Cracking the Code: Proven Strategies for Successfully Returning to Work


Welcome to Cracking the Code: Proven Strategies for Successfully Returning to Work. My name is Alexandra Anweiler Stephens and I’m the associate director of Alumni Career Programs at the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis. I want to welcome you all to our call today. This is a really important topic and one that many of our alumni and friends are grappling with, so we’re very excited to have two wonderful presenters here with us today. The first is Mimi Moss. She is an alum herself, class of ’93 from Brandeis, and she participated in reacHIRE’s third cohort, and now she works on enrollment for the organization. And then we also have reacHIRE’s CEO, Addie Swartz, who is going to be talking to us today. So welcome, ladies, it is great to have you both! Thank you for having us! So, I just want to remind all of you if you have questions throughout the broadcast, please send them through the question box and we’ll get to them at the end of the broadcast, and let’s go ahead and get started. Thank you, Alexandra. I’m so happy to be here and to be speaking to my fellow alums from Brandeis. As Alexandra mentioned, I’m a member of the class of 1993, and I was also, in my professional background, a teacher, a recruiter, and I worked in a nonprofit sector. And I took a 10-year hiatus to raise my two girls, who are now eight and ten, and I joined the, one of the cohorts in the reacHIRE program, and I’m now on their permanent team, and I work on enrollment and recruiting and securing speaking engagements for our CEO. And I will tell you a lot more about my background as we go further into the broadcast. And now I’d like to introduce the CEO of reacHIRE, Addie Swartz. Thanks, so much Mimi, and thank you Alexandra for hosting us. I am a serial entrepreneur. I have spent the last 20 years building two companies focused on women and girl empowerment, and I was home taking care of my daughter who had very serious concussion and saw all these amazing accomplished women who were at home, wanting to get back, and just couldn’t figure out a way how, and you know, I stepped back and said, “Wow, Why is this possible and and should it be that you know incredibly accomplished individuals that have invested significantly in their careers can’t get back into the workforce and contribute?” So that’s why I created reacHIRE. And, I guess my whole theme about reacHIRE is you know, a career break shouldn’t be a career breaker. So that is the impetus for starting reacHIRE. I’d like to talk a little bit about sort of what the challenges of reentry are. Oh, and before we do that, though, I told you a little bit about me, Alexandra, maybe you could have a poll now, and we could see how, what, where folks are in their process. Absolutely, so we’re going to launch the first poll that’s basically asking you, where are you in your current job search? Have you decided whether or not to go back to work? Do you want to go back, but you don’t know where to start? Have you started applying for places, started interviewing? Or are you currently working? And I’ll give you ten more seconds just to weigh in… Give you five more seconds, four, three, two, and one. And I’m going to share those results with you, so Mimi and Addie, as you can see, close to sixty percent want to go back but don’t know quite where to start. Another quarter have started applying. There are some folks currently working, but mainly is still in that decision-making phase and where do I begin, which is is perfect for it for a presentation today. Okay, um well. I would love to talk a little bit more about the challenges of re-entry because the big question is, you know,where do you start?And it sounds like our audience here is just grappling with that, you know where do you begin? What are you looking for? Are you looking for a full-time? Are you looking for part-time? Do you want to go to a small company? Do you want to go to a big company? Do you want to go back into what you were doing before? Are you thinking that you might want to do something different, and then how do you actually make it all happen? It’s pretty daunting, so the hurdles are quite significant, and once you decide that you actually do want to start a job search, which sounds like many of you are contemplating and some of you have, there are so many hurdles. There’s first your resume gap, you know, what do you say about the time that you’ve taken off, and how do you address that in your resume? You know, the technology arena has changed so significantly, even in the last few years, so if you’ve been out of the workforce, you know, even three or four years, your technology skills are outdated, given what’s happening in the latest tools. Many of us have corporate references that are very old. If you have taken a break, where are those people and would they remember what you did? And then there are a lot of individuals that have taken a lot of initiative and invested significantly in their communities, volunteering in their schools, in their towns. How does that all translate? Social media can be really daunting and, you know, often you feel like your eight or ten year old might know more about social media than you do. So how does it fit in, and how do you use it to your advantage, as well as how our companies using it to get the word out and to build their businesses? So between all the new tools and technologies out there, and truthfully, the way that you actually can look for a job today, which is very very different than it was even five or ten years ago, so much has changed, and the whole process can be extremely daunting to address. So, I guess what I’d like to do now is turn it over to Alexandra to do a second poll. You know, what have been your hurdles? So we can understand a little bit more about it as we address this presentation Alexandra? I’d love to ask first, before we get into the hurdles, just quickly, how long have all of you been out of the workforce? And that will help give context to some of these hurdles that you’re facing. So I’m going to launch two polls in in order here, so the first being how long have you been out of the workforce? 0 to 5 years? 5 to 10 years? 