Upskilling: What Is It and How It Can Help You

Upskilling is the process of adding new competencies to an existing skill set. Employers may upskill staff through corporate training programs in order to gain a more proficient workforce. Workers may upskill themselves via continuing education, certification, and private training.

How To Upskill

Upskilling builds on your current proficiencies through training, education, or on-the-job learning. Unlike reskilling, which involves learning an entirely new skill set, upskilling adds to the knowledge you already possess.

Major employers including Walmart, Verizon, and Marriott make heavy investments in upskilling and reskilling programs. Many employer-sponsored programs focus on hard skills like coding, cloud computing, and digital marketing. But soft skills are also in demand—Verizon’s Skill Forward program focuses on communication and teamwork, as well as technical skills. In a ZipRecruiter survey, 93% of employers said that soft skills play a critical role in their hiring decisions.

You can also upskill yourself on your own, taking continuing education classes, participating in internships, or completing a certification. Upskilling can help you become better at your job, earn a promotion, or adapt to new challenges in your industry. It can also help you future-proof your career!

Rapidly evolving industries mean that even workers who stay in their current jobs will need to add to their skill sets in order to stay current.

Upskilling Example

Let’s say that you’re a software developer. You have a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology and several years of experience designing and developing software to suit users’ needs.

You like your job, which allows you to use your creativity and problem-solving skills to help design new solutions to challenging issues. But your ultimate career goal is to become a chief technology officer, which may require you to earn an MBA and gain experience as a computer and information systems manager.

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communication styles

What’s Your Communication Style in the Workplace?

Wouldn’t it be a dream to run a highly productive business where there’s little to no drama? Of course! That sounds freaking awesome…and impossible, right? Wrong.

The key to a highly successful, low drama business is effective, intentional communication. You’ve got to make it a priority—and part of your company culture. Seriously. As the quality of your communication goes up, the amount of frustration your team feels goes down. They can focus on the right things, build greater trust in one another, create an amazing customer experience, and get more work done—aka all the ingredients for a successful (and profitable) business. And all of that starts with knowing your communication style.

But figuring out how to build trust through your communication style can feel like swimming through a sea of muck at first—slow, hard, and maybe even a little stinky. But whether you lead a business of five team members or 500, it’s up to you to understand the four main types of communication styles. Then you can use the best style to set the stage for a culture of listening—one that makes your team feel heard and open to sharing. 

Communication Styles Defined

A communication style is the way someone talks to and interacts with others. When it comes to your style, are you large and in charge, tight-lipped and soft-spoken, or somewhere in between? Both your business communication style (how you interact professionally) and your personal communication style (how you interact outside of work) show up in the way you write, speak and act. And these styles are influenced by your personality, degree of self-awareness, and confidence level.

These are the four main types of communication styles we’ll unpack:

  • Passive
  • Aggressive
  • Passive aggressive
  • Assertive

All of us use one style the most, but we can see any of these styles rise to the surface—depending on the situation and what buttons are pushed. The goal is for you to build the habit of using assertive communication even in moments when you want to communicate in a different, less effective way.

Passive Communication Style

On the surface, the passive communication style looks like a neutral attitude about a topic or situation—as if you don’t have a strong opinion or that you’re willing to let whatever happens happen. One more note about passive communicators–they don’t actively look for attention. Most dread confrontation—so they defer to others in uncomfortable situations and for decision-making. But here’s the thing: If you’re a leader, being passive isn’t an option. Leaders lead.

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wear to a job interview

What to Wear to a Job Interview

What’s the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you’re interviewing with.

You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you’re interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual startup, or for an informal summer job or internship.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Dressing appropriately is important because the first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing.

If you wear a suit to an interview for a camp counselor, or a T-shirt to an interview at a bank, it’ll send the message that you don’t truly understand what’s involved in the role. Find out what to wear (and what not to wear) for interviews at every type of company.

