Radio Interview with Katherine Akbar

Announcer:
You're listening to Business Talk Radio, where we take business to the next level.
Christopher Roberts:
Welcome back to the show. I'm your host, Christopher Roberts. Joining me now … She is from Alexandria, Virginia. She is the president of Your Edge for Success YES. Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome Katherine Metres Akbar to the program. Katherine, welcome. How are you today?
Katherine Akbar:
I'm good! How are you, Christopher?
Christopher Roberts:
I'm doing really well. Thanks for asking and thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to join us. We appreciate it.
Katherine Akbar:
Thank you.
Christopher Roberts:
Absolutely. So I want to start us off: Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Katherine Akbar:
All right. So I am the president of Your Edge for Success YES, as you said. And the reason for that is that I went through a period of my life where I was very successful and then suddenly had a couple of career hard knocks and fell into a pit of Oh my gosh. What should I do with my life? I went through that for a few years, and I changed careers three, four times during that time. And it ended up being extremely hard on my bank account and my self-esteem.
So I thought to myself, You know, all I want is to be a success. If I feel like that, there's got to be a lot of other people out there who feel like that too. So there's got to be a way I can use my gifts—which were principally writing skills and insight—to help other people get their dreams. And by helping other people achieve their dreams, I would also achieve my success. So that was the genesis of the idea for Your Edge for Success YES.
And I—it came to me in the shower one day. I was trying to come up with a cool name that also had a perfect acronym that went along with it. And then I was thinking, You know, YES is the perfect word for that feeling that you get when finally you succeed—when finally things fall into place. That's the story of how we got started!
Christopher Roberts:
Alrighty. Now, what kind of—you know—what kind of background or training do you need to, do you need any to—you know—really do what you do? Is there any specific, like, trainings to do anything like this?
Katherine Akbar:
Yeah, so the background that I have is as an award-winning writer. I had won three awards for my writing in college, and I had done some freelance journalism, and that was a great background for resume writing. Now, also, because I had been on the job market so much, I had gotten pretty good at writing resumes and cover letters that get interviews.
And, in addition to that, along the way, I joined up with Michael Akbar, who's now my husband, and he said, “You know, why don't you add things that job seekers need to your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn offerings? And I was like, “Well, like what?” And he said, “Well, how about interview coaching and career coaching? And I said, “Well, I don't know how to coach people.” He said, “Well, I do.” He's a certified coach.
And he came on board as our career strategy coach, and he also gave me a technique, which we named Interview Aikido, which helps people take the power back in interview situations. So I used his sales background and my background as the daughter of two psychologists to put together something that nobody else offers on the market. I'm very proud of that.
Christopher Roberts:
Alrighty. Now, when somebody reaches out to you for the first time, what do you think you see the most of? What seems to be most dominant?
Katherine Akbar:
When people come to us, what do we see?
Christopher Roberts:
Yes.
Katherine Akbar:
Well, a lot of times, we have clients who are discouraged, because they've been applying for months and have gotten no interest from employers. And sometimes they'll tell us, “You know, I've applied for 40 jobs,” “I’ve applied for a hundred jobs,” “I've applied for 200 jobs and no interviews—or just a couple of interviews, but they weren't what I wanted.” So I would call this “one-click-itis.”
You know, today, these job boards encourage folks to “one-click apply,” and that is absolutely good for their business model, because the more times people apply, the more they can tell their customers—who are the employers who are hiring—that they got lots of candidates. But it is not good for the candidates. And I would argue it's not good for the employers either, because the candidates are applying for things that they may not even want and definitely have not carefully considered whether they're the best fit for. And the employers are getting a lot of applications from folks that are not tailored to what they need.
So the biggest thing we tell people is, “Apply for fewer jobs. You shouldn't have to apply for more than 10 to 20 jobs to get enough interviews to get the offer that you want if your applications are really tailored to what the employer is looking for.” And that's where people fall down—is they think once they've done their resume that it's done and it doesn't need to be adjusted for different jobs. And I would argue that, just like if you want to look your best in an outfit, it needs to be tailored to your proportions, an application needs to be tailored to what the employer is looking for.
Christopher Roberts:
Alrighty. So now where do you think you see yourself moving forward? What's going to be on tap for you?
Katherine Akbar:
Well, next year, I'm looking at writing a book on Interview Aikido, and I would love to do a speaking tour of bookstores—to be a thought leader in the interviewing area and career success generally. You know, the approach that we find is different about Interview Aikido is that it has a bit of a spiritual bent to it, because typically when people go on an interview, they're very much wrapped into their ego. So it's all about, Well, how do I sell myself? And how do I sell my qualifications off the bat? And it's all me, me, me.
Whereas—the space that they need to put themselves into is a space of What's going on with this other person? How can I be of service to them? What kind of problems do they have? So it needs to be really other-oriented in order to reach out across that divide and establish rapport, show that you care, show that you can make the employer's life better. I'm really excited to bring that message to folks in a book and a speaking tour about Interview Aikido.
Christopher Roberts:
Alrighty. And now what's the best way that my audience can reach out and contact you to find out more information?
Katherine Akbar:
Yeah, thanks for asking. So our website is success dash yes.com. Again, it's success-yes.com, and if they go there, they will see, “Make a request for a free phone consultation.” If they fill that baby out and give us a little bit of information about what they're looking for, once they hit Submit, they will have an option to schedule a free phone consultation. And during that consultation, which is a half hour with a career success advisor, they will be able to share their goals, what they have to offer, where they're getting stuck in their job search, and hear about the various solutions that we have to help them get more interviews, more offers, a career that they're happy in—and how to build and use their network to find jobs on the hidden job network.
Christopher Roberts:
Alrighty. Well, we appreciate you taking some time today to join us. Thanks so much.
Katherine Akbar:
Thank you!
Christopher Roberts:
You are so welcome. And for everyone else out there, do stick around. We will be right back.

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