Analyzing data, facts, and figures have been around as long as organizations have existed.

The business analyst is the broader title and can cover any job from data or systems analyst. to roles in corporate strategy, marketing, and operations. Simply put a business analyst analyzes data and assesses requirements from a business perspective related to an organization’s overall system. 

The skills of a business analyst is roughly that of an MBA, or that of a business major at undergrad that includes a bit of finance, operations, marketing, and of course business strategy. 


Then along came BIG DATA about 10 years ago. And data ninjas were born all over the world. Their role in companies has emerged over the last decade as the increase in the breadth and depth of data being examined. Perhaps these data people have in some form or the other always existed, a group of statisticians, technologists and business experts, who solved problems and provided solutions. But they were inconspicuous, obscured by the walls of a basement room or the IT department.

Now, data analysts are the rage in the business world, with reporting that the growth rate for this profession has reached more than 4,000 percent. The demand for individuals, who possess a deep understanding of advanced mathematics, data engineering, and domain expertise, is even higher. This hallowed group is called data scientists. 

You'll now see more ads pop up like this than for MBAs.

The Postgraduate Program in Data Science & Machine Learning (PGPDM) is a top rated analytics program that will make you an elite technology professional. Enrol Now!

Data analysts use their skill set to compare data to competitors in the industry. They perform statistical analysis on data and provide insights based on that analysis. they prepare reports, which may be in the form of graphs, charts, and histograms, detailing the significant results they deduce.

What, in this new dawn, sets the data guys (and gals...  yes a lot of women are joining the squad!) apart is their strong business chops and the level of influence they can now have on the direction of a company. Good data teams will not just address business problems; they will pick the right problems whose solutions will add the most value to the growth of the company.

Think about how quickly the world is changing. How much it has already changed. Those with engineering, tech, and related skills are now more qualified to tackle problems simply because they can step in and do things that are simply out of scope for yester-year's business analyst. They know the algorithms of the statistician and the engineering of a database engineer, and have domain/subject matter expertise. 


If you are doing an MBA (or related), we are not saying traditional business skills are not important or that you shouldn't continue to get those skills. You should And remember, in any event, the greatest advantage an MBA bestows on you is not the academics, but the network.

All we are saying is - pay attention to what's going on around you. Business analysts and MBA students - be on your toes! The demand for people who can process a tsunami of information - and extract something useful and actionable - is on the rise. Personally, we think It is the largest imbalance of supply and demand in the workforce right now.  

Check out these articles:




struggling with "You Need to Sell Yourself"?

You are not alone. Literally thousands of bewildered students feel the same way. 

The point of the advice, of course is useful, and at it's core simply means you need to articulate properly what you bring to the table, what you will contribute to a company, a team, a vison. 

But the connotations around this phrase is awful. 

The idea of "selling yourself" is uncomfortable to most people. In some cultures it would be considered downright tasteless. 

Most of us are told growing up not to brag, not be a showoff, not to boast. That doing so in fact undermines your accomplishments. But then did anyone teach us how to talk accurately and confidently about our accomplishments without sounding like an a*s? No. 

Worse, most people - certainly most of my students and ALL of my international students  -  feel awkward, guilty, and embarrassed about this aspect of interviewing and networking, and so end up undermining their accomplishments and candidacy anyway. They constantly question whether they're talking too much about themselves, or whether "I did X or Y" sounds like they're taking all the credit. 

I get that. But we do have to figure out a way to alk about ourselves in a way that captures our value (we’ve touched on this in so many places, including here). I have seen hundreds of times one candidate have exactly the same experience (or less) than this other candidate, and the former gets the job because they were able to convey whatever thay did in a way that is attractive to the employer.  

We don't have to argue about whether that is fair or not, We are not here to re-wire the universe. Human beings that don't know each other have to depend on what is communicated to them. 

So how can you communicate in a way, that is both comfortable to you and effective in terms of what the other person needs.

  1. Re-frame it. It's not about selling yourself. It's about service, about helping the organization. It is about providing the future employer with the information they need to make a good hiring decision. Remember there is a mutual goal: for you to get the job and for the employer to find ta great candidate.  So, it;s not boasting to confidently put forth your accomplishments, to tell them "here's what I can do for you.. and I am basing it on what I have done before."  In fact, it would be misleading to not tell them these things.
  2. Let the facts speak for themselves. Sick to actions you took and link them to results (your own or the team's result) and state it neutrally, Then the facts, data, and numbers will speak for themselves. e.g. helped the team add 8% to revenue for that year by supporting senior staff with timely and well researched pitch decks.

