Dr. Seuss, Career Advisor?

Not long ago, just before celebrating my daughters’ 2nd birthday, I came across a tattered copy of Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday to You!, and couldn’t help but smile as I thought back on pivotal moments in my life and career when Dr. Seuss’s wise words resonated. Since adopting this book back into my life for the benefit of my growing child, I have found myself stuck on the most famous line in the book, just as I was thirty-something years ago.

“Today you are you, this is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!”

As a Professional Career Strategist, I pride myself on advising our clients by inspiring them to see the true value within themselves. Now that I am once again immersed back into Dr. Seuss’ work through my child’s eyes,

I couldn’t help but wonder – was Dr. Seuss the world’s best career coach disguised as a children’s book writer?

 

Let’s think about this for a minute. As children, we’re taught to be confident, believe in ourselves, do the right thing, and naturally, we’ll land amongst the stars. Then, reality happens as we grow up: we learn the agony of defeat and the sting of disappointment.  We face the harsh coldness of “Thank you for your application, but…”

Little by little, all of those wise words we clung to and repeated before bedtime while reading some of Seuss’ classics seem as useless as, well, a cold plate of Green Eggs and Ham.

If Dr. Seuss (2.0) stepped into the role of a career coach, here is how we reimagine the applicability of some of his more famous quotes when considering a job search.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

The way we see it, this is Dr. Seuss, Career Advisor, reminding you to simplify your job search. You will not be a great fit for every role out there and not every sector is going to be ideal. Moreover, not all career fairs, networking events, and speed interview sessions will be helpful. Hone-in, for simplicity purposes, on a few sectors and companies you want to learn more about and start going through your connections, both digital and real, to make inroads. The Cat in the Hat would be proud of That!

 

“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

I’m pretty sure I’ve given this advice before, though perhaps with less of a rhyme scheme going on. Dr. Seuss is correct, though, as he is basically suggesting that you be thoughtful and strategic in your job search. So often, we hear the “quantity over quality” is what lands one a job. Applying to 200 jobs just because they have openings will not turn the odds in your favor for an interview or offer and could very well lead to MORE frustration when you don’t hear back.

Rather, focus on the companies and roles in which you are truly interested, even if that means only applying to 10 roles. From there, reach out to people at each company, follow-up, express interest in the role, and request time to learn more about the opportunity and overall organization. Basically, Dr. Seuss (the Career Advisor) is suggesting you balance out applying for quality roles with making essential connections at each organization, as this will significantly increase the likelihood that you actually land an interview.

 

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”

Your past is your past, and it is exactly what has led you to where you are in your life at this very moment. Most likely, you’ve learned a thing or two from your previous job experiences, good and bad. The purpose here, as Dr. Seuss has indicated, is to take that experience and focus on what your career can become – and lead with this in mind. Recognizing an abundance of responsibilities from your career to date is a decent start – but if you can’t speak to how this will apply to your future success, it’s time to recalibrate. Perhaps Dr. Seuss, Career Advisor, would ask you the following:

One fish, Two fish, At that role, What’d You Accomplish?

Don’t forget to note your achievements and make a plan; you can do all this eating green eggs and ham!

In all seriousness, we often lose sight of what we set out to do in the first place.  Unwanted advice, opinions, and poor career advice can negatively affect the direction in which we were hoping to steer ourselves. Losing trust in ourselves and the value we can bring to the career world would make Dr. Seuss a very unhappy career coach, er, writer.

On the anniversary of Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel’s Birthday, celebrate with an inherent call to the brains in your head, the feet in your shoes, and empower yourself to venture on in any direction you choose.

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

Contributor: Michelle Dempsey, MS, CPRW

 

 

The Top 25 Jobs in America… Are Probably NOT for You

The “top job” in America has a median salary of over $116,000.

Sound good to you? Or does it sound like, with this salary, you’ll never even be close to paying off

your student loans/mortgage/business debt?

Either way – it shouldn’t matter.

