Tag Archives: Eileen Sharaga

The Power of a Great Resume

Your Most Important Marketing Tool

Employers and recruiters are bombarded with resumes every day. And, while the job market is opening up, it is more competitive than ever. Your success hinges on the quality of your resume. Most people’s resumes are poorly organized, badly formatted. That’s good news for you – because if your resume is well conceived, you could instantly become a frontrunner.

What You Need To Know About Crafting A Resume

1. Your resume is your personal marketing tool.
You are the product, the prospective employer is the buyer. Your resume is your marketing piece. Content, theme and formatting need to be impeccable. Employers average 20 seconds looking at a resume. Your message has to jump off the page.

2. The purpose of a resume is to get you the interview.
Your resume speaks for you when you’re not there. It must successfully answer the employer’s most burning question: “How can this applicant solve my problems?” If it works, you get the interview. And, if it’s well thought out, it will prepare you for a successful interview.

3. Focus, focus, focus.
Your resume needs to demonstrate that you know yourself, your strengths, and what you want. You must identify specific job targets and industries. This is the result of a thorough self assessment process. If you have multiple resumes, it could indicate that you are not clearly focused.

4. How you present your skills is the key.
People have difficulty writing a resume because they’re not clear enough on what they have to offer. Your past accomplishments and qualifications form the backbone of your resume. You need to articulate your strengths with clarity. Words need to be powerful. How you present your assets can make or break your resume.

5. A resume is the most critical component of the job search.
You may be excellent at your job, at the top of your field. But that doesn’t mean you know how to write a resume. If it isn’t done effectively, you may never realize your goals. Whether you are sending it to employers, recruiters, posting it on the Internet, or using it as a networking tool – your resume is the most valuable credential you have.

I urge all of you to review your resume with a sharp and objective eye. If you need help, I would be happy to talk to you about the process. Creating a powerful resume makes all the difference in the world. Feel free to call me with any questions you may have.

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As social media begins to blend with all parts of the business world, it has become significant that who you are online connects with the job you want. Here are some guidelines to maximize your search:

  • Treat your profile page on any social media site (ie; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) as your resume. It should act as a snapshot to the world of who you are and what you’ve done.
  • Make sure your posts reflect your professional personality. Tone, topic and content create your online presence. Let that presence reflect someone that everyone would want to work with, and hire.
  • Use your comments, shares, and links to demonstrate your experience and knowledge in your field. This will build a compelling image of yourself and begin to help your contacts associate you with the positions you are trying to seek.
  • Follow companies that you would love to work for before you are looking for a job. This early formed relationship will not only help you follow what they’re up to, but you may get the inside scoop on a job opening before everyone else does.
  • Don’t keep your job search a secret. Let everyone, both personal and professional contacts, know not only that you are looking for a job, but exactly the type of job you are looking for. Contacts, referrals and job leads can come from the least likely of places.

Keep in mind that there is no replacement for face to face contact. Use your existing presence online to connect you with opportunities to meet these people in person. LinkedIn and Meetup provide ample opportunities for in person networking. Twitter and Facebook are great to view invites for events within companies you want to be a part of.

If you need help with maximizing your social media networking and your job search techniques, I would be happy to assist you.

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Internal Barriers and Career Satisfaction

Many people blame their career problems on the economy or the job market, but so often the real obstacles come from within. Unrecognized internal barriers can become impediments to success as they keep us from moving forward and block us from getting what we want.

Only by discovering the real issues can we transform ourselves from feeling victimized and take control of our own job fate. This clarity is what leads to a strategy for success and career satisfaction.

Here Are Some of the Most Common Internal Barriers I Work With:

Value Conflicts:
People often become locked into an internal tug-of-war between conflicting values – making lots of money versus time for personal life; freedom versus security; independence versus structure; stability versus change. With deeper understanding, you can break free of these conflicts and actually put them to use in constructing an appropriate career strategy.

Messages We Get from Our Parents:
Many people live their lives trying to achieve a set of goals and objectives that come from their parents and have no relationship to who they really are. This is a recipe for career unhappiness. The messages we get from our parents have enormous influence on how we live our lives. Only by identifying those messages can we let them go, and begin to live our lives as who we truly are — rather than who we’re told we ‘should’ be.

