tus with gaps in their resume? CT: First to not freak out that you have a gap in your career. The expectation to have a steady 9-5, M-F job for your entire career is dead anyway. Careers these days are more fluid — welcome to the gig economy. And that’s to your great benefit if you took off a couple years to raise your kids. Everyone is reinventing themselves and evolving these days so you won’t stand out as much as maybe you once would. It is ideal of course if you can still dabble in something while you are parenting — if you are an accountant, perhaps its bookkeeping for your kid’s school, or if you’re a journalist, consider running a parenting blog or running the social media for your town’s library.
Do You Need a Career Coach? Meet Chandra Turner aka “The Talent Fairy” BY HO PE DA N I E L S
We were on a break! Sick of explaining to recruiters why you strayed from the workforce for personal reasons? Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, took a sabbatical, or are in-between jobs (wink, wink), we have the tools that will help you tap into your talents and jump start your career. From identifying the stresses that inhibit interview success to gaining skills that will make managers fight to hire you – Chandra Turner, aka “The Talent Fairy”, spreads her magic on connecting candidates with their dream jobs or new professions. Check out how she helps grant client’s workplace wishes and the tips to help their career soar. CM: Explain the Talent Fairy. Chandra Turner (CT): For most of my career, I worked in media -- as an editor and executive for brands like Cosmo, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, and Scholastic. It was the height of magazines and boy was
it a lot of fun! While working in media, I was also running a networking and mentoring organization called Ed2010. The site grew to be this huge community of journalists and editors and I met a ton of people to help them start and move up in their careers. So much so that I earned the nickname as the industry’s “fairy godmother.” Fast forward, I launched my recruiting and career coaching business—and named it Talent Fairy. CM: Who can the Talent Fairy help? CT: The Talent Fairy helps two sets of people: those looking for jobs and those looking for candidates for jobs. I specialize in working with people who come from a creative or media background — writers, editors, social media managers, art directors, and other content creators. CM: What advice do you give parents who have been on a career hia-
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CM: What are the most-up-to-date tools every job seeker needs? CT: You must be on LinkedIn. You don’t exist in the candidate pool if you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn. You need to have a well-written, personalized profile summary, and your skills and achievements should be filled out. Ideally have former and current colleagues endorse you and recommend you. If you endorse or write a recommendation for someone, they’ll usually return the favor. You also need a photo and it should be a headshot that is professional and clear. Have a friend or partner take one for you in good light. CM: What are the biggest mistakes a job seeker makes? CT: It’s with good intentions, but the biggest mistake is to not focus your search. Most people think that more is more when it comes to applying for positions. They send out generic cover letters and resumés to as many postings as possible and hope that something will stick. But it’s far more effective to narrow the focus of your search—by industry, by location, by specific role. You’ll also be able to spend time seeking out people who work at those companies and could connect you, making your chances of getting a call back much greater. CM: What do you like most about being coined the “Talent Fairy”? CT: It’s so satisfying to connect someone to a career they love. It makes a big difference in someone’s life, and I love playing a hand in that.