In this interview series, we caught up with Heidi Scott Giusto from Career Path Writing Solutions who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Career Path Writing Solutions is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed when the stakes are high.
In practice, this means I work with job seekers as they proactively manage their careers. I’m a twice-certified resume writer and also routinely work on cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and interview preparation.
How did you get started in this path?
I got started working on resumes while I was in my doctoral program at Duke University. I worked at the Writing Studio, and friends and family came to me for help because they knew I worked on writing.
The first seven people I helped quickly secured job offers. I knew I found my niche. Since then, I have engaged in substantial professional development and have earned four career services certifications.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
I fell into this path while I was in graduate school. Via formal education, I am a professional historian. This training gives me a particular understanding of the cultural and historical context of an individual’s work history and accomplishments.
While in graduate school, I realized my true passion for helping people articulate their value as they manage their careers.
Soon after earning my PhD, I launched Career Path Writing Solutions. I’ve been growing my businesses steadily for the past six years.
What is the Best Career Advice You’ve ever received?
My dissertation advisor told me “There will be plenty of people who close doors on you. Never close any on yourself.”
That advice is priceless.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
Helping people navigate career change is deeply satisfying and a privilege.
Clients have told me they love having me in their corner, and I love being in their corner!
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I stay abreast of the industry by maintaining close connections with recruiters, who help me stay knowledgeable of hiring trends, and through professional organizations.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Many job seekers struggle to devote the time necessary for a job search.
They might haphazardly apply to jobs rather than have a strategic plan for the process.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Common mistakes are submitting documents that have basic errors and are not tailored to the job.
Similarly, once securing interviews, some job seekers do not adequately prepare for them.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
They should develop a plan that involves developing exceptional documents and leveraging their network, and then execute on that plan.
With a clear strategy, they don’t waste their time—our most precious commodity!
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
I think this depends on industry and geographic area they live.
For some industries, I think it will be a job seekers market whereas in other, I foresee it remaining highly competitive.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Do not expect your first job to be your dream job.
It might be a great job, but recognize that your first job will likely be a stepping stone to the job and career you ultimately want.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Conduct informational interviews so you can fully learn about the new career.
You’ll be better prepared to write a compelling resume and cover letter, and to succeed in an interview.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
Use LinkedIn with purpose.
Develop a strong profile and then use its features to network, engage in professional development, and show subject matter expertise.
My understanding is that it’s a combination of employers feeling confident they can hire more workers and also a lower labor participation rate than from before the Great Recession.
The latter has the effect of skewing our understanding of just how many people would like a job. But economists are much more knowledgeable about this complex issue.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Depending on the industry, I think finding qualified candidates will remain a challenge.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I think that applicant tracking systems (ATSs) need to do a better job of identifying candidates.
The ATSs continue to get more sophisticated, but they can overlook outstanding candidates just because a person might have not known they should include a particular keyword.
Heidi, what are you currently working on?
I recently launched a professional writing blog series, Write to Get Results.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
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Heidi Scott Giusto and Career Path Writing Solutions have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs – Top Career Advice Websites.