The Amazing Women’s Blog Series seeks to highlight Amazing Women within our WMN community. In each installment we’ll interview a WMN member or inspirational leader within our network to share their inspirational story. From breaking glass ceilings to juggling motherhood and work, we’ll have conversations about it all and we’re excited to share it with you all!

Erin Urban is a Certified Career Coach, Forbes Coaches Council Member, and International Speaker. She partners with driven, experienced professionals, removing career roadblocks to result in more influence, impact, and income.

Hera: Erin, thank you so much for being a part of our WMN blog series. I’m excited to have you here because to talk about finding a job during a pandemic which is very relevant right now. What would you say is the question you get from job seekers right now?

Erin: The number one question is how do I pivot from Oil and Gas because that’s what a lot of people are doing right now. That’s what I do, I help people find clarity and pivot their careers and land a job. The first step I encourage others to do is be familiar with three things, one of those is your strengths (what gives you energy and what drains you). Second, what are your interests? What keeps you motivated and interested at work? Lastly, what is your expertise and how do you leverage it? I encourage people to do a gap analysis to understand where they see themselves going.

Hera: What would you say to those job seekers who do those steps but like most people have never searched for a job during a pandemic like this where the unemployment rate is skyrocketing? How does a candidate stand out from other job seekers?

Erin: I am glad you asked me that because the second question I get most is how do I stand out in an extremely competitive job market. It’s all about having an online -compatible, value- driven, information filled resume. This includes three steps, getting through the applicant tracking system, recruiters, and then eventually the hiring manager. The biggest gap I see in every resume I review is that people do not articulate their career contributions. Articulating your value is extremely important and being relevant to the job your seeking is equally as important. A boring bullet list or obituary for a resume will not get you the results you want. Also, network! Networks are important!

Hera: What advice would you give to those looking to use networking as a part of their job strategy and what value can you add to keep your network active and what does that look like?

Erin: If you are like most people, likelihood is that you have not kept your network warm like good coffee or invested in your network until you were looking for a job. The best connector I know is a woman named Megan.She doesn’t just network, she connects. She gains more connections, and then she connects other people. That’s what I consider a diamond level networker. Diamond level networkers are giving back to people within their networks and continuously growing their circle of connections. For me as a coach, that’s giving value to your network. The more people Megan connects with and gives back to eventually end up looking out for her. That’s the kind of networking that will give you the best results. Consistent engagement matters. Authenticity is key in the virtual world and it takes multiple touch points in virtual settings to build a credible connection.

Hera: What are some of the top trends you’re seeing in the hiring marketing right now?

Erin: Recruiters are really frustrated. There are not a lot of open jobs but a lot of qualified people. That’s the reality right this second. However, this too will pass. We are starting to see a tiny light at the end of the tunnel. The job market will start to trend upwards but will take some time. You have to stick with it and make sure you’re staying relevant and speaking your value and adding those contributions. Don’t panic, keep working at it and don’t take it personally.

Hera: We are dealing with something completely unprecedented globally which has obviously shaken up our economy. This can be an incredibly stressful time. As a career coach what are your suggestions to job seekers looking to balance their time and commitment to this process?

Erin: Be very focused on what you can control and what you cannot. We can’t control politics, the weather, or this virus so don’t take it personally. Do not focus on quantity over quality. Take your time and apply for jobs you really want. Optimize your resume to create a strong resume that will pass the applicant tracking system. Spend the time on those quality positions to optimize your resume for those specific roles and be thoughtful about your approach. Focus on what you can do right now.

Hera: What are some struggles that you see people facing during their job search?

Erin: Interviews! Even with phone interviews people are in a flight or fight mode. You need to be able to lower your stress levels to calm your mind and properly articulate your value. If you’re stressed out you’re not going to be able to think clearly. Try deep breathing or meditation. I highly recommend people to listen to Amy Cuddy who has a wonderful TED talk about body language that I found helpful. You have to practice your interview skills because video interviews require you to emote 30% more than if you were in-person.

Hera: What are some resources you can suggest for our readers looking to learn more? More importantly, how can we learn more about your coaching services and other resources?

Erin: Sure, if you’re a woman I highly suggest reading a book called How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen. It changed my life and I recommend it to all who are trying to break the glass ceiling. I also have a podcast where I talk through tips and tricks for job searching as well as weekly Linkedin live sessions that are full of information. Whether you’re interested in specific courses around career clarity, resume mastery, or simply looking for helpful articles for your job search you can find them on my website at Feel free to reach out or join one of my groups and events where I share a ton of information.

Additional Resources:

About the interviewer:

Hera Arham joined WMN in 2020 and has served as a marketing volunteer since then. She has over 7 years of marketing/communications and business development experience in various sectors across NY/DC and Houston. She is passionate about being involved in the Houston community and spends her time actively volunteering for several organizations. During her free time, you can almost always find her giving back to a nonprofit, finding new ways to learn how to bake the next best dessert, or watching cooking shows on Youtube. 

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