The Top 5 Mistakes Job Seekers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Woman working at laptop in cafe.

In this virtual session, career strategist Jade Chapman enlightens with top tips to approaching the job search including the secret weapon she brings to every interview: her portfolio! Jade also discusses her Career Detox program, a holistic approach to creating a fulfilling career. Check out the video and transcript below.

Jade Chapman is a Career Strategist that focuses on helping people align their careers with their passion and purpose. She has mastered the art of repurposing her own career as she has worked as an engineer for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations domestically and internationally, and as a project manager in the Mayor's Office at the City of Atlanta. Whether you are a recent graduate, a mom returning to the work force or a mid-career professional ready to make a pivot, Jade offers a diverse suite of tools and creative strategies to help her clients identify and pursue work that feels purposeful and fulfilling.


  1. Mistake #1: Limiting job search to applying online
  2. Mistake #2: Using the same resume for every application 
  3. Mistake #3: Not preparing for the interview
  4. Mistake #4: Not asking questions
  5. Mistake #5: Not negotiating salary 
  6. The Career Detox: Jade’s holistic approach to creating a fulfilling career
  7. Bonus #6: Applying to jobs because of your qualifications, not your passions 
  8. Q&A

00:00 Hiba Abdillahi: Alright. Hi everybody. Hi everyone, welcome to this week's Unity Hour. If you're new to The Mom Project, Unity Hour is our virtual event series, where we wind down each Friday or every other Friday during the summer with the expert and a specific topic. Today we are thrilled to host Jade Chapman, who is a career strategist that focuses on helping people align their careers with their passion and purpose. Let me introduce myself.

My name is Hiba, I am the social media manager here at The Mom Project, I'm part of the community team. I'll be stepping in these next couple of months, while our community teammate Katie is on maternity leave. Tiffany is also here to co-host in case of any technical difficulties, because we know those things happen. She's best known at The Mom Project for building and running both of our Rally and Unity coaching programs. If you want any more info on those, we’ll put them in the chat. A little background on Jade: Jade is a mother, a wife, an engineer, a professor, a global citizen and a career strategist. She's been on a journey to create an authentic career for herself and to help others do the same.

01:34 Hiba Abdillahi: She has mastered the art of repurposing her own career as she has worked as an engineer for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations domestically and internationally. Whether you're a recent grad, a mom returning to the workforce or in your mid-career profession and ready to make that pivot, Jade offers a diverse suite of tools and creative strategies to help her clients identify and pursue work that feels purposeful and fulfilling. So, today, we're going to get into helping you shift your thinking about how you can pursue your next career move by exploring common mistakes that job seekers make, because let's get real: we all make them. As the session unfolds, if you have questions, please put them in the YouTube chat and we'll get to as many as we can. Jade, I'll throw it to you. Okay.

2:24 Jade Chapman: Thank you so much, Hiba. I'm going to share my screen. Okay, there we go. Can you see my screen? Okay, so thank you so much again for having me. Good afternoon, and I wanna thank The Mom Project for this opportunity to hold space with so many women and moms today. This really means a lot to me in my career, and I'm just really grateful to be here. So, it's Friday y’all, we made it through another week. There is so much going on in this world around us, but I wanna just take 30 seconds to just celebrate each other as women and as moms, and I want to invite you to a 30-second dance break today, and I have the perfect song for it. So 30 seconds. Let's go.

Plays Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls)

3:47 Jade Chapman: So for those of you who might not be Beyoncé fans, I just wanna run those lyrics back for you one more time. She said, smart enough to make the millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business. I think she really captured who we are as women and why we're here today, so let's get to this business... 

So today we're gonna cover five mistakes that I've seen job seekers make and how you can avoid them. And so we're gonna talk about job searching strategies, we're gonna talk about how we can write more effective resumes, we're gonna talk about preparing behavioral interview questions. And then I'm gonna share with you my secret weapon, which is my portfolio that I bring to all of my job interviews. Then we’ll talk a little bit about how to write a life purpose statement, and then I'll share with you how you can leverage some of my coaching services to support you through your job search, and then I'll share with you how you can access my slides afterwards. 

Okay, so who am I? So I'm Jade Chapman, and I've literally been around the world and back searching for fulfillment in my career, and along the way, I think I have mastered the art of finding a job and the art of pivoting in my career. So my background is in electrical engineering, and I've pivoted to different industries. 

I've worked in the energy industry, I've worked in the defense industry, I took a little sabbatical and moved to Liberia, West Africa to work for a non-profit organization, then I came back and worked as a consultant. I just pivoted into the healthcare space, because that's something that I’m really passionate about.

5:26 Jade Chapman: And I spent some time in Australia working for a non-profit organization that worked for Aboriginals and looking at health disparities in their communities. I've also worked in higher Ed as an adjunct professor and the municipal government. So I come to you all with 15 years of mistakes or lessons learned that I've learned from my journey as well as lessons that my clients have learned along their journey, and also as a hiring manager who's looked at hundreds of resumes and has sat in tons of interviews. 

