“Remodeling” Your Career in 2022

Career & WorkplaceLinkedInResumes

Today, while mindlessly browsing through social media, I came across an article containing a list of home trends that “are on their way out”.  Since I have just recently updated several areas of my home, I was intrigued and moved forward with reading, hoping that one of my remodeling projects wasn’t on the “out” list. I had only read a few snippets of the article when my mind wandered back to work, and I thought about what types of job search and resume trends have also been sent to pasture over the years? The following are some of the “ins/outs” to be thinking about as you embark on your next career “remodeling” project.

Your Resume:

In: Career Summary

Out: Objective

Starting at the top of your resume with the word “Objective” that tells the reader what you are “seeking” in your next career move is a big no-no, and OMG, so bland and boring. Just don’t. Instead, craft a compelling, leadership-focused, and keyword-saturated career summary that packs a punch and pulls the reader in wanting to learn more about you.

In: Accomplishments

Out: Daily job responsibilities

While you were hired to do certain tasks, those are not all that should be on your resume. Today’s resumes need to be accomplishment- and not task-focused. Use your career history section to show readers the impact you made in your past roles. Did your efforts result in revenue generation? Improvements in efficiency/productivity? Sharing the results of your work on your resume only enhances the reader’s understanding of the potential you have and the value you can offer in future roles.

 

Your Online Persona:

In: Presence on LinkedIn

Out: No presence on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s premier professional networking site for a reason – it works. Whether you’re actively seeking a new job or just trying to build your brand and connect with peers in your field, LinkedIn is where you need to be. Sign up for initial services is free, and if you need additional features and can afford them, LinkedIn has them ready for you. Be sure you fill out all relevant sections to build your profile, and make your content engaging so that it builds your brand appropriately and markets you for you jobs in your field.

 

Your Job Search Acumen:

In: Networking, Recruiters, Resume Distribution

Out: Sitting by the phone

So many of our clients tell us that they aren’t getting calls for interviews. So, we ask, what are YOU doing to put yourself out there as a viable candidate? Just applying for a job doesn’t always do the trick. You need to apply, follow-up, and keep looking until you start hearing back from companies and actually have interviews set up. Even if you get an interview scheduled-that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job. It’s up to you to keep applying, networking, etc. until you land your dream job. Sitting by the phone day after day waiting for a call from the one company you applied to will only result in frustration and more than likely, no further along in your job search. Find a recruiter, network on professional sites like LinkedIn, and just get yourself out there. If you don’t know where to find a recruiter on your own, find a company that offers a resume distribution service where your resume can be sent out to literally thousands of recruiters in a matter of minutes.

YOU control the pace of your search and the number of places you apply. Make a list of companies and track when you applied, if you heard back, interview schedules, etc. If you are unemployed, your job search should be treated as a full-time job and deserves focus and time to get you to the next level.

 

Where to Find Jobs:

In: LinkedIn, Networking, Online Job Boards and Employment Sites

Out: One source shopping

Don’t just peruse your local newspaper (although many still do have a “Help Wanted” section) to look for jobs. Go online! Talk to your colleagues, family, and friends. Ask if they know of openings! Look on well-known job search sites and see what’s out there. Join groups and set-up alerts to be notified when a job that matches your skills/qualifications becomes available. LinkedIn has their own “Jobs” section to peruse. Use it to see what is available in your field/area. Have a specific company you’re targeting? Go directly to their website-you still may be redirected to another job search engine to apply, so make sure you apply per their instructions. If a job posting says “don’t call”, then don’t call. Always follow the application directions, because if you don’t, you may eliminate your candidacy up front. If you don’t have access to the internet, go to the library and use their tools/internet to look for jobs-just remember to completely logout out of any public computer so your personal information is not compromised.

 

Your Ability to Navigate the Job Market:

In: Knowing someone on the inside.

Out: What you know and what you have done will automatically get you in the door for an interview.

