I Have a Dream … For Your Career to THRIVE

This Monday, marks the 48th year that we commemorate fearless civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for the dream that he had, and all of the valiant steps he took to accomplish it. This MLK day, ReFresh Your Step is giving you the okay to enjoy the day off from work by doing whatever it is that makes your soul happy (we, of course, will be working but doing so makes us happy!).

However, we do ask for one thing in return – this Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, we are urging you to keep your dream alive – of finding the job you want and pursuing the career you deserve.

The job you might dream about and feel, “I don’t think I can get this one.”

With the right guidance, you CAN.

Just like Dr. King needed his supporters to stand behind him, march with him, and help instill the confidence necessary to make great changes to our world, we are here to do the same for you and your career. Because we know that facing any great challenge – whether it be starting the career search process from scratch, gearing up for your next interview, acquiring the skills to negotiate a higher salary – is much better done in the company of those who support you, we are here to help you take all the steps necessary to fulfill your dream job goals.

In keeping with the theme of Dr. King’s passionate work – we also urge you to choose the job with a corporate culture that provides you with a fair and just working environment. While more and more light is shined on the need for equality in our workplaces, changes are being made to allow for this to happen. As professional career strategists, we are thrilled to be a part of the movement. In our upcoming Corporate Culture Series, we’ve provided a simple, user-friendly guide to help you get acquainted with the four different types of corporate culture. How you are treated, valued, and thought of within your professional “home away from home” is just as important as how you are compensated.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remember, the dream of a new job IS within your reach. With ReFresh Your Step on your side, marching with you into the dawn of new successful endeavors, we’ll have you surpassing your own expectations – and then some.

Stay tuned for even more career scoop in our upcoming Corporate Culture series, where we will give you an inside look at the four different cultures, and help you decide which one is best for you !

It’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

–Michelle Dempsey, MS

Thankful Thoughts For a Job Search

At ReFresh Your Step, we like to think that embarking on a career search, whether by choice or by circumstance, is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and your future. You see, we like to focus on the positive, and with Thanksgiving upon us, it’s time to give the good ol’ job search the credit it deserves.

This year, we urge you, job seekers, to be THANKFUL for the search!

That’s right – we strongly feel that people in the search for a new career have it better than ever these days. With countless tools and opportunities to reach out, connect, investigate and research potential job opportunities, we have to be thankful for how much easier the search has become over the last few decades.

Here’s why…

Think back to the first job you ever applied for. You were likely in high school, hoping for that first job opportunity that would help you make a few bucks to start a spring break fund or save for a new car/college.

Well, if you’re part of the ReFresh Your Step team’s generation, you probably crafted a resume on a bulky desktop (or massive laptop), found opportunities via newspaper, word of mouth, or a career center, and did research on companies at the *gulp* library. In-person interview? Of course. Skype interview? This is NOT Back to the Future!

But now?

We’ve been able to gain control of the modern day job search!

You immediately access the web to start your job search. You most likely Google facts on companies, opportunities, job listings that interest you. You come across ReFresh Your Step’s website (or a similar firm) and are immediately turned on to all of our career advisory services. You set up a consultation, arrange for a new resume and cover letter and even meet via Skype to brush up on interview skills (without ever having to leave the comfort of your couch).

Think that’s good? Leave room on your thankful list – there’s more!

Now you’ve narrowed down your job search and made a list of contacts to reach out and connect with. With the click of a button, your documents are sent out into the world like a boomerang waiting to come back in for a landing with opportunity tied to its wings.   You can’t wait to let your future place of possible employment know just how eager and determined you are, so you let social media give you a little push. With your spiffy new LinkedIn profile you are able to confidently connect with the top players in your sector and let your accomplishments do the talking.

And of course, with all of the career advisory services that ReFresh Your Step provides…

We urge you to be thankful for your choice to allow RYS to help you climb to the next rung in your career ladder. In addition to resumes/cover letters, our services range from professional documents to networking techniques, interviewing strategies and strategic career consulting

It’s hard NOT to be thankful for the fact that you have all of the best tools at your disposal as you enter the job market.

Remember, a secret ingredient in the special sauce of career success is “enthusiasm” – not just a dash of it. On this Thanksgiving, maintain an open mind, a thankful spirit, and be grateful that you’ve taken to the opportunity to propel yourself towards success.

It’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

Happy Thanksgiving and we wish you thankful thoughts and much career success!

 

Success Story Friday: Michael

Welcome to our latest #SuccessStory installment; each week, we focus in on one of our clients whose journey to success was both inspiring and strategic. We provide insight into their background, our collaboration together, and the outcome. As always, we welcome questions and comments. Email us anytime!

