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Keywords matter.

This should not be a news flash if you're out there applying for roles via online application, or attempting to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that you turn up in the right kinds of recruiter searches.

If it is a news flash, here's a quick rundown of why they matter:

Keywords on Your Resume:

If you're applying for roles via an online portal, there's a reasonable chance (especially if it's with a mid- to large-sized organization) that humans will not be looking at your resume first. Instead, it's going to first pass through an applicant tracking system, or ATS. 

The ATS will be looking for certain keywords, experience and credentials and assigning your resume a "match score". Only those resumes that rank as "strong matches" will move forward in the process. That said, if you're relying on this method for job applications, you need to pass through the robots or you won't receive human consideration.

(Looking for more ATS info? 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Resume Makes it Through the Black Hole)

Keywords on Your LinkedIn Profile: 

More than 90% of recruiters are using LinkedIn as a sourcing tool, to find viable candidates for open positions. Read that sentence again.

Given this, it's not only crazy important that you show up to the party over on LinkedIn, but you need to do so in a way that points you towards the types of roles you're most interested in. How to you best achieve this? In part, by making sure the keywords on your profile are the same keywords that recruiters will likely use to find you in the first place.

Given this, we of course need to discuss the big question:

How Do I Figure Out the Most Important Keywords?

Here's one incredibly simple technique that our team uses:

Make a word cloud.

It's fast, it's free and it will give you a quick visualization of the words that come up over and over again in the job descriptions that align with the roles you're targeting.

There are plenty of free online word cloud providers. We use TagCrowd and WordItOut.

Here's What to Do: 

Assuming you're targeting similar types of roles, gather up 2-4 job descriptions that exemplify the type of position -- or the exact ones -- you're most interested in. I typically drop all of the descriptions into one Word or Text file and then copy the entire block of text.

Paste it into the text box within whichever word cloud generator you desire, and ... Voila. 

Here's one we ran through both TagCrowd and WordItOut. This client was targeting senior sales leadership roles within the athletic apparel industry:

TagCrowd WordItOut

Now, you will of course get some weird, ignorable terms batched in with the golden nuggets, but what you see here are some important words that you should consider weaving into your narrative, on both your resume and over on LinkedIn.

You'll also note that there are some differences between the two word clouds, so you may wish to run your job descriptions through more than one tool so that you can compare and contrast.

It's a simple, "can do it today" exercise that will help you narrow in on the keywords that are right for your job search.

And while you never want to rely 100% on the keywords (or online applications in general) to do all the heaving lifting for you (Get out there and talk to people, for crying out loud), you will be very very wise to make sure yours are lining up with the roles you're looking to land.

Got questions? Lay 'em on us. Have a word cloud success story or other job search, resume or LinkedIn tips that work for you? Leave them in the comments below (please!)

 

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I get asked at least a few times a week: "What should I be doing about LinkedIn recommendations?" Or, "Do I even need LinkedIn recommendations?" Or, "How do I ask?"

LinkedIn recommendations, when they're great, can be a powerful tool for attracting recruiters and affirming your specific talents. It's one thing for you to say you're great at this, that or the other thing (and, it's important that you do). But it takes on a new level of power when someone else is also giving you a glowing review specific to those very same things.

How do you go about asking for -- and landing -- killer LinkedIn recommendations?

Let's break it down:

1. Thoughtfully Choose the Person or People You'll Approach

This is an important first step for two important reasons. Number one, you want the recommendation to pack as much punch as possible. Number two (and this is especially true if you're a covert job seeker), you don't want to raise eyebrows by asking a gazillion people at once (we'll cover this in a sec) or tip off the wrong person of your intentions. 

Make a quick list of the people you'd most value a recommendation from, and make sure you're connected on LinkedIn (or, if you're not, connect with them -- you can't ask a non-connection for a LinkedIn recommendation through the platform).

2. Make the Request (Here's How)

It's not blaringly obvious how to actually get to the "Request a Recommendation" screen on LinkedIn. The easiest way to get there is to simply go to the person from whom you'd like a recommendation's profile.  You'll see a box under his or her name and headline that says, "More..." 

Click that and, from the dropdown menu, select "Request a Recommendation."

You'll then be walked through a couple of screens that lead you to where you can leave a personalized message. (Note the word: "personalized" -- Don't even think about calling it a day with LinkedIn's canned request.)

3. Be Specific With Your Request

You've got an important opportunity with your personalized request here. Don't mess it up. You're going to get the most bang for your buck  if you guide your connection. In short, the recommendation will be most valuable if it directly supports the most important aspects of you as a professional.

So, maybe you're looking at new opportunities and notice that many of the job descriptions call for someone who is great at seeing patterns in data, and then strategizing based on this info. Well then, wouldn't it be nice if one of your people vouched for your talents in that exact thing? Why yes, yes it would be.

