Career Coaches Share Their Top Secrets

Best Tips from the Pros About Advancing Your Career

“Too many people take themselves out of the competition. A job description is just a wish list. Don’t be discouraged and disqualify yourself based on someone’s fantasy. If you already meet every criteria, you’d probably be bored by the job. Ideally, you want a job that stretches and challenges you.” – Career coach Larnell Vickers 

“Volunteering for the job you want can be a set up. Job seekers are often told that volunteering is a good way to get a foot in the door. But it can also turn into a months-long job audition that’s almost impossible to ace. If you end up competing with an idealized version of a job applicant, chances are you’ll come out on the short end.” – Executive recruiter Debra Gellan 

“Google yourself first. Social media can help you find a job and connect with people who can assist you with your career but it can also backfire and jeopardize a job offer. Your on-line image is just as important as your face-to-face image so make sure your virtual face is one you want recruiters to see.” – Job search expert Alison Doyle  

“Reverse-engineer your job search. Instead of searching for a particular job title, consider the business or company you’d like to work for then make connections and look for openings there.” – Career coach Wendy Braitman  

“Your recruiter is not your friend. A headhunter or executive recruiter makes money by placing candidates in jobs. That may be you or it may be someone else. Always remember that your relationship is a business one. Treat every interaction as if you’re dealing with the liaison for a potential employer because you are.” – Executive coach Maggie Mistal  

Until you have a job, finding a job is your job. It usually takes considerable effort to facilitate change and land the right opportunity. Devote as much time to your job search as you expect to devote to the job itself.” – Adviser and mentor Tima McGurthy-Banks 

“Find your inner ‘unicorn.’ We all have something that makes us unique. Instead of trying to copy everyone else, shine a light on your own special super power.” – Employment coach Anita Blanchard 

Always have a career plan. Create a profession.

– Melba Newsome