Spotlight on Women in the Workplace: Get Ahead with a Career Coach

Posted June 1, 2018 by LA Scene in Uncategorized

 Women in the workplace get ahead with a career coach

Looking for a new job can seem like a daunting task. You dig up your resume only to fnd it still lists babysitting under your current work experiences. Plus you’re quick to realize that applying for a new position feels like a full-time job in and of itself!

Emily Kapit resume writer and career strategist

Enter Emily Kapit, founder, lead resume writer and head career strategist at ReFresh Your Step (RYS), a boutique career advisory frm. Not only is she a triple- certifed resume writer with a Masters degree in psychology, a background in journalism and recruiting – but with so many certifcations, she basically has the entire alphabet listed after her name. The idea to start RYS developed from helping many of her peers write cover letters, fix their resumes and try to pinpoint why they’d chosen their current career path. After the recession hit in 2008 and the major firm she was working for fled for bankruptcy, Kapit felt an immediate need to launch her own company to help distinguish her clients from the masses and set them up for success.

Dusting the cob webs of of your resume is only part of what Kapit and her team can do. RYS also ofers a range of career-related services including LinkedIn content creation, strategic career advisory, job search tactics, interview prep and negotiation skills. Every client works with Kapit and a team writer, who together offer advice and support, giving the client the beneft of having multiple objective career experts on hand throughout their journey. Better than a friend who means well, they offer innovative solutions and a deeper understanding of what you are truly looking for (or in some cases, what’s stopping you.) However the most beneficial part of the process is the feeling that you’re not alone, working with Kapit feels less like consulting and more like career therapy.

It all starts with crafting the perfect resume- and that’s no longer just a laundry list of past employment. According to a study published by TeLadders, a hiring manger only spends 6 seconds looking over your resume, so it has to be perfect! Today, an ideal resume is a mix of statistics, relevant information for the job you’re applying to and a little bit of clever pr. It needs to address the keywords that automated systems are looking for, as well as show a hiring manger that you’re the right person for the job. Kapit even recommends including quotes from employers. On the resume she created for us, she put one right above work history- no need for ‘references available upon request’ here.

“Traditional resumes are usually so very bullet-heavy that it is visually difcult to see any real value or achievements. Additionally, older resumes had very little – if any – branding, indication of skills, or clear visual examples of impact,” Kapit explains. It’s important your resume bypasses the automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) designed to thin the heard with key branding (including profciencies and even soft skills, such as company leadership and team mentorship), yet still is visually appealing to impress recruiters and hiring managers.

Now I know you assume by outsourcing your resume that you’re basically off the hook, but when you work with a professional like Kapit, you’re still involved in the process. Right away you’re given homework and while not the most fun part of this process, it’s time well spent. Listing all of your accomplishments for Kapit and her team puts your value front and center- showcasing skills even you might not have realized you possessed.

Searching for a job in LA website job boards

Once your resume is perfected, it’s time to get it in front of the right people. One of the best resources at your disposal is the professional social media network, LinkedIn. (Stop rolling your eyes!) In fact, Kapit claims it’s the best place to look for leads and opportunities. “LinkedIn or company’s websites/job boards are far superior for research than for actuall yapplying.” Many large companies have legal obligations to ofer a job to the general public, even though they already plan to hire from a pool of referred candidates or from within. So, how can you break through? Kapit recommends becoming a directly referred candidate.

Rather than looking for job openings, think about companies in your target sector and connections you might have at those companies. Leverage your network to set up informal meetings. These conversations are not about you, but a place to ask questions about the company. “Focus less on the number of applications you put in and more on the number of calls/conversations you have.” Kapit insists,“roles are much more often filled by who people actually know, so it is incumbent upon you to get to know people!”

What if you fnd a role and don’t fit all the qualifications, should you still apply? “Absolutely!” Kapit exclaims.  “If you apply online, you generally donot need a 100% match to move on to the next round where a recruiter or hiring manager actually receives your documents. You want to aim for 80% or above, so remember to modify those key spots on the resume and cover letter…”

So let’s say you optimized your resume, networked and got through to the interview stage, yay! (Mini happy dance!) Now what? It’s time for research. “What is the company’s overall mission and history? What recent news have you seen about the company? These are all great talking points and show an interest in the organization as a whole, not just the role.” She also suggest learning a little bit about the interviewer themselves. “ Yes, you can ask for names in advance. Pro tip: send an email like this, ‘I am looking forward to my interview next Tuesday at 10am; please share with me names and any relevant info for each person so I can best prepare in advance.’ Additionally, Google is your friend here.”

How to ask for higher pay on the job

Women in the workplace in particular face a lot of obstacles. If you do get an offer (Go you!), make sure you know what people are currently making for the role you’re considering in your sector. Then combat any gender biases by speaking directly to your background and accomplishments and “…indicate how they will make you an asset to the organization immediately and in the long term.” Kapit stresses at this stage, it’s not a power struggle. If they made you an offer then they want you! “Don’t ask for higher pay; indicate efectively and directly why you should receive more money and then ask, ‘Based on this info, let’s discuss what you can do to make this happen’…”

Ready to embark on a new career journey of your own? Kapit’s number one suggestion is to “track your successes!” It’s important to take note of what you’re currently doing that has had an impact, even if it’s a small one. She suggests tracking your accomplishments and measurables monthly and not waiting till you need a resume to start writing one. (This information is essential to not just getting the job, but negotiating contracts and additional responsibilities once on the job as well!) But if there’s one singular thing that can help you get ahead, Kapit claims it’s networking. “… make networking a priority regardless of where you are in your career!”

RYS Career strategy for looking for a job


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