Author: lori-bumgarner


Who Needs a Day Off From 2020?

I know I sure could use a day off from 2020! For the first time in a long time, I’m experiencing writers block for this blog, and I just need a little time off from trying to come up with my next topic.

This year has been so eventful, but not in a good way. Therefore, I’ve had plenty to write about, especially on the topic of doing a job search in the middle of a pandemic. But I’m burned out right now.

I love to write, and I’m passionate about sharing my expertise for those who are in need of career help. But for next week’s holiday I’m going to spend some time doing some other things I’m passionate about. And hopefully by the time I return from Thanksgiving, I’ll be refreshed with new topics to help you in your career.

If you have any specific topic requests, please email them directly to me or include them in the comment box below. This will help me to know what information you need most.

In the meantime, even though it’s not the end of the year yet, we can all agree we’re ready for 2020 to be over. Therefore, I’m going to go ahead and share my top 10 blog posts of 2020.

Enjoy!

Top 10 paNASH blog posts of the year (because we’re ready for 2020 to be over!)

1. How to Answer These Important Pandemic Interview Questions

How to Answer These Important Pandemic Interview Questions

Your next interview could include questions like:

  • What did you do with your time while furloughed or laid off during the pandemic?
  • Did you draw unemployment when you could have found work?

These are all very legal questions, so you need to be prepared for them and know how to answer them! Click here to find out how.

2. What Happens When a Pandemic Disrupts Your Career?

What Happens When a Pandemic Disrupts Your Career?

Do you have a back-up plan if an event like a pandemic disrupts your career? Click here to learn how to adapt and pivot in your career.

3. How to Make Phone and Video Interviews Run More Smoothly

How to Make Phone and Video Interviews Run More Smoothly

The number of Zoom and phone interviews will continue to rise even after the pandemic due to their convenience and cost effectiveness. Click here to learn how to ensure things run smoothly for your next remote interview.

4. LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely

LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely

There is an etiquette to building your network on LinkedIn. If you fail to follow this etiquette, you’ll likely turn off the people you want to connect with most. Click here for six LinkedIn etiquette rules to help you make a good first impression.

5. How to Avoid These 5 Career Mistakes During a Time of Panic

How to Avoid These 5 Career Mistakes During a Time of Panic

“Emotions are the worst advisors,” says Serena Williams’s coach Peter Mouratoglou. Letting emotions like fear or panic guide your career decisions can lead to some big career mistakes. Click here to learn how to avoid these mistakes and not panic.

6. How to Write the Best Thank You Notes for Your Interviews

How to Write the Best Thank You Notes for Your Interviews

Are you one of the 90% of job seekers who don’t send a thank you note after your job interview?

A thank you note should be part of your job search strategy, but there’s a certain way to write professional thank you notes, which look and feel different from personal thank you notes.

Click here to learn how to write them, when to send them, and more.

7. What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

Are you using the same old job boards everyone else uses but never find what you’re really looking for? Click here to learn about five alternatives to the oversaturated job boards so you can find more relevant opportunities.

8. Getting Laid Off? The #1 Thing to Ask for When You Leave

Getting Laid Off? The #1 Thing to Ask for When You Leave

When you’re getting laid off, you no longer have anything to lose with your employer. As a result, there’s something you should try to negotiate as part of your severance package to help you get back on your feet quicker. Click here to find out what it is and how to negotiate for it.

9. How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

Recruiters are turned off by desperate job candidates, and they can recognize desperation just from your LinkedIn profile. Click here for the four things you should stop doing on LinkedIn so you won’t appear desperate.

10. How to Improve Your Career During a Pandemic: 15 Resources

How to Improve Your Career During a Pandemic: 15 Resources

Click here for ten more posts on how to manage your career and job search in the midst of a pandemic.

Stay tuned

My posts will return following the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully, as 2020 wraps up and we transition to a new year, there will be less need to write on the topic of job searching during a pandemic.

Again, if you have requests for other career-related topics, please send them my way or include them in the comment box.

I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. When necessary, be physically distant but socially proximate with your loved ones.

