Tag: resume writing


How to Protect Your Career While Homeschooling

If you’re a working parent, you may have had to temporarily quit your job to start homeschooling your children due to COVID-19. This unexpected career disruption could have long-term negative effects on the remainder of your career. Especially if you had to leave your job completely with no options to return.

It’s always been difficult for parents to return to the workforce after having stayed home to raise their children. While this current period of homeschooling hopefully won’t last more than one semester, you may face some of the same challenges other parents have faced after being out of the workforce for an extended period of time.

But there are some things you can do now to reduce the negative impact of this disruption on your career. Things that will build your resume and keep you marketable, even during this time away from your career.

4 ways to protect your career while homeschooling

1. Document the skills you’re developing

Pay attention to the skills you’re learning in this new homeschooling job you have. There are probably more than you realize. But if you start paying attention, you’ll see you’re developing not just new computer tech skills, but also many soft skills employers look for in candidates.

These soft skills include:

  • Patience
  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Empathy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Stress management
  • Persuasion
  • Active listening

…and so much more!

2. Add your homeschooling experience to your resume

Add the computer skills and soft skills you’re learning to the skills section of your resume. Then, go a step further and add your homeschooling to your experience section of your resume. By doing so, it will explain to the reader two things:

  • Why you left your previous job…
  • …and why you have a gap in your traditional employment history.

3. Share it on LinkedIn

Don’t just stop with your resume. You’ll also want to add this information to your LinkedIn profile.

Then, make sure your LinkedIn network is aware of these skills you’re developing. To do this, you have to do more than just add it to your LinkedIn profile. You also have to share your experience and lessons about it in your LinkedIn groups and newsfeed.

Share posts on LinkedIn about the lessons you’re learning by homeschooling your children, your take-aways from the experience, and the best practices you’ve come up with. Not only does this show ingenuity and initiative to potential employers, it also makes you a helpful resource for industry colleagues who are going through the same thing. People will remember you for this, which will come in handy for when you’re looking to return to the workforce.

4. Write about your homeschooling experience

If you enjoy writing, you can take your posts on LinkedIn and develop them into full-blown articles. You can either write articles directly on LinkedIn, or in a blog, or both!

When doing so, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and talk about how hard the adjustment has been for you. This vulnerability is what will draw readers to your writing. It’s okay to be vulnerable, even if future employers see it. This shows them you’re authentic.

But also talk about how you’ve found ways to deal with or overcome the obstacles you’re facing in these unprecedented times. This shows readers, including potential employers, your resilience.

Conclusion

If you need help with your resume or LinkedIn profile so they will be ready when it’s time to start looking for work again, paNASH can help! Click here to fill out the paNASH intake form and schedule an initial consultation.

Don’t wait to get started. The average job search takes three to nine months, even in a good job market. If your goal is to be back at work as soon as you can stop homeschooling, now is the time to start working toward this goal!

Click here for more posts to help you manage the impact of COVID-19 on your career.

Do You Really Need a Cover Letter?

Do you really need a cover letter to go along with your résumé? People ask me this question a lot. While a LinkedIn profile and a résumé are still necessary when applying for a job, it’s not always clear if a cover letter is necessary.

When to include a cover letter

Here’s a simple rule to keep in mind: always show you can follow instructions by providing what the job ad asks for. If a job ad says to send a cover letter along with your résumé, then do so. If it doesn’t, you don’t have to.

But if including a cover letter is optional, keep the following things in mind:

1) It’s likely hiring managers and recruiters won’t read your cover letter. Especially if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t require you to have strong writing skills. Recruiters don’t have the time to read through both cover letters and résumés, even after they’re stack has been narrowed down with résumé filtering software.

2) If you’re applying for a job that requires strong writing skills, it’s a good idea to include a cover letter. Hiring managers may use it as a writing sample to see how well you write. This is why you really need to write your cover letter yourself.

You may save yourself some time in the short run by getting someone else to write your cover letter for you. But it could hurt you in the long run. This could be seen as misrepresenting yourself. In fact, I know professional résumé writers who refuse to write cover letters for this reason.

