As a career coach, I am continually amazed by all the articles and conversations meant for job seekers with advice so generic; it had to be written by a robot. Yet, when you are in a middle of a job search, you need honest, step-by-step information unique to the job you are applying to.

For example, in most career advice articles, authors tell anyone looking for a job that they must "network." Unfortunately, for many seekers, this term creates automatic tension in the job search since this word has so many meanings when it comes to job search.

The fundamental goal of networking is to establish connections with people in your field and create opportunities that lead directly to a potential job. The problem is that if job seekers already had these contacts, they would naturally use them. Unfortunately, most don't have connections, and "networking" means talking to strangers, something your parents warned you against when you were three!

Networking is more accessible than many make it out to be. Here are some steps to help you get started.

  1. Start with the end in mind. What companies interest you? What are the titles of the jobs you are applying to? This is a crucial step because it gives you your road map to help you start building your network. Spend time on job boards, LinkedIn, local business journals, chamber of commerce websites, Google, economic development organizations, and libraries (yes, local libraries can help you identify great companies in your industry you never hear of) to get job leads based on companies' job titles.

  2. Once these companies are identified, go directly to their corporate career website (smaller companies may still need to get this) and look at these job opportunities. Do this for all the companies you found in your research.

  3. Let the networking begin. For each company you identified, go to ALL your social media networks and do these two searches. The first one is just searching all your connections to find anyone who works at the company you are targeting. Follow this up by searching these same connection records for anyone with the job title you desire (try different titles). Your goal is to find any connection (friends, 2nd and 3rd connections) to which you can reach out and hopefully build a rapport. Most of the time, you will only know someone who may know that person at the company where you seek employment.

  4. Contact each connection. Use your friend's name when reaching out to this person. Introduce yourself, drop your references' names, and then ask them, "I am considering applying to a job at your company and wanted to know what you like working for XYZ company." This is so important! First, it gets them talking and gives you great insight into the company. Secondly, most people love to help others. Having them tell you about their experiences with their company gives them a chance to build rapport while listening. Mastering networking is listening and learning more about the person who can help you than they will know about you.

  5. Once a rapport is made, let them know your intentions. Tell them about the job you are applying for and ask them if they may either know the hiring manager or someone in human resources. If they do, you will have an excellent chance of increasing your odds of getting an interview.

  6. Keep this in the back of your mind. Many companies have employee referral programs that pay current employees money for referrals. Your networking call will be welcomed!

Networking may only come naturally to some. The challenge is connecting. Remember, the goal is to build relationships and create opportunities, so approach each interaction positively; try to learn more about the person you are networking with than tell your story and enjoy some fantastic results. Good luck!

Guest Blogger: Roger Lear
Orlando Jobs, LLC

Video Interviews are Here to Stay- 2022 Tips You Need to Know That Will Get You the Job!

The pandemic has taken the job market and turned it upside down. Many of you may have changed jobs or even careers. One thing for sure, the way you get your next job has changed, and video interviewing is now a massive part of that disruption.

Before the pandemic, you applied to jobs, and if you got an interview, they would send you directions to their office, give you a heads up on who was interviewing you, and where to park. To prepare yourself, many people would drive from their homes and make sure they knew where they were going and how long it would take. The interview was very stressful because of all the moving parts. One accident or unexpected road closure could ruin the entire day. In Florida, where we are based, those mid-summer interviews where you have to walk from the parking garage in 95-degree heat to the office building all of a sudden make you appear like you just worked out!

Thanks to the pandemic, 75% of “live” first interviews are going away. Zoom and Microsoft Team Meetings are the norm where just two years ago, very few companies used them. Also, companies like Spark Hire and Hire Vue, which have been around for years, are capitalizing on this growing trend.

