There’s no cut and dried way to look for a job. Every job seeker has/his own story, skills, and qualities. These determine the unique path that every person will take towards landing the job of his/her dreams.
In job hunting, the only rule you can know for sure is that you make your own rules. Or, you can follow what career coach Angela Copeland has boldly written: break the rules.
Angela has the authority and the credentials to inspire people to break rules. She is an experienced career coach with an outstanding personal career spanning several industries. With a degree in Computer and Systems Engineering, Angela was once a technologist and engineer for FedEx, Westinghouse, and General Motors. She has vast experience as a marketer and has worked for both nonprofit and corporate organizations.
Now, Angela focuses on assisting people on the job hunt. She’s been coaching job seekers for more than ten years, and her website, CopelandCoaching.com, was hailed by Career Igniter as one of the Top Career Websites for 2016.
If you want to know how it feels to have Angela as a career coach, listen to the Copeland Coaching Podcast online or in iTunes. In the meantime, here are some tips Angela shared with the Federal Resume Writer Blog.
‘Breaking the Rules’
Besides serving as a career coach, Angela is also a columnist at the Career Corner newspaper. She wrote an ebook, Breaking the Rules and Getting the Job, where she compares job hunting to dating and lists down lessons she learned based on her and her clients’ experience.
Her book has inspired many job seekers, most of them in their early 20’s or nearing retirement age. Angela notes their common denominator:
“They’re often people who want to make a major career shift. The book provides unconventional ideas on how to turn that dream of a new career into a reality. The stories from my own job search have inspired readers to break the rules in their own job search process.”
But if there’s one constant Angela won’t break, it is this: networking:
“Hands down, the most important part of the job search process is networking. It’s rare that a job seeker will find a new job based on a job posting alone. Jobs are found through friends, family, and networking contacts.”
You can download Angela’s book for free at www.CopelandCoaching.com.
Job Hunting Dont’s
Here are five rules we typically hear about job hunting, with Angela’s twist.
- Don’t listen to HR about how to apply. The online process is broken. Look for ways around it.
- Don’t worry if you meet all of the qualifications. Rarely will a hiring manager find anyone that meets 100% of their requirements. And, even if they do, they’ll hire you if they like you better.
- Don’t worry about bothering people. Finding a job involves networking. Networking involves connecting with people. End of story.
- Don’t be afraid to brag. You are your best advocate. You’re the one who knows your work and your accomplishments. Don’t be shy.
- Don’t expect others to train you. In the age of digital, you’ve got to be the CEO of your own career. If you don’t know how to do something, find out – whether your company pays for you to learn or not.
‘Be Your Best Advocate’
Knowing what makes you different from other candidates and what makes you qualified is the key to presenting yourself well, and possibly winning the position you seek. Angela calls this personal branding and says your brand should permeate every aspect of yourself that the employer or recruiter might see.
Building your own brand is part of advocating for yourself. Angela says this includes details as simple as clothes to the way you introduce yourself.
“Your personal brand is also reflected in what I like to call your personal brand package – your LinkedIn profile, resume, cover letter, and business cards.It’s even reflected in your personal social media (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) – and in what shows up when you search for yourself on Google. ”
Another aspect of the job search that hunters have to own is salary negotiation. Angela notes that many people struggle with it because they think it is “stressful, rude, and disrespectful.” This perception is false, and here’s why according to Angela:
“The thing is – the company expects you to negotiate. A company will rarely start off with their best offer first. Be professional when you negotiate and think before you speak. The worst that typically happens is that the company will decline to increase the offer, and the job seeker must decide whether or not to accept the existing offer.”
Like all job seekers, Angela went through job hunting and experience setbacks. But, her optimism and creativity prevailed. She says:
“I enjoyed job searching and was never afraid to be creative. Some of the most creative strategies are actually the most basic. For example, thinking of an unusual way to connect with a hiring manager can be very creative.”
Thank you, Angela, for inspiring job seekers to be brave! We look forward to more podcasts and books from you in the future!