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Why would someone like me need a career coach?
Because while you’ve become an expert in your profession, you’ve paid little attention to understanding career management strategy: what to do when you unexpectedly get sideswiped (job loss), what to do to maintain stability and control the trajectory of your career.
No one ever told you a career needed to be managed, beyond work hard, be loyal, make sacrifices and your career will be fine. Yeah, and about this bridge in Brooklyn I have for sale…
Most of the career coaching clients I work with (been at this for thirty years) are seasoned professionals who’ve enjoyed a measure of success in their professional life. Then they got blindsided by something that wasn’t in a career management playbook designed by employers – who don’t care; they see you as a commodity to be used to its limits and then disposed.
What am I doing wrong?
A frustrating refrain I hear consistently from clients, after months of a fruitless job search is awed disbelief they are still looking after they’ve already done all the right things, “I’ve been a manager at a Fortune 500 company for 25 years, I’ve updated my resume and I’m on LinkedIn. I’m submitting my resume but I’m not getting any interviews.”
There is a presumption that all successful professionals know how to launch an effective job search. But this is a myth. The technologies that contributed to your dislocation demand that you create a new career management playbook.
Let’s talk about basics
No one knows how many resume databases there are (there’s that many), but some of them have upwards of half a billion other resumes; making yours a minnow in an Atlantic Ocean of minnows. When recruiters search such a database, they do so with a job description in hand using search terms specific to that job description.
If you have loaded your resume into countless resume databases and are not getting interviews, it means your resume is not being discovered. Why? Most resumes are based on what you think is important, it is a subjectively based document that strives to show as broad a range of skills as possible. A resume that tries to be all things to all people cannot be data dense enough to make your resume discoverable for any of the jobs you can do. Your resume will become more discoverable when it is objectively focused on a specific job and reflects what you bring to that job, mirroring the priorities and language that employers use to describe that job.
What the employers think is important to a job should direct the story your resume needs to tell, if you hope it to be found – selling to the customers’ needs.
Because as all recruitment has moved online, resumes have different challenges to surmount and all the rules of resume writing and job search tactics have changed dramatically.
I counsel professionals suffering through a prolonged job search and the causes are alarmingly similar: When the search started, they held a belief that this was something they knew how to do. Then as the campaign sputters along they picked up bits and pieces of advice along the way (if it’s on the internet it must be true).
The resultant job search plan of attack looks more like a plate of spaghetti than a coherent approach to an effective transition. Your career management knowledge, predicts your quality of life and economic security during and after your working days; is this something you want to entrust to 500 word feel-good soundbites, from people without verifiable credentials?
Do you need a career coach if you know all about hiring?
Those professionals who have spent most experience in the employee selection process may mistake these capabilities for knowing how to conduct a job search and turn interviews into offers; when these are two diametrically opposed skill sets.
I ask every “stuck” client who comes to me for resume writing and career coaching to take a day off to regroup, go out in the fresh air to blow the cobwebs away and face the fact that they don’t know anything about job search or they wouldn’t be stuck.
Then to come home and invest a week or two in building a new approach to career management more suited to this new era while learning a more effective approach to job transition, while we simultaneously work on establishing directions and options, with short term steps integrated into long-term plans and then create a resume that will be discovered and open the doors of opportunity.
Then empowered with the tools of a resume that will work, and effective job search tactics, we get develop a personalized strategy for the next step that is aligned with long-term goals and includes alternative options to cover all eventualities.
We provide comprehensive career coaching services for all types of professionals and industries. Take a moment to learn more about what Knock Em Dead can provide you.