CAREEREALISM Career Advice & Job Search Magazine Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:19:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This is weekly program whether career expert J.T. O'Donnell reviews skills and techniques needed to succeed in your career. She also answers question live from our views. Tune in Tuesdays at 1pm ET on to join our weekly Career Q&A! CAREEREALISM clean CAREEREALISM (CAREEREALISM) Career Q&A with J.T. O'Donnell CAREEREALISM 3 Secrets To A Powerhouse Executive Resume Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:19:42 +0000 With all of your experience, writing your executive resume should be easy. Right? Wrong. Find out how to write a powerhouse executive resume.

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You’re good at what you do… and with many years of experience, writing your executive resume should be easy. Right?

Related: 3 Ways Your Executive Resume Falls Flat

In a word, no. Writing about yourself and then formatting critical points into a condensed, potent story of your leadership acumen takes time and skill.

However, a few extra steps in summarizing your executive history WILL make a difference in how employers take notice of your strengths. Your competitors will be using a razor-sharp presentation and compelling leadership story – and you’ll need to do the same in order to stand out.

Set aside time, even in small increments, to gather the following pivotal pieces of information for use on your resume:

1. Accolades

A major part of your personal brand message, the feedback from others can reflect strengths you hadn’t thought to leverage.

Perhaps others have written glowing testimonials for you throughout your career, or you’ve collected letters of reference. Maybe you’re a champion at accumulating LinkedIn Recommendations.

If you’ve saved these testimonials, add a “sound bite” quote (shown prominently in this sample IT Director resume).

Even if you didn’t save proof of your feedback, there’s still ways to use the information. As shown in this example, you can mention an accolade, but focus primarily on the achievement behind it:

Commended by COO for reversing decline in Product Manufacturing unit, saving 32% in production costs by leading new Lean Six Sigma projects.

Going forward, be sure to note and retain all testimonials (whether anecdotal or formal), as this data will come in handy for updating your resume.

2. Metrics

Dollar figures, percentages, and other figures are the cornerstone of a powerful executive resume. Without quantifying your accomplishments, your resume will read just like anyone else’s, and fail to hit the right notes about your bottom-line contributions.

Try these simple methods to quantify achievements for use on your resume:

  • Jot down a brief outline of the top success stories from throughout your career.
  • Ask yourself questions about the results of each story, such as “How much money did we save?” or “What percentage of growth did the company experience during this period?”
  • Put figures to the size and scope of each achievement (size of teams, budgets managed, etc.)
  • Compare your results to what might have happened if you hadn’t been in the position. This analysis is particularly helpful in quantifying the ROI of your skills.

Now, add the quantifying data within the story itself:

Drove costs down 13% by instituting centralized purchasing system used in all global divisions.

Led and motivated teams to complete 3-year project against aggressive schedule, avoiding $400K in penalties and winning $2.4M in add-on client business.

Created database product that became flagship offering (accounting for 65% of the company’s revenue).

Even though you can (and should) flesh out these accomplishments in more detail, getting the basic outline in place will help jog your memory and lead to other quantifiable aspects of each success story.

3. Presentation

It can’t be stated enough: a plain, old-school looking resume will often reflect badly on an executive candidate. If you wouldn’t deliver a presentation without some flash, then don’t let your resume suffer, either!

Borders, a touch of color, or graphs showing achievement have their place in an executive resume. In a conservative field, you’ll want to stick with a minimal level of color in various places.

However, a resume destined for use in a dynamic and innovative industry (social media marketing, CPG sales, etc.) can benefit from a shot of something different.

This sample CEO and COO resume uses shading, a chart of revenue and profit performance, and a dash of color to break up the text and provide more interest.

In summary, today’s executive resume demands strategic planning, research, and dynamic formatting to avoid being mistaken for the career obituary of years past.

To compete at a leadership level, you’ll need to take extra steps to produce a powerhouse document, complete with strong content and an engaging presentation to tell your story.

