Posts tagged #Career Search

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 Much Personality Should You Bring To An Interview?

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During the interview process, there can be a fine line between showing your personality and showing a little too much. Sure, you want to show the hiring manager you’re a good cultural fit but you don’t want to appear like you’re catching up with friends at a party. So, where is that line and how do you know where you stand? Here are some guidelines to help you be yourself within professional boundaries.

Consider the Company and Industry

Context is everything. When you research the company, see what type of culture they have. Is it a casual start-up with ping pong tables and dogs in the office? Or is it a large corporate company where everyone wears suits and blazers every day? Based on this, you can determine how much of your personality to reveal. Startups often mean working long hours and possibly weekends to meet the demands of a new business, so the hiring manager will want to ensure you’d fit in with the team during long work weeks. On the other hand, an established corporation may need you to portray a sophisticated demeanor at all times because of frequent client visits.

Be Aware of Body Language

During the interview, the hiring manager will be looking for subtleties that make you stand out. If you approach them with a smile and handshake, you appear confident and professional. On the other hand, if you look down with your arms crossed, you appear disinterested and unapproachable. Mind your body language during interviews: sit tall, speak confidently and avoid nervous habits like biting your nails, tapping your foot, and using excessive filler words.

Avoid Controversial Topics

Regardless of how casual the interview is, don’t bring up controversial topics like religion, political views, or social issues.

Above All, Be Professional

Always act with the utmost professionalism. Be polite, courteous and humble. If you have to consider whether something is professional or not, it’s probably not.

Interviewing is an art that can be learned. If you’re considering changing careers and need guidance in the best responses to interview questions, we’d love to hear from you. Our team at The Wilbanks Consulting Group helps individuals with everything from search strategy and resumes to interview preparation and offer negotiation. Contact us to learn more.

Posted on April 30, 2019 and filed under Interviewing, Career.

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.

How To Make A Hiring Manager Fall In Love Your Resume

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You’re sitting across from each other, making eye contact, and answering questions about yourself and your background. Is this a date? No, it’s a job interview. Similar to a first date, hiring managers use job interviews to see if you’d be a good fit, long term.

The interview process starts the moment the hiring manager reads your resume. Are you putting your best foot forward?  Make sure your resume follows these guidelines to land the opportunity for an interview.

1. Tailor Your Resume for the Job

Sure, this will take more time than sending the same resume to every potential employer, but it’s worth it! If you tie in job duties or achievements from your work experience to the job you’re applying to, it assures the hiring manager you’re qualified. Hiring managers likely see hundreds of resumes before deciding on the top candidates. By adding keywords from the job description to your resume, you’ll stand out among the competition.

2. Don’t Fib

As tempting as it may be, just don’t do it. Lying on your resume is a big no-no. It’s not a matter of if your lie will come out, it’s a matter of when. And when it does, you’ll suffer major consequences and could lose your job. If you’re insecure about your background, get in touch with us. We can help you articulate your experiences to make sure you have a fair chance, without stretching the truth.

3. Include a Summary of Qualifications

This section should be a couple of sentences below the header. Tailor it to the job your applying for and explain why you’re qualified. Be clear and concise.

4. Make Your Resume Skimmable

If your resume isn’t easy to skim, it will be disregarded immediately. Hiring managers have a tough job of screening countless candidates and if they can’t get the gist of your resume in the first couple seconds, they’ll move on. Some components of an easy-to-skim resume include a header, subheaders, easy to read fonts, good use of bolding and italicizing, and a place to easily locate your contact information.

5. Consider Adding Coursework Experience

Coursework and major projects are huge learning experiences, so add them! This also assures the interviewer you’re qualified for the job. However, there are some limitations. Only add this section if you recently graduated or if you’re making a major career change to a different industry. And once you have a couple years of work experience under your belt, loose this section.

6. Finesse the Resume Order

If you’re a recent grad, put your education summary before your work or volunteer experience, unless it’s extensive and relevant. Also consider adding clubs, organizations, and GPA to this section. This will create a more robust resume when you don’t have work experience. On the other hand, if you’ve been in the workforce for years, your experience on the job is more pertinent than the college you graduated from 10 plus years ago. Move this section below your work experience.

You can create a resume a hiring manager will fall in love with. If you want tailored tips for success, contact our team. We work with recent grads, those who want a complete career change, and professionals ready to level up their career with a stellar resume. We’d love to connect!

Posted on February 12, 2019 and filed under Resume.

