Your Mental Health and Your Job Search

Part Three: When the world gets scary


Whether or not you have a diagnosed mental illness, like depression or anxiety, you will have bad days. We all do. Some days might be more difficult than others, causing us to say, “I quit” and pull the blankets back over our heads. When life gets overwhelming, especially during a job search, here are a few positive things to remember:

You are not alone in this. It might feel like you are the only one struggling, but you are not. The actual events might be a little different, but feeling overwhelmed and scared of what is to come is not unique to just you. Connect with people going through similar circumstances, like joining a job-hunting support group to help you through this process.  

Not doing anything only makes things worse. Hiding under the covers, obsessing over your situation only will increase anxiety and depression. Go do SOMETHING! Take a walk, meet up with a friend, join a group, or reconnect with family and friends. All of these things are positive activities that are going to something good for you, ultimately improving your mood and outlook.

Practice Gratitude. I will say this time and time again, but focusing on the good, rather than the bad, only makes things better. Start small if you need to, focus on the basics: you have a roof over your head, food in your fridge, a cozy blanket to curl up in.  Think about your positive attributes. Ultimately, as you count your blessings, you will begin to release those toxic emotions.

As we wrap up Mental Health Week, I want to remind you that focusing on your health shouldn’t only be for one week a year. There will be bad days. But hopefully, you are learning some tools to help you grow, keep going, and overcome those difficulties. These tips and tricks are not meant to replace professional help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, sad, anxious to a point where it is impacting how you live your life, please seek help. There is no shame in asking for assistance.



Your Mental Health and Your Job Search

Part Two: Job Hunting When You Have Depression & Anxiety


As we continue to talk about Mental Health and your job search, I am nervous to write this post. Most who know me, know that I don’t like to be vulnerable, but I believe that talking about Mental Health is so important. As an adult, I have struggled with anxiety and depression, which has impacted how I function in my past jobs, job hunts, and even now in my business. According to the ADAA, over 40 million adults struggle with anxiety and over 6.8 million have general depression. That means I am not alone in this and neither are you, and hopefully that brings some comfort.

But when it comes to job hunting, that comfort disappears. Searching for that next opportunity, whether you are currently employed or not, can be challenging for all, but even more for someone dealing with a mental health condition. It can be stressful and an emotionally draining process, which can worsen your depression or anxiety.

But don’t give up! There are things you can do to help you along the way:

1.       Focus on your amazing strengths and talents, and what you can bring to the table. By focusing on the positives, you boost your confidence and self-esteem. I love to recommend practicing gratitude and positive affirmations to my clients. This has helped me in staying focused on the good things, both within myself and in my world, rather on the bad.

 2.       Create a realistic work plan. This process of searching and applying for jobs is overwhelming, time consuming, and the rejections are difficult to experience which all together can take an emotional and psychological toll. Try to time block your day where you spend only 2-3 hours working on your job search, and as I mentioned before, schedule in some time for your self-care practice!

 3.       Seek Support. This can be friends, family, a counselor, group, or coach. During the chaotic time, you need to identify resources that will keep you grounded, but encourage you and provide valuable advice to help you stay on track and move closer to your end goal.  Talk about what you are feeling, be honest, and give yourself grace during this process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people that would love to help you.

One of my favorite quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh is also a great mantra to live by:

“Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly.”

 You got this my friend, I believe in you!


Your Mental Health and Your Job Search

Part One: Self Care


As a career coach, I encounter a lot of people struggling in their job search process. They bounce between frantically searching for any job that will hire them to spending their day binge watching Netflix in their sweats. Neither of which is healthy or positive activities.  As we begin Mental Health Week, I want to talk about the importance of protecting your mental health as you are job hunting in a three-part series


Part I is about self-care. A self-care practice is imperative to really leading a successful and thriving life. It can teach us how to prioritize our own health during times of crisis and survival. While your practice needs to be individualized and be meaningful towards you, here are a few essential that can help you through the process.


Feel all the feels

This might include real sadness, strong anger, anxiousness, or anything emotion on the chart. Don’t rush through your feelings through. As humans, we try to alleviate bad feelings as fast as we can but try to talk about them, write about them, or do whatever it takes to address those feelings, so you can ensure that your body and mind will remain healthy.


Find something you love

Yoga, journaling, running, reading, learning about something new, whatever it might be, and incorporate this into your daily life. This is your “me time”. Your time to do something healthy and positive for you that has nothing to do with your job search. Trust me, this will quickly become your favorite time of day.


Plan away!

