What was your situation prior to entering the coaching program?
I’m an airline industry veteran. I worked at a top airline a couple months short of 34 years in many different roles. For the most part, my career was focused in revenue management, strategy, and aircraft scheduling.
I first met with Diana to develop a job search strategy for starting a second career in consulting. I was also interested in working abroad and was looking for help on how to break into a new market. After 30+ years in the same company, I had no experience in the job market and didn’t know how to begin a job search. My biggest challenges was learning how to take my years of experience and package it into a concise marketing message that would make employers take notice.
What steps did you take to differentiate your job application?
The program helped me learn the whole concept of personal branding. This skill wasn’t something I’d heard of and I didn’t know how to apply it to my resume and marketing documents. Diana taught me how to come up with a personal branding statement and she challenged me to summarize my value proposition concisely. She also helped me create a resume that was more like a marketing document and that highlighted all my key accomplishments.
Another challenge she helped me overcome was using social media, especially LinkedIn, as a job search tool. Things like using keywords to get noticed when recruiters do screens didn’t occur to me. I also didn’t know how to reach out to recruiters.
Diana essentially taught me how to approach a job search, create a strategy, leverage social media, and network. I read that over 80% of jobs on the market aren’t actually posted, so I knew going into it that just watching job boards and waiting for open positions doesn’t work.
What was your success coming out of your coaching sessions?
I ended up with multiple job opportunities, two of which were overseas. I had an interview at a consulting firm that was exactly what I was looking for and was actually offered the job on the spot.
Do you have any advice for other professionals facing job search challenges?
It’s so important to learn to use social media to your advantage. The first thing I learned with Diana is to not be shy. I think that there’s a lot of trepidation about reaching out to people you’ve never met on LinkedIn. There’s the fear that they’re going to look at the message you sent and reject you.
I started small by trying to connect to people who worked with companies I was interested in and found that most people actually accepted. Once they did, I would send them a message about who I was, what my experience was, and what I was looking for. Most of them would actually respond to this and it was a great way to get my foot in the door and get valuable information for my job search.