Tag Archives: #careeradvice

January & February: Best Job Search Months

January and February are the best months to seek out a new job and make a career change. Hiring budgets for the year have been approved and employers are motivated to jumpstart the year by filling open positions. Hiring activity that was delayed in November and December can now move forward and the backlog of unfilled 2021 jobs are out there. Many companies pay annual bonuses in December, so a lot of people wait until January to change jobs. Companies expect this so they look to make lots of new hires in January.

Successful job candidates enter the New Year prepared with Applicant Tracking Software-proof, achievement-driven resumes, searchable LinkedIn Profiles, and targeted cover letters so that they stand out among competing candidates. They also practice job interview questions and answers and prepare for compensation negotiation, so they don’t waste a single new career  opportunity.

Looking at 2022 overall, it looks to be an incredibly unique, values-based career year. Although the employment space is clearly in a period of massive change due to Covid-19, exceptional talent is in the driver’s seat. Employers are more focused than ever on proving their claims that “people are our biggest asset” and unprecedented strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion are opening opportunities for a more diverse workforce. Companies are not only attracting as broad an array of employees as possible, but they are focused on retaining and engaging them which translates into improved benefits and job satisfaction.

Despite the pervasiveness of the pandemic in our lives and careers, career changers and job seekers are determined and more creative than ever in pursuing career opportunities and reimagining what their work lives can look like.

Here’s to 2022!

Garrison Leykam is a Certified Professional Career Coach, author, and speaker whose success as a career strategist comes from his senior leadership experience with major corporations, his knowledge of the job market as former director of a national staffing firm, and his expertise in career branding utilizing his PhD in Marketing. Garrison’s track record of client success reflects his results proven skills in resume and cover letter writing, job search effectiveness, compelling LinkedIn profile tune-ups, interview preparation, and compensation negotiation. His engaging client interactions are fueled by his creativity, enthusiasm, and job candidate support across all industries and levels of experience.


  • Professional Career Coach (CPCC)
  • Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW)
  • Employment Interview Professional (CEIP)
  • Business Coach (Expert Level)
  • Life Coach (Expert Level)Remote Work Professional
  • Workplaceless® Remote Work
  • Certified DISC Profile Analyst (CDPA)


  • Top 25 MA & PhD profiles in the U.S.
  • Top 1% LinkedIn Industry Social Selling Index (SSI)
  • All-Star: highest rating for LinkedIn profile
  • 4% of LinkedIn members statistically deemed a Super Connector
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Expert

Something Else:


Take A Career Lesson from Indie Artists

Only you can manage your career. It used to be when the world was younger that the company you worked for would train you, promote you from within, and basically take care of you all the way to retirement. That dream has ended. It is up to you and you alone to know what you want your next job to be, in what industry, what skills you need, what certifications are required, and how much education is essential. Continue reading Take A Career Lesson from Indie Artists

Micro-Credentials Can Have Macro Impact on Getting a Job Faster

Unlike a traditional college course or workshop in which learning is linear and time-based, the micro-credential learning process is a unique online experience. Participants can self-pace their learning in an authentic, meaningful way. Micro-credentials are mini-qualifications that demonstrate skills, knowledge, and/or experience in a given subject area or capability. Also known as nanodegrees, micro-credentials tend to be narrower in range than traditional qualifications like diplomas or degrees. For job seekers, especially older workers, earning micro-credentials can make your résumé stand out from other candidates and demonstrate how you’ve augmented your skills over time. Continue reading Micro-Credentials Can Have Macro Impact on Getting a Job Faster

11 Resume Tips for 2021

To get the interview for your next career move, your résumé has to communicate that you are the ideal candidate. Here are 11 résumé tips for selling yourself in 2021:

