How Dieting and Job Searching Are Similar

In this issue of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Pump Club newsletter, there’s a section titled “The Anti-Diet Diet Plan”. What it reports is there’s no magic bullet, no one-size-fits-all diet.

Here’s the thing: all successful diets have one thing in common: caloric restriction. Apparently it doesn’t matter what plan you follow (keeping away from highly-processed foods, added sugars, and refined grains, per the article). As long as caloric restriction is in play, the diet will give the same results.

It made me think of job hunting. Job seekers often tell me that they’re getting conflicting information from different sources.

I think job searching could be compared to dieting. Just like every body is different and one person’s keto doesn’t work for a high-carb fan, in job hunting you get to pick your path, experimenting and course-correcting along the way.

Since everyone’s path to finding a job is slightly different, influenced by the marketplace, their background, their network (or lack thereof) and what they’re seeking, there is no magic bullet, no ‘do this and you’ll find a job, guaranteed’.

The internet is full of well-meaning advice. Like: how many pages are appropriate in a resume. What’s the “right” way to network? Do I apply directly via the company’s website? Not apply and find someone inside to champion my candidacy? What about fractional work? Or work that is one-off or not the right fit? Accept it for the salary + benefits and keep looking? Hold the line and keep searching?

These  job hunting tips, tricks and tools have probably had beneficial results for their advocates. I used to be much more formulaic as I coached job seekers and those whose resumes and LinkedIn profiles needed tuning. But with today’s rapidly-shifting marketplace and innovations like AI, it’s impossible to offer a universal formula.

Like caloric restriction, the common theme in a job search is persistence and experimentation.

You could compare dieting’s themes of caloric restriction and staying away from added sugars, refined grains and ultra-processed foods to job hunting’s snuggling up with discomfort, staying away from unhelpful emotions like self-judgment + fear, and wondering when your efforts will ever yield results.

Speaking of results: if something is working for you (a five-page resume instead of a three-pager, for instance), keep it! Results speak louder than advice. You get to pick your path, no matter what advice you hear or see on the Internet.

Isn’t that liberating? Confusing and possibly overwhelming, yes, but also freeing.

So get on out there and try different things. Be curious, be willing to fall on your face, be told ‘no’ or ignored. It’s not personal.

Here’s the thing: you don’t know where that golden thread that leads to your next job is going to come from, so persist. On a day of blind alleys and bridges going nowhere, remember: the law of odds is in your favor (they teach this in sales). For every ‘no’, your ‘yes’ is one step closer.

Keep calm and carry on. You’ve got this.


Are you struggling with your job search & need an experienced recruiter’s perspective? Now offering one-hour coaching to those who want a magic bullet of their own. Use it for resume-turning, interview coaching, job search strategy-building, or mindset. Click here to book yours.

Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.




The New Grad’s Guide to Resume-Crafting and Job Hunting

Congratulations on completing your IT degree, whether it’s undergrad or advanced! It can be both exciting and challenging to land your first job in the field.

Here’s some advice to help you as you launch your job search:

Tailor Your Resume:

“But I don’t have any work experience – what do I even list on a resume?” To help fill out your resume, add details like:

  • Relevant classwork and / or projects
  • Link your Github to show off code samples and passion projects you’re currently working on.
  • If you tutored or volunteered, add relevant details (ie. “tutored 9 freshmen in Advanced Calculus, helping them improve their grades by 30%”)
  • Did you have a side business or work a job while in school? List it/them, adding detail: Instead of “walked neighbors’ dogs”, say something like: “provided daily and weekly dog-walking services, earning seven 5-star reviews from clients”
  • Provide details on extracurricular activities (ie. “soccer captain, 2023-2024”. List any awards you received).
  • List your relevant soft and hard skills (“fast learner”, “collaborator”, “analytical” “team-oriented” “detail-oriented”, etc.)
  • Instead of saying “good grades”, use your GPA + any academic awards (ie. “Dean’s list 2023-24”)
  • If you’ve got a portfolio of development work (GitHub is very common as a repository), link to it in your resume.
  • If you’ve completed online certifications, don’t just list them – add detail like “completed 120 hours of data analytics training through Google certificates”

    Customize your resume for each job to which you apply. Highlight your technical skills, any internships, projects, or coursework relevant to the position. Use keywords from the job description to pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Build a Strong Online Presence:

Create a professional LinkedIn profile. Use a good current head shot (with no other people in it). Use a banner image that says something about you (Pixabay and Pexels both have lots of royalty-free images you can download).

Using your newly-crafted resume, complete your profile, showcasing your education, skills, and any relevant projects or internships.

Connect with professionals in the IT industry, join relevant groups, and engage using content. If you solved a problem, overcame a difficulty in your technical education, or have a compelling (short) story, post it. People like to learn from others’ experiences and it will help elevate your presence when you post regularly.

Keep Adding to Your Portfolio:

  • Showcase your skills and projects in a portfolio (Github is popular). Include code samples, project descriptions, and any contributions you made during internships or group projects. A portfolio provides tangible evidence of your abilities.

