Briefcase Coach’s Career Briefs: Job Search Newsletter – Issue #42

In this issue: expert tips for dealing with layoffs, real-time job search data, executive resume industry trends, how to get noticed and level up, Briefcase Coach book club pick, and more…

Dear Reader:

I wanted to avoid opening this letter by talking about Twitter or tech layoffs. I am sure that you’ve seen dozens of news stories this week about the myriad of challenges facing the tech sector. Unfortunately, I *have* to bring up Elon Musk because he impacts this newsletter.

In addition to headcount, he is changing the landscape of Twitter – (*potentially) removing platforms owned by Twitter, such as Revue – the hosting tool of this newsletter.

I am exploring options for a new newsletter platform and will have one selected by the next newsletter at the end of the month. I want to make sure you, my reader, continue to receive my curated content twice a month without interruption. Please consider whitelisting my email address – to ensure it doesn’t end up in your spam folder.

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying the beginning of fall. It is my favorite season. It is a time to reflect and give thanks, spend quality time with family & friends, and set our sights on a new year ahead.

As always, rooting for you.


Marketing Yourself

Should you mention a former employer in your LinkedIn Headline? -ex Facebook -ex Google - Briefcase Coach
Should you mention a former employer in your LinkedIn Headline? -ex Facebook -ex Google – Briefcase

Everybody these days seems to be name-dropping “sexy -exes” in their LinkedIn headline. ex-Google, ex-Amazon, etc. Sarah Johnston explores this trend and if it is recommended by industry insiders.

Executive Resume Trends for 2023
Executive Resume Trends for

Executive resume strategist, Adrienne Tom connected with other career recruitment and resume experts, including Sarah Johnston, to collect insights on executive resume writing trends for 2023. Does your resume have what it takes to succeed?

Employment Trends

You are going to see headlines over the next year that say things like:

“Job market shows signs of stalling.”

“Worst job market in decades”

“Unemployment lines growing.”

𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀. Put in your earbuds and crank up Taylor Swift… or Drake… or Mandolin Orange, or whoever you listen to… and drown out the noise.

These news stories do not have to be YOUR reality.

Companies are still hiring right now.

People are still getting jobs.

Creators are still creating opportunities.

You don’t need 331M jobs (US population). You just need one. That opportunity exists.

𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗼 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗷𝗼𝗯 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵.

A scarcity mindset sees limitations instead of opportunities. You will start thinking the universe is against you.

Focus on opportunities rather than obstacles.

Dealing With Layoff Anxiety: 6 Practical Tips
Dealing With Layoff Anxiety: 6 Practical

If you are having anxiety about a potential layoff, you’re not alone. The team at Briefcase Coach provides six actionable tips for reducing stress and moving forward if faced with a layoff.

Employment Report: Not What Meets The Eye; Fed Near End Of Rate Hikes
Employment Report: Not What Meets The Eye; Fed Near End Of Rate

Forbes gives an in-depth analysis of the latest employment report issued this week. The big news was that payrolls increased by +261K. Of interest: In the Household Survey, full-time positions fell -433K. That means part-time rose +105K. Over the last five months, part-time positions have risen +628K while full-time positions have fallen -572K. 

The Great Resignation is cooling off — especially in the tech industry
The Great Resignation is cooling off — especially in the tech

After reading this Axios report, Glen Cathey, a leading expert in the HR field, shared last week on LinkedIn his shock that 3 of the 5 job categories with the largest decrease in job postings were STEM jobs: software development, mathematics, and scientific R&D. Rounding out the top 5 were HR and marketing.

Image from Axios report

Half of all the Fortune 500 companies were created in a crisis | Startups Magazine
Half of all the Fortune 500 companies were created in a crisis | Startups

This is a good reminder for those who are feeling uncertain about their future. Some of my favorite companies started during economic recessions. Businesses are born every day– the companies that launch next year could be the next Amazon or Airbnb.