10 to 15 years? Or 15 plus years? [I’l] give you a couple more seconds to weigh in… five, four, three, two, almost got everyone… Again, I’ll share the results with you. So about half of you have been out of the workforce for zero to five years. About a third have been out for five to ten years, and then the rest between 10 to 15 plus years. So, some significant gaps, and we’ll talk about that. And then, getting to our last poll, What have been the biggest obstacles in your search? Maybe they’re some of the ones Addie just mentioned. So do you have a gap in skills, whether that’s technology or social media, a gap and work experience on your resume? Do you lack some confidence? Or do you just not know where to start? Have you been getting stuck on that interview? [I’ll] give you a few more seconds, and you can select all that apply here. Many of us would have more than one apply. Okay, and I’m going to share those results with you now. So as you can see, others are in the same boat as you. Fifty percent of people just don’t know where to start. Twenty-eight percent lack confidence. Others are out of practice interviewing. So Addie, I hope this helps give you context of who’s in your audience today. Absolutely, thank you so much, Alexandra. So, you know, what are the real realities of 21st Century job search? Well truthfully, two to four percent of the people who apply online to jobs actually make it through. That means that, you know, ninety-six percent or ninety-eight percent of the people that apply don’t make it through the online job boards, postings, send your resume in, etc. So that’s just the first reality. Secondly, there are all kinds of applicant tracking systems that search for keywords. You know, a search engine optimization on resumes is really important, so, you know, people are searching for skills, education, relevant experience, and many jobs are filled by taking someone that’s in a current company doing a current role, then moving them into another company in a very similar role. So, if you’ve been out of the workforce and you have that career gap, clearly you’re not going to come up on any of those searches. And then LinkedIn Recruiter is a key tool that every corporation is using these days to identify talent and then bring them in, so having, you know, yourself on Linkedin, having your profile in a place that it’s updated and ready to go is important, and having it search engine optimized is also key. Lastly, another key factor is that many people get jobs by getting referred to by other employees: over, you know, over fifty percent. So sixty-four percent of people het referred into jobs by friends and colleagues. So, if you’ve been out of the workforce and you don’t have those colleagues that you’ve been working with recently, that also can be adding to the difficulty. So, all in all, looking for a job is very, very different today than it was even five years ago or earlier. So what we’re going to do today is we’re going to give you an overview and we’re going to leave you with some thoughts and tools that you can take away to help yourself on the job journey to get back to work. So we’re going to dress the gap in your resume: how to talk about it and how to address it, both online, on your resume, and in an elevator pitch. Mimi’s going to talk a little bit about telling your story. Then we’re going to go in to Resume 101 and how we can really perfect your career profile summary. And then we’ll go into Q & A. So these are the things that we’re going to tackle and we’re excited to go through them with you. So, first, the gap on that resume. You know, what do you, how do you talk about the fact you’ve been out three years, 5 years, 8 years, 10 years? How do how do you address it? And then, how do you, you know, do you do it through chronological order and you have all your volunteer experience at the top? So, many of you have invested significant energy and effort into really good work in your communities and your schools, maybe on boards, but how does that get translated into a resume? We believe that you should create a traditional format for your resume. You should have a summary of your experience. It’s very action-oriented, we’ll deal with that in a little bit. where we, where you really deliver your experience: you talk about your education, then you talk about your technology literacy, and then you have your community service at the end. We don’t want your community service, even though it might have taken the last eight years and is the most recent, to be the first thing on your resume. It really should be down at the bottom. Be honest about your lapse in work experience. There’s nothing to, you know, worry about or apologize for. You should just be straight on about it and keep all the dates for both your experience and your education. We firmly believe that, you know, putting forth your track record of what you’ve done in your core positions in your work environment makes a big difference in actually delivering power to your resume and your story. Okay, let’s go to the next slide. Okay, so really, reframing your volunteer experience to describe your professional strengths is really key. First, you should focus on your accomplishments. When you’re doing that event at school, it’s all about project management. You’ve done marketing. You’ve done strategic planning. Reframe that volunteer experience to really show the actionable results that you’ve delivered. As they said earlier, be honest in taking your gap. I’ve been at home for 10 years, but I am ready to go, I am excited to take the next step, and I want to get back to work and use my skills that I spent a lot of energy and effort developing over my career. Now I’m going to turn it over to Mimi to talk a little bit more about telling your story. Thank you Addie. So, an elevator pitch is really the term for a two minute break down of, really, what it is you do. And there are many instances when we’re using an elevator pitch, not only in a job interview, but we’re on the playground talking to other moms, we’re at a cocktail party, talking to people, and someone says, “So, what do you do?” And, if you’re like me, then for a long time that question always made me want to run the other direction, because I would say “Oh, I’m a stay-at-home mom,” or sometimes I would even say “Oh I’m JUST a stay-at-home mom,” which you never want to say. But I always felt apologetic about what I did, and there’s absolutely no reason to do so, especially when you’re looking for a job. This is your one opportunity to tell somebody what you’re what you do, not what you used to do, and what you want to do, and that you’re looking for a job. Most people, if you’re going to start the job search after a long time, most people that you’re interacting with won’t know that and it’s a great opportunity for you to tell them, in a very short, say, two to three minute little blip of time, to be able to communicate to that and communicate effectively. So, for example, I’ll tell you a little bit about my background and my story. And then I will give you my little elevator pitch, or what I used when talking to people, and then we’ll kind of break it down a little bit. So, I was in recruiting, which is what I was interested in getting back into doing, and I had been interviewing quite a bit. And I decided, I went through the reacHIRE program and went through quite a bit of training. And, so, I was a 10 years out of the workforce. I knew what I wanted to do, and it was quite a journey before I enrolled in the reacHIRE