Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
1. Breathe life into your interview: Strategically delve into your past successes and develop stories and interesting anecdotes, with details, to make your capabilities come alive and become memorable. Practice delivering these stories and highlight the skills they demonstrate that relate to the position you are applying to.
2. Use props: Bring something unexpected to your interviews to create curiosity and interest. Make it something relevant and appropriate. Examples: flyer from a conference where you’ve been a presenter, new book by an industry notable or article on a current topic of interest in your field. One client who was interviewing for a position in aeronautical engineering brought in a scaled model of a plane he and his colleagues had built. The interviewer loved the model and asked to keep it. Yes, the client got the job and the model was finally returned when he started the job!
3. Smart use of your resume’s real estate: Add a compelling testimonial, a line from one of your recommendations to the resume. Put it directly below the objective section to highlight the positive things that have said about you. Through informal tracking it seems that resumes with testimonials get more attention than those without them.
4. Discuss your volunteer work: By playing a volunteer role and showing enthusiasm and perhaps leadership skills, you are perceived as an active giver and doer. You are seen as a community minded contributor who will probably be an active and enthusiastic employee.
5. Get a career or job search buddy: Yes, two heads are better than one, and if you are a job seeker, a search buddy can keep you accountable and brainstorm new ideas, practice interviewing with you and more. A peer coach can also be helpful, energizing and inspiring.
6. Do more face to face: If are you like most job seekers, you are spending more time in front of the computer than in front of other live human beings. Yet research shows that 80-90% of jobs are never listed, they are obtained through informal networking. Make sure you are attending networking events–actively, not passively– following up with personal introductions and creating informational interview opportunities.
7. Even if you are #2 or #3 for a position: Nurture relationships with everyone who interviewed you because if you were a top finalist, you clearly you have the qualifications. Several clients have done this and are now happily employed as candidate #1 took another position, didn’t work out or another position opened up.
8. Focus on your wins: At the end of each day, write down three things that went well that day. Research shows that those who focus and track positive outcomes tend to create happier and more productive lives. Success breeds success. See yourself as a winner who gets hired, gets promoted and goes further, faster!!!
Onward to your career success,
Please Note: Next week we return to our series on Local Career Stories. A reader wrote in recommending someone who had been an extraordinary student in her paralegal training program at the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). This young woman had owned a local cake catering company for years and then was inspired to do a 180 and move from the kitchen to the law firm. Stay tuned for a fascinating and inspiring local career story about Jenna Cook!!