JL Careers Blog

Why Feedback Can Supercharge Your Career

Want to drive your career forward?  It is essential to know your talents, and equally important to know your blind spots.  Don’t wait for your annual performance review.  Instead, regularly and proactively solicit feedback from your key stakeholders, including your manager, peers and others.  

This feedback is critical to developing and reinforcing your career brand – highlighting what you do well and understanding how people perceive you.  Ask for feedback to help you also identify your developmental gaps which you will need to work on to prepare for career advancement. 

J. Folkman of Forbes.com recommends you “become an expert at asking for and acting on feedback from others”. Check out his article: “The One Thing That Can Supercharge Your Career” for tips on how to ask for feedback that is effective and valuable. 

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Career Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

What Does Your Resume Font Say About You?

First impressions count!  Your resume font can create a great, or a not so strong impression about who you are and how you might show up on the job.   It can give a recruiter the impression you are professional, conservative, creative or even sloppy. 

Overall, the best fonts Bloomberg writer, Natalie Kitroeff suggests you use: Helvetica and Garamond.  Fonts to avoid: Times New Roman, Courier and Comic Sans.

Check out Bloomberg’s The Best and Worst Fonts to Use on Your Resume for insights into what resume fonts say about you. 

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Career Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

 

Ace the Behavioral Interview

“Let’s schedule an interview.” They are the words every job search candidate wants to hear. Once the elation wears off, however, you face the daunting task of preparing for the interview. Knock the interview out of the park by conducting job research and preparation that surpasses the efforts of your competition. Because your career – and landing this job – depends on it.

Proven advice

One tested tactic for acing the interview, a “War Wall” can help you divide and conquer. Anthony Kaul of Higher Bracket learned this innovative, thorough and effective method for interview prep from a client.

This masterful interview strategy entails creating an interview “War Wall” which is covered with print outs of the key players’ photographs and bullet points about their roles, skills and accountabilities. He included pages with the company’s vision and mission statement, as well as the company’s primary products. He also printed out lists of questions he thought would be asked, which he prepared answers for in advance of the interview.

When it came time for the interview, he was fully prepared to respond to questions and ask intelligent ones, based on his research and “War Wall” noting relevant information.

Putting advice to the test

Facing a behavioral interview?  Start the research process:
 

  • Uncover the company’s DNA. CIO.com advises interview candidates to “learn as much about the company and the people interviewing you as you can.” Understanding the industry, products and services, mission statement and strengths and weaknesses helps you gain a competitive advantage. Then, research further to understand the specific role you are targeting. Determine the critical issues impacting the role and the core skills and experience required to be successful.
     
  • Make a connection. You also want to create a great first impression with the interviewers. Research their backgrounds and have a few points through which to connect. LinkedIn is a great "go-to" site for your research.
     
  • Create a conversation. The term “interview” is really a misnomer. Companies want to hire a contributor, someone who will add value to their team. Simply responding in rote terms to questions does nothing to differentiate your brand.  Instead, highlight your key strengths, track record of success, and demonstrate how you would be an invaluable resource to their organization.
     
  • Ask questions. According to the Harvard Business Review, the biggest mistake job candidates make in the interview is “not asking enough questions about the new job, its challenges and the performance expectations.” Ask questions to help you gain insight into what the job entails, key accountabilities, and benchmarks for success. Then, leverage these questions to discuss how and why you’re a great fit for the position.

Landing the job requires in-depth interview preparation and quality research to give you that edge you need. Next time you have a big interview, consider working with an interview coach to devise a strategic approach to your interview, develop targeted answers to commonly asked interview questions, and gain practice time in preparation for the big interview day.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2015 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Going on interviews and not landing offers?

