Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Jacqui Washington, MBA, who is better known as Job Coach Jacqui. We cover a ton of topics, including job search strategies, how to network on Linkedin, and the benefits of doing informational interviews.
Jacqui has worked for the Georgia Department of Labor, a national reemployment company, and she founded a job coach consulting company where she helps job seekers successfully move forward in their job search.
I am so excited to speak with her today, thanks so much for being here Jacqui!
Job Search Strategies from a Career Coach
How can job searchers identify the right career path for them?
Doing soul searching and knowing what your interests are. Do an exercise like writing down all of the jobs that you have had and the things that you have done during that job that you really really liked. Sometimes we have had jobs and we really didn’t care for, but there were some things within the job that we did enjoy.
So if you pull those things out and read through the list of all of the things you did like in your previous jobs, it will pretty much tell you what path you should take. Base your decision on what you enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like work, not on how much money you would like to make.
What are some books you recommend for figuring it out?
There is always the classic one which is What Color is Your Parachute. Another one of my favorites is Strengthsfinder 2.0.
What job search strategies do you suggest when a person feels stuck in their current career and need a change?
The steps that I would suggest to make a change is to find someone as a mentor in the type of work that you are interested in doing. Shadow them for a day or do informational interviews and then volunteer. Spend some of your time doing that work so you can see the day to day tasks of that job to see if it is something that you would be interested in doing.
How do we know it is time to make a change?
If you find yourself arriving to work late, calling in sick a lot – it probably isn’t the job for you. You should enjoy the work that you do. You should want to get up in the morning every day and want to come in and do your job. If it doesn’t inspire you or it doesn’t motivate you to do better, then most likely, that job is not for you.
What is the best way to find a job that you enjoy? How can you make sure that the job is right for you?
If you find your continually arriving to work late, it’s probably not the job for you. You should enjoy the work that you do. You should want to get up in the morning on Monday and come in and do your job. But if it doesn’t inspire you or motivate you to do more or do better, then most likely the job is not for you.
What job search strategies do you recommend for using social media and networking to find a job?
The number one thing I would say for job seekers would be to network through LinkedIn. Such a wonderful tool! You can find how you are connected to every person and with an employer where you would like to work. Also Twitter. A lot of people are on Twitter as well. There are companies that are on twitter that you can follow and I always suggest that first with my job seekers. I teach them to write down a list of the companies where they would like to work and then see where they are on the social network. Are they on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter wherever they are they need to find that company there.
I would also recommend informational interviews. You can do this through Twitter but I would suggest there’s probably a better way to go about it on Linkedin because if in case you don’t know anyone that works at that company then you can see if anybody else that is in your contacts is connected to that company or if they’re working there or there’s someone that works there. The informational interview is a must. It definitely opens up the door to learn more about the job that you’re interested in doing and learn more about the company. If you want to set up an informational interview you really want to set it up with the head of the department who is usually the hiring manager. That’s the person that you really want to get an informational interview.
How do you approach giving them your resume and asking for a job in an informational interview?
Depends on how often you contacted that person. I would suggest always having your resume in hand but I wouldn’t suggest the very first time doing informational interview especially in person to give that information. It’s kind of like this is your meeting someone for the first time and you start gather information on them. You really want to go this specifically for your resume.
What are some other ideas that people can use from networking for their job search?
Write a list of everyone that you know. Find out where they work at and then asked them to help you with your job search but you need to be specific. You need to let them know what type of work you’re looking for. And even if you could ask them, do you know of anyone that works at this particular company? That way is most specific and they can help you rather than being so general. You always need to tell people.
You need to decide who you wanna work for and what type of work you want to do for that company. Nowadays I believe employers are not looking for a general list. They don’t want someone that can be the job of all trade. They’re looking for a specialist. So it’s best to know specifically which you’d like to do.
What are some great tools that job searchers to help them with their job search online?
There’s a tool that I really like its URL is very long but its careerinfo.org/employerlocator. What I like about this site so much is the fact that it will find businesses within your industry that are c near you. A lot of times, these companies that are listed may not have posted a job. It’s a great tool to use to add employers to your list and cold call them and things like that. And find out if you know anyone that works there.
Can you tell us about your non-traditional resume on Visualize me?
You can go to visualize.me and it’s free and it’s pretty much how you would set up a post from your LinkedIn account. If you have a LinkedIn profile, it’s great! It pulls the information from that and you can go to templates that they have and choose which template you want and go from there. It’s a wonderful tool.
(CCG note: It’s like an infographic about yourself. It’s like bragging about yourself in an infographic and I’ve never seen it before. You can also change. You can add some things or take away some things as well. I need to do this for myself soon! 🙂