable measures. 

When you add numbers to your resume and LinkedIn profile, you are quantifying your achievements. You are showing employers your accomplishments; you are demonstrating your value as an employee. 

This is all about show vs. tell: It’s one thing to tell me you're great at something, but it’s another thing to show me you’re great at something using numbers to illustrate your point. 

For example, I could tell you I’m a great career coach. Fine. But if I show you that I’m a great career coach because the average client gets a new job in three months with a 20% pay bump ... Well, that’s more compelling, isn’t it? 

Today’s newsletter is about helping you find those quantifiable achievements that you can list in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and job interview. 

STEP 1: Consider your past jobs

Make a list of all your old jobs and the tasks, responsibilities, and outcomes from each role. Then consider the following questions:

  1. How was success measured at your job? What metrics were used to indicate success? (Did you have personal metrics? Did your team have metrics?) 
  2. What was your department trying to achieve? (How did your department support the overall goals of the company?)
  3. Ask your coworkers and former colleagues for their opinions too - they might have more ideas.

Here are some ideas to get you going: Reduced turnover, increased click-through rates, shortened wait time, project completion rates, percentage of pitches closed, number of customers helped/number of resolved complaints, size of the budgets/projects, amount of money raised, increase in sales/profit, and reduction in cost/waste.

STEP 2: Ask, “How many, how much, how long, how often?”

Look at your list of tasks, responsibilities, and outcomes, then ask, “How many, how much, how long, how often?”

An estimate or range is ok, it doesn’t have to be precise:

  • NO: “Answered phone calls at the front desk” How many calls? 
  • YES: “Managed 100+ phone calls/day, relaying messages for 25 employees”

If you saved money or time, that is an important quantifiable measure:

  • NO: “Started a new filing system”
  • YES: “Initiated a new filing system, efficiently saving 10 hours/week in administrative duties”

You can also measure this over time: “Taught 200 undergraduate students across four classes” “Closed $1M in sales in two years” 

Use action words with your quantifiable measures:

  • “Created,” “eliminated,” “saved,” “increased,” “generated,” “dispatched,” “mobilized,” “spearheaded,” “transformed,” “mentored,” “oversaw”
  • Find 400+ action words here, and more useful action words here 

STEP 3: Find your SAR stories 

Look at your list of accomplishments from STEP 1. Write a short story using the SAR format

SAR stands for SITUATION, ACTION, RESULT and it’s a useful template to tell a story in a short, impactful way. (Incidentally, it’s also helpful to answer open-ended job interview questions like: “Tell me about a time when …” “What do you do when …” “Give me an example of …”)

  • Situation: Describe the situation you were in, the problem you needed to solve, the challenge to overcome
  • Action: What did you do and how did you do it? 
  • Results: What were the outcomes and the impact (on the company/you)?

Here are some prompts to help you brainstorm SAR stories: 

  1. Successes, impact, when you made a difference
  2. Issues you recognized and addressed
  3. Opportunities you recognized and acted on 
  4. Disasters you helped avoid or quickly clean up 
  5. Problems you solved
  6. Processes you improved
  7. Situations when you reduced something: expenses/waste
  8. Situations when you improved something: profits/workplace/morale
  9. Times when you failed and the lessons you learned 
  10. Other skills desirable by your target employers - what does your ideal job require?

The trick with SAR stories - keep them short! The entire SAR story should be about one paragraph long. Think 1-2 sentences each for the SITUATION, ACTION, and RESULT. 

πŸ’‘ Now apply the metrics you found in Step 2 to make these stories even stronger. 

STEP 4: Use ChatGPT for help

If you’re stuck on the preceding steps, ask ChatGPT for help. Choose a professional story from your past and type in this prompt:

  1. “Can you help me find quantifiable measures for bullet points for my resume based on the following story?” Then tell a quick story about your success at work. πŸ’‘ To enter a line break in ChatGPT, hit SHIFT + ENTER (if you just hit ENTER, it will submit your query without the story attached). πŸ’‘
  2. You can click “Regenerate” and/or modify your query to get different results.
  3. Here’s my ChatGPT query and response based on a SAR story from a job I had early in my career. 

And that’s how you identify and quantify your impact at work! Find these numbers and add them everywhere - to your resume, your LinkedIn profile, your cover letters, and your job interviews. 

To you success,

- Emily

 

10 steps to prepare for an imminent layoff 

February 1, 2024

Layoffs once again dominated the headlines in January. Every week, thousands of lives were upended by the news. If you have recently experienced a layoff, I am sorry. It is not your fault. I wrote a post on LinkedIn with advice after layoffs, I hope it helps. 

I fear we will see more layoff news in the coming weeks. I don’t think this is indicative of 2024’s job market, but the last vestiges of 2023. Companies overhired during the surging demands of 2021 and 2022, and as demand shifted in 2023, companies realized they overhired and pulled back. But we’re seeing some strong economic indicators for 2024 and I am hopeful for this year’s labor market. 

But what if you’re worried about being laid off? What can you do to prepare? 

Now, I’m a bit biased here, but I think everyone should be prepared to find a new job at any time, regardless if they’re worried about being laid off. 

I do NOT mean that you spend hours a week on job search sites. (Though it’s a good idea to keep an eye open for opportunities, it’s not the primary step of this process.)

Try these steps instead: 

  1. Keep a running list of your professional accomplishments and the impact you have at work (I’m talking about your Brag Book and Story Stash, and you can find them in the Resources section of my website.) This information is valuable whether you want a promotion or you’re looking for a new job.
  2. Find your original job description - have you done more than what was listed? That will inspire your Brag Book. 
  3. If you are laid off, you will likely immediately lose access to your company account. Start a folder now and stash all your work and impressive projects, so that you have access to them later. 
  4. Update your Linkedin profile and be active on it. Comment on other posts, write your own posts, reconnect with your 1st connections and make new connections - especially at companies that interest you. 
  5. Where else might you want to work? Identify five other companies that you think would be great places to work. Scan the “Best Places to Work” lists, search by your area, talk with your friends who are happily employed … then start following that company on LinkedIn, turn on the “I’m interested” button on their company page, and make connections with people who work there. 
  6. Reinvigorate your network. Scan your email and mobile contacts and make a list of people to contact. Check in with them, even if you haven’t spoken in years. I wrote a LinkedIn post with advice for reaching out to your network
  7. Evaluate your skills - are there any areas where you can improve? How about some upskilling? Can you take a class, workshop, or certificate program? (Can your employer pay for it?)
  8. Mind your budget - build up your savings and stock your emergency fund.
  9. Make doctors’ appointments - if you get medical insurance through your job, book doctor appointments you’ve been putting off.
  10. Don’t worry about your resume yet. Yes, a good resume is important to your job search, but so is a strong LinkedIn profile and a robust network. Too many people focus solely on their resume, so I say put it off for now and focus on the other nine steps. Besides, the work you put in your Brag Book, Story Stash, and LinkedIn profile will inform your resume updates. 

If you are worried about a potential layoff, be proactive about planning for a worst-case scenario - but don’t let it preoccupy your daily life. Keep showing up, doing a kick-ass job, and serving results that you can brag about to future employers. 

To your success,

- Emily

PS: Are you following me on LinkedIn? I regularly post about the job search. Here are some recent favorites: 

  1. Digital business cards 
  2. New LinkedIn features for job seekers 
  3. Commiserating about the job search (this one was popular) 

 

Five ways to protect your privacy during the job search 

January 11, 2024

How are you searching and applying for jobs? I hope you’re not using the big job boards like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, or ZipRecruiter.

There are several reasons not to use those sites, but here are the two big ones: 1) Outdated listings and 2) Scam job listings.

OUTDATED JOB LISTINGS

The job boards scrape real job postings from other websites and list them on their site. In theory, that means you see lots of jobs in one spot, right? 

Wrong. These job boards are not updated regularly, so you could be looking at a job description that is weeks old and already filled. Or worse, the job is a scam. 

SCAM JOB LISTINGS

These big job boards are not great at verifying business information so a scam company can easily list fake jobs. Why would anyone do this? To harvest your data. When you upload your resume and job application to these websites, a scam company can gather and sell your data to third-party vendors. 

🀯 Yup, let that sink in. These scam companies are taking advantage of job seekers and selling their data. 

Scam job listings are everywhere nowadays - I’m even spotting some on LinkedIn. A few weeks ago I wrote about how to spot scam job listings and today we’re talking about how to protect your privacy during your job search.

5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY DURING A JOB SEARCH

  1. DON'T apply for jobs using big job boards like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, etc… Scam companies can list jobs to tempt job seekers and harvest their data. I’m even seeing them creep into LinkedIn. 
  2. Instead, find job listings on job boards then verify and apply for the job DIRECTLY THROUGH THE COMPANY WEBSITE. This not only protects your information from scammers, it also makes you a more attractive candidate. 
  3. DON’T list your full address on your resume. List your city and state instead. This protects your privacy AND reduces any potential biases employers might have about where you live. 
  4. DON’T use your real email address. Create a different email address just for your job search. This is helpful for many reasons: 1) Protect your privacy from scammers, 2) All job search-related correspondence is grouped in one spot, so you don’t lose important messages, 3) It’s a branding opportunity - create an email address with [your name][ideal job title]@gmail.com. For example emilywordencareercoach@gmail.com or JaneSmithUX@Gmail.com.
  5. DON’T include your real phone number. Create a Google Voice number instead. It’s a separate phone number that you can forward to your carrier phone number. (Useful info for Android users.) You will still receive calls, but your real phone number is protected.  

Now that you know how to protect your privacy and spot scam listings, check out my article on ghost jobs so you can spot those too.

Stay alert, job seekers, and stay hopeful! January is the start of a typically robust hiring season and I’m optimistic for 2024. 

To your success,

- Emily

PS: Last week I wrote about how to evaluate your network and encouraged job seekers to send a message to 100 contacts. Have you made your list of contacts yet? Even if you’re not job searching, find 100 contacts and send them a message to reconnect and offer your help and services. Nurture your network when you don’t need it so it’s there for you when you do need it. Read about how to do it here.

Three ways to be more resourceful in your job search 

January 4, 2024

Hi Emily, 

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. And if you weren’t lucky enough to enjoy all of that - hey, it’s over and you survived it. πŸ‘Š

A few weeks ago I wrote about making New Year’ resolutions even if you don’t do resolutions. I don’t like New Years’ resolutions. But I do like “themes” for the new year. 

I’ve continually thought about a theme for the new year. One consistently appears before me and it’s BE RESOURCEFUL. “Look at what you have,” the universe is whispering to me, “You already have everything you need to get what you want.” 

I’ve been focusing on that theme and suddenly solutions have been appearing before me. I’m mostly talking about my business, but even little things like, “What’s for dinner?” and three things will pop out at me that I swear weren’t in my cupboard two days ago. 

I told my sister about this idea and she said, “Start with where you want to be then look at what you have.”  🀯 Brilliant! Thanks, sis. 

So as I’m looking at ways to be more resourceful with my business, I want you to look for ways to be more resourceful with your career. Where do you want to be? And what do you already have to help you get there? 

βœ… Start with your network:

  1. Who do you know personally and professionally? Sift through your email list and phone numbers. 
  2. What groups/organizations do you belong to? Who are the other members? These could be your Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, the PTO at your school, even the other parents on your kid’s soccer team.
  3. Who do you know who is well-connected? They could be social and gregarious, and/or they have a job that requires them to know a lot of people. For example, do you know any real estate agents, hairdressers, lawyers, journalists, fundraisers, heads of groups or organizations (however small, your neighborhood association counts!), religious leaders, politicians, public relations/publicists, entrepreneurs, salespeople, event managers, or restaurateurs? These people know lots of people! 
  4. If you went to school, search for fellow alums on LinkedIn. (Look up your school’s page on LinkedIn, then click “Alumni” and you can search people by location, company, job title, degree, etc…)

βœ… Using the list above, make a list of connections. Hopefully you have 100+ people on this list. (BE RESOURCEFUL! Dig deep about this - you know more people than you think! I bet you’ve got at least 100 people in your cell phone contacts and email list alone.) 

βœ… Send individual messages to each person. Yes! I’m talking about 100 individual messages. No mass email here, you’re trying to make meaningful connections. When you’re writing these messages, BE SPECIFIC ABOUT THE TYPES OF JOBS YOU WANT AND THE TYPES OF COMPANIES THAT INTEREST YOU. Specificity makes it easier for people to think of ways they can help you. 

πŸ’¬ Here’s a great sample message:

Hi [their name], I hope you’re doing well. The last time we spoke you were [mention something personal about them] - are you still doing that? 

I’m writing because unfortunately I was laid off last month and I am looking for a new job. I hope you might know someone in your network who can help.

I’m looking to work in [insert job title/industry]. My background is in [describe your industry/role], and I want to leverage my skills in [list key skills] to [describe your mission/ideal job]. 

Do you know anyone in the [name of company] or [name of industry] who can help? I am interested in meeting people for informational interviews, job opportunities, and to expand my network. Here is my LinkedIn profile and I’m attaching my resume just in case you might need it. 

Thank you for thinking of me and please let me know if there’s any way I can use my network to help you.

With gratitude,

[Your name]

πŸ™‹‍♀️What say you? Do you think you can do this exercise? If hope so, as the #1 way to get a new job is through a referral or recommendation. If you’re currently employed and don’t want to shout your job search from the rooftops, choose people you trust or have no connection to your location or current employers.

🫡 I’ve got a challenge for you - go through your contacts this week and make a list of connections. See if you can get to 100 connections. Start a list with their names and contact information. Then draft your message. I’ll check in with you next week about sending out those messages. 

To your success,

- Emily

PS: Are we connected on LinkedIn yet? Look me up! I share loads of actionable career tips written by myself or a community of insightful recruiters. Here's my favorite post from the week

 

A prediction, an inspiration, and a bartering opportunity

December 20, 2023

Are you looking for a job? 2024 is looking up! Plus: Got skills? Get career advice!

Hi everyone,

This is my final newsletter for 2023 and it’s a bit of a doozy. Today’s post covers three topics:

  1. The state of the job market in 2023 and a prediction for 2024
  2. An inspiring job search success story
  3. A chance to barter your knowledge for my career advice

Let’s dive in! 

THE STATE OF THE JOB MARKET 

Today’s job market is WILD. I’ve been career coaching for seven years and this is the craziest job market I’ve seen. The year started with massive tech layoffs and we’ve seen layoffs continue in nearly every sector this year. As the Fed continued to raise interest rates in 2023, the cost of borrowing became too high and businesses tightened their belts, especially after their big expansions and investments in 2021 and 2022. 

WHAT’S GOING ON? 

  1. There are a few industries that are reliably hiring: 1) Healthcare 2) Education 3) Retail/Service sector. But people are leaving those professions in large numbers (a tragedy, given how critical they are to our society) and fewer people are interested in joining those industries. 
  2. Most people want remote roles, which are diminishing by the day as companies take more aggressive RTO policies. 
  3. Unrealistic job descriptions and salaries are on the rise: I’ve seen “entry-level” jobs requiring three years of experience and job descriptions that want a college degree and pay minimum wage. (Which is hard to reconcile when you’ve got $100,000 in student loans.) 
  4. Talented recruiters were laid off in droves this year, so those who know little about the art of hiring are now in charge of hiring. And those who remain in talent acquisition are overwhelmed by 500 applicants for one job. 
  5. This leads me to my next point - technology is exacerbating the issue. Job seekers are using Easy Apply and AI to apply for jobs, which floods the job boards. And employers are using outdated and ineffective systems to sift through these piles of candidates. In the end, bots are talking to bots and no one wins. 
  6. Ghosting is outrageous. Nowadays it’s rare to hear back from an actual human. (Why? See #4 and #5 above.) Never mind fake job listings (aka ghost jobs), which I wrote about a few weeks ago: https://bit.ly/GhostJobs.
  7. Scams are on the rise. If the job description isn’t a ghost job, it might be a scam. These are getting more prevalent and ruthless. I also wrote about scams and red flags a few weeks ago: https://bit.ly/ScamJob

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. I’m hopeful for 2024. Yes, I am an eternal optimist, and three indicators have given me hope for the new year:

  1. I’m seeing more #Hiring posts on LinkedIn, especially for recruiters. This is fantastic! I call recruiters the “canary in the coal mine” - they are the bellwether of the job market. When the market is down, recruiters are one of the first to be laid off. When the market goes up, recruiters are one of the first to be hired, so they in turn can hire more employees. So I’m very encouraged by newly open positions for recruiters. 
  2. The November jobs report was better than expected. We’re talking pre-pandemic levels, which is an indication that the economy is normalizing after the turbulent last few years. This is great news for the economy and the Fed -  hopefully, it means they won’t raise rates again and businesses can make more predictable decisions for 2024. 
  3. And recent news has confirmed my hopes! Last week the Fed not only paused interest rate hikes, but it hinted that it might cut rates three times in 2024. Boy was this welcome news on Wall Street - the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record high. Mortgage rates are dropping, retail sales are strong, and we’re hoping for 2.4% inflation in 2024. Excellent news for the economy and thus the job market in 2024. 

If you’ve been struggling to find a job in 2023 - you are not alone. Hang on for 2024 - I see good things ahead! Make a free 30-minute appointment with me and let’s talk about it. 

AN INSPIRING SUCCESS STORY

I’ve got an anniversary coming up - on December 23, 2022, a client signed up for my Career Clarity Masterclass, and both our worlds were changed forever. 

When Helen* (*name changed for privacy reasons) signed up for coaching, she had been on the job hunt for more than six months. Previously, she was in education but left the job in 2021 to care for her family. In 2022 she got a part-time job as a project manager at a small local business, but she was ready to go back into full-time work and she wanted to pivot to HR roles. She was obtaining certification when we met and had been searching for jobs, but nothing was panning out. 

“I’m getting suggestions for too junior roles,” she said. “Not enough money. The titles aren't there. I’m better than this. I know I’m new to HR, but I can do more.”  YEAH you can, Helen! 

We started working together in January 2023. Helen came to me READY TO WORK. She did all the work I assigned her and came to every meeting prepared. “There were times when I doubted the process,” she said, “but I stuck to it. And I’m glad I did!” 

We tightened Helen’s brand and made her career story relevant to the roles she wanted. We updated her LinkedIn profile to appeal to hiring managers and recruiters. We rewrote her resume to highlight her HR experience. We talked about strategic networking and job hunting. Through it all, Helen remained determined, committed, and unflappable. It was a dream to work with her. 

And how did it turn out? I LOVE this part! By April 2023 Helen was employed at a new job that was everything she wanted - hybrid, close to home, a better-than-expected salary, and working with an internationally renowned non-profit doing work that matters. But that’s not the best part. 

The best part? Helen was promoted before she even started the job! They were hiring her for a new role and decided that she provided more value than they were expecting and increased her salary and job title before she even started. THAT’S THE MAGIC OF BRANDING. Not only that, she was promoted again within six months, and now her boss is training her to take over his role when he leaves in a few years. 

After three months of working with me, Helen went from being offered “too junior” roles to being in a new role and being promoted twice in six months. 

I have helped hundreds of people over the years, and each story is important to me. But I find Helen’s story truly special. She showed up, committed to herself, DID THE WORK and it paid off in big ways. 

I’m sharing this story with you in the hopes that it inspires your job search. 2023 has been tough, but 2024 looks promising. It’s the year to figure out what you want and GO GET IT. Stay committed, do the work, and it will pay off for you too. I believe in you. 

GOT SKILLS? I’M BARTERING! 

I need help. I’ve got big plans for 2024 but no time to get them done. I’m so busy helping clients and running the business that all my big, beautiful dreams are put on the back burner. 

No more! I want to be more resourceful in 2024, and I realized many of you out there reading this newsletter are highly skilled individuals and perhaps we can make a trade? Let’s barter baby! 

I need help with the following: 

  1. Content marketing: Creating content for social media. I have loads of content to choose from, I just need someone to synthesize and distribute it. Bonus points if you can help me with a marketing plan for some group courses I’m launching next year. 
  2. Copywriting: I need help with landing pages, course descriptions, and website updates. 
  3. Graphic design: Creating images for my website, business, and social media. I love me some Canva, but it’s time to let a professional take over.
  4. PR/Media/Communications: Help me get placed on podcasts and in publications. I’ve got the content, just no time to research media and pitch! 
  5. Video/Audio production: Edit my audio and videos. Add captions, text, and graphics … Make them snazzy and ready for social media.
  6. Website: I need a few updates to my website that I just don’t have the bandwidth to handle. Can you help me add a blog and a new shopping cart? 

In exchange for your services, I can provide coaching about any of the following:

  1. Job search 
  2. Personal branding
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Resume
  5. Networking
  6. Job interviews
  7. Negotiating raises 
  8. Imposter syndrome

If you’re interested, send me a message at emily@emilyworden.com. I look forward to meeting you! 

And that wraps up my newsletter for 2023. What a ride! I put a lot of work into these weekly posts and it means the world to me when you read and comment on them. Thank you for your support.

I hope you and yours have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. Here’s to a brighter new year.

With joy and gratitude,

- Emily

 

Job search smarter with Google Alerts 

December 13, 2023

Job seekers are busy. Looking for a job IS a job, and it’s a mental and emotional roller coaster to boot. Plus, today’s job market is WILD and there’s ghosting going on everywhere. What a mess. 

If you’re out there looking for a job, you’ve got my full support. I see you and it sucks. Today I’ve got a powerful tool to help make your job search a little easier. 

GOOGLE ALERTS

I have talked about Google Alerts before and it remains as relevant and impactful as ever. It is one of my favorite tools to optimize your job search and make networking a bit easier too. 

Google Alerts are email notifications on whatever you want to know about. You can use it to track your favorite author, learn more about your industry, or follow a news story. You can choose how often you receive email notifications. You are allowed 1,000 alerts, so don’t be shy about using them! 

If you have a Gmail account*, you’ve got access to Google Alerts.

*If you don’t have a Gmail account, now is a good time to make onePRO TIP: Even if you have a Gmail account, set one up just for your job search - [Your name][Your profession]@gmail.com. For example, JaneSmithCopywriter@gmail.com. Then publish this email address in your LinkedIn profile, on your resume, and in your job applications. 

HOW TO USE GOOGLE ALERTS IN YOUR JOB SEARCH 

Now that you know how to set up Google Alerts with proper search terms, let’s dive into the wonderful ways to use Google Alerts to enhance your job search.

1) Set up a Google Alert for your name. Potential employers will search your name online before they call you in for an interview. Set up an alert about your name so you can monitor your reputation when you’re mentioned online. PRO TIP: Put your name in quotes like a regular Google query. For example, “Emily Worden.”

2) If you’re currently employed, set up a Google Alert about your company. Then you can keep an eye on your company’s reputation too. 

3) Keep up with your industry - especially if you’re making a career pivot. Set up Google Alerts about industry news so that you are up-to-date on the latest trends and opportunities. Use keywords related to your industry or big players in the field - such as influential companies and thought leaders. PRO TIP: Write what you’re learning about on LinkedIn.

4) Set up Google Alerts about companies that interest you. Monitor your potential employers and use this information in your job applications and during job interviews. If you’re following the company AND industry news, you’ll have a lot to talk about during interviews. 

5) Strategically network. 75% of jobs are found through networking, so how do you stay in contact with your network on a regular basis while offering something of value? With Google Alerts! Set up an alert on your important contacts - their name, their company, a topic they are interested in - and send them a note when an alert pops up. This way you remind people you exist AND you’re offering something of value to them. 

6) Search for jobs. You’re ideally applying for jobs within 96 hours of their posting. Use Google Alerts to notify you when your dream job is posted. You can use keywords such as job titles, job locations, and companies that interest you. (If you haven’t already, check out the links at the top of this email for Google Search best practices, and I like the “OR” tip in this article too.) 

7) Keep your alerts organized. Finally, when harnessing the power of Google Alerts for personal and professional use, you’ll have a lot of emails coming in. And depending on how frequently you choose to receive the alerts, your inbox can fill up quickly. Set up a separate email folder just for your Google Alerts, and you can even subcategorize the folders from there. 

🀯 That’s a lot of information to take in. Go ahead and bookmark this email and revisit it a few times. Read through the resources carefully, then make a list of the Google Alerts you will set up to optimize your job search. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

4 ways to make New Year's resolutions that stick 

December 5, 2023

In less than a month we’ll be in 2024. πŸ€―

As New Year’s Eve approaches, you’re going to hear a lot of talk about resolutions and promises for the new year. 

πŸ‘Ž I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions - people generally think too big and put too much pressure on themselves. They want to make too much of a drastic change too quickly, and their resolutions are abandoned by the end of January. 

πŸ€” But I like the concept of New Year’s resolutions - it gives you a chance to reflect on the last 12 months and be optimistic about the next 12 months. With that mindset in mind, I have a few ideas to help tackle New Year’s resolutions in bite-sized, easy-to-follow steps.  

1) ONE WORD RESOLUTIONS 

Pick one word you’d like to embrace in 2024. This is a word that describes how you would like to feel in 2024 and you will use this word to stay focused and help your decision-making throughout the year. Here’s a list of possible words to aid your brainstorming: Generosity, patience, flourish, progress, empower, unstoppable, resilient, determined, adaptable, peaceful, grateful, or balance. 

I’m still choosing my word; I want it to have the feeling of progress and peace at the same time. How about you? What emotions, feelings, or ideas compel you as a theme for 2024? 

2) SET YOUR PRIORITIES WITH THE WHEEL OF LIFE

Close your eyes and picture yourself one year from now, in December 2024. What is different about your life? Did you change anything this past year or do anything new? Did you overcome a challenge or accomplish a long-term goal? 

Name 1-3 differences you would like to see between December 2023 and December 2024. Think about areas where you might want to improve: career, finances, health, relationships, and personal growth.

LET THE WHEEL OF LIFE SET YOUR PRIORITIES 

In the Wheel of Life assessment, you rank “where you are” vs. “where you want to be” in eight categories. The default categories are usually: Career, Money, Health, Relationships, Personal Growth, Recreation, Physical Environment, and Spirituality. But you can change them to any category you’d like. 

I like this free Wheel of Life assessment. It’s quick and provides a visual representation of your current life vs. your aspirational life. If you take the Wheel of Life assessment, you will get results that look like this: 

Now imagine this is a wheel on a bicycle you are pedaling through life - how bumpy is your ride? 

Use the Wheel of Life assessment to help establish your 2024 goals. What areas of your life could use some extra attention? Use the default categories or click “customize” to add your own. Alternative categories could include: 

  1. Relationships: Family, Friends 
  2. Significant Other: Dating, Relationships, Life Partner
  3. Community: Social Connections
  4. Career: Vocation, Business, Motherhood, Fatherhood, Parenting, Volunteering
  5. Finances: Money, Financial Security or Wellbeing
  6. Health: The category name could be split into "Mental/Emotional Health" and "Physical Health"
  7. Physical environment: Home or Work 
  8. Fun & Leisure: Leisure time, Sports, Recreation, Play, Creativity, Enjoyment
  9. Personal Growth: Learning, Self-Development, Spiritual

3) GO THREE MONTHS AT A TIME 

Now that you’ve got a vision for 2024, break it down into four quarters. What would you like to accomplish 12 months from now? 9 months? 6 months? 3 months? 

