Sherri Thomas started her career on the corporate side in training, development, marketing and branding, but she's best known for her work in career coaching as an author and expert. She sat down with us to explain career coaching and why it's so important.
Why is career coaching more important than ever?
Right now, companies all over the world are in a fight for survival. They're in a continuous loop of expanding, downsizing, merging and being bought out by a competitor. As an employee, nobody is safe. And the only way to survive is knowing how to identify and create your own career opportunities.
Why are so many finding it so hard to get a job?
We've become an online society where convenience is the driving force. It's much easier to shop, bank, get an advanced degree, etc., online than it is to actually drive to a place of business. Therefore, many jobs have been lost due to the Internet or outsourcing. Fewer jobs mean a higher than normal talent pool of job seekers.
What do job seekers do to sabotage themselves without even realizing it?
The biggest mistake I see professionals making is creating a one-size-fits-all resume. That is, putting all of their skills along with every job they've ever had onto one resume, and then forwarding that resume to all of their job leads. You need to be much more strategic when applying for a job. Only showcase those skills, accomplishments and previous employments that relate to the new job. The hiring manager doesn't care about every job you've ever had. He only cares about whether you can do his job.
What's one thing everybody should have on their resume that they may not realize, and why?
I create a section on my clients' resumes called "Additional Skills" to highlight relatable and transferable skills, which may not have been addressed on the job description. This is a great way to feature some of those unique skills you have and give you a competitive edge against the competition.
What are some trends in hiring and human resources we should be keeping an eye on?
Creating a skills matrix will get you noticed. A skills matrix is a very simple way of showing how your experience and expertise directly aligns with the job's key requirements. This means that your resume and skills matrix need to be customized and targeted for every job you go after. It takes time and effort, but the benefit is having more high-quality job interviews!
Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their careers. Her book, The Bounce Back, is the 2013 winner of "Best Career Book" by Indie Book Awards for independent book authors. Download her free three-part video training series, "15 Clever Ways to Get More Job Offers," at Career Coaching 360.
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