10 tips for a good cover letter

If and when you need to include a cover letter with your résumé, you’ll want to follow these general tips:

  • Include your name and contact info in the same format as you have on your résumé.
  • Include the company’s name and contact info after the date.
  • Always try to get a name and title of an actual person to address your letter to. If you can’t find one, then use “Dear hiring manager” or “Dear Sir or Madam” as your greeting. Never use “To whom it may concern.”
  • Always end your greeting with a colon, not a comma, since a cover letter is a business letter and not a personal letter. Using a comma instead of a colon is the most common mistake I see on cover letters.
  • In the first paragraph, state your interest in the job and how you heard about it. This helps the company identify which job advertising methods are working best for them.
  • In the second paragraph, briefly state how your experience matches up with the job requirements. Site a specific example of something you’ve accomplished in a past job that exemplifies how you can contribute in this job similarly.
  • In the third and final paragraph, be assertive and ask for the interview. Do this by indicating you’re interest in the opportunity to further discuss your qualifications. Include the best and easiest way to reach you.
  • Avoid phrases like “I think,” “I feel,” or “I believe” when describing your skills and strengths. These phrases make you sound like you’re not confident. Simply state what you know you can bring to the table.
  • Keep it brief. This is not the time to repeat your résumé in paragraph form. Make your cover letter as concise and easy to read as possible. If your writing is wordy, try to say the same thing in fewer words.
  • Don’t send out the same cover letter to every job. You’ll need to change a few things to personalize it to the company or position. When doing this, be careful with copying and pasting. You don’t want to make a mistake, like not changing the company name in the middle of your last paragraph. Avoiding mistakes like this will require more focused and more frequent proofreading.

Resources

While you should always write your cover letter yourself, you can have it critiqued by paNASH. This is one of several services included in the “Career Passion” coaching track.

In addition to tips for writing cover letters, you can get numerous tips on résumé writing from the following resources:

Related posts:

3 Ways to Gain Control Over Your Career in a Recession

The past few weeks have been difficult for a lot of people. There are people who are sick from the coronavirus and missing their family members. Others have been working from home, or worse, been laid off. And we’re all facing a looming recession.

There was so much “white noise” on social media last week you may have missed my previous posts, including three different ways to help you gain some control over your career in these trying times. In case you missed it, here’s a compilation of those three things you may find useful now or in an upcoming recession.

How to gain control over your career amidst layoffs and a recession

Maybe you’ve been fortunate enough to continue working from home during this coronavirus quarantine. But perhaps you haven’t been so lucky.

Some folks have been told not to report to work. And since their job doesn’t lend well to remote work, they’re having to use precious vacation or sick days. Or worse, they’re being laid off.

If this is you, or could possibly be you in the near future, you probably feel like you have no control over your current career or job situation.

But, there are some things you can do to help you feel a little more in control, and can help you be better prepared in the event of a job loss.

1. Stay in control by updating your resume the right way

If it’s been a while since you last updated your resume, now is a good time to do so. It’s definitely more productive than spending your time watching Netflix while quarantined!

I’m sure there are several things you need to add to your resume since you last updated it. Which means you need to make room for those new things.

So how do you know what to get rid of to make way for the new info? I have several free videos, including one entitled:

What NOT to Share On Your Resume: 13 Things You Should Delete Immediately

You may not realize it, but there are probably some things on your resume that are hurting your chances of landing a job interview. They need to go! Find out what they are before you send your next résumé out by watching the video.

Once you’ve updated your resume, you have a chance of getting a free resume critique from paNASH. Details are available in the video.

2. Be prepared to become a freelancer during a recession

Even if you’re still able to work during the coronavirus quarantine, whether from your office or from home, let me ask you something:

Are you prepared to be a freelancer if forced to?

Think about it. If you lost your job tomorrow and couldn’t find another one right away, would you be able to pick up and start making some extra money?

Do you already have some other streams of revenue in place, like freelance work or a side hustle?

I’ve previously written about the importance of having multiple streams of income. You can’t rely on only one stream because it could evaporate tomorrow.

I’m not saying this to cause you to panic. Instead I say it to help you feel more productive and a little more in control of your current situation.

How to create multiple streams of income

Here’s what you have some control over. Sit down and make a list of skills you have that others would pay you to perform because they lack those skills. Also add to your list anything you own that others might want to rent on a short-term basis.