To dress appropriately for a job interview, follow the employer’s dress code. If the job interview calls for business attire, wear a suit, a sweater and button-down shirt, or a professional-looking dress or skirt. Startup jobs may call for more casual interview attire but be sure to dress professionally. Also, choose accessories carefully to ensure that they don’t distract the interviewer. Let’s dive into this further!

Business Professional Attire

Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire. This might mean:

  • A suit jacket and slacks with a button-down shirt and tie
  • A sweater and a button-down shirt
  • A blouse and dress pants
  • A statement dress

You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit. All interviewees should consider color when selecting an interview outfit and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager.

The more important thing to consider when you’re dressing for a job interview is that you should look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you’re seeking. Even though your interview attire depends on the role you’re applying for, no matter what the position, you should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed.

Business Casual Attire

If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than a suit, but they are also more professional and polished than, say, a T-shirt and shorts or a sundress and sandals.

Of course, make sure you know the dress code before you assume that business casual is acceptable. And if you aren’t sure, call the office and ask the administrative coordinator, or contact the person who scheduled the interview and ask them for advice!

Always dress a bit more professionally than the average employee at the company. If everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, for example, you might wear khakis and a polo shirt or button-down.

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laid off

Laid Off? Here Are the Next Steps

If you’ve been laid off, or if someone you care about lost their job recently, you’re not alone—and we want you to know it’s going to be okay. We’ll walk through some practical and effective ways for you to move forward, even in the face of anxiety and uncertainty.

Just because you lose your job doesn’t mean you’ll lose everything else, so don’t let fear blow this event out of proportion. You’ll have to decide to press on—and we’re here to help you take the first step.

Laid Off: What Does this Mean?

If you got laid off, it’s not because of something you did—getting laid off means your employer had to let go of team members. The harsh reality is, when the economy grinds to a halt (like we’ve seen in the past few years), companies simply can’t meet payroll—which leads to layoffs. Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t letting people go because they want to, but because they have to.

Usual Causes of Layoffs

Sometimes layoffs happen because of hard economic times or because a company goes through a major change, like being bought out. In both situations, jobs are cut. Here are some other common causes of layoffs:

  • A recession
  • There’s employee overlap
  • Downsizing
  • Restructuring
  • A company closes

No matter the cause of the layoff, you have what it takes to move forward after this setback.

Next Steps After Being Laid Off

You’re probably feeling a lot of emotions right now. That’s to be expected. Whether you’re feeling scared or angry (or both), give yourself time and space to process before you move forward. No one makes good decisions when they’re panicked, so let’s start by calming down.


Layoffs are shocking because they’re usually unexpected. Lots of leaders don’t want their team members to suffer, so they turn to layoffs as a last resort to help save the company or cut costs. But the reality is, losing your job just sucks. So, give yourself some time to pause, process and find perspective. This could be a chance to finally switch careers and start your dream job or go back to school to finish your degree.

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7 Highly Effective Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance in CRE

Working in the fast-paced world of Commercial Real Estate (CRE) can be both rewarding and challenging. The industry demands dedication, commitment, and growth, often leading to a common issue among professionals: burnout.

In this blog, we’ll explore the causes of burnout in CRE professions, how work-life balance can be achieved, and just what practical tips CRE professionals can implement to master work-life balance in their careers.

Understanding Burnout in CRE

The demanding nature of the commercial real estate industry, coupled with long hours and high-pressure environments, can contribute to burnout among professionals. The turnover rate in some areas of CRE is rather high.

The relentless pursuit of success and achievement can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, affecting both personal and professional lives. It’s just tough on people to be at the cusp of such a fast-paced industry. Burnout can manifest as reduced productivity, lack of fulfillment, diminished enthusiasm, and an increased sense of dissatisfaction with one’s career.

So, what’s the answer? How do you find harmony in the workplace?

Work-Life Balance: The Key to Avoiding Burnout

Yes, you CAN master work-life balance in CRE. You must and you can. Follow these highly effective work-life balance tips to get closer and closer to inner harmony in the workplace

Achieving work-life balance in CRE is not only essential for maintaining well-being. It’s also a downright effective strategy for preventing burnout.