If long-term planning isn’t your thing, just focus on the first three months of 2024 - where would you like to be by March 31, 2024? 

Think about the Wheel of Life categories. What are your lowest-scoring categories? What can you do to improve those scores? 

List 1-3 personal goals to accomplish by March 31, 2024:

  1. What Wheel of Life category does it fall under? 
  2. Why is it important to you to achieve this goal? 
  3. How will you celebrate achieving this goal? 

List 1-3 professional goals to accomplish by March 31, 2024:

  1. What Wheel of Life category does it fall under? 
  2. Why is it important to you to achieve this goal? 
  3. How will you celebrate achieving this goal? 

Take a moment to reflect on these goals. Imagine your life with these goals fulfilled. Picture what your day is like. Feel it in your body. 

Now ask yourself three questions: 

  1. What might stand in my way of achieving these goals? 
  2. What change needs to happen to overcome these obstacles?
  3. What is my one-word theme for this quarter? 

4) MAKE SMART GOALS

I have written about SMART Goals before (most recently in 11 Ways to Finish 2023 for a Strong 2024). The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic/Risky, and Timely. It’s a great method to break down big, audacious goals into manageable bite-sized pieces. 

For each goal you outlined above, make it SMART: Get specific about what you want as an outcome for the goal, decide how you will measure your progress, outline specific action steps needed to accomplish the goal, and set a timely deadline to complete each action step. 

Now, when it comes to SMART goals some people say "R" stands for “Realistic” while others say “Risky” (to encourage big dreams). I like to meet somewhere in the middle. Your goals should be equal parts scary and exciting. If you set a goal for yourself, and your stomach flips with excitement but your mind floods with “What if” statements, you know you’ve hit the right goal. Go for it! 

Alright, that’s my take on New Year’s Resolutions done right, and I hope it inspires your goal-setting for 2024.

 

How to prepare for your performance review

November 29, 2023

Annual performance reviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t get along with your manager or you feel your work wasn’t 100% this year. 

But these reviews can be a great opportunity. It’s a chance to feel seen and heard by your boss and advocate for a promotion or raise. And you can knock it out of the park with a little preparation. 

NOTE: If you are currently unemployed, this email applies to you too! Do your own performance review and use the work in your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and during job interviews. 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PERFORMANCE REVIEW

1) SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR BOSS

If your company doesn’t participate in annual reviews, or you don’t have a date set on the calendar, now is a good time to ask. You can say something like, “As the year wraps up, I’d like to meet to discuss my performance in 2023 and set goals for 2024.”

2) EVALUATE WHAT DID - AND DIDN’T - GO WELL 

Look back on your successes and challenges from the past year. Your manager might notice the things that didn’t go well and overlook what did go well. Be prepared to talk about both. 

  1. What were your professional goals this year? Did you meet them? If not, where did you struggle? 
  2. Where have you experienced the most difficulty this year? Where have you experienced the greatest success? 

3) EVALUATE YOUR PERFORMANCE AND IMPACT

Be prepared to brag about your accomplishments and illustrate how they impacted the company. Review your last year and think about all of your contributions, big and small. 

  1. Find stories that illustrate:
    1. Successes, impact, when you made a difference
    2. Issues you recognized and addressed
    3. Opportunities you recognized and acted on 
    4. Disasters you helped avoid or quickly clean up 
    5. Problems you solved
    6. Processes you improved
    7. Situations when you reduced something: expenses/waste
    8. Situations when you improved something: profits/workplace/morale
    9. Times when you failed and the lessons you learned 
  2. Consider new skills you picked up this year, major or minor projects that you completed, and important relationships you created
    1. Did you win an award or get published somewhere? 
    2. Did you attend any online courses, workshops, or industry events? 
  3. Reflect on prior feedback - did you receive feedback from your manager in 2022 or 2023 and actively worked to correct it? 
  4. I love this worksheet from The Muse, which asks great questions to get your brainstorming going. 
  5. Put your stories in SAR format for maximum impact:
    1. Situation: What was the problem/situation?
    2. Action: What did you do to fix the problem or improve the situation?
    3. Result: What results did your actions achieve? How do those results benefit your department, your manager, or the company? 
      1. Ex: Did you make money? Save time? Reduce turnover? Increase social media engagement? Improve employee morale? 
  6. Remember to tie this all back to how your work helps the company. You could be a popular employee who gets along with everyone, but it doesn’t matter much if you can’t illustrate how your work directly contributes to the company’s bottom line (and/or makes the manager’s life easier). 
    1. Take this information and use it to update your resume and LinkedIn profile too. 
  7. Make an effort to record these accomplishments in real time in 2024. Whenever someone compliments your work, or you completed a presentation, or you accomplished a goal, write it down. Start a document for 2024 and record your efforts as they happen so you remember all the details later. 
    1. This is especially important if you are asked to take on more tasks than usual or do work outside of your typical responsibilities. It’s called “scope creep” and your manager might not even realize it’s happening. So write it all down! 

4) SET YOUR 2024 GOALS 

What would you like to accomplish in 2024? A promotion? A raise? More education? A new title? A new job? Think about your professional goals and what you need to do to achieve them. 

  1. If you’re interested in staying at your job and you want a promotion, a raise, educational benefits, or other perks, discuss these goals and action steps with your manager so you’re both on the same page. Together you can decide if there are any specific metrics you need to hit in order to qualify for a promotion. You can state your goals outright or ask them first, “Where do you see me this time next year?” 
  2. If you want to leave your current job and get a new job in 2024, think about what you need to accomplish to make it happen. And is there anything you could do at work in the meantime? Maybe take on an extra project or exceed Q1 goals? Leave your job on a high note with a trail of successes behind you so you’ve got something to brag about in your resume, LinkedIn, and during job interviews. 

5) ASK ABOUT COMPANY 2024 GOALS

What is the company trying to achieve next year? How about your department? What is most important to your boss (and your boss’ boss?) Ask your manager to confirm your work goals align with the company’s goals. Then figure out how you can contribute towards these goals (and track your progress/impact along the way). 

6) PREPARE ANSWERS TO BASIC QUESTIONS

Typical annual review questions usually sound like, “What are your biggest accomplishments for the year?” “What were your biggest struggles this year/where do you think you can improve?” “What are your goals for next year?” 

  1. Take advantage of this 1:1 time too: Is there anything you need from your team, department, managers, or company in order to achieve your goals - do you need more resources (like time, staff, equipment, or education) that your boss can provide? Do you have any concerns or needs to address here? 
  2. When you talk about your weaknesses or struggles, keep it professional. Don’t blame or badmouth your coworkers. Just talk objectively about the obstacles you’re facing and what you’re doing to overcome them. 

7) BE OPEN TO FEEDBACK

This is a time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the next. Your manager might have feedback on areas for improvement and I urge you to be open to the message. 

  1. If your manager is not providing feedback, you can kick it off: “I’d like to continue growing in this company and taking on more responsibility. If there are areas where I can improve, please tell me.”
  2. Set personal feelings aside - this person is telling you what it will take to advance in your career. Listen to them. I live by the 10% rule - even if I completely disagree with someone, I try to find the 10% that is reasonable and go from there. 
  3. Bring a notepad to the meeting and be an active listener. Take notes about what you discuss, especially in the areas where you can improve. 
  4. This article from The Muse has great advice for accepting feedback: 6 Phrases You Should Have in Your Back Pocket if You Want to Ace Your Performance Review and I like this one too: The Best Way to Make Sure You're Not Blindsided in Your Performance Review.

8) ASK FOR A RAISE

If you believe you deserve a raise, good for you! Go get it! Annual reviews are the perfect time to ask. 

  1. Make a list of all of your accomplishments and contributions AND HOW THEY MADE A POSITIVE IMPACT AT THE COMPANY. Add numbers and quantities that illustrate your impact whenever possible. 
  2. Prepare your ask ahead of time - how much do you want? Ask for 5%-10% more than what you want, then you have room to negotiate. 
  3. Prepare your Plan B. If your boss says, “We don’t have the money for raises in our budget,” how will you respond? Is there something else you want instead? For example, I once asked my boss for a raise and he told me there wasn’t money in the budget. So I asked for the organization to pay for more classes, which they did. 
    1. HERE’S THE DEAL: Companies are more willing to give bonuses and perks than increase salaries. Make your Plan B include a one-time bonus or perks like flex time or WFH, and you’re more likely to get it. 

Boom! That’s how you have a kick-ass annual performance review! I hope the tips help and you get all you’re asking for from the review. Just prepare and practice - you got this! 


πŸ”” LIMITED OFFER: FREE LINKEDIN PROFILE REVIEW 

Nowadays a strong LinkedIn profile is as important as a good resume. I see too many job seekers applying to jobs with a great resume but a terrible LinkedIn, and it’s hurting their chances to get an interview. 

This month I opened five slots to meet with five job seekers and review their LinkedIn profile for free ($425 value)I will record and share these sessions so that other people will learn how to update their profiles to attract hiring managers and recruiters too.**THERE ARE ZERO SLOTS LEFT** If you’d like to get on the waitlist to have your LinkedIn profile reviewed for free and/or have access to the recordings, please complete this form

πŸ”” 20% EVERYTHING (JUST FOR YOU) 

I’ve got a secret sale going on … 20% off every product in my store, from digital courses to 1:1 coaching. But the sale is only for you, a newsletter subscriber. If you click on the store link, you will see the full prices, but if you email me and tell me which product(s) interest you, I’ll send you an invoice for 20% off. If you’re not sure which product is right for you, schedule a free 30-minute session and we’ll figure it out. The 20% sale ends at midnight EST on Friday, 12/8.

 

Beware of job scams - they're everywhere! 

November 22, 2023

I had a different newsletter topic planned for today. I planned on writing about how to crush your year-end reviews at work, but that will have to wait until next week. 

This message is too important.

Job scams are everywhere these days, and I don’t want you falling for them. I heard about two different people getting taken in by two different job scams yesterday and I need you to protect yourself. 

I post about job scams on LinkedIn. I am sharing those posts below in case we’re not connected on LinkedIn (please follow me and say hi!) - these are too important for you to miss! 

🚨 Money laundering scam

🚨 Resume writing services scam

🚨 Classic fake check scam

Here’s a running list of red flags that I have observed in scam job listings:

🚩 You are offered a job before completing an interview.

🚩 The company offers to host the interview via text message (or an app like Signal), rather than in-person or over Zoom.

🚩 The company asks for your personal information (like address, DOB, SSN, or banking information) - that information is requested only AFTER you sign a job offer and they are setting up payroll.

🚩 The pay is higher than usual, or the benefits are quite generous ("85% WFH," which does not exist).

🚩 A *very* flexible schedule.

🚩 Vague job descriptions and replies from the "recruiter."

🚩 Typos and grammatical errors in the correspondence - one or two errors is understandable, but if you see a pattern it's a red flag.

🚩 The company offers to pay you for "office equipment" or asks you to "pay to apply."

🚩 Incomplete company information, or you can't find reliable company/recruiter information online.

🚩 The company says you will "make money fast" or the pay is 100% commission-based.

🚩 The company tries to sell you resume writing services.

If you frequently apply for jobs on sites like Indeed, you are particularly susceptible to scams. Blech! It’s one of the many reasons I don’t recommend applying for jobs through job boards

Instead, use Indeed (and LinkedIn Jobs, Glassdoor, Monster, etc…) to find job listings, then APPLY THROUGH THE COMPANY WEBSITE. (BONUS POINTS: Follow the company on LinkedIn and interact with its posts, then connect with people who work at the company.) 

To your success,
- Emily

 

Change your job search for the holiday season + 2 SPECIAL OFFERS

November 14, 2023

πŸ“‰ As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, November and December are traditionally the slowest hiring months. Companies wrap up their Q4 plans and employees are out of the office during the holidays, so hiring is a lower priority during this time. 

Of course, this rule varies depending on the industry, and there is still some hiring for full-time positions over the holidays, but not much. 

If you are unemployed and currently looking for full-time employment, this might be a good time to shift gears on the job hunt to part-time, contract, and seasonal work. 

πŸ“ˆ The holiday season fuels a surge of demand for temporary work. Companies look to contractors and seasonal workers to help handle the holiday season rush. You likely won’t get benefits or perks with these types of jobs, but you will get wages and sometimes the opportunity to turn your experience into a full-time, salaried position. 

WHO HIRES SEASONAL HELP?

All manner of businesses. Specifically this time of year there is a need in tourism, hospitality, retail, event planning, service industry, logistics, payroll, warehouses, IT services, and customer service. This great article from Upwork outlines seasonal work by industry, and here’s a few more examples: 

Retailers: With the surge in holiday shopping, retail shops need extra employees this time of year. 

Shipping and Logistics Companies: Online shopping boosts significant demand during the holiday season. Positions such as package handlers, drivers, warehouse associates, and logistics specialists are always needed.

Hospitality Industry: Hotels, restaurants, catering services, and event coordinators need extra hands to manage holiday parties and events. 

Customer Service and Call Centers: Many companies, especially those in the e-commerce and tech industries, need additional customer service reps to handle inquiries, process orders, and address customer concerns during the holiday rush.

Theme Parks and Seasonal Attractions: If you're in an area with holiday-themed attractions or winter festivals, there may be opportunities for seasonal work in areas such as ticketing, concessions, and event operations.

PITCH YOURSELF FOR CONTRACT WORK

This could be a great chance to get your foot in the door at the places where you want to work. Offer your services as a contractor, especially if it’s the type of business that gets slammed over the holidays and needs extra help. This is a great article from The Freelance Hustle about pitching your services as a freelancer. 

HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY SEASONAL WORK

  1. Search online for your role/industry + “contract work,” “part-time work,” or “seasonal work.”
    1. For example: “customer service contract work” or “seasonal jobs near me.”
  2. Online job platforms like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn have dedicated sections for seasonal and temporary opportunities. 
  3. I am also partial to FlexJobs, which is a terrific site for finding part-time and remote work. They made a list of companies hiring for remote holiday work
  4. Your local staffing agencies are a useful place to find temporary work, especially during the holiday season. 
  5. Ask around at your favorite local businesses - are they looking for extra help? Check company websites too. 
  6. Finally, tell your network. You’ve already told them that you’re job hunting, now contact them again and tell them you’re switching to seasonal/contract work. Be specific about the types of roles and companies that interest you. 

πŸ˜” If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, I know today’s message isn’t very uplifting. I just want to give you options in case you need money over the holiday season. And look at it this way - I am giving you permission to step away from the job application grind

Give yourself a break, go get some quick cash, and focus on the 11 steps to finish 2023 for a strong 2024 - particularly the networking parts. Do this work now so you’re ready for the typically robust January hiring season in 2024. (And if you know anyone who has been struggling with the job search, please pass this message along to them.)


πŸ”” LIMITED OFFER: FREE LINKEDIN PROFILE REVIEW 

Nowadays a strong LinkedIn profile is as important as a good resume. I see too many job seekers applying to jobs with a great resume but a terrible LinkedIn, and it’s hurting their chances to get an interview. 

This month I’m opening five slots to meet with five job seekers and review their LinkedIn profile for free ($425 value). I will record and share these sessions so that other people will learn how to update their profiles to attract hiring managers and recruiters too. If you’d like to get your LinkedIn profile reviewed and/or have access to the recordings, please complete this form

πŸ”” 20% EVERYTHING (JUST FOR YOU) 

I’ve got a secret sale going on … 20% off every product in my store, from digital courses to 1:1 coaching. But the sale is only for you, as a newsletter subscriber. If you click on the store link, you will see the full prices, but if you email me and tell me which product(s) interest you, I’ll send you an invoice for 20% off. If you’re not sure which product is right for you, schedule a free 30-minute session and we’ll figure it out. The 20% sale ends Friday, 12/8. 

To your success,
- Emily

PS: Are you following me on LinkedIn? I hope you're regularly using LinkedIn, whether you are happily employed or not - it's fantastic for networking and reinforcing your brand. I post a lot of useful content on there, I'd like to see you around! πŸ™‹‍♀️

 

11 Ways to Wrap Up 2023 for a Strong 2024 

November 7, 2023

Hi everyone,

We’ve got eight weeks left in the year. EIGHT WEEKS!

😱 Did that just freak you out? It freaked me out a bit when I realized it. I started working on a plan to map out the next eight weeks - what are my goals? How will I get there? How can I set myself up to start 2024 strong? 

The exercise was really helpful, so I thought this week’s newsletter might inspire you to do the same thing. (WARNING: This email is long but worth the investment to help you finish 2023 strong.)

THE STATE OF THE JOB MARKET

First, let’s look at the big picture. I’ve been talking a lot lately about the state of the job market. I’ll sum it up in two words: it’s bonkers. 

Here’s what’s going on:

  1. The Great Resignation is over. Gone are the heady days of 2021 and 2022 when employees could job-hop and demand higher wages and more remote work. 
  2. Employers are snatching back their power with return-to-office mandates, salary freezes, and lower-than-expected job offers. 
  3. Companies are still worried about the economy and face high interest rates, so they are laying off employees and the job market is flooded with terrific applicants.
  4. Speaking of layoffs, the first to go are recruiters. And there are a LOT of recruiters laid off right now. That means that the remaining people who are not experienced with the hiring process are in charge of the hiring process. Oy. 
  5. Job listings are unreliable too - up to 65% of job descriptions can be ghost jobs, and scams are getting more insidious too. (I post about scams on LinkedIn, please follow me to keep up.)

If you want to work in education, healthcare, or the service industry - those sectors are hiring. But if you want a job in any other industry - particularly a remote job - the competition is stiff. 

That said, I still know plenty of people who are landing jobs. It takes more time and effort than it did in 2021 and 2022, but it is possible to land a great job for a good salary in today’s market. 

The timing is tough, however. Hiring slows down this time of year. There is still some action in the early parts of November, but not much goes on during December. (In fact, if you need a job *right now* this is a good time to switch your job search to focus on part-time, contract, or seasonal roles, which I’ll talk about more next week.) 

The good news is that January typically kicks off the best hiring season of the year, and there are some economic indicators in our favor. I believe companies have made their 2023 Q4 plans and are riding out the rest of the year, but Q1 2024 will improve. 

That leaves eight weeks to get yourself ready for a robust hiring season. There is plenty to do to prepare. 

In my Career Clarity Masterclass, I outline five steps to get a dream job, and you’ll note that the job search is #5.

FIVE STEPS TO YOUR DREAM JOB

  1. Figure out what you want 
  2. Figure out what your target companies want
  3. Use that information for your personal brand and update your resume and LinkedIn
  4. Network to get referrals at the companies where you want to work and connect with recruiters
  5. Apply to jobs

🚨 So many people start their job search with #5 - Apply to Jobs - without doing the first four steps of the process. They update their resume then hit up job boards for hours a day, hitting “Easy Apply” and racking up their job application numbers. If this is you, please stop the cycle. As I recently said on LinkedIn, the job search is not a “numbers” game. It’s a “referral and recruiter” game. πŸš¨

Invest your time in building your personal brand and connecting with important people. I always say, “I’d rather you reach out to 100 people than send out 100 cold applications.”  

I’ve got 11 steps to help you play the “referral and recruiter” game in your job search. Work on these steps over the next eight weeks. 

11 ACTION ITEMS TO WRAP UP 2023

STEP 1: WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Be very clear on the types of jobs you want and the companies where you want to work. Clarity is key to a successful job search. Read job descriptions, search for company reviews, and talk with people who are doing the jobs that interest you. (If you’re struggling with this step, please make a free 30-minute appointment and we can talk about it.)

STEP 2: FIND YOUR KEYWORDS 

Copy + paste 3-5 job descriptions into a document and highlight the keywords and key phrases. What skills are important? What experience is valued? 

  • Read up on the companies that interest you too - what are they looking for in an employee? 
  • Look on LinkedIn for people who are doing the jobs that interest you at the companies where you want to work - what do they have listed on their profile? Anything you can emulate? 

STEP 3: UPDATE YOUR RESUME 

Take your list of keywords and key phrases and incorporate them into your resume. Now your resume should speak directly to your target employers’ needs. 

STEP 4: UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN 

An optimized LinkedIn profile is nearly as important as a good resume. Your LinkedIn profile is critical for networking and getting the attention of hiring managers and recruiters. More on LinkedIn in a moment. 

STEP 5: CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA 

Open up an incognito tab and Google yourself - what comes up? (You want to be in incognito mode, otherwise, Google will tailor the results to your personal search habits.) Potential employers read your resume first, then your LinkedIn profile, then they search online for your social media or results about you. What are they going to find? 

STEP 6: REVIEW YOUR NETWORK 

You’ve got clarity on what you want and your brand is in good shape. Now review your network - who works in the industry or at the companies that interest you? Also, who do you know who is generally well-connected, they seem to just know everyone? (Think fundraisers, politicians, journalists, business owners, hairdressers, lawyers, real estate agents, restaurateurs, salespeople, heads of the PTO, group organizers, etc…)

  • Use the LinkedIn mobile app to import your contacts - it will pull names from your email and mobile address book, which will expand the list of people you know on LinkedIn.
  • If your school has an alumni association, check there too, as well as the alumni listed on LinkedIn (search for your school’s page on LinkedIn then click “Alumni”).  

STEP 7: Reach out to your network

Reach out to individual people in your network (no mass messages) and tell them that you’re looking for a new job. Be very specific about the types of jobs you want next and the places where you want to work, and ask if they know anyone who can help:

  • “I’m looking to work in [insert job title/industry]. My background is in [describe your industry/role], and I want to leverage my skills in [list key skills] to [describe your mission/ideal job.] Do you know anyone in the [name of company] or [name of industry] who can help? I am interested in meeting people for informational interviews or perhaps job opportunities.” 
  • Offer help to your network too. Ask around: How can I use my network to help you? Is there anything you need?” 

STEP 8: FIND RECRUITERS 

Search LinkedIn for recruiters in your industry and connect with them. Tell them about the type of work you’re looking to do and share your resume, which they will keep on file in case an opportunity opens up. Follow recruiters on LinkedIn who talk about recruiting in your industry (example: #technicalrecruiting, #engineeringrecruiter) because they often post open jobs. 

STEP 9: BE ACTIVE ON LINKEDIN 

LinkedIn is a social media network with an algorithm. The more you interact with it, the higher your profile ranks in search results. Login every few days and like and comment on other posts. Create your own posts about your industry - share articles and comment on them. Join Groups about your industry (recruiters often lurk there too). Not only will this activity make you more visible, but it will enhance your personal brand and make you a more attractive job candidate when potential employers are reviewing your LinkedIn. 

STEP 10: REACH OUT FOR INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS 

The #1 way to get a job is through your network. And the #1 to build your network is through informational interviews. These are 20-minute meetings where you connect with someone and learn more about their career. This is a great time of year to do it too - people feel more generous around the holiday season. Connect with people who are doing the jobs that interest you at the companies that interest you. (Do informational interviews make you nervous? Are you unsure how to do them? Check out my course about informational interviews.) 

STEP 11: UPSKILL

Use this slow hiring time to brush up on skills to add to your resume and LinkedIn profile. You might even be able to convince your employer to pay for it. Check your keywords list - which skills are most desirable?

  • Check out digital learning options from LinkedIn Learning. If you’re looking into tech-related jobs, Opportunity.LinkedIn has six certificate programs available for free, as well as free courses for everyone on digital literacy, soft skills, and entrepreneurship. There’s also Coursera, edX, Udacity, Skillshare, FutureLearn, Cognitive Class, etc… 
  • Many of the courses on these platforms are hosted by schools like Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton, and most of them are free to audit.

SMART Goals

As you see, there is a lot you can do now to get you ready for a robust hiring season in January. There are eight weeks left of the year, so you can break it down into weekly goals and define metrics to hit. 

I’m talking about SMART Goals - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely. Here’s where you take a bigger goal and break it down into smaller steps to accomplish each day. 

For example, let’s say that you want to reach out to your network. You can break down the goal like this:

  1. Evaluate my network: 
    1. Who do I know socially?
    2. Who do I know professionally?
    3. Import my contacts to LinkedIn
  2. Reach out to 50 people:
    1. Draft my outreach message
    2. Create a spreadsheet to track the messages
    3. Send out 5 messages/day for 10 days
    4. Follow up 7 days after the first message
  3. Reach out to 10 recruiters:
    1. Search LinkedIn for recruiter names
    2. Search online for recruiting firms
    3. Draft my outreach message
    4. Send out 5 messages/day for 2 days
    5. Follow up 7 days after the first message

Then add due dates to each of these goals to ensure you’re taking daily steps towards your bigger goals. 

Be realistic about your calendar too. If you know you’re going to be extra busy around Thanksgiving or the last two weeks of December, don’t schedule major goals for that time. 

Whew! That was a lot. End-of-year planning is important, so I wanted to give you enough details to help. If you have concerns about any of these steps, please make a free 30-minute appointment and I can answer your questions.

To your success,

- Emily

 

"Career cushion" your way around a scary job market  

October 31, 2023

Hi everyone,

Today is Halloween! Other than the ghouls, ghosts, and garish costumes, you know what scares me? The current job market. 

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’» I study economic and labor trends, and I don’t love what I see. While some economists have argued we've avoided a big recession and the economy is "soft landing," other economists argue the worst is yet to come. Also, we've got high interest rates which increases the cost of borrowing. As a result, companies tighten their belts and layoffs occur. This means there's more competition in the labor pool.

Plus, nearly everyone wants to work remotely, and remote jobs account for only 14% of the job listings. AND up to 65% of jobs can be ghost listings. AND recruiters have been laid off in large numbers, which means people who aren't familiar with the hiring process are in charge of hiring. πŸ€¦‍♀️

In short, it’s safe to say that “The Great Resignation” is over and employees don’t have as much leverage over employers as they had the last two years. 

My last two newsletters have been about the job search. On October 10, I talked about why the traditional job search sucks and what you can do instead. On October 24, I wrote about ghost jobs because I don’t want you wasting your time applying for jobs that don’t even exist.  

And I’m spending the next few editions of this newsletter sharing advice to weather the job market, starting with today’s topic: Career Cushioning. 

WHAT IS “CAREER CUSHIONING?”

"Career cushioning" means creating a “Plan B” for your career in case you are fired or laid off. In other words, you are preparing to get a new job while you are currently employed. 

The phrase is a play on “cushioning,” a slang term describing those who have a romantic partner on standby in case their current relationship ends. They have a “backup” partner who can “cushion” the pain of a breakup. πŸ€― 

Likewise, “career cushioning” means to have other job options on standby in case your current job ends. And if you’re currently unemployed and job hunting, read on … the steps outlined below will help your job search too. 

HOW “CAREER CUSHIONING” STARTED

The term originated in 2022 and became more popular this year as recession fears grew and mass layoffs dominated the news. Business Insider’s Feb 2023 article is oft-cited as popularizing the term in 2023. 

WHAT IT MEANS

Employees who fear for their job security might begin to look for new jobs on job boards, brush up their resume, reconnect with their network, and/or learn new skills to be a more attractive job candidate. 

