I have reviewed THOUSANDS of resumes...
Simply put, it comes with the job. I spend hours and hours a day looking at resumes, reviewing LinkedIns, and interviewing candidates from all backgrounds, experience levels, and walks of life. I dedicate a certain percentage of my time to pro-bono community career coaching and resume review, in the hopes of demystifying the job search and helping to bridge the gap between underrepresented populations landing their dream jobs, and helping to combat the wealth and income disparity that I play a role in promoting while hiring for large corporations.
I've hired for and represented companies of all sizes and mission statements from the YWCA and Womencare Shelter to large companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and currently Facebook.
Here are some tips of the trade that I'd love to pass along. None of these tips are hard and fast rules and be sure to gather different perspectives and please take to heart only what feels right for you.
For further tips and 1:1 coaching, salary negotiations, and career consultation please feel free to reach out to me on my contact page.
Job Hunt 101:
- Creating a master resume: My first point of advice is to create a master resume. On this resume I'd encourage you to include everything that you've done that is of note or might be of relevance to the jobs you have in mind. For this resume take no heed of length (mine is 3 pages) and feel free to include every job that you've worked up until this date; education completed, certificates received, volunteer work and interests outside of work- you'll tailor this later as you continue to do research on the area you're wanting to break into.
- Don't be afraid to take credit and speak to your accomplishments: often times when building a resume we have a tendency to downplay our contributions and successes (this is often true with underrepresented populations who already battle imposter syndrome when entering new work environments). Wording is everything. Be sure to elaborate on the things that you have accomplished and the projects and initiatives that YOU have driven from ideation to completion-- no need to lie or to take credit for what you didn't do-- but being fearful to take ownership of your successes or wanting to credit others for your contributions isn't necessary when building out YOUR resume. The people interviewing you only have the context that you provide them. You are incredible, you're a joy to work with, and you deliver on what's asked of you and more, so be sure to represent yourself accurately and with confidence! If you worked at and ensured that you balanced the company register- that's financial management. If you acted as a lead for a project that's leadership experience. If you've taken a colleague under your wing- you are a mentor. Don't be afraid to show confidence in your ability to perform and don't air on the side of downplaying your strengths. Speak your truth and let things flow naturally after that.
- Tailor your resume and think outside of the box: In this day and age sitting at your computer and applying for 30 jobs with the same stale resume is the easiest way to get zero response from an employer and to ultimately and honestly hurt your morale. Get creative! If you're an Events Coordinator add some finesse and flair to your resume (think Elle Woods but maybe a little less scented, or not! Do you boo boo :P). Create an event and hand out those business cards and make sure your resume stands out from the pack whether that be an out of the ordinary font or a fun related visual (I do not suggest adding a picture of yourself). Make sure to tailor your resume to reflect the role and body of work that you'd like to dive into. Be sure to stay cognizant of the company you're applying to, their mission statement, and the name and title of the hiring manager- DO YOUR RESEARCH- and tailor your resume and cover letter (if necessary) accordingly.
- Consistency & Networking: I know the notion of networking is played out at this point but if we're being honest every. single. job. that i've ever received I locked down through someone helping to get my foot in the door. When you begin to build a reputation for yourself as an honorable, considerate, and agile employee people will begin vouching or "sponsoring" you as you begin the job hunt. Meetups.com is a great place to dive into networking with people in your field. Be bold and invite someone you admire out for a drink or to grab a coffee, email employers, and ask for an informational or a tour of their building--create those relationships that are mutually beneficial, keeping in mind that there is a difference between TACT and MANIPULATION. Don't seek to build relationships that are filtered through a self serving directive. Instead keep in mind the goal of building relationships that focus on how you can contribute to that person, that project or that business' bottom line, not just what they can do for you. People can see through bullshit quickly and want to know that you're invested for the right reasons, not just for a quick paycheck or to utilize them as as stepping stone on your way to XYZ.
- This is a long game: keep in mind that nothing worth fighting for will ever come easy. I get messaged a LOT by friends and colleagues wanting to make a drastic career switch and immediately setting their sights on a high level- high profile job. Take things one step and one day at a time and remember that your career, like your health, happiness, and interpersonal relationships are an on-going journey and take a lot of hard work, mindfulness, and dedication in order to accomplish. Don't be discouraged if there are a series of non-glamorous steps you need to take to reach your end goal. Don't be disappointed if that end goal changes with your depth and breadth of experience. If you are working as a support staff at a hospital, but want to break into an administrative role at Amazon- rather than trying to make a drastic jump between job families and company size and scale-- begin applying to administrative roles within the healthcare field. If you want to begin an entirely new career- sign up for that online coursework to help get you there! Although transferrable skills certainly have their merits, employers will almost always be looking to hire someone who has done that exact role in the past and can speak to their proven successes. Start small, pay your dues, work those lower level jobs and within 6 months to a year keep applying and shooting your shot for those promotions, those jobs you've set your sights on and don't be afraid to put in the hard work (maybe over a series of years) to get there!
- Once the foundation is laid... don't hold yourself back from relentlessly pursuing and prioritizing your goals! 9/10 of my career consultations and resume reviews end up being discussions that have nothing to do with a resume. Almost all of my discussions begin with 2 words "I can't..." or "I'm not..." with my clients already setting themselves up for failure by starting their search believing that they're unqualified, not smart enough, not good enough or somehow incapable of getting hired into the job of their dreams. We as humans are socialized to dismiss affirmations and deeply internalize criticism. Without overcoming this toxic thought process, you will ultimately by your greatest barrier to success. Once you lay the foundation for your own self care, your own healthy boundaries, your own organizational strategy and you build out a framework around your goals-- there is absolutely nothing you can't do with ample time and dedication to your craft. Put in the work that will build YOURSELF up and then come to me and we'll get you there :D.