Posts filed under Search Strategy

Summer’s Hottest Job Search Trends

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Summer may be synonymous with vacations and time off from work. But if you’re job hunting, it may be the perfect time to make a move toward your dream job. Why? With jobs still available and many employees out of the office, employers are motivated to find top talent. Plus there’s less hiring pressure, so they’ll take more time to review your cover letter, resume, and portfolio. That gives you more time to prove your value when a hiring manager is reviewing your application.

Here are the hottest job search trends to keep your eye on in 2019:

  1. Be Ready for Passive Hiring. Now more than ever, companies or recruiters reach out to potential recruits directly for a job, instead of waiting for you apply. With the rise of professional networking sites like LinkedIn, it’s important to keep your digital presence top-notch and up-to-date. Is your LinkedIn profile polished? Is it optimized for relevant search terms? If not, it’s time to update!

    And it doesn’t hurt to keep your resume up to date too – you’ll want to be ready if a recruiter calls!

  2. Experience > Education. Having a degree helps open doors for you initially, but it’s often not enough to secure the job. Employers are more interested in what you can do, not necessarily where you earned your degree. If there’s a job you have your eye on, take the summer to gain any new skills or experience missing from your resume.

  3. Keep an Eye on Unique Benefits. Unemployment rates are low, and for some positions, competition is fierce for hiring managers to land the best talent. That means you may have the upper hand when it comes to negotiation. Companies are getting creative with their benefits packages, offering more than the standard health insurance, PTO, and 401k. Some other benefits we’ve seen include returnships, childcare resources, gym memberships, and vacation stipends. Don’t be afraid to talk about these items when considering an offer package.

  4. Don’t Underestimate Face-to-Face Connections. While using a computer may be the normal way to find and apply to jobs, many of our clients are most successful when they make their first impressions in person. Conferences provide a great opportunity to meet people in specific industries and many are hosted during the summer. Want to get involved? Research industry-specific conferences in your area and find a couple to you want to attend. Then network, network, network!

Don’t let summer fool you into thinking it’s the slow season. The job market is heating up! If you need guidance on striking your dream job while the iron is hot, we would love to hear from you.

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we help professionals achieve their career goals, whether it’s career exploration, resume writing, or offer negotiation.

Posted on August 6, 2019 and filed under Search Strategy.

Knowing When to Ask for Help with Your Job Search

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Job hunting isn’t easy. Whether you’re fine-tuning your resume, updating your LinkedIn profile, or filling our applications, searching for a job can feel a lot like a job in itself.

So, when is it time to ask for help? Our team of expert career coaches compiled four career situations that often need a professional’s help to navigate successfully.

Do any of these situations fit your experience?

You’ve Been Out of the Workforce

Consulting with a career coach when you have a gap in your career is a great idea. Hiring managers often take gaps to be a red flag, as they are “time off” that may mean you’re a bit rusty. But we know that’s not the case! We can highlight your value in your experience—and your time off—that positions you to be the perfect candidate. Work with a professional to prep and polish your resume, cover letter, practice interviewing, and even build your confidence for compensation negotiation.

You Want to Change Industries

Sometimes you’re ready for a change, but it’s hard to justify to others why your experience fits with this new path. It can also feel daunting to potentially abandon the skills that you spent years developing. Working with the expert career coaches at The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we can help find transferable skills to apply to your new industry. Oftentimes, there’s overlap, but it takes careful positioning and preparation to navigate the waters between careers. By working with a career coaching professional, you can be certain you’re set up for success.

You’re Graduating

Graduation is an exciting time! After all, it’s been a long haul. But what’s next? You may be nervous about the future, but that’s completely normal. A career coach can help you identify the areas of your personality and your educational and personal experiences that translate to job skills and career success.

You Want to Gain a Professional Advantage

Investing in help from a professional help before and during your job search can equip you with the skills needed to nail the interview, land the job, and negotiate a compensation package you’re happy with.

