Recent News

Listen to my interview on Charlotte Community Radio, hosted by Doneisha Wilson!

Two weeks ago on July 12th, I was interviewed by Doneisha Wilson, host of Nine to Five with Doneisha on Charlotte Community Radio. We were talking about resumes and their importance in the job search. I had a great time and look forward to being on the show with Doneisha again in the near future.

If you have not heard about Charlotte Community Radio, then by all means, check them out.

Correction…during the interview, Ms. Doneisha Wilson introduced me as being a current member of PARW and CDI. I want to note that these are past memberships I have held.

Interview on Charlotte Community Radio (7-12-16)

Comments Off on Listen to my interview on Charlotte Community Radio, hosted by Doneisha Wilson!

Four key points for information interviews

Information InterviewsInformational interviewing can be an effective strategy for identifying and locating a new career opportunity. For one, informational interviewing is a form of networking which has been proven to be the most effective method used in the job hunt. During an informational interview, you should be meeting one-on-one with your contact while communicating you professional background and your career goals. You should share your target company list with your networking contact as well as any target roles that interest you. But how do you make this meeting even more productive? There are four key points to keep in mind:

  1. Ask your industry contact to share their personal thoughts on the industry, including current trends and future opportunities

Who better to help you with your career search than industry professionals that have experience working in your industry? These professionals can share insider information, including what companies may have opportunities and even what companies you may want to avoid. These same professionals may be able to provide insight as to what other positions or industries may be a good fit for you based on your career history and current career goals.

  1. Share your personal marketing plan with your contact and ask for feedback on your target positions and target companies

If you have not created a personal marketing plan, you are doing your career search a huge disservice. A personal marketing plan, also known as a networking profile, is one of the first documents you should create. This document will help you organize and target you career search and help you prepare for your information interviews. It includes your initial list of target positions that you are considering as well as your list of initial target companies that you would like to work for.

  1. Ask for names of other individuals who may be able to help you

To keep your networking pipeline full, it is important to ask each and every networking contact you meet to share with you names of additional people that can provide you with career-related information. Information such as names of companies to add to your target list or names of decision makers that you should meet will be of value.

  1. Ask for permission to follow up with your networking contact in a week

Follow up is key to networking. After meeting with you, your contact may have discovered new information that can benefit your job search. Following up after a week can give you access to this information and will keep your name top of mind. Also, follow up is just good networking etiquette.

 

How to conduct a job search in 2016

Job Search 2016If 2015 was a frustrating year for you and your job search, or if you have just recently found yourself out of work for the first time in a long time, then you may want to continue reading. Looking for new employment can be a frustrating exercise and can cause you to doubt yourself. If you’ve been spinning your wheels and not getting the attention you feel you deserve from recruiters and hiring managers, then see below for five key steps for conducting a job search in 2015.

  1. Networking: Utilize January to establish new professional contacts while reaching out to your current network of contacts that maybe you have neglected. Look to network with other individuals who do what you do. Why? Because these people will tend to know what is going on in your industry and may know what companies have current opportunities. LinkedIn is a perfect tool to initiate your networking attempts.
  2. Following up on jobs that went “cold”: Surely you applied to numerous jobs where you never heard anything back from HR or the hiring manager. If it has been more than two months since you applied, why not reach back out to say hello and to see if the position was filled? Chances could be the position was placed on hold, removed from the budget, or better yet, the position could still be open. You just might have another opportunity to sell yourself again or even talk yourself up for a new opportunity that might exist. Bottom line, don’t wait to hear back from the company; take initiative and use solid follow up skills.
  3. Working with recruiters: Has it been a while since you last talked with your recruiters? Did you work with any in 2015 that simply never got back to you with any jobs that you might be a good fit for? If so, then maybe it is time to start fresh, with a new group of recruiters that don’t know you and your credentials. Research recruiters on LinkedIn and Google and try to identify recruiters that specialize in your industry and line of work.
  4. Utilizing a target company list: What companies would you really love to work for? Have you even given this any thought? Or did you spend 2015 like most job seekers, only applying to job postings that you found or that were sent to you by a referral? A target company list will focus your job search efforts and make your networking activity more productive because you are looking for connections and inside information at specific companies.
  5. Conducting informational interviews: If you were not conducting informational interviews in 2015, then gear up and get ready to hit the ground running in 2016. What are informational interviews? These are one-on-one meetings with key contacts (known or unknown) that can provide inside information and contacts as it relates to your target company list. It’s a form of networking, but you have a definite agenda in mind. Maybe you want to work for Carolinas Healthcare System and through your research and networking efforts, you identify a contact that has connections at the company, works for the company, or can otherwise provide key information important to you.

