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Alter.Nation

Community news, customer stories, and more!
SusanCS
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

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Lots of people are searching for jobs and even making big career shifts right now. Our very own ADAPT Program at Alteryx has enrolled over 9,000 people who are building new skills in data and analytics. 

 

As these folks explore new opportunities, we wanted to equip them with some advice from a professional job search coach, so we reached out to Ashley Watkins, a Nationally Certified Résumé Writer. Ashley’s business, Write Step Résumés, is all about helping people get their documents and online profiles -- and themselves -- ready for the job market. 

 

A former corporate recruiter and experienced coach, Ashley helps job seekers show off their skills and position themselves for success in their job search. She shared a ton of helpful tips and insights with us.

 

How do the résumé, LinkedIn profile and cover letter work together?

These three key pieces all coordinate to help potential employers understand your experience and how you might fit into their team. But how long should your résumé be? What’s the purpose of a cover letter? And how about that LinkedIn profile? 

 

 

 

What should job seekers know about applicant tracking systems?

You may have seen advice about making sure key words related to your skills or experience are featured in certain ways on your job documents. But does that really matter? Ashley provides a perspective from the recruiter side of the process.

 

 

 

How should job seekers set up their LinkedIn profiles?

Just follow the LinkedIn prompts and get going, Ashley says -- and don’t be too worried about making everything perfect on your profile right away. Then use that profile to make connections and, yes, actually engage with people! (But how? Watch below!)

 

 

 

What are the biggest job search do and don’t?

Don’t be too general, and do share your real personality, Ashley advises. Target that job search to your specific goals and be authentically yourself to make sure you get the right position for you.

 

 

 

How can job seekers deal with impostor syndrome?

Don’t let your feelings prevent you from achieving your job goals. Ashley offers some important ways you can help quell self-doubt about your new pursuits.

 

 

 

What are some tips for connecting with people who can help in a job search?

Ashley emphasizes that online applications are only one part of job search success. Connections with people are much more important in finding and getting that perfect role. She shares the “secret sauce” for making those connections and benefiting from them.

 

 

 

What’s your advice for people changing careers?

Many jobs that sound very different on the surface actually have a lot of common functions and responsibilities. Ashley explains how she helps people find those common experiences and then figure out how to present their previous roles in a convincing way for new opportunities.

 

 

 

Bonus tips!

Throughout our conversation, Ashley offered so much great advice! Here are some additional recommendations she shared:

 

  • Express your personal brand in your job search documents. What sets you apart from other people with similar backgrounds and qualifications? “People hire people. They hire the people that they know, that they like and that they trust. So it’s important for you to have that human element, that human touch in your documents as well as your profile,” Ashley says. “That’s an opportunity to let the real you shine. Don’t be afraid to show flair and your personality. You need to be more than just words on a page.”
  • However, the flair in your job applications should be kept to a level that’s appropriate for your readers. Although Ashley says you should be yourself, you also have to “know your audience.” Using creative designs or photos in your materials should match your potential employer’s style and the role you’re seeking.
  • Do plenty of research on the organizations you’re interested in. All that information will give you a better sense of not only how to apply successfully there, but also whether it’s truly a good fit for you and your goals. Don’t just “jump to the application” online without taking this additional step first, Ashley says.
  • Track your progress. Ashley recommends you keep good records of your job application history, the documents you used, and what worked or didn’t work. Then you can refine your approach based on that information. (This is a perfect tip for people who like gathering and analyzing data!) She mentioned you could even use this approach for tracking your success with LinkedIn connection requests during your job search.

 

Be sure to check out the ADAPT Program and connect with others here on the Community who can be fantastic resources as you explore your career possibilities!

Susan Currie Sivek
Senior Data Science Journalist

Susan Currie Sivek, Ph.D., is the data science journalist for the Alteryx Community. She explores data science concepts with a global audience through blog posts and the Data Science Mixer podcast. Her background in academia and social science informs her approach to investigating data and communicating complex ideas — with a dash of creativity from her training in journalism. Susan also loves getting outdoors with her dog and relaxing with some good science fiction. Twitter: @susansivek

Susan Currie Sivek, Ph.D., is the data science journalist for the Alteryx Community. She explores data science concepts with a global audience through blog posts and the Data Science Mixer podcast. Her background in academia and social science informs her approach to investigating data and communicating complex ideas — with a dash of creativity from her training in journalism. Susan also loves getting outdoors with her dog and relaxing with some good science fiction. Twitter: @susansivek