program. I interviewed quite a bit. It was probably almost a year, and I was doing a lot of first interviews. I was getting a lot of networking conversations going, and what I found is when I was presenting myself, I was not presenting myself with the confidence that I really should have been. It had been a really long time, I was okay with social media, maybe Facebook, but really that’s about it. LinkedIn, Twitter, I really didn’t know anything about those at all. And I was struggling, and I was wondering what am I doing wrong. What’s happening? I’m telling everyone “Hi, you know, I’ve been home with my kids for 10 years. I’m looking to get back into recruiting.” That was really my elevator pitch. After going through a six-week training with Addie and getting some coaching and going through a lot of mock interviews and practice, then I I perfected my elevator pitch, which you need to be, like I said, very succinct, very to the point, and with three components. The first component is your story, which is I am a ______. Not I want to be a _____, but I am a “recruiter.” I’m a “project manager.” I am a “human resources professional”: fill in the blank. The second component is what you’re good at, and your unique strengths and contributions. And the third component is the value you can bring to an organization. So, remember when you’re talking to somebody that you’re have to keep in mind, what are they going to get out of it? What’s in it for them? Not what you want to get from them or what can they do, what can you do for them. “I would love to help you build your organization,” “I would love to be able to find the best talent for your company.” That’s just a quick example. So, go to the next slide. Like I said, from any kind of any kind of part of your life. We’re in the grocery store, and we run in to someone we haven’t seen in a long time. We see someone on Facebook who is a part of a company that we’re really interested in, or on LinkedIn, or on Twitter, or we read an article and we want to talk about it with someone. These are all perfect examples of ways where an elevator pitch will help get the message across. In fact, that’s how I started working at reacHIRE. I was talking to a friend of mine, and she’s in PR, and she’s very successful. And we were chatting and having coffee, and I thought to myself, okay, well, I’m just going to mention that I happen to be looking for a job. And I did, and gave her my quick rundown, and she said “Oh my gosh, you should call my friend Addie,” and that’s how I ended up working at reacHIRE. So you just never know who knows who and who can help you. And sometimes it’s in the least likely places. So, going through this step-by-step, identify your goal. What is the objective for your pitch? Are you wanting to network or are you in a job interview, Or you just want people to know that you’re that you’re looking for a job? And then explain what it is you do. Again, say I’m a ______, this is what I do, versus, “Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom, and, you know, I’m not working right now, but I’m really hoping to get a job in finance.” I would say make it short and sweet and to the point. Be honest, say “yep, I’ve been home, I’ve taken a break.” As Addie said before, just address it head-on. Don’t run around the subject, don’t apologize, just be very confident and say “yep, I’ve been home for x amount of time, x amount of years, and I’m really excited to get back to work, and this is what I’m looking to do.” The third step is communicating your x factor. What makes you unique? For example, I always thought that something that I did well was being able to get relationships with my candidates and have them trust me so that I could find the best company for that when I was a recruiter. Something like that. Something that, for example, if you asked your friends, “What is really unique about Jenny? About Susie?” What would they say? And start to, you can even ask them, start to brainstorm. Ask your spouse, “What would you say about me? What is something that makes me unique, that really that differentiates me over someone else?” And start to gather those thoughts in your head and pick something that you think would translate well to an elevator pitch. Number four: Engage with a question. So, “Hi, I’m a recruiter, and this is what I do, this is where I have proven track record. How long have you been working at your company?,” or any kind of question to get the person engaged in the conversation, so it’s not all about you, it’s about them too. Number five: Draft it – write it down. You might have three different versions of it, and then practice and commit it to memory. Again, it seems silly to go through so much to be able to just talk about yourself, but sometimes, for some people, it can be a lot harder to talk about yourself in certain ways when you’re really not used to doing it with with such confidence. It does take a lot of practice, and I found personally that it helped a lot. And especially because you’re in different situations every day, like I said, if you’re on the playground or you’re in a job interview, they’re going to be slightly different conversations. So you want to make sure that you are confident and that you’re ready to go at any moment. If someone happens to say, “So tell me a little bit about yourself,” you’re not floundering and wondering, “What do I say next?” It”ll just roll off the tip of your tongue. So I’m going to, before I turn it over to Addie, I’m going to give you a quick, my elevator pitch, and so hopefully this is something that can help you when you’re thinking about your own. “I’m a recruiter looking for an in-house position at a forward-thinking company. I was most successful in placing VP and C-level finance candidates, both at small startups and large companies. My style is straightforward, but not aggressive, which is what makes my candidates trust me to bring them only the best opportunities.” That’s a quick three-sentence elevator pitch. That’s something that I would use in a job interview, or, frankly, even an informational interview. So, I just wanted to leave you with a quick example, and I’m going to throw it over to Addie to chat about writing Career Profile Summaries. Great. Thank you so much, Mimi. So let’s talk a little bit about your Career Profile Summary. What we’re talking about, and we’ll show it to you in the next few slides, is the description that’s at the top of your resume. But before we really get into that, I’d like to talk a little bit about how important the resume is. The average person takes less than six seconds to actually scan your resume and looks at the top third, doesn’t ever get down to the end of that second page, and just gets sort of a quick thumbnail of who you are to say, “Okay, is this somebody that I want to talk to and I want to learn more about?” So, it’s really important to deliver