Questions and Answers with Career Expert Beverly Harvey
Please note: On a somewhat infrequent basis, Quintessential Careers asks noted career experts five questions related to their expertise and publishes the interview in the current issue of QuintZine, our career e-newsletter. Those interviews are archived here for your convenience.
Beverly Harvey, an award-winning, certified professional resume writer and certified job and career transition coach.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What is the most important piece of advice you feel you could offer today’s job-seeker in your area of expertise?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| PLAN YOUR CAREER!
Establish and write down short-term and long-term career goals — where do you want to be in one year, two years, three years, four years, five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years.
Talk to people in those types of careers, and find out what you would have to do to accomplish your goals. Write down each step you need to take to reach your goal and how long you estimate it will take you to reach each step. A goal without a date is only a dream, so be sure to decide when you will reach your goal.
Find a mentor who can help you achieve your goals. Your mentor should be someone who is successful and already achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself. Be sure to review and rewrite your goals frequently, and keep a journal of your successes. Continually refine your goals and include more and more details as your goal becomes clearer and clearer.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the biggest mistake job-seekers make that your advice could correct?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| When you decide to change jobs, the biggest mistake you can make is to just read the classified ads and apply for anything that sounds remotely interesting or within your capabilities. Many people just apply for and accept a position that will pay their bills and provide them with some benefits. Every three to five years they repeat the process and before they know it, they’re 40 or 50 years old and find themselves saying, “I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.”
This is why “planning your career” is crucial. YOU plan your career so YOU end up where YOU want to be, doing what YOU want to do. You may alter career plans as you progress through life, but without some sort of plan you’ll just drift along like a ship without a rudder. Opportunities present themselves to people with plans and goals.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What directions do you see online job-hunting taking in the next few years?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Most online job-hunting today is done by searching the meta job boards and classified newspaper sites, and customizing search agents to track down jobs according to specific criteria you provide. Many job-seekers visit industry-specific membership associations, career portals or hubs, and others visit company Web sites directly. Still others target recruiters.
While online job-hunting has brought the world’s job opportunities right to our home or office, many people value living in a particular city, region or state. Currently, online job-hunting appears to be most effective for job seekers willing to relocate to large cities and work for large corporations. However, as more and more companies join the technology revolution and incorporate Internet recruiting strategies, we’ll see more regionalized career sites where job seekers can find companies and job opportunities in rural towns.
The Internet revolution is growing at lightning speed and e-companies are continuously strained to keep abreast of technology advancements and the massive response from users. Still in their development stages, many sites aren’t able to maintain timely postings of jobs and resumes. When a job seeker replies to a job posting, s/he may not even receive a response, many receive an auto responder stating they’ll save your resume in their database. As the industry matures, many sites will become increasingly more accurate and responsive, or they just won’t get the traffic. Some sites are already advertising “no jobs more than one week old.”
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What trends and changes in job-hunting in your area of expertise have you observed in the last few years and have little or nothing to do with the Internet?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Gone are the days when a job seeker has to pay a fee to get a good job! Over the last few years employment agencies and temporary help agencies have reinvented themselves, and the number of recruitment firms has quadrupled.
The current trend is to work with an employment agency or recruiting firm. Most agencies and firms specialize in particular industries, functions, and salary ranges. In the past, recruitment firms specialized in executives only, but today there are recruiters for all levels of staff — some recruiters even specialize in new college grads. Many of the temporary help agencies now handle a large number of permanent placement contracts.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||Do you see today’s job-seekers (especially at the college grad/entry level) becoming too complacent about job-seeking because of the robust economy?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||The robust economy has created a high career transition and turnover rate. Employees are more confident that they can find a better or higher-paying position with another company. Many seem to have less tolerance for unreasonable work demands or conditions and are comfortable with just changing employers. New grads have been wooed by employers throughout their college years and seem to focus only on the best monetary offer. With some new grads starting in the high five figure range, I suspect that many new careerists will have a financial setback in their career. When the economy slows down, many may find their salary frozen or may be bestowed with more responsibilities or face termination.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||How can job seekers make the most of the strong economy and be prepared for when the current boom subsides?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| For the job seeker who would like to change careers or reach for the next level in his/her career, this is an excellent time to make a move. There are numerous unfilled positions in every industry because not enough qualified employees are available. Currently, employers are willing to train a candidate who shows promise. In economic downturns, companies can’t afford to make a hiring mistake, so it’s much more difficult to make career changes.
This is an excellent time to be positioning yourself for future career moves. For example, if the company you’re currently working for has openings in an area that interests you, ask about transferring within the company — right now they can’t afford to lose you and are more reciprocal to your requests. Be sure to prepare a resume showing how your skills will transfer to that type of position. This resume preparation may require some investigative work on your part. See if you can get a job description for the position from the personnel office. Then tailor your resume to the job description.
If vacancies exist in the department you currently work in, you may want to assume additional responsibilities and learn all you can about several positions. Assuming responsibly shows leadership, which is always a valuable quality. When the pendulum swings, the most valuable employees are the ones who will hang onto their jobs.
This is an excellent time to stretch and grow, to reach for goals you’ve been working toward.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What distinguishes your approach to resumes and the other areas in which you specialize from everyone else’s? What makes your approaches different/better?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||At Beverly Harvey Resume & Career Services, we specialize in “selling” your skills, knowledge, abilities and natural talents. We consult with you to learn about your career goals, then we develop the strategies needed to position you as an expert or qualified candidate in your field. During our extensive interview with you, we uncover your achievements, accomplishments and the values you have to offer a new employer. Having written thousands of resumes, we draw out the information we need to be included on your resume.|
Beverly Harvey is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and will handle the entire process for you, including a complete self-marketing package. Our unique and highly customized approach and presentation can launch your career to the next level. Many of our clients experience a sense of improved self-esteem and heightened self-confidence which improves their interviewing capabilities… resulting in more job offers at higher salaries.
As your job and career coach, we work with you to improve your interviewing and salary negotiation skills. We may post your resume on more than 6,000 databases on the Internet, or develop a direct-mail program for you. We’ll help you decide what works best for you. All you have to do is give us a call.
Beverly Harvey, an award-winning, certified professional resume writer and certified job and career transition coach, specializes in the creation and development of career marketing materials and job search programs for professionals at all levels. In business since 1991, Beverly has lectured at universities and colleges, presented workshops and seminars for corporations, and has appeared on radio and TV. She has contributed to six best-selling resume books, and recently earned credentialing in the Career Masters Institute.
Check out all our interview with career experts in Quintessential Answers: Q&A’s with Career & College Experts.
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