How to Get into "hire me" shape!

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“Brenda, I got a job offer this morning!” Those are the words that make my job worthwhile. I feel like a proud mama every time. . . 

I just got that message from a job seeker who began her search about 6 weeks ago and now she has, not one but, two pending offers! She's so excited now, but that wasn't the case a few weeks ago. Trying to transition to a new job in Q4 really took a toll on her. However, all of the footwork and seed planting that she did in November and December has yielded much fruit in this new year. It may be freezing cold outside, but the job market is hot! Fiscal year budgets are in and people are getting back into to swing of post-holiday work grind. That means it’s time for them to hire! If you haven’t already upped your branding game, it’s not too late, but you should definitely strike while the iron is hot.

The first step in getting yourself ready for employers is to Polish & update your resume & Linkedin profile. It's time to dust off the ol' resume. Review it yourself first to make sure there are no typos, errors and that everything is up to date. Then, take a look at it from the perspective of a hiring manager and ask yourself, "Would you hire you based on this resume?"

First, make sure your resume is aesthetically pleasing. Even if you have great content, nobody wants to look at an ugly resume. Try using Canva.com or Creative Market to add a little bit of life to the document. Even if you're not in a creative field, there are plenty of tasteful resumes that work in any industry. Just know, that your competition has worked hard to make their resume look good.

Second, add a summary section. This serves as your "commercial" and it entices HR reps to keep reading. You want to highlight your top skills that make sense for the job, but also highlight what you are known for- what's your specialty in your field? If you don't know what you bring to the table, then the hiring manager definitely won't know.

Third, include keywords that are relevant to your industry. It's okay to have a skills section where you list your skills, but be sure to also weave keywords into your experience section. This shows that you not only have the skill, but you are able to articulate how you've used it on the job.

Once you are ready to present yourself as a job seeker, start adding networking events to your calendar. When you meet others in your industry, share the specifics of what you're looking for and what you can offer.

Most important- just start! If you are dreading Mondays at your current job, it's up to you to take the first step in finding a new one.

Schedule a free profile assessment with me and I’ll get you started on the right track!

Brenda Bridges is an Atlanta-Based career & online dating coach, Founder of Your Lively Life and Career Coach at General Assembly Atlanta. After one conversation with a Linkedin recruiter, who taught her how to optimize her profile, her dream company found HER! Now, she helps other create stellar Linkedin & online dating profiles to attract the jobs and relationships of her dreams.

How to Have a Bomb-Ass Monday Morning

I love lists.

I'm not a fan of posts with lists that take too long to get to the list.

So here's your list gorgeous! Read, sleep, have a bomb ass day, and repeat!

1.   Pick out your clothes the night before- okay, so technically you don’t actually do this in the morning, but believe me, your “morning self” will totally appreciate it. There’s nothing worse than overexerting your brain and suffering from decision fatigue by mid-day (Decision fatigue is a real thing!). Do yourself a solid and give yourself one less thing to think about when you're suffering from morning brain.

 Glamour magazine

Glamour magazine

 

2. Hydrate! You've been asleep for the past 6-8 hours, which means you've gone without doing the things that you do when awake. You'll likely be thirsty, hungry and have to use the bathroom. 

 

Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water . . . Water is life dancing to the tune of solids.
— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

3. Wake with a purpose. Pick one thing on your plate today that you are excited about tackling and laser in on doing just that! Of course, there are other things on your to-do list, but focusing on that one exciting act, will make hopping out of bed a bit easier.

 YouTube

YouTube

4. Get moving. I recently joined a kickboxing gym where I attend a super early AM class. At first, I thought, "what did I get myself into!" However, the benefits have been two-fold.

a. I am receiving the obvious benefit of getting an early energy boost by exercising in the morning.

b. The gym is much closer to my office than my house, so oI end up beating all the crazy traffic, making my commute a pleasant experience.

Whenever I think about skipping the class, I remember how bad traffic and I high tail it out of the house. You don't have to join a gym, but get moving somehow someway. Start with a few stretches and graduate to 10 minutes of pilates or yoga. There are tons of Youtube or OnDemand videos. 

5.   Get the right alarm-  I highly suggest a soft, subtle alarm over the traditional Honk, honk , honk, honk. Scaring yourself out of your slumber is not an ideal way to start a day, let alone the work week. That alarm puts you in a defensive mode and you declare war on your clock. Wouldn't you rather wake up with a smile? I use the bedtime song on my iPhone and I wake up like freaking Cinderella with birds chirping by the window and me smiling, wanting to sing a song. Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Bonus tip: If you can train yourself to wake up before your alarm goes off then your body is actually calling the shots. It's telling you, "Hey! I've had enough sleep, now let's be great today!"

Now rise and seize the day.

 

I'd like to address the fact that I did not put coffee or breakfast on here. Some people have to eat breakfast first thing, but for me, the 5 things I listed are activities that get me more energized before breakfast. If you need a breakfast burrito or a grande latte, girl do you!!! 

Free stock images to make your blog pop!

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Entrepreneurial endeavors call for having quite a few tools, tips and tricks under your belt. One of the challenges I found in the early days was finding quality images that didn't break the bank.