Let’s connect for a complimentary Interview Audit to determine what you need to do to start acing the interview and landing great job offers. I can be reached at joanne.loberg@jlcareers.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

JL Careers Speaker's Series: CPA Tools for Career Advancement

Chartered Professional Accountants - Tri-Cities/Ridge Meadows Chapter

Joanne Loberg, Career Consultant & Certified Executive Coach of JL Careers will be leading this interactive session for the CPABC Tri-Cities/Ridge Meadows Chapter

Part 1:  Getting Unstuck and Getting More of What You Want In Your Career 

During this session you will engage in individual and partner-based exercises to explore and develop strategies to get unstuck and moving forward in your career.  You will: 
 

  • Clarify what you really want - Clarify what’s missing in your career, and what you want more of from your career.
  • Explore what’s standing in the way - Identify the roadblocks and obstacles preventing you from moving forward.
  • Develop strategies to eliminate obstacles to success - Create your advancement plan.
  • Commit to change - Focus on what you are committed to doing to move forward.  
  • Partner for success - Gain an Accountability Partner to help keep you on track.

 
Part 2:  Ready for Your Next Career Move?  Compelling Career Branding Statements and Information Interviews

You will craft a compelling Career Branding Statement and tap into Information Interviews to get face time with hiring managers and key decision makers . Learn how to make a great first impression when networking and profiling yourself for new business development and career opportunities.  

During this hands-on session, you will also learn how to market yourself for success through creating a Compelling Career Branding Statement that markets your skills and experience. You will also uncover how to use Information Interviews to explore career opportunities within your organization and beyond. These meetings provide you with: an inside scoop as to what hiring managers are looking for when recruiting talent; uncover key skills and experience in demand; as well as identify skill gaps and strategies to strengthen your candidacy for future opportunities. 

Session date: Saturday, May 23, 2015

Going the Extra Mile – How to Create a Memorable Interview

Great interviews are tactical maneuvers which demand you have done your homework, devised your interview strategy and practiced for perfection. Healthcare CEO Marc Harrison, a leading influencer on LinkedIn, shares valuable insights in his 5 Tips for a Standout Interview. His key points are: 
 

  1. Demonstrate your professionalism by being a brand ambassador for your former employer. This will reflect well on you as it demonstrates you will be a great spokesperson for the interviewer’s organization as well.
     
  2. Respond to the interviewer’s questions directly. Sounds simple but many candidates are evasive, long winded, or too detailed. 
     
  3. Be personable and real. There is a formula for acing the interview: Fit + Passion + Ability. Read more about ‘’fit” in our blog: Going on interviews but not landing offers? Or dreading the thought of being interviewed?  Hiring managers are looking for someone who shows up engaged, passionate about their organization and ready to jump in and contribute.
     
  4. Really demonstrate you want to be part of their organization. You aren’t just looking for another job, but you want to work for them. Be able to express why you are drawn to them in terms of their mission and values.  
     
  5. Ask great questions, including questions that allow you to understand the challenges impacting the role, the goals and benchmarks of success. I also recommend exploring what’s keeping that manager awake at night when they think about that division and the role.

Creating a truly memorable interview does take work, but the reward is you will stand out from your competition and differentiate yourself as a lead candidate.  

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Career Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

Ready for your next career move? Tools for Career Advancement - JL Careers Speaker's Series

Connecting Environmental Professionals Network – CEP Mentorship Program 

Joanne Loberg, Career Consultant & Certified Executive Coach of JL Careers will be leading this interactive session for the Connecting Environmental Professionals Network – CEP Mentorship Program.

Tools for Career Advancement: Compelling Career Branding Statements & Information Interviews

Learn how to craft a compelling Career Branding Statement and tap into Information Interviews to get face time with hiring managers and key decision makers. Learn how to make a great first impression when networking and profiling yourself for new career opportunities.  

During this hands-on session, you will also learn how to market yourself for success through creating a Compelling Career Branding Statement that markets your skills and experience. You will also uncover how to use Information Interviews to explore career opportunities within your organization and beyond. These meetings provide you with: an inside scoop as to what hiring managers are looking for when recruiting talent; uncover key skills and experience in demand; as well as identify skill gaps and strategies to strengthen your candidacy for future opportunities. 

Session date: Monday, April 27th, 2015

Job Marketing: What’s Your Career Brand?

