Jasmine Briggs,Director of Career Services at Berkeley College in New York City, is a career and resume coach with experience in workforce development and employment services. A native New Yorker and resident of Washington Heights, Ms. Briggs is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, and her articles on career management, the job search, and transitions have appeared in Forbes, Find My Profession, and Quorum.
Why is developing relationships important for any professional?
Networking remains the No. 1 way that people find new employment. Even as hiring managers, we tap into our colleagues’ networks first when we are looking for someone new. We often think about the world – and New York City in particular – as a huge place, but in reality, industries are small. My former manager liked to say, “People hire people they like.” Building and maintaining strong relationships is an essential skill for everyone, no matter where they are in their career.
What are some tips for conducting a successful job search?
The most important first step is to have a career goal. Once you understand the type of role you are targeting, you can create a job search strategy that speaks to that goal and your strengths. Your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter should also reflect that goal – if they don’t, it is time to revise.
Your job search strategy should include networking, online applications and social media. Create goals for how many applications you will submit a day and how many events you will attend each month. When applying online, lean heavily on your network to make introductions to people at a company in the appropriate departments.
What is the most useful tool for those seeking to gain employment or change careers?
LinkedIn is the most useful tool to conduct a job search or transition into a new field. It combines a traditional job board with networking. You should have an updated All-Star level profile and a strategy for posting, engaging and networking on LinkedIn.
What are your top three tips to ace a job interview?
· Research – Make sure you know about the role, industry, company and, if possible, the person with whom you will interview.
· Build a Connection – Again, people hire people they like. Step into the space confidently and work to connect on a human level with the person in front of you.
· Ask Questions – When the employer asks if you have any questions at the end of an interview, the answer is always yes! An even better strategy is to infuse your questions throughout the interview, so instead of having a one-sided interview you are having a conversation.
What is one mistake to which many applicants fall victim?
Applicants often include too much information on a resume. Employers generally are most interested in the last 10 years of experience. Including jobs from the 1980s and ’90s can open you up to age discrimination; this also applies to college graduation dates. Focus on your most recent accomplishments and make sure your resume showcases results – use numbers and percentages to stand out from the crowd.