Author Archive

Job Strategy – Are You Off Message and Off Target?

August 14, 2017

Today’s career world is a buyers’ market, and employers can afford to be picky with who they interview and how they fill positions. Conducting your career search “off target” and “off message” can cost you valuable time during your earning years and sometimes lead to frustration in your career search. A recent article at Forbes.com offers some suggestions to keep you on target and on message. Here’s a sample of the advice:

  • Target your intended audience – Be active in how you focus your search: don’t send resumes to every potential employer; send resumes to the employers that make sense for your goals and skill set.
  • Determine why you stand out – What specific skills or abilities can you offer to an employer that other applicants can’t? What differentiates your resume and interview from all the others? Can you fill a niche? What part of your work history might scare off potential employers and how can you manage these potential negatives?
  • Draw in your audience – Prime conversations by posing questions that are answered by your skill set and tell employers why your hiring is essential to success.
  • Show your personality – You aren’t just a list of bullet points and employment history, so let employers see that!  Give your resume life and explain how your experiences and skills fit with their goals.

Planning a career search begins with knowing what you offer and how you can fit with a potential employer. Stand out from the crowd by honing your message and focusing on the opportunities that make sense for you.

The Portfolio Life and the New Economy

June 19, 2017

The economy is ever evolving. Each technological leap forward has demanded that workers respond with new skills and ways of solving problems. Career paths of the previous decades may no longer provide the same security that they used to, and the essential jobs of tomorrow may not yet exist. So how can you prepare and market your skills in an environment where certainty is a rare thing?

Keeping with the portfolio theme of last week’s Plano Public Library Job Center posting, we consider the idea of the “Portfolio Life” this week. Very simply, we are not our respective job titles; instead each of us possess a collection of skills, interests, abilities, and passions that make us capable of responding to the challenges of a job or career path.

Jeff Goins of Fast Company offers the three tips for developing a “portfolio” mentality and how this mode of thinking can help you respond to the new economy:

  • Plan for changes: Change is inevitable. Don’t bemoan it; embrace change and prepare yourself with well-rounded experiences.
  • Play like you work: Hobbies and leisure activities can provide practice spaces to explore new and skills and mindsets, while growing what you already know.
  • Never stop learning: The time will come when an old skill may not transfer to a new opportunity, so constantly fill your career toolbox with new knowledge, abilities, and ideas.

Ensure that you are always broadening and enriching your portfolio and stay a step ahead of change. Learn a new language or skill, take advantage of training opportunities at work, pursue a personal passion, volunteer in an unfamiliar career field for new perspectives, or explore how play and reflection on your unique experience can prepare you for inevitable change. Build your personal growth strategy around exploration of your strengths and opportunities. The resources available from the Plano Public Library can help drive your growth with:

What does the portfolio of your life say about your experiences, goals, and dreams – what could it say one, five, or ten years from today?