Career Briefs: Job Search Smarter in the New Year!

Land a new job this year with expert advice on interviewing, job search strategy, hiring trends and more..

Dear Reader:

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a relaxing and joyous holiday season. I enjoyed time at home in North Carolina and a quick jaunt to Georgia to visit with family and friends. It was a relaxing reset after a busy year.

I am big on goal setting, and the new year is a very reflective time for me. Looking back on 2023, I am grateful for all of you who make my work meaningful. I am excited about the year ahead and the goals I have made, both professionally and personally.

Are you a goal-setter? What are your goals and aspirations for 2024? Many of you are setting goals to advance your careers; for some, this means navigating the challenging terrain of job interviews.

Interview preparation is critical in making a strong impression on potential employers and standing out in a competitive job market. I always remind my executive clients that preparation breeds confidence. The average executive client who works with the Briefcase Coach spent 10 hours or more preparing for their high-stakes interview.

It’s important to go into an interview with clarity on who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what opportunities or learning experiences you’ve had that are unique to you. Recognizing the need for tailored assistance, Briefcase Coach offers personalized interview coaching to help candidates prepare effectively. We aim to help candidates unearth and articulate their unique value proposition, a critical component that distinguishes them from other applicants.

Rooting for you,

Ps. Are you interested in interview coaching? We are offering 20% off interview coaching sessions booked in January. In addition to working with experienced interview coaches like Lisa or myself, Briefcase Coach clients will now have the opportunity to work with Lindsay Koons. Lindsay recently joined the Briefcase Coach, but brings years of senior talent experience. Her work experience includes working as a Senior Vice President & Senior People Strategist within the Human Capital Strategy and Insights practice at Truist Financial Corporation and as an Organizational Development Consultant for HD Supply (part of Home Depot). Meet our team of experts here.

💼 How to respond to: “Tell me about yourself”

I can almost assure you that one of the opening questions in an interview or networking conversation will be, “Tell me about yourself.” Crafting a compelling response in advance is key to starting the conversation on the right foot. In this article, I share advice from career experts on the best ways to prepare your answer.

Remember to keep your pitch concise and focused on how your achievements align with the company's needs, avoiding personal anecdotes that aren't professionally relevant. Aim for a two-minute response that starts with an engaging hook, highlights two job-related strengths, and concludes with how you can contribute to the company's mission. Don't leave this critical moment to chance!

💼 Ace your interview with these expert tips

It is important for executive job seekers to dedicate ample time to prepare for interviews. As part of your process, I recommend reviewing the job description, researching interviewers, and practicing responses to common interview questions. I share career experts' advice on the best preparation methods in this article. Some tips include using the STAR storytelling technique and the LinkedIn premium feature for recording and refining answers to ensure a polished delivery. In a time crunch? I also share recommendations on how to manage your time best to get the most out of your preparation.

“Think in terms of sound bites.”

Remember, it's not just the content of your message but how and where you deliver it that counts. Treat every interview as a chance to resonate with your audience and provide memorable soundbites, ensuring your story captures the attention it deserves. While this Fast Company article is about training for media interviews, it also holds a lot of great advice for job interviews. At the end of the day, an interview is an interview and requires preparation and confidence.

“New Year, New You”
Interview Coaching Sessions!

Don't let another opportunity pass you by. Make 2024 the year you land your dream job by mastering the interview process. Let's make it happen together! Our seasoned interview coaches are here to ensure that you enter every interview with the confidence and poise of a seasoned executive.

With our personalized coaching, you'll learn how to:
🌟Showcase Your Unique Expertise
🌟Navigate Tricky Questions
🌟Make a Memorable Impression
🌟Negotiate Like a Pro

As a valued member of our newsletter community, we are offering you an exclusive 20% discount on our interview coaching sessions. Start the year with the right preparation that could change your career trajectory.

But hurry, our calendar is filling up fast! Slots are limited to ensure that each client receives the utmost attention.

🌟 Click here and use code “NEWYEAR” claim your discount, and schedule your first session! 🌟

Top career tips for 2024

Chris Anderson, VP and Head of Content at GreenSlate, talked to a diverse, multinational group of professionals about their best career advice in the new year. I was honored to share my two cents on interview prep and enjoyed reading what others shared. Anderson shared his own advice, including that no matter what industry you work in, there's definitely something you don't know how to use yet. Cultivate a growth mindset, ignite curiosity, and consistently commit to learning something new to fuel continuous personal and professional development.

Questions to ask before accepting a job offer

Are you looking to accept a job offer this year? Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa compiled a list of 33 questions you should ask before accepting the position. These are really good. Getting the answers before taking the job could save a lot of stress and heartache in the future. This list is comprehensive, from salary and benefits to company culture and the reporting structure for the position.

Get-Hired Playbook: Strategies to Align Your Impact With Employer Goals

Indeed recently released its 2024 US Jobs & Hiring Trends Report. It explains crucial factors that will impact hiring, including demand, immigration, wages, and inflation. The report focuses on the expected rise of GenAI technology in various industries. I encourage you to explore the complete report in order to gain a strategic advantage and stay ahead in the competitive executive job market.

A look at freelancer job market trends

According to Upwork, 38% of the US workforce are freelancers - individuals who work independently and offer services to various clients on a project-by-project basis rather than permanently employed by a single company. Recently, Kelly Monahan shared her takeaways from a recent report by Upwork on the freelance job market on LinkedIn. Kelly points out that nearly 1/4 of freelancers are in the business of creating influencer content. How we produce value is changing. The digital world has opened up a new revenue stream many are taking advantage of.

Challenges for lower-income working moms

HR Dive recently provided an insightful brief about a new study conducted by the University of Phoenix and parenting platform Motherly, which found that lower-income working mothers exhibit a similar desire for career progression as their middle- and high-income counterparts but are more likely to switch jobs due to health or personal reasons.

Lower-income working mothers face greater financial obstacles but are more inclined to advance their careers than higher-income mothers.

The lack of flexibility in scheduling for certain positions has been a key issue plaguing moms for years. Women bear the brunt of workplace inflexibility, while men are fine with only managerial support.

Front-line work can present more challenges for flexibility, but employers can still find ways to adopt it.

Side note: Thank you to Christine Dykeman for sharing this article with me.

Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

  • Forward or use the referral link below to share this newsletter with your job-searching friends or post it on social media. This small act really helps!

  • Reach out to us about featuring your executive job posting in our newsletter. We are looking for hiring managers, founders, and search firms to talk on video about their ideal candidates.

  • Consider sharing my company name with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement.

  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching, or leveraging LinkedIn.

  • Recommend my services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach.

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