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Solutions-driven business leader offering expertise in driving business improvements that facilitate company-growth, applying complex analysis and strategic planning.

Does this description automatically make you think of a hard-working marina salesman? Someone laboring as an electrical technician on the yachts of Staten Island, New York?

Not exactly.

Which is exactly why Michael’s journey towards his dreams is our Success Story of the week (#SuccessStory).

Michael came to us as a referral – an interesting one at that, as his work history was unlike anything ReFresh Your Step had ever seen. Completely self-made, Michael single-handedly made his way from the marinas of Staten Island to the shiny oak conference tables as a Private-Client Banker at a bank in one of the wealthiest areas of Long Island’s north shore. It wasn’t long before we understood why he was already on the road to more success – his easygoing demeanor and innate smarts easily opened doors for him.

Although Michael had achieved so much on his own before making the career-altering decision to reach out to us, he was hungry for more. When he made the decision to collaborate with ReFresh Your Step, he was “ready for the big time.” With his sights set on one of New York City’s well-respected financial institutions, Michael trusted us to turn his history and work experience into a resume that would make him as desired as the fresh-out-of-business school MBA graduates that flock to the financial district of lower Manhattan in droves, year after year.

Michael did not have the typical educational background as most candidates looking for jobs in the financial sector would have. Without a Bachelors degree, Michael was concerned that he would not be as desirable a candidate as his competition. We assured Michael that this was not a problem for us at ReFresh Your Step, so it would not be a problem for him either – as we could easily highlight all the BEST Michael had to offer in a new and updated resume.

A chrono-functional hybrid resume was the perfect solution for Michael. This allowed us to tie in an additional section to the document that clearly and specifically indicated Michael’s expertise and achievements in finance thus far. With this combination-resume format, all of Michael’s “bests in show” were easily recognizable to prospective employers.

Once his leadership and award-winning sales reputation were on full display in Michael’s new resume, his education and background-related concerns were quelled. In fact, within just a few weeks, the job offers began rolling in, and Michael soon found himself living out his dream, landing an incredible opportunity and becoming a big player in the financial sector.

“Thank you so much for all that you’ve done!  Not only did I land a great job, I’ve interviewed with three additional firms, and may have another serious offer, that I may entertain.  The resume is an absolute hit.  Not only does it match my “interviewing voice” it also highlights my accomplishments, which are transferable and such a selling point.”

Michael’s “I can do this” attitude coupled with ReFresh Your Step’s writing and career-coaching skills helped Michael to not only achieve his dreams, he was able to do so without having the typical background and education that the big players in his sector usually seek.

Like Sinatra sang, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.’’ – and after getting to know and working with Michael, we know he can, and will, make it anywhere.

It’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew!

Contributor: Michelle Dempsey

LinkedIn Job Search App: Yay or Nay?

In a recent global report published by The Telegraph, it was found that our world spends more than a quarter of their time online using social media. I’ll let that sink in and will be checking Facebook if you need me.

The average person has roughly five social media accounts, and one third of the time that people are spending browsing their accounts is done via mobile access. That’s right, just about anything these days can be done via smartphone.

Can this include landing your dream job?

LinkedIn has a been a popular app for social media lovers for quite some time now, and most recently the people at LinkedIn have created an app aimed directly at job seekers. The LinkedIn Job Search app has arrived, and with thousands of high-paying jobs offered on the LinkedIn market, users are able to simply login and have their profile instantly link them to jobs that are a perfect match, both by skill set and location. Its built-in search engine guides your search by three main components – location, keywords and job titles with more customization options if you’re really looking to get specific. The ease and convenience of this app is quickly luring people in – being able to land a job using your smartphone? How much easier can job hunting get?

Well, they do say that nothing “good” comes easy. And here’s why

Sure, this app provides a simple way for people on the hunt for a new career to search on-the-go. But for all the pros of this new smartphone luxury, there are some cons that modern technology just can’t make up for.

CON #1: First and foremost, your handheld device cannot replace a handshake. Making connections in any capacity is important, but it’s the live, human interaction between a prospective employee and employer that will ultimately leave the best and more long-lasting impression. You can absolutely use this app to your benefit to get the first word on which companies are hiring – but taking it to the next level, and actually connecting with the people who work at this company as a means to learn more about your desired role and the organization overall is the piece that proves time and time again to complete the job search puzzle.