And so for me, a major turning point in my career was after I had my daughter Nova, and I remember returning to work, sitting at my desk, feeling like, Wow, if I'm gonna leave my daughter with someone for nine hours a day, it really needs to be to do work that feels purposeful. So that's been a passion of mine to help, to commit to that to myself, and as well as helping other women figure out how to do that for themselves too. 

So, I just wanna get a sense of who's in the audience today. If you don't mind putting in the chat a 1, if you're returning to work after maternity leave or have been a stay-at-home mom for a while, you can put a 1 in the chat. You could put a 2 in the chat if you love your career, but you're just ready to make a move into a new role. You could put a 3 in the chat if you're ready for a career change, and it's time for a pivot, and put a 4 in the chat if you have a different...if you're in another place in your career, tell us a little bit about that. Okay, so I see a 3, or we have a pivoter with us today, a return-to-work mom, some more threes. Okay, yes, pivots. Okay, so this gives me a really good sense of the type of examples that I wanna share with you all today, I'll keep those in mind. Okay? So, let's get to it. 


Mistake #1: Limiting job search to applying online

7:29 Jade Chapman: So the number one... Well, not necessarily the number one but number one on my list is, I've seen people limit their search to applying online. And so I know sometimes people will set a goal for  themselves and say, okay, I'm looking for a job, so I'm gonna apply for 10 jobs a day. So by the end of the week, they've applied for 70 jobs, which is great, but I just don't like putting all of my eggs in one basket.

I saw this stat that said that about 20% of jobs are posted online... job opportunities are posted online. So that means that there's another 80% of jobs that are out there that you're not gonna be able to access by just sitting at home applying online, and so one of the ways that you can tap into those other opportunities is through networking.

8:13 Jade Chapman: Now, unfortunately, we won't be able to do like these women in this picture, which is coming to networking mixers. But in this virtual space, there's still a lot of opportunities [like] joining professional organizations, they're still having virtual events right now. As an engineer, I was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and it was an awesome opportunity for me to connect with people in my profession as a project manager. I'm a member of the Project Management Institute. 

I am also an active member of my alumni association, and I attended a career symposium that they had last month, and they had a networking session and people were on Zoom networking their little hearts out, and so I just wanna encourage you to attend those events. Also at that career symposium that I attended through the Alumni Association, they had a company that was sponsoring that event and so that company was there with HR and they were posting jobs that they had available, they were collecting resumes and they were having interviews on the spot. So, I wanna encourage you to tap into your network through professional organizations, community service organizations, because there's a lot of opportunity to connect with people who are decision makers.

9:25 Jade Chapman: Another thing is leveraging social media networks, which is so important in this virtual space. LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool. But, don't sleep on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. I remember before LinkedIn was even a thing and I was looking for a job, I went on Facebook to see where my friends worked at the time, and I would identify the company that they worked at, I would go on the website and identify jobs that were interesting to me, and I would go back and say, Hey, can you tell me about this role and help me? And so I did that for a job. 

I sent my resume to a friend on Facebook. The next week, she had the HR rep reach out to me, and before I knew it, I was on a plane to Arizona for an interview, and I landed a job at Raytheon Missile System. So there are a lot of opportunities for us to tap into our personal networks through our friends from college or just friends that we've met along the way. 

I had an old friend reach out to me on LinkedIn the other day, I hadn't talked to her in like six years, and I think because we're in this quarantine space and I was so excited to talk to her and to catch-up and so she was interested in a position within my organization, and I was able to give her a little background that could really give her some insight on determining whether or not it was a really good role because, well, there's so much that goes on that goes into a role other than what’s posted in the actual post, so you always wanna make sure that you have some inside connection with someone at the organization that you're interested in.


Mistake #2: Using the same resume for every application

10:55 Jade Chapman: Okay? So, number two is using the same resume for every application. So I know a lot of times when people are looking for a job, they’ll hire a resume writer to write a resume, which is awesome, but the reality is, is that every resume that you submit an application needs to be tailored to that application, and so you wanna make sure that you are incorporating those keywords directly from the job post. I'm sure a lot of you all know about the applicant tracking systems that are used to rank your resumes, and so you wanna make sure that you aren't using the same resume over and over and over again, and that you're incorporating those key words. And I just also wanna mention too, when you're applying for jobs, to also be mindful of how you answer those knockout questions that are asked and these knockout questions are usually questions that are trying to get a gauge of your level of proficiency

11:55 Jade Chapman: within an application or your level, or the number of years that you've worked within an organization or the industry. And so you wanna be mindful of how you answer those questions because they use those... Your responses to rank your resume and your application as well, so I'm not saying not be honest, but just be very mindful that between those knockout questions and the keywords in your resume, those are mechanisms to be able to determine who would be considered a top candidate. Okay, and so I've also seen a lot of people focus in their resume on just tasks they complete every day, which is not as effective. 

Hiring managers want to be able to get a sense of the impact that your work has made on the organization. They wanna know how your work impacts their bottom line, how you can help them be successful, how you can help their projects be successful, so you wanna make sure you talk about impactful type of things in the outcomes, you wanna use language like optimizing productivity or wanna show how you have increased revenue or increase sales by x percentage, or talk about implementing process improvements, and don't be afraid to brag on yourself, talk about how you've been recognized by some organization or how you've received some awards.

