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career advice

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English: George R.R. Martin signing books in a...

English: George R.R. Martin signing books in a bookstore in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Slovenščina: George R.R. Martin med podpisovanjem knjig v ljubljanski knjigarni. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Internet is Endless and Full of Errors

//”Career Advice” Advice

Okay, I admit: I’m missing Game of Thrones and October is still a ways off. I am HUGE fan of the HBO show based on the books of George R.R. Martin, and I need a marathon soon. The title of this post is a riff on “The night is long and full of terrors” spoken by Melisandre of Asshai (Carice van Houten), close adviser to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). And, boy, is she right. Bad things are on the way for so many characters, and if you watched it last season (spoiler alert), you’ll know that some major characters were, um, relieved of their lives. At least Melisande’s advice is accurate!

Beware of career advice on the Internet, as it’s not as reliable. I spend A LOT of time reviewing career blogs and hanging out on G+ Career Communities, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and many more sites, scouring columns, articles and websites for the latest info on all things career and job searching. Rest assured, there are some career advisors out there that are truly subject matter experts. But, there are way too many sites that are dispensing absolute crap advice. Here’s few sites to avoid:

Resume Advice from Non-Native English Speakers
If you’re seeking advice on crafting a new, professional English language resume, please avoid advice sites where it’s obvious that the writer/advice giver is not an English speaker. Since you want your resume to be flawless and grammatically correct, do not take advice from career experts who can’t conjugate or construct correct sentences. I speak a little German, but there is no way I would ever write a resume advice blog IN German, for a German speaking audience. (Some of you may be picking apart my English language blogging abilities right now!)

Advice from Non-Experts
Copy writers, technical writers, coders, and logistics experts are not typically career experts. Yet, I find blogs from them offering career advice all the time! Seek out advice from: Recruiters, HR Managers, and career experts with backgrounds in interviewing and hiring people.

Shady Websites
Stay away from any career website that wants something from you before they give you any advice. Don’t subscribe, or input a credit card number or your Social Security Number. If it’s a site that offers you 1,000’s of job postings, but you have to endlessly click through a bunch of pages, it’s a Pay Per Click site, devoid of actual job postings. I find these all the time in LinkedIn’s Groups, unfortunately. Also avoid the “squeeze” page career advice site, which is a website with a really, really long intro/sales letter with little to no info whatsoever, usually ending with a “purchase this first and you’ll get the advice later” offer.

I remember following a “career marketing” expert on Twitter, and her offer of a free ebook took me to a site that was a tedious, never ending sales page that wanted you to “upgrade” to the pro package level for a couple of hundred dollars, without offering one tiny piece of free advice. Another site offered a bunch of freebies, and as soon as I signed up, I received an email with the subject line: FINAL NOTICE. Geeze, really? They were offering me a final chance to purchase their guide for, you guessed it, a couple of hundred dollars. Unsubscribed 2 seconds later.

Let me just write what I think: there’s an endless supply of bullshi$ sites out there that give truly awful career advice. I read a blog post on interviewing the other day that said “recruiters don’t like over ambitious persons.” What?

Like I said, the Internet is Endless and Full of Errors!” Proceed with caution. Hopefully, you’ll find the light. At least you’re not going to lose your head!

A few sites I recommend wholeheartedly are: Career Rocketeer, The Career Sherpa, and The Undercover Recruiter, and The Savvy Intern.

If you want helpful, practical and easy to implement career advice from someone that’s hired over 400 people in her career, you can drop me an email at Kristi.Enigl@gmail.com or send me your career question below:

Career Change? Why not!

Winter in Vienna

Winter in Vienna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

// Options

Here we are in February! Happy New Year to my friends in China, or wherever they might be. If you haven’t stuck to your New Year’s resolutions so far, may I suggest you start over now. It is never too late to start over. I have started over several times now, and I consider myself somewhat of an expert at this point! Two years ago, my husband and I picked up and moved from LA to Vienna, Austria. Granted, this is his hometown, but it was still starting over after living at the beach for 11 years!