You have heard the saying “It’s not always what you know, sometimes it’s who you know…”? People would not still be repeating this phrase in the job market if there wasn’t some truth to it. In today’s competitive job market, many companies have a candidate in mind even before they post a job. YOU want to try to be that candidate. If you have a friend or former co-worker on the inside of a company you’re targeting, reach out to them. If they can give you some inside information to get you in the door – that’s great. Just be sure your contact has a good reputation with the company leadership. Otherwise, your credibility as a viable candidate may have just gone out the window.

As you are “remodeling” your career path, be sure the tools you are using and trends you are following are not outdated, so that you can optimize the time and effort you are putting forth as you pursue your dream job. If you are struggling with your career remodeling project, hire a professional. You would do it for your home improvement projects–why not for your career improvement projects?

 

 

Out With the Old and In with the New…LinkedIn Job Search Tips for 2022

Job SearchLinkedInSocial Marketing/Online Branding

If you’re planning on starting a new job search in 2022, you need to know that how you search for a job has changed greatly over the years. Whether you’re a new grad, management professional, seasoned executive, or C-Suite office holder, you need to ensure that you have the “dos” and “don’ts” of today’s job search necessities down to a science BEFORE you start your search. One necessary tool for today’s jobseekers is having an optimized LinkedIn profile! A few easy “dos” and “don’ts” to consider when preparing your LinkedIn profile for a job search….

URL:

  • DO customize your URL and put a link to your profile on your resume. If your name is already taken, use a middle initial, special numbers, or a credential to make your URL unique.
  • DON’T use the URL that LI assigns you when you create your initial profile.

PROFILE BANNER:

  • DO have a customized banner at the top of your profile. There are plenty of free sites to create a banner on, or, if you aren’t into doing your own thing, hire a designer to create one for you. This is where you can show a little personality on your profile while still looking like a professional.
  • DON’T use the LI default banner or your current company logo – if you are in a job search.

PROFILE PHOTO:

  • DO post a recent, professional-looking headshot of you (and ONLY you) in the photo.
  • DON’T post of photo of you cropped out of a group photo at an event or a photo of you from 20+ years ago – you don’t want to see shocked faces when you arrive for your interview!

NAME:

  • DO display your name as it appears on your resume and what you go by in the workplace. Add any relevant credentials after your name.
  • DON’T use a nickname or outdated maiden name just because that’s the name you had when you created your original profile.

HEADLINE:

  • DO create a branding statement for the top of your resume and in the headline section of your LI profile. Use descriptive, high-impact, and industry-specific keywords to communicate your brand. You have 220 characters to brand yourself here – make them count!
  • DON’T use your current job title (LI default) in your headline – ugh…so boring!

ABOUT:

  • DO include a targeted, keyword-saturated career summary at the beginning of your resume and in your LinkedIn profile (About) section. Remember to write toward the job/industry you’re targeting. You have 2,600 characters to write your story – use them to your advantage!
  • DON’T bypass this section – and don’t just make it paragraphs of boring text – readers will lose interest in you and your qualifications immediately. Use bullets to separate sections that give a brief synopsis of your skills, experience, and achievements. Show the value YOU can offer in one quick read!

EXPERIENCE:

  • DO put your most up to date and relevant information on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Include achievements in bullet lists and job titles that are in line with what is on your resume.
  • DON’T include your entire career history-only jobs that are relevant to your current career goals. Stay away from posting proprietary or confidential information in this section.

EDUCATION:

  • DO include all of your relevant degrees. Undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, etc.
  • DON’T include the years if you graduated 10+ years ago, or information about what you did in college unless it is pertinent and relevant.

LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • DO list certifications/licenses that are relevant to your career goals. If you are currently in the process of getting a certification/license, then just add it with the expected date of receiving the credential.
  • DON’T list actual license numbers (hello identity fraud???) on LI or include outdated information that is no longer active (unless it matters if you had it in the past).

SKILLS:

  • DO use industry-specific keywords/skills on this list. Be descriptive and ensure that your skills are in line with your level, job skills, experience, etc. “Pin” your top 3 skills at the beginning of this section. LI does this automatically – you need to ensure that the top 3 are truly, well, the top 3!
  • DON’T list bland words like “Leader” or “Projects”. Focus on stronger terms – “Executive Leadership” or “Project Management”.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

  • DO include your memberships in professional organizations (especially in industry-specific organizations). List your role in each organization (Member, Board Member, Committee Chair, etc.).
  • DON’T list organizations that you haven’t been affiliated with for years.