HOW TO LEVERAGE IT

The “Great Resignation” is over. The job market is weak. Layoffs and recession fears dominate the news. AI is coming for many white-collar jobs. It is more important than ever to keep yourself prepared with a “Plan B” for your career. 

  1. Figure out your next step. If you were to get a new job, what would you want? What is the next logical step in your career? Do you want to do the same type of work, or do you want to switch to a new industry? I recommend using LinkedIn’s Career Explorer or CareerOneStops’ Explore Careers (particularly the Compare Occupations tool) if you are considering a new industry. 
  2. Look at other job listings. You’re not necessarily applying to these jobs, you just want to look to see what’s out there. What sounds interesting to you? What skills are required? What’s the average salary like?
    1. I recommend LinkedIn and Indeed for a general job search. 
    2. Look up salary information on sites like salary.com, bls.gov/ooh, payscale.com, and indeed.com/career/salaries.
  3. Explore other companies. Whether you are staying in the same industry or want to work in a new one, research the top-ranked companies in the industry. Look on sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Comparably. What’s the company’s reputation? What’s the leadership team like?  
  4. Upskill. It’s a great time to upskill when you’re employed. You might even be able to convince your employer to pay for it. Look at the jobs that interest you - what skills are required? Do you have those skills? Any skills you could brush up on? 
    1. Check out digital learning options from LinkedIn Learning. If you’re looking into tech-related jobs, Opportunity.LinkedIn has six certificate programs available for free, as well as free courses for everyone on digital literacy, soft skills, and entrepreneurship.
    2. There's always Coursera, edX, Udacity, Skillshare, FutureLearn, Cognitive Class, etc… 
    3. Many of the courses on these platforms are hosted by schools like Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton, and most of them are free to audit - and you can pay if you want a certificate (but you don’t need one). 
    4. If you want an actual certificate and you’re currently employed, ask if your employer will pay for it. You’d be surprised how many employers are willing to do this - and you look impressive too! 
  5. Reconnect with your network. While you’re employed, make an effort to reach out to your network and ask, “How can I use my network/skills/experience to help you? Is there anything you need?” The best time to build your network is when you don’t need it, so it’s ready for you when you do need it.
  6. Build new connections. Reach out to people who are doing jobs that interest you and find people who work at companies that interest you. LinkedIn is very useful here - just search by job titles and/or company name and send a connection request: “Your [job title/company name] sounds interesting. Do you have 20 minutes available to tell me more about it?” If you’re not ready for informational interviews, just say, “Your career sounds very interesting, and I’m hoping to connect” then make a habit of “liking” or commenting on their posts. The goal here is to build connections with people at the places where you might like to work. Then, if you’re applying for a job there one day, you already have a connection on the inside who can help you. (If you need help with informational interviews, check out my digital course Informational Interviews for Job Seekers.)
  7. Keep track of your accomplishments. I advise my clients to have a “Brag Book” where they keep track of their accomplishments at work, including metrics whenever possible. Add your annual review notes in here, and any time someone says something nice about your work. Not only is this a great confidence boost, but it will be helpful when you’re updating your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  8. Update your resume. Your resume is a “living document” and should be updated regularly with your recent accomplishments, especially while you’re employed. It’s easier to describe your role, responsibilities, and impact when you’re currently on the job. 
  9. Update your LinkedIn profile. Since you are currently employed, you want to make small, incremental changes to your LinkedIn profile so as to avoid suspicion. Also, check your privacy settings under the “Settings” tab to manage options like your “active status” and “share profile updates.”
  10. Use LinkedIn regularly. As I’ve mentioned above, you want to nurture and grow your network, and LinkedIn is the best tool for it. Check-in once a week and interact with others on the site - “like,” comment, and share their posts. Join groups. Reach out to new connections. Add some posts of your own about your industry, it’s excellent for your personal brand and looks impressive to hiring managers. 
  11. Contact recruiters. After your resume and LinkedIn profile are updated, use LinkedIn to find and connect with recruiters in your industry. Share your resume and work experience with them, and the types of roles that interest you. Then they’ll have your information ready if an appropriate job opens up. 

WHEN TO LEVERAGE "CAREER CUSHIONING"

NOW! When it comes to your career, remain vigilant, especially with economic worries on the horizon.  Each new job should be a step up, in terms of title and salary. And if you are laid off, you don’t want to be in a position where you’re desperate for a new job - any new job - and take a step backward in your career.

πŸ’‘Instead, take these steps to make a thoughtful and purposeful transition in your career, should the need arise. Plus, the process will make you feel great too - you will be confident, clear, and secure about your career. Huzzah!

To your success,

- Emily

 

Are you wasting your time on ghost jobs? 

October 24, 2023

Hi everyone,

I missed last week’s newsletter because I was speaking at an event and all my energy was focused on that. I’m sorry to miss the post, especially because I’ve been wanting to talk with you about ghost jobs! Not only is this topic seasonally appropriate with Halloween around the corner, but I desperately want you to know what to avoid when you’re job hunting. 

Two weeks ago I talked about why the job search sucks. One of the reasons it sucks is because many job listings are fake - they are called “ghost jobs.” Today we're talking all about ghost jobs - what they are, why they happen, and how to spot them. 

WHAT ARE GHOST JOBS?

Also known as “phantom jobs,” these are job listings that companies create with no intention of filling the role. πŸ˜±

If you apply to a ghost job, you might apply and never hear back from the company, or worse - go through several rounds of interviews only to get ghosted by the company. They just stop responding to your messages. 

WHY DO COMPANIES POST GHOST JOBS?

The phenomenon came to light in 2022 when Clarify Capital, a company providing loans for small businesses, surveyed 1,000+ managers to understand their intent behind ghost jobs. The reasons for ghost jobs vary, but it is largely because of economic uncertainty. 

It has been a tricky few years for businesses. The pandemic threw everything off course in 2020, and The Great Resignation fueled employee upheaval through 2021 and 2022. Now that the Fed has increased interest rates and it is more expensive to borrow money, companies want to tighten their belts and prepare for any economic insecurity in 2023 and 2024. Ghost jobs are a reflection of this uncertainty. 

🀯 Here are the reasons I have found why companies post ghost jobs, ranked in order from innocent to the most nefarious:

  1. Overlisting: If a position is remote, it might be posted in markets all over the country, like Boston, San Francisco, New York, and Seattle. This looks like multiple job listings, but it’s ultimately just one remote job. 
  2. Miscommunication: Large companies have lots of departments and sometimes poor communication between them. There are many people involved in the hiring process and if budgets or plans change, it could take weeks for the hiring manager to learn about it. 
  3. Requirement: The hiring manager already wants an internal candidate for the job, but the company requires them to post the job anyway to avoid accusations of favoritism or discrimination. 
  4. Fishing: Sometimes companies are in no rush to hire, but they post a job just to see the quality of candidates who apply. They want to meet talented people and have them on file in case a job opens up. This is especially true during economic uncertainty or for jobs that tend to have a high turnover. 
  5. Deceit: Sometimes companies want to look like they are growing by hiring more people, even if they aren’t. In this case, the company won’t take a job listing down because it suggests they are shrinking or stagnant. 
  6. Threats: I’ve heard of companies that post “open” jobs that are already filled by real employees, just to show those employees that they can be replaced anytime. 
  7. Placate: If you think the last two situations were bad, wait for this one - sometimes companies will post ghost job listings just to placate overworked employees. Then they can say, “Look, we posted the job, we’re *trying* to find someone to help …” even if they have no intention of filling the role. This move is especially popular at companies that recently experienced layoffs and the remaining workers are piled with extra work. 

HOW TO SPOT GHOST JOBS

According to respondents of the Clarify Capital surveyup to 65% of job postings can be ghost jobs. Yes, you read that right. You could be spending all your time on job boards applying for jobs that don’t even exist. πŸ€¬ As a career coach, I’m a big advocate for networking your way to a job and avoiding job boards altogether (as I talked about in the last newsletter). 

If, however, you are spending your time on the job boards, there are a few clues to look for to determine whether or not the job posting is real: 

  1. When was the job posted? It if was posted in the last 1-2 weeks, you’re likely ok. If the post is more than 30 days old, it’s likely a ghost job.
  2. Does the job get taken down and reposted? That is nearly 100% certain to be a ghost job. 
  3. How detailed is the job description? If you see a detailed list of specific responsibilities and qualifications, then it’s likely real. Ghost job listings tend to be short, generic, and vague. 
  4. Is the job opening listed on the company website? Job search boards scan company websites for jobs. A company could take a job off their own website and the job boards won’t update their listing for weeks. (While you’re at it - if you see a job you like, apply through the company website too. It helps you stand out from all the job seekers who are using “Easy Apply.")
  5. Use LinkedIn to see if you have any 1st or 2nd connections at the company who can confirm whether the company is actually hiring. (This is a great way to network your way into the role too.) If you do not have connections, find the hiring manager on LinkedIn (the person who would be your boss, usually the manager of the department) and ask if they are still hiring for the role. BONUS: What a great way to get your resume directly into the hands of the hiring manager! 
  6. Search for news about the company. Were there any recent layoffs or big changes in the organization? For example, if they just received a round of funding, then they are legitimately hiring more people. If the company recently laid off employees, they are unlikely to hire anytime soon. 
  7. Beware of scams. Some job listings are worse than fake - they’re actual scams. Beware of companies that want to conduct an interview over text, ask for personal information like your social security number, or offer to send money so that you can buy equipment. 

Alright! I hope I have sufficiently opened your eyes to the wild world of ghost jobs, and now you know what to avoid in your job search. And if you’re ready to ditch those job boards and actually land a job you love, make a 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

The job search sucks. Stop doing it. 

October 10, 2023

 Hi everyone, 

“I’m ready for a new job,” you might be thinking. “Let me update my resume and hit the job boards.” Then you find some jobs you like, customize your resume, perhaps write a cover letter, and then send off your application. And cross your fingers. And send good vibes. And maybe do a little hopeful dance.

And then you wait. And you don’t hear back. Or you do hear back and you’re immediately rejected. Or you get called for an interview only to be ghosted. And you do this repeatedly, multiple times a day, for weeks on end, only to see your confidence and energy plummet. 

πŸ™…‍♀️ The job search sucks. It’s broken, it’s depressing, and it’s time-consuming. 

How does it suck so much? Let’s count the ways:

  1. It takes a lot of time. You have to search for jobs, research the company, customize your resume, write a cover letter, and submit an application - that’s too much! At this point, finding a new job is a job. 
  2. It’s debilitating. It takes a lot of energy to get rejected or ghosted every day only to wake up ready to do it all over again the next day. What a vicious and depressing cycle. 
  3. It lowers your standards. After you spend some time not hearing back about jobs, you start applying for jobs that don’t even sound interesting to you. And then - surprise! - you don’t even hear back on jobs for which you are “overqualified.” Talk about depressing.
  4. It’s competitive. In the days of “Easy Apply” and online applications, hiring managers are swarmed with resumes. Nowadays they could get 500 applicants instead of 50. How are you supposed to stand out from that crowd? 
  5. It’s fake. This last one is important for you to know. Up to 60% of job listings can be “ghost listings,” meaning the company has no intention of filling that role for several months, if ever🀯 That means you are spending all your time applying for jobs that don’t actually exist. Why do companies do this? There’s a list of reasons, from innocent to nefarious. That’s a whole other conversation for another day (perhaps next week's email?). For now, just know that you might be applying to jobs that aren’t real. 

πŸ€” Do you see why the old method of applying for dozens of jobs just doesn’t work anymore? You’re not “playing the numbers game” when you send out 100 job applications, you’re just doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. 

There’s a better way to search for a job. It’s the method I teach my clients to land jobs faster and easier - no “Easy Apply” required. 

THE BETTER WAY TO JOB SEARCH

  1. Figure out what you want. What kind of job interests you, at what kind of company? Then look at job descriptions and LinkedIn profiles to get keywords and key phrases to build into your resume and LinkedIn profile. (If this step overwhelms you, check out my digital course Five Steps to Find Your New Career). 
  2. Rather than working on your resume, polish up your LinkedIn profile. Nowadays, a LinkedIn profile is almost more important than a resume. Not only is it necessary for your job search, but also for networking. BONUS: An optimized LinkedIn profile can attract recruiters, which is one of the best ways to land a new job. It works too - one of my clients optimized his profile on a Thursday and five recruiters reached out to him by Monday morning. And one of those recruiters led to his next job - boom! 
  3. Instead of sending out 100 resumes, contact 100 people. Make contacts at the companies where you want to work so that you have an advocate on the inside to hand your resume to the hiring manager. Find contacts on LinkedIn - work your network, your school’s alumni, and ask 2nd or 3rd connections for informational interviews. Check out my course on informational interviews for more tips. 

πŸ’‍♀️ Stop job searching the old way - it doesn’t work and you’re wasting your time. No more applying to jobs online with a resume and cover letter - change your job search strategy using the steps outlined above for faster and better results. As always, if you have any questions about the job search or your career strategy, please make a free 30-minute appointment

Here's what others have said after their free 30-minute appointment:

"That was awesome! Thank you! I feel so much clearer on my path."

"Wow! You really put things into perspective for me. Thank you."

"I feel much more confident moving forward."

"I took your advice and I've got an interview next week! My first one in months!"

πŸ’ƒ Wahoo! I love hearing this! I hope to meet you soon too. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

WII.FM Part 3 - How to write bullet points for your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile

October 3, 2023

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the final installment of WII.FM! This is Part 3 of 3, and today we dive into the nitty gritty about how to write effective bullet points for your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

⚠️ WARNING: This email is long and very useful. 

Before I get into the details, let’s review the highlights from the previous two emails in this series. (You can read Parts 1 and 2 here).

JOB SEARCH MINDSET SHIFT

You are the entrepreneur of your career. You are the product and you are selling the product to target customers who are hiring managers and recruiters. 

Every good entrepreneur is tuned into WII.FM - “What’s In It for Me," and markets their product to speak to their target customers’ problems, wants, and needs. Because people buy solutions, not products. 

As the job seeker, you must be tuned into WII.FM - who are the hiring managers and what do they want? What are their problems, wants, and needs, and how can you tailor your personal brand to speak to them? Last week’s email covered this in detail

⭐ If you recall, we also talked about sharing the benefits of hiring you, instead of simply listing the features of your background. Show your experience through stories, rather than just talking about your skills. 

So let’s talk about how to find those stories and turn them into bullet points. 

STEP 1: FIND YOUR KEYWORDS

This step is crucial for your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t found your keywords yet, do this first.

  1. Find 3-5 job listings that interest you. These can be aspirational jobs, something you would like to get in the future. You aren’t necessarily applying to these jobs, you’re just using the listing to pull out keywords and key phrases. Look for job descriptions with lots of content. 
  2. Copy + paste the job descriptions into a new document. Highlight the keywords and key phrases from each job description. Look for words that describe the skills they’re looking for, the type of work you will be doing, and the type of person they are looking to hire. 
  3. Copy + paste your highlights into a new document. You will see patterns emerge, such as “technical skills,” “teamwork/collaboration,” “communication,” etc… Organize your keywords and key phrases into these categories. 
    1. It’s okay if the phrases sound similar, now you have options to play with. Sometimes when you are working on a resume, cover letter, AND LinkedIn profile, you end up saying the same thing twice and you’ll be glad for an extensive list of phrases to pull from. 
  4. Use online tools. There are several online resources to help you get a quick list of top keywords. Try the keyword tools from Resume WordedSkillSyncer, or Jobscan
    1. WARNING: These tools can help, but they do not replace the copy + paste steps I mentioned above - you will get more valuable and in-depth information if you manually read the job descriptions and assemble your own keyword list. 

STEP 2: FIND YOUR STORIES

Now that you have your keywords and you know what your target customers want, find stories from your past experience that illustrate the keywords from the job descriptions. Think about your tasks, responsibilities, and outcomes from the last 10 years.

⭐ Remember, you don’t have to be paid in order to have “experience.” Time spent in school or working as a volunteer absolutely qualifies as experience. 

Find stories that illustrate your keywords:

  1. Successes, impact, when you made a difference
  2. Issues you recognized and addressed
  3. Opportunities you recognized and acted on 
  4. Disasters you helped avoid or quickly clean up 
  5. Problems you solved
  6. Processes you improved
  7. Situations when you reduced something: expenses/waste
  8. Situations when you improved something: profits/workplace/morale
  9. Times when you failed and the lessons you learned 
  10. Other skills desirable by your target employers - what does the job require?

STEP 3: WRITE SAR STORIES

Alright, you’ve got your stories that illustrate your keywords, now it’s time to turn them into SAR stories. SAR stands for “Situation, Action, Result” and it’s an effective and efficient way to write your bullet points. (Incidentally, it’s also a great way to answer open-ended job interview questions like: “Tell me about …” “What do you do when …” “Give me an example of …”)

The SAR Method for Storytelling

  1. SAR Method: Answer each point below using 1-2 sentences for each answer.
    1. Situation: Describe the situation you were in, the problem you needed to solve, and the challenge to overcome.
    2. Action: What did you do and how did you do it? 
    3. Results: What were the outcomes and the impact (on the company/you)?
  2. You should have a total of 3-6 sentences for each SAR story. This is a good start! We’re going to make it shorter soon. First, it’s time to find quantifiable measures. 

STEP 4: FIND QUANTIFIABLE MEASURES 

Quantifiable measures are numbers, percentages, metrics, data, or anything that will quantify and support your results. 

⭐ Numbers are an important addition to your stories because they help illustrate your points. They measure your impact. They show, instead of tell, how you are an effective employee. Most of all, they help a hiring manager easily understand how you can help them if they hire you. 

How to Find Quantifiable Measures

  1. Look at your SAR stories, especially the “results.”
  2. Then, ask how manyhow muchhow longhow often?
    1. How many people did you manage, how much money did you make, how long did the project run, how often did you present to groups? 
    2. If you saved money or time, that is an important quantifiable measure.
  3. An estimate or range is okay, it doesn’t have to be precise.
  4. You can get quantifiable measures out of nearly any job, even if your job is entirely soft skills and not easy to measure. 
    1. For example, say you were a mentor to at-risk teenagers. You can talk about how many teenagers you helped, how many hours you spent mentoring, or you can just roll it into the organization’s quantifiable measures … “Helping TeenagersToday reach 1,000 students per year.” 
  5. If you are struggling to find quantifiable measures, read this helpful article about finding quantifiable measures.
  6. Use ChatGPT for help too. Choose a SAR story and type in this prompt:
    1. “Please help me find quantifiable measures for bullet points for my resume based on the following story: [copy + paste your SAR story].”  

STEP 5: WRITE YOUR BULLET POINTS 

You made it! Now you’re ready to write effective bullet points for your resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile. 

SRA Stories 

Get your SAR stories and flip the order a bit. Now think of them as SRA stories: Situation, RESULT, Action. Take your SAR stories and rewrite them as SRA stories, adding quantifiable measures where you can. 

⭐ Another way to think about your SRA stories: 

  1. “I helped _____ achieve _____ by doing _____”
  2. “Helped [situation] achieve [results] by doing [action].”

Make SRA Stories Shorter 

Now take your SRA stories and make them even shorter. BULLET POINTS PRO TIP: Drop the “Situation” and only focus on the “Results” and “Action.” 

REMINDER: Bullet points are short, impactful statements 

  1. Aim for two sentences (three sentences if they’re short).
  2. Start with a great action word. Find 400+ action words here, and more useful action words here.
  3. Include keywords and key phrases whenever possible. You want your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile dripping in keywords. 
  4. Do not include a “first” or “third” person, there is no person at all. 
    1. NO: “I was promoted to manager.” YES: “Promoted to manager.”  

Let’s look at examples. Let’s say you ran the social media accounts for a small business. Here are different ways you can handle those bullet points, from “Bad” to “Best”

  1. BAD: “Handled the company’s social media accounts by posting content and interacting with followers.” 
  2. GOOD: “Grew three social media accounts by posting regular content and interacting with 1,000+ followers.”
  3. BETTER: “Revived three social media campaigns, boosting followers 200% and user engagement 400%.”
  4. BEST: “Increased social media followers by 200% using viral marketing campaigns that boosted sales by 50%.” (This one is the best because it starts with the RESULT and includes keywords.)

πŸ‘ And that’s it! That’s how you write effective bullet points for your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. You’ve just been handed the ultimate guide to refining your brand and attracting hiring managers and recruiters. 

Whew! This has been quite a journey and I’m proud of you for making it all the way through. This email is a doozy, so be sure you bookmark it and the other two emails in the series. And if you have any questions about writing bullet points for your brand, make a free 30-minute appointment, and let’s talk about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

WII.FM Part 2 - Four steps to answer, "What's in it for me?"

September 26, 2023

Hi everyone,

Last week I talked about the most important radio station in the world - WII.FM. 

When you are writing your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, you must appeal to your target audience - the hiring manager. And the hiring managers are all tuned in to WII.FM - "What’s in it for me?" 

That means your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile must be tuned into the problems, wants, and needs of the hiring manager. You have to answer, “What’s in it for me?” so the hiring manager immediately understands why they have to call you in for an interview. This means you:

  1. Discuss the benefits of hiring you instead of the features of your background
  2. Show your experience, rather than just talk about it 
  3. Connect the dots between your background and the needs of the hiring manager

The last newsletter mentioned four steps to help you do this, and today’s newsletter outlines those steps in more detail. Let’s get started! 

STEP 1: UNDERSTAND THE HIRING MANAGER’S PERSPECTIVE 

Who is the hiring manager and what do they want? 

  1. First, who is the hiring manager? It’s usually the head of the department where you want to work. If a name isn’t listed in the job description, it will say something like, “Report to the manager about …” and chances are, “the manager” is the hiring manager. A quick LinkedIn search will help you find the leadership team, department information, and the hiring manager. (You might find this information on their website too.) 
  2. Once you find the person(s), study their LinkedIn profile - what do they mention in the profile? What do they talk about? What accomplishments are they most proud of? This will give you a good insight into what is important to them. 
  3. Read the job description closely (which is largely written by the hiring manager) - what are the objectives? What are they hoping this role will achieve?
  4. Study the company - what is their mission, their products/services, and who are they selling to? Read the company’s website, LinkedIn page, and search their name in the news. Did they launch any special products or initiatives recently? How can you help with that? 

STEP 2: REVIEW YOUR SKILLS

Read the job description for clues.

  1. Read the job description closely and highlight the keywords and phrases - what is the company looking for?
  2. Make a list of the skills requested and keywords from the job description - aim for 3-5 categories of skills/job description. 
  3. Look at the list of skills and decide which ones you’d like to highlight - do you have stories you can share about these skills that illustrate your impact at an organization? 

STEP 3: CONNECT THE DOTS 

Now it’s time to connect the dots between your background/experience and the skills the employer wants.

  1. What are the top priorities for the company and hiring manager? (STEP 1)
  2. How can your background/experience/skills help them achieve those objectives? (STEP 2)
  3. What stories can you share that connect the dots between their priorities and your background? (STEP 3)
  4. Look at your past stories from different perspectives. For example, if the hiring manager wants someone who will “grow their customer base,” talk about how you have done this in the past. Get specific with numbers and measurements. Look at all of your past work through the lens of “growing a customer base.” Even if your primary duties weren’t “growing a customer base,” make it very clear how your actions ultimately helped the team to do that. 
  5. Your experience doesn’t have to be directly related. As long as the results you achieved are similar to the results the company wants, you can talk about the experience you gained in school, as a volunteer, or at a previous job in a different industry. For example, if you volunteered with your school’s PTO and helped increase membership, that counts as “growing a customer base” and you can talk about it in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. 

STEP 4: KEEP IT SIMPLE 

This doesn’t have to be complicated, the simplest messages are the easiest to understand. 

  1. Job seekers tend to have too much text and not enough substance. Hiring managers would rather see a cover letter with only three sentences on it if every word is tuned into WII.FM and speaks directly to their needs/wants/problems. Less is more here.
  2. Use bullet points to illustrate your skills and stories. For example, if the job description is looking for a strong leader, create a heading titled “Leadership” and list 2-3 bullet points that demonstrate your leadership skills, ideally with quantifiable measures that illustrate your impact. 
  3. Use lots of white space in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. Eyes get overwhelmed with too much text. Your message will have a greater impact if you use short sentences and bullet points rather than long paragraphs. 
  4. After you write your bullet points, review them - do they speak to the hiring manager’s needs? Do the bullet points illustrate the skills the hiring manager is looking for? Is everything tuned into WII.FM? 

That wraps up this week’s newsletter. Next week I’ll deliver the final message in this series - how to use WII.FM to write effective bullet points for your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

To your success,

- Emily

 

A new way to think about your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile

September 19, 2023

Hi everyone,

Today I’ve got a tip to rethink the way you write your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn. 

But first, may I share a brief story to kick off today’s message? 

I have a business background, and I was a startup coach before I became a career coach. 

As a startup coach, I helped young businesses double their sales, raise millions of dollars in funding, and appear on ABC’s Shark Thank. I also wrote the book Make, Sell, Repeat: The Ultimate Business Guide for Artists, Crafters, and Makers, based on my own experience as a creative entrepreneur.

The book led to my gig at Boston University teaching Career Development in the Arts, a position I still hold today. And I love talking about business and career development because the two are so intertwined. 

I see “career development” a lot like “business development.” Because there are many parallels between being a job seeker and being an entrepreneur.

❗In the end, YOU ARE BOTH SELLING A PRODUCT TO A TARGET CUSTOMER. An entrepreneur sells products. As a job seeker, YOU are the product.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TARGET CUSTOMER

ENTREPRENEURS have target customers - people who will buy their products 

JOB SEEKERS also have target customers - hiring managers (and recruiters)

When ENTREPRENEURS want to reach their target customers, they tailor their message to speak directly to their target customers’ problems, wants, and needs. 

Likewise, when JOB SEEKERS want to reach their target customers, they must tailor their message to speak directly to the hiring managers’ problems, wants, and needs. 

THE MOST IMPORTANT RADIO STATION IN THE WORLD: WII.FM

πŸ“» Let me take you back to the mid-2000s when I was a wee MBA student. In my first marketing class, I learned that smart business owners listen to the most important radio station in the world: WII.FM. (SPOILER: It’s not really a radio station, it’s a state of mind.) 

WII.FM stands for “What’s In It For Me?” That is, whenever you are selling something to your target customer, they’re thinking, “What’s in it for me?”

❗Here’s the truth: Whether you are an ENTREPRENEUR selling a product or a JOB SEEKER looking to get hired, your target customers are always thinking, “So what? Why should I care? What’s in it for me?” 

It sounds harsh but it’s true. We do it all the time as consumers. We pick up a product, look at the label, read the reviews, and decide if this product will help us with our problem, want, or need. 

WE DON’T BUY PRODUCTS. WE BUY SOLUTIONS

Entrepreneurs know that target customers don’t necessarily care about the product itself, they care about what the product can do for them

This is a "features vs. benefits" issue. We generally don’t buy products because of the features, we buy products because of the benefits the features will provide. 