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#1 Must-Do In Order To Stand Out In Your Job Search Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:36:08 +0000 What can you do to stand out from the hundreds of people applying to the same job? Find out what you MUST DO in order to stand out in your job search.

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When you apply to a job, applications, resumes, and cover letters are stored in remote, dusty servers, most never to be seen again. You do not want to fall into this application purgatory. What can you do to stand out from the hundreds of people applying to the same job?

Related: Old School Job Search Tactics That Make You Stand Out

Proofread. There are three areas to focus on that will help to ensure your application is flawless, professional, and relevant. Paying close attention to these areas can help separate you from the pack. Your career will thank you.

1. Applications/Paperwork

The first step to standing out is making sure your application, or any paperwork your interviewer requests, is mistake free. Whether you apply online or on paper (yes, they are still out there), you must have zero errors and submit a gold standard among applications. Go through this mental checklist to ensure your application will stand out:

  1. Are there any spelling/grammatical errors?
  2. Is my writing legible?
  3. Is my information correct?
  4. Did I leave any blanks?
  5. Did I proofread?

Remember, your application can be used as a screening tool. Any mistake, scribble, or lie, may get your application tossed in the trash.

2. Cover Letter

Your cover letter is introducing you to the prospective employer. The cover letter has to communicate your worth in order to make it to the next steps. It, too, must be immaculate.

First, you must proofread your cover letter. Have a friend read it over; have two friends read it over! Mistakes are absolute killers and proofreading is the only way to eliminate them. Do not solely rely on your own proofreading skills; our mind can trick us into seeing what we want to see.

Your cover letter has to generate instant interest. Tell the employer what you will do for them. If you have numbers to quantify your worth, use them. Never mention what you want from the employer.

Use the job description to craft your cover letter. The job description tells you what key attributes the employer is looking for. If you have these specific skills and qualifications, put them in your letter.

3. Resume

Your resume is a summary of your professional life. It should be simple, clutter free, and show the employer what value you will bring to their company.

In order for it to stand out, you should, first and foremost, proofread. If I may modify a line from Glengarry Glen Ross, “Always be proofreading.” I know I sound like a broken record, but proofreading is absolutely important! Your resume is a reflection of you. In an employer’s mind, if your resume is flawed, then you are flawed.

Tailor your resume to each job you apply to. Rather than use a one-size-fits-all resume, modify it to meet the needs of the employer! Remember the job description? Put that information into your resume. It will help your resume show up when recruiters search for candidates.

Keep your resume simple. Stay away from fancy fonts, borders, and the excessive use of bold, italics, and underline. You do not need anything overshadowing the content of your resume.


Paying close attention to your application, cover letter, and resume will assure your application will pass muster. Let your impressive achievements speak for you. Do not allow small mistakes to ruin your chances of getting a job. In the end, proofreading 50 times will be worth it. Take the time to stand out!

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5 Key Rules For Career Changers Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:15:34 +0000 Changing your path? Be prepared to address the questions that will come your way. Here are five rules career changers need to follow.

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We see recent graduates testing the water frequently. They graduate with a specific degree and career path in mind – to be a journalist, a white-collar crime analyst, a genetics researcher, and so on. They land an entry-level position and soon realize it’s not the career they expected.

Related: 5 Tips For Planning A Career Change

For recent graduates and individuals just starting a career, making a change in one’s career path is not as challenging as it is for those who have established themselves as an experienced professional in their field(s). Many employers understand the drivers of this change. Some even see early professionals make several changes within the first five years of graduation. They realize the positions sought after by most often by entry-level professionals may be considered a learning phase, so employers are not as critical about the change of heart.

However, it’s a different story for candidates who have established themselves in a particular career. Whether you are someone who has started a career and left to be a stay-at-home parent, were laid off, or have lost the passion behind a particular career path, making a career change has its challenges and employers are more critical.

Off the bat, employers will question the interest to change careers mid-way and whether you have thoughtfully processed what a change in career may mean. Often times, there will not be an opportunity for a lateral move and the pay scale may be different. Other questions employers may have will concern whether you have transferable skills from your previous experience.