VOLUNTEER WORK:

  • DO include recent volunteer work or past work that may be relevant to your current job search goals. Include any leadership positions with organizations or special events you chaired.
  • DON’T put in volunteer work from 20+ years ago or if it was an event that was a one-hour commitment!

ADDITIONAL SECTIONS:

  • DO look at all the additional sections LI offers (Patents, Projects, Honors/Awards, Courses, Publications, Languages, etc.).
  • DON’T add a section just to add a section. You want to have relevant and informative content on your profile – not uninformative fluff that takes up space.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • DO give/request recommendations from clients, colleagues, supervisors, etc. Encourage those giving you recommendations to make them achievement/leadership-focused, so that the best you have is what they are talking about. You should have recommendations that are as current as possible.
  • DON’T use recommendations that are filled with typos or information that is outdated/unmeaningful.

SETTINGS:

  • DO check your settings and ensure that they are aligned with how you want to be seen, who you want to be able to see you, etc.
  • DON’T turn your profile completely off to public viewing. What’s the point of being on LI if nobody can see you?

DO make the profile unique to YOU. Make sure you can back up all the information you have put out there during an interview, and ultimately on the job for your next employer. DON’T take information from a friend’s or colleague’s profile or include skills/achievements that you can’t own. Your LinkedIn profile is a living document – keep it current and fresh. Finally – you have optimized the information on your profile, now you need to network! Engage with others by posting and commenting to get your name/profile seen by more people!

Tips to Negotiate a Raise

Guest PostsSalary

Asking your boss for a raise can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things you ever do at your job. Because of how nerve-wracking it is, many people wait too long to get the raise they deserve. Too many people fail to understand that there’s no reason to be anxious about asking for a raise, especially if you’ve been working hard and helping the company grow. However, there are some ways to ask for a raise that are better than others and have a higher likelihood of getting you what you deserve.

Even if your manager praises you daily, you’ll still need to give them a reason why you deserve more money, and you should be prepared to negotiate your rate. Here’s tips on how to ask your boss for a raise.

Collect Feedback

Your resume has changed since you applied for your current position. As you’ve worked for  the company  many years, you’ve picked up new skills and found new ways to help the business expand. Whether you have quarterly or annual performance reviews, the odds are you’ve received positive feedback since your last review. Keep all the praise you receive  organized, so you can use it to build your case for why you deserve a raise.

You should also give yourself an evaluation. Make a list of all you’ve accomplished for the business. If anything goes above and beyond your job duties, make a note of what it is and how often you do it. You should also add any long hours you’ve worked to the list and include everything from your managers’ reviews to coworkers’ feedback.

Have Data Prepared

People respond best to facts and data. If you want a raise, you’ll need to bring numbers to the table. Now that you have a list of all of your accomplishments, try to add details by adding numbers when possible. You can even use invoices to track your pay stubs.

For example, if your department benefitted from your work, try to include how they benefited, such as an increased rate of productivity or time and cost savings. Be as specific as possible. If you increased sales by a certain percentage or led a team who did, add that to your list. Bringing  details to the conversation gives proof as to why you deserve a bump in pay.

Consider the Future

Employees ask for raises because they have a track record of working hard and succeeding. However, managers and bosses need to know you’re looking for an opportunity to grow within the company, and not just for the money. When you ask for a raise, consider talking about next steps, more responsibility, or what is necessary to rise to the next level. You can also come prepared with a detailed explanation of where you see yourself within the company and where you want to go in the future.

Check the Handbook

Knowing when to ask for a raise can help you be successful in getting gone. For example, an upcoming performance review allow you to advocate for yourself to HR or the business owner so you can get a raise exactly during a time when the company is considering your future with them.

Your employee handbook will give you an idea about how raises and promotions are handled within your company. While these career milestones can happen at any time, they typically happen during performance reviews, which allow you to prepare for the right moment to ask for a raise.

