The Power of Gratitude - How 5 Minutes (Networking!) Can Transform Your Career

The Power of Gratitude - How 5 Minutes (Networking!) Can Transform Your Career

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers (and all professionals) make is waiting to engage with their network until they need something.

Although we know we should “always be networking,” most professionals avoid networking because it feels time consuming, scary, and inauthentic.

But there’s a quick, easy and genuine networking activity you can do from your desk that improves your relationships, dramatically alters your career opportunities, and makes the world a better place.

Read the full article: The Power of Gratitude - How 5 Minutes (Networking!) Can Transform Your Career
The Best Way to Fix a Broken Job Search

The Best Way to Fix a Broken Job Search

I’ve read more articles than I can count sharing ideas for reviving a stagnant job search. And I feel beyond frustrated every time I see suggestions like “Attend a networking event!” “Call your mentor!” and “Update that resume!”

Succeeding in the modern day job search requires a strategic approach. So when you start to feel stuck (most job seekers experience this at least once in their search), don't just try anything and everything. 

Instead, pursue only the activities that address your specific challenges -- thereby saving you time and generating the results you need to move forward.  

Learn the two-step process I use with job seekers who find themselves in a job search rut.

Read the full article: The Best Way to Fix a Broken Job Search
How hard will your job search be?

How hard will your job search be?

Once you’ve identified the career paths you’re most passionate about pursuing, it’s important to check in and ask yourself honestly, how hard do you want your job search to be?

My personal philosophy that I share with my clients is that I sincerely believe you can achieve just about any career path -- if you’re willing to do what it takes to get there.

But before you dive into your search, it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of how well your experience and expertise to-date position you to achieve your career goals, and to be honest with yourself about which type of transition you’re willing to take on.

First, you need to recognize that employers generally look for three areas of expertise for any job:

Read the full article: How hard will your job search be?
3 Salary Negotiation Missteps -- And How To Avoid Them

3 Salary Negotiation Missteps -- And How To Avoid Them

When it comes to salary negotiation, job seekers make three common mistakes:

  1. They fear negotiating.
  2. They fail to prepare early and extensively.
  3. They share their desired salary before receiving an official offer.

What I’ve learned from coaching clients through the job search process and through instruction from salary negotiation expert Jim Hopkinson, is that just like interviewing or any other job search activity, salary negotiation requires a confident and strategic approach.

In response to the above missteps, there are three key messages about salary negotiation I hope every job seeker keeps in mind when gearing up for their search.

Read the full article: 3 Salary Negotiation Missteps -- And How To Avoid Them
Evaluating a job offer? Avoid this common mistake.

Evaluating a job offer? Avoid this common mistake.

So you've succeeded in navigating the long, demoralizing, painstaking process of landing a job offer. Congratulations!

Chances are the first thing you'll want to do is share the good news with family, friends and mentors -- and get their take on whether you should accept it.

But wait! Picking up the phone too soon can be a serious mistake. Why?

The only person’s values you want driving your career decisions are your own.

And until you clarify what's most important to you, it's best to avoid input from others that could muddle your decision-making process, or possibly bind you to satisfying their preferences over yours.

Keep reading to learn how to make your values the first stop in your decision-making process. 

Read the full article: Evaluating a job offer? Avoid this common mistake.
Learn to Love Networking in 3 Steps

Learn to Love Networking in 3 Steps

Most people struggle with networking because of what I call the “scary-slimy-useless” trio:

  • Networking can feel scary -- like you’re willingly putting yourself at risk of rejection or feeling like an imposter.
  • Networking can feel slimy -- like you’re disingenuously using people to get what you want.
  • Networking can feel useless -- like no matter how many events or coffee dates you attend, you’re still not making progress.

But by changing your mindset and approach, you can transform the way you feel about networking and the results you see from it.

Read the full article: Learn to Love Networking in 3 Steps
What Are Your Skills?

What Are Your Skills?

To figure out which job you want to do, you need to start with what you like to do.

This means asking yourself which activities and processes you want to fill your days doing -- or in other words, which skills you most enjoy.

The problem is, most of us are terrible at articulating our skills.