Forget the old saying to treat your job search like a full-time job. That means that you’ll be spending 8 hours a day on job hunting. Can we say burnout? Schedule your day so that you are spending 2-3 hours on job hunting activities (applying, networking, interviewing, etc…) and the schedule time to get out of the house, time for self-care activities, and time to learn.


Self-care gets a bad rap in our society – it’s not about bubble baths and candles but about taking time to take care of you. I know, you’re busy, and finding the time to take proper care of yourself can be hard. But, trust me, if you don’t, it won’t be long before you are beat down, exhausted, and not operating at your best.



  “I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom - how great is that?”  Soledad O'Brien

Fear is a powerful emotion and is something that all of us has experienced. Sometimes its motivating – we get so scared of what might be that it encourages us to do something different. To make a change. But, then there is that other side of fear that stops us cold in our tracks, holding us back from doing anything.  

The element of fear can steer you away from your dream, it can take over your thoughts, clouding your judgement so you don’t do what you need to do. Fear is meant to protect us from harm; we sense something wrong and our instinct kicks in.

What if we are fearing something that could actually be good for us?

Let’s take changing careers. You know that you are unhappy, unsatisfied, or bored in your current line of work and, if you are being honest with yourself, you know that deep inside, that you need to make a change. That thought though, even though it is positive, makes you feel paralyzed and overwhelmed with self-doubt. Why? Because the brain biologically perceives changing jobs as a threat to its survival. Many studies have been done on this and it has been found that changing careers is categorized as a stressful life event. Even though you are feeling that gut-wrenching feeling of fear, you can get past it. You can overcome fear and pursue your dreams. Here are a few steps that will help:

Start with a vision

You don’t have to know the what at this point, but by focusing on what you want your life to be like and WHY. Sit down in a quiet space and imagine that you are at the end of life looking back. What do you see? Do you have a family? Have you built an empire that will carry through generations? Did you create something? Or did you have a successful career where you worked hard and was proud of yourself? Whatever it may be, creating this vision and knowing your why will help give you focus and motivation to tackle the hard things that will come up in your transition.

Find outside support

Navigating a career change by yourself is sure to send your fear into overdrive. You need support. Enlist the help of your friends and family member than can encourage you and hold you accountable. But just watch out for those you-can-do-no-wrong people in your life that won’t challenge you when needed.  

While the support of friends and family is 100% needed, enlist the help of a career coach or look into joining a group that can hold you accountable, provide smart ideas, and really help you achieve your goals.

Let your fear motivate you

Running away or hiding from your fear is not going to help. In fact, it will just make it worse and a bigger fear. So, embrace it and feel it. By acknowledging the fear, you give it less power and understanding why you are afraid will allow you to make smart, strategic decisions that get you to where you want to go.

Changing careers is scary, but don’t let fear stop you from pursuing what is right for you. Get out there and try to take a small step every day and soon enough, you will see that you took control of your own destiny.

5 Things to Ditch to Create a Targeted Resume


Let me tell you about a past client of mine, Mandy. She had an extensive work history, full of diverse experience with her skills and abilities ranging across multiple industry and careers filling up over 3 pages on her resume. While Mandy’s experience really ranged from admin work to sales, marketing, and communications, she was interested in moving into a Senior Marketing position. She was struggling to get interviews and when she did, she was labeled as a “Jill of all trades”. Mandy was baffled at why she couldn’t get the job she wanted, she had such a great background and was more than capable of doing the job.

When I initially sat down with Mandy, she expressed this to me. I took one look at her resume and said, “Mandy, your marketing skills are being buried by everything else! I have no idea what you want to do. You have to focus this resume in and cut at least a page of content.” Immediately Mandy argued, saying that there was no way that she could cut things from her resume, she needed everything that was on it. I then showed Mandy that by only including the skills, abilities, and accomplishments that were directly related to her new target and ditching the rest really made her stand out.

Here are the 5 things to ditch (and include) in order to make your resume shine:

Tip #1: Ditch the objective statement

Originally, the objective statement was created to show potential employers your qualifications and knowledge for the job. It was once seen as a strategic way to stand out from the crowd, but now it is just seen as outdated and overused.

What should you include instead? Create a resume title. A resume title is a simple way to demonstrate to the recruiter or hiring manager two very important things: A) You are a perfect fit for this job (it says it right there in the title)! And B) This is the job you want. Creating the focused perception is going to show the recruiter and hiring manager that you are really the perfect person for this role.