Give Them a Number

Asking for a raise and not knowing how much you want or need to stay with the company can be detrimental to your cause. If you want a raise, you should have a number in mind—determining the amount and sharing it with  your boss is the reason why many people have anxiety in these situations. However, if you have done your research and know your value, as well as your contributions to the company, you feel confident in what you think is fair, and, you’ll have a higher chance of success.

Don’t forget, your boss may  try to negotiate. So be prepared to compromise. Consider other non-monetary perks, such as vacation, education benefits, etc. air rate would be by 10%.

Book a Time

This is not a discussion that you want to have in the hallway. Book a time with them when you know they’ll have nothing else on their mind. Consider the company schedule, as well as their responsibilities.

Practice

Asking for a raise can be intimidating, but the worst thing that can happen is being turned down. Most people will not get fired because they want more money. HR professionals expect that almost all employees will eventually ask for a raise or a promotion to improve their work/life balance.

By practicing with your friends and family, you can make the ordeal less stressful. You’ll be able to go into the meeting anticipating what your boss will ask or how they’ll reply to certain parts of the conversation.

 

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.

 

 

Is Your Executive Resume On Target?

Resumes

Are you thinking that 2022 is the year you really want to score that executive-level position with your company? Or for a completely new organization? Either way, you’re going to want to have your marketing tools ready for the new year-new job search adventure, and being able to present hiring managers and recruiters a targeted, executive-level resume is the first step in the process.

Whether you haven’t updated your resume in 20 years or two, it’s still necessary to take a long inventory of what is currently on the resume, what needs to be added, and what you can do to make it better. Here are a few tips to get you started…

THE BASICS:

Everybody knows that you should have your contact information, work experience, and education on your resume. However, this information still needs to be strategically written and displayed, so that it stands out and doesn’t just look like a pile of information you quickly plopped on a piece of paper.

  • In your contact information, include your name (professional), relevant credentials (CPA, MBA, PhD, etc.), phone number (mobile is preferred), email address (personal-not work or school email), and your location (city/state is sufficient). Your name should be bigger and stand out more than the rest of your information, which should be displayed professionally, either after or underneath your name. Include the word “LinkedIn,” and link your resume to your online profile, if, and only if, your online profile is complete and optimized for your new job search. (It needs to send the same message as your resume.)
  • Your career history needs to start out with a strong title. PLEASE do not use the words “work” or “employment” in your title. Think of how an executive would talk about his/her career. “Professional Experience,” “Career Narrative,” or “Career Chronology” are some other options. Write this section so that it is keyword-saturated, achievement-focused, and achievements are quantified where possible. If you were a sales leader or in a position where you made an impact in growing business or revenue, this is your opportunity to share this information! Use creative/colored bullet symbols to separate your achievements, and ensure that your job titles and years in each position are accurate.
  • If you are a new graduate, your education information can be listed at the top of your resume. If you are NOT a new graduate, this section should follow your career history and, depending on how long ago you graduated, you may want to leave the years out of this section. If you make the title “Education & Credentials” (or something of that nature), you can also include any relevant certifications and professional development/training here.

THE EXECUTIVE NEEDS:

Now that you have the basics started, there are other things you need to include in your resume to tell your story, appeal to the reader, and ultimately market yourself effectively for the job you’re vying for.

Career Summary

  • Use industry-specific keywords and powerful descriptors to paint a brief introductory picture of who you are, what you have done, and the value you can provide in an executive-level role.

Branding

  • Branding is KEY! Come up with a branding statement or at least some type of title at the top of your career summary, so that the reader knows immediately what level you’re at (or want to be at).
  • What are you known for? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What do you want to continue to do in your next role?
  • You could also just use a few key terms or even multiple titles (COO, CFO, etc.) to show the reader this information.