For example, which is more appealing to you: “This computer has 64GB of hard drive” or “This computer can store all of your documents, photos, and large files without affecting speed.” 

64GB is the "feature." Ok, so what? Why should I care? Oh, I can store everything in there and my computer will still be fast. That's the "benefit." Great. Sold.  

πŸ’‘In job search terms, a feature is a quality (or skill), but the benefit explains why that quality (or skill) is valuable to a hiring manager. 

Here’s why this is important - too often I see resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles that are somehow filled with a lot of words but say a lot of nothing. People just go on and on talking about their background and skills. Which is all well and good, but you're just giving me the “features.” 

I want to hear about the “benefits” … Great, you’ve got all these talents and skills, but what can your talent and skills do for me, the hiring manager? What’s in it for me? 

❗And if you apply WII.FM to your job search, it completely changes how you approach your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

CONNECT THE DOTS ("LA LA LA LA")

Did anyone else grow up watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse? Pee-wee had a “Connect the dots” segment where he sang, “Connect the dots, la la la la, connect the dots, la la la la,” and the dots would connect and become a simple image that Pee-wee would jump into and go on a little adventure

That’s exactly what you need to do with your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. You connect the dots between your background, skills, and experience to create a picture for the hiring manager. You want to paint a picture so clear and so exciting that a hiring manager just wants to jump right into it and call you in for an interview. 

πŸ’‘We talked about features vs. benefits. You can also think of it like show vs. tell

So it’s not enough to just talk about your skills and experience. You have to show how those skills will directly benefit a future employer, based on the results you have achieved in the past. Connect the dots. Tell the story of your career so a hiring manager immediately understands what you offer and how it can help them. 

My email next week will have more tips on how to do that, but here’s a preview of the four steps so you can start thinking about it now:

STEP 1: Understand the hiring manager’s perspective. Who are they and what do they want? What are their problems/wants/needs, based on the job description? 

STEP 2: Review your skills - what is the company looking for and how can your skills/experience/background help? How can you share your experience in a way that will appeal to their needs? 

STEP 3: Connect the dots - what are the company’s (and hiring manager’s) objectives and how can your background/experience/skills help them achieve those objectives? For example, “They are looking for someone who can communicate well with other stakeholders. I have done that before. How can I frame that in a way that benefits the hiring manager?” 

STEP 4: Keep it simple. Job seekers tend to have too much text and not enough substance. A hiring manager would prefer to see a few bullet points with every word relevant and tuned into WII.FM over long blocks of text which somehow don’t say much at all. 

Next week I’ll talk more about the four steps and how to incorporate them into your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile.

In the meantime, if you’re working on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile, look at it through the lens of a hiring manager tuned into WII.FM and saying, “So what? Why should I care? What’s in it for me?” 

• Do you have too many features listed and not enough benefits

• Are you telling instead of showing

• Are you letting your resume “speak for itself” or are you clearly connecting the dots between your skills, accomplishments, and how a hiring manager can benefit from hiring you? 

See you next week for Part 2 of WII.FM,

- Emily

 

[JOB SEARCH TIP] Send messages, not applications

September 12, 2023

Hi Emily, 

I’ll be blunt: the job search sucks. For so many reasons. 

Job searching can be stressful, confusing, and debilitating. It combines lots of things that often make us uncomfortable - money, self-esteem, networking, taking risks, rejection … worse yet, it takes up SO MUCH TIME. 

Here’s how most people job hunt: 

  1. Update the resume
  2. Search job sites and find some jobs that sound vaguely appealing 
  3. Send out dozens or hundreds of resumes/applications
  4. Don’t hear back, get burnt out, run-down, and imposter syndrome creeps in
  5. Sit up and do it all again the next day

I’ve been a career coach for seven years and I have seen hundreds of people ride the same roller coaster. And this method doesn’t work, as you’ve likely seen by now. 

Most people think that job applications are a “numbers game.” I call it the “click and stick” method - where people just click on job applications all day long, hoping one of them will stick. Because the more you apply, the more likely you’ll hear back from someone, right? 

Wrong. You’re wasting time applying for jobs that aren’t a great fit - or worse yet if you’re overqualified. Those precious hours spent customizing resumes and writing cover letters could be spent in more strategic and fruitful ways. 

Rather than send out 100 applications, I’d rather you connect with 100 people. 

Ok, yes, I just heard you groan. I know this isn’t a popular sentiment. I know sitting behind a computer and applying to jobs all day long is easier than reaching out to strangers at the companies where you want to work.

“But Emily,” you might be thinking, “I have tried to connect with people in the past and it didn’t work.”

If you’ve tried to connect with people in the past, how many people did you connect with? I mean how many people did you have real conversations and connections with? I bet it’s less than 10, likely less than five. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fabulous start, but it’s just a start. You have to keep going. 

Today’s job market, while better than expected and still relatively tight, is quite competitive. Between layoffs and career changers, there are a lot of job applications flooding the market right now. 

So there are two ways you stand out from the competition:

  1. A strong personal brand, including a compelling LinkedIn profile
  2. Connections with people at the companies where you want to work

So let’s talk about how you get those connections at the places where you want to work. 

First of all, do you know where you want to work? Write a list of companies that interest you. I have a whole module about this in my Find Your New Career course, and I’ll give you some highlights here: 

  1. If you know what industry interests you, search by industry on Indeed's Company Reviews page
  2. What about the connections you already have? Where are they working? 
  3. Search for companies on the “Best Places to Work” lists
  4. Look up reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed

Next, find 5-10 people who work at the company where you want to work. (If it’s a mid-sized company, five people. If it’s a big company, 10 people.) You can look for anyone who works at the company, and ultimately connect with people who work in the department where you want to work. 

Send them messages asking for a 20-minute meeting/informational interview. Tell them you’re interested in working for the company one day and ask if they could provide insight on what it’s like to work there. 

Ultimately, the purpose of these meetings is to get your resume in their hand and a promise they’ll connect you with the hiring manager, but you don’t ask for that right away. (It will come up during the 20-minute informational interview.) You want to make a connection first. 

I published a 5-sentence structure for these types of emails on LinkedIn last week. (Are you following me on LinkedIn?) 

Why should you contact 5-10 people at the company? Because you won’t hear back from everyone, you want to cast a wide net. And if you do hear back from everyone, that’s amazing! That’s more people in the company who know you and can advocate for you.

If you’ve barely done informational interviews in the past, or haven’t done them ever, I urge you to take this step to stand out in today’s job market. If you’re stuck on informational interviews or they have intimidated you in the past, look into my informational interviews course, which makes the process really easy. 

Remember, you can send out hundreds of applications, but there are two proven ways to stand out in today’s job market: 

  1. A strong personal brand, including a compelling LinkedIn profile
  2. Connections with people at the companies where you want to work

So get going on those connections today! It will take a few weeks to send out the messages, hear a reply, and book the informational interview, just stay patient and stick with it. This will pay off, I promise. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

Are you using this important job search strategy? (VIDEO INSIDE)

September 6, 2023

Hi everyone,

It’s here! September is here! Not only is it the start of the school year - huzzah! (Fellow parents of school-aged children, you know what I’m talking about πŸ˜‰). September is the start of a traditionally hot hiring season.

Summer is the toughest time to look for a job, so if you’ve been frustrated with the job search over the past few months, take comfort in knowing hiring picks up again in September and October. 

I wrote about the hot hiring season two weeks ago, and listed five steps you can do to prepare: 

  1. Make a list of companies that interest you
  2. Make connections at the companies that interest you
  3. Find your keywords
  4. Add the keywords to your resume and LinkedIn profile
  5. Upskill if necessary

Step #2 - Make connections at the companies that interest you - should be a top priority in your job search. I offered networking tips in my newsletter, and I suggested informational interviews as your “boss move” to really cinch the deal.

Informational interviews - where you speak to someone who is doing a job that interests you - can lead to important contacts at the companies where you want to work. At a minimum, informational interviews tell you more about the types of jobs and companies that interest you. At most, they can also lead to job interviews and sometimes job offers. I’ve seen it happen dozens of times before, and it can happen to you too. 

😬 Yes, this all sounds terrific, but when I ask people if they use informational interviews in their job search, they just kind of shrug it off. People either say, “Eh, do they really work?” or, “It’s scary … Who do I ask? What should I say? What if I don’t hear back?”

I get it, I really do. I have guided 1,500+ informational interviews over the years, and they are the single most rewarding (and scary) step for a job seeker. Every person I have advised about informational interviews inevitably says, “Thank you for pushing me to do this. I didn’t want to do it, and now I’m so glad I did.” 

Growing your network is the #1 way to get a job.

And the #1 to grow your network is through informational interviews. 

I am so serious about the power of informational interviews that I dedicated an entire module to them in my new Find Your New Career Course

πŸ’‘Then I realized, if you know exactly what kind of job you want next, then you don’t need the Find Your New Career course, then you’re missing out on that valuable module about informational interviews.

So I took that module about informational interviews and turned it into a standalone course. Meet Informational Interviews for Job Seekers, a step-by-step guide to help you contact the right people the right way and land your next job opportunity. 

Informational Interviews for Job Seekers is a simple course guiding you through every step of the informational interview process. You will learn about who to ask, how to ask, when to ask, and what to ask during your informational interviews so that you leave a great first impression with someone who is eager to help you with your job search. This course makes it really easy to do informational interviews, just follow the templates and step-by-step advice.

The best part? This course is only $95, and includes 10 videos with detailed instructions for your informational interviews.

If you want my guidance on informational interviews, you can choose the hybrid version for $295, which includes 4 weeks of my coaching and 2x30 min 1:1 Zoom sessions. (Quite a deal, considering my coaching rate is $425/hour). If you have tried informational interviews in the past and they didn’t work out the way you wanted, the hybrid version is for you. 

It's time to switch strategies in your job search. Stop applying to jobs from the outside and make some connections on the inside. Informational Interviews get it done and this course will show you how. Click here for more information about the course

😳 Are you still unsure about informational interviews? That’s your brain working against you - it's trying to keep you small and safe. I address this exact issue in the course, in Lesson #3. Here is the video for Lesson #3, which is all about your mindset for informational interviews. Enjoy! 

Even if you don’t purchase the course, I hope this message motivates you to pursue informational interviews for your career development. If you have any questions about informational interviews, schedule a free 30-minute appointment and tell me about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

Did you see this video on LinkedIn? (Are you using LinkedIn? πŸ˜³)

August 29, 2023

Hi everyone,

How often are you logging into LinkedIn?

Most people make the mistake of only using LinkedIn when they’re job hunting. As Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman would say: "Big mistake. Big. Huge." 

 

Nurture your network now

I love the proverb, "Don't wait to build a well until you're thirsty." It means you should prepare for what you need before you need it. And you can apply the same philosophy to networking. 

I like to say, “Build your network when you don’t need it so it’s ready when you do need it.” 

Most people only tap into their network when they’re job hunting, but that’s just building a well when you’re dying of thirst. Instead, if you build your well ahead of time, and nurture your network regularly, then your network will be there in abundance to help you when you need it. 

🀝 And when I say, “nurturing your network,” I mean two things: 1) Actively staying connected with your network, and 2) offering help to others. Not only does that make you a better human, but it increases the chances people will help you when you need it. (And you NEED your network when you're job hunting.)

And you can easily nurture your network and help others on LinkedIn. 

About your network

Before I offer some tips and share a neat video, let me define “your network.” Everyone’s networks are composed of “strong ties” and “weak ties.” I want you to focus on the “weak ties,” the people you know casually. 

Why? Because people who are your “strong” ties - people with whom you interact regularly - they likely run in the same circles you do and know the same people you do. This is all well and good, but when you’re job hunting, you want to tap into your bigger network, especially those “weak” ties.

πŸ’‘ Because “weak” ties often yield the greatest networking opportunities. Your “weak” ties run in different circles than you do, they know different people, therefore they know about more opportunities. And you want all the networking help you can get when you’re job hunting.

How to nurture your network on LinkedIn

This doesn’t have to be a big time commitment - just once a week log on to LinkedIn and “like” your contacts’ posts. Even better - leave a thoughtful comment. People really appreciate those. 

Look at your list of contacts - who haven’t you spoken to in a while? Check their profile - what are they up to? 

πŸ’¬ Send personal messages once a quarter (every three months) to your connections - especially those weak connections, people you don’t know very well

Keep it short and offer help: “I see you’re working at ______. How is it going there? I’m checking in to say hello. And if there is any way I can use my network to help you, please let me know.” This is a powerful way to keep your network nurtured when you’re happily employed. 

πŸ™‹‍♀️ Notice I said, “...when you’re happily employed.” Because when you are job hunting, you have to do all of this and much more. Job hunting on LinkedIn is a totally different strategy, more than just nurturing your network. We can have that conversation on another day. (Or make a free 30-minute appointment and we can talk about your LinkedIn strategy.)

For now, I’m just encouraging you to follow me on LinkedIn because it will get you logging into LinkedIn regularly, plus I share fun stuff, like this video below. 

Helpful LinkedIn tip (video)

Do you remember in last week’s newsletter I shared five steps to get ready for the hot September hiring season? 

Step 2 was all about using LinkedIn’s “All Filters” button to find people who work at the companies where you want to work. This button is so important that I made a short video about it and posted it on LinkedIn last week. Enjoy!

I hope to see you on LinkedIn! If you found this message helpful, please pass it along to someone else who might enjoy it too. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

You've got two weeks - are you ready? 😳 Action items inside 

August 22, 2023 

Hi everyone,

🀦‍♀️ Bad news - we’re in the Summer Slump. 

Summer is the worst time of year to look for a job because everyone is out of the office. 

Important projects - like hiring a new team member - are put off until September, when everyone is back in the office. 

August is the lowest point of the summer slump, and you’re likely feeling it if you’re actively applying for jobs right now. 

πŸ’ƒ But September is around the corner! And September/October are hot hiring months. Plus, there are plenty of things to do to keep yourself active on the job hunt while we await September’s return. You've got two weeks - are you ready? Buckle up, I’ve got loads of tips coming your way … 

1. MAKE A LIST OF COMPANIES THAT INTEREST YOU 

  1. Search the “Best companies to work for” lists, or search online for “Best companies for [your job title or your industry].” You can also search online for “Best companies to work for near me” or “Best companies for [job title or industry] near me.” Try to list at least 10 companies. 
  2. Check out Indeed's Company Reviews page - browse by industry and find top-ranking companies and reviews.
  3. Look at your LinkedIn connections - who do you know (1st and 2nd connections) and where do they work? 
  4. If you're looking for part-time, remote, or flex-time work, go to Flexjobs.com. They specialize in these kinds of jobs, it's what they do. (Also check out Dynamite Jobs, Virtual Vocations, and Remote.co.) I like Flexjobs because they have a fantastic “Top companies” list. And you can search by different categories, like job titles, values, and location. This is a great way to find top companies that are offering part-time, remote, and flexible work. 
  5. Finally, search for a company's competitors. When you start to get a list of companies that interest you, search online for their competitors - could they be good places to work too? Research their reputation on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed
  6. Make a list of companies that interest you. Aim for at least 10.

2. MAKE CONNECTIONS AT THE COMPANIES THAT INTEREST YOU

  1. Search the company name on LinkedIn and click “People” - do you have any 1st or 2nd connections? Also, use the "All Filters" button and enter the company name under “Past company” to find people who used to work there too, they might still have connections at the company. Do the same for your school - enter your school's name to find alumni who are working at the company. 
  2. Update your address book on LinkedIn to expand your search. If you don't have a lot of connections yet on LinkedIn, upload your address book and LinkedIn will find people you already know and you can scan their profiles. You can currently add your address book only through the LinkedIn mobile app, click here to find out how to do it.
  3. Go old school: If you don't want to add your address book to LinkedIn, you can manually search your phone and email contacts and look up their LinkedIn profiles and see where they’re working or where they used to work. 
  4. Once you have a list of people to contact, reach out to them: “Hi ____. [If you know them directly, add something here like "I hope you're doing well" or "Last time we talked you were ..."] I’m a [job title] and I’m very interested in working at [your company]. How do you like it? Would you mind taking a look at my resume?”  This gets your resume in the hands of someone who works there. They can pass it on and now you’ve got an advocate from the inside. And if you think that’s “too pushy,” remember that many companies offer referral bonuses for their employees, so if you’re hired the employee gets money. Win-win.
  5. Boss move: Ask for an informational interview. “Hi ___, I’m a [job title] and I’d like to work for a company like [name of their company] one day. Your job looks quite interesting. Do you have 20 minutes available to talk about your day-to-day life on the job and your experience at the company?” Informational interviews are a great way to solidify important connections and land jobs. I have an extensive module about informational interviews and how to contact people in my new Find Your New Career course.

3. FIND YOUR KEYWORDS 

  1. Study the job descriptions for jobs that interest you (even if you aren’t applying to those jobs right now, or you already applied to them). Aim for 3-5 job descriptions. 
  2. Track the words they use - how do they describe the job? What is the job’s role, responsibility, and the requested background/skills?
  3. At this point, I like to copy + paste the job descriptions into a document, then highlight the keywords and phrases.
  4. There are also several online resources to help you get a quick list of top keywords. Try the keyword tools from Resume Worded, SkillSyncer, or Jobscan.
  5. LinkedIn is useful too. They have a resume builder that can help you identify keywords. I don’t like the resumes that come out of this tool, but it is very handy when you’re working on your keywords. Follow these steps on LinkedIn:  
    1. Your profile → More → Build a resume → Create from profile → Choose your desired job title.
    2. Go to the "Keyword Insights" on the right side of the page - these are keywords that are automatically scraped from the profiles of people who have the job you want.
  6. WARNING: While these tools can help, they do not replace the copy + paste steps I mentioned above - you will get better information if you manually read the job descriptions and assemble your own keyword list. But I like to use technology as a second step, to check my work and discover more keywords.  

4. ADD THE KEYWORDS TO YOUR RESUME AND LINKEDIN PROFILE

  1. Get your resume and LinkedIn profile updated and appealing to hiring managers. Use the keywords and phrases you found in the job descriptions.
  2. Add the keywords to your headline, summary, and experience sections to speak directly to the hiring manager’s needs - what do they want and how can you help them? Be specific about the results you achieved. 
  3. Make your bullet points impactful - use quantifiable measures whenever possible (“Managed 7 people,” “Grew customer base 25%,” “Saved 30 hours of paperwork.”) If you need help finding quantifiable measures, read this article from The Balance Careers

5. UPSKILL IF NECESSARY 

  1. If you’re switching industries or coming back to work after a career pause, it might help to take a few courses to learn new skills or brush up on old ones. What skills do you regularly see listed in job descriptions that are your weakest skills? 
  2. Even if you’re staying in the same type of job, hiring managers love to see that you’re acquiring new skills and growing in your field. 
  3. Many Ivy League schools offer free courses (search online for “[Name of school] free courses” to get started.
  4. Also check out LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, EdX, and Coursera (there are loads of others out there too). 
  5. You can also just search online for “Best online courses for _____”. (Enter the name of the job or the industry or the skill you want to learn.) So you could try, “Best online courses for project managers,” or “Best online courses for Python,” which is a coding language.
  6. You could also add “free” or “with certificate” to your search too: “Best free online courses for project managers with certificates.”

πŸ’‍♀️ OK, that should be plenty to do while you ride out the Summer Slump! If you have any questions about these steps, or if you are overwhelmed by them (which is TOTALLY normal) - please make a free 30-minute appointment to tell me about it. These are NOT sales appointments - it’s simply 30 minutes to help find clarity on your #1 career problem. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

The reviews are in❗15% discount ends tomorrow❗ 

August 15, 2023 

Hi everyone,

Last week I introduced my new course: From Crossroads to Clarity: Five Steps to Find Your New Career

In case you missed the message, you can read it here. The course was designed for those of you who are ready for a new stage in your career, but you’re not sure what to do next. You’re feeling stuck at a crossroads, confused, unmotivated, or overwhelmed about making a change. This course will help you find a career that is personally and professionally fulfilling with an easy-to-follow action plan. 

I offered the course last week with a 15% discount and some of you jumped on it right away - I love your go-get-it attitude! The reviews are in, and here’s what you had to say: 

I’ve done a few modules of the course – it’s soooo good! You have so much great content in there. I’m amazed at how smooth you are with the presentation too.”

"Your lectures are organized, easy to digest, and chock-full of incredible tips to help me navigate my career. Thank you!"

"Your course has inspired a lot of confidence and invited me to lean into the parts of my future that used to make me quite uncomfortable."

"This has really encouraged me to find a practical and exciting path for myself and my career discovery."

😊 Awh, thanks, everyone! I *love* hearing this. I’ve been teaching and coaching for seven years, and I’ve spent a lot of time honing my presentation skills. I'm really glad to hear the course is so accessible. 

You can read more about the course here and watch a video about the course here

15% DISCOUNT ENDS TOMORROW!

If you missed last week’s message, I offered 15% off to you, my lovely newsletter subscriber. 

The digital-only version of the course is usually $495, and the hybrid version is $695, which includes 8 weeks of coaching support and 2x30 min Zoom sessions with me. (Quite a deal, considering my coaching runs $400/hour.)

But, if you purchase the course BEFORE MIDNIGHT (EST) on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, I will refund you 15% of your purchase price. Here's how it breaks down:

Digital: $495 - $75 refund = Total cost $420

Hybrid: $695 - $105 refund = Total cost $590

Just send an email to emily@emilyworden.com confirming your purchase, and I’ll refund you through PayPal. (Sorry for the extra step - payments are processed through PayPal, and they don’t currently have a discount code option. Hence the refund route.)

NO RISKS, ALL REWARDS 

And a reminder, the course comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee! Try the course for 30 days, work through Module 4, and if you don’t see how the course can help you find your new career, I will give you your money back. See the FAQs for more details.

βœ‰οΈ If you have any questions, send me a message: emily@emilyworden.com. 

πŸŽ‰ If you’re ready to get started - yay! I’m ready to support you - click here to purchase the course

To your success,

- Emily

 

You're one month away from discovering the next stage of your career

August 8, 2023 

Hi Emily, 

It’s here! It’s here! The day is FINALLY here! It’s time to introduce my new course: From Crossroads to Clarity: Five Steps to Find Your New Career. I wrote this course for everyone who hates their job and wants to do something new, but they’re not quite sure what it is or how to do it. 

YOU’RE ONE MONTH AWAY FROM DISCOVERING THE NEXT STAGE OF YOUR CAREER

Here are some direct quotes clients have shared with me - have you said anything like this? 

“I feel stuck at my job.”

“I’m at a crossroads and ready for something new.”

“I’m thinking of a change, maybe switching industries."

I’d like to move in an intentional direction in my career.”

“I feel stuck. I feel rudderless. I need a plan.”

“I want to have more confidence in myself. I talk myself out of opportunities.”  

“I want to have structure back in my life and feel accomplished.”

“I need to do something meaningful and feel like I’m a part of something.”

“I want to live more purposefully and productively, and find work that is fulfilling.” 

If you feel this way too, you’re going to love the course! This course has the same resources and step-by-step methods I’ve used to help hundreds of job seekers find jobs that are personally and professionally fulfilling

FIND YOUR NEW CAREER COURSE OUTLINE 

βœ”οΈ MODULE 1: RESOURCES / Career Exploration Made EasyDiscover exciting new career possibilities with three helpful career development tools. This is a quick module designed to kickstart your journey and give you instant momentum, clarity, and focus.

βœ”οΈ MODULE 2: ASSESSMENTS / Uncover Your Unique Profile. Use assessments to gain valuable insight into your skills, interests, values, and personality. Reveal your unique strengths and talents, guiding you towards careers that unlock your full potential. 

βœ”οΈ MODULE 3: ANALYSIS / Job and Industry Research Simplified. Arm yourself with the knowledge to make informed career decisions. Dive into comprehensive job and industry research - including salary insights and take-home pay analysis - that empowers you to make financially-sound career choices and navigate the job market with confidence and clarity. 

βœ”οΈ MODULE 4: CONVERSATIONS / Mastering the Art of Informational Interviews. Informational interviews are a crucial step in your career development, and this module guides you on how to conduct them effectively, including how to find people and their contact information, how to ask for an interview and follow up on your request, and what to do before, during, and after your interview. Learn to leverage the power of networking and gain valuable insights from professionals in your desired field, then use these skills again when you’re ready to search for your dream job. 

βœ”οΈ MODULE 5: RESEARCH / Targeting Your Dream Companies. Identify and research companies that align with your values and goals. Learn how to find jobs and important contacts at these companies, leading you toward a rewarding and purposeful career.

FIND YOUR NEW CAREER COURSE DETAILS

  • 25 lessons spread across five modules, accessed online at your own pace. (I recommend completing one module/week, for a total of five weeks.)
  • Each lesson includes a video, a transcript of the video, and a list of resources discussed in the video.
  • Each video is 5-10 minutes long, and you can control the speed of the video and turn on or off the captions. Total course video run time: 2.5 hours.
  • Includes a course guidebook with every resource and action item discussed in the course and lifetime access to the course, including all future updates. 

COURSE INVESTMENT

Flexible learning: Choose a “digital only” or a “hybrid” version of the course:

• DIGITAL $495 - Instant access to the course - the videos, resource lists, transcripts, and the course guidebook - to be completed at your own pace. Includes lifetime access to course material and all future updates.

• HYBRID $695 - Everything in the “Digital” course PLUS 1:1 coaching. You get the entire digital course (videos, resource lists, transcripts, and guidebook) AND eight weeks of private 1:1 coaching. With 1:1 coaching, I will be there with you as you work through the course each week. This includes two 30-minute sessions over Zoom and eight weeks of 1:1 messaging in a private client log. I will answer your questions, provide guidance, and bring that all-important accountability. Details are located here and in the video below. 

• 30-day money-back guarantee - You get 30 days to try the course - that’s enough time to get you through the whole course - and if you do the work and decide the course is not for you, I’ll give you your money back. See details in the course FAQs.

SPECIAL OFFER - LIMITED TIME

To celebrate the launch of my first digital course, I’m offering 15% off for one week only. Buy the course, send an email to emily@emilyworden.com confirming your purchase, and I’ll refund you 15% of the purchase price: 

• Digital: $75 refund = Total cost $420

• Hybrid: $105 refund = Total cost $590

This offer is only for you, my lovely newsletter subscriber. You won’t find this deal on the website! This deal ends on Wednesday, 8/16 at midnight EST. (Payments are processed through PayPal, which currently does not have coupon codes enabled. This is why we have to go the refund route.)

NEED MORE INFORMATION? 

Check out details about the course here and watch the video for more information (closed captioning available).
 
Thanks for your interest, and I hope to see you in the course! 
 
To your success,
- Emily

 

What to be happier at your job? Read these two articles 

August 3, 2023 

Hi everyone,

I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve … My new course From Crossroads to Clarity: Five Steps to Find Your New Career is *this close* to launch! Next week I can finally tell you all about it! This moment has been many months in the making (ooh, say that five times fast) and I’m just so excited to share it with you. πŸ’ƒ

Maybe because I’ve been working on this course so much, or it’s just the kind of clients I’m attracting lately, but it seems everywhere I turn people are fed up with their jobs and ready for something entirely new.

