The 7 real reasons your job search isn’t working, according to a career coach

  • You’re not personalizing (your resume and cover letter).  Recruiters and hiring managers are unlikely to engage with a canned application. (Tailor your message & keywords to speak the language of the organization)
  • You’re going for ‘anything’.  (Share with your network the specific job title you are looking for so they can help spot the right opportunities and make impactful introductions)
  • You’re only using job boards (Instead – activate your network so your connections can also look for suitable opportunities)
  • You’re quick to dismiss (Instead – learn about potential roles and careers with an open mind)
  • You focus on receiving rather than giving (Instead – network with the goal of learning & supporting others)
  • You’re out of balance (Instead have clear goals around your job search and take time to do things that keep you happy and well-rested.  Remember, you can’t job search 24/7)


The best way to help companies find workers with the right skills?   Apprenticeships, a new report says

  • “Community college students, if given broader access to professional apprenticeship programs, would be able to develop the skills, experience and confidence to meet employer expectations, thereby closing the gap in our job market.”


The working generation: Over-55 and working, or looking for work

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – “By 2028, workers 55 and older will comprise 25.2% of all workers.
  • Careerminds Group Inc. (Raymond Lee, founder & CEO); age and experience are seen as assets
  • Senior advantage = people skills, soft skills,
  • Work = purpose and human connection
  • Six habits of successful job-seekers (especially crucial for the 55+ crowd)
    • Stay current in your field; latest technology & latest thinking in your line of work
    • Leverage your friends, colleagues & contacts; nurture your network
    • Know your resources & use them –
    • Tailor every resume to match the job you’re applying for.  Look at the job description, find keywords
    • Sharpen your interviewing skills – display your relevance, be forward looking and engaged, talk in terms of present and future
    • Be positive.  Being out of the workforce for a while can affect your confidence.


Article = 8 cringeworthy phrases that are ruining your resume

  • “A proven track record” vs. give concrete examples
  • “With a passion for” vs. come up with a better reason for what you do
  • “Goal oriented” vs. find a more descriptive term for your work instead
  • “Detail oriented” vs. exemplify this characteristic in the work examples you provide
  • “Synergy” vs. stick to pain terms when describing your accomplishments
  • “Excellent communication skills” vs. list specific skillsets or nail your cover letter.


6 essential qualities employees over 50 bring to today’s workplace

  • Focus
  • Versatility
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Knowledge
  • Community-minded


Article = Job Hunting?  A Google Executive Says to Use This 3-Part Resume Formula to Stand Out: Get Noticed, Get Hired

  • Google receives over 50,000 job applications per week.
  • Resume with a typo in it is automatically rejected.
  • Excessive length
  • The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview
  • 3 part formula to strengthen as many bullet points as you possibly can = Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]
  • Start with an ACTIVE VERB, then NUMERICALLY MEASURE what you accomplished, provide a baseline for comparison and DETAIL what you did to achieve your goal.


Marketing yourself as an older job seeker

  • “over-qualified, not technically skilled enough, perceived as too old, lost their edge”
  • hybrid approach, well thought out resume, emphasize experience, eagerness to learn, comfort levels in working with diverse groups, to the best of their ability the latest technical skills germane to the job, “thumping” including a willingness to travel or relocate, keeping abreast of the latest versions of popular business software,


20 must-have skills to put on your resume

  • (Soft skills) – Problem-Solving, Critical Thinking, Flexibility, Communication, Teamwork, Organization, Creativity, Emotional Intelligence, Attention to Detail, Responsibility
  • (Hard skills) – Computer Software & Application Knowledge, Design, Data Analysis, Negotiation, Mathematics, Project Management, Marketing, Administrative, Writing, Foreign Languages,
  • (Organize the Skills Section of Your Resume) – sort by relevance, add a highlights section, categorize by skills


6 Ways to Make Recruiting a Stress-Free Process

  • Choose who you want to target
  • Create a set of standard questions
  • Use a Calendar app
  • Take a Mental ‘Break’
  • Avoid Distractions Before, and During, Interviews
  • Don’t be critical of yourself


3 must-see resume writing tips for anyone who actually wants a job

  • Follow a standard format full of easy-to-read bullet points
  • List quantifiable accomplishments beginning with action verbs
  • Focus on networking if you really want to find a job


Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

  • Why?  Gives you a framework to achieve milestones
  • Short term vs. long-term goals
  • Setting personal goals
  • Setting professional goals
  • “SMART goal framework” – Specific + Measureable + Achievable + Relevant + Time-Based
  • Make your goal as clear as possible  /  Define how you will measure success  /  Check whether your goals are achievable  /  Make sure your goal is relevant  /  Set a beginning and end date


The Secret to Getting Your Resume Noticed

  • Competitive job market – resume must stand out
  • (<) job descriptions, duties & responsibilities
  • Demonstrate your accomplishments & prove your value to employers
  • (Blank paper exercise) – brainstorm everything you’ve done in the last 5 years, things you got an award or promotion for
  • Highlight the 3 best accomplishments per position you’ve held – these will show off skills you believe make you a special employee and different from everyone else.
      • ie. “Managed project to convert paper files to digital records.”
      • ie. “Won Employee of the Month”
  • Emphasize Results
      • What  was my action?
      • What was the positive result of my action?
  • Rewrite –
      • Negotiated contract with new office supply company to save the employer money.  Won Employee of the Month for this.
      • Managed project to convert paper files to digital records.  Made it easier for employees to access information.
  • Last step/hard to do – adding the specifics that will prove you accomplished what you said you did.  (ie. money saved, %, #)
      • Negotiated contract with new office supply company to save employer 35% in monthly bills, amounting to a $2000 yearly saving.  Won Employee of the Month in June 2009 as a result.
      • Managed 6 month project to convert 50 years of paper files to digital records.  Enabled employees to retrieve records in seconds instead of minutes.  Saved staff an estimated 2 hours a week each in document filing and retrieval time.
  • Quantify Your Accomplishments/Reinforce Your Points
      • Can you list awards, accolades or promotions you earned as a result?
      • Drop names
      • Was your budget increased?, were you recommended for other work?


Stanford career experts explain the 5 things that will get your resume in front of top hiring managers

  • Functional descriptions – Design your descriptions to focus on your achievements. 
  • Use action words – increased, attained, chaired, developed, adapted, solved, persuaded, directed, coached, managed, executed
  • A good length – keep it brief, consistently well organized, concise.
  • A proper format – choose a format that presents your strengths clearly
  • Quantified results – make sure your descriptions include quantifying results
  • A peer review – ask others to review your resume for content & grammar.  Ask for areas of improvement


Resume reinvention: Storytelling and its connection to your brand

  • Unique brand centered around a theme – ONE.  “One moment, one journey, & one life to make a difference.”
  • Resume as marketing collateral


Google Recruiters Say Using ‘X-Y-Z Formula’ on Your Resume Will Improve Your Odds of Getting Hired at Google

  • BASIC FORMATTING – highly readable, format as PDF, skip the objective, check for typos, use bullet points, include contact info,
  • FOR TECHNICAL JOBS – include your Github link
  • CUSTOMIZATION – write a new, tailored resume for every position you apply for; keep it to 1 page, unless it is for a technical position
  • USE THE X, Y, Z FORMULA – Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z)
  • ADVANCED FORMATTING – organize your resume.  For recent graduates – “school, degree, major, GPA, month and year of graduation
  • FOR TECHNICAL APPLICANTS – include your Github link at the top of your resume alongside your contact info.  List prominently – programming languages, projects and experience

SEPT 2019

How to update and edit your own resume (and land the job)

  • Recruiters & hiring managers scan resumes for 6 seconds
  • Track your accomplishments and wins, update your skillset
  • DIG DEEP TO DEFINE THE “WHY?” (Soul Search – exercises & self reflection) – Your top interests, key motivators, skills you want to employ, ways you want to contribute/find purpose, top strengths and talents, your best qualities, the best work environment, activities you get the most enjoyment from, salary & benefits
  • Statements are optional depending on circumstances (What are you trying to accomplish professionally)
  • List your most impressive/relevant accomplishments first.
  • RESUME = provide context, details & results to reflect why you are the right person for the job. [ metrics ]
  • Don’t rush to update a resume, take your time.  Red flags to recruiters = spelling errors, incorrect verb tenses, personal pronouns, alignment & spacing issues.  Have friends review your resume.
  • Be concise in your wording
  • Use keywords carefully.  Look at keywords in the job description and customize your resume accordingly.
  • Customize the cover letter.  Why you would be a good fit, research the company, add insights, curate bullet points.  Make a good impression.


21 Ways To Improve Your Resume

Emphasize results  /  Use keywords  /  Focus the resume  /  Be concise  /  Limit resume to 2 pages  /  Use a bullet style format  /  Add a summary of qualifications section  /  Note your skillset first  /  Don’t hide graduation years  /  Make it visually appealing (readable, sharp, professional, Arial 12 font, save as PDF to preserve formatting)  /  Do not lie or embellish  /  Clarify a job title  /  Use action verbs  /  No abbreviations or acronyms  /  Use the correct tense  /  Skip tables  /  Avoid graphics, artistic designs, color inks, emojis & photos  /  Don’t advertise negative information  /  Proofread  /  Cover your bases.  Network  /  No tag lines.


