HallieCrawford.com was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Crawford has served on the Board of the Georgia Coach Association, and is regularly featured as a career expert on CNN, Fox Business News Forbes.com, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo HotJobs and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Many American workers accomplish at least some of their work tasks remotely. Working remotely has many advantages, but it also has unique challenges. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that remote workers feel “shunned” and “left out” when it comes to office politics. If you work remotely, what can you do to still feel part of your organization?
1) Take the initiative to communicate with your team. Just because you have a remote desk doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of your team or department. Many teams use apps such as Slack to keep in touch. If your team currently doesn’t have a set way to stay in touch, take the initiative to research some options that would work for your team’s needs. Then, determine an implementation plan for using it and how it would not only benefit yourself but everyone else on the team. Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your research and your plan.
If your team already has a way to keep in touch, ask yourself how often you reach out to your teammates? Just as you would have small breaks throughout the day at an office to chat with your coworkers, schedule a few small breaks to reach out to your coworkers for a chat. You may also find it practical to offer meeting for lunch or drinks after work from time to time. Taking the initiative will strengthen your work relationships and help you feel more like a part of your organization.
If after taking the initiative to reach out you are still struggling to connect with your coworkers, consider our free presentation, “Dealing With Difficult Coworkers or Employees” to learn how to better manage professional relationships.
2) Set goals for yourself. If you are working remotely, then you most likely are able to accomplish your tasks without needing constant supervision. This means that you will need to foment some of your own personal growth on the job. Analyze the tasks you currently are in charge of and determine if there is a way to be more efficient or use a different method to enhance your skill set.
You could also reach out to your manager and ask if they have any feedback about your work. Ask them if there are any other tasks that you could handle remotely. You may find it helpful to compile a list of tasks that you think you could handle and ask for a trial run of the new tasks. This would allow you to take on more responsibilities and continue to grow in the organization.
A job interview can put even the most seasoned professional under a lot of stress. And when under stress, we can do or say things we don’t mean. We can also give the wrong impression, and that is the last thing you want to do in your job interview.
The key to minimizing interview mistakes is to be well prepared and anticipate potential pitfalls, as well as potential red flags the employer might have regarding your candidacy. Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind for your next job interview.
Don’t just wing it. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all interviews are the same. Also, don’t be overconfident. Just because you have gone on several interviews before doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare.
Each organization has its own system and criteria during a job interview, so you will have to prepare for each job interview taking into account their corporate culture and job specifications. To do this, research the organization online, take note of any keywords listed in the job listing and prepare STAR stories that will highlight how you possess those skills or strengths.
Don’t humblebrag. While you do want to be able to articulate your strengths and know your worth as a professional, avoid taking it too far. Humblebragging is ineffective and annoying to hiring managers. Don’t elaborate on your strengths unless you as asked to and don’t pretend that you don’t have a professional weakness.
Don’t forget to ask questions. An interview is a two-way street. While the hiring manager will be interviewing you, don’t forget to ask them questions of your own. You will want to make sure that the job will be a good fit for you, for your lifestyle, and for your family. We recommend asking the following questions:
What are the expectations for this position in the first month and first three months?
Why is this position available?
What type of person best succeeds in this role?
What are the company’s goals for this role in the first year?
How would I be evaluated on my performance?
It’s also important to ask about things such as travel, scheduling flexibility, and mentoring programs.
Don’t leave without asking if the hiring manager has any hesitations about your qualifications. Too often professionals forget to ask this question in a job interview. If you are interested in the position, let them know you think the job would be a good fit for you. Then, don’t leave without giving yourself the opportunity to clear up any doubts the hiring manager may have. Once you leave the job interview, the chances of you being able to do so will have vanished. To do this, you can ask the hiring manager directly if they have any hesitations about you moving to the next level.
If you need more help preparing for your job interview, we would be happy to help. Find out more about our Job Search coaching package here.
Your resume is one of your best marketing tools. It represents you as a professional: your accomplishments and what you can provide an organization. However, it can be hard to narrow your experience down to just one or two pages. Here is a guide to keeping it short and sweet without sacrificing substance.