For 2022 and beyond, it is time to take video interviewing seriously since employers will expect minimal hiccups. The honeymoon with video interview technology is over, and employers will be expecting excellence. Here is what you need to know:

  1. What type of video interview is it? If the employer sends you a Zoom or Microsoft Meetings link, this will be a live interview with human resources or a hiring manager. This is a self-serve interview if you get a link from services like Hire Vue. Instead of having a conversation with a hiring leader, you will record yourself answering questions. Once you complete, it is sent to the hiring manager, where your answers will be assessed. Since you can re-record your responses, you must still pretend it is a live interview if you want to make a significant impact. Employers don’t want to see you reading your answers.  
  2. Test the interview link on the day of the interview. I have had over thirty video interviews this year (yes, 2022), and eight of them were delayed or canceled because the job seeker couldn’t access the technology. Most of the time, this is caused by job seekers trying to interview using their cell phones. If you have an important interview, do what you can to use a laptop. If something goes wrong and you can’t connect, the chances of you getting another interview is slim.
  3. Impress with a great camera angle. The best camera angle is a level camera angle. To do this, you must get the camera lens on whatever you are using to be level with your eyes. This requires you to raise your laptop or cell phone off a flat service. I use magazines. When interviewing, always keep eye contact with the lens of the camera, not the screen. Eye contact with the interviewer is critical. You can practice this anytime before the interview (record yourself), and you will be amazed at how professional this looks. 75% of video interviews I have had are all over the place. This will separate you from the pack.
  4. Turn off notifications. Many use their cell phones (not recommended) for interviewing. The killer of a great interview is notifications and call waiting. Call waiting can disconnect you from the employer, which is not good. Be aware of anything that you control that can disrupt the interview.
  5. Dress for Success. Treat a virtual interview like an actual interview. The way you dress will immediately separate you from your competition. In so many interviews I have done this year, people are just dressed “super” casual. Many don’t realize who gets the job could come down to a professional appearance, even if you are interviewing for a lower-level job.  
  6.  Know your stuff. Once you are technically and physically set up (all things you 100% control), you are ready to interview just like a face-to-face interview. This article describes why you don’t do well in the interview. The best way to interview is to have actual examples of your work and articulate the impact on the bottom line of the company. In the virtual interview, the skills you have has to shine.
  7. Body language wins every time. Sitting up straight, smiling, good eye contact, and excellent listening skills will help you ace a virtual interview. The challenge is doing all those things for an extended period. That is why it is essential to make sure what you can control (technology, location, lighting, background, etc.) is outstanding, so all you have to worry about is the person that you are talking to on the screen.  

If you follow this information in 2022, you will be in the top 20% of any interview you attend; and that means job offers!

 Guest Bloger: Roger Lear, President of Orlando Jobs
Source: Orlando Jobs Published: Feb 08, 2022


Ready to be scared? In your lifetime you will spend 1/3 of your life at work.  In other words, you will spend 90,000 hours working.  That’s a lot of 40-hour work weeks. It is also the reason that you should maximize your career path and income. While 90,000 hours sounds like a lot of time, if you stay at your current company for five years (10,400 hours) and only see 2-3 percent increases in your salary, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table by not making a job change. If you make a job change, often you will recognize at least a 10 percent increase in your base compensation. If you make $40,000 and the new company offers you $44,000, that is $20,000 more over the next five years.

Since the recession, employees have been scared to leave their jobs for the unknown stability at other companies. Nationally, while unemployment is at the lowest level in 25 years, wage increases have been unnoticeable (2.6%) over the last few years.

“As an employee, you have more leverage in your career today than you have had in the last ten years!”

Even more interesting is the fact that more than 3.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2018 (BLS statistic) which is the most substantial amount since 2001. Quitting jobs is good for the economy since it means there is a confidence level allowing workers to leave a good position to get an even better one without worrying about being the “low man on the totem pole” or last in, first out if the economy suddenly shifts. This is also important because it means a tight labor market and wages have to increase. Employers can no longer ignore wage growth unless they want to lose great employees.

As an employee, you have more leverage in your career today than you have had in the last 10 years! It is how you use this new power that can mean thousands of dollars to you in pay and benefits in the future. Even though people are quitting jobs in record numbers to take perceived better jobs (the greener grass), I would like to suggest before you go out and quit, try this strategy.

If you have a good job but feel underpaid, you have options. You can go work at your competitor tomorrow for at least a ten percent increase in your salary or ask your current employer for a raise first. Ask for this raise before even filling out an application or going on an interview. Why? Because if you like your job, you have the power and this will allow you to understand how your company is addressing this tight labor market and more importantly your value to the company.

