People just starting their careers are impacted by COVID. People who were climbing the executive ladder are impacted too and so are people who aren’t ready to retire yet. With companies downsizing, sending some of their workforces off-shore, it has never been more important to stand out. We recently sat down with career coach, Brian Epstein AKA “The Success Coach” to get the inside scoop on the steps that you need to take in your job search. Epstein, a career management and leadership coach with over 20 years of experience, shared his tips to help in your job search:
Networking and How to Find That Network
Networking is important because statistically, you have between 65%-85% greater chance of getting a job. People feel more comfortable hiring someone that has been referred to them. That personal connection builds trust with the person that is hiring.
Whether you have lived in Canada or have recently immigrated, you can build a network through friends and personal contacts. If you are new to the country, there are people within your own community who may be able to help you in your job search. Remember, you are speaking with people all the time. They don’t have to be part of a formal network. It can be someone from your apartment that you chat with on a regular basis. Be open, for example, you can state that, “I am an IT professional and I’m interested in learning more about what’s going on in that field. Do you know anyone who works in that field that can provide me with more information?”
By speaking to more people, you can find out more about what’s happening in your field. People in your network can help spread the word that you are looking for a job and maybe able to provide the connection that you need in your job search.
Building Your Resume for ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) and for Hiring Managers
Make a T-Chart or use Word or Excel table. On the left-hand side list what the employer is looking for if there is a job description available. On the right-hand side, list the skills that you have and try to make a match with what you have done in your past and how it fits with that specific role. If there isn’t a job description, speak to people and build that network. Try to find people that work or have worked in that particular company or in that industry. They may be able to provide some insights into the key attributes that are most important in hiring for that position.
There are online tools that people can use to find the ideal keywords for resumes. You can add in the job description and it will tell you the percentage of the match between you and your prospective job. If the percentage is too low, you can change some of the wording or review the description again. You can look at sites that give you insight into ATS tools like Jobscan as well.
Tips for Creating Your Cover Letter
Sometimes people actually provide too much detail in their cover letter. Keep in mind that we are living in a fast-paced world and people want things brief. Epstein recommends having four paragraphs:
- A brief introduction of what skills that you have and why you are excited about the position. Make sure that you express that passion and enthusiasm in the introductory paragraph
- Go into more detail about your skill-set versus what the job is asking for. Then, stress how your experience makes you the right fit for the role
- Do research about the company and the industry restating that you understand what the company’s core values are. Then, reinforce how their values align with your own
- The final paragraph should include that you would welcome the opportunity to meet at a suitable date to discuss the role
Refer back to the job description to ensure that you are hitting the keywords. Be careful not to copy and paste everything verbatim from the description. You want to have a match but not have all of the wording be the exactly the same.
LinkedIn – What You Need to Know
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with Linked In is just copying and pasting their resume. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see a narrative of your background. On a resume, you shouldn’t use personal pronouns. On LinkedIn, however, you can be more personal in your background. The background should give very high-level details about you. That way, if a potential employer reads nothing else, they get a good sense of what you have accomplished in your career.
Underneath each position that you held, give an overview of your accomplishments, key strengths and skills that employers would be interested in. Remember, statistically, 93%-94% of employers will research you online and LinkedIn is one of the top places that they will look. LinkedIn may be even more important than your resume in getting you that job. People often Google candidates to see what comes up. LinkedIn is almost always at the top of the search results.
Acing a Virtual Interview
Focus on having good eye contact. Remember, you have to rely on reading facial cues versus body language. Try to make sure that you are looking at the camera instead of trying to look at people’s faces in the computer screen so that it doesn’t appear that you are looking down. Choose a professional looking background. If you can, make sure that your phones are off and that there are no other disruptions.
Are Thank You Notes Essential?
They are and outside of the pandemic, it is nice to send one by regular post. It’s really important to send an email within the first 24 hours after your interview. Reiterate your skills and experience in the thank you note and why you are the right fit for this role.
To learn more, or to book a consultation, visit https://www.epsteinsuccesscoach.ca/ or follow Brian Epstein on Instagram.
Originally published JULY 6, 2021 by JILL SCHNEIDERMAN
Job Search Advice from The Success Coach
Summer is here and many of us are enjoying the sunny weather. It’s time to relax and enjoy for sure. Just because it’s the summer, though, you can’t completely forget about work. If you are searching for new opportunities, you still need to do career research and planning. The time for your job search is now.
People often tell me that they will apply for jobs in the fall. They often ask, why look for a new job in the summer, when the fall is when employers do their hiring?
I often respond by paraphrasing my grandfather, who was a successful businessman in Nova Scotia – “What you plant today, will be part of your harvest tomorrow.”
As with anything else, there is a lead up and planning time to secure work in your chosen field. Statistics show (depending upon what web site you are on), that 70 to 90 percent of job seekers find work by building and growing their professional network. Summertime is a great time to reach out to your personal contacts. Take this time to set up coffee meetings with employers and company representatives. Moreover, this is the time of the year, in many organizations, where the pace is slower. Leaders and Managers are using this time to develop their financial and marketing plans for the fall and winter.
This summer slow down may be the perfect opportunity for job seekers to learn more about various industries and organizations and where you may fit. I suggest that you use this time to have introductory and information meetings with employers and people of influence. They may consider you for upcoming jobs or refer you for roles in other organizations. Summer may be the a very good time to look as employers are receptive to meet and grow their professional networks – and possibly hire.
To learn more, contact me today.
Sometimes, a business professional who moves to Canada can have challenges finding work. Last September, a new client started to work with me. He had immigrated to Canada from California, USA to Canada 7 months earlier. He had a very established career in corporate finance before marrying a Canadian and making the decision to move here. He made a very good salary in the USA and was interested in securing work in Canada that matched the salary that he previously made.
The challenge that my client, a finance professional had, was that he could not legally work in Canada because he did not have his Canadian Permit Residence (PR) card or citizenship yet. He expected to get it in the next few months after our first appointment. Over the next few months, we worked together to ensure that he was work ready when his PR Card was ready. I coached my American client in upgrading his resume, cover letter, and Linkedin to position himself appropriately in the Canadian business market. I spent at least 2 coaching meetings with him to prepare for any upcoming interviews.
I coached him about how to use this time, waiting for his Canadian PR card to build a Canadian business network. I coached him on how to develop an effective strategy to implement. He set up many meetings with Canadian professionals who worked in the finance industry. It was not always easy for my client to build a network in a new business community. He has been determined and in the last few weeks, he did secure work in his chosen field.
Finding work can take time. With the right strategy and implementation plan, new immigrants from the USA can secure work in Canada.
If you are a new Canadian, contact me to find out how you can hit the ground running when you are eligible to seek work here.
Over the years, I have worked with many project managers as their career coach. The key 5 components for project manager were shared with me by several project managers when I worked at a recent Toronto Chapter Career Day Event. Subsequent coaching meetings with PMI Association members have emphasized the 5 project management components that lead to the successful end of a project.
Whether a project manager is managing a large IT project, a construction project or a job search, similar steps are required for the end goal. As project managers, you must see projects from conception to initiation to completion. With a job search must:
1) conceptualize the job that you are searching for,
2) develop a plan of action,
3) begin and conduct the actual work search,
4) manage the daily search and
5) evaluate the progress of the search on an ongoing basis.
Keep some of your training in mind, when you set out to manage your new project – a successful job search.
1. Project conception and initiation
To start a job search, it is critical to do an assessment of your skills and experience. What have you accomplished in your career and what are your immediate and future goals? Consider what you have achieved, both academically and professionally. Evaluate the career path that you have taken so far. Think about where would you like to go in terms of your career? Consider what is important to you when you conduct your work search. Think about your values, interests, motivations, salary expectations and preferred location. What size of an organization are you interested in working for?
2. Project management definition and planning
Now is the time to plan your job search project. Chart your plan of action that you will require to reach your goal. What timelines have you set for your work search? What research will you need to do? Will you need to meet people in your field – past employers, members of associations and networking groups? What information will you need to research to become more knowledgeable about your field of interest, the work outlook and the demands of employers? Which organizations are hiring and what will you need to do to effectively market yourself?
3. Project launch or execution
How many people will you meet every week in your job search? The recommendations are that expanding your professional network while maintaining contact with people in your existing network, are key to conducting an effective work search. Depending upon what statistics you read, between 70-90% of people looking for new jobs, succeed by tapping into their network. Plan your time accordingly.
With that in mind, how much of your work search time will you focus on building and growing your network – both online and in person? All avenues should be used for your work search including job boards and company postings. Make sure that your resume markets your key achievements and results according to what the post requires. Have you test marketed your resume and cover letter with people in your professional network? Do you have success stories that you can share in upcoming job interviews?
4. Project performance and control
Like any project, compare the status of your plan with the schedule that you set out for your work search. Track your work search process to this point. Are you on schedule? Is your resume performing to the expectations of employers for specific jobs? How is your confidence? Is there anything that you can do accelerate the progress of your work search? How many resumes have you sent out?
5. Project management completion
So your project has been a success and you have accomplished what you set out to do. You have found and secured work in your desired field. How would you evaluate your overall job search? How did you perform in your job interviews? What could you do differently?
After all search project tasks have been completed, you can evaluate the highlights and success of your
work search project. Like any project, you can learn what you have done well and what you would like to improve
– after the project is completed and you have secured your new work role.
Originally published on https://brianepstein.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/successful-work-search-requires-effective-management-of-a-major-project/
To learn more about this strategy, contact me.