Consider, then, approaching like this:

Hi Mary,

I hope you're having a great start to your year! It was nice running into you last month at TechCon. I'm reaching out to see if you might be willing to share a recommendation here on LinkedIn. What I'm really hoping to do is highlight my ability to look at data sets, quickly analyze the numbers and then present strategies and recommendations.
 

Since you and I worked so closely on the <IMPORTANT PROJECT>, I thought you might be a great person to ask. Thanks so much if you're willing, and absolutely let me know if I may return the favor!

This is so much better than a generic request. You're not only making it easier for your contact to construct the recommendation, you're also dramatically increasing the odds that you'll receive kudos back that are directly aligned with your background and goals.

4. Space Out Your Requests

You don't want to ask 11 people at once. Why not? They come back date stamped. Thus, if you have had zero or just a couple of recommendations forever and a day -- and then all of the sudden have 14 --- you're going to look like you're out shaking down your pals to say nice things.

You want these to appear as if they're coming in organically. (You also don't want to tip off your employer with sudden ramp-up in LinkedIn activity.) 

Ask a couple of people at a time, and then wait for a bit. Rome does not need to be build in one day.

5. Be Generous in Recommending Others

Ever hear of the law of reciprocity? That's the deep rooted psychological urge we all have to do nice things for others when they do nice things for us. 

When you are generous about recommending others (you can do this right through that same dropdown menu above), you'll not only make someone's day -- you'll also increase the odds that that person will turn around and recommend you right back.

This is a great strategy to deploy when you'd love love love a recommendation from someone, but feel a little weird about asking directly. Just proactively recommend that person. You may be pleasantly surprised to see the kindness reciprocated.

It's important (of course) to present your professional brand in a strong, compelling manner on LinkedIn. Your words matter.

But having people in your network -- who have seen you in action -- applauding the great things you bring to your work?

That, friends, can be gold.

Need LinkedIn Help?

If you want to be sure you’re showing up strong on LinkedIn -- and using this powerful tool to your massive advantage --  check out our Ridiculously Awesome LinkedIn Kit.  Better still, if you use promo code LINKEDIN15 at checkout, you'll score a $15 discount.

 

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons (Emily Tan)

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Oh, here they come.

Cue the tidal wave of "How to Land a Job Before the End of the Year" articles all over the internet. You'll find more of these than you can possibly shake a stick at between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, every year ( a couple of decent examples: right HERE and HERE).

Heck, I've even written some. (VOILA).

And, these tips can certainly be helpful for those who are revved up and ready to go right freaking now.

But, What If You're Not?

What if you're feeling totally overwhelmed?

What if you're just flat-out tired or feeling the intense crunch of holiday preparation, family visits, festivities that go into all hours and competing priorities up the wazoo?

What if you know you want something better, more rewarding, better paying, or more in line with your personality and values in 2018 ... yet don't have a clue what that looks like (or doesn't look like) quite yet.

What if you've been living life with your hair on fire all year (or longer) and just want to catch your breath for five ... stinking ... minutes before racing off to the next big thing?

What if that's you?

Should You Worry that You'll be Left Behind?

Will your competitors all be reading the aforementioned articles and be lurching ahead of you once the ball drops in Times Square on January 1? Will you be foolish to pause at the exact moment in which seemingly every job search resource is telling you to accelerate?

No.

If you're just DONE for the year, then be done for the year. Seriously. Ease of the gas. Hell, slam on the brakes if you need to. The world is not going to crumble. Every job in the job universe will not be gone when you crack open your laptop in January (or even February, which tends to be an incredibly busy hiring month).

Racing out in a frenzied manner may actually prolong your effort (frenetic people tend to be inefficient people), and could result in your landing the wrong job in your haste. (I'm going to stand out on a limb here and guess that this is not at all what you're aiming for, right?)

So, for those who are just not feeling the December sprint-to-the-finish-line spirit?

Take a Pause

For real. Unplug from this topic for a bit, or use these next few weeks only to contemplate (in a relaxed, no-pressure manner) what this next job may look like, what it may feel like, who it might be with, and who it may be worthwhile to introduce yourself to in the coming weeks.

Or, if you're thinking about a pivot -- and you're up for it -- see if that friend working in the industry you're eyeing wants to grab a pre-holiday drink or lunch. 

Or, don't. 

Western culture sells us this giant bill of goods that we all have to run around like maniacs at all times. All around us, we're bombarded with overt and subtle messages that insist we have to lunge what we want, the millisecond we decide we want it. That we can sleep when we're dead. That everything has to be done with a sense of immediacy and off-the-charts vigor. That, unless we're busier than everyone else around us, that we're big slugs.

But here's the thing ... 

Activity for the sake of activity isn't necessarily going to serve you, especially if it's not purposeful, strategic or done when you can see straight. 

Rest for the sake of rest, on the other hand, will. 

So, if it's time to unplug, for the love of it all, stop reading those articles right now and scram for the rest of the year.

They'll be right there waiting when you're ready to roll (and we will, too).

 

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Hans Van Den Berg)

 

 

 

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By Karen Friesen, JobJenny.com

We know that you know how important networking is to landing a new job. It’s got to be among the oldest (and most important) tricks in the “how to get yourself hired” handbook.

Since you're a diligent, proactive person (of course you are), you’ve likely racked up 587 Facebook friends, 829 LinkedIn connections and cultivated an extended network of friends, professional contacts, and family members who think you. are. the. bomb.

When it's time to make a job change or career pivot, these people could be downright instrumental in helping you, right? If you play it right,  absolutely.

After all, the people in your posse already know how fantastic you are at…all kinds of stuff. Maybe you bake like Betty Crocker. You kick the pants out of every karaoke competition, or you’re the one everybody calls when they need a shoulder to cry on or a ride for Johnny after lacrosse.

That’s all great (obviously), but the pivotal question is, do they know what makes you kill it at your job? More to the point:

Do your people have any idea what you REALLY do at work all day?

Unless you're something like a nurse, fire fighter, writer or professional violinist, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘probably not.’ So, when you to enlist help from these people who will forever have your back, guess what they're going to say? 

“Sure, yeah, I’ll keep an eye out…”

And they probably mean it with every ounce of their being. However ... and here's the challenge ...

Do they have any idea what they’re keeping an eye out for? Truth is, the majority of people you know likely have no clue specifically how they can best help you.

There IS a solution to this quandary, and it’s one that job seekers often fail to consider (or have possibly never heard of).

The Networking Letter

The networking letter lands squarely among the top three pieces of correspondence (in addition to the cover letter and thank you note) that can make a huge difference in how your job search fares.

There are plenty of ways to tackle writing a networking letter, but the goal remains the same: you want to get word of your job search out to the people who know you best, and give them clear information about what you're looking for, and how (specifically) they can help.

Here's one approach to crafting a high-impact networking letter:

1. Kick it off with a friendly introduction.
Explain the transition you’re embarking on, and request help. Your intro might look something like this:

Dear Friends, Just a quick note to say “hi” and give you an update on what I’ve been up to. After 15 years of managing the IT Department at Orbit Consulting, I’ve decided to switch things up and pursue my long-term goal to work in large-scale technical project management.

2.  Share a brief list of skills you’d like to put to use in your next job.
For example, you could say, “I’d really like a job in which I can use my digital marketing strategy and large team project management skills.” Or perhaps you could say, “I’m well suited for roles that involve building and motivating sales teams.”

3. Offer up a short list of potential job titles / companies of interest.
Here’s your chance to really help your network know what to be on the lookout for, because the type of job you seek could very well be called different things at different companies.

“Here are some of the job titles that would likely align with what I’m envisioning…”

You may even throw out the names of some companies that are of particular interest.

“A few companies I’m specifically targeting include Gerber Knives, Yakima and SawStop.”

And then wrap up your networking letter by asking the recipient to let you know if he or she knows anyone that may be helpful or influential in your search. (And, perhaps, could they introduce you?)

An effective networking letter’s power lies in the fact it goes beyond asking people to “keep an eye out." It specifically spells out what it is they’re keeping an eye out for, and what they can do if they know of something that may be a fit for you, or someone you should meet.

Even better, the networking letter doesn't always have to be distributed as a letter. It could be an email, or maybe you have it in front of you over cocktails or during a coffee meeting, to help guide the discussion.

Remember ...

The people around you – especially the ones you know will always have your back – will absolutely be willing to bend over backwards to help you, IF they know exactly how they can be useful to your effort.

So offer up a big “thank you” in advance, and always be ready and willing to return the favor. It’s dishing up those kinds of positive vibes that – more than anything – make you somebody people want to stand up for.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Matt)

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We finally got 'er done.

Our three top-selling Ridiculously Awesome Kits have officially been refreshed, revamped, restyled and revitalized. They're live over in the Shop on JobJenny.com and ready for action.

In each I-promise-you-they're-quick-and-entertaining-to-read kit, here's what you'll find:

Ridiculously Awesome Resume Kit

Our best-selling title, this one walks you step-by-step through the same process our team uses when crafting professional resumes on behalf of our clients. It also offers up tips and tactics so that you understand how your resume will be reviewed (by both computer software and real humans), and how you can strategize accordingly.

The Ridiculously Awesome Resume Kit includes answers to the questions we hear most often about resumes, and sample resumes for your review. 

Ridiculously Awesome LinkedIn Kit

The Ridiculously Awesome LinkedIn Kit is for all of you who are, maybe, "on" LinkedIn but not using it to your best advantage for job search or career networking. We'll guide you through the process of setting up or optimizing your LinkedIn profile so that it's pulling its weight for you, and we'll provide suggestions on how to leverage LinkedIn as a vital part of your job search or career transition (and beyond).

Ridiculously Awesome Career Pivot Kit

If you're considering shifting your career into something different, but maybe a bit confused or overwhelmed over how to think things through and get started, the Ridiculously Awesome Career Pivot Kit is a good place to start. This kit will help you evaluate (or solidify) your idea, sort outwhat it's going to take to get from today to that new job or career, and then pull together a road map that'll take you there. (Because most often, it's not about "Do I have what it takes?" when it comes to career pivots. It's much more about "Do I have a road map to follow as I work toward this?")

Bundled Deals

We also now offer two bundled deals for those who may want more than one of the titles above. Save yourself up to $58 with The Combo Platter (Resume Kit + LI Kit) or our just-launched Full Sweep (all three ebooks in one blob of goodness).

Interested in saving even more $ on our updated kits? Take $15 off any single title or bundled deal by using promo code RELAUNCH at checkout.

Deal is on through Sunday, Nov. 5 (11:59 pm PST)

Take Me to the Shop
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Years ago, as a young adult, I looked around and noticed something about many of the "real adults" I worked with.

No one seemed particularly happy. 

It wasn't that they were having a bad day, per se. It was more like they had this sort of grey-ish cloud looming overhead pretty much every day. They may not have been downright miserable (some I'm guessing were), but they just didn't seen to be enjoying their work -- or their lives --  much at all. 

I coined a term for these people, and I've been using it ever since:

MHAB -- Marginally Happy at Best

An MHAB is someone who is trudging through life as if it's a chore (because, it is). 

An MHAB is feeling stuck, but maybe doesn't know how to make things better, or what to even focus on next.

Some MHABs have even decided there's probably not a lot of hope, or time, or possibility to make their careers, their situations, their paychecks, their lives much better ... and so they do nothing. 

There are lots and lots of MHABs out there. I see them every day. I work with some of them (and help them find a path out of their MHAB-ness.)

Are you an MHAB?

Are you spending every day with that dull toothache of discontent, but maybe feeling super scared to pull the tooth -- because you don't know how much it'll cost, or how much it'll hurt, or how much disruption it will cause to your life, or if it'll be better once you give it a yank?

I was an MHAB. I coined the term and, at age 33, I assigned it to myself. 

After longer-than-I-care-to-admit, I yanked the tooth and dramatically shifted my career into what, today, is JobJenny.com.

It was challenging. It was scary. I questioned my sanity from time to time.

But then guess what? Things started to gain momentum. Things started to work. The "wound" of the toothache healed. Today? I wonder how I ever even lived with the toothache for so long in the first place.

Are you ready to get rid of the toothache?

If you're ready to get rid of the constant, dull pain of discontent and find a career that will be more meaningful, more challenging, more lucrative or more fulfilling, consider enlisting the help of 16 of the industry's best career change leaders as you contemplate and plot your your own career pivot.

Last 5 Days for PivotPlus

We're nearing the end of Pivot Assembly. If you were among the 3,000+ people who joined us for the live event last week (thank you!) you probably caught a few of the how-to video sessions with people like Pamela Slim, Scott Barlow, Miriam Salpeter, Paul Angone, Ash Ambirge and, yes, me. 

For those who want unlimited access to all 16 of these "how to pivot" video conversations (geared toward both "traditional" and more entrepreneurial types) PLUS a book, course or other career change resource from every one of our expert contributors ($2,698 worth!), consider investing in PivotPlus.

Until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 25, you can snag PivotPlus for just $179 (which is 93% off the price you'd pay if you bought each item separately).

After that, the program closes forever. 

Note that our Weekend Resume Makeover Course (reg. $229) is part of PivotPlus.

So, instead of paying $229 for just that one resource, you can get step-by-step resume guidance PLUS 15 additional career pivot tools for $179. 