Tip #2: Ditch the outdated and unrelated skills & experiences

I’ve seen it time and time again. A resume chalked full of skills that have no relevance to the job they are applying for. Or ones that have jobs listed, like the time you worked at Starbucks that one summer, that really have no bearing on the job you are applying for. Think about this, will that recruiter or hiring manager really care that you can make the best Carmel Macchiato this side of town? No.  If it doesn’t translate to the job you are applying for, ditch it!

What should you include instead? Read the job description carefully and take inventory of the hard, soft, and technical skills and experiences that relate to that specific job. Think about what you did on a daily basis that could demonstrate your ability to do the job or accomplishments that show you will go above and beyond for your employer.

Tip #3: Ditch outdated trainings, expired certifications, or incomplete degrees.

Anyone who knows me, knows how important education is to me. I am the first one to promote bettering yourself through learning. BUT if you are that person who loves to get degrees and certifications for the sole purpose of learning and they have nothing to do with your career, don’t put them on your resume. It is going to make you appear unfocused and with higher level degrees, too expensive to hire. Same with expired certifications or outdated trainings.

What to include instead? Include completed bachelor’s degrees (these are okay if they are not directly related, but only include one if you have multiple) a master’s (if relevant), and ACTIVE certifications that support your focused target. Anything that can strengthen your cause of why you are the right person for this role, include it!

Tip #4: Ditch listing every detail of every job

Your resume is meant to be a snapshot of your work history, highlighting your most relevant skills and accomplishments. If what you are talking about is not representing who you want to be seen as, don’t talk about it. Just because you did that task at some point, does not mean It needs to be shared.

What to do instead? Summarize your daily duties in 2-3 sentences, focusing on the most relevant aspects. Include 3-4 bullets of your best accomplishments (preferably related to the job) and be sure to show what your action was and what was the result.

Tip #5: Ditch the ‘References Available Upon Request’

It is already implied that you have professional references who can speak to your character and work ability so there is no need to state it on your resume. This is an extremely overused phrase and needs to be ditched!

What to do instead: Have your 3-5 references readily available. Once this information is requested, you can contact your references to give them a heads up and forward the best references to the requestor. This will show thought and preparation to the hiring manager.

You might have 10-15 seconds, at most, for a hiring manager to read your resume so you want to be sure that you are tracing the line of where you want to be and translating and presenting those relevant details on your resume.

Once I helped Mandy sort through her history to identify the most relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments, we were able to construct a condensed and improved resume, she was able to land several interviews.

That is the power of a targeted resume.



One of the fastest ways to get your resume thrown out is to have it generic and unfocused. Hiring Managers sort through hundreds of resumes for each job listing so if you are applying for a Social Media Manager yet your resume shows your background as a receptionist – why would they select you? Adapting your resume for each position does take time an effort, but doing so will make it clear to hiring managers that you are a good fit for the position.

Here are 3 ways that you can easily change your resume to be more targeted:

Resume Title

Back long ago, resumes included an objective statement (if you still have this on your current resume, you might want to call me ASAP!). Your objective statement was meant to show the hiring manager what your end goal was. In recent years, this has been eliminated and you represent your goals through the title, cover letter, and general tone of your resume. One very simple way to set the tone of your document is to title it based on the job that you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for a Social Media Manager and have never held that title, choosing a title such as Social Media Professional, Social Media Management, or Social Media Consultant establishes that you specialize in social media and this is the type of role you are looking for.

Summary of Qualifications

Your summary is an opportunity to brag about yourself in story format. However, if you tell the wrong story, you are going to lose your reader. Take time to review the job description and then compare it to your resume. Are you highlighting the areas that are in the job ad? For instance, if a job ad says:

The Social Media Manager is responsible for all social media marketing efforts and reports the ROI across the organization. Duties include content creation and deployment, deliberate planning and goal setting for the channel, growing our brand awareness and reputation online, and cultivating positive consumer experiences with our brand. This role requires a clever mind, strong writing skills, and a great gut feel to what will enhance our community, under a “customer-first” philosophy.

I would write my summary as follows:

Creative and intuitive social media professional with a diverse experience across all social media management areas. Successfully develops engaging content, carefully planning and deploying across must-follow media feeds to create an engaged community. Maintains a “customer-first” mindset, ensuring that the client feels like a VIP. Confident and articulate, able to communicate effectively across multiple channels.

I pulled themes out of the job ad to add to my summary. This way I know that I am demonstrating that I understand what this job entails, and I am the best person for it.