Career Highlights

  • If you want to communicate some of your best career successes, adding a “Career Highlights” section just before your employment history is a great idea. Include 3-5 bullets of your biggest career achievements (successful programs you’ve implemented, process improvements, cost reductions); anything that shows where your leadership resulted in a positive outcome for a client or an organization.
  • Think “results-rich” statements when you are deciding on what to add. Think METRICS. Where did you generate millions in cost savings? What strategies or deep dives did you conduct to see where there were holes and money drains?

Soft Skills

  • How are your problem-solving skills? Do you shine when listening and communicating to your team? Are you good at critical thinking? What about conflict management? Don’t underestimate the power of your soft skills. Companies are hungry for that balance.

Board Leadership & Affiliations

  • Companies want to hire executives who have industry knowledge and can work with Boards of Directors and/or other c-suite teams. Include your memberships in professional organizations, as well as any board experience you have (paid/volunteer).

Pandemic Information

  • How were you able to flex and adapt during the pandemic? What changes have you made, contributed to, or implemented relating to the pandemic? What role did you lay?

Format

  • Want to level up? Then you better level up the look of your resume. Your format needs to stand out just like your content, so PLEASE, do not do a simple black/white, 12-point Times Roman font for your entire resume! Add some pizzazz! A little bit of color goes a long way in getting your resume to stand out in the pile–and is also very appealing to the eye.

Additionally, including language proficiencies (if you’re seeking a global position), honors, awards, publications, etc., anything that can help the reader to truly get to know you in the brief few seconds taken to scan the resume.

These are just a few things you can do to ensure that your resume is on target to give a strategically written chronology of exactly who you are, what you have accomplished, and the value you can provide in an executive-level position in 2022.

Does Your Resume Match The Position Description?

Resume Keywords

I recently spent some time picking the brains of two hiring managers.

We got to talking about jobseekers, resumes, approaches to resumes, what they looked for in a resume, and job descriptions.

Something they both mentioned as a common frustration is when the candidate’s resume doesn’t match the position they are interviewing for. The job is for a VP of Product Development, but you have spent your career in procurement.

They understood that sometimes people want to transition out of what they are doing. They want to change industries, change positions, want to do something different, or just do something they’ve always been interested in.

But if that’s what you want to do, you need to make a case for yourself.

Prove to the hiring manager why you are the right fit even if your experience has been slightly different. Don’t make them search for it–because they won’t.

Do you have what they need?🤔

Many of my clients and the jobseekers I talk to struggle with what should be on their resume. Do they add ALL of their information? Older info as well, if it was relevant to the role? Less? More? Help!!!

Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:

✅ 𝗥𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. First, do you really have the experience the position asks for? Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to waste your time or the hiring manager’s time if you really don’t have experience (or transferable skills) in that role. If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.

✅ 𝗞𝗘𝗬𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? You can sprinkle them throughout your resume, but keep your focus on “above the fold”. This is the area that when someone is reading a document on a computer screen, the words above the bottom of the screen are what stand out first. Many times, if what is above the fold doesn’t interest/pertain to them and what they need, they’ll move on.

✅ 𝗦𝗞𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗧. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cybersecurity? Again, refer to the position description. What skills of yours do you see in that description? You may have more than you realize. There may be things you do every day that pertain to that new role. Make sure to add these things to your resume, as well.

✅ 𝗩𝗔𝗟𝗨𝗘. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? In what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced?

Offer proof by adding numbers $ or percentages % wherever possible.

It’s not impossible to switch careers mid-career. When you have the skills that the role calls for, make sure they are easy to find on your resume. That will make the decision to call you in for an interview that much easier.

Making Your LinkedIn Profile Uniquely YOU!

LinkedInSocial Marketing/Online Branding

Searching for a new job or have your eye on moving up to the next level with your current employer? You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself, so you need to be prepared!  One way to do so is to optimize your online presence, and LinkedIn is the premier site to showcase your experience, achievements, skills, and leadership acumen on a global scale.

Your LinkedIn profile should be one of the most utilized tools in your job search tool chest, so you need to ensure that it is sharp, fully optimized, and maintained well during your job search and beyond.

Depending on what type of device your profile is being viewed on (PC or mobile), the reader will only be able to see a fraction of your profile.  That fraction has to be creative and appealing enough to make the reader want to continue to learn more about you. Don’t know where to start? Right from the top!

