Posts tagged #Job search

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.

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.

5 Negative Habits You Need To Break Before Landing Your Next Job

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Negative habits in the workplace not only reflect badly on you, but they can also contribute to a toxic work environment. Identifying your negative habits is the first step to breaking them. Thankfully with a positive attitude and shift in mentality, you can overcome your negative patterns and instead create productive actions.

1. Gossip

While workplaces have become increasingly casual, that doesn’t mean you can chat with your coworkers the same way you do with your best friends at happy hour. Gossip in the office breeds a toxic workplace. Remain self-aware of how you appear to others. While it may be tempting, avoid speaking poorly about others behind their backs. And if there is an issue, remain professional and approach the individual or their manager and give them feedback.

2. Solo-Mentality

You weren’t hired to do it all by yourself. While it may make you feel satisfied not asking for help, the solo-mentality can make you seem like you aren’t a team player. Working with a team helps you grow professionally and makes your job more enjoyable. Of course, there will be times when you need to put your head down and get work done. Aim to create a balance between working solo and working with a team. If you struggle to find this balance, ask your manager for feedback. They will likely be happy you asked.

3. Not Taking Responsibility For Your Actions

Whether you’re in a leadership role or not, you must take responsibility for your words and actions. If you make a mistake, own up to it and take it as a learning lesson. Mistakes happen to everyone; it’s how you bounce back that makes the difference. Instead, take ownership of your words and align them with your actions. This will build trust in your integrity. When others have trust in you, they tend to place more value in you, which will help contribute to a pleasant work environment and maybe even a promotion!

4. Disrespecting Common Areas

It can be easy to forget to put the cup in the dishwasher or wipe up the spilled water on the counter. If you tend to overlook things like this, remember the rule to leave things better than how you found them. In the workplace, you aren’t there to clean up after each other, you’re there to collaborate and do great work. Take pride in the common areas and lead by example when cleaning up after yourself.

5. Making Excuses

Excuses are easy and can be made for almost anything. Avoid finding excuses and instead identify the root of what’s causing the problem in the first place. If you’re always late and make an excuse every morning, set your alarm 20 minutes early and aim to be at work 5-10 minutes before your scheduled time. Doing this will help you feel less stressed and kick off your day on a positive note. Establish this self-awareness and make the change instead of making the excuse.

If you’re a culprit to these behaviors, don’t worry! With effort and consistency, you can eliminate these habits.

Are you looking for a new start in your career? Our team at Wilbanks Consulting can help you with career exploration and coaching to provide you with the tools and skills that will give you the competitive edge over other applicants. Breaking these habits is a great first start. Contact us to learn more about how our career coaching can help.