Your Self Image Doesn’t Measure Up to Your Talents:
I see this so frequently. People devalue their own skills and talents — precisely because they come so naturally — causing them to be blind to what they have to offer. But, by recognizing and identifying your own strengths you can turn this cycle around and begin, for the first time, to move into a satisfying career that truly expresses your talents and gifts.

Unrealistic Expectations and Unclear Priorities:
Whether it comes from one’s parent, co-workers or friends — many people are caught in the grip of unrealistic expectations about careers. They are trapped between fantasy and reality. This can lead to unclear priorities. In life we can’t always get everything we want, so it’s important to find out which trade-offs you’re willing to make, and which you’re not.

Fear of Risk or Change:
Are you locked into an unhappy job situation because you’re not willing to take risks or accept change? There are many solutions for transforming your career prospects — and they don’t all require huge risks. Some of my clients have been amazed to see how small shifts — done with deep insight and understanding — can achieve big results. Not every move needs to be earth shaking.

Self-knowledge is the key to overcoming your barriers. Once you see through these internal resistances, you are in a better position to move beyond them towards a more satisfying and rewarding career.

If you feel that you would like to identify and work through any of the internal barriers that are keeping you from getting what you want, I would be happy to assist you.

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Tips for a Successful Job Search

Are you floundering or unable to get started on your job search? Have you gotten off track, or lost your motivation? Whether you’re looking for a new job, transitioning into a new field or looking for your first job… you need to have a well thought-out strategy.

Here are 5 Practical Tips for Conducting an Effective Job Search:

1. Know Yourself:
You can’t conduct a job search until you have searched yourself. How do you envision your worklife? What are the environments in which you shine, the interests that excite you, your innate skills and talents? If you don’t have a clear sense of who you are, your prospective employer won’t either. Once you can define yourself, your strategies will become clear and actionable.

2. Focus and Positioning:
We are in a very niche marketplace today. You cannot be all things to all people. Focus and positioning are crucial. If your job target is wrong, everything else will be wrong. For example, “marketing” is not focused enough. Is it marketing manager, marketing communicaton, product marketing, integrated marketing? The more specific you are the more effective your search will be. Knowing your target means understanding what industry, what function, and what job title you’re searching for.

3. Resume Summary Statement:
Your summary statement is the most important part of your resume. It presents the key points about you and creates focus for your resume. What are the most important points you want to get across? The summary statement sets the theme for your target and objectives. If you’re having difficulty writing a summary statement it might mean you’re having difficulty focusing.

4. Expand Your Job Search Channels:
Commercial job sites such as Monster and Hotjobs have become over-crowded and over-used. While the Internet provides a world of information and multitude of job sites, we often underestimate the traditional sources of search venues. These are: trade publications, industry associations, job fairs, alumni associations and, the most important of all, networking.

5. Diagnose Your Own Ailment:
What is stopping you from getting started? Is it lack of confidence about your skills; gaps in your background? Lack of focus? Fear of rejection? You need to go directly to the problem that you’re having, so you can deal with it. By identifying your barriers, you’re in a better position to work through them.

A job search is a very difficult and demanding process. It’s important to stay focused and motivated… the best way to do this is to know that your job target truly fits your personality and your abilities. Having a clear vision and the right strategy will keep you on track and ultimately result in a more successful job search.

If you need guidance in any phase of this process please feel free to call me.


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Social Media and the Job Search

The job world is changing rapidly. Knowing how to develop your online presence and how to look for work online is becoming critically important. Social networks are becoming part of the criteria that hiring managers use to find or weed out applicants.

As I ramp up my own social networking platforms, I thought this would be a good time to discuss tips on Social Media that will be useful for your job search. We’ll focus specifically on two main players: LinkedIn, and Facebook.


•    Think of your profile headline as your “2 minute written pitch”. It should describe in a sentence who you are, and what you are looking for.

•    Join groups and search out contacts and companies that are in line with your career goals, and engage in conversation. Not only will you know first hand when they are hiring, they’ll also be aware of your knowledge in the field, due to these interactions.

•    You can post a question or offer advice to a posting to get your intentions across. The more times you comment on a topic, the more activity shows up on your profile.

•    Contact past colleagues, employers and classmates using the “ask for a recommendation” feature. Once they respond, their testimonials will appear on your profile.


•    Give your profile a make-over by erasing game applications, and adjusting the features so that all your personal photos become private. Set the settings to block tagged images from appearing on your wall, and only leave posts relevant to your career focus, allowing thought-provoking business opinions to dominate your page.

