The internet and your Great Aunt Sally will tell you to include an objective in your resume, but should you? My opinion is no! I’ve also sourced local recruiters from Hudl, Spreetail, Netlnet, Gallup, Ameritas, and TriCom Technical Services to get their thoughts on the objective debate.Read More
Feeling drained in your current job? Wish you worked in a career that gave you energy? Struggling to find your calling? In this post, learn 4 simple ways to discover your dream career and get you on the track of living a meaningful life.Read More
When you find yourself unemployed and job searching sometimes the hardest part is dealing with your own mind, emotions and feelings. The way your handle your job search and rejection can make a huge difference in the job you finally land (because eventually you will find a job). Sarah Collins lays out 5 strategies to help you during your job search, including a sample schedule for how to spend your days.Read More
I am on Pinterest a lot. I’m very obsessed with it actually. I love using it to find new recipes, look up cute decor ideas, and discover the latest workout trend that is surely going to help me get that six-pack (ha, we'll save that for another post, but I like nachos too much for six packs). And because I’m a career coach I pin a lot of career advice (username sarahbargcollins if you want to follow me and see all of that advice).
However, sometimes I find myself feeling frustrated because not all of the advice on Pinterest is GOOD advice.
The photo above is an example of a pin I pulled directly from my Pinterest page. This pin claims by adding these words to your resume you will get hired faster. It's a great pin because it's colorful, to the point, and promises easy wins, but will adding any of those words to your resume actually land you a job faster?
Maybe. But essentially that pin is encouraging you to mindlessly throw buzzy words onto your documents. Personally I would never recommend that to a client.
It comes as no surprise to me that this pin is advertising quick fixes. By following this pin to it's attached website you will find an etsy page selling resume templates. Now I am not hating on this person's business. You go, girl because being an entrepreneur is HARD.
But when it comes to actually building a resume, I'm not a big fan of quick fixes, which means I am not a fan of templates. Nothing about a resume should be that difficult. And if anything is going to be difficult it is going to be coming up with the right content, not the design. As much as I love a fancy, sleek looking resume, what I KNOW is that recruiters are not looking at the aesthetics of your resume. There just isn't enough time to consider the looks usually. I mean it should look clean and organized, but pretty? You can't cover weak content with cool fonts. You, however, can take a plain-Jane looking resume and write compelling, descriptive, tailored content and find that the interviews start rolling in.
Anyway, I have digressed from the main point...buzz words.
What’s better than throwing some buzzy words onto your resume? What’s proven to work? What should you be doing if you are looking for a new gig?
Be intentional about the words you use on your resume and cover letter. Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job description. Use the words directly from the job description.
The job description is your map to the treasure and the treasure is the new job you want.
Follow the map!
Sometimes when clients want to apply for a certain job the job description is very small and does not contain a lot of words. They then ask me how do they decide which words to include in their resumes and cover letters. I encourage them to find similar positions and look at those job descriptions, use those words. You can also put on your critical thinking cap and think about what you’ll be doing in the job and use those words. That might mean you look on Pinterest for lists like the above pin to gather ideas. I’m okay if you are using your resources and being strategic. What I’m not okay with is mindlessly throwing words on your resume just because you think they’ll magically get you the job.
Magic isn’t a great way to do a job search. Being intentional and strategic is typically much more effective. And this targeted, intentional, key-word rich way of shaping your resume and cover letter is all because of the applicant tracking system. However, I will save the details of the ATS for another post because it needs it's own article to shine.
If you’re struggling with you resume or cover letter... I get it! They are HARD (especially that pesky cover letter, right?!), but that is exactly why I have my business. I coach people on strategies and techniques to make job search documents to actually get you hired faster. Together we can work as a team to figure out which jobs you should be applying to, how to tailor your documents to get you an interview and then we will practice interview techniques to land you the role. And once you’ve accomplished all that I can even help you negotiate a higher salary.