Network Actively:

  • Attend industry events, conferences, and meetups. Networking can open doors to opportunities and provide insights into the IT job market. Don’t be afraid to reach out to technology professionals for informational interviews or casual coffee meetings to learn about their paths. Remember to invite your new friends to connect on LinkedIn.

    Get to know other technology professionals via meetups, hackathons, and alumni groups.

    Ask mentors, family members, professors/teachers, and recruiters who work with internships for help. Let them know you’re looking for an entry-level job or internship. Which leads to my next suggestion: 

Apply for Internships and Entry-Level Positions:

  • Look for and apply to entry-level positions to gain practical experience. These roles can serve as stepping stones to more advanced positions and help you build a professional network.

Continue Learning via Certifications:

  • Depending on your chosen IT specialization, continue working toward relevant certifications. These can validate your skills and make your resume stand out to employers.

Practice Interviewing:

  • Practice common technical and behavioral interview questions. Use resources like mock interviews, online coding platforms, or interview preparation tools to build your confidence and refine your responses. If you have LinkedIn Premium, take advantage of its interviewing resources.

Show Enthusiasm and Passion:

  • During interviews and in your application materials, show your genuine enthusiasm for the IT field. Share examples of how you’ve applied your skills or overcome challenges in your academic or personal projects.

    Keep working on passion projects – this is a big differentiator in the marketplace, and helps keep your coding skills sharp.

Utilize Your School’s Career Services:

  • Take advantage of your university’s career services. They can provide guidance on resume building, job searching, and even connect you with potential employers. Don’t be shy about finding your school’s alumni on LinkedIn and reaching out to those who are farther along in their technology careers.

Be Patient and Persistent:

  • Landing your first job may take time, so be patient and stay persistent. Keep refining your approach based on feedback, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.

It’s important to remember that a job search is a journey. Each step contributes to your growth and development. You’ll meet people along the way that can become lifelong friends.

Stay positive, continue learning, and be proactive in seeking opportunities. Good luck!

Using my recruiting experience, I help technology leaders better-define their professional brand and navigate their job search. Want to know more about my signature Professional Branding Package? Click here.

Not sure yet, or you’ve got questions?  Use this link to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.

Getting the Interview | The Holy Grail of Job Searching


Most leaders I’ve talked with are great once they get in front of the client / decision maker. The problem is, how to GET that interview. It’s like the holy grail of the job search.

At the leadership or senior leadership level, candidates far outnumber open positions (think of a pyramid…yep, that’s you, at or near the top). You’re competing against peers, up-and-comers, and possibly even experienced leaders who are stepping back.

For every leadership search I conducted, we had  >100 applicants, WAY more than we could consider / screen / interview. Time and resources just didn’t allow it.

So how do you score the interview? Here are some suggestions to stand out:

Your Resume.

  • Tailor your resume  to highlight relevant skills, experience, and incorporate keywords from the job description.
  • Be results-oriented in describing your accomplishments. Use numbers, dollars, percentages, time savings, etc.
  • Give examples of successful projects, highlight your leadership experiences and their impact. Make sure what you’ve highlighted aligns with the job you’re applying to. You can even bold the relevant sentences to make it easier for the recruiter to connect the dots.

Your Online Presence

  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date (put bullet items from your resume in each of your most-recent jobs to provide context).
  • Use a current headshot. It doesn’t need to be professionally-taken, but it should be clear and well-lit. 
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn’s ‘Skills’ section (add yours), solicit endorsements from those who know your work, and be sure to mention your extracurricular / volunteer activities (40% of hiring managers consider this section as important as your resume).

Your Network

  • Your network is your most valuable tool in a job search. Past leaders and mentors, vendors, a trusted recruiter or two, former employees, and professional friends can all be advocates and resources as you search.
  • If networking still feels cringey, I recommend reading or listening to “The 20-Minute Networking Meeting: Learn to Network. Get a Job”. It’s a terrific guide.
  • Follow companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn (people who follow the company they’ve applied to are statistically more likely to be hired by that company). Check the ‘People’ tab to see if you know anyone who works there. 
  • Be visible: attend conferences, industry events, participate in online forums and communities in your area of expertise.

Your Body of Knowledge

  • Keep current with technologies, news, and trends in your space.
  • Consider writing or speaking about tech challenges you’ve faced. Sharing your knowledge is an authentic way to connect with (and help) others.
  • Enhance your credibility with relevant certifications, side projects, or volunteer work using your technology leadership skills.

Your Interest

  • After you submit your application, send a followup email expressing your continued interest. Best to send it to the recruiter, but if you know someone in the company who can influence the decision to interview you, follow up with them as well.
  • After the interview, send a thank you email to reiterate your strong interest and enthusiasm for the opportunity.

    Take a patient, positive, persistent and proactive approach. Gather feedback, test out different approaches, and iterate based on what you learn. Stay engaged with the tech community to improve your visibility.

Because you never know where that next connection (and interview) might come from!


Need some help optimizing your digital presence? I help technology leaders clarify their professional brand. Click here to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro conversation to see if we’re a fit.



Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Creating Your Professional Story | Eight Points to Get You There


Humans love stories – they’re as old as time. And being able to articulate your own professional story is a powerful tool in your career development. Most importantly: being able to effectively tell your story will help you stand out.

