There are so many websites out there with information on careers – and most of them, let's be honest, bore you to death! Sifting through all of the rubbish to get to the information that's relevant to you is extremely tedious!
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It's similar to when you're trying to book a vacation, scrolling past deal after deal and hotel after hotel. After a while, they all look the same and you give up!
Sadly, looking for job search advice in this way means that you get hundreds of differing opinions and pieces of contradictory advice telling you to do it this way or that.
Clients sometimes tell me that another career coach has told them to do things differently from the way I've advised them to do things. I can sense they think that my advice is flawed! I'm sure that, after getting another so-called expert's advice, most of them then set about retweaking their resumes and LinkedIn profiles yet again!
This is so frustrating – for you and for me, too! That is why I want to share with you a few points. I want to help you decide whom to listen to and block out the differing opinions and advice!
Of course, career advice is not math! It's subjective. There is no definitive answer; there's no 2 + 2 = 4 when working out your resume. So, what I will do is explain to you how I work with my clients. Then you can decide for yourself whether you think it's a good idea to carry on changing and retweaking your resume and LinkedIn profile every time a new "expert" says you should.
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Break Down Those Walls and Get Companies Chasing You!
One thing may not even realize if you're listening to all the career experts out there is that no matter how great you may be at your job, you're always going to be stuck at square one when you start your next job search unless your reputation transcends the four walls where you currently work.
If you're only known for being great at what you do within your own workplace, how are companies supposed to find you? Break the cycle and build the "like, know, trust" factor before you start your next job hunt. This involves getting yourself out there and making yourself known within your industry or niche. It's about positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your field. This means that you need your LinkedIn profile in tip-top condition right now. Don't save it for when you actually want to get hired! This also means that you need to start actively attracting companies, influencers, and key-decisions makers to you right now!
Recognize That You Are a Business!
You only get hired because you can solve an employer's problem. Treat yourself as a business and make sure that you have built a strong brand for yourself. Create your resume and LinkedIn profile with this in mind.
This is why I get so frustrated when I check out people's LinkedIn profiles. Don't take it personally, but ask yourself honestly: How are you differentiating yourself from the competition? Not only do I regularly see boring and bland profiles, but half the time they are only partially complete. Sometimes they also feature inappropriate profile pictures and a lack of attention to basic detail.
Remember that LinkedIn is your shop window to the world! Generally, an employer or recruiter looking at your LinkedIn profile will never have heard of you before. The only way they can evaluate you is based on your LinkedIn profile and resume! Do I need to say any more?
Create a Cohesive Job Search Strategy and Bin the Old-School Approach
Having the perfect resume is great, but it is not a job search strategy – it really isn't! You need to know exactly what you need to do each day in order to get yourself hired. You need to know how to build that two-way approach where interested companies start coming to you!
You All Sound the Same!
Finally, I have one other issue with career coaches aside from their contradicting opinions: Many of them make all job seekers sound the same! To see what I mean, check out this video:
Most resumes sound like this; they are just full of buzzwords.
You need to be authentic and show a company what you can do for it. That requires more than nonsensical rambling on a longwinded resume! Writing that you are a "forward-thinking, hands-on, think-outside-the-box employee" won't get you anywhere. Let's stop putting hiring managers to sleep!