Job Seeker Spotlight: Jay Divine

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Last year, we launched Job Seeker Spotlight, a program designed to highlight the efforts of individuals currently looking for work on CareerBuilder. We showcased what made each one of them unique, highlighting their creativity, personality and passion to increase their exposure to hiring managers.

Now, we’re doing even more to coach each featured job seeker. In addition to their time in the spotlight, they’ll get to work with a certified career coach to assess their current résumé and job search strategy. Working together in a pair of one-on-one sessions, they’ll create an action plan designed to enhance the job seeker’s approach and empower them with the tools (and confidence) to succeed.

Today, our spotlight shines on Jay Divine, a job seeker who was putting in the time and effort but not seeing any results. He was doing what everyone in their job search should do — treating it like a full-time job. Despite using social media, conducting informational interviews and reaching out to the companies he wanted to work for, he had trouble making it past the first round of interviews.

He looked great on paper, but didn’t have any luck despite the impressive breadth of his skills. With Jay’s multifaceted background, he was hesitant to define his brand too narrowly, fearing it would exclude him from opportunities.

Working with our career coach Jill, Jay learned how to adjust his job search tactics and picked up a few tips for an even stronger job search strategy:

  1. Make sure your personal brand (a verbal, written and visual message about your key accomplishments) communicates your unique value. It will shape how others perceive you as an applicant and determine if you’re a match.
  2. Generic résumés generally won’t get the job done. It’s easier for employers’ hiring processes to see a targeted career brand that tells them exactly where you want to go and how you will add value to their business.
  3. Asking for feedback after your interviews is a great way to get an honest assessment of your skills and qualifications (so you don’t wonder why you haven’t gotten called back and repeat the same mistakes next time around).
  4. Come to interviews prepared to talk about your success stories as a way to highlight your brand qualities and demonstrate your fit for the position. Employers want to hear about your expertise and accomplishments.

After all was said and done, Jay told us he really enjoyed being able to talk things through and strategically hone his approach.

“It was great to have someone to talk about ideas with and who could give feedback on my current job search strategy. Even to hear, ‘yes you are doing the right things’, helps when you need some amount of validation for yourself for a process that can be very discouraging.”

After refining his résumé, targeting his cover letter and following up more aggressively after interviews, Jay has seen a positive uptick in his job search activity. With a renewed confidence (and a little time in the spotlight), we think Jay is going to make one lucky employer very happy, very soon.

Enter now for a chance to talk about your career one-on-one with our career coach and be featured in the spotlight!

  1. Most of this advice should be obvious to a professional with any amount of experience. However, having been on dozens of interviews in my lifetime, I know of no interviewers who would be willing to give feedback as you suggest. They see it as too much of a legal risk.

  2. Since everybody has different amounts of job-searching experience, we like to include as much info as possible in our posts. Nice job being ahead of the game!

    When you ask for feedback after a job interview, the worst answer you can hear is “We can’t respond to that.” But sometimes hiring managers will share why you weren’t their first choice, which gives you room to improve–always a positive! And as our career coach Jill points out, asking for feedback shows your interest in the position, as well as their opinion, and that you’re open to feedback. Those are all opportunities to impress an employer.

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