New Year, New Career: Meet your professional goals in 2020 with these tips from Goodwill and Fenix Fotography

The Charlotte area ranks among the top 20 cities adding the most jobs right now, according to 24/7 Wall Street, and Goodwill participants are ready to fill those positions with newfound skills!

A Goodwill volunteer conducts a mock interview to help a CABS participant prepare for their job search.

Participants enrolled in free training programs through Goodwill earn industry-recognized credentials and work with career coaches to accomplish their goals and polish their professional persona. Are you looking to earn new skills to advance your career? Click here to view our 2020 course catalog!

Through mock interviews, resume writing workshops and career coaching, Goodwill participants learn valuable job searching tips. Here are five key tips to remember on your job hunt:

  1. Know yourself. Start your job search by taking inventory of your interests, skills, accomplishments, experience, goals and values. Make a detailed list. The key to a successful job search is to recognize what makes you a unique candidate and to communicate this effectively to the employer – in person and in writing!
  2. Rehearse, don’t just practice. Practice is what you do at home in the mirror, but a rehearsal is where you really discover if you’re ready! Participate in mock interviews and go on other job interviews before interviewing for the job you really want. This will help you to feel comfortable and confident with your stories and responses, and shake out any nervous energy you may have.
  3. Aim for the right target. Match your skills, interests and values with the right career choice. If your goal is to earn more money, don’t focus on career paths that traditionally pay lower salaries. Do your research on various fields and local employers in those fields. Learn about the businesses that interest you and target the ones that are more likely to have open positions.
  4. Work your network. Networking should be at the center of your job search strategy. Get the word out to friends, trusted colleagues and relatives that you’re actively looking for a job and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities! Join professional organizations, clubs, groups; sign up for job search newsletters; contact former teachers and classmates; and participate in online discussion boards.
  5. Say it clearly. When sending out your resume, catch the prospective employer’s attention with a brief and concise cover letter that clearly spells out how your qualifications match their job requirements. Don’t just reiterate what’s on your resume. Connect the dots for the reader and make it obvious why you’re the perfect candidate for their job.
LinkedIn-focused headshot of Wade Young, CABS participant, taken by Fenix Fotography

When you’re searching for a new job, your online appearance matters just as much as how you show up to the interview! Ryan Sumner owns Fenix Fotography and specializes in commercial images, business headshots and executive portraits. Voted Charlotte’s best photographer by Elevate Lifestyle Magazine, Ryan graciously provided complimentary headshots to participants in the Goodwill Customer, Administrative and Business Services course and shared these top four tips to putting your best face forward during your job search.

  1. Keep it simple. When taking your headshot, opt for outfits in neutral, solid colors like gray, black or blue. Steer away from plaids, bright colors, flashy jewelry, or over-done makeup, as they will pull the attention away from your eyes and face. Layers look great in a headshot – especially a business jacket!
  2. Relax, and smile! The purpose of the headshot is to allow your genuine self to shine through.  Princeton psychologists Willis and Todorov discovered that people will make judgements about a person on important factors such as trustworthiness and likeability within just one-tenth of a second of seeing that person’s face. An authentic smile will convey confidence and approachability.
  3. Think face-first for your LinkedIn image. Your vacation photo of you on top of a mountain or family photo from the beach might look great on Facebook, but it’s not ideal when you want employers to remember what you look like! Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame in your profile photo on LinkedIn. You can do this by cropping the picture from the top of your shoulders to just above your head so your face fills the frame.
  4. Invest in your career by hiring a professional photographer. Hiring a professional photographer may be one of the most overlooked investments for your career. A true professional will not only have all the right equipment (and know how to use it), but will also act as a “facial expression coach” to help you achieve the best headshot possible. The goal is to capture a photo that will best reflect your most sincere self.

      To learn more about the career training programs and resources available (free of charge!) from Goodwill, click here!

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