The Only Person That Should Influence Your Career Is You

It’s interesting to look back over your career and evaluate where you got it right, and got it wrong.

I have worked in a male dominated industry for most of my career and although it’s obvious that there are more men than women in my industry, I’ve honestly never given too much attention to it.  I’ve been lucky enough to be posted overseas three times, and I’ve travelled with work to countries and cultures that continue to amaze me.  I think it’s important to set the bar based on what you see from others, but not forget that you’re trying to make a better version of you, no one else.

When I’m learning, and working on something that’s as equally exhilarating as scary, I know it’s going to be a good day.  When I allow myself some time to really think about my work, rather than fire-fighting it really makes a difference. Relationships really drive work beyond expectations and it’s important to know people at a personal and professional level so you can understand what drives them, what’s impacting them, and how you need to support them to achieve everything they want to be.

Most of my close friends and colleagues would admit that, at some point, they made a bad decision about their career which set them back.  We took the fantastic role only to find out the reality was different to the interview pitch.  We didn’t ask the right questions during the interview process or been trapped in a role we don’t enjoy because we lack the nerve to make the change.  We’ve not applied for an internal move because we lack the confidence to give it a shot.  The last one is most interesting because statistics tell us that women are more likely to focus on what they don’t have for that new role, rather than what they do have.

How many friends and family can you fit in a photo-booth?

The best advice I could give any young professional, is to ask questions, trust your instincts and take the time to evaluate “what’s next” regularly, even if it scares you.  The only way to have a solid, long-lasting career (which you enjoy) will be to challenge your mind and body while understanding that health and happiness cannot be taken for granted.  We are human, and without the right environment and ‘nourishment’ we can break, and sometimes you might be the last person to see it coming.  Surround yourself with people, both professionally and personally, who will be truthful with you about the areas you excel and the areas you need to improve.  Take on board the feedback you receive, even if it hurts, disappoints you or makes you angry.  Trust me, when you have a chance to really digest that feedback, you will see the relevance in what’s been shared.  Find yourself some professional and personal role models who have similar values, so when things get tough, you have support.

And when you make decisions that don’t seem to be turning out for the best, don’t forget you can always course-correct.  The person who should influence your career and your life the most should be you. Take control of your own destiny – only you can know where you got things right, and where you got them wrong.  When you get things right it’s the best feeling in the whole world, and if you get it wrong, hopefully you learned something about yourself.

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Julie McDowell – Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition,
Connect with Julie on LinkedIn here

Resume Tips and Linkedin Profile Optimization

Candidate Toolkit Resume Tips

Resume tips and LinkedIn tricks from Craig Fisher, personal brand pro

Do you ever find that submitting your resume to an online application is like dropping it into a black hole?  Maybe your resume isn’t getting the attention it should.

Your odds of getting an interview go way up when a recruiter or hiring manager can find your resume easily online.  Especially if they can find what they are looking for in it quickly and easily.

Skill keywords are crucial for getting your resume noticed.  Where they are placed is equally important.  You must explain properly what you have done and for whom.

At the top of your resume in the summary area, you should list the required skills for the job for which you are applying.  Next to each of these, you should list the number of years experience you have with that skill.  If you have no experience with that skill, just say so, or say “knowledge of” or “training in.”  Also list any core skill that you possess that may be relevant to that job with the years experience next to it. Ditch the generic summary at the top of your resume.

Make sure each skill that you have listed at the top is also shown in the body of the resume in each job where you used that skill so that the reader can see where and how you used each of these skills.  Under each job description, have a summary of skills used.  List the skills again, along with any other skills that were used during that job.

After the title and company name for each job description in the body of your resume, write a short paragraph with details about what the company is and does, and what your main job duty was there.  Although you may think it’s obvious, not every reader of your resume will understand what that company is and what your role was unless you spell it out specifically.

Don’t make the reader do any extra work (like having to click a link to find out more about a company you worked for) to understand exactly what you did and for whom.
In your bullet points under that short paragraph do not just list what you were responsible for.  List accomplishments.  Use numbers and descriptive words to show what your impact was.  “Increased sales” is not enough.  “Increased sales by 15% over 6 months” is better.

Repeat everything you have now done on your resume in your LinkedIn profile.  Use the information that you might include in a cover letter in the top summary portion of your LinkedIn profile.  Include your keywords there, too.  Start the “skills used” section under each job description with your name, like this:

Craig Fisher: Talent Acquisition Manager, Talent Attraction Strategist, Recruiting/Sales Manager, Sales, Business Development, Recruiter, Headhunter, Executive Search, Staff Augmentation, Information Technology Consulting Services; Contract, Temp-to-Perm / Contract-to-Hire, & Full-Time Staffing Recruiting; Executive Search. CIO, CFO, CEO, ERP, Oracle, SAP, Peoplesoft, .Net Application Developers, Project Managers, Business Analysts, DBAs, Software Package Installation/Configuration, Social Media Recruiting/Branding/Twitter Strategy Training

You need keywords that will be specific to what you do in order to help separate your resume from the thousands of resumes that are less specific.  A good recruiter will narrow their search with less generic keywords.  Having these listed multiple times in your resume will help it come up at the top of the search results in Google, Linkedin, Job Boards, and company databases.

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Craig FisherAuthor: Craig Fisher
Connect with me on LinkedIn here