Branding. It’s not just for businesses trying to market a product or service. Branding can guide your career advancement.  Career branding, or creating your unique “selling” proposition, can give your job search a boost. With a more direct, targeted approach to how you market yourself, career branding can help you land more interviews.  Start thinking like a marketer, and develop your unique value proposition. It will guide all of your job search efforts and result in a more targeted, accurate search that yields results. 

What it is

In marketing speak, a unique selling proposition (USP) is a “remarkable benefit” or “something that you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not,” according to Copyblogger. In essence, this USP is woven throughout all of the business’ marketing copy, delivering on that unique promise of value.

In a job search, a unique value proposition (UVP) not only helps highlight your “value” to potential employers, but it drives a more targeted job search. Instead of going after jobs that don’t necessarily match your brand, you’ll be seeking out jobs that meet your brand profile.

Why is it important?

Your reputation, or your “brand,” matters when searching and interviewing for a job. In a sea of other qualified candidates, you need to stand out. With a UVP guiding your job search, you’ll be able to quickly explain the key benefits you can deliver, how you will uniquely approach that position, and who will benefit. It makes the message you send to recruiters and hiring managers very clear, driving your competitive edge.

Creating your Unique Value Proposition 

A carefully crafted UVP can take your job search to the next level:
 

  • Uncover what you do best. You may have a lot of great skills, but candidates should know “the top one or two selling points that make [them] unique,” according to CIO.  Start the process of building your brand statement by highlighting what you do best and the audience or industry you serve. 
     
  • Perceptions matter. According to Mashable, you’ve landed on your career brand when “Your self impression = How people perceive you.”  If there’s a gap, adjust your UVP to reflect how you really perform. You may want to ask colleagues or superiors to offer an honest evaluation of your unique value to help craft your statement.
     
  • Get in alignment. The Washington Post advises professionals to live the 3 Cs when creating their career brand and ensure it aligns with what they really do: “Clarity, consistency and constancy. You need a clear message delivered consistently across all channels, and with constancy and frequency. That’s how the big brands do it, and that’s how individuals should do it.” Track the channels you use to convey your brand, and make sure your LinkedIn profile, resume, cover letter, elevator pitch, and even what you wear to a job interview, align with your UVP.

Use these tips for creating your career brand and let it lead your networking, discussions with recruiters and hiring managers, and interviews.  A streamlined, targeted UVP will help you showcase your brand in the best possible light and drive a competitive edge for those coveted few interview spots.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice. Copyright 2015 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Career Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

 

How to Bring More Happiness into Your Work and Play

Did you know that one of the keys to work & personal happiness is to have a DREAM?  Research from Day of Happiness recommends if you want to be more happy, you need to take control of the following:
 
D = DIRECTION Have goals to look forward to”  These motivate and inspire us to move forward, and give us a sense of accomplishment.

R = RESILIENCE Find ways to bounce back”  Find small moments in each day to recharge and renew.  Stress: How is it Impacting Your Job Performance? has great tips for building resiliency to stress.

E = EMOTION Take a positive approach”  What we dwell on, persists.  It’s simple:  shift your attitude and you will shift your results. 

A = ACCEPTANCE Be comfortable with who you are”   You are immensely talented and gifted.  By focusing on your strengths, you catapult your results and drive your dreams forward.  In my article Getting More of What You Want in Your Career, I note that  Marcus Buckingham, author of Now, Discover Your Strengths,  recommends you get clear about what you are good at, and then leverage these strengths to drive your career success. 

M = MEANING Be part of something bigger”  What’s your mission and purpose in life?  What inspires you to make a difference? Capture that and then build a Personal Mission Statement that focuses what you do in your work and personal life, how you invest your time and energy, and allows you to celebrate the difference you make in the world.  

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Career Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

30 Day Career Shift Challenge

What would you like to change about your career?  What could you do this week, or better today, to start this shift?

Career shifts don’t happen overnight.  To pursue great things, break your goals into bite size chunks.  As basketball great, Michael Jordan, says, the only way to reach a goal is: “Step by Step”.