8 Ways to Always Stay Employable in Changing Times


  • MASTER THEORY.  Those with deeper understanding survive better.  Allows you to be more adaptive and you will have a wider scope.
  • FIND MENTORSSurround yourself with people who have achieved what you want to achieve and engage them.
  • LEARN HOW TO LEARNIf you create your own process for learning and exploration, you will rarely be left behind regardless of an industry shift.
  • NETWORKInvest in your connections and be proactive about networking. If you treat your professional relationships as investments and make a genuine effort to help them grow, you’ll have a diversified set of relationships that will be the catalyst to your growth and mobility in the job market for years to come.
  • DEEPEN YOUR EXPERTISE If you know your tools on a deeper level than what you use day to day, you will make better decisions, be more effective in your role, and be adaptive to the future – helping both you and your team excel.
  • ENGAGE OTHERS IN YOUR GROWTH.  If you ask for help, assistance is immediate and the benefit you gain far surmounts the 10 seconds of discomfort when asking the question in the first place.
  • BECOME A STRATEGIC THINKERTo be an attractive hire, you need to be accountable and get things done. But people won’t really know that about you until you are hired. In a tough job environment, companies want to hire the people with great ideas that will help a company grow during disruptive change. Before an important interview, Patel suggests taking the time to brainstorm ideas that may help the company grow its product offerings or cut unnecessary expenses.


8 Common Mistakes Older Job Seekers Make

  • Mistake -> Kicking Back and Taking a Break.  Fix: Keep busy.  Employers look for self-starters.  Remain active by consulting or blogging in your field, so you can raise your profile.
  • Mistake -> Using Dated Email Accounts.  Fix: AOL and Yahoo email addresses mark you as dated.  Consider creating a professional email address for your job hunt with Gmail or Outlook.   If your name has already been claimed, add something that identifies your profession, such as jsmitheditor or jsmithmarketing
  • Mistake -> Missing a Digital Presence.  Fix – Tweet, friend and connect.  Consider this: Recruiters use LinkedIN and other social media tools to find candidates.  “The biggest mistake I see is older job seekers confusing privacy with invisibility,” says Susan P. Joyce, an online job-search expert.
  • Resource – AARP’s Job Board.
  • Mistake -Lacking Salary Flexibility.  Fix – Temper salary demands.  This is a deal breaker for lots of older workers, who find it insulting to be offered less than they were making in their last job.  One way to soften the blow is to negotiate for more flex-time, vacation days and other perks that can bump up your package so you don’t lose face.
  • Mistake – Overlooking Contacts.  Fix – Network, network, network.  This is business.  You never know who might be in a position to help or introduce you to someone who can.  Dig deep into your network.
  • Mistake – Overdoing Your Resume.  Fix – limit your resume to 2 pages.  Recruiters will scan it in 20 to 30 seconds.  Choose a traditional font.  Tell a story in snippets.  Restrict your work history to the past 10 years.  And proofread it.
  • Mistake – Ruling Out Jobs.  Fix – Don’t overthink the job description.  Treat a job posting as an ideal.  Often it’s a wish list of what a company would love a new employee to have, but only a number of the requirements are really essential.  A good attitude and a solid work history will carry you the rest of the way.
  • Mistake – Waiting for the Perfect Job.  Fix – Stop living in the past.  Don’t pass on a job because you don’t think it’s an ideal fit.  It might be; it’s just now what you have been doing.  When it comes to landing a job, don’t be stuck in the idea that you need to replace the job you had before.  Look at your skill set and experience as transferable.
  • Lifelong learning


Older Job Seekers Find Ways to Avoid Age Bias

  • Core questionsWhat is it he could do?  Where did his skills translate to a job, one that made him feel some sense of purpose?  And who would hire him, given his age?
  • Patience and persistence
  • Consider moving into a new arena
  • Sense of purpose and engagement, feeling appreciated
  • Network
  • Explore consulting and contract work
  • Resources –  / / /
  • Employer beliefs/stereotypes –
    • Believe older people only want to work for a short time
    • Older workers are less productive and energetic (so have a get up and go attitude)
    • Older workers expect high salaries or are overqualified
    • Lack of technology aptitude (so demonstrate comfort with technology and social media)