  1. Prerequisite: format the entire résumé to make it ATS-friendly and focus on keyword matching to the specific job posting. ATS “reads” resumes like human beings (right to left/top to bottom) so make sure your work history starts with your most recent or current position. Although there are three common resume formats (chronological, combination, and functional), ATS prefers the first two, as do recruiters. Telling your career story and progression lends itself to a chronological résumé and a non-chronological functional résumé  wreaks havoc with ATS which doesn’t know how to sort experience without a clear work history to draw from. The main job of ATS is to scan your résumé for relevant keywords by converting it to a text-only file. So, get rid of fancy formatting like tables, graphs, charts, photos, logos, headers, footers, images, full page columns and uncommon section headings.  Stick to a universal font like Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Garamond, Georgia, or Cambria and avoid fonts you need to download which the ATS may have trouble parsing. On the other hand, feel free to bold and underline your headers with a font size of 11 with the rest of the text at 10. Italics are also ATS-friendly as is underlining. I would avoid putting any text in colors; not that ATS can’t read it but it’s going to reduce everything to black anyway. Bullets are preferred over long-winded narrative so stick to the standard circle- or square-shaped ones. One-inch all-around on your margins is the best way to go and I like to set my line spacing options at 12 exactly.
  2. “Above the fold” refers to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper or tabloid where an important news story or photograph is located. Use this approach for your résumé because recruiters average only 6-11 seconds visually glancing to see if they want to read  on. When they do, don’t fall into the deadfall trap that your résumé has to be on one page. Your résumé needs to market you effectively and include enough about you to prove you’re qualified for the job without overwhelming the reader. Résumé length can vary based on factors like experience, field, and the job you’re applying for. Two to three pages is the standard length for résumés in 2021 to fit all keywords, experience, and skills. If you’re concerned that a longer résumé will slow down a hiring manager during their six-second résumé test, the “six-second” figure comes from a review after an ATS scan has determined your fit for the position. Recent studies suggest that recruiters are 2.3x more likely to prefer a résumé that’s more than one page and includes all of your relevant experience, achievements, education, certifications and professional development.
  3. Your headline should match the title of the position you’re applying to. Position titles are among the most commonly searched ATS keywords.
  4. Use the summary to succinctly highlight your professional skills and experience. Laser focus on the unique, transferable value you can bring to the specific role you’re applying for.
  5. Follow your summary with a core skills section so that readers can easily scan your relevant competencies. This is a key section of your résumé because SKILLS = KEYWORDS and enhance how you match with a job description.
  6. If you’re applying online, avoid graphic elements like charts, graphs, tables and shaded areas. It confuses ATS which “sees” them as photos and can’t “read” them. It’s best to send a résumé as a Word doc if you are applying through a public job board or company career page. If you’re sending it to someone you know via email, PDF is fine. Otherwise, use Word.
  7. Generally, it is reasonable to go back 10 – 15 years in your work history unless you’ve been with a company longer than that and you can demonstrate a progressive ladder of success.
  8. Avoid run-on paragraphs when describing your professional experience. Instead, use bullet points to tailor your transferable achievements to what the prospective employer is looking for. Avoid the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach. Stick to those achievements and competencies that are most relevant. Demonstrate the impact you’ve made and quantify (objectify) it wherever possible.
  9. Avoid outdated résumé information like your street address and References Upon Request.
  10. Spell check until it hurts and then spell check again.
  11. Include a cover letter with your résumé and send it to a specific person in your target company (eg, Vice President of Human Resources or Director of Talent Acquisition) to expand your candidate visibility.

About Garrison Leykam, PhD:

Certified Business Coach (Expert Level)
Certified Remote Work Professional
Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC)
Certified Professional, Résumé Writer (CPRW)
Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP)
Certified Life Coach (Expert Level)
PhD Marketing, MA Psychology
LinkedIn profile in Top 25 MA, PhD profiles in U.S.
Top 1% LinkedIn Industry Social Selling Index
Author, Audacious at Any Age and Design You

Top Ten 2020 LinkedIn Changes for your 2021 Career Branding

1. Record a 10-second message next to your Profile name to create audio appeal. This feature is especially beneficial for your Profile visitors if you have a hard-to-pronounce name.

2. The new “Dwell Time” method of classifying content and algorithm weighting based on time actually engaged on content can give you 48+ hours for your thought leadership content to gain new traction and visibility.

3. Combine Dwell Time with the autonomous post tool to build engagement and feedback on your topics.

4. Set-up video networking meetings and informational interviews directly in Messages on mobile with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Verizon. Continue reading Top Ten 2020 LinkedIn Changes for your 2021 Career Branding

What does your LinkedIn Activity convey to employers

Your LinkedIn Profile Activity section will only appear IF you create and post content. Think of your Activity section as a highway billboard. The average driver will only have about 5 to 10 seconds to view a billboard, read any text and comprehend the message. What do you want the recruiter (driver) to see in your Activity (billboard) that strengthens your job candidate potential? Continue reading What does your LinkedIn Activity convey to employers

Keep Your Career Search in Perpetual Forward Motion During COVID-19

The Beverly clock is the closest anyone will ever see to a “perpetual motion machine.” Invented in 1864 by Arthur Beverly and located in the foyer of the Department of Physics at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand this clock has yet to be wound and dependably keeps running on atmospheric pressure and changes in the temperature. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last three weeks and, for those still working, the ways we work have changed dramatically. And, while economists expect a hard hit to the economy and the timing of the subsequent recovery remains uncertain, companies are still hiring and that means keeping your job search in perpetual forward motion. Here are 10 tips: Continue reading Keep Your Career Search in Perpetual Forward Motion During COVID-19