So here’s my 30 Day Career Shift Challenge:

1. First, get clear about what you want.
2. Develop a monthly plan including weekly goals and daily objectives. 
Some ideas to consider: talk with your manager about your career goals, update your resume, attend a business networking event, sign up for some professional development courses.  For more suggestions check out: 6 Job Search Tips to Get the Job You Want.
3. Get someone to champion you. We all need a cheerleader who believes in our potential and our career aspirations. It could be your manager, spouse, mentor or a career coach.  Share your goals and solicit their support to accelerate your success.

Don’t have time?  Consider:  What is the cost if I don’t do it now?  If I wait, where will I be in 6 months, or a year from now: disengaged with my work, frustrated with my boss, overwhelmed and stressed? 

Life passes by too quickly, seize this moment and take the 30 Day Career Shift Challenge.  Great things are ahead for you!

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Career Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

 

LinkedIn Messages: How to Create a Strong Network

You’re behind the eight ball if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile to give your networking a boost. LinkedIn makes it easy for colleagues in and outside of your industry to connect and it helps recruiters find the right candidates. 

First:  Create a Killer Profile 

In Raise Your Profile on LinkedIn: 3 Key Strategies, a recent JL Careers article, I recommend 3 key tactics: 1) include a professional-looking photo, 2) craft a compelling headline (or tag line), and 3) leverage your strengths in your Summary section.  

Now you are ready to connect!

Understanding the Power of LinkedIn Messages

Your message needs to stand out from the crowd and get you noticed.  Many LinkedIn messages, alongside an onslaught of other promotional, professional and personal email messages, are ignored. In addition to the plethora of mail users must wade through, you probably aren’t the only professional looking to increase their “connections” tally. Your message needs to command attention and get noticed amidst a sea of other users using the generic LinkedIn message to request a connection.

Don’t Squander Opportunities to Connect

  • Don’t send automated messages. Professionals gloss right over an automated message. Get more creative than “I’d like to connect with you.” 
     
  • Never send generic messages. Users won’t bother to click over to take a look at your profile without a reason to do so. 
     
  • Avoid firing off a quick message. Each opportunity you have to connect with a LinkedIn user has the potential to get you one step closer to a connection that will provide value. Take your time and carefully craft a thoughtful message.

A How-to Guide for Successful Networking on LinkedIn

Succeeding in your career, as well as in your job search is all about connections. You can’t make all of these connections face-to-face, but you can “meet” people you’d never otherwise encounter in person on the LinkedIn platform.  When approaching contacts: 

  • Make it personal. Consider for a moment the number of messages you get from LinkedIn that are generic requests to connect. You quickly click “connect,” and you move on. Instead, open the message with a brief, personal note. According to Mashable, “When you do something differently, it helps you to stand out.” 
     
  • Be specific. Don’t send out blanket messages to hundreds of connections. Carefully tailor your messages to people in organizations you’re truly interested in, and then be specific in your message. Note the experience you have in common, such as industry interests, trends, or skillsets. Keep the opening direct: Do you want to connect and chat? Join a group? Meet for coffee?
     
  • Go for the bull’s eye. If you really want to leave a strong first impression include details in your message that help you stand out from the crowd. In a few sentences, make it clear what you know about their profession and organization, and the interests or skills you have in common.
     
  • Keep it short. Long messages are the kiss of death. Users just won’t read them. Instead, make each word and sentence count, and keep it brief.

LinkedIn encourages users to adopt many of these practices to effectively network on the platform. In addition to being concise, personal and brief, take full advantage of the subject line. According to How to Write a Networking Email That Gets Responses, “email is one of the most effective ways to connect with people, especially when 91 percent of people check their email every day.”

Try crafting your next LinkedIn message using these guidelines, and tap into one of most effective ways to grow your network, whether you’re in transition or firmly entrenched in a solid organization.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice. Copyright 2015 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

 

 

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JL Careers provides Career and Leadership Coaching, Career Development Workshops, and Career Transition Services which support organizational succession planning, leadership development and employee engagement strategies.