On July 16th, after a 13 year illustrious career with Google, mom-to-be Marissa Meyer resigned and announced her new position as CEO of Yahoo! Not only was it ground-breaking for a woman to be appointed to this position, but for a woman who is 6 months pregnant to be offered this time of prominent position is almost unheard of!
On August 10th, after spending over 8 years in Recruitment with an international staffing firm I also resigned. Though not ground-breaking like Marissa, and though I was not pregnant at the time, as a mom of a young toddler my job search had to take my little one into account. I knew I needed to find a corporate culture which respected that I would always be a mom first and foremost offered flexible work from home arrangements (in case I needed to be home with a sick toddler) and wouldn’t think less of me for running out the door to pick up my daughter from day-care right at 5:00PM. Gone were the days of my early twenties when I would be at the office until 8PM on a regular basis. Now I am on the clock, which simply means having to be more efficient during my working hours.
After being the so called “expert” in recruitment and giving talks on How to Find a Job, suddenly I was in the same boat as my candidates wondering “Where do I Start?” Over my career I have interviewed over 1000 candidates for roles in Legal, Administration, Technology and Accounting/Finance and have placed well over 300 people in jobs, both temporary and permanent. So, I figured it was time to practice what I preach and take the job hunting advice that I’ve always given so that I could find my next ideal role. I thought, that if I could help so many people find work then I should certainly be able to help myself! Fortunately, I took my own advice that I’ve always given and two months after I started my search, i was offered a position with a new organization which I now call home.
I know first-hand that the journey to find a new job can be very emotional and at times stressful. By going through it myself recently, I hope to help you Mommas with some tips & tricks to help you land your new role, or help you get back into the workforce. I also hope to share some of the working momma woes that I, and I’m sure most of you (and Marissa Meyer in a few months) face on a daily basis.
To get you started I have put together a basic list of do’s and don’ts. Advice that I have been giving forever and advice that I took recently!
Take the time to evaluate your current role. Ask yourself, “What do I love about my job? What do I not like about my job?” This will help you narrow down what types of roles you are looking for
Update your resume, and emphasize therein the type of work which you like to do. For example: if you hope to land a position in event management, highlight on your resume any and all types of events you have put together, whether big or small, for work or for personal reasons.
Network! Talk to trusted friends, colleagues, mentors and let them know you are interested in a change and to let you know of anyone looking for someone with your level of expertise. People love to play match-maker, even if its with jobs!
Set up a profile on LinkedIn (even if you’re not actively searching for a job). List your work history, relevant skills, education and awards. Most recruiters are now on LinkedIn each and every day, to either post jobs or search for candidates.
Get in touch with agency Recruiters (Head-Hunters) who specialize in your area of specialization. They can often get your resume directly in front of the hiring manager especially for confidential roles that are not advertised.
Set up voicemail on your home phone and/or cell-phone and ensure you sound professional.
Do: Call, email or connect via LinkedIn with the Hiring Manager/Recruiter to express your interest
Don’t: Apply for jobs if you don’t have the required skills
Don’t: Have a generic cover letter. Tailor it per position highlighting how your experience matches the role requirements.
Don’t: Rely on just online applications. You may be one of 200 applicants.
Don’t: Have any typos on your resume!!!
Give up. Be persistent.
I could go on and on and on (and will in future posts), but I hope this helps to get you thinking of how you would approach your job search.
Please let me know in the comments section if there are specific questions you would like me to address.