CON #2: Secondly, being sent customized job matches is only as good as the resume your match will receive. If you’re serious about landing the job that feels like the best fit and that will bring you the most success in the long run, you have to be prepared to present yourself in the best light. An optimized LinkedIn profile is often your first step to getting noticed but remember: your LinkedIn profile should be complementary to and supported by (but not identical to!) a well-crafted resume. As always, ReFresh Your Step’s team of highly certified writers (and our resident LinkedIn experts) can certainly help create profiles and resume that help you stand out amongst the competition.

It is critical to remember that when using LinkedIn, whether the original platform or the new job search app, that you don’t lose sight of the two above facts. You are using the app as a means to connect but the whole idea is to take the connection and bring it to life, off of your handheld device, and into the real world.

The takeaway from all this? This new app is excellent for researching job opportunities and finding some potentially suitable matches for your next career move. The key to success, however? That lies in your ability to be willing to take things to the next level by putting the smartphone and putting your smart networking skills to good use – in the flesh.

It’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

Contributor: Michelle Dempsey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Success Story: Robert

It is not hard, in the ReFresh Your Step world, to get to know your clients on a more personal level. Often times, the clients who come to us looking to make a major career change are doing it for the sake of their families, and to create a more successful future for the ones they love.

Case in point: Robert.

Robert was referred to us by another happy client (forthcoming #SuccessStory post, of course!), after deciding it was time for a change. Robert wasn’t just looking for a better career opportunity, he was looking for a better life opportunity. After living and working in South Florida for all of his life, Robert was anxious to relocate his family to North Carolina.

With his wife and two children on the brain, Robert knew that his next move would have to be the right one. Having spent a large part of his career working on the corporate side for companies such as FedEx and DHL, Robert set his sights on Lowe’s, which is based near Charlotte, North Carolina – not far from where he wanted to set up a new life for his family.

When Robert and I first spoke, he was ready for a resume overhaul. Using the Accomplishments & Measureables Matrix, we were able to target Robert’s best attributes as an employer. We discussed the importance of developing a strong LinkedIn presence, and helped Robert to create a profile that would help to catch the eye of the employers he was seeking to attract.

Once we completed the process of creating a perfect package for Robert to present, we got started on the next step towards helping Robert start his new life in North Carolina. We helped Robert refine his job search strategy to really hone in on the best possible opportunities for him. We also helped him determine which professionals at his new, prospective employer would be the best people to reach out when trying to make the connections that could help him secure his dream job!

Using his new and improved LinkedIn presence, Robert was able to connect with some key Human Resources professionals within the Lowe’s corporation as well as individuals on some of the teams he wished to target. This was a critical move for Robert, because when he learned that there were no current opportunities available in the exact area he was targeting, these connections were able to steer him towards what was available – simply because they loved his resume and his initiative.

Shortly thereafter, Robert had great news to share with his family. Not only did he secure a position in his desired company, he was also offered a $10K relocation bonus.

An amazing compensation package in a new locale with a much lower cost of living – all within just a few short months?

We consider that a HUGE success. Congratulations on being another Success Story, Robert!

It’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew

 

Contributor: Michelle Dempsey

 

Big News from ReFresh Your Step ◆ Triple Certified! ◆ MRW

A few weeks ago, Americans glued themselves to TVs around the country to witness a piece of U.S. history. We were handsomely rewarded as American Pharaoh took the Triple Crown at the 2015 Belmont Stakes.
This past weekend, with a decidedly smaller audience, I received news that would forever change my career. There it came almost from around the bend, like American Pharaoh winning the triple crown of resume writing!

  • It is with so much excitement and gratitude I let you, all my loyal clients know, I am honored to be one of only 25 Master Resume Writers (MRW) in the world.
  • On top of being in this exclusive group, I am one of the youngest to hold this certification and the only person globally to be Triple Certified as a  CPRW, ACRW and MRW, in conjunction with my Masters in Educational Psychology (the academic backbone of our career advisory work).

You might be thinking, Congrats Emily, but what is the MRW and why should I care?

The MRW (again, a Master Resume Writer), is the world’s most elite and highly distinguished title in resume writing.  This certification is granted to only those who have mastered the art and science of resume writingstrategic approach, content development, formatting and design, English language and grammar, and other key elements of resume development.

I want to take the time to thank all of you, my loyal clients, who have allowed me to write hundreds of resumes and trust me and my approach to land you your dream job. For me, this is my dream and earning the highest title in my field is many thanks to all of you!

Here’s to Career Success for all!

Best,

Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRW

 

PS: Please join me in also congratulating Jodi Rogozinski, our newest CPRW on the team (Certified Professional Resume Writer). While Jodi has been working with RYS for the past year as our Lead Project Manager & Content Specialist, we are thrilled she will also be part of our certified writing staff! Each of our writers specialize in different areas and all of them are wonderful collaborators with our clients; we are excited to have Jodi start partnering with clients on their career success!