Consider these points:
1.If you ask for a raise and they don’t give you one (for any reason), it may be time to change jobs to a company that will.
2.If you accept a job at another company, when you put in your two-week notice, they will not be able to counter offer you. You should never take a counter offer in the first place, but by asking for a raise before you start looking will always put you in the driver’s seat. Accepting a counteroffer (a post raise) and blindsiding an employer will always have them questioning your loyalty. Ask for a raise first before interviewing.
3.Other companies that offer massive increases in salaries may have some skeletons in the closets. Bad bosses, long hours, inadequate technology, reduced benefits and the list goes on. If you like your current job, ask for a raise first.
4.If you ask for a raise, you may not only get money, but many people find out what kind of plans your current company has in mind for you.

90,000 hours. One-third of your lifetime. You have some leverage to make sure you can maximize all this time for the first time in years.  Your current employer will let you know if you are in their plans.

Guest Bloger: Roger Lear, President of Orlando Jobs

5,647 was the number of applications I had submitted online, or at least that is how many it felt like. Fresh out of college and ready to start my career, I was in a new city and felt like I was banging my head against the wall searching for a job. Surely my spray and pray application method would pay off eventually, right? I did have a college degree after all. After several months of job searching without much traction, I stumbled upon the silver bullet of the job search: the informational interview. Whether you are just starting your career, like I was, are considering a new field, or are just seeking out a job, the informational interview is a great step to succeeding in your search.

             My strategy for conducting the informational interview was four-fold. First, have a compelling reason for meeting with the person you contact. I was a recent college graduate who had just moved to the area and was interested in learning more about the local nonprofit sector. Your situation may be different than mine, but that does not mean you do not have a unique reason as to why someone should sit down with you. Maybe you are interested in learning more about a specific field or want to find out what it takes to be in your new contact’s position. Whatever it is, do not make it about the fact that you are job searching. Let that fact come out naturally. Mentioning it before you have even sat down will tie the person’s hands and make it tough to get appointments with people.

             Second, keep it short. Only ask for 15 to 20 minutes of their time and was sure to keep that promise during the meeting. If the meeting goes longer, make sure it is on their terms and not because you forgot to keep an eye on the time. People are busy, so asking for only 15 to 20 minutes of their time makes it more manageable for them and more likely that they will meet with you.

             Third, ask questions about them. Do not make it about yourself. You are there to find out more about them, their background, and the field they are in. Listening is an excellent skill to develop and communicates that you are genuinely interested in the person across from you. Plus, most people love to talk about themselves. Your ability to ask the right questions and actually listen to the answers will speak volumes about yourself without saying a word.

             Finally, do not get out of that chair until the person you are meeting with has given you 2 to 3 more people with which to meet. In order to keep the ball rolling, you need to continually meet new people. In addition, with their permission, you can use their name as your compelling reason for meeting with your next contact, saying, “I recently met with John to learn more about the field, and he recommended I meet with you. Can I have 15 to 20 minutes of your time this week?”

             Conducting informational interviews will expand your network and help you to learn about the community and industry you are pursuing. Not to mention getting out and meeting new people will boost your morale tremendously after sitting on the couch endlessly churning out applications to no avail. But how does it help you find a job? The people you meet with will have a pulse on the local job market and will likely know of openings in the field. If not, they will know somebody who does. Even though your meetings are not about the fact that you are job searching, it will likely come up organically. Even if it does not, you can reach out to your contacts later if you see they are connected to a position you are interested in for a reference or advice on your application.

              If you are stuck in your job search, connect with people through the informational interview. Consider it a useful tool to add to your toolbox of job search skills. In my experience, limited as it may be, landing the right job really is all about who you know. The informational interview is a great way to quickly expand your network and gain some traction in what can be a difficult and discouraging job search.

CFEC Guest Blogger for Job Seekers in Central Florida:

Christopher Burke

Break Time: Don't feel guilty about taking a break from your job search!

It has been said that looking for work is a full time job in itself. And many of us have found that to be true. In fact, we could work overtime looking for our next opportunity! Many of us do.

The job search becomes all encompassing, including the worry and stress partnered with such an important quest. But just like when we work overtime in employment, we get burned out and less effective when we overdo the job search. We start getting lazy and rushed in our applications. And we are prone to depression because of the constant state of uncertainty and rejection. This scenario is not going to make us any more hire-able.

