Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
Featuring career experts, recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers who help you get hired
There are many resources available to help job seekers with their job search, including career coaches.
But many job seekers don't truly understand how a career coach can help. We reached out to Lori Williams, Resume Writer and Career Coach at Unstoppable Communications, to break down how a career coach can help job seekers.
Here are five ways a career coach can benefit struggling job seekers, according to Williams:
1. Interview Preparation
Carly had enlisted my help to write her resume and once she started submitting the resume, she got call backs. However, we noticed that she wasn't getting hired. I instantly suggested she do a session of interview prep with me to get rid of the nerves, practice answering her questions, and have engaging questions to ask the hiring manager. After one session of intense prep and role-playing, Carly utilized her new skills on the day of her next interview. Guess what...Carly is now employed!
2. Personality Assessment
Nothing is worse than being in the wrong job for your skill set and personality. If you find that you are continuously job hopping or unfulfilled in your current role, it could be that you are not in your right element. I utilize the Myers-Briggs personality testing to help my clients find out who they are, what they are best at, what they enjoy doing, and how to use those traits to landing their dream job.
3. Salary Negotiation
My clients often find themselves in a job they love, but not making the salary they deserve. This is the all too familiar tale of Tom. Tom loved his job in technology, but he found that he since he was hired many years ago, two other job descriptions and roles had been put upon him with no increase in pay. The company was taking advantage of Tom and therefore, what happened to Tom happens to everyone at some point in that situation. Bitterness and frustration. And for good reason. Tom came to me for salary negotiation strategies to try and correct the problem before reaching total burnout. I strategized with Tom on how to outline his role, present stats, and the timeline in which to do all this to achieve the desired goal. Tom emailed me three weeks ago, he got a raise and is feeling more fulfilled and appreciated.
4. Management Strategies
Perhaps you are a manager and have found yourself at a loss as to why an employee won't comply or how you can get a team motivated. I often help small business owners and managers work through various problems they are having in their workplace and we talk through how to hire more qualified people, how to approach disciplinary actions, how to come up with creative ways to create a better company culture for employees, and much more. Even managers need a coach from time to time. Understanding the Myers-Briggs personality profiles of your employees can also help frustrated managers to understand why a certain employee operates the way they do.
5. Job Search Strategy
Once a client comes to me and is ready to begin their job search, they often don't know where to begin. It can be a very overwhelming task for anyone. However, there are better job sites and boards out there than others. There are ways to find recruiters in your area, and there are ways to be proactive in your search rather than passive, and waiting for people to respond to you. Networking is key and knowing how to utilize social media in your job quest are just a few of the things that I help my clients to do as they begin the process.
These are some of the ways career coaches can help struggling job seekers. The job search is tough, so when you can, reach out to a trained professional like Williams.
"Knowledge is power and having the right tools to accomplish your goals is 90% of the battle," says Williams. "Once you know how and what to do, executing it into action is a piece of cake."
If you would like to schedule a one hour session with Williams, send her an email at to get things started.
Read more tips from Williams
When to leave a job off your resume
Tips include how to address gaps in employment, a history of job-hopping, and more
Gaps in work history, job-hopping, unexpected time off, lack of upward movement in one's career, fears about spending too much time at one company, in the same role. Those are just a few of the unique scenarios job seekers struggle with explaining when writing a resume and cover letter.
What are some simple ways to handle five tricky resume writing scenarios? Follow these tips from Brandi Britton, District President of Office Team, and what once seemed difficult, will now be an easy update when writing your resume.
Here are the five tips, from Britton:
1. You have a gap in your work history: Consider using a combination resume that draws attention to your skills and accomplishments, rather than dates of employment.
"Address gaps in your cover letter or first interview and highlight how you stayed productive during breaks," says Britton.
2. You have a history of job hopping: Emphasize the experience and insight you’ve gained from working for more than one employer. Show that you’ve taken on increasing levels of responsibility with each jump.
"You’ll also allay the hiring manager’s concerns by offering specific reasons for job hopping in the past and explaining why that won’t be the case this time," says Britton.
3. You’ve only worked for one firm: List each position you’ve held at the company to show career growth.
"Even if you have had the same title the entire time you’ve worked there, explain how the role has changed or you’ve taken on more challenging projects," says Britton.
4. You’ve held several temporary positions but few full-time roles: Include temporary assignments just as you would full-time ones, using the name of the staffing firm that represented you as your employer and grouping all of your assignments from that company together.
5. Your former employer no longer operates under the same name: If the company changed names, list the current name, followed by what the firm was formerly known as in parentheses. Including both names ensures that potential employers can locate the appropriate information when verifying your work history and conducting reference checks. If your former employer has gone out of business, also note that in parentheses.
These seem like tricky situations, but following these tips, explaining each situation, and being honest will help job seekers solve the mystery of how to handle these tricky scenarios when writing a resume.
If you still have questions or resume writing challenges, then hire Matt Krumrie to write your resume. He'll provide all the answers to the trickiest resume writing questions, and help create a resume that helps you focus on your future, and get results. Contact Matt with questions.
It happens. People want to stand out when writing a resume, so they use big words, or corporate buzzwords. We know the corporate world is full of buzzwords. Terms like "leverage," "low-hanging fruit," "synergy," "client-centric," and "value-added" are all used in various corporate communications, meetings, presentations, and so on.
But, these buzzwords should not be used in a resume. Some recent buzzwords that I have seen on resumes that should be avoided include:
1. Big picture thinker: As in, a big picture, like an 11X17 instead of a 5X7, or a movie, like a motion picture? Yes it's supposed to mean someone can see the "big picture" but that tells the employer nothing. Absolutely nothing.
2. Team player: You want to tell employees you are able to work in a team. But this isn't a sporting event, and while you do work on a team, saying there is no I in team is not going to stand out. Instead of saying you are a team player, simply show proof, backed up with accomplishment. I recently wrote this for an engineering grad, when discussing some project work he completed:
3. Think outside the box: Again, this is a common corporate buzzword. In fact, this is used in every facet of life, much more than it should be. But I get it. You want to prove you are open-minded, analytical, a problem solver, someone who looks at all angles or at things differently. So why not show that instead in a resume? Provide a bullet or two of results, or solutions, where thinking outside the box resulted in a cost savings, helped complete a project quicker, or developed a better process. Don't make them think what you mean by thinking outside the box. Simply show them.
I could share another example here, but I can't give away all my resume writing secrets, right?
4. Client engagement: So, you and a client were engaged? How did that go? Okay, that's a stretch. But what does that REALLY mean? Did you go to happy hour with your top client? Did you go to a sporting event? Did you host them in your office? Truly, stating you excel in client engagement tells nothing without a proof of that accomplishment. Show, don't tell!
5. Detail-oriented: It’s all about the details, right? What details are we talking here? And how does you being detail-oriented help you make a sale, lead a project, develop a marketing plan, or drive results? Sure, the little things count, but your entire resume should be a series of details that show your successes and that you fit the job you are applying for. That’s the details employers want. That’s what stands out.
Some other buzzwords recruiters and employers dread include results-driven, hard worker, and synergy, among others. These are only a few of the many words to avoid on a resume.
Check back next week when we highlight words and language you should use, to impress employers.
Is your resume full of these buzzwords? If so, chances are, your resume isn't getting noticed, or getting you interviews. To update your resume to a results-focused document that gets you interviews, I can help.
Contact me today to learn how I can help you write a resume that gets noticed, and gets you interviews - without the corporate buzzwords that drive recruiters bonkers!
Do workers "like" the idea of office friendships crossing over into social media?
More than seven in 10 professionals (71 percent) polled by staffing firm OfficeTeam said it's appropriate to connect with colleagues on Facebook. Slightly fewer feel it's OK to follow coworkers on Twitter (61 percent), Instagram (56 percent) and Snapchat (44 percent). In contrast, less than half of senior managers interviewed think it's fine to engage with fellow employees on Facebook (49 percent), Twitter (34 percent), Instagram (30 percent) and Snapchat (26 percent).
According to the worker survey, male employees and those ages 18 to 34 find it more acceptable to connect with colleagues on social media than their counterparts.
View an infographic of the research and data tables with breakdowns of the results by gender and age.
"While the lines between our personal and professional lives continue to blur, not everyone's comfortable connecting with colleagues on digital channels," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "Before friending or following someone, check if that individual has other coworkers in their networks. When in doubt, let fellow employees make the first move online."
Britton added, "Interacting with colleagues on social media can help build stronger relationships. But it should be done with care — you might not want to share everything with work friends that you would with closer personal contacts."
OfficeTeam offers the following don'ts when connecting with coworkers on social media, along with advice for what to do instead:
DON'T: Add everyone you work with to your social networks
DO THIS INSTEAD: Be selective. If a colleague's connections are limited to a few office buddies, sending an invite could be overstepping your boundaries.
DON'T: Reject a coworker's friend request
DO THIS INSTEAD: Explain that you prefer to keep your account limited to personal use and suggest connecting on a professional networking site like LinkedIn. In some cases, it may be best to accept the offer so you don't offend the person. Adjust privacy settings to control what information he or she has access to.
DON'T: Post updates or photos that reveal too much
Do This Instead: Use your best judgment when sharing. Not everyone needs to know what you did last night, and certain topics can come across as unprofessional. Remove questionable images from your profiles.
DON'T: Interact with people in your network only when you need something
DO THIS INSTEAD: Pay it forward by helping your online contacts and show support for their personal interests. You may discover things in common you can bond over.
About the Research
The surveys of workers and senior managers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments, and more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.com/officeteam. Follow the OfficeTeam blog at roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management advice.
For the last decade, marketers, employers, and brands alike struggled to understand the Millennial workforce. However, now that the oldest Millennials are reaching their mid-thirties, it is time to shift focus to the next generation – Generation Z.
Membership in Gen Z requires a birth year from the mid ‘90s to the late ‘00s, meaning that the oldest members in this generation started entering the workforce in the last few years. While members of Gen Z and Millennials share some traits, Gen Z is far from a carbon copy of its predecessor.
“For most members of Generation Z, Internet usage has been a constant since birth, making them the first true digital natives. They know their way around technology, and they use their technological savvy to avoid content that doesn’t interest them,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Indeed, according to a study by CNBC, 69 percent of Generation Z members actively avoid advertisements. If you are looking to capture the eyes of Gen Z members, you need to look for ways to integrate your content into the digital experience, as opposed to disrupting it.
Generation Z is the most diverse generation yet, as its makeup is 56 percent Caucasian, 24 percent Hispanic, 14 percent African-American, and 4 percent Asian, according to Ad Age. For members of this generation, cultural differences are not only accepted, but also expected in life and in the work world. For many, the United States’ first black president was their first president in general or, at least, the first president they can remember, and same-sex marriage and other equality movements are ingrained in their upbringing.
According to a recent Challenger survey, 55.6 percent of companies are currently targeting the Generation Z cohort. When it comes to Gen Z in the workforce, one of the biggest differentiators between Millennials and Generation Z are their levels of practicality and desire for stability. Members of Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession, meaning they watched first-hand as their families learned to cope with unemployment and frugality. A 2015 Adecco Way to Work survey found that more than half of Gen Z members listed student loan debt as a major contributing factor in their schooling and career decisions.
Despite looking out for their finances early, Generation Z members are willing to forgo a higher salary for job stability and career growth opportunities. Members of Gen Z are driven to succeed and look at each position as a stepping stone to a more fulfilling career. Generation Z does not mind doing some grunt work, as long as they feel they are gaining experience, but do not expect them to stay around for too long. With 83 percent of current students believing they should stay at their first job for three years or less, according to the Adecco survey, you may find yourself retraining for entry-level positions often.
Like Millennials, Gen Z members clearly are not afraid to jump quickly from company to company in search of the best possible opportunities, but three quarters of them state they are willing to work from the bottom. So, the question is, how can you recruit and retain Gen Z workers?
“The best answer is – invest in them. Generation Z members are looking for culturally diverse companies that value their employees,” said Challenger
“One great way to engage this cohort is through mentorship programs where members of Generation Z can interact with managerial-level staff. These are especially important, as they allow Gen Z to see the opportunity for their future growth and where they can move within a company. They will also be open to leadership conferences, development classes, and programs where they get to interact with people from all departments,” added Challenger.
Another effective method of attracting members of Gen Z is offering them competitive pay and benefits. According to the same Adecco survey, only 10 percent list friendly work environments as the most important part of their first job, and 7 percent list flexible schedules as their most important qualification. While fancy new offices may provide an exciting first impression, what it really comes down to for Generation Z is being able to feel secure about their finances and know that they will be able to complete meaningful work for the company.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for CollegeRecruiter,