Ask A Career Coach - Episode 1

All your career coaching, job search, career management questions answered in a live session.

Published: Mar 30, 2020
Career Counseling

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Video Transcript Highlights

Hello, everybody and welcome to our first Korn Ferry Advance, ask a coach live.

We are so glad that you are here.

My name is Stacy Perkins, I'm one of the coaches on the Korn Ferry Advance team, and I am joined with three other coaches from the Korn Ferry Advance team. If you're a client of ours, you may recognize some of their names, I'm going to have them introduce themselves in just a moment, but wanted to just say a little bit about what we're doing today.

We just wanted to have a forum where you could ask us anything career related, no specific topics, just talking about anything that you want to ask us about.

We are right now, of course, in a really wild time in our world, so we have received a lot of questions about how to navigate during this time when we're all working from home, or maybe we're looking for a job and trying to figure out how to move forward, maybe were in the middle of an interview process, whatever it might be, so it did get a lot of questions around how to navigate this wild and crazy time that we're in.

We also got a lot of great general career questions, so really hoping that we can get to all of the questions today. If not, please know that our hope is to do this on a regular basis where we can really engage with our clients and again talk with you about whatever you want career related. If we don't get your question again, hopefully you'll join us for another session, or maybe you can work with your career coach to get that answered again.

Thank you so much for being here, whether you are a current Korn Ferry Advance coaching client or you just popped on to check out Korn Ferry Advance and see what the coaching is all about.

We're really glad that you're here I am going to go ahead now and have the coaches do a short introduction and I'll wrap up with that Nancy.

Let's dive into a few questions.

1.    What does a career coach do and what is the value in having a career coach, so a career coach?

I like to think about it that we, we all come from different backgrounds, perhaps, but we all agree to meet the client wherever they are, regardless of what place in their career are that they are in, and so that's really important to ask the right questions And to do the correct assessment initially to understand: where are you? What are your goals? What are your values? Where are you trying to go and we can help you get there faster? We can make it a more enjoyable, less head-banging experience.

There's a lot of official descriptions. We could use to describe our definitions of coaching, but I like to put it in the layman's terms: it's a lot more fun and you can get places faster with the coach, particularly with a career coach. You should always be managing your career, so there's no bad time to be working with a career coach. It's always a good time.

The rules constantly are changing fast quickly and we stay on top of it. That's what we do. We stay on top of the changing trends and what's going on in career, so that's something that we can't expect everybody to be an expert in, but we bring that expertise to you partner with you design that relationship so that you can be successful quicker and get to where you want so you're embracing a fulfilling career meeting, some of the goals that you've set.

I think the only thing that I probably would add to the mix is that we're really are cheerleaders for you. We utilize positive psychology to really think about how we can overcome versus solve problems. The focus is really just getting you to where you need to go to next or help you to continue to build and grow to. Where that, where you are right now we again meet you there, so it could be anything from early stage career awareness who you are and where you fit in the world of work, like Nancy, said I'm in career or certain amount of time. Now I'm just maintaining trying to look at how to build and grow within that space and continue to create great opportunities for myself.

Well, we're your cheerleaders, you really are where your thought partners, and as much as you want us to be where our accountability partners as well, we've got get you from point A to B as much as you want to perfect.

Thank you guys so much. That was great. That's my favorite part of this job is that cheerleader and coming alongside my clients, I'm again wherever you are, if we're starting from first level or you're wherever you are new grads, been working for 30 years.

2.    How important is a resume really?

So we say that a resume is worth about 10 percent of your job search strategy. So while it is it's not obsolete, we can't say that a resume has totally gone away, but we may want to think a little bit about how to make a resume work harder for you, and so you know, there's kind of two major offshoots of that. One is, you know: we focus a lot on personal brand, your online profile, so how we could get say, for example, LinkedIn working for you as an online resume. It's out there working for you all the time versus this one document that you keep updated and maybe saved on your desktop.

The second thing is that if we are looking at resumes, we want to make sure this idea, I say about making it work harder. Is that it's optimized, so that we're using the right keywords highlighting right skills and experience and really tailoring it for each of the roles that you choose to use it for. I think that resumes have changed a lot over the last few years.

We want to make sure that we're incorporating that as part of a broad strategy to I would just add to that that it's secondary to networking and the ideal is to always spend the majority of your time networking.

It has to be good enough right, but when we work with people and if there becomes a tendency to really hyper focus on the resume, we will, in our expertise, try to shift you off of that a little bit and focus you on some of the things that will have a greater return on investment for your time.

One of the things you want to think about when you are looking for or a new job or just keeping your career maintained is what type of strategies that you're using and one of the reasons why resume is still something that comes up. It’s something that we know that we can do that can create an impact in some type of way, but you have to think about how you're looking at the whole approach and by kept and shared with all the coaches, already the components of who you know and how you brand yourself and How you come across is going to create much more of an impact at having the right words and some type of document that might be captured or not captured by a computer right.

3.    Is there preference or win to use a functional resume versus chronological?

There's definitely a purpose to both. I do find that more often than not functional resumes are used for career changers. So if you tried to emphasize particular skill sets and by the way I don't know if I need to take a step back to explain the two different types of resumes, because a lot of people may not know what the difference is, but so just quick brief overview of this chronological resume it's just like it sounds. It basically shows your most recent job, the job underneath a job learn, eat that and so on, so forth. Functional is more based on either a skill set or experience or something along those lines. So if you want to emphasize that you have very strong analytical skills, then you might pull bullets from different types of work experience and that showcase your analytical skills and how about under the analytical skills section versus talking?