A professional story is versatile: use it in a job interview, a presentation, a training session, or even as you pitch an idea.

Here are some key considerations when crafting your own professional story:

1. Tailor your story to your audience.  What are they interested in? What are their expectations or values? Make sure your story is relevant to the context of the conversation.

2. Have a captivating introduction. Open with a thought-provoking fact, an interesting question, or a short and relevant story. Grab their attention at the starting gate.

3. Structure it: have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

In a job interview, this could be as follows: describe (in a captivating way) a problem that needed to be solved + why it needed solving. Add your involvement in finding and delivering a solution, including details to show impact (like costs before and after solving, time to delivery, issues or struggles you faced) and wrap up with a quick “new state / happy outcome”. You get the idea.

4. Use metrics to showcase your impacts and accomplishments and add credibility.

5. Be authentic. This helps your relatability. Share struggles, missteps, and learning moments. They’ll like you for it.

7. Incorporate the audience’s questions. When you respond to their questions within your story, it becomes more real and engaging to them (and shows your capacity for emotional intelligence).

8. Be concise. You don’t want to be remembered as someone who rambled on and on. Watch your audience’s body language and if they seem distracted, be able to shift gears.

By weaving these elements into your professional storytelling, you’ll stand out as someone who can communicate effectively and leave a memorable impression. A professional story that’s tailored, relatable, and credible is a powerful professional tool.

Using my recruiting experience, I help tech leaders better-tell their professional stories.
Want to see if my services are a match for your needs? Click here to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.



Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.

How to DIY Your Professional Brand | Part 2 of 2

If you followed the action steps in Part 1 of this series, you’ll have reviewed and prioritized your accomplishments, taken a look at how others view you and your skills, and made notes on what you like to do. This is the foundation of crafting your professional brand.

This self-awareness functions like a roadmap. It’ll help you better describe yourself, and more fluidly answer questions about your expertise and preferences (get used to talking about yourself – it’s not bragging!). It will give a framework against which to measure potential jobs, and it will help others grasp your unique combination of skills, personality, and experience.

Let’s continue! All you really need is one crisp sentence, each world carefully selected. Having this juicy line in your back pocket will arm you for any situation, whether it’s professional (as in interview), or informal (Little League game or happy hour). Imagine the relief you’ll feel!

There’s a formula for this snappy mini-manifesto, thanks to copywriting genius, Nikki Elledge Brown. Here it is:

“ I help *audience* + “benefit* + *feature*. ”

Simple, yes? You define your audience (ideal job / company), tell them the benefit they get by hiring you, and finish with a feature offering a soundbite of how you’ll help them get that benefit.

Naturally, your professional brand will evolve over time. But this little powerhouse will work great to get you started. Which would you rather hear: a well-crafted, authentic brand statement? Or the standard, “I’m a VP at XYZ Bank”? I know which one I’d pick..

Grab a notepad and let’s dive in:

1. Who’s your audience (the WHO)?

List the kinds of companies you’d most like to work with. For me, it would be startups or early stage, growing companies, mature companies that are retooling, tech companies, entrepreneurial and innovative companies.
What are yours? In your notes, write down your potential employer or customer.

2. What benefit do you bring (the WHY)?

Why do people love working with you? What special sauce do you bring? Unparalleled uptime? Elegant code? Someone who can drop in anywhere and turn a project around?

Be accurate, clear, and juicy. Aspirational, even. This should be something that prospective employers would drool over. In your notes, list the big, headlining benefits companies get when they work with you. Be sure to use language they can identify with and get excited about.

3. What feature do you bring (the HOW)?

How do you actually achieve those results? By elegantly using the array of skills you’ve gathered? By combining your entrepreneurial experience with TONS of customer-facing problem solving? By teaching them to be smarter about their product management strategy?

It’s super important to be clear here. There are many ways to achieve these delicious goals. The ‘feature’ section tells us how YOU do it.

In your notes, make a list of what you do to achieve these benefits. Focus on what sets you apart from others who offer a similar benefit.

4. Put it all together

From your three lists, start piecing phrases together. See what you like, what resonates. Say it out loud, imagining yourself using it at a job interview or a happy hour. 

Does it make sense?
Do you feel comfortable using it?
Does it look good in writing? Is it too long, too short, too blah?
Adjust, edit, trim, swap out words or phrases until you have something that feels authentic.

6. Celebrate!
You’ve just given yourself a huge gift – a clear, authentic and memorable mini-elevator pitch! From here on out, you have a multitool to help you in social or professional settings, in job searches, in going for that promotion and in interviews. 

With your shiny new professional brand statement, you’ll now be guided as you craft a more-meaningful resume and LinkedIn profile. You have a launchpad for that uncomfortable question, “tell me about yourself” that you can use anywhere. Well done!



Still feeling like you need a trusted guide? I help technology leaders define and articulate their value, creating ease as they seek opportunities for professional advancement.

Want to talk first? Use this link to schedule a FREE, no-strings intro call.

Copyright Katherine Turpin 2024. All Rights Reserved.