From the people I meet to the articles I read - there are a ton of unhappy workers out there, and many of them feel stuck in a rut and unable to do anything about it. 

Remember the “Grumpy Stayers” article I shared last week? My new course was written for those grumpy stayers because I’m on a mission to help people find jobs they love. Life is too short to feel stuck at a job and hate your work! πŸ™…‍♀️

More on that next week. For now, I’m sharing two articles that can help improve your career prospects: 

  1. 7 ChatGPT Prompts to Enjoy Your Job More from Forbes. I’ve written about ChatGPT as a useful tool to help with your resume, LinkedIn, and cover letters (click here to search the archives). But this article takes it to the next level - it provides easy-to-follow prompts to help you ask for a raise, ask for flex time or remote work, get your work noticed, and more. I’ve bookmarked this article, there are great tips in here! 
  2. Cracking the Code to Your Dream Job: Unleashing Fulfillment and Success from Forbes. Well, this title got my attention! The short-but-dense article has four great topics to consider when considering a new career. I found myself nodding along to the article, especially because it touches on topics in my new course too. This is a great inspirational read. 

I hope these two articles help improve your own job prospects and career choices. Pass this message along to a friend if you think it might help them too. And I’ll see you next week for the grand opening of my new Five Steps to Find Your New Career Course! Woohoo!

With joy,

- Emily

 

Are you a "grumpy stayer?"

July 25, 2023 

Hi everyone,

This weekend I read a great article from Business Insider about “grumpy stayers” - people who feel stuck in their jobs and they can’t leave due to inertia, lack of skills, or lack of job opportunities. The article talks about two types of people: Those who are in new roles that aren’t all they hoped for, and people who have been spinning in the same dead-end job for years. It’s a great article, and I wanted to respond with my own suggestions about how to stop being a “grumpy stayer.” 

Lack of initiative

“Grumpy stayers” feel a sense of inertia. They feel stuck and depressed, but unable to see what to do next or how to even begin. They might look at a few job postings … Figure they aren’t qualified for any of the jobs … Feel down about their prospects … And decide that staying at a job they hate is just easier. 

Unfortunately, “grumpy staying” is all too common when we feel stuck in jobs we hate and stuck at a crossroads about what to do next. And we feel like everyone around us is getting better jobs for better pay, and we’re wondering what we’re doing wrong. As the article astutely puts it, “Grumpy stayers might be feeling left behind, with salaries lagging behind those of their peers who've departed.”  Ouch, that never feels good.

I am a mental fitness coach as well as a career coach. And a big part of feeling great about yourself is the feeling of momentum - steady progress towards your goals. 

But if you feel stuck or helpless, inertia and ennui set in, and those are hard to shake. Then you feel zero progress towards your goals, which only enhances the inertia and ennui. 

But if you can get a vision of what you want, and make a clear plan with small steps that get you closer to your goal - that’s how you break out of inertia. That’s how you eliminate ennui. 

And let’s talk about what you do want - and “just another job” doesn’t count. 

Instead, get a clear vision of what you really want - the type of job that makes you get out of bed and excited to get to work. Yes, those really do exist, and you can have that too. First, you need a clear vision of what you want - I’m talking specific job titles and ideal companies - then you need a plan to get there (because you CAN get there!). 

You are not helpless. You might feel stuck, but you can get unstuck. 

First, if you haven’t already downloaded my “10 Steps to Kick Your Career in Gear” doc, please do so. I’ve got loads of actionable tips to kickstart your journey. 

Next, stay tuned to this newsletter, where I’ll soon announce my new Find Your New Career Course which will take you step-by-step, resource-by-resource, to help you find your new career. I can’t wait for you to see it. 

Lack of skills

When we’re “grumpy stayers,” there’s usually a big dose of self-doubt and imposter syndrome going on too. We casually post through the job boards, read the job descriptions, and think, “Who would hire me?” “I’m not qualified for these jobs” “What if I hate the new job as much as this one?”

I’ve got a few things to say about this:

  1. Apply when you’re 50% “qualified.” Most job seekers hold themselves back from great opportunities because they don’t check off every item in the job requirement list. Stop that! Apply the 50% rule: You can apply to jobs if you’re 50% qualified. Here’s the deal - companies would rather hire someone who has the basic skills with room to grow, who wants to stay with the company long-term, and most importantly - fit in well with the team. If you’re that person - then apply for the job, regardless if you don’t check off every item on the list.
  2. This leads me to my next point - companies are getting ridiculous with their job descriptions - they’re asking for more degrees, certifications, and skills than ever before. They’re looking for unicorns who don’t exist. They are concerned about finding the “right” person, so they add all these filters and unrealistic expectations. But let me tell you, 99% of the applicants won’t have all the required skills either. So if you believe you can do the job, and you’ve got 50% of the skills on the list, go ahead and apply. 
  3. The “grumpy stayer” article quotes one worker who said, "I can't find anything that pays more — or even what I'm making — that doesn't require me to be certified or have a degree in something that I don't." I hear that, and as I just mentioned, there are ways around it. But if you feel you really need a degree or certification to leap into your next job - go get one! There are loads of free or low-cost courses online. Even better - find a course and ask your employer to pay for it (we’ll talk about that more in a moment.) My new course, Find Your New Career, also has an extensive lesson about how to upskill for free or with minimal costs. 
  4. Finally, if you’re worried that you might hate your new job as much as your current one, there are plenty of ways to research a company before you work there. You can research the reputation with some online searching, using websites like Glassdoor. And my new course, Find Your New Career, has an entire module about how to research companies that align with your own values, interests, and skills to ensure you are in a job that fuels you. (More on that next week - can you tell I’m excited about this course?!)

Lack of opportunities

The article says “Grumpy stayers are in some ways the next iteration of quiet quitters, rattled by layoffs and fewer opportunities.”

It hurts me to read about people staying in jobs they hate. It’s such a mental and physical toll, as I talked about a few weeks ago. (“Do you hate your job? Your body does too” from June 21, 2023.)

But, there are plenty of industries still hiring, as I wrote about in the June jobs report (​​June Jobs Report! Spoiler Alert: It's Good” from July 11, 2023). And I bet you have transferable skills that would allow you to work in a new industry that IS hiring, such as hospitality, healthcare, construction, trade, education, government, and business services. 

Here’s a line that stood out from the "grumpy stayers" article: "I'm pretty much stuck here doing this work now … I was talking to an acquaintance of mine who's a recruiter, and he's telling me summer is the slow time. There are no jobs."

It’s true, summer is a slow hiring season - because many people are out of the office - but there is still plenty you can do now to prepare yourself for the busy hiring season that kicks back up in September when people are back in the office. 

You can make a list of companies that interest you ... Build your network and connections at these companies ... Work on your LinkedIn profile to match the types of jobs you want ... Update your resume with keywords from your dream job ... And take some courses that will give you the skills employers are looking for. 

Plus, you can create your own opportunities at work. This article talked about employees’ desire for their employers to provide training or promote their own employees from within. I liked this line: "Grumpiness often means feeling undervalued." Oh, I don’t want you feeling undervalued! Or grumpy! 

You must be your own advocate: 

  1. Look for a course to upskill and ask your employer to pay for it. You’d be surprised how many employers are willing to invest in their employees, especially if you are learning skills that would make you better at your job, thus making the company more efficient or more profitable. 
  2. Take on different projects at work or participate in teams you normally wouldn’t. I’m not asking you to double your workload but be open and willing to flex your skills and professional presence in projects or teams that you would normally avoid. 
  3. Likewise, show initiative at work. Identify chronic problems that plague your company or industry and offer real, actionable solutions. These could be internal problems - perhaps the company can do something more efficiently - or these could be external problems - perhaps the company could reach out to customers differently. Identify areas where the company could improve (such as making more money or saving more time), then tell your management team about it. 
  4. Tell your boss that you’d like to advance within the company. Have a conversation with them - What does it look like? What do they need to see to make it happen? 
    1. Get specific KPIs, metrics, and achievements, ideally in writing. (Even if you just sum up the meeting in an email and say, “As we discussed, I need to accomplish x,y, and z to get promoted to manager. I will accomplish these items over the next six months with the intent to move into management early next year.”) 
  5. Finally, you must be your own cheerleader and create your own opportunities. You have to regularly communicate with your boss and your team about your skills, what you can offer, and what you want to do. Otherwise, how will they know? Also, don’t just assume people are noticing your achievements or initiatives or extra hours on the job. Make sure your work and contributions are noted and valued. And keep track of all of this, and write down all your accomplishments on the job so that you can update your resume and LinkedIn accordingly. 

Whew! I know this email was a doozy, and thanks for sticking with it. I hope you found some inspiration and tips for your own career journey. If you have a friend who is a "grumpy stayer," please forward this email along to them. And if you feel like a “grumpy stayer,” make a free 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it

To your success,

- Emily 

 

Three articles to help with your next job interview

July 19, 2023 

Hi everyone,

😎 Can you believe we’re already in the middle of July?! 

I’ve been busy this summer putting together my first digital course, Find Your New Career, which is packed full of resources for those of you stuck at a crossroads and looking for a new career. I’m wrapping up the final module and I *can’t wait* to share it with you! More on that next week. πŸ’ƒ

I am so excited to get this course in your hands, I can’t stop working on it! So for this week’s newsletter, rather than spend a few hours writing up an original article for you, I’d like to share some great articles I recently bookmarked about the job interview process:

  1. 12 Polite Habits Job Interviewers Actually Dislike—and What to Do Instead from Reader’s Digest. There are some great observations and helpful tips here. I found myself nodding along to every point in the article. 
  2. How to use AI Tools to Land a New Job in a Cooling Market from CNBC. I wrote about the jobs report last week, and this article complements it nicely. In April, I sent three emails about how to use ChatGPT in your job search (scroll through the archive to see the posts), and this helpful article from CNBC explains how to use AI tools to help with your next job interview. 
  3. Job Interviews Are Getting Longer — Here’s Why It Could Be a Red Flag from CNBC. I have definitely seen this trend with my clients. They used to go on 1-2 interviews before landing a job. Now I’m seeing that number double and 3-4 interviews is not uncommon. In my experience, the more job interviews a company seeks, the more red flags might be raised - and this article breaks it down nicely. 

And that concludes this week’s article round-up! I hope you find the advice helpful. And if you have an interview coming up, make a free 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it. 

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’» Now I’m off to finish the Find Your New Career course so that I can get it in your hands as soon as possible. Ooh, I can’t wait! 

To your success,

- Emily

 

June Jobs Report! (Spoiler Alert: It's Good) 

July 11, 2023 

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a happy and healthy 4th of July holiday celebration last week. I took a few days off to hang out with family (for those of you in Boston - go see the πŸŒŠ Hokusai exhibit at the MFA 🌊 before it closes on July 16! Wow, it is an excellent show). 

πŸ“ˆ Good news - the June 2023 jobs report is in and there is positive data and good reasons to feel hopeful about the job market and economic recovery. I did my homework - I read the report and did a fair amount of research on the analysis. So I hope this breakdown is helpful to you: 

LOW UNEMPLOYMENT

The US Unemployment Rate is currently 3.6%, lower than May’s 3.7% measurement. Yay! In comparison, the long-term unemployment rate averages 5.72%, so we are in good shape here. 

LOW INFLATION

The unemployment rate is a big indicator of the health of the labor market and the US economy, so this is great news. But does that mean the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again (as they have done 10 times since March 2022)? Time will tell, but inflation is now down to 4%, the lowest rate in two years. And this is great news for American workers, as our economy is doing better than all other G7 nations.

LOW LAYOFFS

While layoffs at big tech companies have dominated the news, the overall labor market paints a more balanced picture. There were 1.6 million layoffs in May, but the rate was 1%, the same rate as April, and below the layoff rate of 1.3% pre-pandemic in February 2020.  

As I’ve said before, the layoffs are not a sign of a weak economy. Rather, they are a reflection of changing consumer demands and buying patterns. Demands soared during the height of the COVID pandemic (particularly for technology-related services), and businesses invested mightily in employees and products to keep up with demand. Now that consumer demands are changing again, companies are reacting by shrinking their ranks to pre-pandemic levels. 

STEADY JOB GROWTH

Last week the payroll processing firm ADP reported a whopping 497,000 new jobs in the private sector in June, while Dow Jones estimated 220,000 jobs would be added in June. On Friday, the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls were actually 209,000 in June - much lower than ADP’s report, but still a great showing for an economy that has been flirting with a recession. There are still businesses across the country feeling confident and expanding their teams to keep up with growing demand. Yippee!  

Also, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) seemed to support this statement with their own report last week, where their services index (the number of businesses that reported expansion) posted a surprising increase to 53.9 in June from 50.3 in May. (For reference, a number above 50 indicates expansion.) June was expected to be 51.3, so we surpassed expectations at 53.9. Hurray! 

QUITTING IS TRENDY

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ July JOLTs report, 4 million people quit their jobs in May - that’s 250,000 more than in April (the rate is now 2.6%, a .2 percentage point increase). It seems the “Great Resignation” might still be at play, especially in industries like construction and healthcare. This article does a great job of breaking it down

TIGHT LABOR MARKET

All of these numbers indicate that the labor market is still tight - that is, there are more job openings than workers - but it certainly depends on the company and industry. While tech-related and finance jobs bear the brunt of the layoffs, many industries are hiring and expanding, such as construction, hospitality, and healthcare. More on that in a minute. 

WAGES ARE UP

A tight labor market pressures employers to attract and retain talent with higher wages and better benefits. And the data supports this - annual pay rose at a 6.4% rate. This is down from 6.6% in May, but still a good indicator of the demand for employees in many sectors. 

TO SUMMARIZE 

Quitting is high, layoffs are low, wages are up, and unemployment is down. 

SO WHO IS HIRING? 

A lot of industries, according to the June jobs report. This article from CNBC breaks it down well: 

From a sector standpoint, leisure and hospitality led with 232,000 new hires, followed by construction with 97,000, and trade, transportation, and utilities at 90,000.

Other industries seeing solid gains included education and health services (74,000), natural resources and mining (69,000), and the “other services” classification (28,000).

Manufacturing lost 42,000 jobs, while information was off by 30,000 and financial activities saw a decline of 16,000.

Broadly speaking, service providers contributed 373,000 of the total, while goods producers added 124,000.

Companies with fewer than 50 employees were responsible for most of the job growth, adding 299,000 positions. Firms with more than 500 workers lost 8,000 jobs, while mid-size companies contributed 183,000.

I also like the chart from this CNBC article

πŸ’‍♀️ OK, that does it for my monthly analysis of the jobs report. Whew! I feel like I just submitted a term paper! I hope you found this helpful as you navigate your own career development. If you have any questions on the state of the job market or your own job prospects, book a free 30-minute discovery session and tell me all about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

Two great articles

June 29, 2023 

Hi everyone! 

I’m back in town after taking a few days off. My family was invited to a lovely beach house and when we arrived, we learned the little town where we were staying has minimal cellphone reception and the internet in the house wasn’t working. 

This was a bit jarring at first. No internet? No phone?! I CAN’T USE MY COMPUTER?!?!

But wow - what a gift! After the initial shock (and habits) wore off, I fully embraced the unplugged lifestyle and it was magical. The days were filled with trips to the beach, bicycle rides around town, and ice cream strolls after dinner. No internet required. 

Why am I telling you this story? It’s my roundabout way of saying that 1) I survived without internet for three days and I didn’t think that was possible, and 2) I didn’t have a chance to compose this week’s email. I take a lot of time to write these weekly messages, (probably more than I should in the age of ChatGPT), and this week I’m busy playing catch-up with my wonderful clients. 

So I thought I’d share a recent article from Reader’s Digest. It’s titled, “Why Am I Not Getting Hired” and It’s written by a hiring manager who shares 18 common mistakes for job applicants. The article covers a lot of bases in the job application process and the advice is spot on. A worthy read. 

And if you’re heading out of town for a few days this summer too - what a gift! Enjoy yourself. Before you hit the road, check out this article from Huffpost about how to handle out of office messages

To your success,

- Emily

 

Do you hate your job? Your body does too. 

June 21, 2023 

Hi friends,

We spend β…“ of our life working - about 90,000 hours. Let that soak in for a moment. 90,000 hours! πŸ€―

And that’s just counting the time we’re “clocked in.” That’s not counting the many hours our brain is spent spinning around work - about the tasks that need to be done, problems that need to be solved, and the relationships with our coworkers.

As a career coach, I have found that our careers affect our lives in four distinct ways:

  1. Physical health
  2. Mental health
  3. Lifestyle
  4. Relationships

πŸ’ƒ If we enjoy our job, our mind is buzzing with possibilities and solutions and exciting things to do next. We are ready to get to work and make an impact. Our body is full of energy and we have tons of time for the people and activities that are important to us.

But if we hate our job - ugh - it’s a disaster … 

⚠️ 1) PHYSICAL HEALTH:

1. Exhaustion - When our mind is racing due to anxiety or stress about our jobs, we can’t sleep. This can lead to chronic fatigue and sleep disorders, which also negatively affects our mind and body.

2. Stress - Stress affects every aspect of our bodies - from the cortisol shooting through veins to the constant headaches, lack of sleep, and even digestive issues such as indigestion and bloating.

3. Illness - Insomnia and stress lead to a weakened immune system - which means we are sick more often and stay sick longer. 

4. Tension - When our mind sees our job as a stressful or dangerous place, it can flood our system with adrenaline and other hormones that help us deal with stress. This includes tensing up our muscles to protect us from injury. In other words, when we’re in constant “fight or flight” mode and our muscles are wound up tight, the tension can lead to headaches, migraines, and sore muscles especially in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. 

⚠️ 2) MENTAL HEALTH: All these physical ailments affect our mental health too. 

1. Fatigue leads to irritability. Then we are more likely to be grumpy and short-tempered with others. 

2. Stress can lead to anxiety, depression, decreased productivity, and burnout.

3. All the stress and exhaustion make it hard to concentrate. It takes us longer to finish basic tasks and we want to put off complicated tasks indefinitely. πŸ‘‹ Hello, procrastination! πŸ‘‹ 

4. Our self-esteem takes a hit too - when we hate our job, it affects how we view ourselves and our self-worth. Our confidence plummets and we begin to doubt our skills and abilities. πŸ‘‹ Hello, imposter syndrome! πŸ‘‹ This makes us want to contribute less, which feeds into a vicious cycle.  

⚠️ 3) LIFESTYLE:

1. A job provides our salary and affects where and how we live. This determines our housing, neighborhood, amenities, and quality of life. 

2. If we’re not making enough money to pay our bills, have independence, or gain extra security - that adds to our stress and affects our daily lives.

3. It's not all about money either - if our job does not offer a good work/life balance or the flex time that we need, our dissatisfaction and stress compound.

4. And if we’re too busy working or preoccupied with work, we don’t have the time or energy to do the things that refuel us, like hobbies, exercise, eating well, and spending time with the people we care about.

⚠️ 4) RELATIONSHIPS:

1. When we’re tired, stressed, or irritable, we’ve got a short fuse that’s easy to set off. Simply put, we are no fun to be around. Plus, our constant complaining about work or other ailments brings others down too.  

2. When we have low self-esteem, we’re not able to be good friends, parents, partners, or colleagues. We just simply don’t have energy for ourselves or others, which affects our relationships with those around us.

Whew! That's a lot of bad repercussions wafting off your toxic job.

πŸ’‍♀️ So what can you do about it? 

1. Outline what you don’t like about your job. Write down all the things that bother you then look at the list. What factors are in your control and what factors are not? Chances are, 80% is out of your control, so focus on the 20% that you do have some agency about. 

2. Brainstorm solutions. Take a 15-minute walk, clear your mind, then revisit your “20% in control” list. Write down each issue and brainstorm 3 possible solutions to every problem. Don’t judge yourself whether your ideas are “good” or “bad” or “can't be done.” Just open your mind up to possibilities and write them down. Then every time something bothers you at work, write it down. Ask yourself, “Am I in control of this? Am I able to change this?” If so, “What can I do about it?”

3. Stop negative thinking. When we think about all the things that are wrong, our brain only sees things that are wrong. It becomes incapable of seeing the good or gifts coming our way. This reinforces our negative thinking, and a vicious cycle is born. It's hard to break bad habits, but a good dose of positive thinking goes a long way. I’m talking about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and this article breaks it down well

4. Give your nervous system a chance to relax - take breaks at work. Whenever possible, take 15-minute “mental health breaks” where you can get away from the computer and get outside if possible. Feel the sunshine on your face, the ground beneath your feet, take deep breaths, and feel the air swirling in your lungs. Tell your brain it can take a break from the “fight or flight mode” and let your muscles relax. Get grounded with the world to fortify your soul. 

5. Take care of your body. Your brain can’t be a warrior if your body has nothing to give. I’m talking about the usual advice - get 30 minutes of exercise each day, drink plenty of water, get lots of rest, and eat food that fuels your body rather than works against it. 

6. Prioritize avocation time. Do you know what "avocation" means? (I’m such a workaholic I didn’t know what it meant either. I once took a quiz about priorities and I scored "0" for “Avocation” and had to look up the definition. πŸ€¦‍♀️) "Avocation" is the opposite of “vocation.” It’s a hobby, the things we like to do even when we aren’t being paid. Avocation time - whatever activities that promote relaxation and self-care, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, and spending time in nature - decreases stress and increases mental fortitude.

7. Make an exit plan. If you were to leave your job, what would you do next? Daydreaming is a great mental activity to get us in a positive mindset. It can also lead to goal setting too. For example, if you want to change jobs, would you need more education or training to do it? Are there any particular companies or types of jobs that interest you? Do you know anyone working at these companies or in these industries who can give you a little bit more information about it? Daydreaming and taking small steps towards bigger goals release endorphins and give a sense of momentum that is infectious.  

When you hate your job - when you are miserable for β…“ of your life - your body, mind, lifestyle, and relationships suffer. However, recognizing the negative impacts and taking proactive steps toward change can help you reclaim your happiness and well-being. And if you’re ready to make a change in your career - whether that’s getting a new job or going back to work after a career pause - make a free 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it. 

To your health,

- Emily

 

"Labor Hoarding" - The next workplace trend to navigate this economy

June 13, 2023 

Last week I talked about the latest jobs report and the seeming contradictions in it. The US economy added 339,000 jobs in May, far outpacing economists' forecasts of 190,000. BUT, the unemployment rate also ticked up .03%, which is higher than usual. Click here to read more about it

Today I’ve got another workplace trend for you - “Labor hoarding” - and it sits right in the middle between new hires and unemployment. 

πŸ€” What is “Labor Hoarding?”

At its core, labor hoarding refers to the practice of companies retaining employees, even when demand for their product or service decreases. So they're holding on to employees even if sales are down.

Why would they do this? Well, it's a delicate balancing act for businesses, as they strive to maintain stability, retain skilled workers, and adapt to changing market conditions. 

In short, businesses are calculating that an upcoming recession will be short and shallow, so they don’t want to make too many drastic changes in employment while riding out the storm. 

πŸ’Έ It takes a lot of money and time to attract, hire, and train employees, so companies prefer to retain good workers and perhaps retrain them to be more flexible at work. Here are the benefits of “Labor Hoarding” for companies:

  1. Uncertainty and Risk Aversion: When companies face uncertain market conditions, they may choose to keep a surplus of workers as a precautionary step. Then they are better prepared for unexpected changes in demand, ensuring product continuity and preventing talent shortages when things pick up again.
  2. Employee Retention and Loyalty: Labor hoarding can also be seen as a strategic move to retain skilled employees during periods of low demand. By keeping valued team members onboard, companies can preserve their knowledge, maintain team cohesion, and avoid the costs and challenges of rehiring and training when conditions improve.
  3. Fostering Innovation and Growth: Some companies may hold on to excess employees to invest in research and development; they might ask employees to pivot or focus on new areas of growth. By retaining talent, businesses can drive innovation and position themselves for success in the long run.

πŸ’‘ What this means for you:

If you think your company is “hoarding labor,” that’s a good sign they are invested in their employees and want to retain talent. And this could be a great time for you to learn new skills …

  1. Skills Development and Reskilling/Upskilling: During periods of lower demand, employers might invest in training programs to upskill their workforce or work in different areas of the company. When companies provide opportunities for professional growth, you can acquire new skills that will benefit both you and the company. ⭐This could be a great time to take a course to learn new skills, (or brush up on old skills), and ask your employer to pay for it.⭐
  2. Flexibility and Adaptability: Embrace flexibility and be open to alternative work arrangements - for example, if your boss asks you to work with a new department or take on different tasks, think of it as a great opportunity to learn more skills and cement a positive reputation for yourself at the company. In the meantime, write down all the challenges, accomplishments, and results you experienced during this time, so you've got the details when you update your resume and LinkedIn. 

Do you think your company is “Labor Hoarding?” Are you wondering what that might mean for your own job prospects? Make a free 30-minute appointment and let’s talk about it! 

To your success,

- Emily

 

What's up with this job market? πŸ€”

June 6, 2023 
 

The May jobs report is in! 

According to the monthly employment report from the Labor Department, the US economy added 339,000 jobs in May, far outpacing economists' forecasts of 190,000. (More good news - the jobs reports in March and April were also revised to add 52,000 new jobs and 41,000 new positions, respectively.)

🀯 339,000 new jobs in May?! Nearly 80% more than the expected forecasts?! That’s wonderful! 

BUT, while new jobs were added in May, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from 3.4%. That’s the largest monthly increase since the early days of the pandemic. This suggests that more people entered the labor force while fewer unemployed people found a job. 

πŸ€” So what’s up with this job market? How can we be adding so many new jobs while increasing the unemployment rate? 

Believe it or not, this is a common phenomenon that happens during economic expansions. There are a variety of factors … people retiring or quitting, people returning to the workforce after a career pause, and people switching jobs or industries … plus the higher interest rates make it more expensive for companies to borrow money, which slows down hiring or forces layoffs. 

And some industries, like construction, can experience layoffs and hiring sprees in the same month

❓So which industries added jobs in May? 

Job gains occurred in professional and business services (64,000 new positions), government (56,000 new jobs), health care (52,000 new jobs), construction (25,000 new jobs), leisure and hospitality (48,000 new jobs) transportation and warehousing, and social assistance

❓ Which industries have been hardest hit by layoffs? 

  1. Information services (tech jobs such as software engineers and recruiters for tech talent) continue to dominate the headlines, as companies are pulling back from their record-breaking hiring sprees in 2020 and 2021. As consumers rely less on online services and return to brick-and-mortar operations, demand for tech jobs dwindles.  
  2. Construction experienced more layoffs at the beginning of the year (which is typical in colder months), but hiring is picking up quickly in that industry.
  3. Same with transportation and warehousing. Though it experienced higher layoffs recently, it’s also expanding the number of job openings, as evidenced by the May jobs report. 

❓So which industries will thrive? 