5 Key Rules For Career Changers

Faced with the various challenges of a career change, be prepared to address the questions that will come your way by following some simple rules of advice. You’re going to need a different approach to impress potential employers. Here are five rules for career changers:

1. Identify Your Transferable Skills

Identify 3-6 important transferable skills from your previous career the employer will want to see out of a job candidate for the position. You can identify what skills are desired for a particular position by reviewing related job postings. You will notice a common list of skills employers tend to highlight for the position.

2. Focus On Skills Vs. Positions You’ve Held

While most job candidates may showcase the positions they’ve held and highlight companies they’ve worked for, it will likely be irrelevant to an employer in your case. Immediately out to the gate, you need to focus on the transferable skills you have on your cover letter, resume, and discussion with the potential employer. Whether it is leadership, project management, budgeting, writing, or other skills, that needs to be your focus.

3. Demonstrate How The Skills Were Applied

Maintain focus to express specifically how the skills were used and applied in your previous jobs and how you can see it apply in this new career. As tempting as it may be to discuss other skills you used and were successful at in your previous job, if it is irrelevant, it will add no value. In fact, discussing irrelevant skills for a position dilutes your message to the potential employer.

4. Obtain Needed Skills And Knowledge

If at all possible, obtain some of the essential skills you will need with this new career before leaving your old one. If your employer offers education-assistance benefits, make use of the opportunity to obtain necessary skills that are transferable. Some employers only permit courses of relevance to your particular career and may require you obtain a minimum grade level, in addition to a commitment to stay employed with the company for a certain amount of time after the completion of a course, to be reimbursed.

Also, take the time to read up on the industry and field of business the employer is involved with. Be familiar with terms commonly used in that line of business. Each field has their own lingo and you will impress the employer when they can see you are up-to-date with what’s happening in their world.

5. Find A Mentor

Knowing someone already in the field is one the most beneficial things you can have in the process of a career change. A mentor can give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to work in a particular field, address the essential skills to have to be successful, and introduce you to important contacts or information to look for in potential job opportunities.

Many things in life change and while it may feel risky to make a career change mid-way, it is a step one should take having thoroughly reviewed and evaluated what the change may mean. It’s important to feel satisfied and fulfilled by one’s career, especially when one will end up spending most of the day in this environment.

When making a career change, you need to understand what sacrifices need to be made, which may include catching up on necessary knowledge and skills for a particular field, rebuilding a contacts list from scratch and, possibly, taking a pay cut and starting as a lower level.

If you are confident about your decision for a career change, willing to face the challenges to succeed in a new career and can demonstrate to potential employers you can apply what you already know and continue to learn and advance, you will make leaps over the hurdles of a career change.

Want to work with the #1 Rated Resume Writing Service in 2013?

If you want to cut your job search time and make sure your resume is noticed, then check out our Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call me at 800.909.0109 for more information.

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Getting Your Dream Job: What You Can Learn From Harry Potter Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:00:11 +0000 You can gain some real insight into what your journey to your dream job will look by watching Harry Potter. Why? Because it will be remarkably similar...

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Imagine your life as a montage in a movie. You flow through a series of clips starting in college – where you’re studying hard, connecting with new people, and growing up. You graduate, and get your first “real” job. It’s everything you wanted and more, and you sail off into the sunset of happiness and wealth with all your dreams coming true…

Related: The Ugly Truth About Getting Your Dream Job

Or do you?

I’m about to share the truth about your journey to your dream job, and how you can make it as smooth, enjoyable, and rewarding as possible. But first, know this:

It’s Not That Easy

Though a lot of us have fantasized about some version of a storybook ending, the actual journey is a bit more exciting. And by exciting, I mean challenging.

In fact, if you’re a movie buff, then you can gain some real insight into what your journey to your dream job will look by watching…

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Harry Potter
  • The Matrix

Or almost any other blockbuster movie.

Why? Because they’re based around a formula called “The Hero’s Journey.”

Hero's Journey Illustration

It’s a famous and mysterious formula created in the mid 1900’s by a man name Joseph Campbell. He derived it from classic myths created all over the world. And today, many famous stories have the “Hero’s Journey” woven throughout them.

Now, let’s set something straight. This formula is popular because it’s the natural structure of the best stories since the beginning of human history. And stories take this natural form because they’re modeled after real people chasing real dreams.

Your Great Advantage…

So, I’m going to give you a basic understanding of the “Hero’s Journey” because it’s the same formula that applies to you getting your dream job. And by knowing it, you’ll be better prepared to face any challenge that comes your way. Making your journey as painless and rewarding as possible.

Here’s The “Hero’s Journey”

Imagine you’re Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. You’re just living your life in the Shire, doing your Hobbit thing… When all of sudden, everything changes.

A powerful ring is handed over to you, and you embark on a grand journey where you’re tested. You face your toughest inner demons and worldly challenges. And get a lot of help from mentors along the way. Finally, you succeed in your goal, become a hero, and are made better through your experience.

This is a simplified version of the formula, but it sounds a lot like what it’ll take to get your dream job, doesn’t it?

We’re all driven by the goal. We want a meaningful, fun, and exciting job. One that makes a difference, plays to our strengths, and gives us the lifestyle we want. And in order to get there, we all have to go through this process.

So, the question is, how do you know you’re starting the “Hero’s Journey”? And…

How Can You Make Your Journey As Easy As Possible?

Well, there are many ways your journey can begin. Many people these days are handed the same ring Frodo was when you graduate college. You’ve got your degree, and it’s time to make your way in the world. Make a difference. Achieve your dreams. That’s how it was for me, and I bet it’ll be the same for you.

Now, this is important.

The fastest way to complete your journey and get your dream job is to model successful people before you. They have proven blueprint for success, and you can make your path much less painful by following it.

I got my blueprint from my mentor and friend, Andrew Hewitt – founder of the GameChangers 500. It’s a list similar to the Fortune 500, but made up of companies like Google and TOMS shoes, who make a profit as well as a difference.

His wisdom helped me break into an industry I’d been struggling to get into for years. And now, I’m helping him share that same wisdom with others about to embark on their journey.

We’ve put together a free video here giving you his best tips on how to rock your “Hero’s Journey” and get your dream job with a company like those on the GameChangers 500.

I wish you the best of luck on your own “Hero’s Journey,” and can’t wait to see what kind of hero you become.

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Personal Branding: What’s Your Slogan? Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:28:24 +0000 In today’s world of social media, personal branding, personal marketing and finding your niche, you need find a way to be remembered. What's your slogan?

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In today’s world of social media, personal branding, personal marketing and finding your niche, major companies have given us a method to create a way to be remembered. A catchy, thought provoking slogan!

Related: The Perfect Recipe For A Great Personal Brand

As slogans go, they need to say something profound, they need to be easy to remember, and they need to place your brand in the market to produce. Some catchy slogans I remember come from all kinds of companies – some competitors in the same industry and some are unique small businesses. For example, Home Depot’s slogan is, “Let’s build something together,” and Lowes’ is, “Never stop improving.”

When I speak to young students and young professionals, we talk about building a network of people to help continue growth. No one is going to be successful alone, so these two slogans help me leave an idea behind when my time in front of the group is over. Not only do I use commercial slogans, I use quotes and unique phrases to help me remember, deliver, or act on a task that will help make a difference in my life and the lives of my audience.

One of my favorite authors, speakers and teacher, John C. Maxwell, taught me that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Colin L Powell, former Mr. Everything: Army four star General, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, has a list of rules that includes always be kind and get mad then get over it. The late great speaker Zig Ziglar gave outstanding advice, saying I can have everything I want as long as I help others get what they want. This is why I share my time and knowledge.

I also rely a great deal on biblical scripture to help me move forward and continue growth. I share verses like: faith without works is dead, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen, and as iron sharpens iron a person sharpens the character of a friend.

The words and phrases you use on a regular can define you. They can become what you are remembered by. Actions do speak louder than words, but do your words and actions match? Your slogan should tell people who you are, and your actions should prove it. In some cases, people will know your slogan simply by watching your actions. What’s being said about you?

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4 Easy Steps For Creating A Targeted Resume Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:05:49 +0000 Targeted resumes (customized resumes) get interviews and get jobs. But how do you create a targeted resume? Here are four easy steps.

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Targeted resumes (customized resumes) get interviews and get jobs. Would you use the same resume to apply for both a teaching position and an office job? You’d better not if you want a decent shot at getting an interview.

Related: Why Resume Templates Are Job Search Killers

A customized resume is one that is tailored to a specific job. You’d start with your resume template and strategically customize it to feature the skills and accomplishments that best match the typical job description for the job you want.

Why Custom Tailor A Resume At All?

Why? Because many companies don’t immediately read your resume anymore. Instead, they file it with the other 700 resumes they received and feed it through a computer filter called an Applicant Tracking System, which only looks for ‘keywords.’ This system excludes resumes that contain keywords matching the job posting and spit out the resumes of applicants whose resume language closely matches the job skills required.

Think You Can Game the System?

ATS technology is getting smarter every day – keywords in a block of text dumped into the resume at the end will be ignored. The filters look for ‘context.’ That is, these filters want to see those keywords used with and near other relevant words. In other words, the system cannot be gamed.

Also, real, live people still read many resumes – and they are open to being impressed and persuaded. A good resume makes the employer want to hire you based on your resume – that’s the reason they call you in for an interview (to make sure you are as impressive in person).

Start With Your Resume Template

Your existing resume will act as the template for each custom/targeted resume. We are then going to take the keywords used in the job posting and work them into your resume.

Your resume template is your master copy. It includes your name, but not your address (particularly if you are applying out of town), your nice, polite Gmail address, and your phone number.

Then, you’ll create blank sections you’ll label privately as “Professional Title” and “Summary.” Your Summary is for your Featured Skills, followed by your relevant credentials. This is followed by your last 10-12 years of employment history (Job title with dates) in chronological order from the most recent to oldest. Designate any employment gaps of more than a year with an appropriate title and date range:

  • 2011-2012  Furthering Education
  • 2011-2012  Travel
  • 2008  Seeking Employment
  • 2008  Volunteering
  • 2003-2005  Family Care
  • 2003-2005  Military Service

Don’t panic about gaps in employment just explain them briefly, if asked, in the interview. 

Additional Notes:

A series of short-term jobs can be grouped together as “Temporary Work,” “Part-time Work,” or “Contract Work” depending on the facts. Never lie on your resume – nothing is a guaranteed barrier to employment but lying would be. Also see my article, “What To Do If You Lied On Your Resume.”

Then, Volunteering, Military Service details, Honors, and Certifications can follow.


Ask yourself for each job, “What did I accomplish in this job that no one else would have done?” These accomplishments are VERY important. We are going to make an effort to use them with keywords tailored to each job application. You’re going to mention these accomplishments in the interview, too, so write them down!

How To Customize A Target Resume

Keep in mind that each of your target resumes should be tailored to a specific job or type of work. Starting with your master resume, here’s how to convert it into a target resume:

1. Copy Keywords From Job Descriptions

Read the job description (noting the position title) then copy the whole thing into a separate document. Do a search for six other job descriptions that use the same title (search the web or an online job site). Copy these entirely into the same separate document.

Finally, you can opt to check the free US Department of Labor Statistics’ free download, the “Occupational Outlook Handbook” since it happens to contain common job descriptions for US occupations that you can use in your job description collection (copy and paste the relevant job description to your list).

2. Determine Which Keywords Make The Most Appearances

These job descriptions contain words in common – KEYWORDS, words relating to THREE categories:

  1. Education
  2. Experience
  3. Skills/certifications

You are going to create a “tag cloud,” also known as a “word cloud,” using any online tag cloud generator ( or work very well). These word clouds make the most commonly used words in the descriptions leap off the page. You will know exactly what skills, experience, and position titles are demanded by the position. Copy a list of the TOP 10-20 keywords that relate to the job you want in this situation.