How Technology Will Help (And Hurt) Your Job Search This Year

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We live in an age where technology touches everything we do. There are smart refrigerators, thermostats, and cars. Medicine, entertainment, and business are touched by technology at every step. Technology makes our lives easier through speed and convenience, and the job search is no exception. Technology has transformed how we look for, apply, interview for, and secure our jobs. Overall, these transformations are positive, but there are a few ways that technology can hurt your chances of securing the perfect job. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of technology and your job search.

How Technology Helps Your Job Search

  • Updating your resume is as simple as a few clicks. Before technology, resumes and cover letters had to be physically printed. They mostly live online now, which means keeping your resume and cover letter up-to-date only takes a few minutes. Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, it’s a good idea to make time each month to keep them updated. You never know when an opportunity might pop up!

  • Job postings are at your fingertips. We don’t have to physically walk into a business and ask if they are hiring. Online job search engines and company websites allow you to look for and find hundreds of jobs with just a few clicks.

  • Apps make managing the job search easy! Almost every job search platform has an app that allows you to see where your application is in the process. The guessing game has been greatly minimized thanks to mobile technology!

How Technology May Hurt Your Job Search

Your online digital footprint is difficult to erase. Depending on your age, your digital footprint may have started before you were even aware of the internet. Parents post pictures and stories online of their children. Teenagers add videos, photos, and publish content that they may regret as adults. Hiring managers and co-workers can find anything that has been posted, so be cautious of what you put online.

Here’s one great example of how this can hurt your job search: A young woman, we’ll call her Sue, was interviewing for project manager of a family-owned, small business. This position required a large amount of client interaction in which representing the values held by the company were vital. Sue made it to the final interview process and was one of two final candidates. Unfortunately, before her interview an intern Googled her name and uncovered a scandalous work history. News spread among employees quickly and even though this was behind her, Sue was eliminated as a potential candidate. What was searchable online did not represent the company’s values and had undermined her ability to work well with the team, as they distrusted her immediately.  

Too many options can be overwhelming. While we listed “job postings at your fingertips” as a helpful aspect of technology, it can also cause a lot of stress if you don’t have a game plan.

The applicant pool is deep. It’s not uncommon for a position to get as many as 500 applicants. If it’s a desired position or with a sought after company, the number may increase into the thousands. How do you stand out among such odds? It takes work and patience. Our best advice is to hire a career coach who can help you customize your resume, nail the interview, and build a reputable online presence.

All of these potentially negative aspects of looking for a career in a technology-driven world can be addressed with the expert assistance of a career coach. We would love to partner with you to ensure you have success after success. Contact us to learn more!

Posted on January 17, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy.

Leveraging LinkedIn to Secure Your Dream Job

If you’re looking for a new position this year, leveraging LinkedIn is a must! We recently published Getting Your LinkedIn Profile Ready for the New Year which includes tips to create or update your profile to stand out among hundreds of others. While your profile is important, there are a few more steps you can take to achieve the best results when finding and securing your dream job.

Tips For Using LinkedIn To Find Your Dream Job

  • Check your account regularly. It’s important that you respond to messages and other notifications quickly. You may miss an opportunity if you aren’t checking LinkedIn at least once a day.

  • Post industry relevant content on the news feed. Adding useful content to the news feed puts your name in front of your connections on a regular basis. Ensure what you’re posting is professional, relevant, and non-controversial to put your best foot forward.

  • Connect with everyone you know. The more networking you do, the more opportunities will come your way!

  • Update your career interests. This will automatically funnel the right opportunities into your “jobs” section of LinkedIn. It will also clearly show recruiters what you are looking for.

  • Join relevant, professional groups. Groups provide a platform to discuss industry topics while networking with others in your field. Participate in discussions by adding well thought out responses or even adding your own conversation starters!

LinkedIn Premium Services

On top of the steps listed above, LinkedIn also offers four premium services plans: career, business, sales, and hiring. Here’s a bit about the career and hiring plans, taken from the LinkedIn Premium Services website:

Career Plan

  • Get hired 2x faster!

  • Stand out and get in touch with hiring managers

  • See how you compare to other applicants

  • Learn new skills to advance your career

This plan allows you to directly message recruiters, see who has viewed your profile, be a featured applicant when you apply for a position, online video courses, and more.

Premium is available for a fee, but you can get your first month free with a trial. We recommend clients upgrade to premium for the duration of their job search. Once you secure a new position, you can switch back to the free version if you no longer desire the benefits of Premium membership.

Will you use LinkedIn this year to find your dream job? If you’d like expert assistance to increase your success rate, contact one of our career coaches today!

Posted on January 10, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy, Career, Leadership.