If any of these job search strategies are new to you or if you need assistance with your resume or your job search plan, feel free to give my office a call. Here’s to a successful 2016!

Seeing the forest AND the trees

First Visit to Maui

First Visit to Maui

I was fortunate enough to tag along with my wife to the beautiful island of Maui last week as she attended a conference. I was able to take in the sights and sounds, while she had to sit at a table for nearly three days and learn about federal credit union operations. But hey, what better place to be, right?

This was our first time to Maui and it is an unbelievable place; definitely on the list of places to return to. After my wife’s conference, we spent an extra day and a half touring the island and taking in the sights. One of the most popular things to do in Maui is travel the road to Hana. This is an all-day affair, traveling along twists and turns around the island, so we thought that we would just drive a portion of it. After about thirty or forty minutes into our drive, we come across some very odd trees, trees that we have never seen before. These trees are known as eucalyptus deglupta trees, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus. Apparently, it is the only Eucalyptus species found naturally in the Northern Hemisphere. These trees have a unique multi-colored bark and at different times, patches of the outer bark are shed once a year revealing a bright green inner bark. This inner bark then darkens and ages to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones.

Seeing the forest AND the trees.

Seeing the forest AND the trees.

Seeing these trees caused me to reflect on the work that I do as a career coach. I was born and raised in North Carolina and I am used to seeing a plethora of pine trees and even dogwood trees. Seeing the rainbow eucalyptus trees and how stunning they were made a lasting impression on me. They are unique, they stand out, and they are memorable. You can see where I am going with this…in a forest full of job seekers (your competition), how unique and memorable are you? Do you stand out? Even though there are many trees in this picture, each rainbow eucalyptus tree is unique; each has its own pattern. This would also be true of pine trees and dogwood trees, but here in North Carolina, I am used to seeing them and overlook any differences.

So, how can you apply this to your personal job search? Employers are looking for the needle in the haystack, the round peg that fits in the round hole. For you, the job seeker, you should work on identifying why you are different. Help the employer find you and quickly surmise your uniqueness. Be a unique rainbow eucalyptus tree in a forest of rainbow eucalyptus trees. Better yet, be a unique rainbow eucalyptus tree in a forest of pine trees. This is sure to catch an employer’s attention. Just make sure your uniqueness is relevant and beneficial to your potential employer and the company.

What is your COU?

I have been seeing a flurry of these “solve this if you are a genius” puzzles being posted on LinkedIn lately. Sure they are fun and I have even completed a few of them just to verify that I am still a genius. (Smile) However, something occurred to me recently. If you are a job seeker and have been finding it hard to land interviews and secure a new position, there is a puzzle you need to solve that is way more impactful than considering a membership in Mensa. (For those of you that have never heard of Mensa, that is okay…Google it later.) This puzzle asks you to consider the following: “How much is being out of work costing you?” Look at the table below:

What is your COU?

What is your COU?

As an example, if you were making $75,000 per year, every day you are unemployed costs you $288. This is your COU (cost of unemployment). Every week costs you $1,442 and every month costs you $6,250. The general rule of thumb is that job seekers are out of work 1 month for every $10,000 of salary that they earned. Again, using our $75,000 example, you would be out of work for at least 7.5 months. This would cost you $46,875 in unearned wages.