Banner Photo:

  • LinkedIn automatically gives you a default banner when you sign up. Get rid of it!  This is the first place you have the opportunity to pull the reader in – be creative!  You can personalize the banner to show a little bit about yourself and/or use titles and keywords to help communicate your brand.  Have a special saying or motto that motivates you?  It can easily be included here. Use a website like Canva to design your own banner or hire someone to do it – either way – don’t use the default banner! #lame

Name/Credentials:

  • Your LinkedIn profile should have the same name that is on your resume, so that your name is consistently known by anyone who views your resume or online profile. Add any relevant credentials after your name, and try to ensure that you don’t use a nickname.

Profile Photo:

  • We all know that a lot of us don’t like advertising pictures of ourselves on social media – sorry, but on LinkedIn, people want to see YOU! Be sure to include a profile picture that is professional looking and done at a level that matches the position you’re seeking.  Executives should have a photo that looks like an executive and an entry level photo could probably be a more casual photo.

Stay away from photos where you have cropped yourself out of a group, at a bar/party, or have a lot of distractions in the background.  Again – people want to see YOU – not a backdrop from your trip to the Grand Canyon (unless you are a travel blogger – lol).

Headline:

  • When you sign up with LinkedIn, your current job title automatically defaults to this section. Change it as soon as you can. Your headline gives you 220 characters to share your value, expertise, and skills.  Done effectively, your headline can attract ATS systems and recruiters who are looking for candidates in your industry and is a very easy way to quickly tell people what you have to offer in your field. I like to add keywords and branding to it as well.

About:

  • Take some time to reflect about what you really want to communicate in this section. Don’t just add a one-liner and certainly do not make yourself sound desperate to find a job (even if you really are).  Like your headline, this is a great place to share your brand – so make it strategic, appealing, and value-added! As with your resume, the summary at the beginning of your LinkedIn profile should be strategically written, compelling, and a quick synopsis of the best you have to offer, your highlights, and even some of your skills.  Using bullets and color in this section will make it stand out more than just including paragraphs of text.

Consider adding a “call to action” at the end of the summary to let people know you are available for interviews or are actively looking for a new position. You have 2,600 characters in this section, but only the first few lines may show up when people are viewing your profile, and the key is getting the reader to click on the “more” to learn more about you. Make your first few lines appealing, inviting, and clear.

Skills:

  • The skills section is great but can also be a bit subjective. You need to add the skills that are the most relevant to your industry and position, whenever possible. Use strong keywords in this section, and make sure you are focusing on unique terms that make you stand out. “Staff Leadership & Development” sounds a lot better than “Leadership” and “Global Sales Operations Management” sounds way better than “Sales”.

As for the endorsements, this is where the section gets a little subjective. LI automatically puts the skills with the most endorsements at the top of the section; however, the top 3 skills are something you can…and should change, so that they are your strongest skills and the ones that are most relevant to your job search, regardless of the number of endorsements.

You have the option of including 50 terms in this list and that fills up pretty quickly – use the best fit and stay away from “fluff” terms that are expected in today’s professional world, like “Time Management” or “Team Player”.

These sections are just the tip of the iceberg in creating an amazing, optimized LinkedIn profile – but they are so important if you want to be “found” on LinkedIn, so you need to ensure that the content is unique to your job goals, industry-specific, and an effective marketing tool for your job search!

 

 

Career Change Can Happen at Any Time…Will YOU Be Ready?

Career & Workplace

Recently, I was speaking with a client who was eager to get out of the industry she had worked in for 20+ years to follow her dreams of becoming an Interior Design/Home Improvement/House Flipping professional. As she had spent her entire career as a Purchasing Agent in the Automotive industry, she wasn’t sure how to start her journey into a more creative field, especially when she had been in the same one for so many years.