Here are the video (& audio) conversations that are included:
  • Paul Angone: getting unstuck at work
  • Scott Barlow: building out your pivot strategy
  • Jenny Blake: successfully pivoting to a new industry
  • Laura Simms: why you shouldn’t follow your passion – and what to do instead
  • Jenny Foss: making yourself “make sense” on paper (when shifting your career)
  • Crystal Marsh: making a pivot as a Millennial
  • Miriam Salpeter: using social media to propel your career forward
  • SheNegotiates: negotiating your best deal
  • Pamela Slim: finding the thread that ties your work together
  • Tara Gentile: launching an idea-driven business
  • Emilie Wapnick: career tips for multi-passionate people
  • Michelle Ward: what to expect as a new entrepreneur
  • Danielle Spurge: the best way to start a handmade business
  • Jennifer Lee: business plans for creatives
  • April Bowles-Olin: non-sleazy marketing
  • Ash Ambirge: packaging your big idea / nailing the messaging
And here's a list of the additional tools inside of PivotPlus:
  • Jenny Foss: The Weekend Resume Makeover Course ($229 value)
  • Scott Barlow: Figure Out What Fits Course ($397 value)
  • Paul Angone:  Signature Sauce Course + Community Membership ($149 value)
  • She Negotiates: Career Oxygen: How to Breathe Life Into Your Career Story and Land the Job/Promotion ($495 value)
  • Crystal Marsh: 3 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success for Millennials (Exclusive! $197 value)
  • Emilie Wapnick: How to Be Everything: Bonus Interviews (Exclusive! $57 value)
  • Ash Ambirge: Unf*ckwithable Words (300+ expert written business scripts) ($97 value)
  • Laura Simms: The Purpose Paradigm ($15 value)
  • Jenny Blake: Delegation Ninja Course ($297 value)
  • April Bowles-Olin: Marketing for Creatives and Plan Your Content Calendar for the Next Year ($46 value)
  • Tara Gentile: The New Economy & Your Money Virtual Conference (Exclusive! $97 value)
  • Jennifer Lee: The Right-Brain Business Plan Home Study ($147 value)
  • Miriam Salpeter: Social Media Help Desk ($249 value)
  • Pam Slim: Giant Client Magnet ($99 value)
  • Danielle Spurge: How to Get Featured on Etsy: A Strategy + Awareness Guide for Sellers ($30 value)
  • Michelle Ward: Unveiling Your Business Uniquity – & Making It The Foundation of Your Brand Live Webinar (Exclusive! $97 value)

If you're thinking that it's time to live bigger, live more challenged, live without the gosh-darned toothache going on every day of your flippin' life, consider investing $179 in yourself.

Your opportunity to learn from (and be inspired by) 16 of the most respected career change (and business building) leaders out there (at a 93% savings) is here until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, 9/25. 
 

Take Me to PivotPlus, please

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Centro Guel

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In keeping with our "all things career pivot" theme of the week here (you're signed up for Pivot Assembly, right? Tomorrow is the last day for the free sessions), I thought I'd share a few of my absolute favorite resources for people embarking on a career transition (large or small). 

These are tools that I point people to again and again as part of my coaching practice. Every one of them is great for all types of career paths and professionals, but these resources are particularly incredible for those among you mulling over a career pivot. 

My Favorite Career Pivot Resources:

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.

You need to read this if you’re wondering if the magic answer is to simply follow your passion (a la, do what you love so the money will follow). Cal Newport, the author of this absolute gem of a career book, is a computer scientist out of Georgetown University. He studied the statistical correlation between those who follow their passion career-wise and those who cite long-term career satisfaction.

Guess what? He discovered that there’s often an inverse relationship between those who select their next career role based on passion alone and those who proclaim that they feel satisfied in their careers (crazy, I know!) The book explores an alternate method for ensuring that you choose career moves that will, ultimately, bring about happiness and fulfillment. (This is also a great resource for people considering shifting into entrepreneurship!)

How to Interview Better than 99% of People in the World.

If you want to understand the game that’s being played in interviews across the country (lord, don't we all?) -- and use this knowledge to land an amazing new job (and maybe even a raise!) -- then you’ve got to meet Ramit Sethi. He’s a New York Times Best-selling author, who has been offered jobs at Google, Intuit, AND a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund.

Ramit later went on to help thousands of other people find their dream jobs, beating out people with 10+ years experience and nailing interview after interview. In this video, Ramit outlines what it takes to walk away from an interview with a job offer — instead of scratching your head wondering what went wrong -- and how to interview better than 99% of people in the world. (Note that this is an affiliate link: If you choose to purchase Ramit's products, we make a little bit of money for the referral. Also note -- We only point people to others that we absolutely love.)

VentureLoop.com.

I probably recommend this job board to three or more people every week. VentureLoop is a job board that specifically features open positions within venture-backed startups. Often, the jobs you’ll see advertised here aren’t advertised anywhere else (think: less competition!)

The reason I love this job board for career pivoters is because, often, those in transition are looking for something more challenging, more inspiring, more fast-paced or an opportunity to make a more immediate impact. Startups may provide just that opportunity. VentureLoop is a wonderful, lesser known job board to keep on your radar as you work to transition your career.

TheMuse.com.