substance. It’s not as much about what it looks like but what are you saying, delivering results over activity. Again, we’re so used to putting everything in chronological order, and so used to describing many of the tasks that we do/ You can’t get a job on tasks. You could get a job on results. So, what we focus a lot on is thinking about not description, but results over activity. So the career profile summary really sets the page, the stage. Readers want to know what you do and how well you do it, as quickly as possible. So, using action oriented language, using numbers to say that you increase profits by x percent, or you were able to recruit, you know, a certain kind of person like Mimi used in her elevator pitch, or that you know you had a eighty percent retention rate in the program that you created. Those percentages and numbers really deliver actions and results that somebody will take notice of, and that will make a big difference. One thing I do want to talk a little bit here, too, is this idea of a job search. So, many of you are talking about you don’t know where to begin, and if you have started, maybe you’ve hit some stumbling blocks, some of which we’ve talked about earlier. We look at it as four levels of the job search. My friend Barbara, who’s been doing this for her entire career, you know, has coined this idea of four levels of the job search. Imagine if you wanted to go back into the workforce looking for the same job that you did before, that would be a level one job search in the same industry. Sometimes when we’ve been out, and then we want to go back, we might think that we want to do something completely different, in a completely different industry. Well, that’s a level four in difficulty job search. So, it’s also important to understand a little bit more about when you’re crafting your Career Profile Summary, what do you want to do, and making sure that you can get to success by setting up a job search that can be successful. So, I think we’re going to go now to sort of drilling down on the Career Profile Summary. Mimi? Hi, sure. No, I mean, I think we need the next page Yep, I got it up. It says “Drilling Down.” Are you are you seeing it? No, I’m not… Strange, okay. We’ll keep going. Okay, so as we drill down, we’re going to first talk about your branding statement. It’s not an objective of what you want in a job or what you’re looking for, but more who it is that you are and what you can deliver to the role that you’re applying for. So you want to focus on your core skills, you want to highlight the areas of expertise that you have, and really provide high-level examples. Again, it’s not something where you want to deliver every single thing that you did in your last positions. Remember it’s really important to keep your resume to two pages. We think beyond two pages is too much for anyone to really get through, and they’re not going to focus on that. But really focus on the areas of expertise, using high level examples, with deliverable actions that you have done, and results, so that you can show the employer that you are qualified and ready and motivated. And then, you know, add some tipping point items. So, you know, we’ve had individuals that say, “oh, yes I’m bilingual” or ” I speak, you know, Urdu,” or “I’ve, you know, virtually managed sales reps in three different countries as part of one of my projects.” And those things weren’t even on the person’s resume. So. really important to think about all the things that you’ve been involved in, and to pick those key items that A) show that you’ve delivered value and also are differentiated and differentiate you from many other candidates. And I’m certain that as you dig deep, you’ll find those little, what we call, you know, tipping point items or nuggets, that can be placed into your resume that will be great talking points and will serve to get somebody’s attention. So, it’s all about really what you want to do. Okay. So we’re now going to go into what is an example of a good career profile summary and a better one, or one that we start with and one that we improve. So I’m going to start and read the “before,” which sounds great. Ready? Highly polished strategy, marketing, and financial professional with pragmatic style. Experience in managing internal and external teams to deliver measurable results. Articulate and persuasive in both oral and written communications, displayed during highly successful stints as a marketing professor at Babson College and as a case writer for Harvard Business School. Mimi, I’m going to turn it over to you. All right, and the “after” would read like this: Solution-oriented brand management and business analysis professional focused on increasing profitability. Able to identify strategic needs based on granular analysis of business trends and communicate clearly with internal and external constituencies. Experience with both highly differentiated and commodity products at all stages of the growth curve. Articulate and persuasive in both oral and written communications displayed during highly successful stints as a marketing professor at Babson College and as a case writer for Harvard Business School. So, the difference in the two, I highlighted in red. We added results-oriented language, versus just descriptive language. And Mimi? Yes, go ahead. Mimi, I just want to interject for a second and say that the difference between the before and after is really owning your success and being proud and taking control over, you know, what the results were that you’ve had. And it’s almost like taking a power stance, you know, it’s going in and owning it and not, you know, and not just being a descriptor. Yes, well said. And there also is an added sentence: “experience with both highly differentiated and commodity products at all stages of the growth curve.” That’s very specific language that really digs a little bit deeper into this person’s skills. And I guess, lastly on this point, you know, so many businesses today are focused on analysis, and really understanding big data and business analysis. And that’s exactly what this person did, but in the earlier statement they talk more in general terms about strategy, marketing, and financial professional work, sort of the focused industry that they’ve been involved in, not as much as what they were delivering in core skills. Okay, our second example. I’m going to take the before again. Experienced business professional with a broad background in sales, marketing business development/alliances, and strategy. Industry focus and information technology and nonprofit-sectors. And the after is: Harvard MBA and experienced business professional with a broad background in marketing, sales, business development/alliances and strategy. Industry focus in information technology with core competencies in: Market Strategy, Market Research, Business Plans & Analysis, and so on. And, I