By Heidi Scott Giusto, PhD
2020 has been a doozy! “Uncertain” and “unprecedented” could very well be contenders for the word of the year. Collectively, our year in review within the U.S. includes a pandemic and related economic downturn, murder hornets, a Sahara dust cloud, and a presidential election.
Personally, I’ve navigated change on the home front: namely adapting to having my children and spouse at home 24/7 as we work to fulfill our roles as students, workers, and parents. Professionally, this blog has covered a good bit of ground, a success that I want to celebrate with you! In case you missed any of my blog articles earlier this year, here’s a Q&A-style year-end round-up that I hope will provide you with helpful insight and advice as you take a deep breath, look to the year ahead, and plan for a strong 2021.
Q: I’m a busy professional, but I want to stay sharp and relevant in my industry. What are some ways I can do that?
A: There are many options for continuing education beyond the classroom setting (although “classrooms” have also become less traditional due to the pandemic). Non-Traditional Continuing Education to Keep You Sharp lists five options for learning to help you stay on top of trends and deepen your knowledge and expertise, as well as make new connections, gain new perspectives, and show initiative.
Q: How often should I update my resume—and how should I go about it?
A: Routine maintenance leads to good performance for many things—including resumes. To ensure that you’ll always be ready for your next opportunity, in Update Your Resume to Optimize Career Success, I outline a plan for proactively tracking accomplishments, describe how to evaluate your resume’s structure for overall effectiveness, and offer detailed advice for framing and demonstrating your accomplishments and results.
Q: What steps can I take to make a great impression at my live video interview?
A: It’s imperative that applicants are familiar with video conferencing software so they can approach these types of job interviews with confidence. In Vital Tips for a Successful Video Interview, I offer an array of tips for before, during, and after your video interview to make sure you’re set up for success!
Q: I’m ready for a new role, but how can I fit a job search in when I’m already working full-time?
A: It can be a challenge to look for a new job while you’re employed. In How to Conduct an Effective Job Search When You’re Working Full-Time, I share six strategic actions you can take to make sure your job search campaign is focused, efficient, and energizing—not draining.
Q: What are the most common mistakes you see in resumes?
A: While there aren’t many hard-and-fast “rules” for resume writing, there are conventions you should adhere to. In Avoid These 5 Common Resume Mistakes, I discuss several errors I frequently see in resumes and how to eradicate them, so you can make sure they don’t appear in yours.
Q: Help! I applied for a job, and just got an invitation to a recorded video interview. What do I need to know?
A: For better or worse, one-way video interviews are used by hundreds of employers as well as universities to screen candidates. In Ace Your One-Way Video Interview, I provide a snapshot of the advantages and disadvantages of this interviewing method and tips for how to prepare, so they seem less formidable. You’ve got this!
Q: What communication tools, skills, and tactics can help me be more innovative and marketable, especially in today’s turbulent economy?
A: This summer, I launched the Informational Interview 2.0 podcast with Kevin Anselmo, founder of Experiential Communications, to address this very question! In this podcast, Kevin and I share insights from our own work as well as wisdom from interviews with career experts and innovators. Propel Your Career with the Informational Interview 2.0 Podcast provides a brief orientation and a link for subscribing (you can also sign up here).
Q: It seems like everyone’s got a blog these days—there’s so much content out there. How can I use blog content to stand out as a thought leader?
A: It’s true that we live in an age where content reigns supreme, and it’s wise to be strategic when creating and sharing content. In Job Seekers: Demonstrate Your Expertise and Value through Blog Writing, I outline a step-by-step process for writing blog articles that show your productivity and help you increase visibility by displaying knowledge in your area of expertise.
Q: With so many events postponed or curtailed, is networking a lost cause during the pandemic?
A: Absolutely not! In fact, the pandemic has even opened doors to new opportunities. For instance, more virtual events mean that we are no longer as geographically limited as we were pre-pandemic. In one of my top articles of 2020, 6 Ways to Network “Pandemic-Style,” I list several networking options and address how to navigate networking amid new COVID-19 norms. Don’t let the pandemic stop you from leveraging networking as a valuable tool to proactively manage your career!
Q: What’s a growth mindset and how does mindset affect my career?
A: It’s no secret that I love to learn; embracing the belief that skills and capabilities can be cultivated leads to a whole new world of possibilities because it motivates us to try harder, achieve more, and strive for ambitious goals. In Adopt a Growth Mindset to Forge a Prosperous Career I help you adopt the learning habit by equipping you with ways to build learning into your life as well as how to build it into your schedule.
Q: I want to transition to a new career that I’m passionate about, but it feels overwhelming. How can I make this shift manageable and doable?
A: Shifting into a new field or industry can ultimately be rewarding, but it can take a lot more time and effort if you don’t have a clear path for getting there. Luckily, helping people with career transitions is a specialty of mine! In 4 Steps for Transitioning to a Career You Love, I share tried-and-true steps you can take to set reasonable goals and expectations to ensure you’re on the path to a successful transition.
Whether you’re planning a career transition, are currently engaged in a job search campaign, or have other professional goals, you have my full support as we look forward to 2021! In the past year, I’ve been working on expanding my reach and involvement in the career service industry, so stay tuned for more career management content from me in future blog articles. To receive notifications of new articles, please sign up for my newsletter.
About Heidi Scott Giusto, PhD
Heidi owns and operates Career Path Writing Solutions, a communications consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed when the stakes are high. She delights in helping job seekers navigate career change and guiding business owners to present their value proposition persuasively. Heidi earned her PhD in history from Duke University and teaches professional development for various university programs. She holds certifications in resume writing, interview preparation, and empowerment coaching, and sits on the Certification Committee of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.