I can’t speak highly enough about this absolute treasure chest of a resource for professionals at every stage, including those making a career pivot. I’m slightly biased, yes, because I’ve had the honor of serving as a columnist for The Muse for the past few years. Through that time, I’ve had a front-row seat in watching a scrappy startup turn into the gold standard, go-to resource in the career community. You’ll find endless career transition how-to articles on The Muse, a killer job board and a wide range of coaching services.

 

And, if you're looking for even more career pivot how-to tools, resources and inspiration...

... get right over to Pivot Assembly before the free stuff wraps up tomorrow. We've got 11 expert career change conversations still available before we finish up, and you also have an opportunity to grab $2,698 in courses, books and workshops provided by some of the best in the business for $97.

That's 96% off the price you'd pay if you purchased these resources together.

Our Weekend Resume Makeover course in in the bundle as well. This sells on JobJenny.com for $229. So, for $97, you get that AND unlimited access to all of the Pivot Assembly conversations AND all of the additional tools and resources. 

The free sessions are ready and waiting for you now. Come join us!
 

Take me to Pivot Assembly
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We are LIVE! For those who have been following along on the blog or our other social media channels for the past few days, you've probably seen us talking about Pivot Assembly: Evolve Your Career with Confidence. 

For months, I've been quietly co-producing this virtual event, which aims to help anyone and everyone wanting a better, less soul-sucking, more fulfilling career to gather up the gumption, get organized and generate momentum toward that NEXT BIG THING.

The (free) 3-day event went live this morning. (Cue the confetti! Bring in the party horns!)

Are you considering, planning or already in motion with a career pivot? If so, come join us!

What is Pivot Assembly?

Pivot Assembly is a free online career conference featuring 16 of some of the best known career change experts around. Co-producer Michelle Ward (the When I Grow Up Coach) and I interviewed all of these incredible people, and discussed all kinds of topics related to shifting a corporate career, or starting your own business. 

A few of the topics include:

  • How to Get Unstuck
  • How to Craft a Pivot Strategy
  • How to Align Your Messaging with Your Goals
  • How to Negotiate Your Best Deal
  • What to Expect as a New Entrepreneur
  • How to Pivot Your Career as a Millennial
  • And a whole bunch more...!
When is it?

We launched this morning at 12:01 AM ET and we'll be rolling until 11:59 PM ET on Friday, Sept. 15. 

Each day, we'll feature 5-6 free video interviews (also available as audio files if you're more a podcast person), and they're available all day. Once the day is done, we pull down the batch, and insert the next day's batch. You can watch as many as you want all day long, today through Wednesday.

Who is it For?

Anyone considering something different, really. We've got discussions related to making traditional career shifts, as well as several geared toward people working to launch or build an entrepreneurship. All of the sessions are free. 

If you're someone who knows you want more in your career, Pivot Assembly is for you.

Who Are the Speakers?

In addition to Michelle and me, here's who we have in the mix:

  • Paul Angone, All Groan Up
  • Jenny Blake, Author of Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One
  • Jennifer Lee, Artizen Coaching
  • Scott Barlow, Happen to Your Career
  • Jamie Lee / Lisa Gates, SheNegotiates
  • Pamela Slim, Author of Body of Work and Escape from Cubicle Nation
  • Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers
  • Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
  • Emilie Wapnick, Puttylike
  • Laura Sims, With Laura Sims
  • Crystal Marsh, Crystal Marsh Consulting
  • Danielle Spurge, The Merriweather Council
  • Tara Gentile, CoCommercial
  • April Bowles-Olin, Blacksburg Belle
Do I have to Watch the Sessions at a Specific Time?

No, and yes. (How's that for an answer?)

No, the sessions are not running at a set time on any particular day. The interviews that are live each day (5-6 every day, starting today) are viewable all day long, up until 11:59 p.m. ET.

Yes, in that you will need to watch the sessions that interest you today before 11:59 p.m. ET tonight. 

We will pull today's batch down at 11:59 p.m. ET, and post a fresh batch for tomorrow (and another fresh batch on Friday). 

How Do I Access the Interviews?

That's the easiest one of all. If you're interest in joining us for any or all of the FREE Pivot Assembly sessions, dive right in here:

CLICK HERE for your No cost Conference pass How Do I Keep the Momentum?

If you want to keep watching the video sessions indefinitely AND snag 16 additional career pivot resources (things like e-courses, books and online workshops) thrown in by the experts for only $97, be sure and check out PivotPlus. If you were to purchase these resources individually, they'd cost a total of $2,698. Today-Friday, they are available for $97.

That's a 96% savings. 

Our Weekend Resume Makeover course, which sells for $229 here on the site, is among the products offered, so you'll save nearly 60% on that one product alone by jumping in to PivotPlus.

On Sept 16th, the price bump to $179 (still a screaming deal!) and on the 25th, it will be gone forever.

