January 25 · Issue #18

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January 25 · Issue #18
Table of Contents
In This Issue
This issue is JAM PACKED with job search gold including: resume trends, military job search resources, virtual networking tips, Clubhouse, salary negotiation, my op-ed for Working Mother, job postings (new!) recasting awkward conversations and more!
Dear Reader

I don’t know about you, but last week felt like the longest week of 2020. I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of person, and in my mind, as soon as the calendar hit January 1, 2021, I thought the world would be an instantly happier place. But as you know, unemployment numbers are still on the rise, and Covid still exists. 

While I am no pollyanna, I’m still hopeful about 2021. Economists and epidemiologists are also optimistic about this year. A 
McKinsey white paper released on January 20 states that “transition toward normalcy in the United States remains most likely in the second quarter of 2021 and herd immunity in the third and fourth quarter.” 

I have dreams of big city travels and outdoor BBQs this summer; I am also feeling energized at the idea of helping Americans get back to work and/or land bigger, better jobs. In the last week, 3 of my clients e-mailed with exciting job updates (an internal promotion and three job offers). It is truly an honor to serve job seekers during this challenging time.

I am testing some new things in this issue. For the first time ever, I am highlighting a few job postings. I know that applying online can feel like a “resume black hole,” which is why I am highlighting opportunities where the hiring manager is directly involved in the recruitment process and is committed to reading every application. I am not vouching for any of the opportunities in this newsletter or profiting from the postings. This is my way of trying to offer as much value to you, my reader, as possible. If you are interested in me highlighting your leadership level or rising leader opening(s) in my newsletter next month, please feel free to email me at 

I’d love to hear from you this week.

Rooting for you,


CONTESTWe know you know good people. We are running a raffle for a $50 Amazon gift card ending February 3. It’s easy to win. All you have to do is send an email out to 5 of your career-minded friends suggesting that they sign up for the newsletter. To be entered into the raffle, you have to BCC Sarah@BriefcaseCoach.com to your email so that we can verify that you invited five people. We follow the Can-Spam Act rules for commercial email and will not add any of your friends without their consent.

Career “Trending” This Month

Resume Trends from the Experts – Executive Career Brand™

Resume trends come and go, to accommodate the needs of recruiters, hiring professionals and others assessing candidates. Adrienne Tom and Meg Guiseppi put together a great compilation.

How to Find a Job After Military Service – Briefcase Coach

Looking for a job after military service? Here is a list of the best resources to help your job search after leaving the military.

Use the Reference USA Database to Find Employers
Updated for 2021

The Reference USA Database: Why it will help you find your next job (all the info you need to identify target employers in one place!). Excellent article by Donna Svei.

#AMA Live

LinkedIn News on LinkedIn: #GetHired Live – January 7 | 936 comments


I had the opportunity this month to be a guest on LinkedIn News Editor Andrew Seaman’s LIVE show. We talked about making a career change, ONET, value validation projects, salary negotiation and much more.

Virtual Networking

How to Follow Up With Someone Who’s Not Getting Back to You

If you are sending out a lot of emails in your job search and not getting a response, my guess is that you are not being ghosted. This is a great read and will help you send better emails!

Virtual Networking Advice You Can Actually Use | Career Sherpa

Virtual networking advice from career experts that you can actually use and easily make networking part of your job search (and beyond). This is a must-read from career expert Hannah Morgan.

Women In Business

How to Negotiate A Salary, According to 25 Famous Women


Tips for negotiating salary and asking for a raise from famous women including Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, Ellen Pompeo, Octavia Spencer, and more. I found this to be a fun, easy read with some inspirational stories from celebrity women.

I Got Heat for Promoting Part-Time Jobs for Moms. Here’s What My Critics Don’t Understand | Working Mother

In September, an eye-popping 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce — four times more than men. The pandemic is squeezing women out of the workforce at an unprecedented rate. Working Mother Magazine approached me to write an open letter about why I think part-time work for mothers can be a great option. My hope is that women who feel stretched in their full time jobs will feel empowered to approach their employer about options. I also wrote this to encourage decision makers to consider creative solutions–like part-time or flex schedules– to keep women in the workplace.