Posted on July 23, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

When is a Cover Letter Make or Break?

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Switching career paths can be a tricky road to navigate. Cover letters are a great tool to lead the way.

If your resume is filled with biological research experience but you want a role in sales, how do you portray your interest and value on paper? An effective cover letter increases the chance that you’ll catch the hiring manager’s eye. Otherwise, they may assume your resume landed on their desk by mistake.

Your diverse experience could be exactly what they are looking for, but you need to be creative to get them to see it.

What to Include in a Cover Letter

A great cover letter allows you to display your professionalism, and your unique career path goals more than a resume. Keep things in mind while building your cover letter to tell your story and catch the hiring managers attention:

  1. The Details Matter – Make It Perfect

    Is the date correct? Are you addressing the appropriate person? Do you use proper grammar and write in active voice? Are typos nonexistent? These small details matter when you have a few seconds of the hiring manager’s attention. Also, make sure to note which role you’re applying for. When in doubt, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and think about what they would benefit from reading.

  2. A Short & Sweet Introduction

    Your introduction should be short and succinct. Briefly introduce yourself as a professional and how you fit the posted position. For example, if you’re applying for a career in sales but your experience is in research, your introduction may be, “I’m an experienced biological researcher looking to utilize my background and communication skills as a biomedical equipment sales director.”

  3. Keep it Skimmable

    The hiring manager likely won’t read through your entire cover letter. According to a research study, 33 percent of employers look for mention of the skills they asked for in the job description. Call this out clearly in your cover letter by pulling exact requirements from the job description into the letter and stating your qualifications.

  4. Translate Your Current Experience

    Regardless of whether you’re new to an industry or have been in it for 20 years, you want to translate your experience into value for the new role. Find the transferable skills that set you apart and qualify you for the role ­– then creatively and concisely list them in the cover letter.

Cover letters can be challenging to write, and our team of professional career coaches would love to help!

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we help professionals and students achieve their goals through job search execution services.

Posted on July 16, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

Strategies for Changing Seasons of Life & Career

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Whether it’s personal or professional, change is a constant that we can count on. When we understand that change—like the seasons—follows certain patterns, we can work through the stormy days change with confidence that sunshine is right around the corner.

If you find yourself in a season of career change, you can make the transition more successful by navigating the path forward with a few simple strategies.

Navigating a Seasons of Career Change

Focus – Reflect on your current career. Do you want to make a change? Identify your big picture career goal – where you want to see yourself – and focus on that goal. With a clear focus, you can silence the job search “noise” and stay focused and committed to your goal. You’ll also want to spend time visualizing yourself in your new career. Is the lifestyle a good fit?

Prepare – Does your goal require a new skill or education level? Take strategic steps to prepare yourself for your dream career. Research and identify what’s needed to advance through your new path. Work on building your resume to help it stand out. Gain knowledge by taking a course or earning a certification. Engage with other professionals in the field and work toward bridging the gap between where you are in your career and where you want to be.

Search – A good career search starts with a strong foundation.This is the time to update your job search materials like your resume, references, LinkedIn, and career binder.

Fine-tune a new networking introduction. What’s your 60-second elevator speech? Spending time preparing can be the difference between getting your foot in the door or not.

Take Action – Once you’ve prepared your search, it’s time to take action. Apply to your targeted companies. Leverage your network for more opportunities. Keep your eye on the end-goal and work relentlessly.

Manage & Evolve – Once you’ve landed your dream job and negotiated salary and benefits, it’s time to kick off your new career! But things will continue to change and you must adapt. Make it a habit to check in with yourself and your goals to ensure you haven’t strayed from the path.

Need help navigating the seasons of career change? Contact our team for help you focus, prepare, search, take action, and evolve!


How To Build Your Career Without Regrets

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No one wants to live a life full of regrets. Professionally, the fear of regret can stall success by delaying big decisions. Maybe you’re on the job hunt and you aren’t taking a chance on the dream job that’s open. Or maybe you are established in your career but not progressing how you’d like for fear of making a mistake.