13:20 Jade Chapman: And I just posted a post on Instagram the other day about including hobbies on your resume as well. I've been amazed by how just telling... And I put it at the very bottom of my resume, so it doesn't take up a lot of space, I talk about how I'm a certified scuba diver, or how I've hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, or how I'm a competitive body-builder and power-lifter, and how... when I walk into my interviews, hiring managers wanna talk about that stuff, and it turns into wonderful icebreakers for me, and so I just wanna encourage you to really show up completely and whole on your resume so that you can really highlight what makes you unique because there's a lot to be said about you through those hobbies. 

Another thing you wanna always include on your resume is your volunteer experience, so let's talk about that for a second. There are two types of volunteer experiences that you can highlight on your resume: There's that volunteer experience that is like the front line boots on the ground work, which is totally necessary and is great work that needs to be done. Then there's also an opportunity for you to volunteer for organizations in the capacity as a consultant. And so by doing that, you get to really leverage some of the skills that you have, and by doing that too, you're able to put that on your resume to highlight some of the skills that you bring to the table. That's a really good tool to use for my pivot... the people that are trying to pivot because now you get to put on your resume how you actually use those skills and how you can actually impact an organization.

14:51 Jade Chapman: Sometimes when we're in the space of trying to pivot in our career, we have the skills that are transferable, but a really good way to really highlight that on your resume is to create experience. So I have an example for you for how you can do that. I'm gonna show you this website and it’s called Catch Fire, and this website is an opportunity for you to create some solid bullet points on your resume. And so like it says here, you can volunteer your experience and you can do it anywhere, which is perfect. Right, because we're in this virtual space. So you can come on here, click, “find a project” and select the skills that you have. And so say for example, you're into marketing. You select marketing, and now this website will show you non-profit organizations that are looking for volunteers to help them build capacity within that organization. And so for example, you have this project that's one or two weeks. Some are a little longer...there's four weeks here. 

But these are real projects where you're creating the email layout and template, or helping set up a marketing system, helping with marketing strategy, these are real projects that you can complete and then you can put these organizations on your resume and you can speak to some solid outcomes that you have produced for these organizations. So this is just a little trick or more strategy that you use as you're trying to make that pivot and you're needing more bullet points or more experience to build your resume.

16:28 Jade Chapman: Okay, I hope that's useful for you all... Let's come back here. Okay, and then I put a little note here to remind myself to just share with you. We do so much at work, it's hard to keep up with all these tasks and so you're working on a project for the last three years. You've accomplished a lot and say, it's time for you to look for another job. It's hard to remember every single thing that you did, or every single point of contact or every quantifiable win that you had... And so I always keep a log on my computer, just a Word document or Excel document where I just keep track of all of my wins so that those can later become bullets for my resume when it's time for me to start looking for a job. So if I've been working on a project for three years, I don't have to try to remember three years worth of things that I've done, and so that's just a little career hack that I wanted to share with you all today. Okay? 


Mistake #3: Not prepping for the interview

17:29 Jade Chapman: So, number three is not prepping for the interview. I know some people just have that natural gift to show up and to be able to just speak fluently about who they are, but I'm not that person, and from what I've seen there are not too many people out there like that. And so, I highly recommend that you go into your interview prepared, and so there's one question that if you think back, you have been asked on every interview that you've been on, and that is, tell us about a time where... no, not tell us about a time, but tell us about yourself and why you're interested in this job, that question is asked in pretty much every interview, and so you need to come in there with the... I'm not saying coming in with a script, but come in having already thought through your response to that question, and I know that we wanna show... 

We usually show up with all of… you know, rattling off all our degrees, rattling off all our past positions, but what if we dropped a level below that and really showed up and connected with our interviews and interviewers in a different way, what if we told a story? If you were a nurse, about how the first time you realized that you wanted to become a nurse when you were a little girl, and how you realized you wanted to save lives, what if you showed up as an engineer and you tell the story about when you were a little girl and you got in trouble for taking apart all the electronics, and that was when you knew you wanted to be engineer, what if you showed up in your interview and really connected with your interviewer as a human and just told your story... backing away from the stats of your career, the degrees and the titles, and just really showing up and sharing your story.

So that's something that I really recommend that you think about how you can share yourself and show up in that way. Another thing that I find that people neglect to do is address the elephant in the room, that's something that happens when maybe you have some gaps in your resume, or the people who are pivoting in their career where you have the... You have the transferable skills, but you need to be able to make sure that it's highlighted. I'll give you an example of a time where someone didn't address the elephant in the room. 

Say for example, you are maybe in a leadership position, but you decide that you wanna pivot into an individual contributor, and that's perfectly fine if that's what you wanna do. We have different seasons in our lives when we wanna take on less responsibility, but by you not addressing why you wanna do that, when you leave that interview, you kind of leave it up to the panel to make a story of why you wanna do that.

