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Expert advice for common career conundrums

I was very honored to be featured in the most recent issue (Feb 2014) of Atlanta Magazine in the cool jobs section. Here is some quick advice for some of the common questions people are asking these days excerpted from this article:

Do I need to use social media for my search? And if so – how much? At my age the last thing I want to be doing is posting selfie’s on Instagram and photos of my lunch. Social media can help your search enormously these days so yes – you need to use it. But it doesn’t have to be the way your teenage daughter uses it for example. Start with LinkedIn, which keeps it completely professional. Update and finish your profile, make sure it is 100% complete including a professional looking photo! And start with that. You don’t have to venture into any other mediums until or if you decide to. It’s better to have a complete and engaging profile in one arena, than halfway done profiles in several. That’s ineffective. Remember that employers and recruiters are actively searching for candidates on LinkedIn every day. You can also look at profiles of people in your industry to see what you might need to be competitive – and you can review profiles of those in the jobs you want to have, to determine where you may need to beef up your skills or experience base. Also remember, employers are going to Google you whether you like it or not, so know what comes up in a Google search using your name.

When do I bring up salary? It’s simple, hold the question or discussion until the end when the employer is about to make an offer, or already has or to quote Barrett Brooks (author of career blog Living for Monday) from this article which I think is a perfect way to put it, until you “sense some sort of commitment from the employer.”

Do I really need to take a coding class in order to land the job I want in the high tech world? Before you make the leap into any class or invest in education, make sure first – that’s the job you really want. Is it your dream job, is it the right fit, is it the next best step towards your long term career goal? Make sure the answer is yes. If there’s hesitation, vet that out before you make the investment. Second, ensure that the class will tangibly impact your search or career progression. Ask recruiters whether it’s worth your time. Talk to friends in the industry to find out if it’s a must have or not. Vet it out before diving in.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Is your clock ticking towards retirement? Check out our Encore Career Coaching services to help you define your life – on your terms.