If you're ready for something better, more challenging, less soul-sucking, more lucrative, why not make today the day you kick off the journey? Let's do it.

Join us today!
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Resume writing is (so. motherloving.) hard, even for those navigating the most straightforward of circumstances. It can be downright confounding when you're pivoting into a new industry or role.

How do you ensure that your messaging aligns with your new goal? How do you compete with people who will surely make perfect sense on paper? (Don't you just hate those people?)

These are important questions because, in the initial scanning stage of recruitment, no one cares if you’re super trainable or one hell of a nice guy or gal. No one is going to connect the dots between "what you've done" and "what you want to do" and make deductions on your behalf. 

They just want to see how you make sense.

How do you pull this off?  How do you show the gatekeepers that, even if you haven't spent 40-leven years doing that thing you want to do in your next job, that you're still going to be amazzzzzing at it?

There are actually a number of strategies you can (and should) deploy when you're working to attract a new audience and land in a new career field. Here are a few important ones.

4 ways to shift your resume when shifting careers:

1. Use Your Summary to Your Best Advantage

First, if you don't have a Summary at the very top of your resume, drop everything and create one. This is, arguably, the most valuable real estate of your entire resume. This is the section that the reviewer sees first. It's the section that enables you to spell out very quickly and succinctly who you are, and in what you specialize.

You should construct your Summary with your next job or employer top-of-mind. Study job descriptions that interest you and figure out what they want or need you to be good at. Assuming you are good at those things, make that crystal clear in the Summary section.

You can also create a bullet point within your Summary that shows how your experience, skills and aspirations all add up to make you an incredibly relevant candidate for that new field ... even if your career history doesn't make this super obvious at face. Again, it's your job to connect the dots for the reviewer on how you make sense. You have a perfect opportunity to do this in your Summary section.

Need help crafting a Summary? Right HERE.

2. Highlight Any Directly Relevant Stuff You're Doing

Let's say you're a mechanical engineer. You've also been working as a volunteer web designer for a nonprofit that means the world to you. It's an intense, but highly rewarding role -- and it's one that's made you realize that you'd really, truly love to work in web design as your day job.  How do you handle this on your resume?

I'd strongly consider listing the volunteer position right in your Professional Experience section, as if it were a paying job. There's nothing unethical about listing a job that you do for free as a job. It's especially OK when you need it to show the reviewer how and why you line up for the web design jobs that you start pursuing.

Let's face it, few are going to hire a mechanical engineer to serve as their next web designer ... unless they can see right up front that you've actually been doing this work.

3. If Advantageous, Pull Your Education to the Top

Here's another great (and common) example: What if you are that same mechanical engineer, but this time you're hell bent on becoming an accountant. (Crazier things have happened, people. Stay with me on this.) So, you've gone back to school to get your accounting certificate and now you're ready to start actively pursuing bookkeeping or general accountant roles.

What do you do now, assuming you don't yet have any direct accounting experience?

Pull the Education section up before the Professional Experience section. This way, the reviewer sees right away that you've got a fresh accounting degree. It'll make a lot more sense to them that you're applying for bookkeeping roles if they see your accounting education before they jump right into the "mechanical engineer" stuff about you.

4. Don't Rely 100% on the Resume

You read that correctly. Certainly, you need to do everything you can to make yourself make sense on paper when changing jobs. However, when you're embarking on a big change, you simply can't count on the resume to pull the entire weight of your job search. You may very well need opportunity to sit down with a decision maker and say flat out, "I know you might be wondering why a mechanical engineer is applying for your web designer role. Allow me to explain..."

Given this, I encourage every career pivoter to place a strong emphasis on proactive outreach and networking as part of your overall strategy. The more opportunities you have to sit down directly with influencers in your desired field, or at companies of direct interest, the better.

Nail the resume. Nail the networking.

Want more help as you work toward a career pivot?

If you're an aspiring, soon-to-be or already-in-progress career pivoter, there's a good chance you need to shift your resume to support your new brand.  But what about everything else involved in a big career shift, you ask? 

What about the the planning, the plotting, the networking, the messaging, the negotiating and the everything-else-I'm-not-thinking-about-yet?

If you're one who is staring down that "EVERYTHING IT'S GONNA TAKE" part of a career shift, I want to invite you to a FREE online career pivot conference that I've been quietly planning behind-the-scenes with Michelle Ward, an incredible career coach, human being and the force behind The When I Grow Up Coach.

We've gathered up 16 of the industry's top career change experts and we'll all be sharing tips, tactics and other advice on how to figure out your "what next?" and then gather up the gumption, build out the plans, and activate on a career pivot.

(BTW --> My interview is a direct discussion about "Making Yourself Make Sense on Paper.")