2020

How to Go From Veteran Hero to Civilian Employee

When I first started out in career coaching, I worked as the director of a career center at a college located next to the largest military installation in the world. Many of our students were U.S. veteran men and women making the transition from the military to a civilian job. I salute them for their service in celebration of Veterans Day today!

But making the transition from the military to a civilian career path was not easy for most of them. I had to help several of them understand how their military skills transferred to civilian work. I also helped them re-word their résumés to use more civilian-friendly terminology, and make them more marketable to potential employers.

It was an honor to work with such fine men and women, and to help them use their skills to serve their communities in new and different ways.

Jamie’s story

There are numerous companies who want to hire veterans. But just being wanted doesn’t guarantee you a job. And listing your military service on your resume doesn’t even guarantee you an interview. You still have to know and understand the do’s and don’ts of the job search.

For example, I once had a client named Jamie who came to me because, for two and a half years since leaving the military, she had not had any luck in her job search. Despite being a veteran and applying with companies known for hiring veterans, she couldn’t even land an interview.

Jamie was in her late 20s to early 30s, had proudly served her country, and was honorably discharged. In the two and a half years since she’d left the military, she’d started her own animal rescue non-profit, and earned an MBA while also conducting her job search. She had mad skills!

When she first came to me she said,

“Obviously I’m doing something wrong, but I haven’t been able to figure out what it is. Maybe you can show me.”

She knew there was something she was missing. She just didn’t know what it was. After all this time she finally recognized her need for someone to point out her blind spots and show her the way.

A veteran transitions into a civilian employee

When I began working with Jamie, it quickly became apparent to me she needed to make some small tweaks on her resume and learn some new interview skills.

There were some things she’d included on her resume she thought were assets. However, hiring managers instead viewed them as liabilities. I had her remove those from her resume immediately.

Just a couple days later, Jamie got a call for an interview. I spent a few sessions preparing her for the interview. I taught her the interview skills she lacked, and did mock interviews with her while providing feedback on how to improve.

Jamie said:

“I had no idea until now what I’ve been doing wrong all this time!”

A week later, Jamie got the job offer. In fact, the gentleman who offered her the job commented,

“By the way, you gave a really good interview. I have a family member who has a job interview coming up. Do you think you could help her prepare for it?”

How to make the transition from veteran to civilian employee

If you’re a veteran making the transition into civilian employment, here are some tips to help you better market your past experience for civilian opportunities.

1. Get help

First, if the trauma from your military experience has resulted in PTSD, or any other problems that could negatively affect your future work performance, get help! Take advantage of any and all resources offered by the military and the VA.

If these problems are not addressed early and appropriately, it could lead to poor work performance. And if you get fired from your first civilian job, it will be even more difficult to find your next job.

2. Build a civilian network

Next, build a civilian network by starting with the people you already know, including fellow veterans and active service men and women. They have civilian friends and family who probably know someone to connect you with.

Then, take time to learn new networking etiquette tips and networking skills. You can do this through my e-book, Secrets to Networking With Ease (available on Amazon), and also through my on-demand program, The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively. If you need more in depth assistance, I offer military discounts on my one-on-one coaching services to those transitioning out of active duty.

3. Assess your skills

Take some time to list out all the skills you used in your military service. Then, go back and determine which of those skills could transfer to civilian opportunities. It’s helpful to look at the skill requirements in different job ads to better understand how your skills might transfer.

Then, re-word those skills on your resume using some of the same terminology used in the ads. You can also look at LinkedIn profiles of other former military personnel to see how they’ve worded their job descriptions. Choosing a one-on-one coaching package can also provide you with personalized assistance in assessing your skills and marketing them to potential employers.

4. Tell your stories

In just about every job interview, you’re going to have to answer behavioral interview questions that begin with, “Tell me about a time when…”

It may be difficult to relive some of your experiences from your military service. But, your stories are what make you marketable and unique. You must be able to tell your stories in a way that exhibits the skills you’ve developed while dealing with challenging situations.

To learn the right way to answer behavioral interview questions, see my post entitled, “The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions.”

From Deployment to Employment

I’d like to thank all U.S. veterans for their service! I hope you find these suggestions helpful as you make the transition into civilian employment. For additional resources, please check out the info graph below.

How to Write the Best Thank You Notes for Your Interviews

Update: I failed to clarify early on in the original post that a type written thank you note should be sent via snail mail. Thank you to one of my readers for bringing this to my attention!

This is the month we celebrate thanksgiving. Therefore, it’s only fitting to have a blog post about thank you notes for your job interviews.

I remember my senior year of high school was when I first learned the art and etiquette of writing thank you notes. For each person who gave me a graduation gift, I sent a handwritten thank you note.

I also was a debutante at the time. Every debutante was required to write a thank you note to each hostess of every party thrown for us. There were probably about 25 or more parties over the course of a few months, with about five to ten hostesses for each party. When you do the math, you can guess how much my hand was probably hurting from all that writing.

In fact, I think I spent more time those last few weeks of senior year writing thank you notes, than I did preparing for final exams.

But in recent years, I’ve noticed a significant decline in the practice of writing thank you notes. I have several friends I’ve bought wedding and baby shower gifts for, but I’ve never received a thank you note from them. It doesn’t bother me personally. It just makes me sad how some forms of thanksgiving are dying out.

Thank you notes are a job search strategy

Not only do most people not send thank you notes for gifts anymore, they also don’t send them for job interviews. In fact, when I first started doing career coaching 21 years ago, only 10% of job seekers sent thank you notes following their interviews. And guess what? This statistic hasn’t changed much since then, even though most job seekers know they should send a note.

But when it comes to your job search, you shouldn’t view thank you notes as a formality. Instead, view them as a strategy to further market yourself to the employer, even after the interview is over.

Don’t send handwritten thank you notes

The job seekers who do send thank you notes, often send handwritten ones. And some career coaches will even tell their clients to handwrite them. I don’t recommend this at all for a couple of reasons.

One, this is not a personal friend you’re sending a note to. You’re sending it to a professional business contact. The look and feel of your thank you note should reflect this.

Two, and most importantly, a handwritten note doesn’t give you the space you need to further sell yourself.

A typewritten note, on the other hand, gives you the space and opportunity to reiterate the things you want the employer to remember about you. This is especially important if you’re one of the first people they interview, or if you’re the one who falls in the middle.

A typewritten note also gives you the chance to mention anything you didn’t get the opportunity to discuss in the interview like you’d hoped.

How to format your thank you notes

So how should you format your typewritten thank you note?

You want it to be in the same format as your cover letter, which includes all the necessary pieces of information before the greeting. And remember, your thank you note is actually a business letter, just like your cover letter is. Therefore, you should have a colon after your greeting instead of a comma. A colon after the greeting distinguishes a business letter from a personal letter.

Who to send thank you notes to

Not only should you send a thank you letter to the main person you interview with, you should also send one to everyone from the company who participated in your interview. For example, if you interviewed with a search committee, you should send one to each person on the committee, and not just the chair of the committee.

Slightly edit each letter to personalize it so the reader knows you didn’t just send the same form letter to everyone.

When to send thank you notes

Always send your thank you note within 24 to 48 hours of your job interview.

In the meantime, you can also send a thank you email immediately after the interview. Just always make sure to follow up with a thank you letter via snail mail.

Conclusion

It’s important to show your gratitude for the opportunity of an interview. Doing so will make you stand out from those who don’t.

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How to Best Search For a Job When Relocating

One of my good friends has relocated to where she’s dreamed of living for over a year now. This past summer, she hired me to help her with the process of relocating and finding a job in another state.

When we first started working toward her goal, she was still employed here in Nashville. Therefore, she wanted to keep her search on the down-low. A few weeks later, she was laid off from her job here due to COVID. At this point, she knew she had nothing holding her back. Now was the time to go for it full force.

She started planning her move, with or without a job lined up. Of course, she had hopes of landing a job there before her move, but she knew she could either spend her time here looking for a job, or spend it looking for a job there, where she really wanted to be. For her, it was a no-brainer!

She gave herself an expiration date for her time here in Nashville, and started securing temporary housing in her new home state for mid-October. She figured she could continue her job search and look for more permanent housing once she was there, knowing she’d likely have more success being on location.