PPS: To continue our celebration, we will be honoring a $50 credit towards your next booking with ReFresh Your Step! Just mentioned the code TripleCrown to receive your discount. This offer is valid through July 31, 2015. Offer can be extended to friends and family.

Three Ways Your Job Search is Like Dating

This post was originally published on Scott Singer’s (Recruiter Extraordinaire) fantastic blog, No Charge For These.

I do not normally dole out dating advice, seeing as how I have been out of the dating scene for several years and my work revolves around doling out career advice. That said, I am keenly aware of how similar the two are and often draw comparisons when speaking with clients. Why? Simple: many people have some fear of both but can relate better to dating; in drawing a parallel between the two, I feel that it helps people better understand how to more effectively job hunt (though, if someone is a great job hunter but not so great in the dating department, the advice could go both ways!). Without further ado, here are three ways your job search is like dating.

 

1) Going With the First One that Comes Along Rarely Works Out Long Term: If you are out with friends one evening, how likely a scenario is it that you will meet “the one” within the first five minutes at a bar/club/concert/whatever you single people do these days (I am obviously taking dating into the real world here; I did just have a brilliant idea, though, of creating a Tinder for the job search…).

My Advice: Clearly, playing the field for a bit is in your best interest. Look around, talk to people, do some research to find out where you will find the best fit for your current situation and long-term goals. If a “dream job” comes along and sounds like it is too good to be true, it probably is. Additionally, even if you REALLY feel connected to an opportunity one day, take your time to think, learn about it, and speak to others so you can make more of an educated decision (i.e., don’t accept on the first offer. How often does a one-night stand work out!).

 

2) Negotiation is Key for Future Happiness: Although I am off of the job and dating market, I know this for sure: dating and job searching both require a certain amount of negotiation (both up-front and over time). All too often, people fall into the trap of believing that he/she needs to say yes in order to move forward. While that may work initially, it becomes obvious within a few weeks that only taking into account the other side’s needs or requests results in a bad match. At that point, one can cut his/her losses or try to make it work but neither option is really ideal.

My advice: Remember that whether you are courting a job or a person, the process works best as a 2-way street. Yes, your needs are important too! Think now about what you prioritize in a job: a great office culture, the option for occasional tele-commuting, a superior benefits package, free on-site haircuts…Obviously, be realistic in what your needs are, especially for your given level and sector, but have some chosen points in mind and be prepared to discuss them when the time is right. This also might mean passing on opportunities that are not up to your standards but that’s what standards are for: waiting for Ms. or Right (Boss), not Right (Now).

 

3) Your Friends Can Help you Score: I’d like to rephrase the words to a popular song for you. “We all get jobs with a little help from our friends.” Here’s another song rephrase: “Applying online killed the job search.” Both are true and yield important lessons; turn to your friends, your actual (non-virtual) network of connections to help you find the right fit. Think about where people work, who they know, what they do, and if any of this information is relevant for you. The best opportunities are found not via applying online to countless roles but rather through leveraging your network to leverage theirs.

My Advice: Identify your Wingman/Wingwoman for the job search. No, this person is not the one who is most likely to speak to strangers in a bar and ask for a number; rather, it’s the person who knows a lot of people (in real life and has 500+ connections on LinkedIn), is willing to makes introductions for you, and can provide you with the advice you need to make an informed decision about a particular opportunity.

Here’s to much success in your job and love life…and that you find a job you love!

The Importance of Resume Certifications

As summer begins to wind down, many people begin looking forward to getting back to work and / or school and dealing with important issues in their lives. When it comes to picking important service providers (doctors, financial planners, etc…), most people look for professionals that (besides being recommended by a trusted source), have attained a certain level of education or training in their respective fields. Why then, settle for less when it comes services for your career, likely one of the most important aspects of your life?

Unbeknownst to many, there are a growing number of  national certifications and training programs for career-related topics such as resume writing, career coaching and human resources.

While many websites and companies advertise resume and cover letter writing and editing services (some promising unrealistic results and timing for a relatively low cost), it is important to understand who is behind the glossy website and will actually be doing the work. Just as you wouldn’t want to undergo surgery from someone who performs procedures as a hobby, or doesn’t have the level of knowledge and training with which you are comfortable, preparing yourself for a potentially career-defining opportunity should be the responsibility of a trained and certified professional. In this improving (albeit slowly) job market and economy, your resume can make all the difference between landing the right opportunity and…not so much.

ReFresh Your Step, is owned and led by, Emily Kapit, MS, CPRW, ACRW, a career-oriented professional who has attained a Masters in Educational Psychology, has a professional background that includes journalism and recruiting roles, among others, and is a trained  writer backed by resume certifications from two prestigious organizations. Her first certification, the CPRW, is from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and the second, her ACRW, is from the Resume Writing Academy. The latter group is widely considered to be one of the highest levels of certification in this growing field. As one of a relatively small number of ACRW certified writers worldwide and one of only 2 based in South Florida, Emily Kapit, works with a wide variety of professionals from every sector/level in over 45 states, throughout North, Central & South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and India, and is ideally suited to help you achieve all of your career goals. Connect with us today and take the first step towards towards career success!

10 Resume Don’ts (1-5)

Memorial Day weekend–the unofficial start of summer–has now come and gone. As many people use the hot summer months to step away and think about their next career move, we have put together a list of resume don’ts to complement some of our other resume advice. So as you approach the next few months, don’t forget to put on sunscreen and use the tips below to make sure you–and your resume–are protected:

1. Don’t assume your resume has to be one page. While for some younger or less experienced professionals, a one-page resume may make sense, it’s okay to have a 1 1/2 or 2-page document if that document captures the relevant highlights and proficiencies you want a hiring manager to see as a first impression.

2. Don’t then assume that your resume needs to be 5 pages either. Yes, you may be important and experienced and have a lot to share. Some of that can be saved for a subsequent meeting or interview. The resume still needs to be succinct so that someone can quickly look through it to get a sense of your background and accomplishments without feeling like they are reading a book. Some of our Advanced Professionals/C-Level clients had far stronger documents once we stripped them down to a more manageable 2-3 pages.

3. Don’t lie. Ever. Think this doesn’t apply to you? Think again. A good resume reflects the best of a person without crossing the line. Every detail of your resume should be presented with the assumption it will be fact-checked by someone during the hiring process. It is absolutely okay to build yourself up and make yourself as attractive a candidate as possible (it’s our job to know how and what the limits are!). But don’t…

4. Don’t submit a resume without running a spell check. And then check the proper nouns and other words (i.e company and town names) that aren’t in the dictionary. No matter how great your resume is, you will likely lose credibility if you spell the name of a state incorrectly (for those of you laughing, this happens a lot more than you think). We’ve also received resumes with obvious date mistakes (like the client whose resume indicated a job start in 1876). YIKES.

5. Don’t assume that content is the most important component of a resume. Of course, it is very important and as mentioned above, it needs to be accurate. But perhaps as important  as the content, is the format and style. Your resume needs to stand out to engage someone. If it is just a list of bullets, it may not get the attention it deserves, especially if it is being reviewed by a hiring manager, who has 100 others to skim through to decide the few candidates to recommend for the next round. Remember to check out some of our Case Studies and ask if you want to see more examples!

Check back early next week for tips 6-10! Until then, it’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

How Not to be an Office Technology Dinosaur

A recent article from Wall Street Journal, “How Not to Be the Office Tech Dinosaur” addresses a concern facing many older professionals – will their experience and years in the workforce be enough to keep their job in an increasingly tech-savvy world? Advances in technology occur almost every day; at times, it seems impossible to keep up with the newest social media craze. With younger professionals naturally more in tune with technology trends and using Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram, it can sometimes seem like they have an unfair advantage, especially are more companies place a greater emphasis on reaching out to consumers via social media.

However, this technology divide doesn’t mean that younger employees are better suited for work in a professional setting. Older employees who have longer careers have generally gained more practical knowledge – they know how to meet a deadline, deal with a difficult coworker, and efficiently delegate tasks to others. These kind of skills are learned from real world experience – not from knowing how to use hashtags.

In today’s job environment, there is an opportunity for employees of a multi-generational workplace to learn from each other. Mentoring can go in both directions – younger employees can help educate older ones on why social media is important and how to use it. Older employees, on the other hand, can mentor younger employees in the arts of being a successful member in a professional workplace, from how to dress appropriately to how to run a successful meeting. The flow of information sharing can – and should – go both ways because, in the end, being able to learn from other employees will only make a workplace stronger.

While it may seem intimidating to keep up with the changes in social media and how to use it professionally, ReFresh Your Step’s Social Media Services can help you master Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and every other social networking site. No company can afford to underestimate the value of a viable online presence, and knowing how to effectively use social media can make an employee even more valuable to their company. With employees working to teach one another useful skills (relating to both social media and professional behavior), workplaces can be even more productive and successful.

It’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew. #ReFreshYourStep.

 

– Emma Ambler, Marketing & Communications Intern