Because success in a CRE career isn’t just about making more money. It’s also about achieving your life goals, finding fulfillment, and growing as an individual.

By finding harmony between work and personal life, professionals can create a sustainable and fulfilling career trajectory. Striking the right balance allows for greater focus, increased productivity, and improved mental and physical health.

CRE Work-Life Balance Tips

1. Set Boundaries and Prioritize: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal time. Be sure to prioritize activities that bring joy and rejuvenation, reinforcing the importance of personal well-being.

2. Become More Flexible: Seek opportunities for flexible work arrangements, like remote work or flexible hours. Embracing flexibility enables professionals to manage personal commitments while still meeting work requirements. And this in turn leads to improved work-life balance.

3. Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness practices into daily routines. Engaging in activities like meditation or deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and improve focus, promoting a healthier work-life balance.

4. Delegate and Collaborate: Recognize the power of teamwork and delegation. Collaborate with colleagues to share responsibilities and lighten individual workloads. This of course fosters a sense of support and camaraderie.

5. Invest in Self-Development: Continuous learning and self-improvement are fundamental to career success and personal growth. Invest in workshops, seminars, or online courses to enhance skills and knowledge, which can lead to greater efficiency and a better work-life balance.

6. Unplug and Recharge: Disconnect from digital devices during personal time. Set boundaries with emails and work-related calls outside of designated work hours. Taking time to recharge and relax away from screens promotes a healthier work-life integration.

7. Establish Work-Life Routines: Create routines that incorporate work-life balance practices. Implement regular exercise, family time, or personal hobbies. These should be non-negotiable components of daily life, ensuring a balanced lifestyle.

It’s All About Balance

Remember, life isn’t all work or all games, either. The magic is in the balance. And achieving work-life balance in CRE isn’t really an unattainable dream; it’s a vital aspect of career success and overall well-being.

By understanding the causes of burnout, recognizing the significance of work-life balance, and implementing these effective tips, CRE professionals can master the art of balance, avoid burnout, and enjoy fulfilling and sustainable careers in the dynamic world of CRE.

Remember, the journey to mastering work-life balance is a continuous one. And the good news is that, with dedication and perseverance, you can create a fulfilling and successful career trajectory in CRE.


· Mastering Work-Life Balance: Achieving Success without Burning Out (

· How to Find Fulfillment at Work | Building Careers (

· (10) Finding Harmony: The Art of Mastering Work-Life Balance | LinkedIn

· (10) Mastering the Art of Work-Life Balance: Tips for a More Productive and Fulfilling Life | LinkedIn

· 7 Tips for Career Success in CRE | Building Careers (

· Mindfulness at Work – Well Guides – The New York Times (


5 LinkedIn Tips To Set You Up For Success

LinkedIn has been around for a while now, so we won’t bore you with all the obvious optimization LinkedIn tips.

Yes, you should have a high-resolution profile image. Of course, you should write a compelling summary. Without a doubt, list all your relevant job experience. However, let’s go deeper…

Below, we outline pivotal LinkedIn tips and tricks you’ve (likely) never heard before. These tips have the potential to grow your brand, boost sales, expand your connections, and accelerate your career.

Top LinkedIn Tips To Implement

1. Bump Up Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index

Have you heard of LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI)? If the answer is “no,” don’t worry—plenty of people have no clue this tool even exists.

You can find your SSI in the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It measures your social selling skills and execution by looking at 4 primary components:

  • Establishing your professional brand: Complete your profile. Fill out every single thing on the page. Summary, experience, education, groups, recommendations, skills—everything. Next, start regularly posting engaging posts and publishing LinkedIn articles.
  • Finding the right people: LinkedIn wants to see you using Lead Builder to find people. They also want to see you saving leads—saving leads lets them send you insights so that you can take action.
  • Engaging with insights: LinkedIn wants to see you engaging on the platform and following their recommendations. Sometimes, the platform will prompt you to update part of your profile or to publish a post. Follow these suggestions, and LinkedIn will be happy with your effort. Also, ensure you answer all your messages. Even if it’s for a job you don’t care about, at least mark the box “Not interested” to show LinkedIn that you’re active and playing a part in the community.
  • Building relationships: There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about building your connections on LinkedIn. The wrong way is to start blasting anyone and everyone with a connection request. The right way is to be thoughtful about who you connect with and to send personal messages in your connection request. LinkedIn wants to see a high acceptance rate for your connection requests, meaning most people are connecting instead of rejecting.

