Questions and Answers with Career Expert Cory Edwards
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.
Resume writer and coach Cory Edwards operates Partnering For Success.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the best way for job-seekers to figure out what career will give them the greatest happiness? Which assessments do you think are the most revealing and helpful? What techniques — beyond assessments — do you advise for really getting at a student’s/client’s career passion?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| I think the very best assessment for this purpose is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI provides a list of chosen professions for people of the same type. It indicates what professions the different types gravitate to and are the most prevalent in.
Another helpful assessment is the Personal Profile System, also called the DiSC, which looks at a person’s preferred behaviors in various work situations.
Armed with results from both assessments, the job seeker can make a fully informed, better-researched career decision and has greater chance of success and career happiness and fulfillment.
Self-analysis and reflection are also paramount in discovering one’s passion. Think of those times when you had the greatest sense of satisfaction. Think back toward a time where you accomplished or completed something and even now, upon reflection, you smile and think, “That was fun. I did a good job with that task.”
Ask yourself, “If money were no object, what would I do?” The answers to this question can usually turn up one’s passion. It may not be as successful with younger, college-age students. Usually one does not discover or realize one’s passion until the mid 30s or 40s.
[Editor’s note: See our Career Assessment Tools & Tests.]
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||Can you comment briefly on the relationship between personality and career choice? In what ways does a personality assessment such as the MBTI help with career choice?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| More and more studies continue to show that employees who like their jobs are both more productive and more fulfilled in their careers. It is obvious that similar personalities seem to gravitate toward similar jobs. For example, entrepreneurs seem to be creative risk-takers who don’t like authority and regulatory constraints. These personality traits equate to job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Someone who prefers clear-cut rules, guidelines and directions does not perform well in ambiguous situations and work environments.
Employers should care about personality and career preferences because good matches between employees and jobs lower hiring and re-training costs, increase productivity, and create good working environments, thus increasing retention and profitability. Good job matches are a win-win solution.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What do you feel is the most disturbing trend in job-hunting today?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||The most disturbing trend I am seeing is employers who request salary information along with resumes. This practice goes against everything we have ever taught job-seekers. The goal of establishing rapport and ensuring you have communicated your value to a prospective employer, and that it is a good job match before discussing salary and negotiating benefits is now very difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish. Most resume writers and career coaches seem to be advising clients to submit a salary range when confronted with this requirement so as not to be disqualified. This weeding-out process on the employers’ part is an unfortunate trend in an employers market.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||We are hearing increasingly from job-seekers about frustrations with Internet job-hunting. They complain that they never hear anything from employers, and that employers increasingly put up impenetrable barriers to keep job-seekers from following up and being proactive. Are the old rules of job-seeking and follow-up changing?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| The current low success rate of Internet job-hunting will not impact current job-hunting skills and requirements. No job-hunting method has surpassed networking, which remains the single most effective way to gain employment. I have not found any way to follow up on Internet leads. Prospective employees frequently do not even know a prospective employer has looked at his or her resume. Most employers do not respond to resumes submitted over the Internet, not even to acknowledge receipt, which is very frustrating to job-seekers. Internet job-hunting remains a very passive job-hunting exercise and one that should consume no more than 10 percent of the job-seeker’s time and efforts.
[Editor’s note: To learn more about networking, see our many resources in the Art of Networking section of this site.]
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the best way to uncover job leads?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Job-seekers must use every avenue available to them and consider job-hunting a full-time job. They must attend local events, such as Chamber of Commerce mixers and events, industry-specific meetings, children’s PTA meetings, Rotary Club meetings, or even a local Toastmasters group. Job-seekers must send every friend, relative, former co-worker, and acquaintance a resume and let them know they are seeking employment. Actually walking through town and delivering presentation resumes to local businesses of choice should be done weekly. Job-seekers should research every company they want to work for and visit their Web sites. [Editor’s note: See our Guide to Researching Companies.] They must become familiar with current corporate issues and corporate concerns. They should send resumes to each company and then follow-up.[Editor’s note: See our article, The Art of the Follow-Up After Job Interviews.]
Job-seekers should identify others who are in the same or similar career fields and request meetings for informational interviewing. Talking with others who are employed in the same occupation creates name awareness, further job leads, and information about local meetings and groups of interest. [Editor’s note: To read more about how to conduct informational interviews, visit our tutorial.]
Networking is still the key and still achieves amazing results!
Cory Edwards, of Sterling, VA, notes that she stays “amazingly busy” creating federal resumes for her clients. “In the current state of the economy, more and more job-seekers are turning toward federal employment with great success!” Edwards notes. “The federal government currently has more than10,000 vacant positions.” Edwards says her coaching clients are obtaining jobs of their choice within 30-45 days of working with her.” The Washington, DC, employment picture is perhaps better than other places around the country; however, job-seekers must be diligent, persistent and committed to working to find a job,” Edwards notes. “We have suffered enormous layoffs here in AOL and WorldCom country, so I am instructing resume classes each month for Loudoun County government.” Edwards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out all our interview with career experts in Quintessential Answers: Q&A’s with Career & College Experts.
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