In this interview series, we caught up with Marcelle Yeager from Career Valet who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change,etc.in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Career Valet creates strong resumes and LinkedIn profiles for mid- to senior-level job seekers, getting them the interviews they want and to the next level of their careers.
92% of our clients interview within weeks of working with us. On average, they receive offers for jobs they want within 2-3 months and a 20% increase in salary.
How did you get started in this path?
Early in my career, I did my fair share of job searching and career exploration, eventually spending many years in strategic communications at a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm and Booz Allen Hamilton.
I started Career Valet over 7 years ago when my husband joined the State Department’s Foreign Service in order to create and maintain a portable career as we move around the world.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
I’ve always loved to write, and that plus my Russian language skills from school landed me in my first communications role.
Over the years, I’ve given job search advice to friends and colleagues, so it made sense to go from helping corporate and government clients promote themselves to individuals seeking jobs.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
My goal is to get a client into a job they enjoy, and out of a job where they feel stagnant or depressed. When that occurs, it’s extremely rewarding.
What is the best Career Advice you’ve ever received?
Advocate for yourself. Don’t wait for managers to notice your great work or potential.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I’ve learned so much about different industries and roles from talking with clients and reviewing their resumes, as well as job descriptions.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
1) Telling their professional story throughout their resume tailored to where they want to go next, including giving specific examples of their work and purpose or result.
2) What job titles they should search for, because they vary so much between industries and even among companies.
3) How to build their professional network when they don’t have much time and/or fear reaching out to people cold.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
1) Listing responsibilities as their job descriptions in a resume versus giving examples of their work that show they have those responsibilities (you need to show instead of tell).
2) When reaching out cold, people ask for too much from the person right off the bat without an established connection or relationship. You need to build it before you can ask for their time on the phone, for coffee, or even to give feedback on your resume. Don’t send your resume right away!
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Job seekers need to use a multi-pronged approach.
While you may get lucky using your existing contacts to pass along your resume, you should be tapping into those networks, applying online (unless you are executive-level), and building new connections strategically both online and offline.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
It’s harder and harder to differentiate yourself in certain fields which is why it’s helpful to have a network to turn to for assistance with getting your resume seen.
I believe that will continue.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Build your network both online and offline, in a meaningful way, when you do anything from a social/recreational meet up to a professional networking event.
Create connections that will be lasting.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Map your resume/experience as best as you can to jobs of interest by incorporating examples of where you’ve demonstrated required qualifications.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
Use LinkedIn to contact people in order to develop professional relationships.You can find peers and hiring managers at almost any organization.
If you have a strong interest in a particular company or role, search for people and reach out to them to share your background, interest in their work history or company, and ask them a question that does not involve a lot of their time.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
Companies are doing well and hiring a lot of people.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Just as today, demand for technical talent will continue to increase but the supply isn’t there.
Marcelle, what are you currently working on?
Later in 2019/early 2020 we will be rolling out new programs and/or products to help job seekers succeed.
Some ideas are in the works but nothing is set in stone yet!
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?