Are You Crazy For Clubhouse?

The newest social media “craze” is Clubhouse– an invite-only voice-based social media app. In the app, users can enter into different rooms to listen or participate in a conversation. They’re able to see who else is there, and can also see their profiles. The person who made the room is the one who bestows speaking privileges to participants. Andy Foote, known for his LinkedIn expertise, has been tracking the rise of Clubhouse. In the image below, you’ll see that in a 9-day period, the number of people following the hashtag #Clubhouse increased 3-fold.

Photo credit: Andy Foote’s LinkedIn post on 1-19-21

As your career branding guide, I want to encourage you to test out Clubhouse if you are interested, but to be cautious. I have some short term and long term hesitations about the platform including:

  • You don’t control who enters the room. Hard to cater your messaging to the audience
  • Unlike LinkedIn where every person has a headline attached to their comments, on Clubhouse you are just a name + face. This is an interesting dynamic because anyone can be made a panelist or speaker— you could be listening to someone speak with confidence on a subject matter without the proven expertise on the topic. How do you fact check?
  • The rooms are only as good as the moderator. And right now, moderators are not able to monetize their time. Unless Clubhouse introduces a way to monetize, I’m not sure that this app will have staying power (Although, I posed this as a question on Twitter and my connections have some ideas for monetization).
  • Lastly, in our current “cancel culture”, the casual nature of the app feels like a liability. I can see things being said & taken out of context or misconstrued

I want to be at the forefront of what’s new & next in personal branding. I think it’s important to experiment & learn about different platforms. If you are interested in learning more about Clubhouse, I have five invites to give out. The first five people to email me with the subject like “Clubhouse” get an invitation.

How to Find People on Clubhouse.

Recruiting Brainfood shared an interesting article this week for those of you conducting targeted job searches. Using the strategies in this article, you can find people from your target company list or specific niche on Clubhouse to follow. This strategy can help you make meaningful follow up if you intentionally attend a room with them where there is a great discussion.

Recasting Awkward Career Conversations

When you are unemployed, everyone wants to give you advice.You may have conversations that go like this:

When you are unemployed, everyone wants to give you advice.You may have conversations that go like this:

Word of Mouth…Job Postings
I’m a big believer in the hidden job market. If you are job searching, I don’t want you spending all day on job boards. That being said, a job posting IS an advertisement for a position that is open now. I am testing something new in my newsletter– I will be sharing a few interesting job postings every month. The key criteria is that the hiring manager is involved in the recruitment process and is committed to reviewing all of the applicants. Disclaimer: cannot personally vouch for any of these companies and I am not being incentivized in any way for sharing these opportunities.
  • Zen Media (founder Shama Hyder) is hiring a 100% remote Vice President of Media Relations. They are looking for someone to run PR for their clients in the B2B and tech space. For more information, visit the job posting:https://zenmedia.com/careers/vp-of-media-relations/. To apply, “pitch” them on why they should hire you.
  • Passion Conferences is looking for a commerce manager. Position is based in Atlanta. Must have strong social media and e-commerce background. To apply, visit: https://passion.breezy.hr/p/d0382d7c8075-manager
  • As seen on Twitter, angel investor Todd Goldberg, is seeking a Chief of Staff. Position looks really interesting for someone interested in startups. See position here: https://toddgoldberg.com/posts/hiring-chief-of-staff.html
Are you hiring for an exciting role at your company? If you are interested in me featuring your role, please email me at Sarah@Briefcasecoach.com
Networking and Job Fair Events



Virtual Career Fair Hosted by Brazen to help those who jobs were effected by the Pandemic.

The 100 Most Influential People In HR


Meet the 100 most powerful people in Human Resources globally. Honored to be on this list.

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:
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  • 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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