(To find out how your resume measures up, check out our quick Resume Quiz!)
Prepare a master document. Before starting on your resume, it’s helpful to create a master document with all of your education, past experience, skills, and accomplishments. Write down everything you can think of, don’t leave anything out. This is similar to an accomplishments document, but this document should contain a running list of everything in your career. It’s better to use this document to see yourself on paper before you start creating your resume.
Create a master copy. While we recommend tailoring your resume to each job position you apply for, it’s helpful to create a master copy of your resume. Creating a base document will allow you to quickly make changes instead of starting from scratch each time.
First, determine what kind of resume format is best for you as a professional. If you are applying for jobs in the same industry you already are working in, a chronological resume might be best. If you are looking to switch to a different industry, consider a functional resume.
Set up the document, keeping in mind that the first part of your resume should grab the attention of a hiring manager. You may want to mention education or training you have received in your profile summary. This will allow you to tailor your resume for specific job positions more easily
Avoid generalizing. Avoid using general phrases or statements that you might find in template resumes. Instead, state your experience and accomplishments with measurable results. For example, try to include action verbs to talk about your skills. For example, replace this general phrase “Experienced in computer programming” with “Trained team in advanced computer programming, gaining a 20% increase in overall productivity.”
Using action verbs and measurable results will help pique the interest of the hiring manager.
Make sure it’s relevant and keyword specific. In order to make sure the information is relevant, consider the job listing. What is the organization specifically looking for? Next, check your base document and determine what education, past experience, and accomplishments would make you stand out for this position. Then choose the ones that best represent you at this point in time.
What keywords has the listing used? Make sure to include them in your resume along with an example to show how you have used that keyword successfully in your career. While you don’t want to over embellish or lie on your resume, find the link between your skills and what the organization is looking for. This will allow you to write a resume that has real substance that will make your resume stand out from the rest.
Writing a resume with substance can be challenging, so we are here to help! Our resume writers do not use any templates, so each resume is unique. For more information about how we can help you and your resume stand out from the crowd, visit our Resume Services page.
Technology makes a wealth of information available to us. That provides the modern job seeker with many advantages. As we learned in a previous article, job seekers can feel more prepared than ever before for a job interview, make sure the job they are considering is the right fit, and connect with others who work in that capacity.
However, technology also presents job seekers with unique challenges that didn’t exist previously. We will address some of these issues and how to overcome them successfully to find your dream job.
Feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes all the information available to us online and through our networking contacts can be too much. The articles to research job positions and organizations can seem unending and this can overwhelm the job seeker. They may even get to the point where they don’t know what to do next.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, it is important to stay organized. Identify the basic steps needed for your job search and keep moving forward. For example, basic steps would be:
Update your resume
Create a schedule to check online job boards
Apply for a job and follow up when necessary
Don’t let the amount of information weigh you down and keep you from taking the next steps in your job search. If you need help staying organized, we invite you to download our free Job Search Worksheet!
Keeping control over your online profile. If you can easily find information about the company with a job opening, hiring manager, and other employees who work there, remember that they can find you easily as well. You may not be aware of the online image you are presenting or that others are posting of you. This can affect your getting an initial interview.
Before you start to apply for jobs, Google yourself. You may be surprised at the information and pictures you find about yourself. If you find that some of the information and images could hurt your chances of getting a job, take them offline. If you don’t control the information or images, contact the person who does and ask them if they would please take down the information.
You should also revise your social media profiles and the content you post:
Are your profiles professional looking?
What about the spelling, grammar, and humor that you use?
Do you post content that other professionals would be interested in reading?
Have you connected with others in the industry you want to work in?
A hiring manager will check all of this information to give him a better idea about who you are as a person and if you would be a good fit for the job and the office culture.
Assuming you can use the same process for all job positions. Before the internet, the process for submitting your resume for a job opening was pretty standard. However, today, organizations want to make sure you are at the top of your game, creating several steps for job seekers to follow. Every organization has their own set of instructions.
To make sure your resume doesn’t get sent back to you, read the submission directions carefully.
Do you need to write certain phrases in the Subject line of the email?
Do you need to submit your resume as a certain document type?