Each of these components is worth 25 points, so your SSI score can be as high as 100. Why does this seemingly arbitrary score matter?

Well, LinkedIn cares. Whether they admit it or not, LinkedIn is factoring this score into how well the algorithm works in your favor.

Improve your score, and LinkedIn will show your content to more people. The platform will also recommend your profile to more job recruiters and those looking to network with new individuals.

In short, if you do what LinkedIn says and boost your SSI score, you’ll do better on the platform.

2. Explore Job Transitions with Career Explorer

Another tool most users are unaware of is Career Explorer. Career Explorer helps you uncover potential career paths and real job titles based on your skills. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Select Your City: Choose where you live or work.
  2. Enter a Job: Select the job you’re interested in.
  3. Analyze Skills and Skills Overlap: Look at what skills are necessary for the job. Then, look at the skills overlap between your selected jobs to see what skills you have already and what you need to build to transition.
  4. Find Jobs and Connections on LinkedIn: Click to find current job openings for those positions, or find potential connections with those job titles on LinkedIn.

3. Engage with Every Message, Job Request, and Connection Invite

LinkedIn wants to see you engaging with the platform. If a salesperson or recruiter uses InMail credits to send you a message, LinkedIn wants to see you answer—even if the answer is “no.”

Whenever you get a job request or connection invite, answer it. If you’re not interested in the job, politely decline the request. If someone sends you a connection invite, don’t let it sit unanswered in your “My Network” tab. “Ignore” or “Accept” it.

When you engage with the community on LinkedIn, LinkedIn boosts your profile. You now get more reach, more connection exposure, and more profile visits.

Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself.

Post consistently on LinkedIn every day for a month. Finish each day at inbox zero—no unanswered invites, no unanswered messages. Watch your LinkedIn performance head up and to the right.

4. Capitalize on Your Cover Image Real Estate

Most LinkedIn users understand the value of a good profile image—it’s the first (and often only) thing people will see on the platform. Whenever you’re publishing posts, liking, or commenting, other users see your headshot.

However, the cover image is the next best piece of real estate. It’s the first thing (even before your profile image) users will see when they visit your profile page. It takes up an incredible amount of real estate at the top of your page, but many people fail to take advantage of it.

At the bare minimum, change it to something that represents you. Anything is better than the default image that screams, “I don’t care.”

If you really want to kick things up a notch, add some design and a call to action (CTA) to your image.

5. Search Like a Pro

LinkedIn’s search abilities are robust if you know how to use them. You can use quite a few modifiers to narrow down your search and find exactly what you need.

Here are a few:

  • Quotation Marks: Find an exact phrase by putting quotation marks around your words. For example, “Founder.”
  • AND: Type “AND” in all capital letters between two or more terms to search for profiles that include multiple terms. For example, “Founder” AND “Tech.”
  • OR: Type “OR” in all capital letters between two or more terms to get results from profiles with either term. For example, “Founder” OR “Entrepreneur” OR “Co-Founder.”
  • Parentheses: If you want to get really fancy, you can combine modifiers to narrow down your search. For example, Founder AND (“Tech OR SaaS”)
  • NOT: Type “NOT” in all capital letters before the terms you want to be excluded. For example, “Founder” NOT CEO.

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What’s The Difference Between A Letter Of Interest And A Cover Letter?

Difference Between a Letter of Interest and a Cover Letter
A letter of interest and a cover letter have much in common — they are both letters that job seekers send to employers in hopes of obtaining employment.

But there are key differences you should be aware of, such as the circumstances when one or the other is appropriate, and how exactly they should be written.

What Is a Cover Letter vs. a Letter Of Interest?
The differences between a cover letter and a letter of interest are pretty simple.

