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.

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

Success Story Friday–Intro

Here at ReFresh Your Step, we are lucky to have played a role in the success of so many of our clients.  Our mission has always been to not just work for our clients at a basic level, but to collaborate in a way that will showcase the unique background they possess, in order to propel them above and beyond their career goals. We are often asked about some example success stories and decided to showcase a few monthly. As such, welcome to the inaugural Success Story post (#SuccessStory #ReFreshYourStep #CareerSavvy).

All of our ReFresh Your Step Success Stories illustrate the motivation behind our mission and the “method to our madness;” by sharing a weekly example of recent client success, we hope you’ll find yourselves just as motivated – to invest in yourself, to make a change, and to know that you have a support team to partner with you every step of the way.

On Success Story Friday, help us celebrate the kind of success that ReFresh Your Step strives for – the results speak for themselves! Remember: it’s YOUR Career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew

Back to the Future (of Resumes)

Contributor: Michelle Dempsey

October 21st, 2015…

The futuristic date we all remember seeing punched into Marty McFly’s time-traveling vehicle of awesomeness is now upon us. For over 25 years we’ve watched Back to the Future II (along with I and III) without being able to shake the thought that the early 21st century may very well be filled with water-skimming hoverboards and sophisticated highways in the sky.

Well, here we are. We’ve made it. No hoverboards or roads in the sky, but rich with technological advances nonetheless. Suffice it to say, though, that while Marty McFly would have been highly impressed by the internet and the remote car starters of late, he would be at a huge disadvantage if he simply clicked “send” on his application email without knowing the REAL futuristic ways to land yourself the dream job.

Marty would have so much to learn about what it would take to get himself set up with a new career in the 21st century. His best first step in navigating this new world would be to collaborate with ReFresh Your Step, to ensure that his ride to success would be as smooth as hover boarding over water.

One of the first pieces of advice we’d give to Marty? Ditch the ancient “fax in your resume” technique – in fact, don’t even JUST email it in. Yes Marty, we know you’re really into this whole internet thing, so don’t worry – we have a few tricks up our sleeve for you that will let you use this “newfangled internet thing” for your job search in a whole new way!

  1. Social Media

Marty would obviously need to get with the times and create a social media presence. Then, he’d learn that interacting with the company of his dreams via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest or Google+ could help him secure a career without ever having to have actual interaction. Following a company’s social media account, liking their posts, re-tweeting their clever business ideas, sending a clever LinkedIn message are all surefire ways to get Marty noticed and start a conversation that could lead to an interview and even better, a job offer!

  1. Skype and FaceTime

Video conference calls may not have been Marty McFly’s specialty, but not to worry, we’ll brush him up on the basics of interviewing via Skype and FaceTime. Skype interviews are continuing to gain popularity, which is why ReFresh Your Step offers interview prep sessions which would help Marty not only look confident using said technology, but would also help him treat this techy interview as the REAL deal. Of course, it’s tempting to jump behind the screen dressed the part from the waist up, but we’d be inclined to remind Marty to cover up the Calvin Klein’s, as he’d do if he were walking into a live office interview.

  1. Smartphone-Ready Resumes

As new as the smartphone concept would be to Marty, we’re sure he’d be equally as shocked by the idea that his resume could be viewed on one. The truth is, most of our lives are handled from our smartphones. Employers are busy, and if your resume hits the inbox of an HR professional who has already left the office for the day – you (or Marty) would need to be sure that this piece of emailed gold would be compatible on their smartphone (or tablet!). ReFresh Your Step would be Marty’s partner in ensuring that his document’s layout and content would be prepared for optimal viewing in any new age technological device – so that his resume wouldn’t hit the trash bin just for not being smartphone (or 21st century) compatible.

Consider these three helpful tools the highways-in-the-sky for a ReFresh Your Step client. While we can’t propel your car off the ground, we can certainly help to propel your career to levels that you (or Marty McFly) would never have dreamed of! Great Scott!

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

 

 

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

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!

Credit Score and Jobs

Ever thought about the role a credit score plays in your job search? 750? 800? These aren’t just GMAT or LSAT scores. According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, an increasingly large number of companies are going beyond resumes and interviews by looking at job applicants’ credit history to get a more complete picture of an candidate’s background.While a well-written resume and online profile is a given, make sure you spend some time reviewing a recent credit report prior to interviewing for any career opportunities so that you can be prepared to proactively and strategically address any concerns instead of potentially being caught off guard later on.

We suggest spending at least one part of a quiet summer day not just reviewing your career goals but your credit profile as well.

With offices and affiliated writers in South Florida, Atlanta and New York, and a diverse clientele that includes professionals located in over 40 states as well as the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe, Refresh Your Step can help you with all of your career advisory needs including resume writing and updates, social media presence, interviewing preparation and career coaching.

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

Credit Score and Jobs

10 Resume Don’ts (6-10)

It may not have been another 3-day weekend but hopefully it was pool-and-BBQ-weather where you live! Welcome back to our Ten Resume Don’ts, Part II. If you need a ReFresher on points 1-5, click here.

6. DUA – Don’t use abbreviations if you aren’t absolutely positive that the reader understand them.  A lot of people like to include very technical content in their resumes which is fine, especially if their field or background requires it. Far too often though, candidates include abbreviations and acronyms that may not be understood by a general recruiter or even an industry professional who may not be as involved in a particular subject matter, skillset, process or program. Make sure you either fully define any abbreviations or are very confident that anyone reading the resume will understand your references.  Ask us if you need advice!

7. Don’t rely on general statements regarding your achievements. In other words, be specific. For example, instead of mentioning how you increased sales during a given time period, make the point more powerful by saying how you increased sales of whatever product or service by (X%) over the last (Y) amount of months or years. Quantifiable objectives are easier to read and understand for most people. We have methods of helping you grab that info too!

8. Don’t forget to present your contact information clearly and concisely. Like many of these tips, this may seem obvious but it is definitely overlooked. Without a cover letter, this may be the only information a hiring manager or industry contact has about you so make sure it is clearly and accurately (typos in the email address or phone number are embarrassing and can result in you missing out on a potential opportunity to be contacted )represented on your resume.  And while you were at it, make sure you have a company or professional email address listed ([email protected] may be cute but you should probably create a more professional Gmail or Yahoo-based address for professional correspondence). Live email addresses and LinkeddIn profiles are a must as well!

9. Don’t make excessive use of different font types, SIZES and colors. Generally speaking, RYS is a big proponent of using bold, underline, italics, and other tools to make a resume stand out in a positive way; however, too much use of these can take away from the content and turn off the person reviewing the resume. If the reader can’t understand the content, it won’t matter how the resume looks.

10. Don’t SOLELY base your resume’s contact and format on what you think someone ELSE wants to see. All of the other tips included in this post notwithstanding, your resume needs to convey who you are and what makes you special. So while there are plenty of guidelines to follow to make sure your resume is accurate, informative, and engaging (all of which are very important), it also needs to tell your story and highlight your specific qualities so that the reader gets an understanding of who you are and ultimately wants to meet or speak to learn more about you.

We know that writing a resume can seem daunting and are always here for whatever level of involvement you ask of us and are happy to be a resource. Remember, it’s YOUR career: ReFresh. Revive. Renew. And enjoy your summer!