When we are working, we usually have set hours, pre-determined tasks, and goals to meet as productive employees. And we usually have no problem taking a well deserved coffee break, walk around the block, or even a day off!

Why not take these good habits and apply them to the job search? Take the time to organize your searching methods and plan your days ahead with a calendar. For instance: list out the websites to check daily; make yourself goals to contact people in your network; and update your social media sites weekly to keep your network informed of your status. In keeping organized, you feel a sense of accomplishment as you search.

Then after your "work" is done, take a break. Go for a walk. Clean the silverware drawer. Meditate. Volunteer. Do something that is unrelated to your job search at least once a day, whether it be 20 minutes or 4 hours. Don't feel guilty about taking a break. It will keep your mind and your life balanced, better preparing you to start fresh the next day. And more importantly, start that next job with a healthy attitude!

Jean Martin
Human Resources Consultant

(Photo by Marten Newhal on Unsplash)

Permission to Grieve...but not forever

Job loss is significant. Grief is natural and necessary. Acknowledge the loss yet know this is a setback, not a permanent derailment of your value, your dreams, or your future. This too shall pass.  

Recognize you may not be able to return to your former position for some time. This can feel overwhelming. It may be the opportunity to start down new paths, too.

Positive Steps you can Take

Identify your marketable skills. Make a list. Take an assessment if you struggle to understand how your skills translate into jobs in today’s marketplace. Focus on how well your skills align to open positions, rather than position titles.

Need more skills? The time to learn them is now, while you are waiting and searching. Pursue the certifications, learning paths, or degrees that you want or need for your next job.

Perfect that Pitch

Know your value and what you want in a job. Connect your skills, experience, and education to the way you use those to impact an organization.  

Try formulating a power pitch:  

I help [people/companies] by [what I do best at/am passionate about/have proven skills in] so that they can [improve/change/grow, etc.]. I am looking for [define your next career move - be brief but specific].

Prepare to Deliver the Pitch

Be able to verbalize your Pitch in any situation. Practice, Practice, Practice.  

Practice your Pitch with a friend or former coworker until you can weave it into conversations and feel confident sharing it in any environment.

Record yourself delivering the Pitch on video. Watching this video will help you learn to deliver your Pitch in a relaxed, authentic manner. If you are feeling brave, share the video and ask for feedback from trusted friends or associates.

Create Resumes that match Positions

That is right, resumes, plural.

Your resume is a living organism that should be changed to suit the job you are pursuing.

Align each resume to the job posting you have chosen. Summary and accomplishment statements, skills, keywords, and active verbs should align with (but not plagiarize) the description and qualifications of the position you want.

Of course, do not lie, always check your spelling and punctuation, and make sure the contact information is professional and correct.


Create and share your resume, profile, skills, experience, education, and your perfect pitch on appropriate Social Media platforms like Linked In. Share your pitch at in-person events and with family, friends, former coworkers. The more people who know your skills and the position you are in the market for, the better your chance of landing the job.

Lead with a serve. Do not forget to share what you have been learning with others who need help. Serve others and it will come back to you!

Interview Tips

Prepare for success. Know the company - its mission, vision, values, and culture. Know the job and how your skills and experience align with what they are looking for. Know yourself and confidently prove you are the best candidate for the position.

For virtual platforms or video interviews:

  • Secure a quiet, clean location if you can. If your family is nearby, alert them to the interview times and ask for quiet if possible.
  • Test your technology before the interview. Make sure you download any necessary apps. And that they work on your device. Alert the interviewer as soon as possible if you hit a glitch.
  • Test your lighting and the camera angle to ensure the interviewer can easily see your face and shoulders. If possible, use a laptop or tablet for the best experience. Use your phone if you must.
  • Sit still and upright. Smile. Relax.


Guest Bloger:
Tracy Trimblett
Employment and Training Specialist
Christian HELP Employment and Resource Center

Job fairs are a great way to network and land interviews. With so many jobs being posted digitally, it can be nice to get out and meet some hiring managers face-to-face. This allows you to set yourself apart from all of the online applicants and leave a lasting impression.

