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In this interview series, we caught up with Donna Svei from Avid Careerist who shares her expertise and insights about the job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.

Tell Us a Little Bit about Your Company

I write resumes and LinkedIn profiles for executives.

How Did You Get Started in This Path?

I had been a retained search consultant for 25-plus years and wanted to change roles to work as an executive advocate.

Is This Something You Decided Early on in Your Career?

I was a CPA with Deloitte in my first career. That background makes it easy for me to understand my clients’ accomplishments and quantify them.

What Is the Best Career Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Never expect your boss to do something you can do (Thanks, Mom!).

What Is the Most Exciting Part of Working in This Industry?

I like holding a mirror up to someone’s career and helping them understand how much they’ve accomplished.

How Do to Stay Abreast of the Industry as an Expert?


What Are Some of the Things That You See Job Seekers Struggle with the Most?

Owning their accomplishments and generating job leads.

What Are the Common Mistakes That You See Them Do?

Waiting too long to get professional help.

How Should Job Seekers Approach Job Search Today?

It helps to understand the job search as a sales cycle.
If you’re not comfortable with any aspect of the process, get professional help.
I advise executives to find experts for each phase of the process. At that level, no service provider can be an expert on every piece.
I refer to coaches who can help people decide what they want to do next, then I write their marketing collateral.
Following that, I refer to expert job search process coaches.
Most executives already have an attorney who can help them negotiate employment agreements, non-competes, and NDAs.

What Is the Biggest Trend(s) You See That Job Seekers Will Face in the Next 2-3 Years?

Companies’ sustained efforts to develop, produce, and distribute their products with fewer people.

Freelancer Working Outside


What Is One Advice You Would Give Someone Just Out of College Today?

Be prepared to continue your education throughout life. The biggest advantage of college confers is enough performance pressure so that you learn how to learn.

What Is One Advice You Would Give Someone Who Is Switching Careers?

Understand the progressive difficulty of a career change:
  1. The easy job search is the same role/same industry.
  2. Next is the same role/new industry.
  3. Following that is a new role/same industry.
  4. Finally, you have a new role/new industry.
Consider running the same role/same industry or same role/new industry job search in tandem with your career change.
You might need a multi-step transition to a new role and a new industry. And you might need a fallback job offer or two!

How Should Job Seekers Get the Most Out of LinkedIn?

The keyword optimizes your profile and provides signals that you check your messages (a premium account badge, a weekly post, engaging with others’ posts).
Recruiters have more motivation to contact you if they think you will see their messages.

Unemployment Is at the Lowest Levels, Why Do You Think That Is?

We’re in an extended economic expansion.

What Is the Biggest Trend(s) You See That Hiring Managers Will Face in the Next 2-3 Years?

They’re getting hit with a plethora of new employee selection technologies without much proof that any of them accurately predicts job performance.

Donna, What Is You Currently Working on?

Beyond the work I do with my clients, I blog at AvidCareerist.
That lets me help a wide range of global job seekers at no cost to them.

What Are the Best Resources You Recommend to Job Seekers?

What Is the Best Way for Our Audience to Reach You?


Connect with or Follow Donna Svei on Social Media:


Donna Svei and Avid Careerist have also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs –  Top Career Advice Websites.     

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