So, in conclusion. if you don't like selling youself, that's fine. But re-frame it in a way that works for you. Not communicating this information confidently - on a resume, in a networking email, at an interview- is a disservice to everyone. and no one wins. Employers may miss out on hiring a great catch and you might miss out on great career opportunities.

For more on Action -> Result resumes check out the Careerly Resume Guide and the 200+ Resume Bullets to see real-life examples of showing off your skills without "showing off." For more on answering interview questions like "Tell Me About Yourself and "Why are You the Best Csndidate for this Job?" go to our video library.



Do I Need A Summary at the Top of My Resume?


A one-page resume is a summary.  Hence the word "resume". And also, why your resume should be one-page. 

That said. if you are not a student and/or have experience of more than 7 years, THEN, yes a short summary at the top of your two-page resume is fine. Anything over two pages... is not a resume. At least not one that is helpful to the reader (who is usually a stressed out line manager or a recruiter looking for short-cuts).  Now, you might be asked to submit a C.V. - that's a different story. A lengthy and comprehensive document that generally serves a different purpose.

As for your two-page resume's Summary section, if tou decide to include one, here are some good tips. 

Think of it as a preview but also a precise summary of your key skills. Do you find yourself reading the back of a book cover? How about checking out the latest movie trailers? Taking advantage of the free samples at your grocery store? 

Why do we do these things? Because we want to get a quick idea of what something is before committing further time or money. The same thing applies to when you submit your resume for a job, especially when your resume is long. While your extensive and relevant professional experience may require (and deserve) a two-page resume, a recruiter has to spend hours upon hours going through cover letters and resumes. The last thing they want is to have to read through a lengthy resume only to find that the candidate isn’t a good match.

The two-fold strategy here is to avoid creating more work for the person you want to impress while simultaneously making sure they know that you are a perfect fit for the position!

This brief section of your resume gives you the opportunity to give employers a quick overview of who you are and what you bring to the table. You can think of it as an elevator pitch for your resume: it gives enough information to draw the reader in and leaves them wanting to learn more about you.

Crafting a summary section can be tricky. You want to say just enough to highlight your skills and competencies, without giving too much away at the outset. It can be hard to figure out what to focus on when you have years of experience and so much you want to say. The trick is to focus on three key areas: underlying skills, relevant skills, and employer focus.

Here are some real-life summary sections that succinctly and successfully convey the candidate’s skills and qualifications:

Example #1:

A professional with 20+ years of experience in financial accounting, staff management, and customer engagement. Experience in financial management has developed strong quantitative skills and excellent financial reporting skills that have been recognized for their accuracy and clarity. Has been consistently cited as an integral part of any organization due to ability to effectively manage staff and deliver outstanding customer service. A dependable and honest individual who puts the needs of organization and clients first.

Example #2:

-Environmental consultant with 12+ years of experience in economic development and environmental finance, both U.S. domestic and international assignments. Major clients including USAID and World Bank.
-Excellent project management skills managing an international portfolio of projects and government contracts worth over $3 million year on year, including large teams of 150+ subject matter experts. 
-English and Spanish bilingual. Country experience: Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mali, United States.

Careerly’s Resume Guide discusses each of the three previously mentioned areas in-depth and includes more stellar real-life examples. Use these tips and notes to get your summary noticed and make the recruiter- not just willing- but excited to flip to the next page of your resume!



Yes, the FORMAT of your resume is important

**Please use the format of your school's resume book guidelines. Our formats serve as an additional resource.** 

Everytime I mention the 7 second rule, all hell breaks out. I know I will immediately divide the world into warring factions, and incur wrath no matter what. Just checkout the comments section on this video. 

All we are trying to say is that first cut is fast and indeed often superficial. 

You make your first impression on employers when you submit your resume. Commonly (and unfortunately) your resume isn’t the only one up for consideration. It can be literally one in hundreds- if not thousands- of resumes. At this point the recruiter must sift through all of these resumes to get this pile down to a manageable number. A quick (define it as you wish- 7 second or 20 seconds) is all they'll have for you. 