•    Create a Page for yourself, which will allow people to subscribe to your postings and begin following you without having to add you as a friend. Make sure this page contains your resume and only professional posts and information. Edit the privacy settings on your profile, to make it private. This way, only your Page will appear on Google and other search engines.

If you need help getting started with your job search, I can provide you with the tools and resources that will make you more confident and focused. Join my Facebook page to receive further job search tips.


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5 Common Career Myths & Mistakes

A single mistaken thought or misguided perception can send you down a career path that will be frustrating, inappropriate or just plain wrong for who you are. Here are 5 of the most common mistaken beliefs that derail people’s careers.

“I’m going into it for the money”:
Sure, we all like making money – but a high salary can never substitute for authentic job satisfaction. Following the dollar rather than your passions can actually make you bitter, lower your productivity, pull you off track and rob you of the positive feelings and exuberance that comes from loving what you do.

“Being an entrepreneur will give me freedom”:
Being an entrepreneur may lead to huge rewards – but it also may be the very opposite of freedom. Often it means never being able to stop thinking and worrying about your work, your company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It could also mean having to choose between family and work. If you’re not really passionate about what you’re doing, you won’t have the energy to sustain the motivation needed.
“I’ll get an advanced degree – then I’ll be set for life”:
If you’ve chosen a career direction and the degree supports your getting there – that’s great. But if you’re thinking “I’ll get the degree first, and decide later,” then that degree could end up as a very expensive postponing technique. Before you pay thousands of dollars and time going to school, you better be sure you are focused on an appropriate, well thought out goal.

“I want a glamorous career in a fashionable industry”:
What a job or industry looks like from the outside is often the very opposite of what it’s like from the inside. Glamorous industries are often fraught with long hours, internal politics, detailed drudgework and shallow values. It’s important to collect first hand information and understand the industry issues.  If you don’t do your research you could end up for a big shock, by finding out you’ve chosen a totally inappropriate career.

“I hate my boss, I hate the office politics…”:
Over-generalizing can lead to drastic moves.  It’s so important to isolate the problem and differentiate the issues from the assumptions. Being unhappy may cause you to over emphasize the negative without being aware of the positive. Often I’ve seen people become totally happy by making a slight shift or finding another job in the same industry. Not every problem requires huge shifts.I’ve spent over 15 years helping people solve their career problems, identify the mistakes they’re making and implement effective career plans that lead to fulfillment and satisfaction.. Often it’s a matter of sweeping away mistaken perceptions about yourself or the workplace. I’d be happy to help you resolve your career issues and implement a plan. Nothing is more life-transforming than a career that makes you happy.

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A New Year Career Check-Up

As we enter a New Year, this is the perfect time to step back and review the past year. This is a season for reflecting, and what could be more important to reflect upon than your career and your future?

Whether you need a totally new direction, or a shift within your existing career, take this opportunity to sharpen your focus and move onto a more productive, effective track for 2013. It’s the best gift you could give yourself.

To find the most successful and satisfying careers one needs to work from the inside out. Self-reflection is the most important step towards finding and reaching your right career fit.

Here are a few questions to help you take a fresh look at yourself and to help you move into a career based on who you are, what fulfills your needs, and what expresses you most.

  • What are the most important priorities at this point in my life?
  • What do I like best and least about my current job?
  • What do I consider my greatest strengths?
  • What excites, motivates and energizes me the most?
  • If you could create the perfect work-life, what would it be?

Answering these questions is a good start towards formulating and realizing your career goals. The better you can define yourself and your issues, the clearer and more actionable your strategy will become.

I have spent 20 years helping people choose, change and advance their careers… and I’ve been rewarded by seeing scores of clients move into satisfying, fulfilling, perfect-fit careers. If you would like guidance in defining and reaching your career goals, I would be happy to help you.

212-826-0685     www.eileensharaga.com     esharaga@nyc.rr.com
Eileen Sharaga is a recognized authority on career development and employment trends. As a career counselor, psychologist and educator, Ms Sharaga helps people choose, change and advance their careers. Having both a psychological and business background, she provides a unique perspective into navigating today’s complex career issues.  Ms Sharaga is an advanced Myers Briggs practitioner and specializes in career transition and self-assessment. Ms Sharaga is a source for media, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Working Today and The New York Times.

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