And sometimes that story isn't always accurate, people might assume that because you're going from a leadership position to an individual contributor, that you're gonna be bored, and nobody wants to hire you because they don't wanna hire someone that they don't think will be challenged or people might make an assumption that because you've been in a leadership position that you're used to delegating things that you might not be able to complete everyday tasks, and that might not be the truth, so I say this to just encourage you to think about how you can address that elephant in the room, that might be... That might be in the room for you. Right off the bat, when that question, that tell us about yourself question is asked... So that's just something to think about.

We know that as you reflect on your previous interviews that there are behavioral questions that are always asked. Tell us a time when you… And it's usually about teamwork or client-facing skills or communication skills, or... Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. You wanna already think about some answers to those questions since they're so frequently used, and so a method that you can use to help you craft that message is the STAR method. So that is you think about the Situation: you briefly summarize a situation, you summarize the Task that you have to complete, and then you summarize the Actions that you had to do to complete those tasks, and then what we really wanna hit, what our managers really wanna hear about, are the Results.

21:36 Jade Chapman: So by using the STAR method, it really gives you an opportunity to think about some past scenarios and how you can package that in one or two minutes instead of just kind of rambling on. And by the time, 'cause I've seen this... People will ramble, ramble, ramble, and by the time they're done, it's like, did you even answer the question? And so using that STAR method can really help you package your story. 

Okay, so now this is my secret weapon, is my portfolio. A lot of people associate portfolios with professions that are more creative, but anybody can bring a portfolio, and the other thing about bringing a portfolio is it automatically sets you apart because most people would usually just bring their resume, and so what's in this portfolio... Two of my favorite, I'll talk about two of my favorite elements of the portfolio, the first one is I bring case studies, and these case studies are similar problems that I've solved in previous roles that are relevant to the type of problems that I would have to solve in the role that I'm applying for, and so for my pivoters, a good idea for you is if I'm pivoting into a space that I've never worked in, but I know I have the transferable skills, I will present a case study from another organization that's similar to the organization that I'm applying for, and that's my way of showing them that no, I've not worked in this space, but I've done research on best practices of other organizations and how they solve similar problems.

And this is my way of saying, No, I haven't worked in this space before, but I know how to talk and I know how to do the research, and I've already started doing it for you on your behalf, and so that's a really good way for you to really showcase for my pivoters how you're capable of doing work, and for people who have already been in that space and done similar work is your opportunity to show some previous problems that you've solved.

23:33 Jade Chapman: The second part that I really love is the 30, 60, 90 days and beyond. And this is my way of telling them, This is what I plan to accomplish after 30 days, this is what I plan to accomplish after 60 days, 90 days, and you're basically just telling them how you plan to approach the job. And for a hiring manager that's music to their ears, because they're gonna think, Well, I don't have to hold her hand, the learning curve won't be so steep, and then you pretty much are doing their job for them, you're pretty much mapping out how they need to onboard you. So I'll give you an example of how I was able to create a 30-60 day plan for myself for a role that I was applying for. 

24:13 Jade Chapman: So it was a liaison position for an organization, that was a liaison between the organization and some community partners, and it was a new role, so it wasn't anything... anybody I could really ask about it, 'cause usually they're not even totally sure what they need, they just know they need it... And so what I did was I reached out to the community partners to ask them what did they perceive to be some of the challenges, and I asked them what did they perceive would be needed to be successful in that role.

And to learn more about what they would need from me if I were in that role, and so I was able to take that information and create a plan. And the cool thing about doing that is when I walked into the interview, those community partners ended up being on the panel, so they already knew me. They already saw that I had taken initiative. And of course, they had a lot of respect for the effort that I put into showing up for that interview, so these are the types of things that we can do to really set ourselves apart and stand apart from everybody else. Just takes a little creativity and a little strategy, but you can definitely do it.


Mistake #4: Not asking the right questions

25:17 Jade Chapman: Okay, another thing that I've seen in interviews is people not asking questions, not necessarily not asking questions, but maybe not asking the right questions. So, the reality is in an interview, this is a two-way conversation, it's not just me trying to find out if the company, if I’m a good fit for the company. I also wanna know if they're a good fit for me, so I ask questions about the culture because every culture isn’t for everybody.

I also wanna know about career progression, so what's the next role after this one, and is that role aligned with what my career goals are for myself? I also wanna know about what a day in a life is of a person in this role, and now we all know what our days look like, working from home, but you wanna know... What are your days like? Are you gonna be on conference calls, are you gonna have to be out in the field, or are you gonna have to travel, and you really need to know that, especially as moms, we need to know if that's a good fit for our lifestyle and what we want, and how we see ourselves in this workspace.

26:18 Jade Chapman: Another question I always like to ask the hiring manager directly, like what’s your leadership style? Like I need to know, are you a micromanager? 'cause that doesn't really work for me. And I also wanna know about communication skills, are you a passive aggressive communicator, is really important for you to understand who would be your leader and to see if that would really fit for who you are and what your strengths are. Another question I always ask about is training resources, is there a budget for training?

Will you all be able to cover costs for me to get some certification so that I can improve my... Do some career development, or would you... is there some funding so that I can help maintain the certifications that I already have, those are questions that you really wanna ask to make sure it’s a good fit for you. 