From the beginning, she did everything right when it comes to networking. She also followed the advice I gave on her resume, which her new networking contacts told her was awesome! They assured her, with a resume like hers, she’d have no problems landing a job in her chosen field of human resources.

And guess what? One week before she left Nashville, she received an offer for a job starting a week after her arrival date. Not only that, the offer was for $10,000 more in salary than what she anticipated!

7 job search tips when relocating

If you’re also looking to relocate, you’ll want to follow these same tips I shared with my good friend so you too can be successful.

1. Include your plans on your resume

Don’t rely on sharing your intentions of relocating only in your cover letter. Many recruiters don’t take the time to read your letter. Instead, make it clear at the top of your resume you’re serious about relocating to the area.

Do this by simply including the line, “Relocating to [insert preferred location]”. If you’re returning to a specific city or state, word it as, “Returning to [insert preferred location]”. This shows you already have ties to the area, and are probably more serious about relocating.

You also probably want to leave your mailing address off your resume. This is because some recruiters will make decisions just from the contact info on your resume. If they see a resume with an out-of-state address or phone number, they sometimes move on to the next candidate. Often the reason is because they know the company wants to avoid paying moving expenses.

Also, it’s no longer necessary to have your mailing address on your resume since most employers communicate via email or phone.

2. Get a phone number with a local area code

Speaking of communicating by phone, what if your area code is an out-of-state area code?

You don’t have to worry about your phone number like you do your mailing address. This is because recruiters know so many people keep their cell phone numbers for a long time, even when they move.

But, if you want to show you’re local or soon-to-be local, you can always create a Google voice phone number for free, using the area code of your place of relocation. Plus, it allows you to keep your messages from recruiters in a separate voicemail box from your personal voicemail.

3. Utilize LinkedIn

As you get closer to your move, you may want to consider changing your location on your LinkedIn profile to where you’re planning to relocate.

Also, search LinkedIn’s groups to see if there are any groups dedicated to people moving to your chosen destination. For example, there’s a “Moving to Australia” group, and a group called, “Moving to Nashville: A Relocation and Mobility Group.”

Join these groups and read the content posted in them. You’ll find several useful tips. If you can’t find the info you’re looking for, use this group as a place to ask for the information you need.

4. Do a cost of living comparison

One of the best resources I used when relocating to Nashville is a site called bestplaces.net. It helped me figure out cost of living comparisons. Also, it helped me calculate how much salary I should negotiate in my next job, based on Nashville’s cost of living.

The site includes a list of the best places to live, along with a quiz to help you determine which place is best for your personal preferences. I recommend this site to every client who’s looking to relocate.

5. Utilize the Chamber of Commerce

I often get the question, “Which job boards do you recommend?”

Well, most of the popular job boards have saturated candidate pools, and it’s hard to find on them the jobs you’re really interested. Instead, I recommend better alternatives.

This includes a city’s Chamber of Commerce site. These sites will often have a job board of their own, much like the one on Nashville’s Chamber of Commerce site.

6. Be open to different industries

If you have to limit your job search to only one geographic area and only one job function, increase your opportunities by being open to different industries.

For example, if your past experience has been accounting in the healthcare industry, consider accounting in the technology industry. Focus your search on the biggest industries in your chosen destination.

7. Visit before you move

Finally, always visit the city you’re wanting to relocate to. Plan an extended stay to learn your way around town, visit with some of the people you’ve met on LinkedIn, and check out the different neighborhoods, schools, churches and parks.

If possible, you should also take another visit during the worst time of year weather-wise, so you can know what to expect.

Conclusion

Relocating and looking for a job in another state, or even another country, can be confusing and overwhelming. If you need assistance, click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

paNASH was recently voted as one of the top coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the fourth year in a row!

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More Coaches’ Advice For a Successful Career

Part 2

Last week, I shared with you the first five of ten rules for a successful career. These rules were garnered from the advice of some of the world’s greatest athletic coaches, as highlighted in the recent documentary series, The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life.