The virtual event is called Pivot Assembly: Evolve Your Career With Confidence and it runs (all day) Sept. 13-15 (that's this Wed.-Fri.!) We've got two tracks within the conference -- one for people considering a "traditional" (or corporate-ish) career pivot, and one for those thinking about maybe starting something on your own.

Some of the my very favorite career experts (including Pam Slim, Paul AngoneTara Gentile, Scott Barlow, and Ash Ambirge) will be sharing their best tips, insights and ideas for those feeling like it's (about darned time) to find a career you love. And it's virtual, so you don't need to drive, fly or show up anywhere other than your laptop or iPad.

Pop in, settle in, cruise by, stay for a while.

Any which way you do it, we hope to see you there.

Enroll in the (free) pivot assembly

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (FujiMatt)

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You know something's not quite right. You've been feeling it for some time. 

Maybe you're restless. Or angry. Or frustrated. Or scared you'll get to the end of this wild ride and regret that you didn't make that one big change you always swore you'd make.

For many of us, that one big change involves our careers. 

We get so locked in, swept away or caught up on autopilot with our careers sometimes that it's hard to even see the signs that it's time to throw up our hands and say (once and for all), "Enough!"

We worry about the investments we've made in the other career path, the money, the judgment of our families and friends, the "What if I'm just being ridiculous?"

We get so swirled up sometimes that we don't even allow ourselves to consider that it's time (or well past time) to do something different. More fulfilling. More challenging. Flat out better.

Let's make time to consider.

8 signs that it may be time to make a career change:

1. You feel like you're not growing or being challenged anymore. We're on this earth to learn, grow, help others, conquer adversity, solve problems ... contribute. If you're in a job or career that doesn't seem to be providing opportunity for much (or any) of that, reconsider.

2. You realized that you're wasting your talents; that your dream is going unfulfilled. You've got something to offer that's unique to you, and that the world is waiting for. If your career isn't providing the platform from which you can share the best of you -- or you're letting a long-time dream pass you by, have a second look.

3. You suspect you're on a trajectory that's taking you in the opposite direction of your goals. Maybe you took a job out of necessity a while back, even though it wasn't at all in line with where you envision yourself heading. Maybe your role has changed over time, into something you no longer recognize or enjoy. Any which way, if you're looking to go north and you're currently pointed south, you're at a darned good spot to reassess.

4. You constantly feel a sense of apathy, boredom, exhaustion or resentment. I'll go on and state the obvious here: these are not good feelings to experience day in and day out. Trust that these emotions are your indicator light announcing we've got a problem.

5. You're convinced that no amount of money could fix your current situation. As in, there's no light at the end of the tunnel. If you're stuck in something with little potential to be more than survivable-at-best, it's time to rethink the plan.

6. You experience a keen sense of dread every single morning. I personally have been there. Mine was so pronounced that I started having anxiety by like noon on Sunday every week before heading back from work. Like apathy and exhaustion, anxiety and dread are also mighty powerful billboards that something is amiss.

7. You're relying regularly on unhealthy methods of escape as means of coping with your situation. Need a list of the common ones? Booze, gambling, overworking, affairs, drugs, or just plain old checking out on the people who love and rely on you. 

8. Your friends or family members are (maybe frequently) asking you if you're OK. Sometimes, the people who know and love us the most pick up on stuff well before we do. If you trust and love them, trust their intuition.

 

Scoring: If you've tallied up more than a couple of "yes" answers as you've strolled through this list, you owe it to yourself to carve out some quiet time to consider: Is it time for a career change? Am I going to give this a serious look? Am I worth this? (Answer to that last question: Oh, hell yes.)

Now What?

If you've read this far and realize that a career pivot may be exactly what you need, this might be a wonderful place to start (I'm super excited to share this with you all) -->

I'm co-producing a FREE online career pivot conference with Michelle Ward, an incredible career coach, human being and the force behind The When I Grow Up Coach.

We've been behind-the-scenes for weeks interviewing some of the industry's top career change experts (16 in total!) about how to figure out your "what next?" and then gather up the gumption, build out the plans, and activate.

The virtual event is called Pivot Assembly: Evolve Your Career With Confidence and it runs (all day) Sept. 13-15. We've got two tracks within the conference -- one for people considering a "traditional" career pivot, and one for those thinking about maybe starting something on your own.

Some of the my very favorite career experts (including Jenny Blake, Pam Slim, Scott Barlow and Ash Ambirge) will be sharing their best tips, insights and ideas for those feeling like it's (about darned time) to find a job you love. And it's virtual, so you don't need to drive, fly or show up anywhere other than your laptop or iPad.

If you're thinking it might be time for a career change, Pivot Assembly may be a great (and completely free) place to start. 

"Your life is worth a noble motive." -- Walter Anderson

Learn More About Pivot Assembly

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Robert Couse-Baker)

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