Typically these are the industries that are less sensitive to interest rate changes and less likely to over-hire (and therefore less likely to experience mass layoffs): 

  1. Government positions
  2. Education services
  3. Health care / Social services 
  4. Accommodations/travel/leisure and food services 

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’» Want to learn more about which industries are growing and hiring? I love these three sources from CareerOneStop, sponsored by the US Department of Labor:

  1. Most in-demand careers
  2. Fastest Growing Careers
  3. Careers with most openings

Before I go, please allow me to share this chart I created comparing the average # of jobs added per month in the US in 2019, 2021, 2022, and thus far in 2023.

A few notes about the graph: 

  • I couldn’t find much data for 2020, as that year was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021 was a booming year as the world was recovering from COVID-19. 
  • 2022's average was higher-than-usual because of an unexpected boost in February 2022 when 904,000 jobs were added, about 3x more than the rest of the months

OK, that's all for today, I hope this email has provided some context about today's job market. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

It is *NOT* a numbers game! 😱

May 31, 2023
 

Hi everyone,

It’s been six weeks since I’ve sent out a message - I’m sorry about that! I’ve been busy helping clients land jobs (three successful hires, wahoo!), winding down the semester at Boston University (I teach Career Development in the Arts) and working on courses that will help you job search smarter. 

I’ve been wanting to offer group courses for a while now so that I can help even more people land their dream jobs. During my research, I’ve been following job search groups on Reddit and I’m reading the same complaint over and over: 

“I’ve applied to 300 jobs and haven’t gotten a response.” 

“I’ve applied to 400 jobs and haven’t heard anything back.”

“I’ve applied to 500 jobs and haven’t gotten an interview.” 

🀯 500 JOB APPLICATIONS?! 🀯 That’s wild! (I think 100 job applications is too much.) And most of the commenters report similar experiences. They try to give each other advice like, “Stay at it, it’s a numbers game.” 

As a career coach, this makes me want to scream to the world πŸ“£ “IT IS NOT A NUMBERS GAME!” πŸ“£

Repeat after me - your job search is NOT a numbers game

Here’s how most people apply for jobs - they find a job posting online, click “Easy apply,” send in a resume (that is often not customized) and skip the cover letter. Rinse and repeat, 10 jobs a day, and think they’re playing “the numbers game.” 

πŸ™…‍♀️ No! This doesn't work. I repeat, your job search IS NOT A NUMBERS GAME. 

So if it’s not a numbers game, what is it? 

πŸ’‘ Your job search is a BRANDING AND NETWORKING GAME

Think about it - if you’re a hiring manager and you have a stack of 500 applications on your desk, and most of the candidates are equally qualified, how do you choose who to hire? 

You choose the candidates who 1) speak to your needs and 2) are somehow connected to the company. 

πŸ”‘ That means your personal brand (resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letters) is FILLED with the keywords and key phrases that your target employer is looking for. 

It also means that you are actively involved with your network while developing connections in the industry and at the companies where you want to work. 

⭐ If a hiring manager has 500 applicants, and someone from their office says, “Hey, I know a person who would be great for this job” guess whose job application is going to the top of the pile? 

⭐ And if the job applicant has a captivating LinkedIn and resume that speaks directly to the hiring manager’s needs, guess who is getting called in for an interview?  

In fact, I’m working on courses about LinkedIn, networking, and resume writing that can help you job search smarter, not harder. And I’ll be sending some emails over the next few weeks with tips from the courses, which are too juicy not to share! 

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’» For now, I’m going to keep plugging away at the courses, which are growing every day and I can't wait to share them with you. It’s so exciting! 

Do you think you’re job searching the wrong way? Make a free 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

How to use ChatGPT in your job search (Part 3) 

April 18, 2023
 

Hi everyone,

For the last two weeks, I’ve been sharing tips about how to use ChatGPT to boost your job search. Part 1 covered ChatGPT basics and Part 2 covered ChatGPT for resumes and cover letters. Click here to access the newsletter archive and see those articles again. 

Today in Part 3 we finish the ChatGPT series with advice about using ChatGPT for networking and job interviews. Let’s get to it! 

NETWORKING

πŸ’¬ If you regularly read my emails, you know I’m a BIG fan of networking. It’s the #1 most important priority in job searching (and #2 is personal branding). 

Well, guess what - ChatGPT can help you write messages that are professional, engaging, and tailored to each recipient. Try the following prompts (and remember you can add a “tone” like “professional tone” or “friendly tone” and click “Regenerate response” to get more results):

  1. "Can you help me write an introduction message to [a specific person or company]?"
  2. "Can you help me write a follow-up message after meeting someone at a networking event?"
  3. "Can you help me write a message requesting an informational interview?"
  4. "Can you help me write a message requesting a referral?"
  5. "Can you help me write a message that shows my interest in an industry or company?"

JOB INTERVIEWS

🀝 Oh yeah, Chat GPT can help you with job interview prep too! It can generate potential interview questions and craft responses based on your previous experience and skills. (Add your resume and the job description to your queries for more accurate responses.) Try these prompts to get started: 

  1. "Can you help me prepare for a job interview for a [specific job title] position?"
  2. "Can you give me some tips for answering common job interview questions?"
  3. "Can you help me anticipate questions the interviewer may ask?"
  4. "Can you help me practice my interview skills?"
  5. "Can you give me some tips for dressing appropriately for a job interview?"

❗(I love this article from Teal about using Chat GPT for job interview prep, it’s loaded with great examples and helpful tips.)

And that wraps up our ChatGPT + job search tips. Have you been playing with ChatGPT these past few weeks? Are you using it for business or personal use? ChatGPT is such a new and limitless tool, I love hearing about how people are using it. Send me a message and tell me about it! 

To your success,

- Emily

 

 

How to use ChatGPT in your job search (Part 2) 

April 13, 2023
 

Hi everyone,

Last week I shared Part 1 (of 3) about using ChatGPT for your job search. We discussed ChatGPT basics and I shared advice about writing good query prompts. Click here to see that message to get started with ChatGPT. 

πŸ’‍♀️ Today is Part 2 (of 3) and it's all about using ChatGPT to help write your resumes and cover letters.

RESUMES AND COVER LETTERS:

You can provide ChatGPT with a job description, a list of keywords, and/or your current resume and ask it to write an updated resume or a cover letter for a specific job application. 

RESUMES: ChatGPT can write a great resume if you have a job description and/or an old resume to work off of. Here are some resume prompts to get you started:

  1. "Can you help me write a resume that is tailored to a specific company or job posting?" (Then add the job description to your query.)
  2. "Can you help me write a resume that is visually appealing and easy to read?" (This is a great prompt to create text that is formatted in a visually appealing way and makes it easy for hiring managers to find relevant information.)
  3. "Please help me write a resume for a [specific job title or industry]." (This is helpful if you don’t have a specific job posting yet and you’re just writing a general resume.)
  4. "Can you help me highlight my skills and achievements in a resume?" (This a great prompt if you're having trouble talking about your background.)
  5. "Can you help me address any gaps or weaknesses in my resume?" (ChatGPT will give you a positive, proactive way to address this.)

COVER LETTERS: Give ChatGPT the job description and your resume and let it work its magic with these types of prompts: 

  1. "Please help me write a cover letter for a [position title] position."
  2. "Can you help me write a cover letter that is concise and impactful?" (This is my favorite prompt, then copy + paste the job description into your query.)
  3. "Can you help me highlight my skills and experience in a cover letter?"
  4. "Can you help me explain why I'm interested in this position?"
  5. "Can you help me address any gaps or weaknesses in my cover letter?" (Just like the resume prompt, ChatGPT will give you a positive, proactive way to address this.)

At this point you’re caught up on some of the wonders of ChatGPT and how to use it to save hours in your job search. But I want to give you a word of caution before we go:

🚫 Don’t just copy + paste content from ChatGPT and call it a day.

You don’t make a cover letter or resume with ChatGPT and keep the content exactly the same, word-for-word. Why? A few reasons: 

  1. Other savvy job hunters are using ChatGPT too, and you don’t want to send in the same documents they do.
  2. Many companies are already using AI-detecting software to weed out information written solely by AI. I just heard of a job posting where there were 65 applicants and 42 of them were using AI for their entire application. Yikes. Guess which 42 candidates were immediately eliminated?   
  3. ChatGPT’s responses are likely not as accurate as if you were writing on your own - after all, you know yourself better than an AI bot! So spruce up ChatGPT’s response with your own personal details. 
  4. ChatGPT’s training data was cut off in September 2021. This means that it isn’t up-to-date on current events, trends, or anything occurring after September 2021. Granted, it is constantly learning and some areas are catching up to 2023, but if you’re looking for a current analysis, you won’t find it here.  

βœ… Use ChatGPT for inspiration, then customize it.

It’s a terrible feeling to sit down to write something and you’re just feeling uninspired and intimated by the blank screen in front of you. ChatGPT to the rescue! Give it a few prompts, then use the responses to inspire your own work. I use ChatGPT responses as a general outline, then fill in the rest with my own words (and sometimes I copy + paste lines directly from ChatGPT’s response too). 

Ultimately, just be aware that ChatGPT gives you general responses which you should then customize with your personality, experience, and those all-important keywords.  

Alright, that’ll do it for today! If you use ChatGPT for your resume or cover letter, send me a message and tell me about your experience. And you're always welcome to make a free 30-minute appointment to discuss ChatGPT or any other career questions you might have. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

 

How to use ChatGPT in your job search (Part 1)

April 6, 2023

Hi everyone,

It's been a few weeks since my last group email, and I'm sorry for not writing sooner. I've been spending time gathering information on this topic, and I hope you find it useful! 

πŸ’‍♀️ Let's talk about how to use ChatGPT in your job search to save loads of time (and stress). 

NOTE: This message is the first of three messages about using ChatGPT for your job search. I originally included everything in one message, but it was overwhelming - too many tips to share!

In today's message, Part 1, we will talk about ChatGPT and how to use it. Next week (Part 2) will cover ChatGPT for resumes and cover letters. The following week (Part 3) will share ChatGPT tips for networking and job interview prep. 

Ok, onto Part 1!

You’ve likely seen the headlines about ChatGPT, the artificial-intelligence (AI) chatbot from OpenAI that can help you with everything from meal planning to book recommendations to writing a wedding speech. It’s a complex tool that’s deceptively easy to use. This article does a great job breaking it down.  

Have you tried ChatGPT yet? I’ve been experimenting with it for the last few months, mostly for business. And I’ve got to tell you - as a career coach - my mind spins with the possibilities. 

Why? Because ChatGPT + your job search = UNSTOPPABLE. 

🀯 ChatGPT can help write your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, networking messages, AND prepare you for a job interview in a fraction of the time you would spend doing this work on your own. 

For example, we all know your cover letter and resume should be customized for each job application, right? And this could take hours to do, as you’ve likely experienced in your own job hunt. 

But here’s the deal - the tasks that take you a few hours to complete - ChatGPT can do in seconds

  • For example, you can plug a job description into ChatGPT and ask it to write a resume based on the job description. 
  • Or, you could input your resume and a job description and ask ChatGPT to write a cover letter
  • And I haven’t even gotten into ChatGPT’s help with networking messages and job interview prep

First, let’s cover the basics. If you haven’t tried ChatGPT beforethis article explains how to sign up. And I like this article about using ChatGPT in your daily life and this article has fun ChatGPT suggestions too.  

πŸ‘©πŸΌ‍πŸ’» Next, let’s talk about ChatGPT prompts. You will get better responses if you are specific with your queries. I asked ChatGPT how to write prompts for ChatGPT (meta, I know), and here’s what it said: 

To write a good prompt for ChatGPT, follow these tips:

  1. Be clear and specific: State your question or topic clearly and concisely. Avoid vague or ambiguous language that could be interpreted in different ways.
  2. Provide context: Give ChatGPT some background information about the topic you want to discuss. This will help the model better understand your question and provide a more accurate response.
  3. Use complete sentences: Write your prompt in full sentences rather than fragments or bullet points. This will make it easier for ChatGPT to understand and respond.
  4. Avoid leading questions: Try to avoid questions that suggest a particular answer or point of view. This will help ensure that ChatGPT provides an unbiased response.
  5. Be respectful: Remember that ChatGPT is a machine learning model, not a human. Treat it with respect and avoid using language that could be considered rude or offensive.

Examples of good prompts:

• "Can you explain the concept of machine learning?"
• "What are the benefits and drawbacks of using renewable energy sources?
• "How can someone improve their public speaking skills?"
• What are some effective strategies for managing stress?
• Can you provide an overview of the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States?

❗And you know what’s wild? You can ask ChatGPT to write a message in a specific tone - friendly, upbeat, professional, angry … Experiment with your prompts to see different answers, and click “Regenerate Response” to get the same answer in different ways

OK, that's enough ChatGPT talk for today, there's plenty here to explore. I'll see you next week when we discuss ChatGPT + resumes and cover letters!

To your success,

- Emily

 

 

*Click inside for LOADS of actionable networking tips to help land your next job*

March 9, 2023

Hi Emily,

Can I tell you a secret? 

None of my clients have gotten jobs by applying online through job search sites (like Indeed or LinkedIn Jobs). 

Instead, 90% of my clients have been hired through networking. (The other 10% have been hired through recruiters, but that’s a conversation for another day.) 

So let’s talk about networking. 

🀦‍♀️ I know, I know, I can hear your groans already. No one ever says, “Yes! Networking! I LOVE networking!” (Especially if you’re an introvert.) 

But when you’re job hunting, networking is as essential as a resume. 

πŸ’ͺ Your network is like a muscle - the more you work on it, the stronger it gets. And when you want to get a new job or switch industries, a strong network will be your greatest asset. (I like to say, “Your network gets work.”)

The easiest way to build your network is through warm leads - being connected through someone you know. On LinkedIn, these people are your “Second Connections” - someone you know through a mutual connection. (As opposed to a “First Connection,” who is someone you directly know.)

So, start with your own network. Go through your phone contacts, emails, and social media profiles … Who do you know who is working in your ideal industry or company

πŸ™‹‍♀️ If you don’t know anyone in your industrywho do you know who is social and knows a lot of people? Some people are connected socially, and others are connected professionally - for example, do you know any real estate agents, lawyers, fundraisers, local politicians, community leaders, or restaurateurs? They often know a lot of people through their work. Ask them if they know anyone working in your ideal industry or company.

Once you have combed through your contact list, then move on to LinkedIn - who are your “First” and “Second” connections on that site? Do any of them work in your industry or know people who work in your industry? You can view individual profiles or narrow your search by adding keywords such as company names or job titles. 

πŸ’‘ Next, use the LinkedIn Alumni tool. This one is fantastic. Visit your school’s LinkedIn page (any school you ever attended, even if it was one class), then click the “Alumni” button. It looks like this: 

You’ll get a list of your school’s alumni and you can search profiles by industry, company, keyword, location, and loads of other filters. 

Because you both attended the same school, you have a natural connection and reason to reach out. A sample message might read like this:

Hi [THEIR NAME], 

Fellow [NAME OF SCHOOL] alum here, go [NAME OF THE SCHOOL’S MASCOT]! I also [NAME SOMETHING YOU HAVE IN COMMON]. 

I’m writing because you work at [NAME OF COMPANY] and I’m hoping to work there one day. Would you have 20 minutes available to tell me more about [NAME OF COMPANY] and your experience working there? 

With gratitude,

[YOUR NAME] 

SAMPLE NETWORKING OUTREACH MESSAGE: 

Hi Jane,

Fellow Mountain University graduate here, go Lions! I loved my time there, I met so many wonderful people. I noticed you also studied journalism - me too - that was a great program. 

I’m writing because you work at XYZ Company and I’m hoping to work there one day. Would you have 20 minutes available to tell me more about XYZ Company and your experience working there? 

With deep gratitude,

- Emily

Use the same template even if you’re reaching out to a perfect stranger with no mutual connections. (Yes, you should reach out to strangers too! Your dream job is worth it!) Just say something about their profile or background instead:

Hi Sally,

You have a great profile! Your background is so interesting, you’ve been involved in journalism for a long time. 

I’m writing because you work at XYZ Company and I’m hoping to work there one day. Would you have 20 minutes available to tell me more about XYZ Company and your experience working there? 

With gratitude and joy,

- Emily

πŸ’¬ No matter how you find someone, whether through a mutual connection or a stranger on LinkedIn, you want to connect for short informational interviews. Not only will you learn more about the companies that interest you, but you will have a critical connection with someone on the inside who can review your resume and pass it along to the hiring manager when the right job opens up. 

After you conduct the interview, send a thank you note immediately and then check in every few months. Let them know how you’re doing on the job search, if you need any help, and offer your own help too (“Let me know how I can use my network to help you”). Remember - your network is like a muscle - you have to keep exercising it regularly, and that means staying in regular contact with your connections. 

❗“But Emily, what if a great job comes up and I want to apply right now? I don’t have time for informational interviews.” Great question! Follow the same steps above - do you know anyone who works there? First or Second Connections? Anyone in your alumni network? 

If you don’t have connections with anyone who works at the company, even through your alumni network, then scan LinkedIn and reach out to someone who works at the company - ideally in the department where you want to work - and send them a message:

“Hi [THEIR NAME],

I found your name on LinkedIn because I’m applying for the [JOB TITLE] position at [NAME OF THE COMPANY] and I see you work in the department. Could you review my resume or give me any advice about applying to the company?

I appreciate your time - I think [THE COMPANY] is doing great work and I’d love to get an interview.

Thank you, [YOUR NAME]” 

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: You could even message the company’s hiring manager directly with a carefully worded and strategic message. Contact me for advice. 

I hope this message makes networking feel a little bit easier. Now hop on over to LinkedIn and start working on those connections!

Got any questions about networking and informational interviews? I’ve got loads of advice. Make a free 30-minute appointment and we can talk about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

A powerful tool to optimize your job search

February 23, 2023

Hi everyone,

I'm here today with a big tip to improve your job search. 

 If you have a Gmail account*, you’ve got access to one of the most powerful job search tools available: Google Alerts.

*If you don’t have a gmail account, now is a good time to make one. You can set one up just for your job search - try [Your name][Your profession]@gmail.com. For example, JaneSmithCopywriter@gmail.com.

Google Alerts is a useful tool allowing you to set up email notifications on whatever you want to know about. You can use it to track your favorite artist or author, learn more about your industry, follow a news story, or any topic you want. You are allowed 1,000 alerts, so don’t be shy about using them! 

πŸ“£ Today we’re talking about how to use Google Alerts in your job search. 

• First, if you’re new to Google Alerts, read this article about setting up alerts your job search. (It’s quite simple!)

• Next, I recommend reading this article about basic Google search rules.

• Then, get advanced Google search tips here to really harness the power of Google in your job search. 

Now that you know how to set up Google Alerts with proper search terms, let’s dive into the wonderful ways to use Google Alerts to enhance your job search.

1) Set up a Google Alert for your name. Potential employers will search your name online before they call you in for an interview. Set up an alert about your name so you can monitor your reputation when you’re mentioned online. 

2) If you’re currently employed, set up a Google Alert about your company. Then you can keep an eye on your company’s reputation too. 

3) Keep up with your industry - especially if you’re making a career pivot. Set up Google Alerts about industry news so that you are up-to-date on the newest trends and opportunities. You can search for keywords related to your industry or big players in the field - such as influential companies and thought leaders.

4) Speaking of companies … Definitely set up Google Alerts about companies that interest you. Monitor your potential employers and use this information in your job applications and during job interviews. If you’re following the company AND industry news, you’ll have a lot to talk about during interviews. 

5) Strategically network. 75% of jobs are found through networking, so how do you stay in contact with your network on a regular basis while offering something of value? With Google Alerts! Set up an alert on your important contacts - their name, their company, a topic they are interested in - and send them a note when an alert pops up. This way you remind people you exist AND you’re offering something of value to them. 

6) Search for jobs. Ideally you’re applying for jobs within 96 hours of their posting. Use Google Alerts to notify you when your dream job is posted. You can use keywords such as job titles, job locations, and companies that interest you. (If you haven’t already, check out the links at the top of this email for Google Search best practices, and I like the “OR” tip in this article too.) 

7) Keep your alerts organized. Finally, if you’re really harnessing the power of Google Alerts for personal and professional use, you’ll likely have a lot of emails coming in. And depending on how frequently you choose to receive the alerts, your inbox can fill up quickly. I suggest setting up a separate email folder just for your Google Alerts, and you can even subcategorize the folders from there. 

🀯 That’s a lot of information to take in. Go ahead and bookmark this email and revisit it a few times. Read through the resources carefully, then make a list of the Google Alerts you will set up to optimize your job search. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

Did you see the January job report?!

February 14, 2023

Hi everyone,

It has been too long since I’ve said hello! πŸ‘‹ Waves “hello” wildly πŸ‘‹

I used to send weekly messages, but my last message was December 15. πŸ€¦‍♀️

I am sorry for not writing sooner. I took a break over the holidays and then BAM! January was a BUSY month. Many of you enrolled in my Masterclass to kick start your new year with a new job. That’s a brave thing to do, and I’m so proud of your progress thus far. 

πŸŽ‰ Since my last message, some of my wonderful clients have enjoyed great success:

  • Dave* negotiated a 25% raise at his current job (while we are also working to get him a new job). He said, “Your coaching really helped calm my nerves and I never would have asked if you didn’t push me.” 
  • Miriam* got back to work after a 3-year break, earning 50% more than she was before. She said, “I can’t thank you enough. I never thought I’d be back doing work I love AND making more money!” 
  • Andrew* got his first job after college! He applied to jobs for more than a year without success before he contacted me. After completing my Masterclass, he was recruited into a role he is really excited about. 

     * Names changed for privacy

There's SO MUCH to celebrate! And I have more clients making AMAZING progress towards their dream jobs. I can’t wait to share their success stories soon. What an exciting time. πŸ’ƒ

That leads me to the reason for writing today - did you see the January jobs report?!

🀯 America added 517,000 jobs in January! That’s 180% better than expected (economists expected 185,000 jobs, which would still have been a solid gain and above the pre-pandemic average). Unemployment rates fell to 3.4%, a 54-year lowRight now, there are nearly two jobs open for every one person looking for work.

On top of that, wages grew 4.4% from a year earlier, which was higher than expected. (This doesn't match inflation at 6.5%, but inflation peaked last summer and has been steadily declining since. 🀞 Many experts predict inflation to drop to 2% this year.)  

πŸ“ˆ Jobs are open. Wages are up. That means it’s still a very tight labor market and employees still have the upper hand. 

What does this mean to you? This is a great time to find a new job or negotiate better terms at your current job

❓“But Emily, what about all these layoffs in the tech industry? Aren’t we headed for a recession?”

I’ve been getting this question since last summer … there are persistent tech layoffs and recession rumors. I wrote about this for the Question of the Week on November 17, 2022, and my answer is still the same. (Look for the entry titled, "A recession is coming! ... Or it's not? ... Or it's already here?" πŸ€”.)

Layoffs are happening because tech companies have been on a hiring spree for years. They were overhiring with free money (with interest rates at an all-time low), and the pandemic exacerbated this as many of us were stuck at home and demand for tech services swelled. 

Now that demand has slowed and interest rates are higher, companies are trying to cut costs and trim their workforce back to manageable levels. 

Some might argue there’s groupthink involved too. As one big company after another announces layoffs, other companies are looking around saying, “Should we do this too?”  😬 Plus recession rumors are floating around everyone’s heads, making it easier to justify cutting costs. 

As I said on November 17, I think this is a bit of a πŸ• “tail wags the dog” πŸ• moment too. There are rumors of a recession which makes people act like we’re in a recession that might trigger a recession. 

As far as recession rumors go, they’re better than they were in November. The Fed just raised interest rates, but only .25% in a nod to slowing inflation. We’re all hoping for a “soft landing.”

πŸ“£ And if there’s any doubt, LOOK AT LAST MONTH’S JOBS REPORT. Those numbers don’t lie. There’s still demand out there. 

So my advice to you? If you’re currently employed, consider how you can negotiate a better salary or more benefits. The power is still in the people. 

βœ… At the same time - be prepared for a layoff. Keep your resume polished, LinkedIn updated, and network active. Heck, this might be a good time to keep your eye on jobs that interest you, even if you’re happily employed. 

As always, if you have any questions about your career, make a free 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it. These aren’t sales sessions - just 30 minutes to talk about your career problems and find clarity for your next steps. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

“How do I ask for a raise at work?”

December 15, 2022

Hello Emily!

Welcome to the Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY'S QUESTION:

“Emily, I want to ask for a raise at work - how do I do that?” 

One of my clients is ready to ask for a raise (YES!) and we were strategizing about it this week. Some of you might be heading into year-end reviews with your bosses too, which is an optimal time to ask for a raise. 

So let’s talk about how to do it! 

βœ… STEP 1: Research the average salary for your role in your area. You’ll find helpful information from these sites: Salary.combls.gov/oohpayscale.com, and indeed.com/career/salaries

Check job search sites for your job title too - sometimes you can get salary ranges from the job listing. 

This information will tell you how your pay compares with others in the area. It will also give you valuable information to use in your negotiation. Now your request is "based on research" and not emotions. 

βœ… STEP 2: Write down all your accomplishments on the job. Think about it through the lens of your boss (or whoever decides on your salary) - what is important to them? What problems/wants/needs do they have, and how does your job help them? Likewise, how does your work help improve the company’s bottom line or other initiatives? Check out my Brag Book and Story Stash resources to give you ideas. 

Do not skip this step. You will use this information in your negotiation AND it’s a wonderful ego boost. You’ll remember all the kick-ass things you did and it will increase your confidence about asking for a raise. 

βœ… STEP 3: Prepare your ask. What’s your goal - how much do you want? Get a range here - what’s your ideal top number and what’s the lowest number you’re willing to accept? You’re going to share the ideal top number with your boss, but keep the lowest number to yourself. 

For example, if you’re comfortable with a 15% raise (but you’ll settle for 10%), tell your boss you want a 20% raise. Then you have room to negotiate. 

Think about alternatives too - What else do you want? (A year-end bonus? Tuition reimbursement? Flexible hours? More vacation time? A hybrid work schedule?) Get creative here. Companies are often squishy about increasing base pay, but they’re more comfortable accommodating bonuses or other perks. You just have to ask. 

βœ… STEP 4: Practice your pitch ahead of time. Role-play with a friend or practice in front of a mirror. The most important part of this step is to ANTICIPATE OBJECTIONS. Why would they so no to your request? How would you respond? 

πŸ’¬ If they balk at the raise, you can lean into your research from STEP 1: “Based on my research, this is a fair wage for this role.” Then go into your accomplishments from STEP 2.

πŸ’¬ If they say they don’t have the money for a raise, consider your alternatives from STEP 3 - you could get a bonus, educational credits, negotiate for more time off, flex time, or a hybrid schedule. 

πŸ’¬ If they say no to everything, ask to revisit the topic in six months and get in writing what they want you to do in that time - any specific metrics or goals to hit? 

πŸ’¬ If they won’t even commit to a six-month appointment - good golly - go look for another job and find a place that respects you. 

βœ… STEP 5: Make the appointment. Tell your boss you’d like to discuss your career development at the company. Don’t tell them you want to discuss a raise, or they’ll already start thinking of ways to say no. Wait until your appointment to mention it. 