want to address the Harvard MBA piece, real quick, and Addie, feel free to chime in. I think a lot of people, we talk about this a lot at reacHIRE actually, is, “Do I write that in my Career Profile Summary?” Harvard MBA, Stanford MBA, whatever it is, what, you know, depending on the school that you went to. And in some cases, I think that it’s very powerful, especially if you have an Ivy League degree, I don’t, I personally don’t see it as bragging and talking about it too much, and I think that, in this case, I think it’s important, because if somebody is reading your resume for five seconds, that is something that is going to stand out to them, and that way, they don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom to your education to see it. Some people might not be comfortable with it, but I think it can be very powerful. And the second obvious change is that the areas of expertise are listed in a different format, so that they’re a little bit easier to read. And it also gives her skill sets some focus. Okay, let’s go on to one more example. Mimi? Okay. So here’s our last example. Okay: Over 15 years experience in the networking and telecommunications industries. Successfully built new teams, managed global cross-functional teams, sales and product training resulting in faster product delivery to key customers Experience in product management, product marketing, program management, and third-party business development, resulting in increased sales and revenue growth. Developed business requirement documents and product marketing strategies for multiple product lines. International experience and fluent in three Chinese dialects. The after reads as: Over 15 years of experience in the networking and telecommunications industries. Successfully built new teams, managed global cross-functional teams, sales and product training resulting in faster product delivery to key customers. Experienced in product management, product marketing, program management and third-party business development. Technical understanding of Networking, Mobile, and Web Services (digital media and streaming). Fluent and three Chinese dialects. So, firstly the format is different. It’s a paragraph versus bullet format, and it’s a little tighter, fewer words, and the technical piece is a big change. And, again, that’s something that is part of business today, is you need to have some technical understanding to a certain degree, or something that shows that you have the aptitude to learn it quickly. Mimi and Addie, if I could just interrupt you for a second, we do have a really great question that just came in, specifically related to Career Profile Summaries, so before we moved on, I wanted to make sure we got to it. This listener is asking specifically about how you address transferable skills in the Career Profile Summary. So, she wants to transition into a completely new field, versus what she was doing before. So how can you address that transition in the summary? Without having a lot of specifics, I think focusing on functional areas like analysis, strategic thinking, those are basic skills that can be used across industry. So, not knowing exactly what industry she wants to go from or to, focusing on those specifics make a big difference in actually just deliverables, like understanding, analysis, delivering training… Mimi, do you want to help out? Yes. I was thinking about, you could still, I think, any kind of success where you’ve increased profitability or increased retention or any of that type of language, still shows that there was marked success that you had in the past, even though it might be a different industry or a different career path, to show that you did really well what you did before, and you’re ready to, and then mentioning those skills that would translate over to the next position, in the next job, in the next career, is mentioning those as well, and perhaps a line about how they would translate. So, in other words, using the action oriented language about what she did in the first career, and then a line about how those skills are transferable to career number two. Great, so you would suggest specifically mentioning that you are transitioning from X career to Y career with the this set of skills? I would, because if someone’s looking at a resume of someone who is in career A, and this is a job in an unrelated field, the person is going to look at the resume and think, “Is this the right resume? Is this right? Should this be on my desk? Because this person has not exactly the kind of experience that I’m used to seeing on a resume.” So the career profile summary should state, really, what that person what they did and how those skills transfer to the job they’re applying to, so the person reading the resume understands why that person is applying, right off the bat without having to figure it out for themselves. Great. Thank you. Mm-hmm. All right, Addie. Do you want to talk a little bit about reacHIRE? Sure, so just to step back a minute, we have spent the last a couple of years researching how to actually get over the many different hurdles and then help women get back into the workforce with on-the-job experience. So, we kind of look at it as a three-pronged approach, where we spend a lot of time doing technical skills refresh, as well as some confidence-building, team-building, and coaching, and then we follow that with sort of a project placement. We have a six-week boot camp that includes training Google and Microsoft, and, you know, really gets you up to date on social media. You’re doing it as part of a group, so, you know, you’re with other like-minded women that are all trying to do it at the same time. And there’s something really wonderful about the idea that we’re all in it together. And then, providing that coaching and support to help you with your elevator pitch, to help you revamp your resume, and make sure that you’ve gotten your story down pat. I mean, if I remember meeting Mimi, when when I we went through our interview process for her to be in the program, I remember Mimi saying she would do anything to get back to work. I remember it distinctly: “I’ll even sweet floors, anywhere I go, I just want to get back. I built my career and I want to continue, you know, doing that.” And to hear her elevator pitch today, she’s just nailed it. She knows who she is, she is delivering it very forcefully, but in a nice way, and you want to hire her. You’re like, “I want to hire her. She has to be part of my team.” And that’s what we want to give every single person goes to the program. So it’s six weeks of training, live training, and then followed by eight weeks of additional coaching and support, and then we actually find a position for you in a corporation that’s typically six months or longer, part-time, that allows you to unwrap in a way, to get those on the job skills, really figure out what you’re