Do you need to answer certain questions in the email you send?
Are you using the email you created specifically for your job search?
If you double-check these items before you hit the “Send” button, you will be one step closer to your dream job.
For today’s job seeker, the job search process is primarily executed through technology. This creates advantages, and unique challenges as well, that didn’t exist before the internet, social media, and smartphones. Are you making technology work for you during your job search? This article will analyze how to utilize the advantages technology has to offer you while searching for your next job. Our next article in this series will address how to overcome some of the challenges that arise with using technology.
Generally speaking, job searching has been made easier and more efficient thanks to technology. For example, it makes it possible for a job seeker to be more prepared before applying and interviewing for a job. For example, it is a breeze to:
Research organizations and salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor.
Look up information about the hiring manager (on Linkedin or the company website).
Find examples of resumes and cover letters.
While all of this information is at our fingertips making the research easier, it still takes time to prepare to make these tools work for you. Are you taking full advantage of the technology available to you during your job search? Let’s identify just a few of the many benefits of taking the time to make technology work for your job search.
Thanks to technology, it is easy to create a master copy of your resume on your computer and then adapt it for every job position you apply for. This allows you to tailor your keywords, experience, and other items to each job position, making it more attractive to the hiring manager. To keep your resumes organized, label them by the organizations you are applying at. For example, try something like Resume.Last Name.First Name.Position Title and Organization Name.
Before applying for a job, you can get a general idea about the company online. Look up their website, find their mission statement. Read their tweets on Twitter or posts on Facebook. Find press releases about the organization as well. Ask yourself the following:
Does it inspire you or make you feel excited at the possibility of working there?
Have any negative articles been written about them?
Are they a leader in their industry?
Are there growth opportunities?
You can find all of this information before you even submit your resume. Does anyone in your network work at the organization? You can conduct an informational interview over the phone or Skype to find out what it’s really like to work there. This saves you the trouble of going in for an interview for a job that you wouldn’t be interested in.
There are other ways to make technology work for you as well. For example, if you are using a website or app to help you find job listings, is your profile filled out correctly and completely? This will help job search sites suggest job listings appropriate to you, instead of having to cull through the listings on your own, saving you time and energy.
Finally, technology can help you organize your search so that it becomes a streamlined, manageable process. To keep track of job openings, networking contacts, and all other things related to your job search, and make your search feel like a well-oiled machine; try our free Job Search Worksheet! Grab your copy today.
In order to get to where you want to be in your career, you have to take risks. Taking career risks allow us to keep moving forward, otherwise, you will just stay in your current situation. However, this doesn’t mean that we should just blindly take career risks and hope that they work out. The key to taking risks that pay off is preparing for and minimizing them.
Let’s consider eight common career red flags:
You dread getting out of bed every morning.
Your work relationships and performance are suffering.
You work tirelessly, but get no joy or satisfaction from it.
You’ve started to slack off or have little to no motivation.
You become someone else at work.
Your job doesn’t make use of your talents.
You spend most of your time complaining about your job.
You regularly fantasize about quitting, being fired, or let go.
If any of these red flags apply to you, this most likely indicates that you are not currently in the right career fit. Now, think of how much happier you would be every day if you ended up in your dream job. Wouldn’t taking a risk be worth it for you to have career fulfillment instead of career regrets?
(If you’d like to learn more about how to get closer to your dream job, get your free copy of our powerful briefing here!)
To prepare for taking a risk, first, you have to determine what you really want in your career. In a previous article, we talked about the importance of discovering what is fulfilling to you career-wise. However, there are other important pieces to analyze as well. We use the Ideal Career Model with our clients to help them identify what changes they may need to make to better align their career with their values. To view our trademarked Ideal Career Model, which will help you identify what you want in your ideal job, click here.
Once you have prepared for taking a risk, it’s important to minimize the risk factor and take calculated, not knee-jerk reaction, risks. For example, you may find that after you determine what would give you fulfillment, you may not need to totally change your career. You may only need to make smaller adjustments, such as taking a different position in the same company, or taking a similar position at a different company.
In the case of taking larger risks, such as a career transition, you can minimize the risk by: