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Welcome to the inaugural Edge Career Solutions newsletter!

I figure we can all use a little help and support as we muddle through this prolonged period of pandemic-induced isolation. In the spirit of giving for the sake of giving, I am sharing some career-related news and insider tips to help you navigate today's challenging job market. Together, we will make it through as we reinvent our new normal. ~ Trish McGrath


 
News You Can Use
News You Can Use
Companies are hiring! Don’t listen to the doomsday headlines claiming that no one is hiring. After the initial shock of the business interruption and economic slowdown, companies are developing plans for their recovery. The job seekers who continue their job search efforts will have a clear advantage over the people who give up in despair. Harvard Business Review’s Now Is an Unprecedented Opportunity to Hire Great Talent explains how companies are hiring to prepare for post-crisis recovery and growth.
 
How to spot a fake job posting. An unfortunate fact of life is that criminals prey on the vulnerable and we have seen an uptick in hiring scams since the massive COVID-19 layoffs. Thieves are posing as legitimate employers to obtain people’s SSN’s and bank account information for “required background credit checks”. Don’t fall for it! Work It Daily explains what to look for.
 

Here is a leader to emulate.You don’t hear about them often, but there are some great companies that treat their employees well. I found this email from Ryan Deiss, CEO of The Scalable Company to his team very inspirational.
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Helpful Tips
Helpful Resume and Job Search Tips
RESUMES:
To increase your resume’s ATS-compatibility and improve its odds of getting through employers’ online filters, be sure to include at least your city, state and zip code in your contact information. Many companies use a candidate’s proximity to the job location as a qualifier to weed out less likely hires. Here is a resume tip sheet with more details to help you out.
 
JOB SEARCH STRATEGY:
How are you using the stellar resume we developed together? The best resume in the world will not win you interviews if no one sees it. You need to get it into the hands of decision makers at your target companies. If you haven’t developed a target list yet, create one now to streamline your efforts. Another helpful tool is a well-laid out job search plan that breaks down the process into small steps to keep you on track and moving forward. You can order one as an Add On item.

NETWORKING:
In the last few years, networking has resulted in significantly more interview opportunities than job boards. Hiring experts estimate that 80% of all jobs filled come through warm introductions. Instead of wasting your precious time on online job applications, a more successful tactic is to use networking to get in front of key decision makers. These days, most networking is done virtually from the comfort and safety of your home. So, if you are new to interacting online, there has never been a better time to get started. Because most employers are actually looking for candidates on LinkedIn, that is where you need to be. Hundreds of my clients have successfully advanced their careers using LinkedIn, and I use it faithfully myself.
 
LINKEDIN:
I am not sure that LinkedIn’s new “Open to Work” feature is actually helpful to anyone. If you are employed, you may not want your current employer to know that you are looking elsewhere. And if you are in transition, do you really want the fact that you are in between jobs to be the first thing that employers know about you? I think not. It is important for hiring managers to see you as someone who will add exceptional value to their organization. Believe me, I am NOT suggesting that you be dishonest. I just don't recommend that you wave a flag that reads "I am not working right now. My skills are getting rusty". Employers are looking for candidates who are successful in the same/similar role right now. That is why your About section is so important. You need to sell them on the value you offer before they happen to read the end date of your most recent job.
 
INTERVIEW PREP:
Every job seeker should be prepared to answer coronavirus quarantine-related interview questions. The shift to working from home as many offices closed forced us to rapidly adapt and learn new ways to do our jobs. Those skills are highly desirable to employers, so get ready to share that information. Did you spend your downtime constructively? If not, we’re not out of it yet. You still have time to take some online classes. You can typically get a free 30-day trial to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) and many local libraries subscribe to online learning platforms which they offer free to members. Additionally, many companies are now offering some of their subscription training for free to support people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Another great way to prepare to sell yourself is to create a library of C-A-R (Challenge-Action-Result) stories to demonstrate how your previous employers benefited from you doing your job so well.
 
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Q&A - Answering Your Job Search Questions
Answers to Frequently Asked Jobseeker Questions
Q. How can I overcome age discrimination? I am in my 50‘s and competing against people in their 30’s.
A. I recommend a dual approach to overcoming age-bias in the hiring process: making your resume age-neutral and recognizing employer concerns.
 
1. If you are using a modern layout and eliminate jobs you held and education dates prior to 2000, your resume should not cause the reader to question your age. However, if they ask you for this information on the online application, you must provide it; yet another reason to use networking to win the interview rather than applying to online job postings. You also don’t want to use an old AOL email address – those scream “dinosaur”!
 
2. Employers may have concerns regarding a seasoned job seeker’s tech skills, ability to adapt and willingness to work for a boss who is 20 years their junior. You can counteract that by emphasizing your technical skills, openness to new ways of thinking and how you value the benefits of multigenerational collaboration. To sell yourself well, compose interview answers that convey your energy and enthusiasm.

  
Q. I read hundreds of job postings and can’t find any that I am qualified for. How can I get the experience they want if no one will hire me?
A. This dilemma has plagued job seekers for decades. Fortunately, today’s free online learning options can help you overcome this problem. Job-related skills and knowledge can be acquired 2 ways: actual job experience or through training. For example, if job postings of interest are asking for experience with Lean Six Sigma and that is not among your skill set, take an online class and learn all about it. Once you have the knowledge, you can add it as a skill on your resume. For even more impact, add the course to the Professional Development section of your resume to show employers that you are committed to expanding your skills.

Note: I'd love to answer your specific questions and concerns. Please let me know what topics you'd like me to address in future newsletters.
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August 2020

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