My Consultation with Jan Hodges Coville

In one of my most recent posts, Opening Up About Recent Struggles (Writing and Non-Writing Related), I admitted that freelancing isn’t going as well for me as I had hoped. One of my amazing blog followers, Liz Gauffreau, suggested I talk to a career counselor. She recommended Jan Hodges Coville. So I went on her site,, and made an appointment for a 20 minute consultation. I had that appointment earlier today, and though it was only 20 minutes, it was the most informative 20 minutes I’ve had in a long time.

She provided me with a lot of helpful information as well as some free resources I can use to see how well my resume will do against a job ad and some career blogs that could provide me with useful information. I took a lot of notes, and one of her main focal points for me is to improve my LinkedIn account because it looks like the profile of a freshman in college (and we all know I’m way past that stage of my life).

So using the notes I took and her suggestions, I’m putting together a to-do list of everything I want to accomplish by Sunday. The overachiever in me wants to get it all done today… the anxious person out a stop to that because admittedly, it’s a lot to do, and some of it definitely needs to span over a few days!

So here’s the to-do list:

1. Add more connections to my LinkedIn account. She recommended I have about 500… I’m only at 33. So if you’re on LinkedIn, please add me as connection! My LinkedIn profile.

2. Take a more professional photo for my LinkedIn (dreading this one because I hate having my picture taken), and add it to my profile. Also need to remove the open to work banner, and add a banner to my account.

3. Make a new/professional Gmail account. Apparently using a Yahoo! email address is considered old school, which isn’t something I knew.

4. Join groups and start talking to people to make connections. My social anxiety is dreading this one!

5. Start sharing posts on LinkedIn to show activity and to also show I can keep up/adapt to trends in all areas (not just writing).

6. Start putting my resume against the job ads of jobs I’m applying for, and make word changes as needed. Apparently having a good resume isn’t enough anymore- I have to have an effective resume!

From everything I talked with Jan about today, these feel like the most important six to-dos for me to have. Once I have the money to have a full meeting with her, I will definitely be doing so because I truly believe she can help me. I only met with her for 20 minutes, and I already feel like I have a better idea of where I can improve. So I can only imagine what a full meeting would do for me… but I have to wait for that, and work with what I can right now.

I have links for Jan’s website as well as Liz’s blog and my LinkedIn profile linked throughout the post. I highly recommend at least scheduling a consultation with Jan because talking to her for even 20 minutes helped me so much. Also, if you aren’t already following Liz’s blog, please do so. She is a wonderful writer and a wonderful person, and I can’t thank her enough for pointing me in this direction!

I’m off to work on my to-dos. I hope everyone has a productive day as well!



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