And so far, we’ve survived! Has it been tough? Yes. Did the finances run out? Yes. Has learning a new, unbelievably hard language been easy? NO. And did my husband have to go through a few jobs to find the right one? Yes.

I had to reinvent my career as well, becoming a “global career coach” and learned how to market my services worldwide, and use a virtual office. And, I am not so young these days! But, with a sense of adventure, resilience and a positive attitude, we changed our lives.

You can too. In the past few weeks, several of my clients have had interviews, but no offers, in the Architecture and Design field. In most cases, it was not the right fit. However, the design and construction industry is at a standstill for hiring. I read a statistic the other day that reported unemployment for recent Architecture graduates is at 13.9%!! That is shocking! Do you know how expensive and LONG Architecture school is?

So, what to do now? If you’re in an industry that basically no longer exists, or the job opportunities are severely limited, it’s time to change. Yes, change careers. Most people go into their chosen careers for either the love of it, or because they drifted into it somehow, but you don’t have to stay. The average number of careers people have these days is 6. That is 6 different careers! Not jobs.

Start by exploring related career fields, or “career adjacent.” Make a plan, do research. If you can type, you can find out ANYTHING you need to on the Internet. You can even upgrade your knowledge, skills and education via the Internet.

The key is to just do it. Don’t think about too much, or over, over analyze it. The best things in life are usually the things we do based on our gut feelings. Like moving half-way around the world to start a new life! We just did it.

Need to make a career change but don’t know how to start? Contact me for a complimentary career consultation at Kristi.Enigl@gmail.com. Also check out the blogs I’ve linked to below, they are very helpful.

Live in the Moment

Ancient Alien Angel

Ancient Alien Angel (Photo credit: mikenitro94)

Perspective//

Over the holidays, someone I liked very much passed away. He was a prolific and knowledgeable writer, investigative researcher, and a very spiritual human being. He had a very successful career, and was a frequent commentator on a popular US television show, and a radio host and guest. He was into social media and generous with his time for his Facebook fans and Twitter followers, and he even answered his emails! He had recently married the love of his life, Kathleen McGowan, and had a bright future ahead. But, the universe had other plans for him. Over the span of Thanksgiving to New Years, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer, and he passed on Dec 30th. His name was Filip (or Philip) Coppens. You may know him from his contributions to the show “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel. (Yes, I watch it! Filip was always the voice of reason and brought a journalistic approach to the topic)

Why am I blogging about him? Well, I am sure that many, if not most, of us have experienced the loss of a loved one, friend or colleague. Filip’s passing reminded me, especially over the holidays, of what is really important. And since I was Facebook friends with him, it felt really personal. I’ve lost a few friends (RIP Maria O’Malley and Jonathan Edwards) over the past two years, and it’s seems odd that one day I’m chatting on Facebook with them, and then they are gone.

His passing put things in perspective for me. As a career coach, part of my job is counseling people who are not happy, or are in transition, or stuck in jobs they loath. So, this year, my motto is “life is short, so do what you want.” Filip certainly followed his passion.

Now, of course, temper that sentiment with financial reality, logistics and other factors, and be sensible! But my general meaning is that if you really want something, like a new job, or to go back to college, you can make it happen.

Life is short and there are reminders everyday of that fact. Filip Coppens is an inspiration to me, may he Rest in Peace, and he reminds us all that you can do what you want. Live passionately in 2013, and make your career a part of that.

Contact me if you want to move ahead this year doing what you love.

 

Q & A Time!

English: Data from April 2011 Editor Survey th...

English: Data from April 2011 Editor Survey that lists Social Media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

// Too Hot to Blog

I don’t know about you, but where I am it is hotter than hades! I can’t begin to think of a topic for this week’s blog, so, instead, I’m answering questions. Here we go:

Q: I have applied for lots of jobs online, but no responses yet, except a couple of immediate rejections, with little or no explanation.  What’s up with that?

A: A recent study just came out saying that job boards are a still significant source of hires, but the top hiring source remains referrals, and most companies are moving to Social Media for hiring. Job boards have a less than 2% success rate. If you apply online, use Simplyhired.com, Indeed.com, glassdoor.com, or even Craig’s List. Better yet, apply directly on the company’s website, which is much more effective. I recommend that you CALL before applying online, to make sure that the job is still open (ignore the “No Calls” plea), that they are not deep into interviews, and that the job is real in the first place. While you have HR on the phone, ask if you may send your resume to a person. If not, then you must use the ATS – Applicant Tracking System, which you need to hit a 90% or higher match rate to get to the yes pile. Most firms use ATS to screen out 97% of submissions.
Q: How do I update my status on Linked In?
A: Update your status in the “Share an update” section. You can post a link to an interesting article, blog or news item that are of interest to your connections. This way, you are providing info AND driving traffic to your profile, which is the goal. Increasing your visibility, that is. You can use the Share an Update section to mention “you are looking for Sr. Project Manager position in Southern California” about once a week. Update every 3-4 days.
Q: Should I include my college graduation dates if they were 20+ years ago?
A: You can include it, or not. A résumé should only go back 10 to 15 years, max. It really is what you’re ok with, since there is so much age discrimination out there. But, it’s not like you can hide it! I can go both ways on this, so do whatever you are comfortable with. Just don’t lie about it!
Q: I am also wondering if I should do anything more with my Facebook page?
A: Yes. You should limit access to your personal FB pages, and have a “Fan” or business page, and it should highlight your professional career, with photos, links to projects, etc. Need help? I can do it, or you can type “tutorial for Facebook Fan Pages” into Google. That works for everything!!
At the very least, update your current FB page, use the same (professional) photo on all of your social media sites, put a link to your Linked In, include your email and phone. You can search for jobs on FB, and follow companies on their pages…a great way to reach hiring managers and more effective than applying to jobs online. They have a job search site called BeKnown – which is awesome and better than job boards. You can join, just Google it. You can also follow recruiters that you find elsewhere (like Linked In). FB is HUGE so spend more time there than on the job boards.
That’s it. Don’t stop your job search because it’s summer, or your power is out, or you’re hot. I’m working, you can too!! Happy 4th of July, USA! Have a frosty one for me.
As always, contact me if you need help or a gratis resume review.

Jumping Through Hoops!

// Busy

I was thinking the other day just HOW MANY things todays’ job seekers have to do to conduct a 21st century job search. The to-do list is extensive. There are the resumes of course, and every employer expects you to customize your résumé for them. Then the cover letter. Don’t forget business cards and thank-you notes, you will need them later.

But first, you need a career brand. You know, what you do better than the other millions of job seekers. People, just do it already. The clock is ticking.

Then there’s the online aspect: job boards, online applications, and Social Media. You must have a super profile on Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter. And be active, like updating at regular intervals, joining groups, etc. Just searching/following recruiters on Twellow.com or Listorious can take hours! Oh, maybe you need a website too. Or an online portfolio. Or online resume. Or YouTube resume. Maybe start a blog.

While you’re at it, why not become an expert in your career field as well?

Then there’s networking..online and in person. We all know that networking is the new/old way to get a job. You need to hit at least 4 networking events per month to get anything going. And then follow-up with your contacts online. And don’t forget coffee networking a few times per month. Or informational interviews.

Oh, research. Yes, you must research and target companies that you are a good fit for, or you can solve their problems, even if they are not hiring. Don’t forget to look for the hidden job market. It’s there, somewhere. Really.

If you’re on unemployment, you have to fill out forms and let them know exactly where you’ve sent your customized resumes. Only problem, companies mostly recruit anonymously. Great. So, it takes some time and creativity to make shit up.

Gawd, I’m exhausted just writing about it. Take a break. My favorite job hunting activity is hanging out with the drunks down the street at the Wagon Wheel at 2pm throwing back Jacks and coke, anyway. Maybe they need a new bartender. One that’s breathing!

Get busy people. You have hoops to jump through! Oh, and Technorati, here’s your code: 26TC5Q274YHU.

ps. I forgot to mention spending time getting recruiters to call you back. What a time suck that is!!

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