3. Add The Keywords To Your Resume

Take the experience, credentials, and education identified by the tag clouds and include them in your resume. Input the Job Title in your template, then in the Summary section at the top of your resume you should include keyword transferable skills that relate to this role.

4. Capture The Keywords In Your Accomplishment Statements

Write your accomplishment statements to capture some of the keywords. This is what makes you the perfect candidate for this job! These statements should reflect skills that are your strengths and only skills that you want to use again. Be sure to repeat each skill listed in the Summary section in the section discussing your work history so that there is emphasis on your specialty in that area.

That’s it! Make sure you are writing for real people in spite of the potential of ATS screening. Use the Job Title from the job description.

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Old School Job Search Tactics That Make You Stand Out Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:31:05 +0000 Generations of workers have all found jobs without the help of LinkedIn. Find out how to stand out using old school job search tactics.

The post Old School Job Search Tactics That Make You Stand Out appeared first on CAREEREALISM.

Congratulations! You’re officially a graduate. While you may be inexperienced in the corporate world, you’re fresh with life experiences, an unbreakable spirit, and an unwavering determination to make a difference. You’re still on a high from receiving that diploma, but your excitement is starting to wane – you can navigate the job boards with the best of them, but you’re still having trouble compiling a resume that reflects the schooling you just finished and the somewhat limited professional experience you may have.

Related: 7 Tips For Finding A Job After College

Well, have no fear. You’re not alone and there’s hope for you yet. Says who? Says us. When it comes to finding your footing in the working world, the best place to look for help may be right under your nose – and no, we’re not talking about your iPhone. We’re talking about your parents, your grandparents, or your older sibling(s). Look to those who have come before you and have managed to make their way down the path you want to take.

Think about it: generations of workers have all found jobs without the help of LinkedIn and Indeed. In this day and age, we are so connected and tend to use that virtual, social connection as a crutch. But the working world doesn’t always work that way. There are tried and true benefits to the old school way of doing business, and they don’t involve “liking” or “friending” someone to get a job.

The great news is, in the year 2014, there are benefits from both paths – leaning on the new and learning from the old. So, how do you navigate the balance? Here are some job strategy tips from generations past:

The Benefits Of Face-To-Face Interviews

When interviewing for new hires, companies look for two main things: technical fit and cultural fit. It’s not enough to have a degree or experience in XYZ, you also need to be able to have a conversation and get along with your future colleagues. People make first impressions within seven seconds of meeting someone so you want to ensure that yours is a positive one.

When you go on an interview, prove that you’re more than just your resume – you can work in teams, you have a sense of humor (that is, if you do) and you can polish up well. Someone may look really good on paper, but may be denied a second interview based on their lack of social skills, cultural fit, or professionalism.

Say ‘Thank You’ In A Written Note

There’s no better feeling than receiving a genuine ‘thank you’ note. To feel recognized, and to know that someone put in extra time to let you know that they’re thankful is priceless. In the working world, it’s just the same.

If you go on an interview, send a written ‘thank you’ afterward. If a family friend meets you for lunch to talk about his career and regale you with stories about his industry, let him know how much you appreciated it. These days, it’s so easy to send a quick email or text. Going out of your way to send a written note can really make an impression.

Networking: Get Out And Mingle

As they say in the biz, it’s all about who you know. Our company gets a multitude of referrals on a monthly basis and roughly 75% are people we end up hiring. So, let the people in your life know that you’re job hunting. Tell them what industries and specialties you’re interested in. Maybe they know a guy, or they work with a guy who knows a guy. If you put the conversation out there, people are going to listen and be receptive. Everyone’s been there at one time or another and most people want to pay it forward and help when/if they can.

Surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to be doing. Take advantage of opportunities to network in your city. Join a meet-up group, start volunteering, and find out where the young professionals hang out. And if you’re worried about small talk – check out these 18 easy conversation starters for networking events. You’re not going to get that face-to-face time and charm the right people while hiding behind job boards.