Recently, Glassdoor.com put out this list, highlighting the Top 25 jobs in America. We’ll be honest with you, we scrolled the list, and were shocked to find that “Career Strategist” didn’t make the cut (Hey, we think it’s the best!).

The list was filled with many managerial positions, many more engineering positions, and many of those with decent salaries. All pretty comprehensive material if you’re on the hunt for a new – and better – career.

But what this list left off is critical. In fact, we think the one factor that should be considered, sometimes above all others – is what this job means for you, in terms of your own personal satisfaction.

Even the top-rated job in the world will not provide you with much if it is not aligned with who you are, what your background is, what your innate skills are, and – more than anything – what you need to be happy.

Life is stressful. Maintaining a meaningful and successful career path requires a lot of dedication and (wo)man-hours. We spend so much time focused on our jobs, or finding a better one, that it should undoubtedly be a job that fills our souls, and not just our pockets.

That being said, you cannot put a price on loving what you do.

Ever hear of the friend-of-a-friend that left his very high-paying (albeit high-stress), big-city, CEO job for the quiet streets of Nowhere, USA to relax and finally enjoy life a bit more? As Career Coaches, we’ve heard this tale first-hand, and we support it! The trick is to shift gears into the appropriate professional lane – and with ReFresh Your Step by your side, you too, can wind up with the #1 job in America – the #1 job, for you, that is!

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

Don’t Go it Alone! The Case For a Career Strategist

Ready for some cold, hard, truth? You’ve come to the right place

The truth is, embarking on a career search alone can be a tad, what’s the word? … Intimidating.

We’d love to tell you that your job search will be easy. That it’ll make you want to prance through fields of daisies while whistling Dixie and relishing in the joy of completing job applications. That you can go it alone, give it your best effort, and a slew of hiring managers will jump forth and offer you loads of money.

Certainly, you’ve acquired a great education, racked up some commendable experience, and have the utmost confidence in yourself. That helps… a bit.

It is an admirable feat in itself to come to the realization that it’s time for a new job. For whatever your reasons are for gearing up to make a change, we’d like to offer up a piece of free advice – the same advice we’d offer to the world’s most experienced CEO and to the world’s most inexperienced recent college grad:

Don’t go it alone.

Sure, you can attempt to reach the peak of Mt. Everest on your own. But with a Sherpa to guide you, you’ll have key advice on how to navigate the challenging terrain, AND someone to keep you company along the way. My point here? Two is better than one. Sometimes, a support team is better than even two.

The benefits of hiring a professional Career Strategist (or team of them!) during YOUR job search venture far outweigh the idea of taking it upon yourself to navigate the course solo. Among assisting in answering your most bewildering questions regarding your search, (Can you help me figure out what I’m even good at?!), we are here to listen. And in this world where everyone seems to have too much to say, a listening ear can ease even the most nervous of job seekers.

When you connect with a ReFresh Your Step professional, you won’t just be given the opportunity for superb documents to showcase your accomplishments, you’ll be given the ability to have a dedicated support system – a dedicated team player (or multiple ones, depending on your need) who will not only listen, but answer all of your career search needs.

“To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will ear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.”

Schedule your free consultation with a ReFresh Your Step professional today to get a glimpse into how the power of a partnership with a professional career strategist will change the way you view your career search – AND it’s outcome. We’re here to discuss your resume/cover letter, LinkedIn, job goals, interviewing, or a litany of related topics. We’re also here to listen, truly listen.

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

Looking to make a move? Partner with a career strategist to ensure a big win!

A Resume Writer’s Advice: When to Leave Your Resume Home

I am a resume writer (among crafting other career-related documents) and while the former is certainly a main focus of my business, I am the first to tell you that it’s not always necessary to use your resume to land a great role.

Emily, are you literally saying I can toss my resume* out the window forever? Sign me up! Also, how do I then get a job?

Hold your horses! Let’s talk this notion through first. There are a handful of companies out there that are adopting a new type of hiring strategy in order to “reveal true talent” and source employees based on their sector-specific skills, rather than their work history (i.e., a resume).

Blind-hiring, as it’s called, means that your resume serves no purpose and most likely won’t even get an initial glance.  It means that you’ll instead spend anywhere from 4-6 hours on the job at your prospective employer, performing a task similar to that of your potential job description.  It means that you won’t get paid for it, but if you do a really great job (no pressure!), you’ll be in the running to continue in the process and perhaps land yourself a good job.

Cool idea? Maybe, if you have a less-than-ideal work history for that role/sector or don’t meet initial requirements outlined in the job description. While the trend may be slowly growing – and can allow applicants with an innate skillset to stand out when they would not if resumes were the go-to – blind-hiring is not yet common enough to replace the more traditional career-search techniques.

Overall, the true talent it reveals in a person’s work ability leaves out the very important process of getting to know a person through conversation, giving an interviewee the chance to promote their background, and determining via interactions whether he or she has found a good fit or not.

Many people could flip a great burger, but if you can’t sell to all the cars in the drive-thru, can’t work the register and don’t work well with others – you may not be a great fit after all, catch my drift?

The bottom line here?  The no-brainer? The obvious, ugly truth? Yes, cool idea. But this trend is a lot like man-buns: it works well in some sectors, definitely not in others, and is likely to fall by the hiring trend wayside faster than you can say, “double soy cafe latte with extra whip and a drizzle of caramel” in your most hipster of voices.

The resume is where it’s at. Always has been, and by our calculations, will continue to be, even as hiring trends evolve.

The resume remains your most important piece of armor when entering the often-brutal world of the career search.  It is your protective shield that says “Yes, I have all of the qualifications, accomplishments, and skills necessary to take this job and exceed all expectations.”

It’s the proof in the pudding.

The ReFresh Your Step proof in the pudding, that is. An RYS resume and LinkedIn profile** will help you outline and communicate the very best of you, before you even make it in for an interview.  And it’s with the RYS interview strategies and tactics, that you’ll yourself the new gig, before ever having to perform pro-bono.

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

 

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*We still recommend always having an updated, strategic resume (and LinkedIn profile that is complementary to it). **LinkedIn is one job search component that has crossed from “trend” to “career mainstay.” We suggest making sure your resume and LinkedIn profile work in tandem but are not identical to one another!

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

To Our Career Growth…and Yours!

One of the most rewarding things about being a top career advisory firm in South Florida (and nationally!) is the opportunity to help our clients rise to the top in their careers. While we see growth in our own company month-after- month, it really all comes back to your growth and the trust you have in us to support you along your journey.

After 10 years in the Career Advisory industry, we are proud to continue fostering  your growth and in order to do so, my team and I set and reach our own milestones.

It was with great excitement and truly a career dream of mine since opening the doors to RYS in 2008 that I officially  became one of the youngest in the world, and only South Florida based resume writer to hold the highest certification degree in the industry AND offer highly tailored, fully-scaled career advisory work! The MRW (Master Resume Writer) is like the PHD of resume writing. Not only am I the one of the only writers to have this certification in South Florida, but there are only 25 other writers in the industry – globally – that hold this level of certification.

In addition to my own personal growth, I have loved expanding the company to include a powerful, amazing team of writers. They have each been integral in the organization’s expansion (thanks, guys!) but also in partnering with countless clients. As I tell each client who works with a team writer, not only do I stay personally involved in each project but you also have the added benefit of working with another highly certified writer and career adviser on your personal career growth. That’s right–all of my writers are certified, hand-picked by me, and serve as an additional resource for each of our clients.

Let’s hear it for our career growth…and yours!

The Ethics of Resume Writing

The NY Times recently asked in its Ethicists column whether one should hire a person to craft his or her resume and cover letter. I read it ­– and the resulting comments – with great interest. Have I made a career out of something unethical, I wondered?

Not just to defend myself but I do believe the work of a highly certified resume writer is perfectly ethical, assuming the following points:

1) The applicant is honest if asked who wrote the documents. Although I’ve personally never heard of this happening, I do recommend to clients that they answer honestly if asked, “Who wrote these documents?” An appropriate response might be, “I partnered with a resume writer on crafting the documents to ensure my information was not just accurately represented but clear and concise as well.” If one is looking at a team management or project management role, you could point out that this is similar to collaborating with others on ensuring an optimal outcome. 

2) The applicant is responsible for providing requested writing samples or anything else relevant for the role itself. Though this is not common either, there are roles where writing samples, portfolios, or other materials are requested and relevant for the job itself. While it’s one thing to have a trusted writer (including your resume writer) review any such work as another pair of eyes, we do suggest clients prep those materials themselves.

3) The resulting documents accurately portray the background. I previously hinted at this but it is essential that the information be fully accurate. Surprisingly to some, this is very much a two-way street: the client must provide accurate information while the writer must ensure that the content correctly indicates the client’s background, accomplishments, goals, etc.

Additionally, a strong writer will be able to identify opportunities for re-positioning information to best suit a client’s goals but recognizes the line between “well-positioned” and “incorrect.” Lastly, it is not the writer’s job to verify a client’s information – honesty is the best policy, especially in the age of Google!

If you are in the market for strong resume and cover letter and are also looking for more than a service that simply reformats your info, I would also suggest considering the following points:

Collaboration: Look for a writer who will partner with you on the project. The ReFresh Your Step philosophy is that while we are the expert writers, you are the expert in you. You know your background, accomplishments, and goals best so it is ideal that we collaborate to ensure truly excellent documents. Not all writers share in this philosophy but many do. All you need to do is ask!

Methodology: Resume writing, similar to the overall job search, has changed quite a bit in recent years. We have found that it is essential for clients to understand why we did what we did with each section on the resume and overall. As such, we provide a methodology overview for each person that is tailored for each client and answers the vast majority of questions. This is especially important for the…

Interview: The resume gets you the interview and the interview gets you the job. If you follow that logic (and we suggest you do), then it is helpful to understand all aspects of the resume so you can speak to it in an interview. A highly skilled resume writer will collaborate with you on the full resume and cover letter project, provide you with the overall methodology, and prep you for the interview.

What are you waiting for? It’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew!

LinkedIn Series – Profile Basics & Your Resume

You have your basic LinkedIn profile set up and have included (please) a snazzy headshot, but how do you work in your resume? Should your profile and resume match? Although your resume is an important part of your LinkedIn profile, they’re not the same thing. In fact, the two are more like supportive siblings than identical twins: they should complement one another but not match (exception: your basic contact and job info should always be consistent between the two!).

While completing your LinkedIn profile, keep in mind that it should be a good self-representation of where you want to go with your career while indicating that you have the foundation for it (again, similar to your resume…but not identical). Your profile should be straight to the point, but unique at the same time. Remember that others will be viewing your profile. It is a good idea for someone else (who knows you and your work) to review it and provide constructive feedback to ensure you are on the right track. View your LinkedIn profile as your image. Build it accordingly to create a powerful reflection.

Once you have the work/education basics in place, it is time to flesh it out with details. Concentrate on your accomplishments for each role and provide context if that would suit your needs. Additionally, indicate your Core Competencies in the Summary section (though they will be referenced again in the Skills/Expertise section; more on that later!).  Remember to read our post on Resume Don’ts (parts I and II); though it’s true that the two should not be identical, many of our guidelines here still ring true for LinkedIn!

We have much to cover regarding LinkedIn profiles–today’s post barely scratches the surface on how to handle the basic profile. Next up:

  • Creating a strong summary and how to obtain a unique URL.

Other upcoming profile topics include:

  • The importance of outside validation and strategies for obtaining it.
  • Why projects matter and how to work them in to your profile.
  • An overview on increasing your “Subject Matter Expert” presence and why you want to do that at all.

After we cover the profile, we’ll move into the amazing features built into LinkedIn and discuss how to maximize your usage of each one. Until then, remember, it’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

 

By Sarah van Windt – Communications & Business Development Intern

LinkedIn Series – Resource For Success

If there is a heaven on earth for HR managers and recruiters, it is definitely LinkedIn. Over the last several years LinkedIn has quietly moprhed into a vibrant resource for job-seeking and networking professionals.

Why is LinkedIn such a powerful tool in today’s job world? For almost every professional at any level and within (arguably) most every sector, LinkedIn is largely considered the best online professional networking tool out there. It allows you to create a powerful profile in which, if filled out correctly, will display your strengths and experiences as well as best position you for your target audience. Additionally, the platform allows for extensive research into sectors, companies, and people on top of its key messaging system, job board options, and additional perks just for being a member of the site (and a non-paying one at that).

The question remains, though: are you maximizing LinkedIn for your professional development purposes? Moreover, is your profile truly effective? Have you learned effective messaging techniques to utilize in connecting with people? Do you even know what those Skills/Expertise Endorsements are used for and how important they are to recruiters? LinkedIn is more than just a profile platform and it is in your best interest to know how to best utilize it for your future needs.

Stayed tuned and check back to our LinkedIn Series for some key tips essential for your success story using LinkedIn. We will be discussing a range of related topics that will be vital to your ongoing career success; some of our topics will include how to strategically improve your profile, understanding the logic behind your Skills/Expertise (and the endorsements that come with those), the most effective techniques out there for connecting with people, and so much more!

Of course, don’t forget to connect with us on, what else, LinkedIn! Until then, it’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

 

By Sarah van Windt – Communications & Business Development Intern

9 Steps to Your New Career Launch Part II

How’s your list coming? Let’s get back to work on the next steps for launching a successful career, post-college (again, to be fair, these steps can be easily tweaked for multiple points in one’s life).

6. Brainstorm careers
Now it is time to mind map all of the information that you have gathered so far to see what it is that you want to do. In this step, it is time to ask some hard-hitting questions. For example, what do you want to get out of a job? Do you even want to work for someone, or is it clear that you have more of an entrepreneur and perhaps start something for yourself? What type of work feel do you enjoy best (e.g., flexible hours, set hours, relaxed environment, working under pressure)? What do you want to get out of you dream job (e.g., financial security, more free time, status, helping others)? If you do want to work in a set company, what kind of corporate culture do you prefer (for more info on this, please email Emily Kapit, MS, CPRW, ACRW).

7. Connect with the right people 
This step is key when it comes to getting your foot in the door and getting to know the culture of the industry. In today’s professional world you need to be able to connect well with people, both on-line and in-person. You need to do your research about the company and the people that work there. Once you do that you can connect with those people, and really get a good perspective on the job that they do. One great question to ask is “If you could do it all over again, would you take the same path?” Once you have made your connections, you have just started your network. You can ask those connections to help you to make more connections so you can keep expending your network. LinkedIn is an ESSENTIAL tool these days so don’t forget to set up a powerful, compelling profile before you start utilizing the platform for connection purposes. Don’t forget to connect with Emily Kapit, MS, CPRW, ACRW!

8. Test the waters
This is one of the most important steps of all. You must always first get experience in the field that you are interested in. Many times people have this idea of how a certain job or sector might REALLY be, and they may even romanticize the idea. This is why it is important to go and find out the truth behind your dream job. Once you get your feet wet and really get a sense of what it would be  like to work in the role/industry, you can truly evaluate if this is really what you’re looking for without wasting any time or money. Look for an upcoming post  about how to successfully “shadow” someone in a chosen field!

9. Launch Your Career!
Now you are ready to make your move.  Changes in life might not always be the easy to deal with, but I promise you, the feeling of regret that you might have missed your opportunity to do what you love is way worse. The biggest point I can make here is knowing that planning for the change, being strategic in how you approach this, and feeling confident in implementing the plan are all essential for career success.

The next four steps are absolutely integral to launching a successful career path so check back early next week to view them. Until then, it’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew.

Article Source: 9 Step to Launch Your New Career

 

By Sarah van Windt – Communications & Business Development Intern