How can you build your career without regrets? Follow these four strategies to seize the moment – and your career.

Define your Passion & Find a Career that Fulfills It

It’s important to find a career you’re passionate about. After all, you spend a good chunk of time at your job and with your colleagues. Start with a personality assessment to discover which career you’re most suited for based on your key traits. Putting time upfront to discover more about yourself and your passions will leave fewer chances for regret down the line.

Once you’ve identified your passions, start searching for career paths that fulfill that. Let’s say you’re passionate about helping people. Career paths that align with that include healthcare, client services, or real estate. A possible next step is to shadow or intern in the career paths you’re interested in. Once you’ve learned a bit more, determine if the field requires additional education or certifications. If you need more insight on career exploration, we’d love to hear from you.

Set Goals & Establish Check-ins

Whether you’re at your dream job or looking for your dream job, you need goals! Define them, write them down, and refer to them often. If you already have your dream job but need to take the next step, one goal could be to gain more experience so you qualify to be promoted. Hold yourself accountable to your goals by establishing regular check-ins. The best goals are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

When you have clear goals that you set and reach regularly, regret doesn’t have much room to work.

Balance Your Time

As you progress in your career, don’t neglect to make time for friends, family, and yourself. Your profession should be a part of you, not all of you. Schedule time for rest and relaxation – things that make you happy. Make time for yourself a priority, even if it’s something small like taking a nap on the weekends or snuggling up with a great book. Striking the balance between work life and personal life is so important to remain guilt- and regret-free.

No Regrets, Just Readjustments

“I wish I had more time for ___.” “I regret not doing ___.” “Time flew by and I never ___.”

Life is all about choices. You can choose to have regrets or you can reflect, make readjustments, and move forward.

If you feel like your career path isn’t aligning with your purpose, get in touch with us. We work with individuals who are ready to make a change in their lives and discover a passionate career path.

Posted on April 2, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

Creating A Clean Personal Brand

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Personal branding is how others view what you do and who you are online.

A personal brand in 2019 is a necessity, as so many business and networking opportunities start digitally. An effective personal brand needs to be unique, relevant and appealing. It’s worth spending some time investing in your brand and making it worthwhile.

You may have a personal brand whether you know it or not. When job hunting, it’s even more critical. It’s estimated 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. Is your profile helping or hurting you? Here are some ways to build and maintain a clean personal brand for 2019.

  1. Polish Your Online Profiles - Clean up your photos (including tagged photos), make sure your bios are up-to-date and reflect your most recent experiences and goals.

  2. Google Yourself - Make sure the results link to profiles you’d be proud for employers to see. If not, make changes. Deactivate the social sites you’re no longer active on and refresh the profiles you still use as a great starting place.

  3. Highlight Your Uniqueness - What makes you different from everyone else? Is it your experience in a certain field or perhaps it’s your cross-channel expertise. Make sure your unique skills are showcased within your personal brand.

  4. Be Authentic - Your social media accounts are important but your personal brand extends beyond them. The way you hold yourself, your interactions, and the values you portray in real life (both inside and outside work) set the stage for your personal brand. Online profiles are important but don’t get too caught up in the online portion of building a personal brand and overlook authentic, true interactions.

There’s no doubt a poorly defined personal brand can be detrimental to your professional image. If you don’t define an image for yourself, others will define one for you. And it won’t necessarily show your best side. At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, our team can help you portray a polished personal brand that speaks to your goals and depicts your experiences. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

Posted on March 26, 2019 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

Do You Have a Bracket For Your Job Search?

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March Madness brackets are due March 17. It’s that time of year where we “bet” on top college basketball teams in hopes of a promising end to the season. If you pick a March Madness bracket – what’s your strategy? Do you choose your favorite team no matter how well they performed during the season? Or do you research the best teams and make your best bracket based on that? It can feel overwhelming to narrow down the teams based on their performance.