Decide which items on your list will take the least amount of time to start earning the most money.

Then, get the word out. Use your current social media profiles to do this. And join platforms you’re not already using. Start with the ones that make the most sense for your product or service.

You may be surprised what kind of response you get.

Forced to be a freelancer

Recently, my hairstylist’s husband was in between digital marketing jobs. Although he received several interviews and offers, the offers weren’t financially feasible based on his experience and the potentially long commutes.

While holding out for something more financially feasible, he took some home improvement jobs as a side hustle since he’s good at this sort of thing.

When one side hustle opportunity was completed, another one came along. Then it got to the point where he had so many side jobs to choose from it made more financial sense to make this his full-time gig!

He’s now making more money doing home improvement than he would’ve if he’d stayed in digital marketing.

Need help becoming a freelancer?

If you need help with the steps of starting a side hustle or work opportunity for yourself, let me know. I’ve successfully transitioned to working for myself and have helped several clients do the same.

3. Getting laid off? The #1 thing to ask for when you leave

Getting laid off is difficult and scary. It’s happening to so many people right now due to a recession caused by the coronavirus. It can make you feel like your career and your life is out of control.

On some occasions you can convince your boss or company that you’re worth keeping around. Such as when you’re able to show your past contributions to the company and the savings of letting you work remotely, using hard data. Hard data gets people’s attention.

But if your data doesn’t outweigh the data that supports letting you go, there’s still something you can negotiate.

Outplacement counseling

You can always ask your company to provide or include outplacement counseling in your severance package.

Outplacement counseling is simply another term for career coaching or job search assistance. It’s set up to help you find your next job more quickly, and to make a smoother transition to it.

Many companies already offer it in their severance packages. I know this because I’m often one of the people they pay to provide such a service for their employees.

Take advantage of outplacement

If your company already offers outplacement counseling, take advantage of it! I’m always surprised at how some people just toss this benefit aside. Their company has already paid for the service, yet some employees think they don’t need it.

Even if you don’t think you need outplacement counseling, use it! If you already have another job lined up, use it to help you prepare for your first year in your new job.

Career coaching isn’t just for helping you find a job. It’s also for helping you succeed in your next job and building your career. And everything discussed in your coaching sessions remains confidential. It will never be shared with your past employer.

Ask for outplacement

If you’re getting laid off due to the coronavirus, and your company doesn’t offer outplacement counseling, ask for it! What do you have to lose at this point?

If your company needs convincing, help them understand how it not only benefits you, but also their business. It protects the company’s brand and reputation. It mitigates the risk of litigation. And, it provides them the opportunity to do the right thing for their employees.

If your company agrees to pay for the service but doesn’t have anyone to provide it, tell them you know someone! Feel free to have them email me, Lori Bumgarner, at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com. I’ve provided outplacement counseling to hundreds of companies’ employees over several years, especially during times of recession.

Additional help when getting laid off

If your company says no to offering outplacement counseling, there are still some free and affordable resources here at paNASH, starting with paNASH’s on-demand programs and free career success videos. Click here to receive free access to the following videos:

Control what you can during a recession

Knowing what you can’t and can control means the difference between feeling panicked and empowered. Hopefully the tips and resources provided here will make you feel more empowered. I look forward to helping you navigate these uncertain times in your career!

Related posts

How to Gain Control Over Your Career Amidst Layoffs

Part 1 of 3 posts

Maybe you’ve been fortunate enough to continue working from home during this coronavirus quarantine. But perhaps you haven’t been so lucky.

Some folks have been told not to report to work. And since their job doesn’t lend well to remote work, they’re having to use precious vacation or sick days. Or worse, they’re being laid off.

If this is you, or could possibly be you in the near future, you probably feel like you have no control over your current career or job situation.

But, there are some things you can do to help you feel a little more in control, and can help you be better prepared in the event of a job loss.

This is part one of three recommended strategies.

Stay in control by updating your resume the right way

If it’s been a while since you last updated your resume, now is a good time to do so. It’s definitely more productive than spending your time watching Netflix while quarantined!

I’m sure there are several things you need to add to your resume since you last updated it. Which means you need to make room for those new things.