If you like the way that sounds, go visit my coaching services page to see what plan works for you.
During grad school I started getting so irritated when people bragged about how busy they were. One look at any of my social sites and you’ll see the evidence as I was always posting articles and insta photos about it. It felt like every person I ran into felt compelled to tell me just how hectic and chaotic their schedules were. They wore busy like a badge of honor. But even as I was posting and sharing the, “stop glorifying busy” pieces, I was falling into the exact same trap. I was working during the days, taking classes at night, volunteering for local organizations, and maintaining a full social calendar.
After grad school I continued to live my life in this busy way. I took secret joy in being the first one in the office even though I would complain about always being the one to turn on the lights and make the coffee. I would deliberately stay at work longer than everyone else. I was the first to show up to meetings and usually the most prepared. I kept a full schedule during the work day, sometimes barely leaving enough space between appointments to use the restroom. Not only was I trying to prove my work ethic was strong and something to be admired, but I was relishing in the fact that I, in my own mind, was the “hardest” worker in the place.
Professionally this served me well. I graduated with my master’s degree 2013 and by 2015 I was leading an office as the director. Being busy really seemed to pay dividends for me.
The truth is being busy made me feel empowered and purposeful. Having a lot on my plate brought a lot meaning to my life.
Today, however, my calendar is empty. About two months ago I quit that stable job to start down a new path. You see, in January my first child was born and growing up I had a dream that one day I would be a stay-at-home mom. So with the birth of my son I took a good, hard look at my life. Did I want to continue to be a busy bee trying to climb a professional ladder while now also juggling my growing family? It’s not as if this isn’t possible, many people balance their careers and parenthood exceptionally well. For me, however, the thought alone was overwhelming because I knew the same tenacity that pushed me to be busy at work would be in overdrive pushing me to be twice as busy at home. After many conversations with my husband, friends, and professional colleagues I decided to jump out of the professional rat race and focus more on my family and other professional goals.
Let me backup. I am very privileged. I have a husband who can financially support our family and who believes in me and my dreams. I have dreams that include not only being a very hands-on mother, but also starting my own coaching business. In my mind, I know I’ve been given an incredible opportunity. But in my soul? The current state of nothingness on my calendar at times makes me feel weak, unworthy, kinda empty, and a little pointless.
Of course my son and husband bring me great joy and make me feel needed and worthy everyday. But at this point in my new motherhood/new business journey our days are very fluid. No longer are the days jam-packed with appointments, meetings and conference calls. Now we wake up when we wake up, check email in between feedings and read books that consist of five whole pages.And in this new silence I am learning a very valuable lesson.
I have the opportunity to look inside myself and ask, “Hey, when all of the labels and responsibilities are removed, who are you? What do you really want to do?”.
People change. Our lives evolve. Who we are and what we do and how we go about our days morphs as we grow. And while this can be scary, it is also necessary.
Even though my calendar is empty today, I still have worth and value, it just looks and feels a little different than I am used to.
Maybe you are in-between jobs. Maybe you are stuck in a job you hate. Maybe you want to take a risk and start a new business. Maybe, like me, you want to focus on your family more. Don’t be afraid of failure and don’t feel like your worth relies on how how full your calendar is. Change is hard. But what if you could make the change, push through the silence and find more meaning in life? Wouldn’t it be worth it? Wouldn’t you want to at least say you tried?
You know my answer.
I’m taking this moment of silence and trying to listen to hear what it has to say. I’ll take lazy mornings and long good-nights and try to cherish them. I know my to-do list will not always be so sparse. As my son grows and my business expands, my calendar will also fill. I’m likely to hit a wall someday where I feel even busier than I did in my 8-5 gig. But, in the meantime, I will try to grasp that my worth and meaning don’t need to come from clocking-in, conference calls and bragging about long hours. Yes, it’s okay to be busy, but it’s also okay to ditch busy, if even for a moment, to think about who you are and what you truly want out of this life.