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“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, 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


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. 

🗣️ 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 …


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. 

🙅‍♀️ 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 … 


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?!” 


Companies don’t hire people who are overqualified because overqualified people are a flight risk.

💸 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. 

💡 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. ðŸŽ‰ “I wish I signed up earlier!” she said. ðŸŽ‰

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

🦃 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.” 

👩‍💻 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! 

🙌 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 â­ to help people build careers they love and give them a boost of self-confidence along the way. I just love it. 

🙏 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? 🤔

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.

📈 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. ðŸ• 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. 

👩‍💻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. 

👀 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

🙋‍♀️ 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, 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

🥇 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.  

🥈 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. 

🥉 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? 

🏃‍♀️ 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. 

💁‍♀️ 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. 

🤔 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. 

🗓️ 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

👩‍💼 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. 

🧑‍💻 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



Breakthrough Bootcamp



Career Clarity Masterclass (Pay in full 10% discount)



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



Breakthrough Bootcamp



Career Clarity Masterclass (Pay in full 10% discount)



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


“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


“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 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


“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 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


“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: 

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

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. 


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 

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. 


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. 


- 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!



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. 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. 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