Mistake #5: Not negotiating salary

27:10 Jade Chapman: Okay, and number five is not negotiating salary, this is just a really complex area for a lot of women, and I realize that it's not as simple as knowing your work then doing this market research, there are some deeply rooted false truths that I think we've been told about what it means to be humble, and what it means to ask for more that I recognize that it's gonna take a little while to work through, but it's definitely some work that has to be done around that. 

27:43 Jade Chapman: But in the meantime, you wanna make sure that when you do make a counter offer that it is rooted in facts, and those facts are based on research that you do of the marketplace, and some good references are Glassdoor, Pay Scale and, and this is also another reason why you wanna do some networking so that you can identify people that work for the company, because a lot of times when jobs are posted, in some cases, people internal to the organization can see what the pay range is, and so there have been times that I've reached out to my friends at companies to say, Hey, can you look at this position, and tell me what the salary range is so that I can even know what the starting point is, and I can even know if that's even within my range. And if not, then I won't even waste my time. So that's another reason why you wanna network with people on the other side, so that you can have that insider information.

Okay, so tell me, can you relate to these things? Do you feel that these are any type of mistakes or lessons learned that you have had within your career journey so far? If so, if you don't mind dropping in the chat box, tell me, were you the person...have you experienced limiting your search to applying online? If so you can drop a 1 in the chat. Drop a 2 in the chat if you use the same resume for every application. I've done all these things, so it's okay. Number 3, if you don't mind dropping in the box, if you kind of went into an interview just winging it, or how about 4, if you didn't ask questions at the end of your resume or 5, if you didn't negotiate your salary. Tell me if you've experienced any of these things. 


Career Detox: Jade's holistic approach to creating a fulfilling career

29:33 Jade Chapman: Okay, so I see some... I see a combination of all things, which is totally okay, 'cause like I said, I've done some of these same... I wouldn't know about them if I hadn't done it myself. Okay, so I've only scratched the surface on a lot of these topics. Each of these topics I could easily go on for at least an hour if we really wanted to get down to a lot of the meat of it, and so that is why I created the Career Detox, which is my holistic approach to creating a fulfilling career. 

This is a program that... The beautiful thing about this program is that once you learn it, it’s something that you can take with you wherever you go, and as you transition into other spaces in your career. We'll also talk about self-care, which I think as women, we can't talk about our careers without talking about self-care, it’s so important for us to take the time to pour back into ourselves if we’re really gonna thrive in our careers. And mindset shifting which when I talked about the salary thing, that's really a mind shift, there has to be If we're gonna talk about careers with the holistic approach, we have to talk about shifting our mindsets... 

30:54 Jade Chapman: We'll also talk about purpose and value proposition, 'cause I wanna make sure that you're able to walk into your interview very clear on your purpose and very clear on what your value is that you bring to the organization. We'll also talk about leveraging and expanding your network, how to create a powerful and relevant resume using those keywords. We'll also talk about how to show up to your interview authentically, not just showing up, talking about your degrees and your experience, but be authentic about why you're there, how to be confident about showing up authentically. And we'll also talk about negotiating with confidence. 

In this program, you would start off with some dream boarding. I have a dream board for all areas of my life, I have a dream board for traveling, I have a dream board when I was looking for a house for what type of house I wanted, and so I've found that people have a dream board for everything else but their careers, so that'll be something that we’ll spend some time doing and setting SMART goals and SMART goals are wonderful because they’re something that you can use in all areas of your life. Like I mentioned, we'll talk about self-care, we'll talk about mindset shifting.

32:08 Jade Chapman: We'll have six 60-minute strategy sessions where we'll talk about the type of strategies that I've talked about today. This isn't a cookie-cutter thing, we'll talk about strategies that are specific to the roles that you're interested in, you'll walk away with three resumes, not just that one base resume, and you'll have to figure out how to tailor it no, you will walk away with three tailored resumes that are tailored to three jobs that you identified that you're interested in, and then you’ll also walk away with a template of that portfolio that I talked about, as well as mock interviews, so we'll not just talk about how to show up to your interview, but you'll get some practice on how you can show up in your interviews and then you’ll have unlimited email access to me during that 90-day journey. 

Okay, so here's Tasha. She did the Career Detox Program, she was feeling stuck in her career, she was a nurse and she had made a transition out of the hospital and wanted to come into the insurance space as a case manager, and she was ready to climb that ladder. So we worked on her portfolio, she walked into that interview, the managers were blown away because they had never seen a portfolio like that before, she was able to negotiate a salary that gave her a 25% increase, and she felt like she had the tools that she could use any time she was ready to transition in her career again, so it's always good to see these strategies at work. And so the investment for this program, I'm doing a special for my Mom Project moms, if you pay in full 

33:51 Jade Chapman: You get a $400 discount, and I will create that interview portfolio for you, and the cost for that would be $1197, or you can do a payment plan at $266.17 and you have that flexibility of making payments over six months. I only have 15 slots available and this offer will be here until midnight tomorrow, and I know there's a lot going on, so if you need help with some special payment terms, totally fine, just ask me... Shoot me an email at, and we can talk about how we can work together, 'cause I'm really committed to just making sure everybody has what they need to be successful in their careers. 