Your Place in the Workplace

Loudly Succeeding: Make Some Noise To Get Noticed At Work
Loudly Succeeding: Make Some Noise To Get Noticed At

While some are “quiet quitting”, Forbes’s Jack Kelly says the way to excel in a difficult economy is to become noisy instead of quiet. Plan out a bold game plan to fast-track your career. Then, on an everyday basis, aggressively pursue your goals. The key is to make yourself known within the organization.

How to give middle managers the support they need
How to give middle managers the support they

The middle manager’s role has definitely broadened and deepened in the past two and a half years. Lattice CPO Cara Allamano outlines tactics for setting managers up for success amid increased pressures.

Social Media & Creator Economy

Annual LinkedIn Algorithm Report
Annual LinkedIn Algorithm

Just Connecting, a LinkedIn & Social Selling Training HUB released its 4th annual algorithm report. After extensive research of more than 9,500 posts from 200 different members (coming from more than 30 different countries), this report shares how to gain more traction and visibility on LinkedIn. This is gold. If you want to get eyeballs on your posts and articles, this report is worth a read.

Twitter has never understood the Creator Economy
Twitter has never understood the Creator

As changes are coming fast at Twitter, creators are firing back. The real incentive that keeps creators glued to any particular platform is its ability to help them make money. Journalist, Simon Owens takes a look at reactions from the Creator community on the changes taking place with new management at the helm. Why we like this article: We think the creator movement is here for a while–especially as organizations leverage freelancers to avoid adding to headcount. As Musk–and other social media leaders– look for ways to monetize their platforms, the focus should also be on income distribution.

Interview Preparation

At the risk of exposing myself as a huge nerd… I’ll admit that I love escape rooms.

In fact, during the pandemic, my husband and I + another couple friend visited ALL of the escape rooms in the tri-city Research Triangle Park area.

And we crushed them.

The thing I’ve learned about escape rooms is that you really have to think outside of the box. And often, it’s the smallest details that end up being the key to the puzzle.

I encourage my clients to treat interview preparation like they would an escape room.

✔️ You want to dive in and learn everything that you can about the company and the opportunity before you interview.

I encourage my clients to:

– Read the LinkedIn profiles of every person on the selection team

– Listen to the earnings call

– Read the annual letter to shareholders from the CEO to learn about key focus areas and areas of opportunity

– Review the Mission Statement, identify their community commitments (if they have them), and read their DEI, ERG, & Sustainability philosophy

– Talk to people who have worked at the organization and who have left

⏫⏫ ⬆️⬆️

This *sounds* like a lot of work, but you’ll learn a lot in this process. You’ll be able to speak to the organization using THEIR language. You’ll come across more prepared and engaged.

Preparation breeds confidence. And if you haven’t checked out my free course, “Preparing for a High-Stakes Interview” in the LinkedIn Learning Library (*for premium or trial members), you can find it here.

Clayton Christensen was a Harvard professor who dedicated his life to studying disruptive innovation – the study of big ideas that change our way of thinking. In his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma he shines a light on the inability of businesses to embrace change through innovation and therefore setting themselves up for failure. Christensen challenges businesses that settle with the status quo and hesitate to accept new practices that may change the way the business operates.

After a client recently told me this was the best book he had ever read – I couldn’t wait to dive in. While his endorsement of the book was a strong one, it did not do this book justice. It really is a must-read.

Can you do me a favor?

I’m on a mission to help job seekers land amazing jobs. Would you consider doing one of the following:

  • Forward this newsletter to your job-searching friends or post about it on social media. This small act really helps!
  • Reach out to us about featuring your executive job posting in our newsletter. We are looking for hiring managers, founders, and search firms to talk on video about their ideal candidates.
  • Consider sharing my company name with your HR leadership. We are a great “white-glove” boutique option for executive outplacement
  • Recommend me as a paid speaker for your company events on networking, job searching, or leveraging LinkedIn
  • Recommend my services to high performers wanting to work one-on-one with an executive resume writer / or experienced interview coach

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  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

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