βœ… STEP 6: Set up the ask. When you’re in the meeting, tell your boss that you’ve been thinking about your role at the company … Reminisce on the work you enjoy and all your accomplishments … Your plans for the next few years at this job … Then ask for the raise. Go into the pitch you practiced in STEP 4. 

πŸ™Š And my final piece of advice … make your ask and then STOP TALKING. Sometimes we talk too much when we’re nervous and the more we talk, the more we undermine our confidence and position. Just state what you want and then shut up. 

Whew! That was a lot to go through - this is a weighty topic. If you’re ready to ask for a raise, make a free 30-minute appointment, and let’s talk about it. Let's get that money, honey!

To your success,

- Emily

 

πŸŽ‰ Celebrating wins

December 7, 2022

Oh hi Emily!

I'm buzzing today - can I tell you a quick story about Allie? 

I met Allie a few weeks ago during a Kick Your Career in Gear session. She is currently working at a good job and is paid fairly, but she’s feeling stuck. As she said, “I’m bored out of my mind and I’m not living up to my potential.” 

Allie also said she wants to “get unstuck and gain clarity and focus around where I’m going next and how I’m going to get there.” Here’s what she told me about her goals:

"I would like to have answers to the following questions:

-What kind job(s) do I want?

-How do I get the kind of jobs I want? Do they require me to go back to school? Get new certifications? Or do I just need to better position myself in the application process?

-Who and what organizations do I want to work for?

-What kind of jobs am I eligible to get in the current stage of my career?"

That was just three weeks ago. 

We’ve had three meetings since then, and here’s how Allie feels now

"So far, I'd give you an A+. I've been so impressed by not only your wealth of knowledge, insights, and resources -- but the empathy and responsiveness you've shown in the few weeks we've been working together. Aside from getting married last summer, I'd say that enrolling in your Masterclass was one of the most important (and best) decisions that I've made in 2022. I know that we still have a lot of work to do, but I feel that I'm finally starting to exit this cloud I've been stuck in for the past few years -- and I'm relieved, excited, and grateful."

😊 Allie, thank you! And this is why I love my job. Because I can help people feel this good! It makes me feel good too! 

I have another client celebration! One of my favorite clients just got a job offer that she’s really excited about! She’s been out of the workforce for a few years (let's talk about imposter syndrome) and this job pays nearly double her old salary. Now we’re on to the negotiation stage - one of my favorite stages. When the deal is done, I'll share her story - it's a good one. 

πŸŽ‰ Woohoo! I’m flying high today. So many wins to celebrate. 

I’d love to celebrate some wins with you too … schedule a free 30-minute Kick Your Career in Gear session and tell me what you’d like to do with your career. Let’s spend 30 minutes working on that #1 problem that keeps you up at night. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

" ... Should I be worried?"

December 6, 2022

Greetings Emily,

Welcome to the Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY'S QUESTION:

“Hi Emily, I keep hearing about layoffs and a recession. Should I be worried about my own job? Anything I should do?”

Christine asked this question during a Kick Your Career in Gear session. This is an astute question and one that might help you too. 

✍🏻 I’ve written about layoffs and recession rumors previously in the newsletter, you can read the archive here

The short answer is: No one knows what’s happening with the economy, but job numbers are strong, so it’s a mixed message. 

πŸ’‘ Now, I’m a bit biased here, but I think everyone should be prepared to find a new job because you never know if you could be laid off tomorrow, regardless of economic conditions. 

Even if you are happily employed, and the company is making money, and you don’t expect to go anywhere for a few years, you should still be proactive about your next career move. Why? 

πŸ›‹οΈ Have you heard of “Career Cushioning?”

This is the newest employment trend. First, we had the “Great Resignation,” then “Quiet Quitting,” then “Loud Layoffs,” and now we have “Career Cushioning.” This article from Forbes helps explain it. 

πŸ‘€ In short, “Cushioning” means keeping your options open.

The term is derived from the dating world, when people in committed relationships continue to nurture relationships with potential partners in case their current relationship ends. This is terrible. πŸ™…‍♀️

However, in the professional world, “career cushioning” means that you are staying proactive about your job search to “cushion the landing” should layoffs occur. This is great. πŸ™‹‍♀️

Now, what do I mean by “staying proactive about your job search?”

I do NOT mean that you spend hours a week on job search sites. (Though it’s a good idea to keep an eye open for opportunities, it’s not the primary step of this process.)

Instead, keep the tools in your toolbelt sharp:

  1. A running list of your professional accomplishments and the impact you have at work (I’m talking about your Brag Book, and you can find it in the Resources section of my website.) This information is valuable whether you want a promotion or you’re looking for a new job.
  2. An updated and active LinkedIn profile and you’re checking in at minimum 2-4 times per month.
  3. Regular contact with your network and offering help to those who need it. (I always say, “Build your network when you don’t need it so it’s ready for you when you do need it.”)
  4. Evaluate your skills - are there any areas where you can improve? How about some upskilling? Can you take a class? (Can your current employer pay for it?)

So, back to Christine’s question: “Should I be worried about my job?”  Well, it’s good to be proactive about worst-case scenarios, but don’t let it preoccupy your daily life. Keep showing up, doing a kick-ass job, and serving results that you can brag about to future employers. 

πŸͺš And keep those tools in your toolbelt sharp, so that if a layoff does occur, you’ve got a “cushion” to help you bounce right back. 

To your success,

- Emily

PS: There will be three more “Question of the Week” messages before the end of the year. Do you have a career question you want answered in 2022? Send it to me at emily@emilyworden.com.

 

Was it worth it? 

December 1, 2022

Hi friends,

Last week on Thanksgiving I sent a message of gratitude about coaching. Not only do I love being a coach, but I love to be coached too. 

πŸŽ‰ And I’m so excited … I’ve been enrolled in two programs for the last two months and they’re both wrapping up next week! 

This has been an intense year for upskilling … I’ve done five coaching programs this year. I invested in two programs to make me a better career coach, and three programs to help me be a better business owner. 

I also invested in smaller courses to teach me more about social media marketing … I am not a social media gal and  - ooh boy - this has been a steep learning curve for me. Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone! (When I enter the world of social media, I hope you’ll follow me and give me tips about how to do it better!) 

πŸ™…‍♀️ I haven’t always been this enthusiastic about coaching. Yes, I love upskilling and continuously learning - but investing big bucks just to have someone tell me to do something I can easily Google on my own - well, that wasn’t for me. 

I have an MBA and I was a business coach, but my own coaching business was stuck in the same place for years. I spent hours in front of my computer, toiling away, and seeing little results. (Psst - do you feel this way about your job search? I hear you!)

In 2021, I finally decided to get smart and get a coach. I've enrolled in nine programs so far and WOW - I am hooked. It's such a relief to stop wasting my time and just follow a proven program. 

😳 One of the programs I’m about to finish - ohmygosh - it was expensive. It was twice as much as I’d ever invested on coaching before. It was $5,000. I gulped when I heard the price. I knew the woman offering the program was good. I knew she’d change my business. But $5,000?! That made my stomach turn. 

Did I have the money? No. But I knew I would find it. Why? Because I knew it would pay off. 

Two months into the program … I’ve nearly recouped my investment (yay!), but more importantly, I’ve gained confidence and knowledge that will drive me for years to come. So, was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

πŸ§—‍♀️ And I’ve already got a list of programs to pursue in 2023. I’m not stopping. Now that I see how coaching can get me to where I want to be faster and easier, I’m never going back. 

Why? Because coaching works. Because it has already paid for itself in the time and money I have saved rather than figuring things out on my own. 

And if it didn’t pay for itself, it wouldn’t matter, because the courage, tenacity, and knowledge I’ve gained are priceless. I’ve been an entrepreneur for fifteen years and I wish I invested in coaching on Day 1. 

πŸ“ˆ The point of the story … invest in yourself. Whether you want help in coaching, education, physical health, or mental health … acknowledge that you are worth the investment and the change you want in your life. Because when you improve one thing in your life, other areas of your life improve too. 

Onwards and upwards,

- Emily

πŸ’‍♀️ PS: Coaching will get you where you want to be faster and easier than if you did it on your own. But you have to put in the work. Are you ready for coaching? Take this quiz to find out

 

“I’ve sent out dozens of job applications and haven’t heard back. What am I doing wrong?” 

November 29, 2022

Welcome to the Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY'S QUESTION:

“Emily, I’m really frustrated by the job search. I have applied to dozens of jobs and haven’t heard back. The few times I’ve gotten a response, they said I was 'overqualified' for the job. What am I doing wrong?” 

🀷‍♀️ Sheila asked me this question during a 30-minute discovery call last week. She has been diligently job searching for months, hasn't gotten anywhere with it, and contacted me out of frustration. 

She applied to at least 30 jobs, without a single lead. She even started applying for jobs that were “way below [her] skill level” and she “couldn’t even get an interview.”

🀦‍♀️ With a deep sigh, Sheila said to me, “I’m tired and over it. What am I doing wrong?” 

Oh gosh, Sheila, I’m SO glad you reached out. Let me help ... 

There are three things wrong with Sheila’s situation: 

  1. The Five Steps are out of order
  2. The Click and Stick method doesn't work 
  3. Never apply to jobs when you’re overqualified

1) THE FIVE STEPS ARE OUT OF ORDER 

When most people want a new job, they think, “I want a new job, I’ll update my resume” and then they head over to some job search sites.

Sure, that’s what most people do, but that’s the wrong way to do it. When you want a new job, the LAST thing you do is apply for jobs online. 

In the Career Clarity Masterclass, I help clients through the five-step job search process

  1. Define what you want
  2. Research the market
  3. Build your brand
  4. Use your network
  5. Apply to jobs

Editing your resume and applying to jobs is the LAST STEP of the job search process. First, you have to figure out what the market wants, build your brand on LinkedIn, tap into your network for leads, update your resume with keywords, and THEN apply for jobs. 

πŸ—£οΈ Also, here’s the thing: 75% of jobs are found through networking. So if you’re just applying to jobs without working your network first, you’re doing it the hard way

That leads me to the second thing that Sheila is doing wrong …

2) THE "CLICK AND STICK" METHOD DOESN'T WORK

Job search sites have made it easier than ever to apply for jobs online. This is great, but now people waste a lot of time applying for lots of jobs they don’t actually want, but are applying to “just because.” 

❌ I call this the “Click and Stick” method and I’ve got news for you - it doesn't work. 

Most people think that applying to jobs “is a numbers game” - it’s not. 

When you’re on the computer all day, just clicking on all the job applications and hoping that something sticks, here’s what typically happens …  

People tend to start with jobs that they are excited about and qualified for, then start applying for jobs that sound vaguely appealing, then ultimately, for jobs they are way overqualified for. At this point, people just want to land a job, any kind of job, even if it’s below their interest level or pay grade. 

πŸ™…‍♀️ The Click and Stick method doesn't work. (My Five Step process works.) 

This leads me to the third thing that Sheila is doing wrong … 

3) NEVER APPLY TO JOBS WHEN YOU’RE OVERQUALIFIED

I get why people do this. When you don’t hear back about jobs you actually want, and you start getting frustrated, you think, “Well then, I’ll apply for something that I’m way overqualified for … Surely, I’ll get that … right?!” 

Wrong. 

Companies don’t hire people who are overqualified because overqualified people are a flight risk.

πŸ’Έ It costs companies a lot of time and money to hire and train someone. They don’t want to invest in someone who is going to get bored or leave when a better opportunity comes their way. 

So if you’ve been beating yourself up over not hearing back on jobs that you’re “way overqualified” for, now you know why. Stop wasting your time with those jobs. 

πŸ’‘ I hope this sheds some light on your frustrating job search process. Sheila certainly felt better after our conversation and signed up for a coaching program so she can get a job faster and easier than doing it on her own. πŸŽ‰ “I wish I signed up earlier!” she said. πŸŽ‰

Me too, Sheila, but you’re here now! Let's get strategic about your job search and stop wasting your precious time. Welcome to the team. 

Onwards and upwards,

- Emily

🀬 If you're frustrated by the job search process, make like Sheila and book a free 30-minute appointment to tell me all about it. I'd love to help you stop wasting precious time and energy on job search tactics that don't work. 

 

A moment of gratitude

November 24, 2022

Question of the Week is paused this week due to the holiday, but I’ll be back next week with more advice. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

πŸ¦ƒ Today is Thanksgiving in America, and amidst the frenzy of shopping, cooking, and cleaning, I want to pause a moment and give thanks. 

One of the many things that I am grateful for is coaching. I truly love what I do and I was born to do this. (Seriously. I’ve taken many career tests and they all say the same thing.) 

My wonderful clients will tell you that I love the 16Personalities test. I call it “an accessible Myers Briggs” and they say that it’s “crazy accurate.” 

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’» I’ve taken the test several times, and it always says I’m the “Protagonist” type (shout out to my fellow ENFJs!) And here’s what they say about Protagonists’ career prospects: 

“[Protagonists] feel especially motivated in positions where they can guide others to learn, grow, and become more independent. Many people with this personality type gravitate toward careers with an altruistic bent, such as social work, teaching, counseling, coaching, health care, or public interest law.” *

*I’m a career coach and a college professor - I feel seen! 

πŸ™Œ Not only do I love being a coach, but I love getting coached too. I participate in loads of programs to teach me how to be a better coach and business owner. (Hm. Maybe I’ll talk about that next week.)

I’m a big fan of coaching and the change it can bring to your life. Not only am I grateful for the results coaching programs have brought to my own life, but for the hundreds of people I’ve helped as a career coach too.

It feels ⭐ SO GOOD β­ to help people build careers they love and give them a boost of self-confidence along the way. I just love it. 

πŸ™ I hope you too experience the blessing and gratitude of loving what you do. It’s a gift that I don’t take for granted, and I wish the same for you. 

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today, I hope you and yours have a happy and healthy holiday filled with blessings and thanks. 

With joy and gratitude,

- Emily

 

A recession is coming! … Or it’s not? … Or it’s already here? πŸ€”

November 17, 2022

Earlier this week I talked about a looming recession in the Question of the Week. (The email was called, “Should I keep looking for a new job or learn to like the job I have?” - you can find it in the archive.) I received a few follow-up questions so I thought I’d elaborate … 

I follow this topic very closely and the short answer is … no one knows what’s up with the recession. I will read two articles back-to-back, from two reputable economists, and get two completely different answers. 

As I mentioned earlier this week, depending on who you talk to, the recession is already here, it’s happening next year, it’s not going to happen, it’s going to happen and be HUGE, it’s going to happen and we’ll barely feel it … what a mess. 

🀦‍♀️ So what’s going on here? 

Well, it depends on your perspective and your data. 

Yes, inflation is still high (and cooling 🀞). But the US economy added 260,000 jobs last month. Employers are still hiring, and the labor market is still tight, meaning employees still have the upper hand.

🀷‍♀️ But Emily, what’s up with all the layoffs? 

Yeesh, yeah, the news is bad, especially for Twitter, Amazon, and Meta employees. Other notable recent layoffs happened at Lyft, Stripe, Coinbase, Shopify, Snap, and Robinhood. 

🧐 Take a moment and look at those companies - what do they have in common? 

They’re all tech companies. 

Twitter mess aside (😬), here’s the thing about tech - they have been on an aggressive hiring spree for years. Tech companies have been on a roll hiring top talent for high salaries and expensive perks. This means they can cut jobs and still operate relatively smoothly (because they might have over-hired in the first place). Also, demand is still high for skilled tech employees, even with all the layoffs.

πŸ“ˆ And here’s some perspective: The tech industry’s version of “slowing down” is the regular hiring pace for most industries. That is, job growth is still strong despite the recent layoffs. 

Now back to this recession talk … is it happening? And what does that mean for the job market? 

I am not an economist, but here’s my take … this is a case of the tail wagging the dog. πŸ• There’s talk of a recession which makes people act like we’re in a recession which then causes a recession. 

For example, have your spending habits changed because of the recession talk? Have you put off bigger purchases? Does a looming recession affect the decisions you’re making in your personal and professional life? 

Companies behave the same way. Yes, they are still hiring, but they are a bit more cautious than before. They’re holding onto cash in case a big recession is headed our way. 

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’»What does this mean for your job search? 

Nothing. Keep doing what you’re doing. Continue to polish your resume, stay optimized and engaged on LinkedIn, work your network, and apply for jobs.

Just understand the hiring process might take a bit longer than usual, as companies deliberate their options more thoroughly. 

πŸ‘€ Keep an eye on your industry too, and the things happening in the macro environment that can affect it. For example, the real estate and mortgage industries are getting hit because of high interest rates. However, hospitality and service industries can’t hire fast enough because consumer demand is high. So ask yourself - what is going on in the world that might affect my industry in the next year? 

This brings me to my last point: Anticipate where your industry - and even your own company - might be vulnerable. Could layoffs happen at your job? I hope not, but you want to be prepared if they do. This means you have an updated and relevant resume, an optimized LinkedIn profile, and an engaged network. 

🧘 I hope this message gives you some perspective. I must repeat - I am not an economist - I just study this topic and examine the macro trends. And one thing I’ve learned through all my research is that no one can say for sure what is going to happen, so it’s best to continue with your plans and be ready for the perfect job opportunity when it comes your way. 

To your success,

- Emily

πŸ™‹‍♀️ PS: Have you downloaded my guide, "Find Your Purpose and Make a Plan: 10 Steps to Kick Your Career in Gear"? It's packed with tips and resources to get you going on your career journey. And if you're ready to make a career change - yay! - schedule a 30-minute appointment and tell me all about it. 

 

"Should I keep looking for a new job or learn to like the job I have?"

November 15, 2022

Welcome to the Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY'S QUESTION:

“Emily, I still want a new job, but is now a good time? It’s late in the year … There’s talk of a recession … Should I pause my job search and learn to just deal with the job I have?”

I’ve fielded this question three times in the last two weeks, so I thought it was worth writing about for the Question of the Week

πŸ₯‡ First, let’s talk about hiring seasons … There are two “busy” and two “slow” hiring seasons. You can probably guess what they are...

Things slow down during the end-of-the-year holiday season and the summertime. People are out of the office and distracted during these times.  

Then hiring season picks right back up again as people are back in the office and focused on work. Therefore, January and September kick off the busy hiring seasons.  

πŸ₯ˆ Second, let's talk about a looming recession and the job market … Depending on who you ask, the recession is already here, it’s already happened, it’s going to happen, it won’t happen at all, it's going to be devastating, or barely a blip on the screen. In other words, no one can say for certain right now. 

Yes, inflation is high, but job numbers are strong. Of course, it all depends on your industry too. Some of the industries that are thriving right now involve health, data analytics, green energy, artificial intelligence, biotech, education, information security, all the trades, and more. 

πŸ₯‰ Third, let’s talk about learning to "deal" with your job. As you know, searching for a new job can be a lot of work. When you already have a job AND you’re job hunting, it’s like you’re standing with one foot in the door and one foot out - you’re ready to go, but you have to keep showing up and performing at your job. That’s a mental rollercoaster and it’s exhausting! 

So, with all that said, now let’s answer the question of the week … should you stop looking for a new job and start enjoying your old job again? Or keep searching for a job even though the season slows down in December? 

πŸƒ‍♀️ To answer that question, I have a quick activity for you. Go get a coin … go ahead, I’ll wait … have you found a coin? Now flip it in the air and call it … “Heads” you keep looking for a job, “tails” you stop looking for a job. 

When the coin lands, and you see if it’s heads or tails … are you disappointed or happy with the results? 

Whatever your gut reaction tells you, that’s your answer. 

πŸ’‍♀️ I could give you tips all day long about how to improve your current job situation, but if your gut really wants you to leave … Well, then, the job might not be worth fixing. 

But if the coin lands and you’re relieved with the results, then you know you’re not ready to leave your job or make a career change. And that’s ok if it’s what you need right now. 

πŸ€” So, the long-winded answer to this complicated question is … it depends. It depends on your gut instinct and your industry. For example, if your industry is growing, it can be easy to find another job. If it’s shrinking, it will be harder. (Also, if your industry is shrinking, what would you do if you were laid off?)

By the way, it can take months to land a new job, and there’s a lot of groundwork to cover if you want to do it right. It takes time to find a job you love that fits your lifestyle, gives you purpose, and pays you well. 

πŸ—“οΈ Even if you want to look for a new job in January, there’s work you should be doing now, in November and December. 

No matter if you decide to keep job searching now or pause and start up again in January, stay active. Continue to look for opportunities, work your network, update your resume, optimize your LinkedIn, and make strategic connections in informational interviews. 

You want to lay the groundwork now so that when the perfect job comes along, whether it’s in November, January, or March - you’re ready for it. 

To your success, 

- Emily

πŸ‘©‍πŸ’Ό PS: If you want to find the perfect job but you're feeling stuck or frustrated by the process, you could benefit from coaching. I can help you with every step of the career change process - how to find the perfect job, write a compelling resume, stand out on LinkedIn, nail the job interview, and negotiate a higher salary. I can even help you make a successful transition to your new job or help make your current job better. Book a free 30-minute appointment, tell me what you want to accomplish, and I’ll see if I can help. 

πŸ§‘‍πŸ’» PPS: Last week I announced a price increase for coaching packages starting January 1, 2023. In case you missed it, here are the details: 

 

OLD PRICE (Until 12/31/22)

NEW PRICE (As of 1/1/23)

Individual Coaching Session

$395

$425

Breakthrough Bootcamp

$995

$1,195

Career Clarity Masterclass (Pay in full 10% discount)

$2,600

$2,895 

Career Clarity Masterclass (Installment Plan)

$975/month for 3 months (total $2,925)

$1,065/month for 3 months (total $3,195)

(Yes, the 30-day Money Back Guarantee will still apply to the Career Clarity Masterclass in 2023.)

Onwards and upwards!

 

I know why ... do you? 

November 10, 2022

 I have an announcement at the bottom of this email about new prices for 2023. If you're interested in coaching, stick around for the message. 

But first, let's talk about your why

Have you ever said anything like this?

“I’ve lost my confidence …”

“I feel like a fraud …”

“I’m afraid of failure …”

“I feel stuck …”

“I’m scared to put myself out there …”

“I’ve got a huge case of imposter syndrome …”

These are direct quotes from people who contacted me because they're ready for a change. 

They want something different - a new job, more money, less work - and they know they need to do something about it, but they “find every excuse in the book to not look for a job.” Or, they simply say, “I hate this. I hate applying for jobs. I don’t want to do it, but I need to.”

“I don’t want to do it, but I need to.”

There is so much to unpack in that sentence, and I hear it all the time. 

I get it - who enjoys job searching? It can be difficult, laborious, emotional, and it brings up all sorts of feelings about self-worth and how we value ourselves. 

“I don’t want to do it, but I need to.”  When I hear this sentence from someone, I start exploring the second part: “...but I need to.” 

Why? Why do you “need” to look for a new job? What’s your reason? Here are some common answers I hear:

“I want a plan and momentum.”

“I want to get my life back on track.”

“I want to save money for a house.”

“I want to save money for retirement.”

“I want to take that trip I’ve been planning for five years.” 

“I want our family to be financially stable.” 

“I want to spend more time with my family.”

“I want to stop feeling burned out.”

“I want to do work that has meaning, a purpose.”

“I want to do something that I’m passionate about, be part of something rewarding.”

“I want to have more confidence in myself.” 

When you feel stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed, or stressed about making a change, take a step back and remember your why. 

Why is a career change important to you? What will you gain from it? (More money, more time, less stress...)

How will a career change improve other areas of your life? (Work/life balance, time with family, money for a house or retirement ...)

Paint a picture in your head of your ideal future. Picture how a new job can help the other areas of your life improve. 

 If you want a new job because you want to buy a house, stop and picture the house - What does it look like? Where is it located? Tell me about the backyard - is there a porch? Who would you have over for your first dinner party?

If you want a new job because you have been out of the workforce for a while and it's time to get back in, stop and picture how it will feel to use your professional skills again, and the joy of earning a regular paycheck. What kind of work do you hope to do? What would you do with the money? 

Whatever it is you envision for yourself, that is your why. Write it down. Focus on it. Remember it. Visit it often. 

Remember your whyit will keep you going. 

I know my why, do you know yours? 

To your success,

- Emily

 ANNOUNCEMENT: New prices in 2023 

If you’re ready for a career change and …

  1. You know that working with me will help you (Not sure? Take the quiz to find out.) 
  2. You like to save money

Then listen up … as of January 1, 2023, the price of coaching packages will increase as follows: 

Prices as of January 1, 2023

 

OLD PRICE (Until 12/31/22)

NEW PRICE (As of 1/1/23)

Individual Coaching Session

$395

$425

Breakthrough Bootcamp

$995

$1,195

Career Clarity Masterclass (Pay in full 10% discount)

$2,600

$2,895 

Career Clarity Masterclass (Installment Plan)

$975/month for 3 months (total $2,925)

$1,065/month for 3 months (total $3,195)

(Yes, the 30-day Money Back Guarantee will still apply to the Career Clarity Masterclass in 2023.)

If you want a new job, I’ve got two facts for you: 

  1. It can take up to six months to find a new job, sometimes more
  2. January is one of the hottest hiring seasons of the year

So if you want a new job in the new year, there’s plenty of work to do now to make it happen. If you wait until the new year to start, you’re already behind

And if you don’t want to change jobs until Spring 2023, you can invest in the packages now at 2022 prices and start the program in 2023. 

And if you want to stay where you are and not make a change in your career, that’s ok too. Just reflect on the message of this email - remember your why - and contact me for a free 30-minute consultation when you’re ready for a change. 

 

"How do I answer the salary question?" 

November 7, 2022

Welcome to Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY’S QUESTION:

“Hey Emily, I have an interview coming up - how do I answer the salary question?”

I get this question all the time and I LOVE IT. During screening interviews, you’ll likely be asked, “What are your salary expectations?” (For some of my clients, it’s the FIRST QUESTION they’re asked. Sheesh!) 

Last week I sent an email about how to get a recruiter's attention on LinkedIn. I mentioned that if you connect with a recruiter, you NEVER SAY YOUR NUMBER FIRST, instead you want them to name their number first. 

Today I’m going to tell you how to do that. 

Before I get into the details, let’s talk about how to figure out your salary expectations.

 STEP 1: Know your value

  1. Think about your skills, experience, knowledge, background, talents, and other assets … How would you describe your value in a contract negotiation? What are you bringing to the table, and why are you worth it? 
  2. Consider your budgetary needs and take-home pay (use a take-home pay calculator for help).
  3. List whatever else you need as your “total comp” - health/dental insurance, flex time, work-from-home, educational benefits, travel reimbursement … whatever is important to you.

 STEP 2: Benchmark your salary and benefits

This research is critical - it will give you the confidence to ask for the number you want (because now your number is not based on feelings, it’s based on data).

  1. Research the job title: Find duties, responsibilities, and the average salary for your area. 
  2. Get data from several websites so that you can get a reasonable range. (Contact me if you need help finding this information.) 

 STEP 3: Create your bolstering range

This is essential for salary discussions. In a bolstering range, your minimum acceptable number is at the bottom of the range, then add 20% for the top of the range.