Now, you might be saying, “That’s not fair! They should look beyond just looks and pay attention to what’s actually on there!” The reality is that most employers don’t have the capacity to give each and every candidate a full consideration at this very initial stage.

BUT - and here's what gives us the room to get in there and nail it - they are scanning for the good stuff. Their eyes are anxiously and wildly moving through the page as they attempt to get that pile down to 20 (from 200) while not missing out on their perfect candidate!

The first and easiest step is to have a clean, tidy, and relatively simple format. You want them to notice the key points? Help them out by organizing your information in an easily digestable format; put things in the places where they expect to find them. 

There are a ton of ways to format your resume. Some are wildly creative and unforgettable, but our advice is to stick with traditional templates for most business careers, and consider unorthodox options for creative careers - e.g. graphic design, web development, and social media.

Whatever it is, PLEASE make sure your final document is clean, concise, and consistent. There's no one set of rules (outside resume book requirements) and you deicde how your resume ultimately looks. But we have spent a colossal amount of time obsessing over every bleeeesd detail so that you don't have to.. 

The Careerly Resume Guide offers detailed guidelines on formatting, in particular on visuals, resume length, structure, font, and much, much more (like the recommeded size of the left and right margins).. And since we still don't trust you to get it right - kidding, since we want to litetally give you everything to help ypi get the job, we’ve cut ouf the guesswork and created five Careerly Resume Templates. Just plug in your content and you’re good to go!

Ok, well, that content needs to be in the A - R format .. but let's save that for another day.

Your smarts + our guidance


10 Strategies to Realize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams


10 Strategies to Realize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams


1. Follow your passion.. but don't forget you have to eat too. Listen to the inspiration (Do What You Love and those TedTalks) but be realistic and aim for longterm sustainability. Careerly's three components to work you love

2. Know yourself. What are your specific learnt skill-sets? Differentiate natural talents from learnt skills. Play to your natural talents and strengths, and create work where you are 'in flow', as opposed to struggling to swim upstream against your competitors. 

3. Young college entrepreneurs: remember It's a long game, and you are at the very start. On the first rung of the ladder. This is a time to experiment, do your research, talk to people (mentors, industry leaders). Try new ideas and types of activities and discover what you are actually good at. 

4. Understand how to talk about your IMPACT on resumes and personal bios. Not descriptions of jobs you've had but what did you accomplish? What value did you add? 

5. Quantify your IMPACT - Show, don't' tell - on resumes,. CLs, and LinkedIn profiles. TWO HUNDRED+ examples of this can be found here. 

6.  Create robust LinkedIn (and other social media) profiles. Make sure your profiles are professional, consistent, and keyword SEO driven. For LinkedIn, a powerful summary is critical. 

7. Build presence on and use blogs and networking sites like LInkedIn to looks for opportunities - start-up, entrepreneurial, internships, and project works. 

8. Network now! Start building your community of partners, mentors, future investors NOW. It takes time to build strong authentic relationships,which is the base of any good network. Learn how to give to your network, share resources etc. 

9. Do informational interviews for getting in front of key people. Understand what an informational is - YOU drive the process. Be prepared. Have good questions. Be very careful and intentional in how you write networking emails

10. Learn how to Tell Your Story. Nail your Elevator Pitch. (So.. "Tell Me About Yourself"). Learn how to present yourself as someone who consistently adds value (has IMPACT) wherever you go, whatever you do.  See #4 and #5 above. 



How to Write Networking Emails


Is your Career Services telling you that networking is very important and you need to reach out to alumni and other contacts? 

They are right. In the U.S. a full 80% of jobs are landed through networking.

But we can also picture what's going through your mind. “Reach out? How? I don’t know these people..”

We hear you. It, is, after all, a rather bizarre dance even to the most seasoned of networking ninja American students. It is doubly difficult for international students and other foreign applicants who are not used to U.S.culture or the language nuances of these “chatty but concise, personal but  professional” notes. 

So, we’ll show you how to write these emails. Yes, every one of them. The all-important thank you note after interviews, the scary alumni reach-out on Linked In, and the unforgettable follow-up email after you've met someone important and would like them to never ever forget you. 

We know it’s not enough to tell you how (see previous point on language and culture); we need to show you how.  Therefore, we prepared a Careerly Guide with 8 common emails that you can use as templates or examples.  As always, it goes without saying, do not copy word for word. 

Again, please remember, a whopping 4 out of 5 jobs are landed through networking - i.e. through a network of friends, family, colleagues, and professional and personal contacts. Only 1 out of 5 are found 'cold' through simply applying for them on company websites or online job boards, and even there, usually the candidate followed up with a human being in HR or another department. 

If you can’t be bothered with the Guide, fine. at least remember these basics: 

1) Keep your networking emails short, succinct, and easy for the reader to understand. 

2)  Make sure the "ask" (what you are asking your contact for) is clear, and keep it to ONE single "ask" per communication. Do not do anything to make it difficult for them to say “yes.” And quickly. 

3) If English is not your first language, have someone read over the first few emails you write. You’d be shocked how the most harmless things don’t really translate over.  

Download the templates here. Or watch this very long FREE video by Hira. Or, we can help craft these for you. But really, you should try first with the templates. 



Cover Letter Tutorial + Our Very Best Samples


If you think you can ditch the cover letter, it's probably because you haven't seen a really good cover letter do its magic.  In any event, we don't think you should skip this step, and in some cases it will be a requirement. In this document, we have put together five stunningly effective cover letter examples based on our clients' and students' fabulous work. 

The cover letter is your BEST chance to match yourself to the job. It's the best opportunity, early on in the game (you'll have another chance at interview stage), to target your unique content to the position you are applying for. Unlike a resume, which is more a testament to what you can do (a historical record of accomplishments) the cover letter is forward looking and highlights and ties together the key themes from your resume for the prospective employer. A resume - if done well, if you've really optimized and nailed down those bullets following the P-A-R formula + quantification - isn't always easy to adapt or tweak each time you apply to a new position. That is the job of the cover letter. This is where you match, as precisely as possible, what the job description is asking for with the skills and work experience you bring to the table.   

Basic structure

In the basic structure that we most often use, the cover letter has THREE distinct parts: i) an introductory para; ii) the body, which is the meat of the letter and where the above-mentioned magical matching happens; and iii) a short concluding para and call to action.

Let's tackle each of these:


  • One main para or two short paras, but keep it to no more than 10 lines in total.
  • Introduce yourself, and give the top-line- name, school, years of experience in XY industry and/or functional area.
  • Mention interest in company/team. Be specific- pick a feature unique to them. 
  • End this section but stating that you'll be a great fit for position, and will bring your unique combo of skills+experience to make a contribution in this role. Specifically.. and this leads to the main section..


  • The Body starts with some version of "Specifically I would like to highlight the following skills and experiences:"
  • Pick 3 - at most 4- skills/competencies/experiences to highlight, GIVEN what you think they want to see. 
  • For each, give one or two examples. Focus on a clear and specific result where possible. Quantify/ add numbers. 
  • Keep these three bullet mini-paras to a maximum of 6 lines.
  • You may opt for a longer list of bullets (5 to 7 points) where each is 2 to 3 lines of text. You'll see this approach in Sample Letter 2.  But avoid a long list of vague or general bullet points that don't say anything concrete or have no results/numbers at all - again it's a letter not a laundry list.


  • You may add one more thought - e.g.:
  • Wrap up by re-iterating your interest, thank them, and indicate a next step -e.g. looking forward to interviewing.

Why we use this structure / method 

This structure is the clearest way to get your key points across to the recruiter. It's an optimal way to make the you-job match in a clear and most powerful way.  You are literally giving it to them on a platter. Any other format will make the clean ruthlessness delivery of this primary objective harder.

Are there other interesting, creative ways of writing cover letters? Yes. Check out our Sample Letter 5. You could write a story. You could write a chronological narrative, where each para builds on the one before. But free flow full para CLs are difficult to pull off  unless you are a prolific writer, and even then there is always the risk the key competencies part gets lost in the picture.

Remember that no matter what you do - whatever maybe the icing on the cake- the cake itself is always, without exception, the way you make a match between your skills and their requirements.   

Other Key Tips

  •  Cover letters should be ONE page unless you are a 20+ year senior level hire, or applying for a research/academic position.

  • Use a header with your information - its nice and clean.
  • Include date, company name + address in the top left corner
  • Name of recruiter or hiring manager if you know it
  • You may reference the position either just above the "Dear..  start of the letter Or in the opening para. Don't do both.
  • If your letter is on the short side -center the content- position the letter be in the middle of the page, don't leave black space at the bottom.  If you have full one-page content- great! - just ensure that margins on all sides are no less than 0.6 inches.
  • In the middle section. you may use bullets OR bold the headings. Don't do both, as that looks like overkill.  While bullets and bold text helps structure key points for the reader it should still have the overall feel of a letter. Avoid underlining, sub-heads, sections, or any other formatting beyond the middle para call-outs. 

Best practice + samples

This is a good example of a (real-life) client cover letter, and we will use it as a quick tutorial to take you through the main points.  In this document we present you with four more recent samples of cover letters we think are powerful. All four of these clients got the interview- and eventually the job - that these cover letters were for.  

Download both documents here.




This is How you Nail those Resume Bullets

The top 1% of resumes - e.g. the ones used in competitive industries such as investment banking and strategy consulting -  focus on content over form; and on accomplishments over job descriptions. Typically, every single sentence or bullet point is presented in a P-A-R framework  (problem, action, result), with an emphasis on that R – RESULTS. Content is supported with data, examples, and numbers.

There is no reason why this approach can't be applied to every single industry vertical or job function, regardless of whether it is corporate, non-profit, or public sector. 


It's always about impact. Whether you are a banker or a line cook, it should still always be about impact. What have you got done for people (past employers and clients) - did you do something faster? Better? Did you help cut costs, increase revenues, raise funds, built relationships, manage staff? 

Let's develop that line of inquiry a little more: 

Project Management – Completed all project milestones 30 days ahead of schedule saving the organization 20% in expenditures.

Digital Media – Ran a tight multi-platform social media campaign resulting in a 35% increase in page visits, a 10% increase in average time on site, and a 3% increase in clickthrough rate.

Marketing – Developed a sales and marketing strategy for a brand with the goal of increasing global revenue from $29M to $50M within two years.

Non-profit - Wrote XX grant proposals, and helped raise $120,000 on average per fiscal year over last 5 years; organizations included  the Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

Customer Service – Resolved 92% of customer complaints on the first call resulting in a 11% increase in Consumer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores.

Operations – Streamlined processes resulting in a 25% increase in inventory turns.

Finance/Accounting – Successfully implemented restructuring initiatives leading to a 10% decrease in COGS from $683M to $613M, and a 10% increase in operating margin.

HR – Implemented new policies resulting in a 10% decrease in employee turnover.


We stand by it. The methodology above - focusing on a result, quantifying that result where possible - can be applied to every single industry, every functional role, every job. It applies to corporate as well as non-profit; to junior as well as senior. To unpaid work, to internships, to freelance gigs. It applies to start-ups, yoga instructors, and small business owners. 

Since we have now racked up countless hours  slaving over countless resumes, and we have had the opportunity to work across many many sectors, industries, types of jobs, and job functions, we are building a database of hundreds of real-life examples pulled from Careerly resumes.  



OK, so now you ARE convinced that it can be done. But you are thinking "but I haven't done that!" As in "me personally.. I haven't done things like that"

 Trust me, you have! Everyone has. They just don’t know it. Either you have never thought of your work like this. Or you don’t know where to get the numbers and how to quantify. We can help you with that. 

Sometimes people struggle to see their own impact, or have not really thought about their work history in those terms. But if you took a minute to think about it, you'd be amazed. You have accomplished many definable things for your past employers, clients, and others. You have probably done many good things in your community or for teams you have been part of . 

In any event, you have to start thinking like this,  A focus on value and impact is what will make your resume not just a good one (because let's face it, nowadays everyone has a good resume, especially if they’ve used the services of a professional resume writer) but the one that cinches the interview… and ultimately the job.


Careerly uses an impact + value + numbers focused methodology based on thousands of hours of working on some of the world’s most competitive resumes and client profiles for top investment banking, private equity, strategy consulting, and marketing positions. Subsequently we developed the expertise to apply this results-based method to an extremely diverse range of positions in both the corporate and non-profit world.

You may feel like the impact + value+ numbers process we describe here appears to go well beyond resumes and cover letters. You are right. This isn’t just about the resume or what’s on one piece of paper. It’s about getting a handle on all your major accomplishments throughout your career and life and, thus, nailing down the best possible content from a marketing and positioning perspective.

Once you quantify the results you have achieved for your employers, as well as the overall skills development trajectory over the full length of your career, you’ll be amazed at the value you bring to the table. You will feel good. Your confidence will ride high. And you now have killer content to use on resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as to rock your interviews.

Remember the point of your resume is not to get the job, it's to get the interview. It's to get you in front of a recruiter or hiring manager. It's also to have folks feel like it is worth their time when you request an informational chat or a coffee date.  


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4 Powerful Ways to Write a Killer LinkedIn Summary

It is absolutely essential to maintain a strong presence on LinkedIn regardless of employment status. If you are actively recruiting, then it's a must. Potential recruiters, interviewers, people you are trying to network with WILL look you up. 

Your LinkedIn Summary is the most important section in your entire LinkedIn Profile. How you write this section - the style and the content you choose to include - will set the tone for every other aspect of your profile.

There are several ways to write a powerful Summary.  Here, we present you with four options that we have tried and tested many times with our clients. You don’t want to outright copy these, but at least they will give you a solid idea of some different ways to get started.  

Approach 1: Personal Story / Bio

Here, the Summary becomes a short story of you - you are subtly but powerfully conveying that what you do is also who you are. It's interesting, authentic, and is about building trust and respect. This approach is effective for experienced, mid-career folks, who have a solid 12+ years work history behind them to stand on. The one liners work well only if you already have some level of expertise/respect in your field. You can't get away with this if you are 28 years old. This rather personalized approach should include a CTA (call-to-action) at the end.

Approach 1

Approach 2: Skills & Accomplishments

This approach is excellent for people who need to highlight key skills OR have strong accomplishments and can highlight a compelling track record of results. If you are in your 20s - focus on skills; if you are in your 30s (+ upwards) - focus on accomplishments. This approach is about showing the impact you have had and the value you consistently bring to your employers, clients, and connections. It's about establishing credibility.

Approach 2

Our next one - you'll love it! - is adapted from an online dating profile. It's entertaining to read, and 100% effective. Check it out, plus one more by downloading LinkedIn Summary Approaches - all four recommended approaches, complete with examples, in one handy little document. 

Approach 3: Functional Competencies

Approach 4: "Have fun with it" Creative


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Common Career Tests and Tools Explained

You would have seen some variation of this chart already. You know the drill- the most common reason for job dissatisfaction is not compensation. Or job security. Or lack of promotions and career progression. It’s not even the bad boss or crazy co-corkers (though that would be in second place!). In first place is a mismatch between skills/talent and the actual work, leading to lack of motivation, boredom, and anxiety. 

So the first order of business is, figure out what your natural talents and strengths are. Remember that these are different from learnt skills through formal education and work experience, though these play a part in honing your natural abilities. Over the years you may have learnt to be a decent presenter but are you a true blue “I love being on stage!” public speaker? I can bitterly make my way through a financial model because of my formal training but that is the furthest thing from a natural skill. Meanwhile my client Natalie who cannot string two words together but is an excel magic worker is stuck in a PR role where she simply cannot thrive. 

There are MANY tools and tests currently available - some free, some at a small cost - to assist you in this area. If you are unsure about your natural talents and strengths and how these translate to real-world careers, then this list is a good place to start. But be prepared to waste your entire day categorizing yourself! 


1. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

MBTI is one of the most common career and personality assessments in the world. There is a whole industry devoted to MBTI testing. If you don’t know your 4-letter type, there are many online quizzes to choose from - this is our favorite. You’ll get to understand i) how the needs and preferences of personality shape work preferences in general, and ii) the specific strengths and preferences of your personality type. 

2. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter®-II 

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is part of the MBTI, in that the 16 MBTI types fall into 4 temperament categories. Check out in particular the Career Temperament Report, which is designed to help job seekers, those undertaking a career change, and students planning for future careers.  Again the idea is to match your natural temperament to the right kind of work. 

3. Strengths Finder

Strengths Finder 2.0 - also called Strengths Quest - is best purchased as a book, with the access code inside. That way you get the full language of the 34 themes, as well as a detailed breakdown of your top five themes. The philosophy behind SF (very much in line with what we teach at Careerly) is to focus on and built on your natural strengths as opposed to fixing your 'weaknesses'.  SF the book also gives you hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths in daily life... at work, in the community etc. 

4. The Motivated Appraisal of Personal Potential (MAPP) 

MAPP is also rooted in personality psychology and motivation, but structured differently. It asks 71 questions; each consists of three statements, and you are asked to select one statement with which you most agree and the one with which you least agree. The report identifies interest in job content, temperament, aptitude, your approach to people, things, and data, and your reasoning, mathematical, and language capacity. The test identifies your top 10 career paths. 

5. O*NET Online Career Exploration tools

O*NET is very popular with University/College career services, and assists students in finding occupations and conducting skills assessments. The Skills Search function is especially helpful. 

6. The Holland Code Model 

The Holland Code Model matches jobs into job codes, interest clusters, work personality environments, or personality types. The Occupational Codes are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

Please note that these assessments are neither particularly scientific nor comprehensive; on their own each may provide a part of the puzzle. But doing as many of them as possible, together with other clarification approaches (e.g. working with a coach), should  get you close to a full picture. 




How to Turn Your Internship Into a Full-time Job

Now that we’re heading into the last two to three weeks of summer internships, it’s time to figure out what your chances are to convert that internship into an offer for a full-time position. It is extremely important that you give this serious thought now, because even if it turns out that you don’t want to continue, or you sense that you may not be getting an offer, you still want to get the most out of your experience and your new contacts, and hopefully a couple of solid references.

Here are five ways to optimize the process, get the full-time offer, and/or exit gracefully.

1. Take stock and plan your exit (and re-entry!) strategy

Schedule a formal appointment with your internship supervisor to discuss your career plans. If you have not already expressed your interest in working for the organization full-time, this is the time to do so—and with enthusiasm! Let them know officially and formally that you loved it there, and would take it (or consider it seriously) if were you to get an offer.

Remember to confirm the process so that you know exactly how offers are made and when you are expected to accept. If there is no formal process, make sure someone is handling this and doing what needs to be done. Yes, you can negotiate a lot of this after you leave, but it’s so much easier to finalize the conversion to full-time while you are there.

If the department or team you worked for is not hiring full-time, find out whether there are opportunities in other departments or similar positions with other teams. Ask your supervisor to make these introductions, and go meet with these colleagues immediately.

Sometimes the most important thing you learn from your internship experience is that this is not what you want to do, or that the industry is simply not a good fit. Just because you don’t want to continue at this firm, doesn’t mean your new colleagues can’t help. If you have decided to change directions, thank them for their support, and find out if they have contacts in your new area of interest.

2. Network, network, network

Ah, networking—it’s such a dirty word! But what can I say? If you are in a traditional summer internship while at business school, law school, or other graduate program, this is just how it is.

So, we hope you made networking a priority.  This is the final opportunity to step it up, especially if you were too busy/too shy during the past months. Remember: this is a golden chance to get to know the senior leadership, colleagues from all over the firm, as well as your fellow interns. They are all vital contacts for the future, and can serve as references, recommend you for a job, and alert you to positions at other companies. Also, hopefully you’ve been chatting to your colleagues to find out more about the company, and what they like and don't like about working there.

Step up the communications with your immediate supervisor and co-workers, and keep yourself in the loop, especially on hiring needs and what the situation is currently with interns returning for full-time work.

3. Participate, be engaged, and be very visible

This one’s related to No.2 above, and again—hopefully you have been doing this all summer. But this is the time to really be visible and “front and center” to the extent that you can without being seen as pushy or as an attention-seeker. You could take, for instance, the friendly and helpful approach. The important thing is to show a high level of enthusiasm and motivation.

Try to be included in meetings, company presentations, and professional workshops. Ask questions, be curious, and be alert. Remember that your internship is a job interview, and the interview is coming to an end. It’s go-time! You need to close the deal.

Am I putting too much pressure on you? Then think of your internship as a learning experience, with a significant self-exploration phase. This is the time to ask all the questions you need to ask and have all the conversations you want to have so that you have the clearest possible idea of what accepting a full-time job in this field/at this firm means. All of this will help you can make an educated decision about your career options.

4. Attend all social events and company activities

Most organizations host intern and other company events throughout the summer, and they want to see interns network and be part of the scene. Attend all of these events. And remember that you're socializing with your colleagues, not your friends.

Make one last major effort to meet and talk to people that you haven’t already met/spoken to. Go outside your immediate department, and think of key people in the organization you might like to have in your contact base. If you want to send any of these people an invitation to connect on LinkedIn in the future, your changes of that invite being accepted is significantly higher if you connect with them in person today!

In these last few weeks, broaden your event tracker. Go beyond just the formal intern programming, which might be wrapping up, and look to all company events, panel discussions that feature senior management, town hall meeting, and ad hoc mixers.

5. Make plans to keep in touch after the summer

Before the summer ends, get your colleagues' contact information so that you can keep in touch with them throughout the year- update them on what’s going on with you, and inquire about their work. If you made a great impression over the summer, and you keep in touch in an active and personalized manner, they will think of you for full-time—and/or just-in-time—hiring needs in the future. As with all other aspects of the job search process, it’s a mutual and often long-term courtship.



How NOT to do What Your Friends are Doing

Just because it's popular, doesn't mean it's right.

In general. Or specifically for you.

For example, a major cult status popular movement right now is Follow Your Passion. Related - Follow Your Heart. Follow Your Dreams. It is true that figuring out your career calling involves the heart. But if you want to be successful at following your heart into a sustainable living, then you'll agree that you can't just check your brains in at the door. Even while listening to our hearts, we must think in terms of a logical sequence of premises and appropriately derived conclusions.

I love TED Talks. They are unparalleled sources of wisdom and inspiration. But also check out this (very funny!) parody of TED concepts taken to the extreme. So what I am are saying is.. by all means be creative, be inspired, and imagine possibilities. But DON’T imagine a world that isn’t. DON’T defy the impossible. 

Your reality, your specific circumstances, and you constraints (financial, family etc) matter. Don't let these things deter you from pursuing your dreams but take them into account when you are making your plans.

Think carefully for yourself

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain

I took a logic class in college way back when I was 19, and if there is one thing I remember from that class (other than lots of trees and branches) is argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”). Known by many names – fallacious argument, argument by consensus, bandwagon fallacy – it basically says something is true because many or most people believe it. “If many believe X, it is X.

Remember when we were kids and we protested “but all the other kids are doing it.. “ and mom or dad said “I don’t care if all the other kids are doing it, you are not.” They were right. At least the logical argument was right.  As human beings we have a tendency to accept absurd information as long as it is repeated by enough people. If an unfounded premise is mentioned and repeated by many individuals, the premise will be accepted as the truth soon enough.

So, when it comes to finding work you love, think carefully for yourself. Even if 99% of your peers are following an appealing populist path that doesn’t mean you should follow suit. You don’t have to take up backyard beekeeping just because all your hipster friends are. Neither do you have to take up golf because the country club set is. These things may end up being suitable, but you have to make that decision by carefully discerning whether the specific choice or action is meaningful t you. 

Aim for consistency and integrity

A related addendum: just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  I used to do a lot of things just because I could – not really putting effort into an assignment, quitting when things didn’t suit me, world travel as an escape, and other questionable behavior.  I did it because I could, and because I knew that no one would call me out on it.

The problem is that when you are inconsistent, when you keep changing your passions, dreams, and plans, people get confused. Potential employers, future business partners, even friends and family – will not know who you are. You are creating noise in the marketplace about you, and what you offer. Then the real authentic opportunities that are meant for you cannot find their way to you.

By all means try different types of work. But don't be flaky. People need to know a) who you are; and b) that they can count on you as they understand you to be.

Personal capital is a precious thing - don’t waste it.

Ask someone to help you put together a strategy and a plan, and be clear about what you want to accomplish. Also be clear with others. Explain things. Be coherent. Speak sense.  When faced with a choice – one that is popular and easily validated by peers versus one that is harder and on the road less traveled, where possible go for the latter.  Awesome things can happen on that road less traveled.