Not to fear, for royalty-free images are here. Royalty-free images are copyrighted images that you are allowed to use without paying any royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or a certain period.

There are tons of sites that offer either free or reasonably priced royalty-free images. Here are a few of my favorite sites:

How to Master Behavioral Based Interview Questions

There are many kinds of interviews and interview questions, but so many job seekers dread Behavioral Based Questions.  I like to call them BBQs, not only because it's the abbreviation but also because they really put the candidate in the hot seat. If you're not ready for them, they'll cook on the spot! In fact, I was having a wonderful interview with a candidate a while back; he was doing so well until he got completely stumped by back-to-back behavioral based questions. They totally threw him off and the rest of the interview kind of went downhill from there. It was such a "bless his heart" moment. I never want that to happen to any of you. So, dread no more! I've got tips on how to dominate the terrifying questions that begin with, "Tell me about a time when . . ." 

serious man - istock

Before we dive into the tips (I promise I'll get there in just a minute), let's talk about what a behavioral based question is and why they are asked in the first place. 

WHY IN THE HECK ARE BEHAVIORAL-BASED QUESTIONS EVEN A THING?

Behavioral based interview questions are asked so that the employer can get an idea of a candidate’s past behavior. Previous actions in a certain situation can be indicative of how a person may react if faced with a similar situation in the future. That’s why they are used so often in interviews. They can be really effective in learning more about a candidate’s ability to make decisions, display assertiveness, flexibility or teamwork.

1-2-3 STUDY-SESSION FOR BEHAVIORAL-BASED INTERVIEWS

STEP 1: Take a closer look at the job description. Physically go through and highlight the top skills that are required for the job.

STEP 2: Go through your resume think about the jobs in which you've been able to utilize the skills that are in the new job description.

STEP 3:  Dig a little deeper and bring a few specific instances of when you had to utilize those skills. Bring these memories to the forefront of your brain so they'll be fresh on your mind. You should be able to provide real examples of situations where you used those skills.

SAMPLE BEHAVIORAL BASED QUESTIONS

Tell me about a time when you . . . 

1.      Solved a complex problem/situation at work.

2.     Had a conflict with a co-worker (or group member on a project).

3.     Had a co-worker criticize your work in front of others. How did you respond?

4.     Initiated an idea that was a success.

5.     Had to keep track of multiple projects or tasks. How did you keep track of your progress to meet deadlines?

6.     Came up with an innovative solution to a challenge your company or class was facing. What was the challenge? How was it implemented?

7.     Failed to meet a deadline. As you reflect now, what would you have done to reach your goal on time? What were the consequences for missing the deadline? What did you learn?

BONUS INFORMATION- WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BBQs

  • When you are thinking of your example situations, most will be stories about you accomplishing a task or overall positive work. However, some questions will be related to negative work situations, so be sure to also have examples of when you were a top-notch performer as well as when you weren’t as effective, but you learned a lot.
  • Answer BBQs like you’re telling a story- a good, yet brief story. Don’t be afraid to give context if it relates to the situation you’re describing.
  • You can use one of your sample situations (or stories) to answer several different behavioral questions, but please, don’t use one story for ALL of the BBQs.

For more great interview and job searching content, join the Lively Success Network today! 

 

It's Your Career, What Do You Want?

If you are making a career transition, decide what you want and allow yourself to go for it. I have clients who begin their career search with phrases like, "My family wants me to do 'x' " or "My best friend thinks I'll be really good at 'y' " or "My sister makes a lot doing 'z,' maybe I should try it." While I commend them for starting the process and for getting the conversation started with their loved ones, I urge them to ask themselves first. The road to career satisfaction is such a personal journey. Only you know what makes you happy and trust me, you really do know. Most likely, you don't even have to dig very deep to know what your ultimate dream is. Pause for a moment to think about it. Visualize your life in this dream role of yours. Think about your work/life balance; imagine making more money than you are now. Think about your new boss that loves to hear about your weekend, or even better, you being your own boss. Imagine using your skills for something that you are passionate about. Think of that career path. Think of that life. Doesn't it feel good? So, why aren't you doing that?

Are you afraid that your dream job is something that you can't truly achieve? Are you worried that others will discourage you if you try? If so, just imagine for a moment that no one will judge you. Think of that job and say it out loud! It's your career, what do you want? I seriously want you to blurt your answer out loud!

If you aren't sure what you want, and you just know that it isn't what you're currently doing, then I can give you a little nudge. I have an exercise for you. Simply write down the first answer that you think of for the following 4 questions:

  1. If everyone in the world got paid to do the same thing, what would you be doing?
  2. What were you doing the last time you were really excited?
  3. What was your favorite thing to do as a kid? 
  4. What skill do you have that has always come naturally to you? 

Now, unless your answer to all 4 questions was 'sleep,' there is a career path that you can create for yourself and your true happiness. Heck, even people who like to sleep could sign up for a paid sleep study every once in a while. 

I realize that people don't get paid the same, but this is a starting point. These questions will get your creative juices flowing so that you can come up with even more ideas for your dream job. The first step of deciding what you want is half the battle.