To reduce the time they are out of work, millions of job seekers are turning to career transition professionals. These savvy job seekers realize that they cannot and should not tackle the treacherous waters of the job search alone. Returning to our example, a job seeker earning $75,000 per year could expect to pay on average $625 for career transition services. This assumes a very rough estimate of a 1% investment based on their monthly salary. Fees for career transition services vary widely and it is best to do your research. It is important to note that career transition professionals (resume writers, career coaches, etc.) can be a viable part of your career management team and can help you in a myriad of ways to minimize the time that you are out of the game.

So if you have been out of work for awhile or just recently found yourself in career transition, consider your “COU” and make a decision today as to whether or not you are ready to seek help from a professional.

Three things you’re doing wrong in your job search.

Tired of banging your head against the wall when it comes to finding a job? Weary of doing the same things and getting the same poor results? Let’s look at three areas of the job search that millions of job seekers are subscribing to and why they are dead wrong:

  1. Only networking with people you know. Networking in and of itself is not a bad thing at all when it comes to conducting a comprehensive job search. In fact, it is highly recommended and proven to produce results. However, here is the dirty little secret: networking with people you already know will very rarely land you an interview or a job, because the people you know are most times not in a position to hire you. Your strategy is to network with the people you know to identify the people you don’t know. Consider the people you know your bridge connection to the people that will have the opportunity to hire you.
  2. Searching for jobs online.  Nearly every job seeker does this at one time or another. And nearly every job seeker has found disappointment at every turn in utilizing this method of job search. The online job search is clearly a numbers game and it typically takes hundreds of applications to generate interviews that lead to job offers. Here is the dirty little secret: attempt to identify a contact within the company that you may have a connection to, then try to network your way into a “side door” as opposed to applying for the opportunity online like everyone else.
  3. Using LinkedIn as a way to be found. Creating a LinkedIn profile, writing a summary, setting up your professional experience, joining groups, and getting recommended are all of the common things that you should be doing on LinkedIn. But remember, LinkedIn is not a passive social media tool. Just having a profile that sits out there in Cyberspace is not enough. Here is the dirty little secret: Once you complete the tasks above, you should turn your attention to being proactive and actually using the tool to identify target companies and connecting with individuals inside these companies. Why? Because LinkedIn is a social networking tool and you must be proactive in using it as a strategy to connect with individuals that can connect you with hiring authorities.

Local Business Owner Attends International Careers Conference

Rosen Plaza Hotel

For Immediate Release

Nathan Adams, President of First Impressions Resume Center, attended the 13th annual Global Career Empowerment Summit of Career Directors International on Thursday, October 17, 2013 through Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The conference was attended by career professional who specialize in resume writing, career coaching, job placement, job development, career counseling, human resources, and recruitment.

Topics which were covered at the conference included social job search, online identity, branding, resume writing, applicant tracking systems and other employment technology, networking and communications, client management, coaching, interviewing and EQ, marketing, personal empowerment, and business practice management. Participants were provided with innovative tools and techniques to increase their abilities to help those in need of career assistance.

Nathan Adams is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Certified Professional Career Coach. Through First Impressions Resume Center, he offers expert resume writing and career coaching services to mid-level managers through executive clientele in the global marketplace. He is a nationally published writer and has written and reviewed more than 2500 resumes for professionals in career transition. With more than 15 years of professional resume writing and career transition experience, he has helped thousands of career seekers jump start their career search. Nathan is a proud member of PARW and CDI and is a regular speaker on career-related topics in the Charlotte metro area. To learn more about First Impressions Resume Center, visit www.firstimpressionscount.com.

Four Points for Informational Interviews

Informational interviewing can be an effective strategy for identifying and locating a new career opportunity. For one, informational interviewing is a form of networking which been proven to be the most effective method used in the job hunt. During an informational interview, you should be meeting one-on-one with your contact while communicating you professional background and your career goals. You should share your target company list with your networking contact as well as any target roles that interest you. But how do you make this meeting even more productive? There are four key points to keep in mind.

Ask for names of companies that hire people with your education and professional background

You should definitely share your target company list with your networking contact in hopes that they can refer key contacts within the organization to you. Also, by sharing this list you hope to jog your contact’s memory and have them share additional company names with you that you can follow up with.