While job fairs provide a great opportunity to meet hiring managers in person, it’s still very important to bring copies of your resume. Below, we will provide a few tips on how to make your resume stand out for a job fair.

1. Print Your Resume on Quality Paper

First and foremost, you are going to want to print your resume on high-quality paper. Go to UPS or FedEx and print 10 - 20 copies of your resume to bring to the job fair. Ask the person who works at the store what kind of paper they recommend for printing your resume. They will usually recommend a thicker type of paper. If a recruiter or hiring manager has a large stack of resumes, yours will stand out. This will only cost you a few dollars more so it is well worth the investment.

2. Add Some Color to Your Resume

In a sea of black and white resumes, a little bit of color can really help your resume stand out. We don’t recommend adding ten different colors. We also do not recommend adding colors like pink, purple, bright green, yellow, etc. The colors should be subtle, such as navy blue or mahogany. By adding some color to your resume headings, you are more likely to draw the hiring manager's attention.

3. Try to Keep the Resume to 1-Page

Normally, resumes should range from 1 to 2 pages. However, at a job fair, it is easy for two page resumes to get lost. The second page could get separated from the first page causing your resume to look incomplete. Try to summarize your skills and experience into a 1-page resume to make sure all the information you want shared is safe and sound. If you must use a 2-page resume, make sure to secure the two pages tightly and include your name and contact information on your second page header.

4. Consider Bringing Multiple Versions of Your Resume

Depending on the job fair that you are attending, it might make sense to bring multiple versions of your resume. If you are attending an accounting job fair, you will probably only need one version focused on accounting jobs. But if you are attending a job fair that will have multiple jobs and employers present, it might be good to bring multiple versions. For example, if you are interested in both sales and finance jobs, you should have a resume that is focused on sales jobs, and another resume that is targeted towards finance jobs. General resumes typically do not work as well as targeted resumes. Be prepared and research the companies that will be in attendance at the job fair before you attend.

5. Customize Your Resume for Specific Companies

One way to take your resume to the next level at a job fair is to customize a version of your resume for each company you are interested in. Most job fairs will announce what companies will be in attendance before the actual event. If you want to go above and beyond, create a version of your resume for each of the companies you are interested in. A great place to specifically mention your interest in the company is in your resume summary. You can mention something like “Passionate healthcare professional who believes in the mission of Anthem Blue Cross to improve the health of the people we serve.” By specifically calling out the company in your resume, they are going to know you are passionate about their company and their mission.

Guest Blogger:
Find My Profession
"a leading resume writing and career coaching company. Founded in 2015, Find My Profession provides elite, personalized, and highly effective career services for professionals and executives around the globe."

“Employment Projections are forecasts of future employment levels for industries and occupations in Florida. The Long-term Employment Projections program provides estimates of current and projected employment by industry and occupation for eight years into the future. The projections also include rankings of the fast-growing industries and occupations in Florida. These data are produced for the state, Workforce Regions, and counties with employment greater than 100,000. Geographic Coverage: Statewide, Workforce Regions, and large counties. Frequency: Annually”

Employment Projections Data is provided by the Florida Department of Opportunity, and can be obtained by visiting


Picture this: You get a call from a Recruiter. They ask about your day, you have some small talk and then they ask about your resume or LinkedIn profile. The conversation turns into a discussion about an amazing role they have open with a great local company. You explain your experience, background, goals, aspirations and expected career path. So far, everything is a perfect match! The Recruiter relays the conversation to the Hiring Manager who loves the details and is impressed by your resume. Naturally, it’s interview time!

Whether you’re back on the job market after 15 years or you have been actively interviewing for weeks, it’s time to prepare!

First, Know your audience. Ask the Recruiter as many questions as possible about the client, hiring manager, environment, technology stack, internal workings, everything! The Recruiter is your eyes and ears into the environment you may soon be working in. Lean on them to develop an understanding to make the best first impression possible. Soft skills, interview flow and expectations of the client and company cannot be learned from a job description. Trust your Recruiter and ask them questions!