And if we can’t articulate our skills, how on earth can we determine which of them we enjoy most?

I see this problem frequently when my clients complete our direction-setting diagnostic. One question asks you to list all of your skills, and then categorize them into those you enjoy and don’t enjoy. With a full picture of what you can do and what you enjoy doing in front of you, it becomes easier to assess the career possibilities at your fingertips, and which of them may merit pursuit.

But when listing their skills, most people (no matter their industry!) tend to only include non-specific, soft skills like problem-solving, teamwork, communication, organizing, planning, collaborating.

This isn’t too surprising; we're socialized at work to focus on “we” over “I” and to talk in least common denominators about company and team goals -- we rarely delve into the specific parts of the process we individually own to help achieve those goals.

Yet because soft skills are applicable to most any job, they don’t help you discern which jobs you’re more likely to love than others.

For that level of insight, you need to go deeper into what I like to call “how skills.”

Read the full article: What Are Your Skills?
Stop Wasting Time on Your Resume: A Lesson From The Hunger Games

Stop Wasting Time on Your Resume: A Lesson From The Hunger Games

While phenomenal resume tips (and debates) abound, there’s one point everyone seems to miss:

Out of all the job search activities, crafting a perfect resume is the least likely to land you an interview; the odds are simply not in your favor.

You see evidence of the disadvantageous resume odds every time you apply for a position online. For example, one of my clients this past week wanted to apply for an HR Generalist position in Chicago that had been live for three days and had already received 649 applications.

On top of this, we know that recruiters spend on average 6.25 seconds reviewing a resume (if at all), and 80% of that time is spent on your name, and the company name, position title and date range of your two most recent positions -- all things you cannot change.

The takeaway: spend less time on your resume

Think of The Hunger Games. Those in power offered contestants false hope with the phrase, “May the odds be ever in your favor.” While most of the contestants rehearsed their fighting skills to marginally increase their chances, Katniss’ winning approach was to ignore conventional wisdom -- she changed the rules of the game instead.

If you’re still focusing the majority of your job search time on your resume, cover letter, and applying online, it’s time for you to rethink the rules of the job search game.

It’s not that you don’t need these resources; you still do (sorry!). But this week’s article shows you how to focus and complete your resume in the least amount of time so you can save the majority of your job search energy for higher value activities like strategic networking.

The key is to invest just enough time to make your resume strong enough to keep you in the running once you’ve gotten your foot in the door.

At NSC, we compiled all of the available research and advice into what we’ve found to be the highest value, safest bet, 30-minute resume creation template -- that still increases the odds of a recruiter or resume review software paying attention when you submit online.

Most importantly, your resume needs to accomplish two critical goals:

Read the full article: Stop Wasting Time on Your Resume: A Lesson From The Hunger Games
The 30-minute Cover Letter

The 30-minute Cover Letter

What’s the only part of the job search people hate more than networking?

Cover letters.

We already get the heebie-jeebies talking about ourselves, and now we have to spend an entire page writing about ourselves too? Yuch.

What’s more frustrating is that cover letters don’t even get you the job; they mostly keep you from getting crossed off the list of candidates while you’re landing the job through networking. But when an application calls for a cover letter, you need one, and it has to be strong.

Most candidates make two mistakes when writing cover letters. First, they spend too much time dumping all their work experience into the letter (making it an unnavigable stream of content). And second, they then spend too little time tailoring the letter to the specific opportunity (let’s be honest -- we’ve all quickly replaced the company name on a generic letter...). Sadly, both mistakes prevent you from making a clear and compelling presentation to your prospective employer.

This is why I teach my clients the template for writing dynamite cover letters in 20 minutes.

The secret to this template is that just like any interview question, the question you’re really responding to when writing a cover letter is “Why should I hire you?”

Your prospective employer doesn’t want your life story or a narrative recap of your resume. They want the top 2-3 reasons (max!), with supporting evidence, that you’re the best fit for the role. So why not just give it to them straight?

Keep reading for the step by step 20-minute process, or zip to the bottom of this article for the full plug-and-play template.

Read the full article: The 30-minute Cover Letter