Areas of Expertise/Core Competencies/Skills

This one is fairly easy. As you read through the summary, responsibilities, and preferred/required qualifications, you will be able to pull out words to add to your skill set section. For example, using the above summary, I would add (and remember your skill section should always be in the format “I am an expert at…”:

·       Brand Creation & Awareness

·       Content Management

·       Customer Experience & Loyalty

·       Planning & Coordination

·       Reporting & Analytics

·       Effective Written & Verbal Communication

All in all, you are selling yourself to this company. Make sure that they see all the great, relevant things that make you who you are!


Self-doubt can be debilitating. For years I have struggled with those pesky negative thoughts: “You can’t do this. You are not good enough. You are not smart enough.” It has paralyzed me from making the positive changes that I needed in my life, whether it be in my professional or personal life. But let me reassure you, this is not permanent. Just like I did, you can eliminate self-doubt, boost your confidence, and accomplish your biggest dreams.

While everyone is different and finds a wide variety of methods to help them overcome this area, here are five things that I practice that has worked wonders for me.


When I get in my head, my thoughts start racing, and usually, these are not positive thoughts. My thoughts tend to be around concepts that I am not good enough, I am not creative enough, or business-minded enough. When this happens, I stop. I evaluate these thoughts by asking myself:

What is causing this doubt?

How am I really feeling?

What am I scared of right now?

By asking myself these questions, I can think objectively about the situation and usually discover that they are fear-based thoughts and begin on step 2, making a list of my positive attributes, accomplishments, and why I AM good enough, smart enough, and more.


Julia Roberts said it best in the movie Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?” While it’s easier to believe the worst of ourselves, you can train yourself to believe in the best. Start with making a list of all the great things about you. Here are a few things on my list:

I am smart.

I run a successful business that makes a difference in other people’s lives.

I have a unique and interesting perspective on job hunting.

I have built a successful career and am talented at what I do.

These are just a few examples of what you can list. Focus on what you have done, what you do well, and what value you bring. And repeat. Often! Keep this list and build on it. Review this list every morning and add something new to it until you are able to believe it. Trust me, you are awesome. You have amazing skills and abilities that are unique and valuable!


As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” You are not like anyone else. Your achievements are different, your failures are different, and you operate differently. Stop comparing yourself to others. This will just rob you of your joy. Be successful by focusing on what feels good for you and what works for you.


This might be one of the most important steps. Regardless of where you are in your life (or career) appreciating the good around you will help keep you present in the moment and shift your mindset to being very positive.

Every morning and evening, I jot down a few things that I am grateful for. Big or small, I write it down. This can be that I am grateful for my crazy dog, Rosko, for waking me up in his goofy way which makes me laugh. Or that I have the opportunity to work with inspiring, creative professionals. Even on the days that I am struggling, I can go back to the basics. I am grateful that I am alive, healthy, have a roof over my head, and food in my fridge. Reminding myself of these simple things are sure to change my perspective, bring me back into the present moment, and eliminate those pesky negative thoughts.  


You are not an island and do you need to go about this alone. Seeking advice, guidance, and support from friends, family, and peers will help reassure you along this path. Think about people in your life who have always been your biggest cheerleader. Ones that have been there and supported you through the tough times. The ones that will challenge you, listen to you, and provide emotional support. Having a positive influence in your corner is sure to boost your confidence and remind you how awesome you are! But be careful - we all have negative nelly’s in our lives and negativity can be contagious.  Avoidance is okay, but if you can’t avoid that person, remember that you can set boundaries, not engage in the negativity, and focus on the positive. It’s not easy, but going back to your affirmations list will help lift you back up.

These methods have worked for me, but find what works for you. Maybe it’s going for a walk, or talking with a friend. Maybe reading a great uplifting book or listening to an inspirational podcast will help. Whatever works for you, practice it each day and remember to be kind to yourself. Remember – you are awesome!

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” - Theodore Roosevelt.

Words are the Key

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The door into your dream job is right in front of you and you possess the key to opening that door. Words are your key. Leveraging strategic keywords, action verbs, and key skills on your resume and cover letter are sure to advance your brand to a whole new level and opening that door to your future.

What is an Action Verb and why is it important?

Just like the word implies, an action verb, expresses physical or mental action. It tells us what the subject of our clause or sentence is doing-physically or mentally.  Using compelling action words on your resume demonstrates how awesome you are and what you have accomplished.

   Here are a few examples of how to spice up the old, boring phrases into something spicy!