This week I’m sharing the remaining five rules, one from professional soccer coach Jose Mourinho, and the final four from NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion coach, Dawn Staley.

5 More Rules for a Successful Career

1. “Understand your audience.”

Jose Mourinho – Professional Soccer Coach and Manager

I agree with Coach Mourinho. You must always know your audience. And, you must take the time to understand their challenges and needs so you can best serve them. Depending on your career goal, your audience may be the hiring manager at a new company, your current boss, your boss’s boss, or potential clients or customers of your own business.

This is important when marketing your experience. It’s so important, that I’ve created an entire exercise on how to better understand who your audience is. It’s available in my latest book on personal branding, and in the on-demand video course, The Three Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers.

If you don’t take time to understand your audience and their needs, you’ll likely be passed over for your competition. Don’t let this happen to you!

2. “Create a home court advantage.”

Dawn Staley – Head Coach for the Women’s Basketball Team at the University of South Carolina (my alma mater!)

Staley did a great job of creating a home court advantage out of nothing at the University of South Carolina. When she first started coaching for the Gamecocks, there was barely any attendance at the women’s basketball games.

But through her efforts, she created a buzz which drew in more crowds. And then she created buy-in from the crowds through the excellence of her and her team’s work, turning them into fans. Now, there are just as many fans in the stands for the women’s games as there are for the men’s games.

You can do this too with your career. You can create a buzz, and attract those who appreciate your work and who’ll cheer you on and support you. In turn, you’ll attract the attention of the people who want you on their team.

Create your home court advantage by building and growing authentic relationships with your network. You’ll also want to secure LinkedIn recommendations and skill endorsements. If you own your own business, you’ll want to secure positive Google reviews from satisfied clients or customers. By doing so, you’ll grow your audience as you continue your efforts to better understand them.

3. “The 24-hour rule.”

Dawn Staley

This is another good one from Coach Staley! She encourages her players to celebrate their wins and to mourn their losses, but tells them to give themselves only 24 hours to do so.

It’s always good to set healthy boundaries, and this includes expiration dates. Your career will have some wins and some losses. But you can’t rest on your wins, and you can’t wallow in your losses for too long.

Give yourself only 24 hours to celebrate or wallow in the way you choose to, and then get back to work. This is how you keep moving forward.

4. “Growth takes place outside your comfort zone.”

Dawn Staley

You can’t expect to grow or thrive in your career if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. This is along the same lines of much of the advice shared in last week’s Part 1 post. It’s risky to step out of your comfort zone, but without risk there is no opportunity.

Stepping out of your comfort zone in your career could mean different things for different people. For some, it may mean something as small as volunteering to chair a committee. For others, it could be as big as leaving their job to start their own business. And still for others, it could be something in between, like applying for a promotion or moving over to a different role or function.

In determining which step is right for you, the key is not to step so far out of your comfort zone you end up in the panic zone. Instead, the goal is to step out into the learning zone. It’s here where you experience a significant amount of challenge, without it being so much you become overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. It’s all about striking a balance.

5. “What is delayed is not denied.”

Dawn Staley

Coach Staley had so many good rules from the documentary, which is why four out of this week’s five rules come from her. This last one is my favorite!

Sometimes you don’t always get what you want when you want it. But just because it doesn’t come to you in your own time, doesn’t mean you’ll never get it, especially if you’re working hard and ethically for it. Your career path requires your patience. This also includes patience when you find yourself between jobs.

It can be easy to get discouraged, especially when you see others advancing in their careers faster than you. But instead, be encouraged by this truth from Coach Staley.

Grow into a successful career

It’s not just athletes who can benefit from the wisdom of a good coach. Everyone needs a wise coach for a successful career. And you not only need a career coach when you’re between jobs, but also when you’re at the peak of your career.

Do you think Serena Williams quit going to a coach once she became good at tennis? Of course not! She’s been the best in her sport for years because she hired a good coach who’s stuck with her and challenged her.

Do you need someone to help you do the same in your own career? If so, click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. paNASH will assess what you need the most help with at this stage of your career, so you can become and stay the best in your field!

paNASH was recently voted as one of the top coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the fourth year in a row!

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