Turn To The Job Market Experts

Though you may not have used one before, high quality recruiters are the best people to go to for local job, industry and growth information. They have their pulse on the job market and know who is hiring and what they’re looking for at any moment. They can help you navigate your job search and even better, help you reach your end goal – a job.

If you’re interested in learning more job strategy tips from some of our top-notch recruiters, visit one of our Adecco branches on April 30th for our Street Day careerathon. We’ll be hosting open houses all across the country and offering tips on everything from creating a solid resume to acing an interview. Check out our Way to Work site to find the Street Day event closest to you.

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Want To Build A Successful Career? Know Thyself! Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:07:24 +0000 College students change majors. People change careers. Why? Unhappiness, confusion, and so on. Find out how you can build a successful career.

The post Want To Build A Successful Career? Know Thyself! appeared first on CAREEREALISM.

It happens all the time: College students change majors. People change careers. It happens so often that you’d think it was just the way things are. But it’s not how it has to be.

Related: 3 Very Real Reasons You Should Make A Career Shift

When you change majors in college, you’re basically starting from scratch. All those hours you studied, all the money you invested—gone. And when most college students are already graduating with crippling debt, the last thing you want to do is waste time or money.

And how many people do you know who have changed or are considering changing careers? Quite a few, I’m sure. For one reason or another, their current job just isn’t cutting it, and they want to find something that pays more or is more fulfilling.

Who Are You? (Who, who…who, who?)

If you want to avoid wasting time and money in college, and then setting off in a career that’s just not right for you, you have to take time to understand your natural talents, your unique interests and passions. You have to discover the real you.

“Too many students don’t know who they are or what they want to do, so they end up choosing majors late, switching majors, or transferring schools,” says Rachel Gogos, Founder and CEO of “You have to make a real commitment to determining who you truly are and where your interests and talents lie—otherwise you’re just going to end up wasting valuable time.”

What types of things excite you and get your juices flowing? What things have others always said you have a knack for? What are your core values and beliefs? These are all things you need to give serious consideration to before college if possible, so that you don’t waste time studying something you’re not passionate about. If you’ve already found yourself stuck in an unfulfilling career, it’s vital that you take the time to consider these same things before making your next move; otherwise you could end up in just another unsatisfying job.

Do Your Homework

Once you’ve taken sometime to list your interests, talents, and passions, make a list of careers that would allow you to put those things into action. Then go out and talk to people in those professions. Find out what their typical day is like. Ask them what they like about their job, and what they don’t like about it. If possible, see if they’ll let you job-shadow them for a day or two so you can get a real feel of what that career is like.

When we’re kids, we all talk about what we want to be when we grow up, but we base that on what sounds fun or cool. When you’re actually investing time and money into something you’ll be doing for a big portion of your life, however, you have to be calculated in your decision and base it on real, honest self-research and introspection.

That’s the only way you can figure out who the real “you” is and what type of career will keep you happy and fulfilled for years to come.

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Which Colleagues Get In The Way At Work The Most? Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:43:12 +0000 Got a lazy co-worker? Although the so-called ‘workplace can’t’ comes in different forms, there are certain characteristics they share. Here are a few.

The post Which Colleagues Get In The Way At Work The Most? appeared first on CAREEREALISM.

At work, there’s usually at least one person who doesn’t always pull their weight for whatever reason. We wonder why they’re still in the office, what makes them tick and whether there are reasons for their perceived bad attitude to office culture. Although the so-called ‘workplace can’t’ comes in different forms, there are certain characteristics they share.

Related: 5 Strategies To Deal With A Horrible Co-Worker

A survey of office workers across the UK found that the token obstructive co-worker was most likely to work in the HR department, something almost 18% of those polled said. They were among those most likely to refuse a reasonable-sounding request. The next most popular choice was a colleague working in the Finance or Accounting department, although they got just 10% of the vote.

What’s in a name?

