Do you feel lost about the career you’re pursuing or trapped in your current job? Are you disenchanted with your career prospects or not sure what can be done about it?
Think this is how working life normally feels like?
No matter where you are in your career, whether you’re starting out, in the midst of working your way towards your career goals, or even switching jobs entirely, you should feel inspired and motivated about your future and have dreams and ideas you look forward to.
That’s where career coaching comes in.
Many people get a job, only to discover later that it’s not on the career path they dreamed of. Others are still stuck at the resume writing stage, staring blankly at their (lack of) achievements and wondering if there’s really something they can do with their current level of skills to pursue the career that they truly want.
What is career coaching?
Career coaching supports you in making informed decisions about your career development and offers various tools (personality tests, interest inventories, accomplishment exercises, job description analyses) to help you meet these goals.
The point of career coaching is not to find you a job but to guide you in your job search, help you to plan your career path and analyse the possibilities in the current job market so that you will be confident about the steps you take moving forward.
Why do you need career coaching?
Job-search anxiety is a real thing. When faced with something as big as choosing a career and deciding what to do with your life, many people get overwhelmed, anxious or afraid of making mistakes. A career coach helps you to work through your fears and worries regarding your career and identifies the concrete steps you can take to be more confident about the prospects of your future and achieve your career objectives.
Career coaching isn’t career counselling. It’s a more objective, solutions-oriented approach which aims to help you analyse your professional situation, strengths and weaknesses, identify your goals and dreams and guide you on how to get there. You will be required to do the work needed to conduct a job search and take the steps towards your desired career, so if you need help with excessive anxiety, depression or low self-esteem that’s affecting your career, then we recommend that you seek counselling rather than career coaching.
When should you get career coaching?
That said, career coaching is almost always helpful no matter which point of your professional life you’re at. Analysing the current job market and evaluating your goals and prospects are parts of career planning that will always come in handy.
However, there are specific times during which career coaching will be most useful to you.
If you’re in your early years of college or you’re a fresh graduate, then career coaching can help you identify the direction you should take and pave a suitable career path for yourself while your future is still a blank slate.
Switching careers is also another occasion in which career coaching can be very useful to help you count the cost and plan your new career development pathway.
Career coaching is also useful if you’re having doubts about whether your current job has prospects or if you are dissatisfied with your current job and wondering if you’re truly headed towards the career goals you’ve always wanted.
People Profilers now offers career coaching on top of the human resource and job search services that we typically provide. If you’re in need of support or guidance with your career planning, do contact us at our website to arrange a career coaching session with us!
January: What To Write In Your Resume
The point of a resume is to get the hiring manager to think, “This person can do the job I need done.” It’s more than a recorded list of your skills and accomplishments.
A resume is a marketing document that you use to market yourself to your future employer. It’s what you use to tell a compelling story of your professional experiences and achievements and convince the hiring manager you’re the best person for the job.
So, what should you write in it? You’ve heard that a resume needs to be customised for every job that you apply for. But exactly what goes into each resume and how different do they need to be?
1. A summary of your expertise
Start out your resume with a summary of your expertise in about 15-20 words. This is your elevator pitch about your competence to catch the hiring manager’s attention. Use this summary to explain why you have what it takes to get the job done.
Include a descriptor or job title followed by evidence of your competence like this:
Senior firmware design engineer with 10 years of experience developing and implementing software for a broad range of corporate projects.
Human resource manager that specialises in overseeing and directing administrative functions for developing SMEs.
Avoid cliches like “highly motivated” and “adaptable and eager to learn” which suggests you have nothing valuable to offer.
Pro Tip: Ask a friend, former colleague or mentor about what they would say if they were to recommend you for a job or introduce you at a networking event and use that to formulate your summary.
2. An accomplishments section
Don’t jump straight into your experience and job requirements. Instead, insert a short list of any impressive employment history or related experiences to provide further evidence of the summary you’ve written above.
The point of this is to shift the hiring manager’s interest from “who you say you are” to “what you’ve done to prove yourself” so that they will continue reading the rest of your resume.
You can include your academic achievements but for a business resume, highlight your work experience first and save your degrees and certifications for the end.
Pro Tip: Don’t include a skills section in your resume. If your accomplishments and relevant experiences don’t prove that you have the skills the job needs, then listing it out isn’t going to convince the hiring manager. For your expertise with a specific type of software, put it in the experience section.
3. A curated selection of relevant experiences
You might be tempted to list every job and project you’ve ever done, everything you’ve achieved over the course of your career and education, but remember that you’re writing a resume, not an essay.
There’s no need to provide your employer with a comprehensive history of your professional life. You don’t even need to worry about accounting for gaps in your past employment. (87% of hiring managers no longer see candidates with an employment gap as a red flag.)
Instead, pick and choose the experiences in your life that will convince the hiring manager you have what it takes to do the work. Only include volunteer work, hobbies and other personal projects that are relevant to the job.
If the company you’re applying for is an informal one that emphasises the importance of work-life balance, then include a line about your hobbies and interests—otherwise, take it out.
Pro Tip: 95% of your relevant experiences should be framed as accomplishments rather than responsibilities. “Upgraded the company’s customer service platform” is less convincing than “Upgraded the company’s customer service platform, resulting in an increase in clientele and customer satisfaction”. Give as many tangible concrete examples as you can and attach percentages and dollar signs if they’re available.
4. Two or three pages of decently sized words
Don’t cram all your accomplishments into one page and shrink all your words to a tiny-sized font with skinny margins just to make everything fit. At the same time, make sure your resume is no longer than three pages, that just shows you don’t know how to edit to meet the job requirements.
Keep your points short and sharp—don’t ramble. Make it easy for the hiring manager to read, so leave enough white space and use standard fonts. Keep it clear, elegant and simple.
Pro Tip: You can prepare a foundational document that lists everything you have accomplished or have to offer in terms of skills and ability to use as a reference when you customise resumes for each job that you apply for. Remember that your resume should also point out exactly why you’re a good fit for this particular job.
Need more help writing a resume? People Profilers has a resume builder that can help you out. Check out our website for more information.