Basically, the bottom of the range would be a number that makes you say, “I’m good with that,” while the number at the top of the range would make you say, “Woohoo! Yippee! Thanks, Emily!!”

  1. For example, if $50,000 is your minimum acceptable number, then your bolstering range would be $50,000-$60,000. In this case, I’d add another $5,000 and say your range is $50,000-$65,000 (BUT DON’T SHARE THIS NUMBER, this is for your information only.)
  2. A note about your minimum acceptable number: This isn’t your bottom-of-the-barrel price, a salary that you would take only if you were desperate. Rather, your minimum acceptable number is a number that you are happy about, a number you deserve based on your research and your skills/experience. 
  3. Determine your resistance point: The resistance point is lower than your minimum acceptable number, it’s the lowest salary/total comp you are willing to accept, based on your budgetary needs. This is the worst-case scenario. 

Now that you have a salary range in mind, backed by research, let’s talk about how to handle salary questions

When a recruiter or hiring manager asks, “What are your salary expectations?” Here are some possible replies:

  1. “I don’t know enough about the job yet, I'd be happy to discuss salary when I have a better understanding of the job responsibilities and expectations.”  This answer illustrates that you want to understand the tasks and you're committed to doing the best work possible. 

If they say, “Gosh Emily, I hear you, I just want to know if we’re in the same ballpark.” 

  1. Throw the ball back at them: “I don’t know, I have to do my research, but what number are you thinking?" They have a number in mind, and they’re going to give you the minimum number, or a general range.

If they pressure you and say, “We just can’t go further in this process until we know your number. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time.” 

  1. First of all, that’s a red flag  - if they’re refusing to give up a number, and pressuring you to do it, then they don’t value what you’re bringing to the table.
  2. If you feel pressured to say a number, say, BASED ON MY RESEARCH for the market value of this role, a fair salary range is $x-y.”  When you say, “based on my research,” this takes emotions and feelings out of the equation. You’re just relying on data and facts. Plus, it indicates that you're someone who does their homework. 
  3. Go a bit above your bolstering range heredon’t name your minimum acceptable number (then there’s no wiggle room later in negotiations).

 If they ask, “What is your current salary?” Federally speaking, they are allowed to ask this. However, different states have different rules. For example, in Massachusetts, we were the first state to say an employer can’t ask about your current salary until you have a job offer with compensation details. California and New York have pretty strict rules too. Check your state’s laws about this. For now, here’s how to respond:

  • “This job is different from my current job, so it’s not comparable.” 
  • “My employer restricts me from discussing my current salary for privacy reasons.” If that's true, awesome, and even if it's not a policy, you're still protecting your company.
  • “That's not something I'm comfortable discussing, but I'd be happy to discuss the skills and experience I would bring to this position.”

I hope this helps you prepare for your next job interview or screener call with a recruiter. If you want some practice on this, schedule a free 30-minute appointment with me and we can run through your response.

Now go get that money, honey! 

- Emily

(PS: Speaking of money honey, the price of my coaching packages will increase on January 1, 2023. If you're ready to work with me to get the career you want AND you like to save money, look for an email later this week with details.)

 

"How can I get recruiters to find me on LinkedIn?" 

November 2, 2022

Welcome to Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY’S QUESTION:

“Hi Emily, how can I get recruiters to find me on LinkedIn?” 

Thanks, Nick, for asking, that’s a good question! 

Recruiters are hired by companies to find qualified job candidates. Most recruiters cater to specific industries, and they are paid when a candidate is hired. 

Recruiters are most active in the hot employment industries: Tech, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Green Energy, and loads of creative jobs. But you’ll find recruiters for nearly every industry, and you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile to help recruiters find you. 

First, let’s think about how recruiters use LinkedIn. You and I use LinkedIn as a social network with job opportunities. Recruiters, on the other hand, use LinkedIn to find job candidatesLinkedIn is a search engine for hiring managers and recruiters

Think about how you use a search engine - you type in keywords and go. Recruiters are doing the same thing with LinkedIn. 

So it’s all about KEYWORDS

Keywords are the words recruiters and hiring managers use to find qualified candidates. Recruiters search for job titles, location, hard/soft skills, and sometimes the name of companies and universities too

Do you know your keywords?

Check out the job descriptions that interest you … what language is in there? How is the job described? What skills are they looking for? THOSE ARE YOUR KEYWORDS. 

Make a list of your keywords and then incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile. 

First up, the Job Titles - if you don’t have the “correct” current job title (as in, your current job title doesn’t match the job title you’re applying for), then your LinkedIn Headline is extra important. 

After the Job Title and Headline, the Summary is the third most important element of your profile. Fill it up with terms and keywords a recruiter might use to search for candidates, like hard and soft skills, industry jargon, and the job title or related job titles. Continue filling out your profile with similar keywords.

Does that advice sound like gobbledegook? Check out this article from Jobscan that explains the process in helpful detail. 

Don't give up because this stuff works ... Last week I helped a client optimize their LinkedIn profile with keywords and FIVE recruiters contacted them over the weekend - immediate results! 

Two notes about working with recruiters: 

  1. Check the LinkedIn profile of the recruiter, the reputation of the recruiting firm, and the company they are recruiting for - does it look legit? Sometimes scammers will pose as recruiters from real agencies too - please note, a real recruiter would never ask you for personal information like your birthday, SSN, or bank account.
  2. Keep your expectations low - Some recruiters contact hundreds of people in a day. They simply don’t have time to respond to every message, and you often won’t hear back from them. It isn’t personal … they’re just juggling too many things at once. 

If a recruiter contacts you:

  1. Yay! That’s awesome! Your LinkedIn optimization is paying off.
  2. Respond quickly. The recruiter is on a timeline so they’re lining up job candidates and screening them, and will move on if you don’t reply. 
  3. Ask the recruiter how they found you and what got their attention. Take note and do more of this!

Before a screening interview with a recruiter:

  1. Research the company that is hiring and learn about its mission and culture. 
  2. Prepare questions to ask the recruiter about the job requirements, company culture, and salary expectations. 
  3. Practice how you’ll answer basic interview questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” and “Tell me about your skills/experience in [your industry].” 
  4. Research a reasonable salary range for the job but DO NOT SHARE IT with the recruiter. You want them to name the number first. (I’ll talk more about that next week.) 

I hope this helps, Nick. Keep the questions coming!

Do you have a career question? Send it to me at emily@emilyworden.com and I can answer it for the Question of the Week!

To your success,

- Emily

PS: If you have ever said, "I know I have to use LinkedIn but I never use it ... I don't know how ... I don't want to ..." then make a 30-minute appointment with me and tell me about your LinkedIn woes. I'm thinking of creating a LinkedIn course for people who don't like using LinkedIn, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. 

 

"How can I work part-time from home?" 

October 24, 2022

Welcome to Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY’S QUESTION:

“Hi Emily, I want to work part-time from home, where do I find jobs like that?” 

I got this question from Sarah, who wants to come back to work after a career pause and still have time for family. Thanks for asking, Sarah! 

I have good news - there are a lot of places to find jobs that let you work from home and even set your own hours. 

I put together a resource list with over a dozen websites, it’s attached to this email. 

Many websites cater to stay-at-home moms coming back to work after a career pause, and others can help place you in Fortune 500 companies, startups, tech, and law jobs. 

This type of work is great if you are returning to work after a career break or switching jobs. And if you have a gap in your resume, this is an excellent way to ease back into the workforce. 

I hope the resource helps, and keep the questions coming! 

Do you have a career question? Send it to me at emily@emilyworden.com and I can answer it for the Question of the Week!

To your success,

- Emily

PS: If you know anyone who might benefit from this resource, please pass it along and tell them they can sign up for a free 30-minute discovery session with me

 

"What are some red flags to look for in a job description?"

October 18, 2022

Hi Emily,

Welcome to the Question of the Week, where I answer questions from clients and newsletter readers. If you have a question you’d like answered, send me an email at emily@emilyworden.com.

TODAY'S QUESTION:

“Hey Emily, what are some red flags to look for in job descriptions?” 

Thanks for asking, Jennifer, I love this question! 

Sometimes we get so swept up in an exciting job description that we might overlook some of the common “red flag language” that could indicate the job might not be so delightful. There are a few common phrases that should raise your eyebrows if you see them in a job description. 

Before I share them with you, first a disclaimer: If you see these phrases in a job description, don’t count out the job completely. This might legitimately be a great company and they're just using cliched job descriptions. If the job sounds interesting to you, you’ll want to research the company too. More on that at the end of this message. 

First, here are a few common "red flag phrases" to watch out for: 

  • The candidate must be able to “work under pressure” or “work in a fast-paced environment.” Sometimes these lovely phrases are added to “extremely hard-working” or “handles stress well.” Yeah, those are big ol’ red flags right there. This sounds like the job will be demanding and chaotic with unreasonable hours and little work/life balance.
  • The candidate should be a “multitasker” who is “flexible,” “wears many hats,” and/or “high-energy.” This sounds like the role isn’t clearly defined, the company is disorganized, and you’ll get burnt out fast. 
  • The candidate should be a “rockstar,” “wizard,” or “ninja” - they’re looking for a unicorn who can do it all but get paid for one job. This might also indicate long hours with cheap pay. 
  • And the biggest red flag of them all: “We’re like a family here.” Oh good golly, no. Families can be tough. Personalities clash. Boundaries aren’t respected. Not only that, if you’re considered “family,” then they might expect you to “pitch in” for unpaid activities, they could be more demanding than the average employer, and culture might suffer from favoritism. Yes, sure, you want to work with a great team, just stay away from “family” culture. 

Here are a few other tips to scope out a company before applying for a job: 

  • Check out the job posting - has it been up for a few months? Is the position posted a lot? That usually indicates an undesirable job, a difficult company, and/or high turnover. 
  • Look up the company on Glassdoor - what do the employees say about working there?
  • Search for the company on LinkedIn - find other people who work/worked there and check out how long they were with the company. Are people being promoted from within? (That’s a good sign.) Are people leaving after a short employment period? (That’s a bad sign.) 
  • If the job/company really interests you, reach out to some of those people on LinkedIn and ask about their experience at the company. 
  • Go ahead and apply for the job, go on the interview with an open mind, and ask clarifying questions. Ask about the job expectations, learn if there are clearly defined roles and expectations, suss out if there is a work/life balance and consider the company’s culture and values.  

One final “red flag” warning … Beware of scams.

Sadly, scammers have learned how to take advantage of job seekers. If a job listing looks too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some things to look out for in job descriptions:

• A website asks you to pay to search for job openings or charges an “upfront” cost. No! You should never have to pay to apply for a job. Even if they say, “Money back guaranteed” you’ll not get your money back.

• If they offer to send office supplies or a computer to your home or give you money to purchase these things, that is definitely a scam.

• A website asks for your personal information. Yes, you might have to use an email to open an account on the website (and you should use a spam email address for that anyway), but never give away your credit card, social security number, banking information, or other personal details.

• Fake job offers typically use phrases like, “Guaranteed work,” “Guaranteed income,” and “You can work from home.” They might even promise some unheard-of government jobs that you never knew existed (because they don’t).

• Fake job offers will also conduct your interview over text, Slack, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp etc… That’s a big red flag - real job interviews for real jobs at real companies would never conduct an interview by text or other messaging apps.

• If you did fall for a job scam and lost money, you can report it to the FTC. You won’t get your money back, but you might be able to help other people from being swindled

    1. Call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357
    2. Go online: ftc.gov/complaint 

Thanks, Jennifer, for this question! I hope this message helps other job seekers out there too. 

If you have a question you’d like answered in Question of the Week, send it to emily@emilyworden.com.

To your success,

- Emily

 

Personal Brand Alert: Update these two things today (especially if you're job hunting)

October 11, 2022

Hi everyone,

I’m sorry I didn’t send an email last week; my lovely clients had me BUSY! We were finalizing resumes, submitting job applications, tweaking LinkedIn profiles, and preparing for job interviews. There was a lot of momentum for a lot of people and I’m so lucky to be a part of it. 

I’m back this week with one of my favorite personal branding tips.

Personal branding is ESSENTIAL in career development.

Does the thought of personal branding make you feel icky or uncomfortable? 

I have news for you - you already have a brand. It’s your reputation

What do people think about when they hear your name? How do people describe you? That’s your brand, and you must define it - or others will do it for you. 

Personal branding is critical if you’re job hunting too. A strong personal brand helps you stand out from other job applicants, and makes hiring managers feel like they NEED to hire you. 

I could talk for hours about personal branding (in fact, I’m developing a course about it right now) - and it’s the foundation of the work I do with my clients. 

I’m here today with two quick tips you can use to define your brand - especially if you’re job hunting. 

1) SIGNATURE BLOCK

Look at the bottom of your emails - what does your signature block say? If you just have your name and contact information (or no signature block at all), you’re missing a big personal branding opportunity

You can customize a signature block in your email settings, and you’ll want at least six lines of text (you can play around with different fonts, sizes, and colors too): 

1) Name (Use a middle initial if you have a common name)

2) Job title/job description/skills description 

• If you’re looking for a job, you can say that too: “Copywriter looking for advertising work” or “Recent graduate looking for graphic design work in the New York City area"

• You can list your current job title OR the job you want to have

• You could also just list some notable skills that you want people to know about you

• Have fun here, think about your brand positioning - how do you want people to think about you? (For example, “Writer, Designer, Creator.”)

• If you’re a student or recent graduate, you can say the name of your school, degree, and year of graduation (For example, “College University School of Journalism ‘22”) 

3) Contact information Include links to your LinkedIn, social media profiles, and your website (if you have one)

4) Tagline or Slogan (If you have one - it could be the Headline from your LinkedIn)

5) Call to action Ask them to visit your website, connect on LinkedIn, check out your portfolio, or follow you on social media. You can also promote upcoming projects here or link to industry news.

6) Include your picture or a picture of your work, it’s a nice bonus!

This is just a rough outline, you can customize it as you see fit. For example, here is the signature block from my email: 

Emily Worden 

MBA, CPCC
Career Coach • Impossible Optimist
Follow me on LinkedIn
Click here to book an appointment
You spend 1/3 of your life working.
You might as well enjoy it. 
 
Remember, you must define yourself before others do it for you. The language you choose here goes a long way toward solidifying your reputation and personal brand. 

2) VOICEMAIL

I know, I know, hardly anyone leaves a voicemail anymore in lieu of texting, but guess who does leave a voicemail? HIRING MANAGERS. If you’re job hunting and expecting a call, update your voicemail to grab their attention. You can even tailor it to a specific job you’ve applied to:

“You’ve reached the voicemail of Jill Jones, medical illustrations artist. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.”

I hope these tips kickstart some ideas for your own personal brand. If you’d like to hear more about personal branding, I’m thinking about offering a course this winter and I’d love your opinion. Please check out the list of group courses and vote for which ones sound most interesting to you

If you’re feeling stumped about your personal brand - which is likely because this is hard - then schedule a free 30-minute session and tell me about it. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

NEW RESOURCE: 10 Steps to Kick Your Career in Gear

September 26, 2022

Hello there everyone,

If you feel at a crossroads about your career, I've got a new resource for you. I wrote this guide to help those who want to do something new, but feel stuck or unsure about what to do next. 

It's called 10 Steps to Kick Your Career in Gear: Find Your Purpose and Make a Plan

This is a quick read - only six pages - but it's jam-packed with actionable steps and valuable resources to help you find direction and gain momentum around the next steps of your career

I tend to overwhelm people with too much information at once (it's a weakness - I'm working on it!), so just read through the document first, then take it one step at a time, one day at a time.

I'm all about taking small, micro steps to build daily momentum, and reading this document is a good place to start. 

Click here to access 10 Steps to Kick Your Career in Gear: Find Your Purpose and Make a Plan.

Please let me know what you think of this guide or any topic you'd like to learn more about. I'm here to help!

With joy and gratitude,

- Emily

 

Sneak peak - Winter Group Courses launching - Which ones should I launch? (Please respond)

September 21, 2022

Good day everyone,

I’ve been coaching for 10 years and I’ve had the good fortune of helping hundreds of people with their career goals. 

I love coaching because I love helping people succeed - I was born to do this. 

BUT, I’m only one person, and my schedule doesn’t always allow for new clients. 

So, I’m launching group cohort courses to help more people achieve their big, beautiful dreams - whether it’s getting a new job, a promotion, or starting a business. 

If you’ve been curious about coaching but you’re not ready for the 1:1 experience, then cohort courses might be for you. 

Group cohort courses are like going to school … show up to class, do the homework, meet with the teacher, participate in group discussions, and leave the course with a new set of skills. 

I’ve created courses for the five most in-demand topics from my career coaching practice: 

  • COURSE #1: Career Changers: Find Your Purpose and Make a Plan
  • COURSE #2: Build Your Brand and Stand Out from the Crowd
  • COURSE #3: Apply to Jobs (Resume, Cover Letter, Job Application Tips)
  • COURSE #4: Get Your Next Job Through Networking 
  • COURSE #5: Nail the Job Interview and Negotiate for More Money

But I need your help! These courses will run for six weeks in October-December 2022, and I can’t run all five at the same time.

I can only choose TWO pilot courses to launch this fall and I need your help deciding which courses to launch.

Can you please fill out this short form to learn more about the courses and tell me which topics sound most useful to you? I appreciate your feedback, thank you!

Click here to learn more about the courses, including prices, FAQs, and registration info. 

Woohoo!

- Emily

(PS - If you're interested in attending a group course, you can reply back to this email, leave your email at the bottom of the form, or sign up on my website. I'll email updates on course happenings and registration info.)

 

I'm official now! 

September 19, 2022

Hello there everyone,

One of my favorite salary negotiation tools is educational benefits. Many employers get squirmy about raising base pay, but they’re more comfortable offering bonuses and extra benefits. 

I encourage everyone to ask for educational benefits because I believe in employers paying for education and training. After college, I worked for a local university that paid for my MBA. Now, I’m happy to take advantage of the educational benefits offered by Boston University, where I’m an adjunct professor.

And this is exciting - can I tell you a quick story? 

In May 2022, I learned through my union at BU about a grant available for adjunct professors and I jumped on it. I applied to cover the cost of three professional certification programs, and was awarded 95% of my proposal. Huzzah!

I applied for the first certification in June - to become a Certified Professional Career Coach. It’s a globally-recognized program for those who want to level up their coaching skills and provide maximum value to their clients. I’m happy to report that I completed the course, submitted my work, passed the test, and it’s official! I’m now Emily Worden, MBA, CPCC.

Next up, I’m working on the Certified Professional Resume Writer course. When that is finished, I’m going for my certification in Interview Coaching. And I got 95% of the cost covered by my employer. 

The moral of the story?

1) Take advantage of employer benefits (and ask for them if they’re not offered)

2) Continue educating and training yourself, no matter how long you’ve been in the game

3) You can make time for anything if you prioritize and stay disciplined

Now I’m going to celebrate this win before hitting the books on my Certified Professional Resume Writing course. Onwards and upwards!

-Emily

 

The wrong way to search for a job 

September 15, 2022

Thank you, everyone, for your input about my office hours! I've gotten very thoughtful responses. If you haven't responded yet, please complete this short form to tell me how you feel about office hours and when they should happen.

Today, I've got some job search advice for you...

People come to me when they’re burned out by the job search process and their self-esteem is usually pretty low. 

I get it - job searching can be stressful, confusing, and debilitating. 

It combines lots of things that often make us uncomfortable - money, wondering what’s next for your career, self-esteem, meeting new people, taking risks … and too often I see people going about it the wrong way, so I am here today to offer a new strategy. 

First, let me tell you how most people go job hunting, and why they’re doing it wrong: 

Typical job-seeking mistake:

  1. Decide to get a job
  2. Update the resume
  3. Search job sites, find some jobs that sound vaguely appealing or that you’re overqualified for 
  4. Send out dozens of resumes/applications - I call it the “Click and Stick” method - you just “click” to apply all day long and hope something sticks
  5. This method doesn’t work, you’re burnt out, over it, and questioning your motives (“Why am I doing this? Is it worth it?”) and your own skills (imposter syndrome, self-doubt)

My job search philosophy: Don’t apply to everything you see and send out hundreds of applications. 

Instead, you want to be FOCUSED and DELIBERATE about your job search. This is a "quality" over "quantity" situation: 

  1. Find the companies and job titles that are most appealing to you
  2. Study the job descriptions and company descriptions
  3. Customize your resume for each job application using keywords
  4. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
  5. Tap into your network to see if you know anyone who works at these companies

This process will get you job interviews faster than any “Click and Stick” method could. I made a video explaining the process, you can view it here (closed captioning available).  

Does this make sense to you? Good! Now go out there and do it. 

Does this sound overwhelming to you? Then you might be a good fit for coaching. 

I cover all of these steps in my Career Clarity Masterclass. We explore everything you need to know about career development, from figuring out what you want to do next to writing your resume to negotiating a higher salary. (And the Career Clarity Masterclass has a 30-day money-back guarantee. See the FAQs or email me for more info.) 

Take this quiz to see if coaching is right for you, and watch this video to learn about the coaching process (closed captioning available). 

To your success,

- Emily

 

I need your advice - should I have office hours? (Please respond) 

September 13, 2022

Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about hosting some open office hours … anyone can pop in and ask me questions about their career. I think this might be especially useful during the "hot" hiring season I talked about in last week's email. 

I’ve had wonderful chats with job seekers during the 30-minute “Kick Your Career in Gear” Discovery Sessions, and I’d like to help more people. So this would be for anyone who has already had a free session or anyone who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.

But I don’t want to throw a party and then no one shows up. 

So I’m testing the waters first … If you think this is a good idea, please fill out this short questionnaire. I’d like to figure out 1) How many people like this idea, and 2) What time/day works best for most people.

And finally, should the office hours have a theme? In each session, I could share some tips around a certain topic and then open the floor to questions. Hm. So much to consider. Thank you for your input, it means a lot!

With joy and gratitude,

- Emily

 

It’s getting HOT out there 

September 6, 2022

Hi everyone, 

Things are HOT right now, can you feel it? 

No, I’m not talking about the weather ...  I’m talking about the JOB MARKET.

As you’ve been hearing in the news, labor demand is high. It’s a tight labor market, and the power is in the people to find jobs they love on their terms. 

But here’s what makes things extra hot right now …

It’s September! 

That means people are in “back to school” mode … Summer vacations are over, people are back at work, and hiring managers have a renewed focus on job applications. 

This is one of the BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR to look for a new job. September is the perfect month, and October is pretty good too.

But things slow down remarkably in November and December. 

That means you have two options if you want to be in a new job sometime in the next six months … 

  1. Get serious NOW about your career, put in the hard work in September and October, and find a new job by the end of the year.
  2. Put off the fall hiring season, but get serious about your career moves in November and December so that you’re ready to apply during the next best hiring season - January and February

Which option sounds best to you? It depends on your professional, financial, and personal goals. 

If you want help in your career journey, I’m here to guide you towards a new job and more money

I am booking up FAST for the fall, however, and space is limited. 

If you’re wondering if career coaching is right for you (it’s not for everyone), then I’ve got a few resources to help you:

  1. Take the quiz: Am I ready for coaching?
  2. Watch the video: What is a career coach and do I need one?
  3. Watch the video: Bootcamp vs. Masterclass: What's the difference? 

If you’re ready to make a career change, and you know that a coach will get you there faster, then book an appointment with me to determine which coaching plan is right for you. 

To your success,

- Emily

 

Are you thinking about doing something new? LOTS OF RESOURCES INSIDE

August 30, 2022

Hello there Emily,

If you’re thinking about making a career change, but you’re not sure what to do, start by researching jobs that interest you. (Ooh, that rhymed!)

I’ve got a few resources to help you:

  1. Occupation Profiles from CareerOneStop: All you need to know when considering a new occupation: job description, employment outlook, skills/education required, wages, etc… 
  2. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Sponsored by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the place to go for the most updated information about occupational data. Find information about wages, employment outlook, fastest-growing industries, and highest-paying jobs.
  3. Firsthand: Modern data about today’s jobs that you might not find in other industry resources. Find helpful information about the job, industry, and related professions.
  4. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has industry outlooksoccupational profiles, and loads of information for job seekers.
  5. Reddit.com: Find subreddits on any type of occupation and learn from people doing that job every day (Get more career advice at /r/CareerGuidance/r/AskHR/r/recruiting, /r/jobs, /r/productivity/r/GetMotivated).
  6. Indeed.com or LinkedIn Jobs: Browse job descriptions to get an idea of expectations and responsibilities.

This should be all the resources you need to research jobs and industries that interest you. 

Happy searching,

- Emily

 

My favorite job search site 

August 25, 2022

Hi everyone,

If you’re looking for a new job, where are you looking for job listings? Most people search on LinkedIn Jobs or Indeed. Both sites are excellent for job searches, but I’ve got an even better tip for you. 

You might know about my love of CareerOneStop, which is an incredibly useful resource as you explore potential pivots in your career. 

Now let me tell you about their Job Finder, which aggregates the listings from the top four job websites (​​NLxCareerBuilderIndeedZipRecruiter) and your state’s job bank. 

Boom! Four job search sites, one stop. I tell clients to use Job Finder and LinkedIn Jobs to cover their bases. 

Another tip: If you have some ideal companies in mind, check their website for job openings too. You might find opportunities not listed in any of the resources above. 

Finally, check out this article about using Google to maximize your job search.

Enjoy the search,

- Emily

PS: Are you looking specifically for part-time, remote, and/or jobs that are friendly toward people returning to the workforce? Contact me for a separate list of resources.

 

I'm going to be on the radio tomorrow! 

July 26, 2022

Hello everyone,

I have big news to share ... I'm going to be a guest on Boston Public Radio on GBH (our local NPR station) on Wednesday, 7/27, from approximately 12:30-1:00 pm EST! You can listen live here (click on the "Listen Live" button in the upper left corner).

I'll be talking with the hosts for a few minutes and then taking questions from callers and offering career advice. 

Am I nervous? HECK YES, I AM. Is imposter syndrome creeping in a little bit? IT SURE IS.

But I wanted to share this news with you as an inspirational story. I've been listening to this program for 10 years, and I've wanted to be a guest on the program for that long too.

I first pitched the program in 2015. No dice. I started to pitch them again in July 2021, but life got in the way. Every day, when I listen to the show, I think, "One day, I'll be on there too."

Then, a few weeks ago, I called into the show and had such a great chat with the hosts, I decided to strike while the iron was hot and make my pitch. Funny enough, that morning I was working on my SMART Goals and put "Boston Public Radio" at the top of my list for 2022. 

I wrote my pitch exactly one year after drafting my July 2021 pitch (what?!)

But this time, I sent the pitch, got a callback, did a pre-interview, and was offered a slot (aaiieeee!)

My goal is to be a regular contributor to the program, but this is a great first step.

I'm telling you all of this because I want to show you that I practice what I preach ... I'm taking risks, following my dreams, and getting a bit nervous and excited along the way. 

So, here's to following your dreams, and saying, "Well, hello there" to the butterflies fluttering in your stomach when you're challenging yourself to do something new. 

To your success, 

- Emily