Start bragging to advance your career

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 20, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Chronicle your professional accomplishments to manage your career.
 
Brag_Sheet_EvernoteWhether you’re updating your resume, preparing for salary negotiations, or are in need of a pick-me-up after a bad day at work, a brag sheet is a useful document to own.
 
In its simplest form, a brag sheet is a place where you record all your professional accomplishments and contributions. Some people store this information in a Word document, while others prefer a mobile format such as Evernote. Whatever format you choose, here are five tips to help you build a powerful brag sheet that can help you advance your career.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Salary & Negotiation, Professional Development, Resume & Cover Letters

Navigating the resume application minefield

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 13, 2013 @ 02:08 PM

resume-dudeCraft a resume that clears the gatekeepers and lands in the hiring manager’s hands.

TheLadders conducted a study finding that the average recruiter spends six seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if it’s worth a closer inspection. Translation: you have six seconds to make the right impression!

The recruiter isn’t the only gatekeeper you need to worry about. Before your resume reaches a human being, it will typically get screened by a piece of software known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Here are 5 resume tips to help you get past these initial application gatekeepers.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters

Resume advice for the recent grad

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 03, 2013 @ 08:05 AM

Craft a strong resume that says you’re ready for the workforce.

Here are seven tips to help you send the right message to prospective employers with your resume.

New_Grad_Resume

Ditch the objective statement

We’ve all seen an objective statement that goes something like this: “Looking for an entry-level position that will help me gain skills and allow me to contribute to an organization.” This tells the reader nothing about the person’s goals or relevant skill-set. Instead of your run-of-the-mill objective statement, use the space to give the reader your elevator pitch. In three to five sentences, explain what you’re best at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer. We call this your professional summary. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, New to the Workforce, Resume & Cover Letters

Improve your job application ROI

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 15, 2013 @ 04:00 AM

Before you hit the “apply” button, make sure the application is worth your time.

TheLadders Sheds Light on the Black Hole

As a career coach I often talk to job seekers who are frustrated over the lack of response from employers. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “Black Hole,” and leaves most job seekers discouraged with no updates on their application’s status and no feedback to help improve their future applications.

While you can’t control the recruiter’s actions, there are things you can do to combat the Black Hole and improve your application’s return-on-investment.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters

5 ways you’re sabotaging your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

January 30, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

If you’re not getting results, reevaluate your job-search strategy and make changes.

Skippy_Clock_TimeEvery February 2nd, the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania celebrates the holiday with early-morning festivities to watch their beloved groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerge from his burrow. Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. However, the phrase “Groundhog Day” has come to mean much more. For many, it’s a time of self-reflection.

For instance, take the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays an arrogant TV reporter who is forced to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawny, only to find himself trapped in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. It’s not until Murray’s character starts evaluating his life and reexamining his priorities that he can finally move forward to a new day.

How many of you have felt like Bill Murray’s character? You wake up, search for jobs and apply, reach out to recruiters and hear nothing. Then you wake up and do the same thing all over again with the same results. I hear this from job seekers all the time. “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and getting nowhere – what should I do?” 

Below are five questions to ask yourself the next time your job search stalls.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Search, Personal Branding, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters

Are your looks hurting or helping your job search?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

January 17, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

Will my photo give me an advantage in the job search or hurt my chances of landing the right job?

Miss_America_2013

I admit, I don’t know much about beauty pageants. I’ve seen the movie Miss Congeniality and I’ve been forced to watch an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, but I don’t know if I’ve ever sat down and watched the Miss America competition in its entirety on television. However, I was pleased to hear that fellow New Yorker Mallory Hytes Hagan took the crown last Sunday.

As I watched the news coverage the next morning and saw the winner and runners up taking the stage, it got me thinking about beauty – or more specifically, one’s appearance – and how that plays a role in the job search and our careers.

While it’s not fair, experts agree that a person’s appearance can affect the outcome of one’s job search and potential for advancement in the workplace. Your personal grooming, professional wardrobe – even your haircut – play a role in your personal brand.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Personal Branding, Resume & Cover Letters

Mobilize your professional resume

Posted by Amanda Augustine

December 05, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Invest in a professional resume that will make it past any gatekeeper and outsmart applicant tracking software. Week 2 of New Year, New You.

Resume Dude

Alright folks, one week down, four more to go till the end of the year! I hope you got a chance to take advantage of all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to upgrade your look. This week I want you to focus on one of the core marketing materials you’ll use during the job search – your resume. 

When was the last time you printed out a job application and mailed it to an employer? While it’s not unheard of, it’s certainly not the norm these days. And chances are, you surf the web rather than open a newspaper when you want to find job listings. 

Since job boards emerged in the late 90s, the way we search for and apply to jobs has radically changed. With just a few key strokes you have access to thousands of job posts from all over the world. Unfortunately, this also means you’re competing within a much larger, less-qualified pool of candidates. Your resume needs to not only speak to the recruiter and hiring manager; it must first make it past an electronic gatekeeper known as an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Below are five tips to help you craft a professional resume that will make it through the gatekeepers – human and otherwise – and impress the hiring manager.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Personal Branding, Resume & Cover Letters

Returning to work? How to handle the employment gap

Posted by Amanda Augustine

November 07, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Utilize your volunteer experience to boost your resume and expand your network during the job search.

Q: I haven't worked outside the home except to volunteer for many years and can't even get an interview.  I know I can do the job but how do you get that across?  – Doreen M.

A: It can be so frustrating when you know you have value to add to a company but can’t get your foot in the door. Your story is very common with full-time parents who left the corporate world to raise their families and now want (or need) to reenter the workforce, and with those who were laid off and were forced to take on a string of lower-paying jobs to pay the bills. In these situations, I recommend doing two things:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Search, Resume & Cover Letters

In the job search & over 50: Part I of III

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 03, 2012 @ 12:36 AM

The first article in a three-part series on conducting a job search later in life. 

TheLadders_Combatting_Age_DiscriminationAs many of you mentioned in your comments on my previous article, not everyone who’s 50 years old or older has the luxury of an encore career.

Many job seekers need a full-time job with full-time pay, and are feeling the negative effects of a down economy. I’m not going to sugarcoat it – finding a job in general is more challenging than ever. Trying to find a new job later in life can be even more frustrating. Studies have shown that employees in their 50s or older are not only more likely to be laid off during hard economic times, but they’re also known to have longer periods of unemployment before they are able to re-enter the workforce. There are a number of factors at play here, including age discrimination.

It may not be fair, but it’s real — age discrimination is alive and well in today’s workplace. We could talk for hours how recruiters, hiring managers — society as a whole — should change their mind-set, but that isn’t going to help you land a job any faster. What we really need to discuss is what you can do to compete against other candidates — regardless of their age — in today’s job market.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Search, Job Goals, Resume & Cover Letters

Perfecting your cover letter to a "T"

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 14, 2012 @ 01:30 PM

Use the t-format to tailor your cover letters for each job application.

Sample_T-Format_Cover_LetterMany of you out there have asked me about cover letters. What do I say? What should I not say? Is there a general one I can use for all my applications? Is there a template you can give me? Do I really have to write one?

Here’s what I think. I’ve talked to a lot of recruiters while working at TheLadders, and about 50 percent of them say the cover letter is essential. The other 50 percent admit they never look at them and jump straight into the resume.

So what does that mean for you?

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters