I am excited to announce that the pilot of my new group coaching program "Finding Meaningful Work & Career Happiness" will launch on Friday, October 6th at 8:00 AM Eastern Time!
"Finding Meaningful Work & Career Happiness" is an online group coaching program with articles, activities, worksheets, live and pre-recorded training sessions, group discussions, and three 30-minute individual career coaching sessions to discuss your career goals.
The six modules of the career coaching program offer guidance on how to:
It's based on my work with individuals who have landed a new job in 9-27 days and have received multiple 6-figure jobs by following the career marketing and job search strategies I've shared with them.
I'm looking for 20 participants in the pilot program (offered at only $125) which is a substantial savings compared to the tiered pricing of $497 to $1,997 for the release of the program to the general public in December. The actual pricing for the new program's release will vary according to options such as an assessment and the number of 1:1 coaching sessions clients want.
The pilot program runs from October 6th to November 17th with new modules released every week.
I hope you will join me, and I welcome your feedback on the content.
Here's the link to register for the pilot.
Finding Meaningful Work & Career Happiness (writtenbyapro.com)
Hey there, curious careerists! Have you ever wondered what those fancy-sounding assessments actually measure? Today, we’re going to take a light-hearted journey through the world of career assessments. So, buckle up and get ready for a quick tour of frequently used assessments.
So, there you have it – a whirlwind tour of several popular career assessments. There are many others. Look for assessments that are backed by scientific research and decades of testing. It’s advantageous to have a career counselor help you interpret the data. Remember, assessments are helpful tools for self-reflection and self-awareness, but they’re not crystal balls. Embrace the insights gained from the assessments and trust your heart to find your true path.
Happy career exploration, assessment aficionados!
A potential client asked me, “With the high cost of living, my paycheck isn’t stretching as far as it once did. I need a pay raise that outpaces the rate of inflation. The only way to make more money where I work is to get a promotion. Do you have any advice on how to ask my boss for a promotion?” I brainstormed 20 ways to prepare for a conversation with your supervisor.
20 Tips for Asking for a Promotion
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you'd like more information about 1:1 career coaching, click here.
Download the free Clubhouse App from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Follow @sharlataylor on Clubhouse and join in the conversation on Tuesdays. Each week we'll share proven strategies to help you in your job search and career management. We're happy to answer your career-related questions. Best of all, there's no cost to attend.
Building relationships online can be awkward. Knowing what to say to a person you’ve not met is challenging. That’s why I am excited to share some quick tips for networking with confidence to get noticed by employers.
First, do your research. Gather clues about shared interests from reading a person’s LinkedIn profile and any articles or posts they’ve written. Look to see which industry groups the person belongs to and consider joining the group. Like and comment on posts or articles the person has written so that your name becomes familiar prior to sending a connection request.
Next, find out more about the person's role in the company. Set a Google alert to receive notices when the person or the company is in the news. Browse their employer’s website and read the company’s annual reports.
Now that you have done your research, why not reach out with a unique video message instead of a standard LinkedIn connection request? Send a LinkedIn message or email with a link to a video introduction expressing your interest in a specific position and why you would be a good fit for the role.
WinTheView™ videos make it easy to build instant rapport with recruiters, industry peers, and hiring managers. In your 30-60 second video, start by introducing yourself, let the person know you are interested in their work, and ask to connect with them. It’s that easy, and few people will go to the trouble to connect in this way. It only takes a few minutes of your time to stand out from ordinary connection requests. There’s no limit to the number of video messages you can personalize and send through the WinTheView™ platform.
If you don’t like to be in front of the camera, no worries. You could send a personalized message with a link to your WinTheView™ career portfolio.
Take advantage of WinTheView's technology to stand out in a crowded job market. I've extended cyber week savings on a 3-month subscription to WinTheView™ through December 31, 2002.
Quantities are limited. Act now to get a $95 discount on a 3-month subscription to WinTheView™ (normally $195, now only $100 for a 3-month subscription for a limited time).
Improve your interview performance with 1:1 networking and interview preparation coaching sessions to optimize and activate your network and polish your video introductions, career success stories, interview answers, and follow-up messages to position you as the best candidate to hire.
