19 Jan 2018 . 5 min read

Restarting Your Career? Here Are The Top 10 Questions You Should Ask A Mentor

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Whether you’re looking to restart your career or change your profession, a mentor can help you break the barriers and discover the new you. Mentors can help you uncover your true potential and get the confidence you need to break the glass ceiling.

Mentors are trained career experts who are ready and willing to help you brainstorm career paths, help you identify your strengths, and give your resume a boost! So how do you make the best of this opportunity? In order to make the most out of this resource, it’s helpful if you know what to expect and what to ask. We have identified top 10 questions for mentor below.

1. "How does my resume look?"

Mentors know what makes a resume stand out to employers, so bring a copy of yours to the meeting and enlist her feedback. Even if it’s still a work in progress, that’s OK. Mentors can help you craft experience and career break descriptions that draw attention to the skills and personal qualities you have that employers are seeking.

2. Do I need to upgrade my Skills? How?

Mentors have a wealth of resources and advice to help you out, you’re the one who’s really in the driver’s seat. What are the latest trends in my industry? Wondering do I need to upskill? What are the resources available? Ask the right questions and you will be immensely benefited.

3. "What’s the best job search strategy for me?"

So now you think you are ready to restart your career. What should be the right strategy? Should I be looking for a WFH option? Or a Returnee Program will be best? How should I allocate my search time between networking, informational interviews, and applying for jobs? What strategies have been effective for other people applying for these types of positions?

4. "How can I achieve a good work-life balance?"

How do you ensure that the work does not affect your personal life and vice versa. How do you strike the perfect balance? Share the challenges with your mentor and see if they can suggest some easy work arounds.

5. "How can I up-sell my Career Break?"

You don't need to hide the Career Breaks. The idea is to showcase, what skills have you gained during your Career Break. Many employers are willing to hire and train the returning women if she can demonstrate strong communication skills, drive, intelligence, professionalism, and other valuable soft skills—it’s just a matter of positioning.

6. "How do I look on social media?"

More and more employers are using social media to check out potential candidates, even before the interview. But even if prospective employers are turned off by your Facebook profile pic or your Linkedin Status, they’re probably not going to tell you about it. So, log into your social media platforms with your mentor, and ask for their candid feedback on what your profiles say about your professional image. They can let you know what a third party might think about your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles and whether they will help or hurt your chances of securing a position.

7. "What resources are available to me?"

A mentor can point you towards professional associations for networking opportunities and access to valuable industry news. It’s definitely worth asking.

8. "What are my strengths and how can I best articulate them?"

We have found that Women Restarters do not know or do not believe in their strengths. They know their functional skills – they can code script like no one else, they can work through accounting principles like a whiz, or they can be an amazing writer. However, you also need to know your inherent strengths, sometimes also known as soft skills. These include things such as attention to detail, being a good negotiator, the ability to analyze complex information, and many others. Being able to clearly articulate your strengths will impress an employer in an interview and allow for you to show your worth. A Mentor can help you identify your strengths and then can coach you through exercises that will help you to articulate the value of these strengths in any situation.

9. "How can I improve my Interview Skills?"

Preparation for interviewing is not something that should be done solo. Get someone to help you; even if you spend hours researching and practicing, if you don’t share the answers with someone that you plan to say, then you might just say the wrong thing. Women often undersell themselves, or don’t articulate their skills and strengths in alignment with the position and organization well enough. A Mentor will guide you through this experience to ensure that you are well prepared to impress.

10. "What are my next steps?"

Your first interaction with your mentor is a great starting point in enlisting the help of your career expert, but be sure to take away a road map. It may be your turn to update your resume or look at some companies, or it may be time to upskill yourself. Make sure to follow the road map and the success will follow you!!

Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at www.sheroes.in @SHEROESIndia facebook.com/SHEROESIndia

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  • M*****
    hii i am madhavi have done my b-tech in 2012 after that i got married and am blessed with two kids and now got trained for testing in automation searching for job opertuniteis as a fresher please help with a right suggestion or opertunity