A cover letter is a one-page letter sent with a resume when applying for an open job that is publicly advertised in a help-wanted ad or some other kind of job listing.

A letter of interest is a one-page letter sent to an employer that is not advertising an open job you want — but you really want to work for that employer anyway, that’s why another name for it is an expression of interest. You’re writing to let the employer know what skill sets you have that appear to match its needs, and to inquire whether there might be any openings that match your qualifications.

How To Write A Letter Of Interest Vs. A Cover Letter
The idea behind a cover letter is pretty straightforward. It provides a personal appeal for the job, showcasing your character, offering reasonable arguments regarding your value as a professional and aims to connect with the hiring manager on a human level.

The letter of interest, however, has one additional element in its writing – a direct offer to take you on as an employee, with you as the initiator of this procedure.

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Sustainable Building Design Trends Shaping the Future of CRE

In today’s rapidly evolving world, new, sustainable building design trends are reshaping CRE. These construction methods and sustainable building techniques are rising in popularity and taking center stage in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry.

CRE professionals want to stay ahead of the curve and fully understand the emerging trends that are shaping the future of sustainable buildings and CRE. And it actually pays to stay informed about these industry developments. So, let’s delve into the exciting innovations revolutionizing the CRE landscape and how to better prepare for these trends.

Net-Zero Energy Buildings

One of the most prominent trends in sustainable building design is the rise of net-zero energy buildings. These architectural marvels generate as much energy as they consume, resulting in a minimal carbon footprint.

With advancements in renewable energy sources like solar panels and geothermal systems, net-zero buildings are becoming increasingly feasible and cost-effective. They not only reduce environmental impact but also lead to substantial energy savings for building owners, making them highly attractive from both ecological and economic standpoints.

One building that perfectly demonstrates this sustainable building design trend is The Edge in Amsterdam. This structure is known as the world’s most sustainable office building and incorporates innovative technologies such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and intelligent lighting systems to achieve net-zero energy consumption.

Green Roofs

Lately, green roofs have transformed the concrete jungle into urban oases. These eco-friendly rooftop gardens not only provide aesthetic appeal, but also offer a host of other environmental benefits. Green roofs improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, enhance insulation, and mitigate the urban heat island effect. And even more exciting, they create inviting spaces for relaxation and socialization, boosting the overall well-being of building occupants.

For example, the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco boasts a stunning green roof that spans an impressive 5.4 acres, contributing to the city’s commitment to sustainability while providing a tranquil retreat for employees. That’s over five acres of growing space crowning just one office building!

Smart Building Technologies

With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart building technologies are revolutionizing the way commercial properties operate. Part of this move toward sustainable building design trends is the rise of intelligent buildings.

From energy management systems and occupancy sensors to automated climate control and intelligent lighting, these technologies optimize resource utilization, enhance occupant comfort, and streamline building maintenance. By collecting and analyzing data in real-time, smart buildings provide valuable insights for efficient decision-making, leading to significant cost savings and environmental benefits.

Again, The Edge in Amsterdam showcases this principle of smart building, utilizing an array of sensors to monitor and adjust lighting, temperature, and ventilation in real-time, creating a personalized and energy-efficient workspace for its occupants.

Circular Economy Principles

Embracing circular economy principles is another of these emerging sustainable building design trends. Rather than following the traditional linear model of “take-make-dispose,” the circular economy promotes the reuse, recycling, and repurposing of materials.

In other words, buildings designed with circularity in mind are constructed using renewable or recycled materials, incorporating modular and construction techniques that allow for easy disassembly and reconfiguration. This approach not only reduces waste and minimizes resource consumption, but actually fosters a more sustainable and resilient built environment.

The Reversible Experience Center in Eindhoven, Netherlands, is an inspiring example of circular construction. Its modular design allows for components to actually be disassembled and reused in future projects. This creates essentially a closed-loop system that minimizes waste and maximizes resource efficiency.

Competitive Advantages in the CRE Industry

The adoption of these sustainable building design trends provides significant competitive advantages for professionals in the CRE industry.