Responsible for (Snooze-Fest)…

Try à Accomplished, Corresponded, Advocated, Documented

Led (Stale)…

 How about à Headed, Executed, Orchestrated, Oversaw

Handled (basic)

Spice it up with à Administered, Built, Engineered, Formulated

 Simple adjustments can creatively paint a picture for your reader, catching their attention, and landing you that interview!

How else can I use leverage the power of words?

Keywords and key skills are other critical areas where words can either make you or break you.

Keywords describe the hard skills that you have that qualify you for a job.  Here are a few examples of some of the hard skills required for different occupations:










Project Management


These are just a few examples of the skills that employers use to weight your resume. Strategically incorporating keywords throughout your resume will give you a better chance of being advanced through the Applicant Tracking Systems and not tossed out during the first round.

Including a Key Skills section on your resume as well as incorporating them throughout your entire resume is so very important. These are the work-related skills that you need to do the actual job. Customizing this to the job description is a great way to highlight your ability and grab the attention of the hiring manager.

Here are just a few examples of what Ares of expertise to put on a resume:

I am an expert at…


Time Management

Conflict Resolution

Staff Training & Leadership


Organizational Management

Team Building

Customer Service

Relationship Building

Using the right words throughout your resume is guaranteed to get you noticed. Just remember, be honest. Including skills and abilities in your resume that you are not familiar with, WILL catch up to you. Try to mix up your verbiage as much as possible. Even the best wording can become redundant and boring if you use it too much.

Keep your resume engaging and interesting and you are sure to wow your reader!

3 Fast Ways To Get Your Resume Thrown In The Trash

Let’s be real here, there are a ton of articles out there focusing on what to do to get your resume noticed. All good information, but let’s chat about the simple things that you might be doing that are landing your resume in the trash.

Hiring managers see hundreds of resumes for any given job opening. This will be a mix of highly qualified candidates, mediocre ones, and just plain awful ones. Even if you might be an amazing candidate, doing these three things can instantly turn the reader off from pursuing an interview with you.


Your resume is your personal branding document and is a direct reflection of who you are. Presenting this document to a prospective employer riddled with spelling and grammar errors just demonstrates that you are lazy, ignorant, or just don’t care. These are not qualities any employer is looking for and is a very easy fix. PROOF! PROOF! PROOF! Read your resume out loud. Have a friend or family member read it out loud to you. Run it through free online grammar checks such as or

Bad formatting is the other kiss of death. You might think you are being clever in adding tables and graphics and special formatting of your resume, but, in reality, most of these get wiped out when you upload your document into a recruiting application, leaving it awkward, unreadable, or sloppy. If you insist on having graphics or special formatting in your resume, be sure to only use a PDF when emailing or uploading your document. This preserves your formatting and will represent you in your best light. Have your content readily available in a simple format as well. It is 100% okay to upload a simple resume and then attach your designer resume as an additional attachment. This ensures that your content is readable by the hiring manager.


A highly ranked pet peeve of hiring managers is getting a resume that is not even close to meeting the minimum requirements for the job. Don’t get me wrong, applying for a job a step above what you do is not a bad thing, but failing to demonstrate that you have the skills and abilities to do the job is bad.  Keep in mind that this person reading your resume doesn’t know you from the next person in the pile. You might tell yourself that you are smart, a quick learner, and you are great at anything you do. And it might be true. But, let me ask you, how does this hiring manager know that. Be sure that your resume and cover letter address the qualification in the job ad. Even if you don’t have a particular skill, let the hiring manager know how you are eager and willing to learn, grow, and develop your skills.  Trust me when I say that passion and willingness to learn is a trait that I will hire into my company any day.

Paying attention to application requirements is also huge. Don’t try to trick the system by going around what the ad says are application requirements. Either your resume will never be received or you will be perceived as someone who doesn’t follow instructions. However, there are ways to get noticed. Be sure to follow the instructions, but don’t be afraid to network with your hiring manager. Send a note to say how excited you are for the opportunity and that you look forward to hearing from them. This will help the hiring manager remember your name and your passion for the job!


Too much information. Too little information. Old experience. Non-relevant skills. All things that make your resume irrelevant and ultimately dismissed. There is a balance needed to create a great resume; you need enough information to portray your relevant and recent skills and abilities but not too much that you bore the hiring manager out of reading your resume. A tip from me to you on this, focus on the last 10 years’ experience and highlight skills and accomplishments that relate to the job you are applying for.  Even if you are transitioning careers or applying for a job that is outside your skill set, you can highlight the skills and abilities that can translate to a new role. Failing to show relevance in your resume is a fast track to the trash.