In many ways, you can set up a bracket for your job search. Start with a wide net of job prospects and narrow them down based on fit and secured interviews. Think of yourself as the NCAA championship trophy and the potential employers as the teams. When you match the trophy with the best-suited team – YOU with the best potential employer – you have a winning pair.

Here are a few ways to set your job search up with a bracket:

  1. Get Organized - Whether you’re planning your March Madness bracket or your job search bracket, the first step is to get organized. Research and list all the relevant potential employers and job openings in your region. If you’re open to relocation, list employers in those regions too. Use spreadsheets to stay on top of your communication, status, and next steps. Housing all this information in one spreadsheet will put you in scoring position for your next job.

  2. Start Broad - Cast a wide net and start narrowing it down based on your experiences with the employer. You won’t win every interview, but play the long game and stick it out. Not every job will match your skill set perfectly. If you’re really interested in a company, keep them in your bracket. While it may not be a slam dunk, at least you gave it a shot.

  3. Invest the Time - The job search, like March Madness, is a time-intensive process. But it’s worth it to find your dream job, so stick with it! Invest the time upfront selecting the teams and roles you could see yourself fitting in with best. Tweak each resume and cover letter personally to the employer and role.

  4. Find Takeaways - Job hunting and interviewing is a tough process, but aim to focus on the positives each step of the way. You may discover new must-haves for a job, or things you can do without. Every interview is a learning experience where you can reflect and improve for the next one.

  5. Play Until The Buzzer Rings - Don’t stop pursuing other opportunities simply because you found your ideal job at the ideal company. You never know how things will play out until the offer letter is signed. You may find out your dream job has mediocre benefits or less than ideal salary. If you don’t play your best with the other employers in your bracket, you may lose your opportunity. Stay strong and play out each game.

Are you ready to get the ball rolling on your job search but don’t know where to start? We admit it can be overwhelming. At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, we help people identify their strengths, prep for the interview, and coach throughout the entire job search process – from the application all the way to negotiation. If you need help setting up your job search bracket, we’re here to help.


Posted on March 5, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

Does work make you all warm and fuzzy?

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We all want a career that’s equally enjoyable and fulfilling. So what do you do when your career isn’t hitting the mark? It’s not always as simple as following your passion. For example, you may be passionate about baking, but pursuing a career as a pastry chef isn’t realistic for you. Instead, perhaps you pursue a career that allows you to use similar skills utilized when baking (i.e., precision in following a process with opportunity to apply creative elements throughout).

A fulfilling career allows you to help others by utilizing your passion.

Components of a Fulfilling Career

To discover what career gives you the warm fuzzies, you need to combine the work you’re good at with work that helps others. It’s easier said than done – most people don’t know what they’re good at, or don’t have the confidence to pursue it fully. Identifying your unique traits through career exploration can help in discovering your dream job.

Another critical component is finding the right workplace and right boss. A bad boss can ruin your dream job. That’s why it’s important to find a supportive work environment. To unveil this during an interview, ask questions about the company culture and team dynamics.

What To Do When Your Career Isn’t Fulfilling

If you’re stuck at a job that doesn’t bring you value and isn’t in a supportive environment, satisfaction will never come, no matter how much money you earn.

If you aren’t in a meaningful career, it may be time to step back and assess your future career plans and goals. Your goals might include finding another job, going back to school, or changing career paths completely. It’s never too late to discover the best career for you.

If you find yourself needing to switch gears, a good place to start is identifying what you like and dislike about your current role. If your dislikes relate more to the company than the job, it could be time to explore other opportunities. If you dislike the work you’re doing, perhaps a career change is the next step.

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we know how challenging this process is. We’re here to help you discover the best career for you based on your unique strengths. We offer everything from career exploration to interview coaching and offer negotiation. Our team can help you find your dream job. Reach out to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more.  

Posted on February 5, 2019 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.