Bonus #6: Applying to jobs because of your qualifications, not your passions

34:35 Jade Chapman: Okay, so I want to throw in a bonus for you all today, 'cause this topic is really important, it’s something to consider before you even get started on your job search. I've seen people and I've done it myself, which is apply for jobs and accept jobs just because I'm qualified and not necessarily because I'm passionate about the work. For me, this has been what leads you to having an unfulfilling career.

You're getting paid, but you're just not fulfilled and you continue to just have this feeling like similar to how I felt when I went back to work at the maternity leave, like, Gosh, I'm just leaving my child every day and I'm just coming to do this work, I'm qualified, I know how to do it, I can do my job with my eyes closed, but I'm just not fulfilled because the job isn't aligned with my passion and my purpose.

35:26 Jade Chapman: And so I encourage you all to consider writing a life purpose statement, and it's been for me a litmus test because it allows me to look at that life purpose statement and bounce it up against a job to see if it's aligned and if not, then I need to keep moving and keep searching, and so let me tell you a little bit about it. There are two parts of the life purpose statement, there's the essence and then there's the expression, and so the essence piece of it talks about who you are at your core. And so it talks about what’s important to you and what your values are. 

Now, the essence doesn't change over time, this is pretty much it's who you are, it’s who you're gonna be, right, but the expression piece of it is what changes over time. It will change as you go through different chapters in your life, it'll change as you move in and out of different spaces, but the expression is how you express the essence of who you are. Okay, so I'll give you an example of a life purpose statement. So here's an example, the part in the yellow is in essence, and so this woman is saying that my life's purpose is to increase harmony and love in the world, that's all she wants to do, she just wants to spread...

36:39 Jade Chapman: To spread peace. Right? And so then she breaks it down into how she wants to express that essence of who she is in different areas of her life, so she talks about through working as a child and family therapist, using harmonious communication approaches, so that's how she chooses... she plans to express the essence of who she is in her career, and then she talks about pursuing peace in all of her personal and professional relationships, so that's how she plans to express her essence with her friends and her family, and then she talks about volunteering with Peace on the Planet Foundation. 

So that's how she plans to express her essence in her community, and then she says, I want to teach my children to seek harmony instead of discord, and so that's how she plans to express her essence at home with her children, and so I'm sharing this to say that I know sometimes as we're looking for another job, it can be frustrating because we know that there's more and we’re bursting at the seams to show up in the world and express our purpose.

But this is a reminder that we can express our passion in other areas of our lives, we can still have a fulfilling life, even if we haven't quite settled on how we do that in our career, we can still express who we are and what we were created to do in other areas, we can do it with our families, we can express that with our friends, we can express that in the community, we can still have fulfilling lives, and so I just wanna share that with you and encourage you to use this as a litmus test as you go out and search for your job to see, is that job allowing you to express the essence of who you are?

38:20 Jade Chapman: Okay, and so if you wanna access my slides, they're available, you can text “passion” to 77948 and you will also be able to receive a free resume checklist, and you can also sign up for the Detox Program if you... If you text 77948 text “passion” to 77948. Okay, so are there any questions?



38:52 Hiba Abdillahi: Jade, you have dropped gems on this Friday. Amazing. So yes, we do have questions, the first question is, How do I up-level text to accomplishments if I was in a more... If I was in more of a support or junior role for your resume...

39:10 Jade Chapman: Okay, that's a really good question. I don't think we realize or we own the value that we add to an organization, even if you were just in a... Well, I don't wanna say just... even if you were in a support role, you still own the success that your team gained from you showing up every day and providing that support, so I encourage you to still as a team, think about it as a team, you supported the team that was able to increase sales by whatever percentage, you were able to support a team, and because of the support, you were able to reduce costs, you should be able to own those just like everybody else on the team. So put that on your resume. It’s totally fine.

39:57 Hiba Abdillahi: Yes. Okay, second question, what's an example of a knockout question?

40:04 Jade Chapman: It could be something, like, how many years of experience do you have in project management in the healthcare field, and A will be one to three years, B will be three to six years, so they're trying to gauge how much experience you have and so the reason why they rank it is to, say you choose A which is one of three years, then you're gonna rank a little lower than a person that picked five to 10 years, but I have found that people short-change themselves because they don't always count. It's hard to count how much experience you had, so for me, I co-opped in college for a whole semester, and then I did some other internships before that. I count all of that as my experience, because it is experience, and so we really have to be mindful of how we really tally of the work that we've done.

41:04 Hiba Abdillahi: Yes, 100%. And I think sometimes it's hard 'cause you don't think about those things as experience, so... Thank you, and I know everyone in the chat is thanking you too. So, the next question, do you recommend sharing a digital portfolio during a video interview, 'cause I know that since now everyone's probably interviewing via Zoom or Skype or whatever. Do you recommend that?