If you're a career changer, probably a little bit more valuable to have a functional resume.

Let's talk for a minute about this new we're in as of the last two weeks, so right now, many people are worried about losing their jobs.

4.    What are some things that you should be doing if you're still employed but nervous about the potential of losing your job?

It's always really Important to make yourself valuable make yourself indispensable, and I really think we should approach our careers that way every single day, not too hyper, worried or hyper focus, but to be thinking. How am i adding value if there were cuts tomorrow? Do I have accomplishments and results that I can speak to? Am I continually growing and learning and the other thing that goes along with that? Am i letting people know about it, because we ask coaches work with a lot of folks who are doing amazing, amazing things and then they're really disappointed because they're cut or they don't get the promotion?

There's this whole piece of self-promotion that we like to work with people on and make sure that that's getting communicated at work and that wouldn't change.

The flip side of that internal strategy is your insurance, and so we're probably going to say it again and again, but now more than ever, it is really important for us to be reaching out to people making sure that we are maintaining the connections that we have in it, not just for ourselves, but actually for everyone else.

We've seen actually a really nice wave of people supporting each other, and I think that's something that you know when networking doesn't have to be purely oh I might lose my, but what, if you know you are being good with your networking. That means you can help someone else out.

So internal networks, external networks, focus on your safety net.

Have you done what you needed to do to update your LinkedIn update some of those things we talked about that are not the most important thing like your resume, but are still a necessary evil in the job application process. Just getting in the space of being prepared letting them your network know you're there for them and seeing how that can help you along the line.

I thought you were actually going to go to the place of yes, you want to look internally, you want to be valuable and indispensable, but some insurance for you could be thinking about what are the trends?

5.    If you are in the job search right now so say you are in the middle of the interview process potential offer on the line. Everything has slowed down right. How do you stay top of mind with those companies you've been talking to without being annoying and trying to be sensitive to the time that we are that we are currently in?

Ask the question: when is a good time to check in if they have an answer, then that gives you some type of indication of when is the best time to not bother them, so if they tell you it's gonna take a little bit of time, you need a you know, see our way through Covid 19, and that might give you perspective of where are we on the curve?

Another thing to keep in mind in terms of how annoying or anything along those lines is to put yourself in the shoes of the person that you're communicating with what, for you would be considered annoying and what would not be considered. I think there's something valuable that I like to call being politely aggressive in the job search.

You don't want to be completely forgotten, but you still want to let people know that you're very interested that you think there's a great fit here things along those lines.

Let's talk about networking for just a minute.

6.    How do you network with somebody that you don't know

 I'm going to make this all about online and again you always want to try to start with finding somebody who might know them a first connection, a second connection that could introduce you, and certainly if you, if you can do a lot of tutorials on LinkedIn.

Networking is that you know it's such a loaded question because it's very independent on an individual. Building goodwill, it's about just building relationships, so you don't have to necessarily go straight to you work that name of company that I want to work for it could just be about I just want to know more about you more about people in general, so it's unique!

It's depending on the individual, with your extrovert there's a different way that you network, then, if they're introverted, I will say that I agree a lot with what Nancy is saying about trying to figure out some form of commonality, because your ability to connect to somebody they Start something that you have in common is a great first pay place to start.

Take another thing to keep in mind in terms of networking with others is spend some time thinking about what is the outcome that you're hoping to get through that interaction with that particular individual? I'm not just trying to build my network, but there's a specific reason. Why.

I want to talk to you because your ability to be able to tell you to communicate to them that you're not just trying to add, as many people to your LinkedIn profile, that you specifically want them to be part of it. And this is why and this is the commonality, then that's what's going to get people to respond to you more than a simple, I like to add you to my network or I'm just trying to build my network in regards to that.

So we've had several questions around going back to resumes for just a second.

7.    How do you address gaps in your resume?

I know a lot of people they get concerned about the gap, especially if it's more recent, maybe they've been job searching for a while and some of the stuff that we've been talking about already in terms of we skilling yourself or volunteerism or things along those lines. If you're doing those types of things, those are valuable to possibly incorporate into your resume or be part of the story that you tell to people, you know it's very dependent on the individual.

I think that it's a good conversation to have with a coach, because a lot of times people understand gaps, especially when you're talking to HR people.

Obviously, you were doing something during that time right, and so I had a woman who ran a swim team for two years and we were. She thought I don't have anything in these two years. Well, once we put together all the skills that she used to run this swim team, we were able to pull out some really significant leadership and marketing. However, we didn't lie about it. It was this was a volunteer position.

We called it out as that you don't want to be dishonest, but you absolutely gained the skills, it's also okay, to say I stayed home and cared for an ailing parent for two years, because my value that that's what I did because I value that and I Would bring that into the workplace to the loyalty that you can absolutely turn that into a positive?

I think people understand that if you have confidence in how you tell the story and you know why you made the choices you made and that's again what we can help you with it's all being truthful, but also again, you have to be able to do the job, so the gap is less important, it's more important to say.

Yes, I took two years off to do XYZ, but I'm ready to dive in and do this job because I'm currently up to date in all of these areas that you're looking for me to be up-to-date in then the gap becomes irrelevant.

As coaches, we understand that for you, that feels very different than it's going to feel for recruiter, but chances are if you've got a positive professional story to tell as Nancy saying you bring it forward. Why are you here? Can you do the job make the conversation about that you know rather than feeling, and so you have to dwell on another two years back in whenever it might have been right.

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