Navigating your career transition with integrity – wrap up, part 2 of 2
[THIS is the final POST in A SERIES ON NAVIGATING YOUR CAREER TRANSITION WITH INTEGRITY, WHICH IS OPPOSITE FROM YOUR TYPICAL "BACKWARDS" APPROACHES TO JOB SEARCHING.] We’re wrapping up the series now by translating all the information you’ve identified and applying the insights you’ve gained about yourself across the various job searching resources – your resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, networking opportunities, and interviews are all tools at your disposal to showcase to the [relevant] world why you’ve been created uniquely to fill a need they have.
As I mentioned last week in the context of architecture, integrity refers to a structure that passes the test of being solid in build and foundation and fulfilling its blueprint design, being stable to weather the storms that come. As we seek that for your life, and specifically here for your career, it’s equally critical at this point to choose the right materials and lay them in the right places with the right tools.
This part of navigating a career transition with integrity means aligning your actions with what you’ve established as being important to you for your next job. The success of your job search (aka, “finding the right job”) now hinges upon your ability to articulate those standards, values, purpose, and style you’ve defined for yourself. You’ll be focused in your search, rather than be distracted by the plethora of opportunities that exist in this world!
5 Key Tools You have 5 main tools/opportunities to tell your story to the world. They are different in function, and when used properly, they complement each other very well to portray a complete and rich picture of you. I could spend many postings on each of these, but here’s a quick overview of the function of these 5 key players:
resume (including Objective Statement) – your chance to articulate succinctly what opportunities you’re looking for and how you are capable of filling them.
LinkedIn (including Summary Statement) – this profile is basically the long version of your resume. You have the luxury of space to share more details and add color to your experiences, as well as many helpful functions to improve your candidacy (eg, recommendations from past employers and colleagues, clear list of skills and endorsements). It has become standard practice for recruiters and hiring managers to view your LinkedIn profile as part of their decision-making process. www.linkedin.com
networking – by being very clear about your career objective, you enable others to be productively helpful in connecting you with the right kinds of opportunities.
cover letter – typically optional, this gives you a chance to introduce yourself with color, address any obvious concerns (eg, shifting industries, gap in resume timeline), and make evident why you are the perfect fit for the role.
interviews – they’ve seen you on paper, and now want final proof that who they think you are is in fact true.
EXERCISE: Articulating YOU through your Resumes, Cover Letters, LinkedIn, Networking, Interviews… [who you are; what you're looking for]
Create an Objective Statement.
Finalize your career objective into a statement that spans no more than 2 lines at the top of your resume. Eg, A detail-oriented and strategic thinker with proven product launch experience seeking to drive medical mobile products to market.
Your objective statement works like a thesis statement for your resume. Make sure your supportive bullet points and past experiences throughout your resume affirm this statement well.
Update your resume to match your Objective Statement and your Ideal Job Description.
Of course you want to include significant achievements, but highlight the areas that relate to responsibilities you’re targeting while paying special attention to also leave OUT any areas that are no longer relevant for what you are pursuing now. Eg, you may be strongly capable and experienced in managing people, but no longer have the slightest desire to do so. That said, you’ll better use your resume to articulate your abilities to manage other responsibilities that you DO want instead of spending multiple bullet points highlighting your past successes as a people manager.
Update your LinkedIn Profile.
Once your resume is updated, transfer this blueprint of your identity over to your LinkedIn profile. Use the Summary section to list your Objective Statement in more detail or color, and leverage the fact that you have more “space” on LinkedIn (you’re not limited to 1 or 2 pages as with a resume). Eg, based on the Objective Statement in #1 above – I’m a detail-oriented and strategic thinker with a passion for leveraging mobile technology to improve personal healthcare. I have a track-record of launching successful products before deadlines. I enjoy generative brainstorming and thrive in fast-paced and dynamic environments requiring rapid iterations.
Network regularly. ** HERE is where you network effectively **
Take every opportunity to PRACTICE speaking your Objective to people – networking is ongoing and often unplanned, and you never know when the right resource is in front of you to connect you with the job you’re fit for. Eg, “What are you looking for?” Your reply: “I’ve had a lot of success in launching successful apps in the healthcare space for a large company, and I’m looking for a smaller and faster-paced work environment where I can drive medical mobile products to market.”
You also have a solid resume prepared in case a job prospect arises – one that will affirm on paper what you’ve told them in person.
Tell YOUR story.
Cover letters and interviews are potential employers’ invitations for you to tell who you are and why you’re made to do what they’re looking for. When you’re clear about this and can articulate it well, you make it easy for them to see why you are the perfect fit for their role.
Hopefully you’ve practiced enough by now that there’s no need to judge or compare your Profile, but rather it’s helpful to paint a fuller picture of who you are as well as point out any gaps that you want to grow in your life. I hope you’ll also be encouraged to view your own life as precious for the unique qualities that make you different. Despite the weathering of social standards and peer pressure over the years, stay sharp and aware of those qualities and capabilities that are YOU. Your entire life has been a training ground for you to be or do *that* better than someone else could.
I’ve coached many people through career transitions, and I can’t tell you how liberating and effective the job search became when we identified the notable qualities and functions they were made to be and do so well. As you honor who you are and are honest with others about what you are seeking, you will find it gets more enjoyable to navigate your career – and your entire life – with integrity.
Have someone(s) you trust to help you stay accountable to this as you discern and prepare for specific opportunities as they arise! One by one, the choice of which opportunity fits best will belong to YOU rather than to potential employers.
Was this a helpful process for you? Let me know if you have any questions!
Navigating a career is not an easy thing to do, and usually a transition is rather daunting. Whether you’re actively seeking, or if you’re occasionally curious to look around, it’s full of emotions and cluttered with distractions. You have a framework now to help you maintain the right perspective and you’ve gained clarity – you are prepared when a solid opportunity comes your way to make a clear decision and act with integrity.
Stay true to that! If you want help, feel free to email me at cindy at cindyleecoaching dot com.