41:29 Jade Chapman: Absolutely, that's what's shared... the Share Screen button is for... I will definitely pull up to an interview on Zoom and share that screen so I can share the portfolio, that's what it's there for, this digital space doesn't make it any different, you're still showing up, shining and highlighting the awesomeness that you bring.

41:49 Hiba Abdillahi: Okay. Y’all, heard her. Do it. Okay, so the next question is, do you mind explaining how to present your 30, 60, 90 and case studies, should it be on a one-pager, how do you think that people should present that?

42:07 Jade Chapman: Okay, yeah, no, it definitely is a one-pager and it's a part of your portfolio, and so usually for me, the way I do it is when they say, So tell us about yourself, that's when I pull out my portfolio and I'll say, Oh, well, actually, I prepared this discussion guide for you. And then back when we were in face-to-face, I would pull it out and pass it around to everybody, but it's definitely a one-pager.

42:36 Hiba Abdillahi: Okay, perfect. And then this is from the chat. I'm aiming at a career pivot, should I aim lower or entry-level of a new field? I have 20 years of working experience though, what advice do you have for her?

42:52 Jade Chapman: I don't aim low for anything, and neither should you... And so that's the challenge of pivoting is feeling like you should, but you don't... Just because you haven't worked in that space doesn't mean that you necessarily have to come in as an entry level, but which is even more reason why you have to network because you need to... There are some things that can't be explained through an application, there are some things that you need to make contact with people so they can really understand who you are and understand the essence of what you're really bringing to the table.

That's not really even a question. That's the kind of thing that happens when you're just applying online, that's why we have to network, so we can have these conversations so that people can understand, and we don't always have to fit in a box. There are other options, you don't have to just come in at an entry level, so that's... So I'm saying, and I'm trying to really get my thoughts around this and just really encourage you to just think beyond fitting in a box sometimes. You've been working for 20 years, you are unique, you are...

43:57 Jade Chapman: There's nothing entry-level about working 20 years, you bring to the table, so much experience, so you just have to find the right person to really understand where you're coming from and value what you bring to the table, and once they do, there will be nothing entry-level about that.

44:16 Hiba Abdillahi: Y’all heard her. Don't aim low, go high. What advice do you have for re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus?

44:27 Jade Chapman: That's why we have to leverage some of those strategies going on, catch a fire, so that you can have the opportunity to create those bullets on your resume, so volunteering, especially in this virtual space, is gonna be golden for someone who's re-entering the work level... I mean re-entering the workforce. So you just have to be creative where there is a will, there is a way, you just have to get creative and think outside of the box. 

44:54 Hiba Abdillahi: Okay, and next question, how do you handle wanting to take a step back in the number of hours, but without resulting in a demotion. So what advice do you have for that? 

45:07 Jade Chapman: You know, I just... I think that's why we have to... I keep saying network, network network. I think sometimes we think so rigid about, we’re so rigid in our thinking about what work has to look like, maybe you need to consider becoming a consultant so that you can create your own hours, maybe entrepreneurship might be a route for you, so that you can create that consulting firm for yourself, so that you've become your own boss and you can create your own hours, everything doesn't have... Every solution to every job isn’t a 9 to 5. So I'm just encouraging you to, sometimes if something isn't there that you need or that you want, sometimes you have to create it yourself, sometimes you have to create that own lane for yourself.

45:50 Hiba Abdillahi: Create your own lane... That's the word, I'm writing that down. Create your own lane. How do you suggest putting... Or do you suggest putting “negotiable” for salary in an online application to give you flexibility on negotiating later? Or do you think that you should just put...reach for the stars. What do you suggest?

46:12 Jade Chapman: So I have seen a lot of applications that require you to put something in that box, and if that's the case, then I would put a range that way you're not stuck with putting one number and that gives you a little wiggle room... So do your research, see what the market value is for your skills and for that role and come up with the range that fits within that.

46:33 Hiba Abdillahi: And a follow-up to that, what if you're not ready to answer the salary questions? Can you avoid those types of questions, like what is your salary range? How do you avoid that if you haven't done your research yet and you're really not too sure depending on the field or the exact position, like is there a way to avoid those types of questions?

46:54 Jade Chapman: Well, I wouldn't be having any kind of conversations with anybody until I've done that research. So, that's something to consider you know, when you walk out the door looking for a job, you need to be very clear on what your value is in the marketplace, so that way you're not in a situation that you wanna avoid, you know having the conversation, 'cause you know the answer, so that's really my answer is that do the research up front for it, you're not in a situation where you don't wanna discuss it. Okay.

47:15 Hiba Abdillahi: Okay. How do you unapologetically show the value of caring for your children when you're making that career pivot and you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for a while, how do you show that value when it comes to getting back into the workforce? 

47:39 Jade Chapman: You just do. And I think that's why we have to ask those questions in our interviews so that you're interviewing organizations to see if they're even a good fit, 'cause everything isn’t for everybody, and that's how I think you show up unapologetically is by collecting that information. And if it’s not a good fit, walking away. 

48:00 Hiba Abdillahi: Okay, and how do you handle references, like who to give? Can you navigate the reference guide, like, what is a good reference? Should I put my friends down? Who's really a good vouch for me? How do you navigate references?

