Welcome back to Third Wave Career Coaching and the spring edition of Career Splash. Just in time for spring our website has a brand new look. We went under construction in February to bring you a site which is much easier to navigate and full of exciting offerings. Check it out here. A huge thanks to my web team, Bill Rogers and Jan Caroll of JBCR Virtual Solutions.
Sick of seeing your resume land in the proverbial black hole?
Never apply on line again, says Liz Ryan, former Fortune 500 HR SVP and regular contributor to Forbes. Ms. Ryan refers to applicant tracking systems as ‘talent-repelling monstrosities’. I couldn’t agree with her more. They are a waste of time, producing minimal results.
Ryan offers the following tips to outwit these resume eating monsters…
- Save your online job ad in either a screenshot or Word document Jobs get yanked unexpectedly, so merely saving the link is risky.
- Determine who the hiring manager is by researching on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn’s ‘Advanced People Search’ to locate the head of the department that has the opening, i.e. IT Director, CFO, etc.
- Skip the online application process and instead reach out to the hiring manager directly, through the mail with a ‘Pain Letter’. Ryan offers a full explanation of the Pain Letter here. Basically, your letter will link your hiring manager’s business pain to a compelling story about your past and articulate why you are the most qualified candidate to eliminate their pain (aka, solve their most pressing problem).
Remember the hiring manager has a problem that only he or she can solve by hiring someone. That someone is you and you will stand out by sending a thoughtfully written pain letter via snail mail…something hiring managers seldom receive these days.
Are you making these mistakes on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the go to social site for professional networking and job search. To get the most out of it there are a few rules of engagement to be aware of. Here is a list of the most common mistakes people make on LinkedIn and how to avoid them.
- Sending generic invitation requests. Unfortunately, LinkedIn has made it too easy to connect by providing a generic text message in the connection request box. You should always, always customize this message by introducing yourself and saying why you want to connect. For instance, if you met Jim Stanton at a conference and discovered you both had something in common, mention it in your invitation request. You will make a much better impression doing this, than by hitting the send button using the generic text.
- Indiscriminately connecting with people. One of the strengths of LinkedIn is the connections you make, but it’s not a race to get to 500 connections. Have a compelling reason for each of the people you connect with – either it’s someone you already know or are related to, or someone it would be beneficial to connect with. If you don’t know someone, get to know them a bit before sending a personalized connection request. (Do so by seeing who you know in common – or they are connected to, checking out their LinkedIn summary and work history, visiting their website or blog, and seeing what Groups they belong to).
- Asking others who barely know you to write a recommendation. Recommendations should be written only by people who have first hand knowledge of your performance and have observed your work. Requesting a recommendation of someone who barely knows you puts that person in an awkward position. Think of how you would feel if the situation were reversed.
- ‘Setting it and forgetting it’. Your LinkedIn profile is an evolving snapshot of you. It is, after all, your personal professional website. Update it regularly with new connections, status updates and activity. And get active in LinkedIn Groups. Groups are a great place to network and make new connections.
- Dismissing LinkedIn as a site only for job seekers. The best time to build your LinkedIn profile, connect with people, and participate in LinkedIn is now, before you need it. If you find yourself suddenly unemployed and have not made the effort to get active on LinkedIn you will be playing catch up. Instead, take time now to ‘dig your well before you’re thirsty’, as author Harvey Mackay says.
Millennials Discovering Life Purpose Earlier
By 2025 Millennials will account for 25% of the workforce. They are not motivated by money. Rather they seek to make the world more compassionate, innovative and sustainable, according to Fast Company. They want to work with purpose and work for companies aligned with their values. Quite a switch from previous generations.
This generation unlike previous generations, (Boomers for example) are paying closer attention to their life purpose much earlier in life. Boomers, coming out of the post war era, were consumed with climbing the corporate latter and establishing themselves financially.
Sadly, many Boomers have discovered later in life those things which they thought were important, (income, job status, benefits) no longer matter. This is because they did not take the time to identify their real purpose early on in their careers.
Now we have two generations pursuing their life purpose simultaneously. Millennials are choosing to work only for those employers offering flexible work hours and opportunities for personal fulfillment. And Boomers are pursuing encore careers in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond to finally satisfy their purpose in life. Have a peek below to see what those Boomers are up to now.
What Will Your Encore Career Look Like?
In case you haven’t heard, there is a huge career movement going for those of us entering the second half of life. Encore careers are all about moving into a new life stage, motivated by the desire to make a difference or having a social impact.
Even if you are in your 40’s it’s not too early to start planning your ‘second act’. We are all living a heck of a lot longer and many of us will pursue encore careers beyond normal retirement age.
To get you started, Barbara Greenspan Shaiman, author of ‘Live your Legacy now: 10 Simple Steps to find Your Passion and Change the World’, created the following legacy formula to help you identify possible encore ideas:
What you love to do (i.e. write, teach, dance, etc.) + What angers you (i.e. animal cruelty, violence against women, global warming, etc.) = Your Legacy Idea.
For example: A woman who is passionate about fitness becomes a personal trainer, working with older adults rehabbing from physical injury or surgery. A former college professor, who cherishes the beauty of our national parks, becomes a non-commissioned park ranger and a steward of nature, educating park visitors about the park’s natural beauty.
For more encore career resources check out Encore.org. There you will find encore stories, news articles, a membership directory and much, much, more. And start thinking about what your encore career might look like.
Enjoy the longer days of spring and be sure to visit us on Twitter , Facebook and Google+. If you have specific questions or comments for Coach Deb contact us here or visit us on Facebook. If you have enjoyed this edition of Career Splash please share it with a friend.