Let’s face it: gone are the days when employees specialized in a certain area and stuck with that – in a single industry – for their entire careers. But unfortunately, many of us haven’t been trained in more than one area. Maybe you are coding whiz but you know nothing about finance. Maybe you’re great with data but really haven’t ever perfected the art of grammar and spelling. It can be tough to hone a new skill if you’ve been out of school for a while, but, if you’re looking to advance your career, adding even one of these 7 skills to your arsenal may be just the extra something you need to get your next position.
You’ve been in the workforce for a decade or more. Maybe you’ve worked for the same company the entire time, or perhaps you’ve moved around a bit (or even a lot). But you’ve begun to feel like you’re not in the right place. If you’ve started to think about a career change and you’re over 30, there might be a number of things holding you back from taking the leap. But, whether you know it or not, you’ve got a lot of things going for you, too. Here’s our list of skills and experiences you’ve likely gained by the time you’re 30 and why they make your 30s and 40s a good time to make a career change.
You’ve probably never thought to yourself, “I want to have a really dangerous job.” But if you knew that job came with a hefty paycheck, would you be willing to risk it? How big of a paycheck would you need to, say, swim with sharks every day? Or handle venomous snakes? Or play with wild tigers? Granted, none of those “jobs” are on the most dangerous list – and some that are might surprise you. But we wanted to know: what dangerous jobs might actually be worth it?
The past two months have been very busy for Vocamotive and our staff of dedicated career development, resume writing, and vocational rehabilitation professionals. In addition to writing resumes and providing employment assistance to individuals in 13 different states, our team has been traveling near and far to provide career guidance, attend training events, administer consultations, and exhibit at professional events around the country.
Let’s take a look at some of the stops Vocamotive has taken along the way:
Tips for Building a Network
When most people hear the word “networking,” images of boring mixers with name tags and off-brand sodas usually come to mind. Professional networks can be helpful and building them can be fun, if you do it right. Read on for some tips for how to build a better, more successful network.
Many professions have local, national and international organizations that allow people in similar fields to meet and network. There are organizations for doctors, entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers, designers, engineers, professors, lawyers and just about any profession you can think of. There are also organizations for women, young professionals, African Americans and most demographics. The organizations you join don’t have to be strictly professional, either. Alumni groups, volunteer organizations and recreational activities are all great ways to meet people with similar interests. You never know who can help you in your job search!
Yes, building a network still involved networking events. The big thing to remember is that they don’t have to be boring. Events put on by professional organizations bring together like-minded people with similar careers, so you won’t be at a loss for a conversation topic. Alumni events are a great way to meet people who went to your high school or college and reminisce about great times. Recreational activities should be fun for you, regardless of whether they land you a job! In order to build a network, you have to get out there and actually meet and connect with other people.
Meeting people means nothing if you say goodbye at the end of a luncheon and never speak to them again. Make sure to carry business or calling cards with you and collect new acquaintances’ cards, as well. After a day or two, send your new contacts an email to let them know how great it was to meet them, and make a plan to catch up in the future.
You’ve sent out your resume far and wide, and now you’re starting to hear back from potential employers about your applications. When you get interviews set up, you’ll start preparing your best answers to all the standard interview questions. There are certain things
Even if you already submitted your resume as part of the application process, you should always bring extra copies to an interview. Print at least five of them on resume paper and keep them in a nice, solid colored folder. If you have a portfolio of design work, writing samples or any other projects, bring that along. Even if you’re unemployed, it’s a good idea to bring business cards with your contact information, as well.
You should also come prepared with a list of questions for your interviewers, not just answers. Ask them specific questions about the company, position, team and culture. You’ll probably come up with questions as you go, but you should think of a few ahead of time just in case. Asking thoughtful questions will show employers that you are serious about the position, and can give you a chance to further explain why you’re a good fit for the role.
Of course, you should have the company address, phone number and the name of the person you’re meeting with on hand (preferably written down) so you know exactly where to go and what to say. You should also do some research on the company before the interview. Bring along some notes to review while you’re waiting.
Carry a notebook and pen with you in case you need to take notes in your interview. Many resume folders have space for your resume, a legal notepad and a pen. You should carry along some breath mints (not gum!) to freshen up just before your interview.
Our Head Resume Resume Writer provides you with a look into our professional process, guaranteed to deliver outstanding results for anyone seeking a new position or career advancement:
As the Head Resume and LinkedIn Profile Writer for my company, I am often asked about the process which I follow when creating materials for my clients. There are many good resume writers out there, but we each have our own approach to how we complete a project.
Let me draw back the curtain and allow a glimpse into how I create professional works of art for each of my résumé clients:
- The Consult:
In most cases, and like many writers, I start with a free service consultation. This is usually completed by phone and allows me to gain insights into my client, his or her professional background, future goals, and potential employment targets. I discuss the processes, timelines, package options, and costs involved at this time as well. In addition, I am also happy to provide feedback on job search strategies and existing documents sent to me for review. To be successful, I believe the writer and client need to be a good match for one another, and that is what this initial conversation is all about. Some of my prospective clients are surprised to learn that I am also willing to provide referrals to other writers if it turns out that we are not the best match for a project.
- The Proposal:
If a project is particularly complex, I often draft a project proposal which reviews information discussed during the consult. It also provides a review of the steps, timeline, objectives, cost structure, package options and more. As many of my clients are surprised to learn that resume and profile writing involves much more than simply writing a career history, the proposal offers clarity following the consultation.
- The Selection Process:
Once I take on a client, I ask him or her to provide me with 2 to 5 job leads or descriptions for which they would be interested in applying. This provides a great deal of clarity and direction for the project, along with a starting point for my research. It also allows the client to be actively involved in the trajectory of the project. He or she can also be certain that the final product will be optimized to fit specific fields and targeted opportunities.
- The Research:
Here is where much of the fun begins, as I must admit, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to performing research. This is a crucial step often missed by do-it-yourselfers. As extraneous content is a big no-no in proper resume construction, and given that space is usually limited, it is critical to know exactly what information to include and accomplishments to emphasize. I typically start by researching the job leads provided by my client, then expand into researching the employers themselves, similar positions in my client’s geographic area, and learning about hiring trends in the target industry.
- The Gathering of Information:
I like to err on the side of having access to the most information possible before I create a resume, so in addition to collecting a comprehensive professional history on each of my clients, I construct a detailed and industry specific list of questions for each to answer. These questions are formulated from my research, and my client’s answers to them provide the content required for the materials I produce. As every client and project is unique, the questions I develop are highly individualized.
- The Draft:
Once the research is performed, it is time to start formatting a draft of the resume. Some may be surprised to learn that I, like most good writers, begin every resume from scratch. A resume’s layout is dependent on many factors, but in all cases pertinent information must jump off the page and grab the reader’s attention in about 6 seconds. This can present a challenge to some writers, and getting it right involves a series of drafting, redrafting, peer review, and performance testing.
- The Vetting Process:
Although I have been writing resumes professionally for 11 years now, I am not an expert in microbiology, zoo keeping, political science, or criminal justice. Therefore, I include a unique step in my resume development process for many of the projects on which I work. If I am not intimately familiar with a client’s chosen vocation, I submit a draft of the resume (personal information redacted for confidentiality) to recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers who work in my client’s targeted field. For this reason, I maintain a large and diverse professional network. In exchange for constructive feedback, many of these contacts come to me to find potential candidates, which allows me to often assist clients with professional networking and lead development.
- The Review:
In the final analysis, the resume I create ultimately belongs to and must produce outstanding results for my client. Therefore, I will work with my clients as much as is needed until he or she is completely satisfied with the product.
- Presentation of the Masterwork:
The aforementioned process culminates in a final product with which all parties are satisfied and which will go on to assist my clients with landing the interview opportunities they seek. I treat each project with great care, and I love presenting a resume which is effective, powerful and elegant.
- The Ongoing Promise:
I also provide my clients with another unique service after the project is complete. Having been trained in the school of thought which states that the most effective résumé is a highly targeted one, it is logical to deduce that a single document may not be right for each and every situation. Therefore, I include a free modification service with each of my résumé products. I simply tell my clients to email me a job lead they intend on applying for, and I will customize the résumé I previously created to that specific position. I offer 3 such modifications with all packages, thereby providing peace of mind and ongoing professional support.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into how the resume sausage is made. Happy job hunting and may each of you achieve your professional goals!
About the Author:
Adam Zajac is the Head Resume and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Senior Career Development Expert for Vocamotive, Inc. As a vocational rehabilitation and career placement professional for the last 11 years, he has successfully assisted thousands of job seekers and career changers throughout the United States.
Message or Follow Adam on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/adamzajac
Contact Vocamotive via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us for more information at: (630) 789-2519
Get assistance starting on your new Résumé and LinkedIn profile at: http://vocamotive.com/our-services/vocamotive-resume-and-job-search-document-creation-services/
As a professional résumé and LinkedIn profile writer, over 50% of my business comes directly through LinkedIn connections. A portion of these customers are not the job seekers that comprise the majority of my clientele, but rather small business owners, sole practitioners, independent consultants, and salespeople who want to generate new business opportunities and market their products and services via LinkedIn.
As this platform was launched over a decade ago, it surprises me just how many businesses and individuals are missing out on opportunities to increase market share, enhance revenue, and expand their customer base. Also notable is the fact that many businessmen and businesswomen who are active on LinkedIn have not optimized their profiles for business generation purposes.
It is fairly common to find a well written and fairly complete profile for an entrepreneur or sales professional. However, if correct grammar and a dozen complete profile sections (plus a business page) were all it took to be successful, articles such as this would not be needed. I often inquire about how a prospective client chose the content they were using before contracting my services, and more than a few have admitted to virtually copying someone else’s profile. When they do not notice an increase in business, they often wonder what went wrong.
Typically, I can point out two big mistakes. First, plagiarism is bad. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but stealing another individual’s work and passing it off as your own is a no-no. We all learned this by middle school so I will refrain from belaboring that point.
The second mistake is less obvious. Your profile should be constructed around your end goal(s), therefore the content should reflect this. To emphasize this point, I ask you to think about all the reasons and objectives that people may have had in mind when setting up their profiles. If you are drawing a blank, here is an incomplete list: job search, sales, recruitment, professional networking, marketing, credibility enhancement, community engagement, information dispersal, event promotion, exchange of services, and collaboration. (I intentionally left the inappropriate uses off this list, and yes, I’m talking to those of you who use LinkedIn as a dating forum).
In short, the profile of a LinkedIn job seeker should not look like that of a small business owner, consultant, or salesperson. Though LinkedIn provides us all with the same sections with which to build our profiles, the content we exhibit in those sections can (and should) vary depending on your objectives. The reason is relatively strait forward: keywords. While visuals, text layout, and engaging content is important, keywords drive people to your page.
An effective profile is not necessarily complicated, but it will take careful consideration, diligent research, a capacity for creativity, and a bit panache when it comes to writing.
Some may ask “Why bother?” Though some studies have indicated an 11% average annual sales increase with an effective LinkedIn presence, my response to this question is much simpler:
What is the benefit to your business of adding one new customer or account per month? How about 10? To figure out what this (very) conservative equation can mean for your yearly bottom line, multiply that number by 12 (months).
If the answer you come up with it is worth more than 8 to 20 hours of your time, or (alternatively) $500-$2000 in paying for a professional to build it for you, it may be time for you to consider a profile overhaul and LinkedIn presence expansion.
If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it with your friends and connections!
About the Author:
Adam Zajac is the Head Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer for Vocamotive, Inc. As a business writing and career development professional for the last 10 years, he has successfully assisted thousands of individuals throughout the United States. For a free consultation, contact him using one of the methods below.
Message or Follow Adam on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/adamzajac
Contact Adam via email at: email@example.com
Call Adam for more information at: (630) 789-2519
Get assistance with developing your LinkedIn strategy at: www.vocamotive.com