good at, learn something new, take those skills, and translate them into today’s corporate world, and then take it from there. And we’ve been really excited by our results. We’ve had four cohorts and we’re really focused on creating a pathway for women to get back into managerial roles in Corporate America. And we’re very excited about that. So that’s a little bit about reacHIRE. So, does anyone have any questions about what we’ve been talking about? Yes, so we are getting a number of questions in, and they are all really, really great. So the first is another question regarding the Career Profile, regarding the length of the summary. So, this listener mentions that all of the “after” examples are twice as long as the “before,” because you are adding in those additional details. What do you cut from the rest of your resume to make room for those very important profile summaries? I don’t know that you necessarily cut anything from your resume. I mean, I think that there is a tendency to get a little too detailed, when describing each position on a resume, but, and so that might need some trimming down, and I know that, when I first was looking at these, way back, when I was going through this training process, I always had an objective, and it was always one sentence. So I thought, well, hm, like why do I, why is this necessary? And, actually, because you want someone to very quickly understand what you did, how you did it, and how you did it really, really well, and what you’re looking to do, and how you can help the person reading the resume. So, I, again, I don’t, I wouldn’t get into super, you don’t need to make it, you know, half of the page. I would look at your, the meat of the resume, and each job. Make sure that there’s three or four bullets, max, and not make it terribly, terribly long. And maybe move one or two things to the Career Profile Summary. But I don’t know that you need to really cut that much from the meat of your resume. And, again, it can, your resume can be two pages long. It’s absolutely fine. I know that, you know, a lot of people have a lot that they want to say. You just need to pick and choose what you think has the most impact. Okay, great. Thank you. Another question, we’re getting a few about networking, and so people that have had a job in the past now want to do something else with those skills, and how do they start? How do they find what careers might suit them? Is that through networking, through informational interviewing, through LinkedIn searches? Can you speak to that career exploration piece? Go ahead, Addie. No. No, you go first, and then I’ll follow up. Okay, well, this is something that I did to a degree myself, but networking, talking to everybody and anybody. I went through and I reconnected with my old co-workers. I was not able to find many of them, but I found a few, and we had lunch and had coffee. And then, I just talked to them about what they were doing, because they had been doing the same job I was, and where did their careers take them. And I stated there, and I got some ideas there. In the end, I went back to what I had done before, which is recruiting, but I was exploring everything, all possibilities, because I felt like I needed to. And then I also talked with a lot of friends friends that were very successful at whatever field they were in. I asked them who they knew, and, you know what, I have to say some, your friends, really, the people that care about you, they will bend over backwards to help you, and if they know anybody that they think that you would connect with for any reason, whether it’s a career that you’ve thought of or maybe a career that you hadn’t, I think that you really need to go through your list of friends and ex-colleagues, spouses of friends, anybody that you think would be able to help you, and you’d be, you would get a wealth of information from those people. So, yeah, I’m just going to jump in here, Mimi, and say that, you know, what you want to do, though, is you want to think about the people that you’re going to reach out to, and when you hit them in your process, because, you know, going out of the gate, you may not feel as confident, you may not have your elevator pitch down quite as much, and it might be just that one person that can open up a lot of doors or maybe has a job themselves, that once you hit them at the right time, presenting yourself as effectively as you can might open a door for you. So, I would say that, you know, absolutely, first of all, think about what it is that you want to do. Do you want to go back to what you were doing? Or do you want to take the skills, like one of our listeners mentioned earlier, and translate them in today’s workplace? So, is, you know, biotech interesting? Well, that biotech might not have been around in such full force ten years ago when you are leaving the workforce, or even when you started your career. But you may be very interested in that, or health care, or health sciences, so, you know, there are a lot of resources out there. There’s certainly your, you know, alumni office. There’s career coaches that are out there there are programs like ours and others all over the country that can sort of get you on your way. It is a process. It is good to do it with other people. It is excellent to focus on, you know, what is your story? Beginning to hone that, and then translate that into your LinkedIn profile, doing some outreach, as Mimi said, going to people, talking to friends, beginning to network, and then refining as you go along. So, your elevator pitch, you know, six months from now, should look different than it does today. Or even, you know, three weeks from now, and that’s based on what you hear from other people, but, you know, friends can help, there are coaches out there, other programs, and just general networking. You know, the more you let people know that you’re looking to go back, and get very specific about what exactly you’re looking to do, people can be more helpful, and being that specific makes the difference. Thanks so much, ladies. I also want to remind you that the Brandeis community is a wonderful, wonderful network of alumni who are here to to help you with these very challenges. A lot of you are writing in questions that you are formerly in law and looking to do something else. The Brandeis community is full of, what we call in our office, as a joke, recovering attorneys, people who are all set with law and want to do something else. So, doing a quick LinkedIn search or going into our alumni directory, which you all have access to, and searching for law and seeing what people are doing now with a law degree that may be different. Or, insert whatever career you’re interested in. Brandeis’s alumni network is a wonderful option for career networking, career exploration, and informational interviewing. So, we have another question here about salary negotiation, which is an interesting one. And they’re asking you to address salary negotiation and what one can expect and ask for in terms of salary, based on previous salary history, and on the fact that they now have an employment gap, should they be lowering their salary expectations to help get at least the first job, or should they be going in hot right out of the gate? I think I’ll take that, Alexandra. Sure. It really depends on how long you’ve been out, what industry you’re going back into, and I would say the first order of business is to get the position, so, and to have reasonable expectations. So, the way the reacHIRE program works is we place you in a project assignment, and typically, it is looked at as sort of a glorified, you know, internship in a way. You get paid reasonably well for being out of the workforce, but it’s really sort of a on-the-job training for six months or, you know, longer if you get extended. The idea is, really, to sort of get back in the saddle, understand where your skills are, and prove to that employer that you can come in at a director level, or senior manager level, or whatever level is commensurate, you know, and level of responsibility of where you were before. I’d say, if you’ve been out of the workforce for 10 or 15 years, you have to assume that you’re not going to go right back in at exactly the same level. The industries have changed, the workforce has changed, and it’s unreasonable to expect that you’re going to go right in at that level. That said, what’s really nice, and whether you do with the program like reacHIRE or on your own, finding an assignment that you can prove your value, without having that be tied to a actual salary right out of the gate, I think serves an individual stronger because they can prove how much they are worth to the company, and then negotiate. And you’re operating in the stronger position than you were before. So that’s, sort of, that’s the way we look at it, and I would recommend that to anyone. I don’t think people should work for free, which might be a question, “Should I work for free and show them how much I can do?” I don’t think so, but I think that kind of carving out an assignment and getting your feet back into the game, and then negotiating for a bigger role, with a salary based on the what you’ve recently delivered, says it all. Thank you so much, Addie. We have another question, a couple questions coming in about resumes, and how do you specifically address the gap on your resume? Do you actually list those years as the years that you raised a family, for example? And, a related question, do you have any specific advice for listeners who are older, especially as it relates to providing the dates of education and those being further and further in the past, and how you can address that? Mimi, you want to take the resume gap question and I’ll take the date of education? Sounds good. Yes, I think that, I believe that, no, you should write, so for example, the resume would be in chronological order, the last position that you held was the last paid position. In my case, that was 2004. So, 2004, like, 2000-2004 I was an X job, and then that’s it. And then anything else above that is the Career Profile Summary. Because it’s obvious by looking at it that you, the last job you have was in 2004, and you want to fill that space on your resume with work experience. The work, the volunteer experience and things that you’ve done in your in your personal life, and, that, you know, some of us have been fortunate enough to be able to take a break from the work life and be able to be there for our family is a gift and it’s it’s really something to be proud of and I know a lot of people wish that they had that time with their kids or their elderly parents or whatever the situation is, however, I do believe that the space on your resume should be reserved for mostly for paid work experience, and if it’s at the very top, you want to list the most recent, first instead of listing, saying like 2004 to present what, you know fill it in with volunteer work, or at home raising my daughters, or whatever it is. I think that, I don’t believe that that needs to be stated on your resume that way. And, as we mentioned earlier, putting the volunteer experience at the bottom, because you’re looking, that isn’t, that’s icing on the cake to someone that is looking at you to hire you, but it’s not necessarily the meat of what you’ve done. So Addie, do you have any opinions about that or…? Yeah, well, I definitely think that your most recent paid work experience in a corporation is the most powerful and it shows results, actions, and shows you at your strength. So having that right underneath your career profile, I think, is a key way to go. I want to go over, too, sort of, your dates of education, because we’ve kind of gone back and forth with this, and we have women in our program that have been out, I placed a woman that had been out 30 years. believe it or not, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to, but we did and you know, we really don’t believe that you should not have the dates, so we believe you should be forthright. They can figure it out, you know, they can figure it out. So hiding it on your resume, we think, is not really that that good. So, put your dates of education. And, there is, there is age discrimination out there, but if you really have your story down, if you’re talking about actionable results that you have delivered and you know exactly what you’re looking for, at least you’re able to articulate a vision for what you’re looking for, even if that vision changes from person to person or interview to interview. Be very focused in what you’re looking for makes a difference, and that date of education, don’t be ashamed of it. You know, the workforce is full of millennials, under 30, don’t have a lot of experience, or texting, doing social media on the job. We need to go home, you know, don’t have a strong a work ethic, and experienced professionals who are smart, savvy, and loyal, and who are so motivated to get back can be a huge win to a corporation, and that’s what we’re trying to create for reacHIRE candidates, right? We’re trying to get them back and show how motivated, loyal, and smart they are and how they can deliver results. So, I think, don’t back off of your education dates, do your homework, and get your story down in a very meaningful and impactful way. Thank you ladies very much. I also want to remind people, too, that there’s there’s no black and white, right or wrong ways to write a resume and everyone’s is going to be different, which is why it’s so wonderful to work with a coach or a spouse or a friend or a career counselor here at the Hyatt Career Center to see what works best for you, and so there’s chronological resumes, but there’s also skills-based resumes. And so, we do have examples of those on the Hyatt website, and I’ll be sharing that out with everyone, but great, great points. Mimi and Alexandra, I just want to say one more thing. Sure. We sometimes see a lot of people who spend many, many, many hours and hours on the resume. You really should spend more time on what your elevator pitch is and what your story is, because, again, if you go back to that six second rule, whether it’s a functional resume, skills-based resume, chronological resume, that’s not going to make the difference between you getting looked at, your getting an interview or not. It’s really how you’re communicating, what you can bring to a company, and how you can make a difference for them. That’s a, that’s a great point. Thank you, Addie. We do have another question here, in terms of the job search would you suggest that our listeners take a lower level managerial job, like an office manager-type job, with the hopes of moving on to something better later on, or is this detrimental to a job search? Kind of, you know, relating to the salary negotiation question, do you want to start at the top, start at the middle, or are you starting over? And I know you have strong feelings about that, Addie. I think taking an office manager job if you’ve been in more of a managerial role is not a good idea. And, actually, we had a person that had two different job opportunities that they were looking at, one in a big corporation running a project on an assignment for six months that was high level, was going to have high visibility, and about the same pay in the project assignment as an office manager in a small start-up, but in the end she thought and we thought that would be better for her to go to the corporation where she could showcase her skills, do that project assignment, and then have the opportunity to leapfrog into a more managerial role that was more in keeping with her past background, so I feel like going the office manager role for her was not the right decision. What do you think, Mimi? I would tend to agree, although there are so many factors that go into it, you know, how long you’ve been interviewing, how long you’ve been looking, are you looking to completely change careers? If you’re looking, you know, if you were in finance, and you want to go work in an art gallery, and it’s something you’re passionate about, you know, that might be an exception to that rule, because you’re just looking to break in, in any possible way. But, generally, if you’re sticking with the same career that you had before, you don’t want to get pigeonholed into that role, and, it, you know, and have difficulty moving up, up the ladder, but I would tend to agree to try to hold off to something, if it can’t be managerial, at least be something that is in between an office manager position and a managerial role to, you know, and to show that you can you can move up and you can do it quickly. Hopefully that makes sense. I just, you know, as Alexandra said, there’s there’s no one right way to do a resume. But I do think that it also depends, kind of, on, on the situation with, you know, really the career path that you’re looking at, but generally keeping with the same career, I would, I would agree with Addie on that one. Well, thank you ladies so much. We are getting in a ton more questions but it is one o’clock and so I do want to be mindful of everyone’s time. A lot of the questions that are coming in now are about specific situations, specific career paths and choices that are happening now, and also some questions about reacHIRE and what you guys do, and also what we offer here at the Hiatt Career Cente, as well. So, do know that I will respond to each and every one of you who has asked questions and has not gotten an answer live on the call today, but I did want to take a moment to thank our presenters so much and to allow them an opportunity to let you know how you can learn more about reacHIRE. So, we are having an information session. It’s free of charge. It does require an RSVP. Thursday, November 20th in Needham. So, we would love anyone who’s interested in learning more about our programs to log on to our website. You will get to get a lot more details on how the program works, the timing some of our partner companies that we’re working with, and, again, the information session will feature, Addie will be there, she’ll be speaking, one of our coaches and one of our alumni will be speaking, as well, someone who’s actually been through the program and is currently employed, and it’s about an hour and a half and you’ll have an opportunity to ask as many questions as you like during that time, and certainly we stay after, as well, to chat with folks, and then we can tell you more about the application process. Fantastic. You could shift to the next slide for me, Mimi. That’d be great. In terms of next steps, please take a moment to fill out our satisfaction survey and let us know how we did. We at the Hiatt Career Center offer free alumni Career Webinars every single month. This was the November one of course, but next month in December, we have a webinar on gender bias in the workplace, which will be very interesting, and then in January, I know a lot of you who have been weighing in with questions are career changers, and so our January webinar topic is making a leap to a career you love, and it’s with a career coach who will talk specifically about strategies for changing careers. And then, I also want to remind you, given that many of you are Brandeis undergraduate alumni, you do get free career coaching through the Hiatt Career Center, which can cover anything from networking to resume reviews, specific job search techniques, value skills and interest assessments, as well as career exploration and how you go about conducting informational interviews and some of the things we talked about today, so I did want to remind you about that as well. Then, if you could go to the last slide… This is my contact information. As we mentioned, everyone will be getting a copy of the slides in their email, as well as a link to the recorded version of today’s webinar. And this has been, clearly, a very hot topic among our listeners. Again, I’m sorry. We didn’t get to everyone’s questions, but thank you so much, Addie and Mimi, for speaking with us today and sharing your story and telling us more about what you do it reacHIRE. Thanks for having us. Thank you so much, Alexandra, and everybody for listening Do you have any final words of wisdom that you’d like to leave our audience with today? Just be really excited. Don’t forget who you are in your career and go for it. Go find that next opportunity and, you know, re-energize yourself in your corporate world Thank you again, and from the Hiatt Career center at Brandeis University, thank you all for listening, and I hope you have a great day. Thank you. Thank you.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *