Interview with Diana YK Chan for the Women in STEM, Reimagined masterclass.
“I’ve seen so many resumes and linked in profiles,” laughs Diana YK Chan, founder of My Marketability, career coach and speaker. Diana has reviewed more than 20,000 resumes and conducted thousands of interviews. To put it simply, she’s seen what works.
During the Women in STEM, Reimagined summit, I had the opportunity to interview Diana and ask what those on the job search can do to improve their chances of landing the right job.
What are some elements of a successful job search?
Success takes the Four M’s:
- Mindset: Mindset is not just your attitude to the search but also your attitude to yourself. Do you see yourself as a top candidate or do you not think you have what the hiring team is looking for? Because that perspective will affect how you portray yourself and how you show up in interviews. Once you can shift into a mindset of “I am a good candidate”, you will see better results. Remember that on the job search, you’ll see more rejection before you find success. But look at rejection as redirection. Every “no” is opening a door to a potential yes in the future.
- Marketing: The job search is not just about you. What are employers looking for? What’s important to them in terms of core competencies? When you understand the employers’ needs you can tailor how you market yourself and your documents for each prospective employer.
- Messaging: Get clear on your elevator pitch. This is linked to marketing, because your elevator pitch takes into account the unique factors each prospective employer is searching for. Your elevator pitch is the 1-2 minute story narrative that puts your experience and attributes into perspective when related to the core competencies and duties of the new job. “Keep in mind your three unique selling points,” advises Diana. “Not just what you’ve done and skills, but what have you done differently.” Highlighting what you have done differently will set you apart from the rest of the candidates.
- Meeting People: Networking! Most of the people that Diana has spoken to start out primarily applying online. But that method of finding a job gives applicants less than a 3% chance to land the job. It’s better to put yourself out there and talk to the right people who can help you. Ask around, introduce yourself to people. You never know who will know a hiring manager. Diana’s number one tip for networking: Be confident. “So many people will say, ‘I don’t want to ask for help,’ but don’t give up too soon,” emphasizes Diana. She advises reaching out to at least one-hundred people because not everyone will respond. Diana says to expect a 20-30% response rate. Be strategic about who you are talking to, and remember that you don’t have to reach out to one-hundred people in one week: aim for 6-10 people per week. From those responses, build rapport so they may refer you to other people in the future.
I resonate with this advice, not just in the job search but after you’ve found your position too. As a coach for women in their STEM careers, I think that this is great advice for wherever you are in your career. To stand out within the company as an expert, you have to be empathetic and understand what they need from you. You have to network. You have to communicate in a way that applies to them. You have to master communication, to communicate your value for their objectives. You also must keep a strong, empowered mindset.
How do you determine your unique value proposition?
- Strengths: Figure out what your top strengths are. The Strengths Finder Test on Gallup is a great tool to help you with this. Once you have your core strengths in front of you, think about times you’ve demonstrated those strengths. These strengths are often transferable, for example, attention to detail or being creative. You can demonstrate a transferable skill that applies to the job you’ve applied to in a different but applicable scenario. Any record of performance will also be helpful to have at hand. Were you recognized as a high achiever? Did you progress quicker than average in your career? Did you receive promotions faster than average? What results did you bring your employer? Why did the work you do matter?
- Feedback: Diana suggests asking for feedback from peers, colleagues, friends and family to figure out how you are perceived. Often, how we see ourselves is not how others perceive us. Send out a survey on Google Forms to twenty to thirty people in your network. The results of this survey will help you communicate your leadership style. “We may have trouble coming up with those words but this way we can find our descriptions” explains Diana. Here too, don’t expect a one hundred percent response rate.
- Brand: From your research above, take the keywords that resonate with you, on who you are, what you do, what you’re known for, etc, and make a word cloud. With that word cloud, you should be able to visualize the words that describe you. When you can visualize it, it helps you communicate that to others.
- External: This is about looking back at the potential employer. What is important to them? Write down the three to five things you see as critical to success in the role. Now match that with your word cloud– show how you are the one that fills that gap. Show how you bring a lot of benefits. One client of Diana’s scored a job over her peer who had a virtually identical track record at the company. How? She differentiated herself by arguing that she had a broader perspective thanks to her experience living abroad. She also spoke multiple languages, and had experience with different cultures and perspectives, and reasoned that therefore, she was able to work with an international team.
Missed Women in STEM, Reimagined?
Dian YK Chan. Diana is a dynamic Career Coach, Speaker and Trainer. She empowers ambitious professionals to own their greatness with confidence to shine and differentiate as top talent and leaders.
Since launching My Marketability in 2011, Diana has helped clients around the globe, from new grads to C-suite executives to change careers, land multiple job offers, receive significant salary increases, and join top companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and more.
Having reviewed 20K+ resumes and conducted thousands of interviews, she knows what it takes to brand yourself as a sought-after professional, make meaningful connections, and land exciting opportunities.
Dr. Nicole Tschierske is a positive psychology coach who helps women in STEM get noticed in their company so they attract their next opportunity with total ease.
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