Ask for names of recruiters that place candidates with backgrounds similar to yours

Recruiters can play an effective role in your job search. They have access to jobs that may not be advertised on the open market, i.e., on the online job boards. There is a strategy, however for working with recruiters. First, it is important that you select recruiters that have experience placing candidates with your educational and professional background. It is also prudent to select recruiters that place candidates in the geographical region that you are interested in. Better yet, it is helpful to work with recruiters that are based in the geographical region you are interested in because they are more likely to have stronger relationships with the companies in that market.

Ask for names of other individuals who may be able to help you

To keep your networking pipeline full, it is important to ask each and every networking contact you meet to share with you names of additional people that can provide you with career-related information. Information such as names of companies to add to your target list or names of decision makers that you should meet will be of value.

Ask for permission to follow up with your networking contact in a week

Follow up is key to networking. After meeting with you, your contact may have discovered new information that can benefit your job search. Following up after a week can give you access to this information and will keep your name top of mind. Also, follow up is just good networking etiquette.

Bonus question: Ask how you can help them

Networking is a two way street. There is a chance that you could actually help the people you meet, so why not ask? It is likely that you now people that could offer them assistance as well. Like the saying goes, “What goes around comes around.”

How to work with recruiters

There is a common saying among people that engage recruiters as part of their job search strategy: I have (insert number here) recruiters working for me. As a career coach, it always amazes me when I hear someone say that. First off, let’s set the record straight: recruiters do not work for you; they work for their client, which happens to be the company that they are trying to fill a position for. So since recruiters do not work for you, what is the best way to work with them as you search for a new career opportunity?

Don’t call them, they will call you.

Because recruiters do not work for you, they do not spend their time looking for jobs for you. They spend their time sourcing candidates that they can present to the companies that have engaged them on a specific search. They are essentially in a high volume sales environment. Beyond your initial call to introduce yourself and engaged their services, you are wasting your time calling them once a week to see what leads they have developed. If they have a lead that you are a good match for, they will call you because it is in their best interest to do so.

Don’t ask for career advice; they are not career coaches.

Recruiters do not care what you want to do and they are not going to spend time helping you figure this out. That is not a good use of their time or their skill set. Asking a recruiter career-related advice is like asking an electrician to pour a concrete slab. That is not what they do. It is important to know what it is you want to do before engaging the services of a recruiting firm. Without this direction, you are wasting everyone’s time.

Don’t email recruiters jobs that you have found; that is not how they work.

Recruiters only work on job orders that they have been given by the companies they are engaged with. Because they only get paid when they place a candidate, spending time on non-income generating work does not make sense. If you find a job that you are interested take the initiative to research and apply for the opportunity.

The bottom line…

As a job seeker, a recruiter can be a viable resource. You just have to know how to work with them to maximize your chances of securing a position.

Five questions you must ask in a job interview

The job interview is a two-way street, not a one-lane highway. A tango, not a dance solo. In addition to answering the myriad of questions that will be posed to you in the interview, you should be prepared to ask some key questions that will allow you to further evaluate the opportunity.

Why is this position open?

Why does this matter? Maybe the previous person resigned, was laid off, or was even promoted. Maybe this is a newly created position, in which case there may be some flexibility in shaping the position.

How does this role fit into the whole picture?

Does this role have a lot of influence? Will you be an individual contributor, team member, or manager? What other departments will you be interacting with. Does this role have local, regional, national, or global significance in the corporation?

What does the successful candidate look like in this position?

Alignment here is important. You want to make sure that the hiring manager’s perception of success aligns with what you are capable of delivering. Knowing this information upfront can help you make an informed decision as to whether or not to continue on in the hiring process.

What concerns do you have about my background or experience as it relates to this position?

Don’t walk away from the interview without asking this question. There is no better time to address any concerns than while you are still in the interview. The answers you provide here could tip the scales back in your favor.

How soon will you be making a hiring decision for this position?

Typically, hiring decisions are made within a few weeks, depending on the number of candidates being interviewed and how critical the position is to the current business. The answer to this question will also tell you how motivated the company is to filling the position.