So how do you know what to get rid of to make way for the new info? I have several free videos, including one entitled:

What NOT to Share On Your Resume: 13 Things You Should Delete Immediately From Your Resume

You may not realize it, but there are probably some things on your resume that are hurting your chances of landing a job interview. They need to go! Find out what they are before you send your next résumé out by watching the video.

It’s available here along with two other free videos:

Once you’ve updated your resume, you have a chance of getting a free resume critique from paNASH. Details are available in the video.

Keep your resume updated

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s always a good idea to update your resume every six months. There are two reasons why:

1. It’s a lot easier to remember what you’ve done over the past six months than the past six years.

2. You never know when you may need it in a situation like we’re currently facing.

Updating your resume and keeping it updated are just a couple things you have control over in uncertain times.

Control what you can

Knowing what you can’t and can control means the difference between feeling panicked and empowered.

Stay tuned for additional ways to maintain control in part two and part three. Submit your name in the right hand column to receive alerts for new posts.

Related post:

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

Will You Please Just Tell Me What’s Going to Be on the Exam?

Back to School!

It’s back to school this week here in Nashville! I remember when I was in school, especially in college, I didn’t have the appreciation I have now for education. I remember only caring about what I needed to know for my exams, and not much about anything extra.

But, there was always that one older (non-traditional aged) student in my college classes who would ask questions about stuff we didn’t need to know for the exam. You probably had a classmate like her too.

I remember rolling my eyes and thinking to myself, “Quit asking so many questions so we can get out of class early!” But now, I would so be that student if I was back in college again. I totally would.

Lifelong Learning

The older I get, the more I love to learn. I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way. So many people grow in their appreciation for knowledge and learning as they get older. I guess this is why George Bernard Shaw said,

“Education is lost on the youth.”

Lifelong learning and continuing education is very important. And not just for satisfying a thirst for knowledge or broadening your knowledge base. With changes occurring rapidly in the way we work, it’s necessary to learn new approaches to the job search in order to keep up in today’s job market.

In doing so, sometimes we first need to focus on the basics and learn (or re-learn) the nuts and bolts (i.e. the stuff we know will be on the “exam”).  This includes the nuts and bolts of writing a resume.

The Nuts and Bolts of Resume Writing

I get so many clients who haven’t had to write a resume in about 10-20 years. Things have changed since then, despite all the outdated resume advice still floating around out there on the Internet. There are new resume writing basics today’s job seekers need to learn if they want to successfully land more interviews. This includes how to get their resume through the resume-filtering software to a pair of human eyes.

Not too long ago, I taught a continuing education class on resume writing. Many of the students in my class were surprised at how many new “nuts and bolts” things they needed to know for their resume (the “exam”).

Now I’ve taken the same info from the class I taught, and packaged it into an online course called Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed. It’s perfect for anyone who only wants to learn the nuts and bolts of how to write a marketable resume for today’s job market.

And for those of you who want to learn more than just what’s going to be “on the exam,” there is a copy of my e-book Get Your Resume Read! included for free with your purchase of the on-demand program.

Welcome Back to School: Resume Writing Course Preview

Want a course preview? There are five lessons/episodes in this on-demand program:

back to school

In addition, there are several downloadable handouts to help you create the best resume possible for your unique career situation:

  • The paNASH Resume Makeover Guide
  • Chronological Resume Sample
  • Skills Resume Sample
  • Targeted/Hybrid Resume Samples (for career change and for executive level)
  • E-book: Get Your Resume Read!

So if you just want to learn what’s going to be “on the exam” or you want to know more, I invite you “back to school” by registering for Resumes That Get You the Interview for $87. You can work at your own pace and skip around so you can get to the parts you care about the most.

A recent user had this to say:

“While going through the videos and handouts, I kept blurting out ‘Ah, that’s good advice!’ every two to three minutes. That’s how much information I learned – something new every two minutes of watching! Thank you Lori for this program. I can say it is worth the money!” Chris D.

What’s NOT Going to Be on the Exam

In addition to the on-demand program, here’s a recent video I posted on LinkedIn describing one of several things you should NOT include on your resume:

Want to learn more about what not to include on your resume? Click here to purchase the on-demand program now.

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back to school