Male ‘cant’s’ are most likely to be called David, whereas the female equivalent’s most common name was Sarah. Both of them worked in HR, while they were both seen as being in their mid-40s. The obstructive worker was seen as being more likely to be a woman, according to 54% of the people surveyed, while 31% said she was a brunette. The male can’t was most likely to have grey hair.

Names are unlikely to have a major bearing on someone’s personality, but if there’s a David or Sarah in your office and they’re acting a little strange, you may have reason to feel a little suspicious! HR workers in particular appear to be in the firing line for colleagues’ scorn, but why are they seen as most likely to upset the applecart?

Under pressure

In any business, the HR department is needed to keep everything ticking over. However, this can be easier said than done, with many HR and admin workers under extreme pressure to get everything done on time. When they do get something wrong, they tend to be in the firing line from colleagues in other departments.

Any workplace ‘can’t’ working in HR is inevitably going to make things more difficult for everyone. Holding things up will make them universally loathed by colleagues, thereby making it far more difficult for them to progress or get what they want from their job and career in the long-term.

PWN Workplace Cant

PWN_Workplace Cant_Stills-Dealing with workplace Can't_1

PWN_Workplace Cant_Stills-Dealing with workplace Can't_3

PWN Workplace Infographic

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6 Dream Jobs For People Who Love To Travel Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:24:57 +0000 Do you love traveling? Want a career that revolves around it? Start researching! Here are six dream jobs for people who love to travel.

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Travelling is like getting a tattoo or piercing; once you have your first taste of culture, excitement, and utter freedom, you spend your time fighting back your wanderlust. The main issue stopping you from jumping on that plane? Money.

Related: Is Working Abroad For You?

But what if you could get paid to travel? I’m not talking the typical pilot or flight attendant jobs, I’m talking the not-so-obvious career options for people who get the travel itch if they stay in one place for too long. So, without further a-do, start packing your bags, call a Travel Agent such as Corporate Traveller , FCM, or Globe Trotter and get ready to explore the world with one of these cool jobs:

1. English Teacher

One of the more common jobs for people working overseas is as an English teacher. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through an entire Bachelors Degree to teach overseas (unless you already have one). A large portion of these jobs only require a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification gained from a sound organisation. The course can even be done online from the comfort of your own bed! The perks? You don’t necessarily have to know the native language in order to teach there, you could be teaching anyone from children to business professionals, salary is based on region, and you are guaranteed an incredibly rewarding mission.

2. Travel Guide

Imagine spending your working days guiding other explorers through a vibrant and lively Middle Eastern metropolis, or directing riders through a charming bike tour through the Loire Valley. Wherever your heart wants to take you, there are always opportunities for friendly, knowledgeable travel guides to help other fulfil their adventurous journeys. It pays to have living experience in your chosen country as well as some basic international language skills.

3. Dive Instructor

Call yourself an ocean dweller? Use your diving skills to teach other tourists how to open water dive. Choose from any quarter of the world that boasts white sandy shores and azure waters. There are heaps of opportunities in the Asia pacific region.

4. Travelling Nurse

Given the nursing shortage epidemic, there is a high demand for travelling nurses to move around different countries for temporary positions. It’s a great way to explore different regions, with the added benefit of helping others and getting paid.

5. Roadie

Fancy yourself a music fan? Can you lift over five kilos? Well, then you are the perfect candidate for an on tour roadie. What will you be doing exactly? It could be anything from lighting, sound, stagehand, instrument technician, or simply lugging around equipment. You’ll probably start off paying your dues by working for free, but once you get to know the in dudes, you can work your way up to paid gigs.

6. Digital Nomad

The digital nomad is somewhat of a phenomenon and has become a widely accepted form of making money. If you’ve got a skill that can be solely transferred into the online world, then you’ve got yourself an awesome business venture. Many bloggers/writers, web designers, artists, photographers, and professional consultants are moving into the online sphere, making a decent wage and successfully living a nomadic lifestyle – because they can!

Are you a working traveler? How have you made income while on the road? Tell us your story in the comments below.

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