Companies that prioritize sustainability attract environmentally conscious tenants and investors, positioning themselves as leaders in the market. Furthermore, sustainable buildings often command higher rental rates and lower vacancy rates, translating into better financial performance and improved long-term asset value. Additionally, sustainable practices contribute to a positive corporate image and can attract top talent who are increasingly mindful of environmental responsibility.

CRE professionals must stay informed about the emerging trends in sustainable building design and construction. From net-zero energy buildings and green roofs to smart building technologies and circular economy principles, these emerging innovations are reshaping the future of commercial real estate.

By embracing sustainability, professionals can gain a competitive edge, attract high-value tenants and investors, and contribute to a more environmentally responsible and economically viable built environment.

Remember, the future of commercial real estate lies in creating sustainable spaces that not only meet the needs of today but also safeguard the planet for generations to come. So, let’s embrace these emerging trends, drive positive change, and shape a brighter future for the CRE industry.

CRE Executives’ Perspectives on Return to Work

The debate surrounding remote work versus returning to the office has gained significant attention in recent times. Commercial real estate experts, who have a unique perspective on the matter, hold varying opinions on whether or not CRE professionals will need to return to work.

There are certainly different views on the issue, especially when it comes to why companies prefer bringing employees back. Even though managing remote employees can be done effectively, the trend is now to bring them back to the office. We’ll explore a few differing perspectives within the commercial real estate industry and shed light on why some professionals believe that a return to the office is crucial as well as why others could be influenced by a bias against remote work.

Advancement Through Being Present
Sam Zell was a prominent figure in the commercial real estate sector prior to his passing last month. His insights have been highly sought after for many years. Prior to his passing, he weighed in on the issue, strongly supporting the return to the office. Zell dismissed the idea of remote work and stated that young professionals seeking recognition and reward for their efforts must be physically present at work. His assertion was that working from home diminishes productivity, especially when it comes to distractions and the lack of a conducive work environment in a home setting. For him, it’s a simple matter of efficiency.

Zell also highlighted the significance of in-person meetings, emphasizing that genuine discussions occur face-to-face. According to him, statistics indicate that the majority of office spaces, particularly Class A and B, are already in use east of the Mississippi. He questioned the productivity and job security of those working remotely and suggests that the office situation will eventually change.

The perspective he offers emphasizes in-person collaboration and understanding. He concluded that returning to work is inevitable and unavoidable for long-term career success. Advancement in your CRE career depends on how well those in your network know you and how often they see you at work.

Shifts in Norms and Opportunities
The COVID crisis triggered a paradigm shift in remote work. It forced both men and women, parents and non-parents, to adapt to working from home. The sudden shift challenged the notion that remote work was primarily associated with women, providing an opportunity for flexible work arrangements to lose their stigma.

It also revealed that remote work can be beneficial for both employees and employers. Flexibility in work arrangements enables a more diverse and inclusive work environment, allowing individuals of various demographics to thrive. It is crucial for companies to ensure that remote workers are not treated assub-par employees to prevent any disparities in opportunities or career advancement.

These current perspectives of commercial real estate professionals on the return to work and motivation behind that in the US tend to vary, but they offer insights into what the future of CRE work looks like as current industry trends evolve. While industry leaders like Sam Zell have argued for the importance of physical presence for recognition and productivity, other CEOs’ opposition to remote work may stem from other societal pressures. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up possibilities for a more flexible and inclusive work environment, clearly emphasizing the need for ongoing discussions on the future of work.

5 Ways to Find Your Dream Job

As a part of your referral network, let us know how we can help you find your dream job! Here are a few other tips that can complement our efforts to help you find your ideal career.

Ways to Identify Your Dream job:

1. Understand your job search criteria

2. Create a list of jobs that meet your criteria

3. Read the job description thoroughly

4. Customize your resume and cover letter

5. Activate your referral network

Contact Building Careers to learn how we can best help in this process.

Originally published in by Carolyn Sun.

Take a look a the full article for additional resources and links: 5 Ways to Find Your Dream Job