48:15 Jade Chapman: Okay, I just... It's all about relationship development. I always, I'm here for strategy. And so, I'm very intentional about relationships that I manage because I know… I mean not in a fake kind of way, so I don't mean it like that by any means, but just be mindful as you move in and out of different spaces, identifying who would be good to give you a reference. Another page that goes into your portfolio is actually a page called “Things People Say About _____” and you put your name in. So Jade. 

And so the way that page is built is everywhere I go, when it's time for me to move on, I identify people that I know would have good things to say about me, and I ask them to give me a quote about me, and so I take that quote and I put it into that document, and when I go into my interview, I don't... I have that direct quote that they've given me, and they can see right there what people have to say about me, that way I can also manage what's put out there, and I can manage the messaging around what people say about me, so that's how I manage references. But definitely just be mindful of relationships that you’ve built on your jobs and be mindful of what people say about you.

49:30 Hiba Abdhillahi: 100%, I couldn't agree more. I wanna go back to the keywords for job postings, how do you determine which words are keywords when you're applying online? 

49:42 Jade Chapman: Well, you can tell because it’s their jargon. So as an engineer, if I look at... If I look at a job posting, I can tell because there are the technical terms that are very specific to what the skills that are needed in that role, and we all know those buzzwords in all of our industries for marketing, you know those buzzwords for project management, I know the buzzwords, so it's really those buzzwords that are very specific to that role, that they...that you will need to...their skills. And like I said, there are industry-specific words that are in job postings

50:26 Hiba Abdhillahi: And we have a really good question for you. Would you advise starting a job when you're pregnant? How do you explain to an employer you'll be needing to take maternity leave in a few months?

50:35 Jade Chapman: Well, I am not... I know that there's some legal response around that and protection that we should have as women... I don't know what it is, but I know that it exists. So technically, I know that we have the right to be pregnant and be on a job, so I encourage you to take that right and to hold people accountable to giving you that right as well.

51:03 Hiba Abdillahi: 100%. Is there a certain standard for scoring people during an interview?

51:12 Jade Chapman: You know, scoring is just subjective. That's why I used to be a competitive body-builder, and that's what I hated about it, is because I could show up, I could work hard and I could show up, and one person can think one thing about me and the other person can think something totally different. And that's just the reality of interviewing, is that everybody comes to the table with their biases, everybody comes to the table with their experiences, and all of that goes into how they see you, and you have no control over that, which is why you have to just show up, and you have to show up unapologetically and authentically you, and people will take it or leave it, and you just have to own that and be okay with knowing that you showed up and you gave it all that you had.

52:01 Hiba Abdillahi: Okay, I mean, I could talk to you forever, and I think everybody here could talk to you forever, you have literally just dropped so many gems and such great insights like... You're the real deal. So this is the last question for you. If you had to leave the hundreds of moms watching this right now with some parting wisdom, whatever that might be, about approaching the job search, what would it be?

52:29 Jade Chapman: I think it was my bonus number six that I shared, which was, Do not take a job just because you are qualified, just because you know you can do it, take the job because it is aligned with who you are and who you... what your purpose is. Take a job because it's work that you don't mind leaving your little person with someone for nine hours a day, and it's something that you're proud of. Take a job because it’s something that you would be proud of to tell your daughter or your son about when you get home every day. 

Every day when I come home, well, now I don't go anywhere, but now that my daughter is watching me every day, I think about that and I think about what am I teaching her about her career or how she should approach her career, and I know that she's watching me, and that's what really pushes me forward as I work to align myself, because I know she's watching me, and so that's what I would tell a group of moms: Do what you would be proud of, considering that you know that your children are watching and learning from you because they're gonna turn around and they're gonna approach their careers just like you approached yours.

53:42 Hiba Abdillahi: I mean, the chat is going crazy... Thank you. Just thank you for joining us today. I want you to just give your information back again, just in case people missed it, that way they can have it and they could reach back out to you, so just give us all your information one more time.

54:03 Jade Chapman: Okay, so you can connect with me on Instagram at @JadeMChapman. You can get the slides, you can sign up for the Career Detox, you can get a free... Am I still sharing my screen?...You can text 77948. Text “passion” to 77948. You can get the slides to this presentation, you can get a free resume checklist, and you can sign up for the Career Detox, and you can also check out my website at And if you need help with the payment plan or anything, or just wanna ask me questions and just have a chit chat... You can email me at Okay?

54:58 Hiba Abdillahi: Guys. Hit her up. Email her, she is amazing. She's the real deal. Thank you so much, Jade, for joining our Unity Hour today. So much fun. So enlightening, I can listen to you talk for another two hours, but I'm not gonna do that to you, we actually are ending five minutes early, so that's great... And yes, thank you everyone, thank you so much for joining our Unity Hour today, it will be live shortly on our page, so don't beat yourself up about not writing all her great gems down, they will be up, don't worry and... Yes, thank you all, have a great rest of your Friday. And we’ll see you soon! See you next week, bye guys!

📖 Read more: Learn how to prepare for virtual interviews with our guide.

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