Second, Arm yourself with the basics. Hop online and read current news about the company and, if possible, the employees. See if you can find anything about current projects, recent acquisitions and even if there have been lay-offs recently and why. Not only research the company’s name, but Google important people in the company to see if they have been involved with initiatives. Knowledge is power. Use these discoveries as conversation points. It shows your interest and will help you have relevant questions and topics to speak about during the interview.

Third, Early is on time, on time is late and late you’re out. I can’t harp on this enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting with someone from HR, a senior-level manager or the CTO of a company, someone is waiting on you. For an in-person interview, check traffic for that time of day in advance. Commutes for morning and afternoon interviews may be impacted by rush hour. For a phone or virtual interview, check your cell service or Wi-Fi and ensure your computer and Skype/Zoom/FaceTime account is up to date. I recommend checking these 24 hours in advance to allow you enough time to troubleshoot any issues. Make sure the interview from your side is as seamless as possible. Tardiness or technical issues may take up your interview time with someone who may not have availability to reschedule.

Lastly, Dress to impress, no matter the skill level, job title, length or seniority of a position. Your presentation is the first thing a Hiring Manager will notice, and putting your best foot forward can be the decision-maker between you and another candidate. No one will ever ding you points for dressing nicely for an interview. It shows respect for yourself, who is interviewing you and the company. Unless specifically instructed to do so, over dressing is always the way to go. First impressions are only made once.

Prepping for an interview is just as important as your skill set. Arriving to an interview dressed well, early and prepped with as much knowledge on the company and Hiring Manager is the next step finding you the best possible job match to compliment your lifestyle and career goals.

Guest Blogger:
Staffing Agency
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6 Things to Make the Most at Your Next Career Fair

Standing out is never easy! At a career fair, it could be the key to your next big success. Whether you are in college and attending your first event or you have been in the industry for a while and getting back out there, you may have several questions on how to make yourself stand out over everyone in the crowd.

Here are six tips that can make your career fair experience top-notch!

1) Update, format, and print your resume. First and foremost, take the time to update and format your resume with your most recent job experience, education, and accomplishments. This includes updating your LinkedIn account to match your resume. Your resume is by far your most important tool. You may even want to ask a professional to critique your resume. Be sure to print at least 20 copies of your resume to bring with you to hand out.

2) Dress the Part. Before your resume is even in the employer’s hands, they are making sure your dress and professionalism matches their office standards.  Pretend a career fair is the first interview. You wouldn’t show up in your sweatpants and sneakers, would you? Take the time and energy to look your very best!

3) Clean Up Your Social Media. Your social media accounts are easily accessible to future employers. Take the time to clean up your accounts and think, “Could this post ruin my chances of landing my next big break?” If so, I would recommend removing the old posts and not post any similar posts that may affect you in the long run. Less is best when it comes to social media.

4) Be Prepared. Your resume has been perfected, your outfit is primped and ready to go and your social media accounts are cleaned up. What’s next you may ask? It’s time to prepare yourself for the big day! Career fairs can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to expect. First, do some research and find out which employers will be attending the event. Once you have spotted your top employers, prioritize them by most interest and know where they will be located. This will give you a solid game plan for the day.

Take the time to visit each of the employer’s social media platform(s), website(s) and know which position(s) they have available. This gives you the upward edge on what’s going on in the company and some talking points or questions you may have for them. Always have a pen/pencil and notebook handy to write down anything that may be important to your future with that company.

5) Practice the Pitch. You may only have this one shot to sell yourself to the employer. Career fairs are typically very busy and having a short but sweet elevator pitch is key to help you stand out. Your elevator pitch should only last 20 to 30 seconds. Do not “wing it.” Give your pitch some character (be you) but also be concise and confident.

6) Arrive Early and Interact. It’s the night before the big event and you’re excited but nervous. To help ease some of the nerves, take the time to map out your commute (be prepared for traffic) and know where you are going to park.

You’ve parked, arrived early and are walking through the door. Now it is time to interact with the different employers on your list and sell yourself with your elevator pitch. Be sure to ask for the business cards of your top employers (challenge yourself to get at least 5). While you’re accomplishing your game plan you see a booth that wasn’t on the list, but you instantly become interested. Step to the side, pull out your phone and do a quick search on the employer, then go visit. Even though sticking to a game plan is important, it is okay to do a detour.

Guest Blogger:

Staffing Agency
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