It’s actually quite easy. When making a career change, especially to a completely new industry, it’s important to focus on highlighting your transferrable skills and some of your biggest career accomplishments on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Here are some quick steps to get you moving forward to the job of your dreams:

  • Change up the format of your current resume – create a format that makes your transferrable skills stand out (don’t let the need to follow tradition scare you!) and ensure that those skills and best leadership qualifications are highlighted in your career summary, branding statement, and keyword list (areas of expertise, core competencies, etc.).
  • Transferrable skills – so many clients have told me “this is what I want to do, but I don’t think I’m qualified”, when actually – they really are. It just requires some thought and creative writing (which is why she hired a professional service). When making a career change, it’s imperative that you include skills you’ve used in your current field that could be applied to the next one. Organizational Development, Brand Development & Promotion, Project Management, Budget Administration, Process Improvement, Team Collaboration, Vendor Relations, Inventory Procurement, Cost Control, Negotiation Strategies, etc. These are all areas of expertise used across industries.
  • Show where you have made an impact – at any point in your career, you should be able to show where you’ve made an impact to the organization(s) you’ve worked for. Quantifiable results work well when you highlight your accomplishments in a “Career Highlights” section on your resume. Sales goals? Cost savings initiatives? Process or program improvements? Building partnerships that result in revenue growth for your company? Add financial or numerical values where you can, and show the impact you’ve made on the organization’s bottom line!
  • Education and credentials – this is another one that holds people back. Just because your degree is in one area doesn’t mean you can’t excel in another! Don’t let a label from 20 years ago hold you back! On-the-job training, experience, professional development, etc. are all things that can show you have diversity in what you know and what you are capable of doing in any field! There are also tons of online certifications and skill development you can get to prepare for and show you’re eager to learn about your new field. For this particular client, she was getting her real estate license to get some more experience in the industry, staging, client relations, etc. which will make her a more marketable asset for her clients, etc.
  • LinkedIn – As with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is your tool for getting noticed – but more importantly, this platform allows you to get noticed on a global scale with basically a click of a mouse. Make sure your profile is optimized with key terms and highlights using language recognized in your future industry. Even if you don’t have the licensing or certifications you need right away, you can still show that you are working toward those goals. Include links to projects you’ve completed to give readers a visual view of your creative style, published works, projects, etc.  There is a lot of room for information on LinkedIn, and you need to ensure you are using the site to showcase you in the best ways possible. NOTE: LinkedIn is a huge source for not only finding jobs and connecting with colleagues and other friends, but also for networking and joining groups within your new industry. The more you network and learn, the faster you will grow in your field.
  • Social Media – in addition to LinkedIn, you can market your skills, experience, and accomplishments on multiple sites to get your name out there. Start a business page, use creative content, and be sure to brand yourself appropriately – even when you are limited in the character amounts you can use – you can still find something short and sweet to speak to your abilities. Effective branding is key in getting noticed and pulling the reader in to want to learn more about you!

Don’t let age, lack of formal experience, or anything else keep you from pursuing your dream job. If you’re willing to learn and work hard, you can do whatever you want in your career and in life – you just need to prepare for the change, ramp up all of your marketing tools, and hit the ground running with a positive “I’ve got this” attitude.

You know the phrase…”it’s never too late to teach a dog new tricks”…it became a popular phrase for a reason. Take ownership of that mindset and rock your new career!

How to Write an Executive Resume When You Don’t Have a College Degree

EducationJob SearchResume Writing

Do you know what one of the most common concerns I hear from clients?

“I don’t have a degree.”

Executive job seekers come to us to rewrite their resumes and in doing that we need to create their story. For some people, that does not include education. Or, they started it, the job got busy, and they never finished. It’s more common than you might think.

Many top performers we speak with have gone on to very successful careers despite not finishing their college degrees. Most started at companies and grew their way up the corporate ladder to reach high levels of success.

Not just our clients. Many famous people have done very well without a college degree.

Is A College Degree Always Necessary?

Why does an education matter? Obviously, it does for certain fields—medical doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., but not all require it.

I recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn to see how many people actually used their college degree in their job today.

The poll had 11,845 votes and over 261K views.

30% said they use their degree every day.
34% said they do not use it and are in a different field.
36% said they use it somewhat.

So, only a third of the people who responded use their degree in their jobs every day. Yet, many companies (not all) still insist on a college education. However, in the comments, many recruiters admitted that the companies really didn’t care if they had education or not. The experience of the candidate would help be the deciding factor.

Interesting.

This tells me that while education does matter for certain jobs, most of the time companies are looking for the right fit.

Case Study

One of my clients, “Dave” came to us to write his resume. He started at a small manufacturing company during his senior year in high school. His supervisor saw his drive and started promoting him from stocker, production associate, and production team leader to eventually securing more senior leadership roles like assistant manager and operations manager.

When Dave started at the company it had 13 employees and revenues of around $7MM. When he came to us, he helped grow it to 119 employees and $148MM. The ideas he implemented played a key role in helping this company grow to where it is today. He was ready to use his talents at another company and see where it would take him.

In the first few years he was with the company, he went to community college for two years but stopped after he got his two-year (associate’s) degree. He just didn’t have time for it while working at the company.

I see this happen so often with our clients—starting off young, helping a company grow to new levels, and yet, when it comes time to write their #resumes, they falter a bit, and their confidence dips.

According to Glassdoor dot com, on-the-job training and success matter more than a four-year degree. Corporate training that you’ve received is a skill set needed for a leadership position.

Writing your resume is easier to do when you have a strategy of how to do it and how you want your message to come across.

Here are a few things to consider:

💼 𝙁𝙤𝙘𝙪𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙚.

What departments have you built? How many people did you manage? What did you do to help the company grow? How did your contribution get them to the next level?

Also: what kind of a leader are you? What is the feedback you receive from your boss AND your team? How your team looks to you says a lot. Don’t be afraid to gather up testimonials from people who worked for you. If you built out an exceptional team, you could say something like:

“Led efforts to identify, secure, engage, and retain top-tier talent and cultivate a diversified entrepreneurial team to deliver optimal results; managed succession planning, attaining a 2% annual turnover rate across 102 employees.”

This bullet shows how this client built, grew, and led a team ending up with very little turnover. He established a culture within the team that made it a place where people wanted to work– and they thrived.

💼 𝙎𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙤𝙛𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙭.

When you rose through the ranks, you increased revenue, your sales numbers skyrocketed, etc. Don’t be afraid to use numbers if you have them. Certain roles (like sales) usually end up with percentages or dollars. Don’t worry about how much or how little. Percentages and sales show your effort and growth. Like this:

“Developed a model to optimize short stay options across the residential portfolio to support a $200M regional capital project; negotiated the rental of 30 furnished apartments, expanded the model to 56 units, achieved 100% occupancy for 5 years and subsequently transitioned the units to university housing with a 98% annual occupancy rates.”

This bullet is loaded with numbers, proves his success, and also grabs the eye. Numbers and percentages stand out so add them where you can.

💼 𝙃𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙙.

What are you known for? What do people go to you for? What do you specialize in? This is a very common struggle job seekers struggle with, no matter what level they are at. And often, it comes slowly, through time and experience.

For example, when I started writing resumes I was writing every type of resume I could get my hands on, basically to gather experience. But as time went on, I noticed more and more finance and tech clients started finding me. This built my brand as a finance and tech writer.

Having a consistent brand in these fields is what eventually led to landing the Wall Street Journal contract as their resume writing partner. They heard about me and my team and what we specialized in (at that time) and my brand is what got their attention.

Once you have an idea of what you are known for, that is something you want to lead with on your resume. Make sure it stands out and is front and center. Don’t make hiring managers or recruiters look for it, because they won’t.

💼 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙛𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝘿𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙥𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙨!

Are you listing your credentials or professional development? These all count in your skills section. Things like:

– Advanced training courses?
– Certifications?
– Did you write anything that became published in your area? White papers? Blog posts?
– What about presentations? Did you speak on your topic? Offer expertise in a podcast or interview?
– Lastly, any awards? If yes, list them.

There are plenty of ways to distract the reader from your lack of formal education and instead get the reader or hiring manager excited about your accomplishments and what you can bring to the role.

While college degrees are required for certain roles, many companies are simply looking for the best candidate for the job.