Between the Trapezes - On Job Search! | July 2023

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Help for when you’re between two career certainties

July 2023

Dan, a client who landed a great job earlier this year, and who gets this newsletter, scolded me for something after the last issue. "Here you are, encouraging people to speak well of themselves -- your #1 rule is to share your successes while in job search -- but YOU never talk about YOUR successes in your newsletter...or on LinkedIn!"

I started to say something about it being too sales-y, that people don't want to hear it, when he cut me off.

"You're breaking your biggest rule, Joanne: that is, if it helps the other person, tell them how much you enjoy fixing the problem that they have...." He was right!

In this month that celebrates independence, I call for you to declare yourself independent of the feeling "If I speak well of myself in job search, then it's too 'sales-y', right?" I know I will, thanks to Dan's encouragement. See the article below and set yourself free!

You deserve that success!



Join the Between the Trapezes group on LinkedIn! This is a networking group "for those between two career certainties".

We actually meet, most of the time on Zoom, so your location doesn't matter. We coach you in how to be prepared for the meeting so that your networking REALLY counts, even in online meetings.

Not only do you meet others with connections, there's also a ton of materials like tip sheets and scripts that Joanne shares only in the meetings, and then only on the group page. So click the link below to join in and let us know how we can help you network!

Joanne Meehl
Resume expert whose resumes land interviews. Holds "The Resume Queen"® trademark, lives up to the title.
LinkedIn profile creator if you want yours to be an employer magnet. Double your profile views.
Networking guru who coaches you in elegant (not needy, gimme gimme) networking, finding hidden leads.
Interview prep that puts you at ease matching what they need and describing why they need you.
New job search networking group: TBA in 2 weeks!

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Speaking well of yourself isn't bragging -

If you do it right

This month I call for you to declare yourself independent of the feeling "If I speak well of myself in job search, then it's too 'braggy', right?"

Actually, no. One time after I hosted a recruiter panel for those between the trapezes (between jobs), one of the recruiters pulled me aside and said, "You know, the group had great questions...all I want to add is that unless the candidate actually tells us what their successes are, we will never know about them".

This comment underscored that the resume doesn't tell them everything. He went on to say, "In the interview, tell us how you can help the team, the company, based on what you've done before. What's been successful for you."

What about that nagging fear of bragging? Unless your tone is "it's all about me", HR and hiring managers, and recruiters, hear it as evidence you can do the job.

Yes, give credit to team members who were critical to the team's success. But also talk about YOUR role. How did you save (accounting) or make (sales) money? Or save or make time (Operations, IT)? Or solve problems (anyone)?

And how exactly did you do that -- a step at a time, outline the how. And the what: WHAT was the benefit of you being involved at all? What impact did you have? How did anyone know you were even there - what did you do that proved you were there?

Be sure to sketch these stories out well before any interview so that telling them becomes second nature to you. Why? I had a Director of Finance client who at first was mystified by my request that he jot down 5-6 success stories. "Joanne, I do the numbers, nothing exciting!"

But once he wrote the successes down, he saw the value of it, and went on to write a dozen stories! He put them in a table on an 8.5 x 11" page, he said, and he reviewed them before networking, and before each interview. He saw how they made him more inquisitive about each contact's business and role in that business, which made him a better networker. He decided to stay at his company but along the way became more skilled in helping others -- because in our work together, he'd gotten better at probing and listening and helping.

Tip: If it helps you introduce your successes, use wording that emphasizes what you LOVE to do. Example: "I love catching Operations costs that can be cut, and have gotten very good at it. For example..."

That's what networking is: helping by illustrating how you can help. Being an introvert or extrovert doesn't matter: your examples of success prompt the other person to talk about their successes! Anyone can become the best networker simply by active listening AND a desire to help. And sharing your successes.

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This month’s Tip from Joanne:

OK, OK, because my client referred to in the Introduction above insisted, and he's right, here are some quick notes on the successful job search of a recent client.

A career shift

Chuck was in sales for a home building company but wanted to apply his sales skills in a different field such as cybersecurity, so he had to convince his contacts he could make the switch. He and I redid his resume and LinkedIn profile so that he could get readers to focus on his sales skills and less so on the "thing" he was selling. He updated his network so they could help him with this new direction. He practiced key interview questions around making the shift. From our starting the project until he landed an offer (that he accepted) with a company selling security systems, it was 7 weeks. Congrats to Chuck who worked hard and is enjoying his new role!

Thought of the Month

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

– Alvin Toffler, Author and Futurist

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