Soon, you'll be networking with confidence to get noticed by employers, acing your interviews, and generating job offers!
Ask three eyewitnesses of a car accident what they saw, and you’ll get three different viewpoints of how the collision happened. Since eyewitness accounts tend to vary, it’s up to the police officer to examine the scene of the accident and vehicles involved, find the root cause of the collision, and issue a citation to the driver who violated established traffic laws.
Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find a ginormous amount of web content about writing résumés and other job search documents that provide conflicting advice. What’s right, what’s wrong, and who cares?
Wouldn’t you like to rescue your résumé wording, cover letter content, and career bios from common errors and win more interviews?
Identifying & Resolving Common Grammatical Errors
The quality of your career marketing documents directly affects your ability to get noticed, generate interviews, and articulate your value so that you can land a better-paying job.
At the risk of sounding like the grammar police, some of the most frequent grammatical errors I see people make are writing from the wrong point of view and using incorrect verb conjugations and verb tenses.
Q: What is point of view and why is it important?
A: According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, point of view is “a position or perspective from which something is considered or evaluated.” (1)
In literature, point of view is the perspective that the narrator holds in relation to the events and other characters in the story. (2) There are three basic points of view — first person, second person, and third person — that can use singular or plural pronouns. Let’s focus on the pronouns, highlighted in blue, that are used as the subject of the following sentences that demonstrate point of view (POV).
First-person POV: I direct a department of 35 sales representatives.
Second-person POV: You direct a department of 35 sales representatives.
Third-person POV: He or she directs a department of 35 sales representatives.
Where most people get confused by POV is how it affects verb choices.
For ongoing action, use present-tense verbs (highlighted in blue).
First-person POV: I direct a department of 35 sales representatives.
Second-person POV: You direct a department of 35 sales representatives.
Third-person POV: He or she directs a department of 35 sales representatives.
(Notice the addition of the letter “s” to the verb in the third-person POV.)
Q: What point of view should I use when writing my cover letter?
A: The first-person POV is the right choice for writing your cover letter because it enables you to tell your career story from your perspective. Here’s an easy way to remember first-person POV: When you are telling a story through your eyes, use the pronoun “I.” You are in the driver’s seat, sharing your career story with people who have the capacity to hire you.
Q: “What point of view should I use when writing my résumé?
A: The current U.S. best practice is to write your résumé in the first-person-implied POV, omitting all personal pronouns including I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, our, and ourselves. (3)
For a current job or ongoing career-related activities, use present-tense verbs in the first-person-implied POV. Exclude all personal pronouns from your résumé content.
Example: Design business development strategy and strengthen sales effectiveness to generate substantial increase in annual recurring revenue.
In this example, we used the present-tense verbs (design and strengthen) to describe the goal of increasing annual recurring revenue. Notice that the pronoun “I” is understood, and it is not included in the résumé wording.
For accomplishments and all previous jobs, use past-tense verbs in the first-person-implied POV:
Example: Designed business development strategy and strengthened sales effectiveness by 20%, which generated a $10 million increase in annual recurring revenue.
Notice the use of the past-tense verbs (designed and strengthened) to describe and quantify the accomplishment. Again, the pronoun “I” is understood; therefore, it is omitted from the résumé content.
People get confused about POV when describing previous jobs or accomplishments. The determining factor for using the verbs designed and strengthened is not POV but the choice of whether to use a present-tense verb or a past-tense verb. That’s good news for people with grammar phobia, because the verbs are exactly the same in the past tense, despite the point of view!
Q: When is second-person POV used?
A: Second-person POV is used when giving instructions or directives. Think of a driver’s ed coach telling a student, “You must take the next right turn to avoid the accident ahead.” More than likely, the driving coach would speak in the second-person-implied POV, leaving out the pronoun “you” and the word “must,” and simply say, “Take the next right turn.”
Do not use second-person POV in your résumé wording because you are writing about yourself, not giving directions or commands to anyone else. Although, in a lengthy job search when your frustration rises, you may fantasize about reaching through your computer screen, grabbing the hiring manager by the shirt collar, and yelling, “Can’t you see I’m the perfect person for the job? Hire me!”
Q: Is third-person POV an acceptable alternative when writing my résumé?
A: No. Always write your résumé in the first-person-implied POV, dropping the pronouns (e.g., delete I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, and our). (3) The American industry standard is to write your résumé in the first-person-implied POV without personal pronouns. (4)
It is inappropriate to refer to yourself by name or in the third-person POV in your résumé. Writing in the third-person POV creates an uncomfortable distance between you and the reader and can give readers the impression that you are egocentric or pompous, which is not the first impression you want to make on recruiters and hiring teams! (5)
Remember, you are in the driver’s seat describing your own career journey, not in the passenger’s seat describing someone else’s actions. Search for and delete any third-person pronouns such as he, she, they, him, her, or them in your résumé wording because you are the author of your résumé.
Using first-person-implied POV in your résumé connects readers with your unique career story. Even if you hire a professional résumé writer who serves as your ghostwriter, the writer creates your résumé content using the first-person-implied POV on your behalf.
There is one notable exception. Think of the word “who” as a yield sign. In the professional summary at the top of page one on your résumé, you might describe yourself as a “Business development executive who optimizes market expansion and client acquisition and directs strategic initiatives to minimize risk and drive growth across multiple product lines.”(6) The word “who” becomes the key determiner of verb choice. Notice the letter “s” on the verbs optimizes and directs, which are the third-person conjugation of these verbs.
When the word “who” is used after the noun phrase “business development executive,” the verbs that follow the word “who” take on the third-person POV. Think of it as saying, “I am one who optimizes and directs ...” Delete “I am one” and replace it with the noun phrase “Business development executive who optimizes … and directs strategic initiatives ….” If you choose to use the word “who,” be consistent in using the same construction in subsequent paragraphs in your professional summary.
Caution: Don’t use too many present participles (verbs that end in “ing”), because it can also distance readers from your actions. But that’s a grammar lesson detour we’ll save for another day.
Q: In the professional experience section of my résumé, does the POV change, depending on whether it is a current job or a previous role?
A: No. The first-person-implied POV is correct throughout your résumé, but verb tenses change, depending on whether you are describing a current job, a previous role, or an accomplishment.
Q: How do I know which verb tenses are correct to use in my résumé?
A: Choice of verb tenses in your résumé depend on whether the action takes place in the past or present.
Q: What about when I’m describing the scope of my job and accomplishments, does the POV change or does the verb tense change?
A: The overview statement for your current job is written in the first-person-implied POV using present-tense verbs and shows a snapshot of the scope of your current role.
Example: Guide business development and customer success initiatives throughout the customer lifecycle from lead generation to customer acquisition, expansion, and renewal.
Be aware that accomplishment statements in your current role are written in the past tense because you’ve already achieved the results you are sharing in your résumé.
For any previous role, a brief overview statement is written in the past tense.
Example: Guided business development and customer success initiatives throughout the customer lifecycle from lead generation to customer acquisition, expansion, and renewal.
In this situation, it’s a no-brainer because your previous job and key achievements happened in the past. Again, be mindful to omit all personal pronouns. Keep your scope statement short; limit it to two or three lines max.
Recruiters and hiring teams don’t want to read résumé wording that sounds like a job description. They want to learn how you made a difference at work. Avoid phrases like “duties included” or “responsible for.” Instead, lead with an active verb and describe accomplishments that demonstrate relevant and quantifiable business outcomes. Also, limit the use of adjectives (words that qualify nouns) and adverbs (words that modify verbs and usually end in “ly”).
Q: What POV should I use in writing a career bio for a company website or a speaker’s introduction?
A: Third-person POV is the right choice for writing a career bio or speaker’s introduction because the company website would be conveying information about you to readers, and someone else would be introducing you to the audience if you are speaking at an event.
If you are writing your own career bio or speaker’s introduction, write in the third-person POV, refer to yourself by name, and use third-person pronouns such as he, she, they, him, her, or them.
Make sure your résumé, cover letter, and career bio convey your unique value to positively influence interviewing and hiring decisions. Don’t let grammatical errors in your career marketing documents stop you from being considered for a job opportunity.
Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve learned about point of view, verb choices, and verb conjugations in your job search documents:
Thanks for traveling with me down the grammar highway to learn the writing strategy and grammar rules for different types of career marketing documents. While the English language is full of nuances, I hope this grammar tour has given you the confidence to analyze and correct the wording of your documents.
If you’d like to save the stress of writing your career marketing documents yourself or need help with networking strategy and interview preparation, I would be delighted to work with you. Click on writing services or coaching services to learn more, or click here to book a discovery call.
Adopting an agile mindset and engineering approach to your job search enables you to be flexible and effective in achieving results. Use an iterative process to design, build, test, evaluate, and improve your job search effectiveness.
Apply the 5 Steps of the Iterative Process Model to Your Job Search
Realize that some aspects of your job search are out of your control such as how long it takes the company to go from recruiting to interviewing to extending an offer, but there are best practices for follow-up communications in each of these situations.
Please remember how important collaboration is to your job search success. Surround yourself with a small support team. Do you have a trusted friend who is a great networker, a person who has interviewed and hired people in your industry, or a person who is an expert negotiator?
Hiring a career coach to guide you through analyzing your strengths, gaining career clarity, providing you with appropriate resources, and helping you implement new ideas, test the results, and reduce risks can save you time and effort in your job search. If you are unemployed or underemployed, assessing and adapting your job search activities is especially important, because each week that you are out of work, or working for less than you are worth, costs you money.
As your career coach, I’d be delighted to help you achieve your goal of landing a great job fast. Schedule a free 20-minute discovery call today.
Have you ever been so nervous that you bombed an interview? I have, and it felt awful! My rambling responses were obvious indicators that I blew my chance to land a job at an amazing company.
That’s why I want to save you from making the same interview blunders and thinking, I should have been better prepared. I should have said this rather than that.
You won’t be rehashing those shoulda, coulda, woulda moments when you have a proven method for interview preparation that helps you perfect your interview answers.
Feel more relaxed and confident in your in-person or virtual interviews. The WinTheView™ platform enables you to record multiple career success stories to demonstrate your unique strengths and skills.
As your certified WinTheView Career Consultant, I’ll guide you through creating compelling content to entice recruiters and hiring managers to offer you an interview. I’ll show you how to follow up after interviews to convince your prospective employer that you are the right person to hire by using the WTV platform.
My client, a customer success executive, received two strong job offers in 45 days. We worked together in career coaching sessions to dive into company research, capture his STAR stories, develop custom interview presentations for his target companies, and conduct mock interviews. His dilemma was deciding which six-figure job offer to accept. It was a nice problem to have, don't you think?
Click here to schedule a virtual coffee chat to learn how WinTheView™ can help you ace your interviews and win lucrative job offers.
Cheers to your interview success!
LEADx is a learning and coaching app for executives that includes the Top 5 CliftonStrengths assessment, Coach Amanda (an AI-powered leadership coach), and 200+ micro-learning courses on developing your executive presence and senior leadership skills.
You can download the free app from Google Play or Apple apps. It also has the DISC profile and other assessments. Make the most of your screen time by developing your soft skills instead of scrolling through endless posts on social media!
Written by a Pro offers great resources for executives and mid-career professionals. Did you know that when you purchase a gold-level resume package, you'll gain access to the Gold Club, a members-only page with a listing of 150+ resources and tools to help you in your job search journey?
If you'd like more information on the Gold Club members-only resources schedule your free, 20-minute consultation with me.
All the best,
Sharla Taylor's Blog
Sharla is a mulit-certified career coach, executive resume writer, job search strategist, networking consultant, and published author. Through her company, Written by a Pro, Sharla has been helping executives and mid-career professionals land great jobs with better compensation and work-life balance for more than 20 years.
She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible" and this Bible verse is the inspiration for the Mission Possible Career Coaching Program.
Click here to explore some free resources for mid-career and executive job seekers and book your free, 20-minute consultation with Sharla Taylor.
WRITTEN BY A PRO
Mon. - Thurs. by appt. only
Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Compassion Church. He also draws exquisite portraits and creates amazing animations! Austin's favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.