Highlands Ability Battery: Identify your Talents!

What are you naturally gifted at? What do you love to do? How can you get paid for this? 

Last year, I became certified in the HAB Highlands Ability Battery. In 2017, I've provided this test to large, classes of business professionals and graduate students at the University of Georgia. There is such a broad diversity of natural abilities and talents. I've enjoyed helping people navigate new, career options that they never considered before. 

For 2018, I've decided to offer it to clients in my private practice too! I can provide this custom career testing and coaching, to a limited number of individual clients. Treat yourself! 

The HAB consists of a series of timed exercises. They are designed  to measure your natural ability pattern. So, this isn't a test! You don't study for this it. There aren't right or wrong answers. The HAB measures  abilities such as: visual/spatial skills, mathematical, creativity, writing, musical, memory etc.  

Check out my HAB career package below. Drop me a line if you'd like to sign up for testing and coaching. Spaces are limited. You can reach me at sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net 

CAREER EXPLORATION package is for people who'd like to explore new career options and ensure they are in the 'right' field or job. Take the HAB Highlands Ability Battery. Identify career choices which are in line with your natural talents. Take charge of your career!  
  • 45 min. for career coach -  to purchase the licensed test  & set up the online account, logins and password for the client.
  • 2.5 hrs. (average time), for the client to complete the Highlands Assessment Battery Test online (on their own time).
  • 45 min. for career coach -   to compile the test results into 1 comprehensive, summary report. Coach to analyze the test results and career patterns prior to the 1 to 1 session.
  • 1.5 hr. phone session – client and coach.  Real time coaching session to debrief the results. In-depth analysis and expert test interpretation and support
  • (Bonus)  Client will receive 30 pg. digital, Highlands Ability Report & Career report.
  • 1 hr. phone session – client and coach. Follow up coaching session. Guided support and demonstration on conducting labor market research - like a pro! Use the top, Career Databases for business professionals. Learn how your unique skills fit in the current, labor market. Review job-options and viability using for salary ranges, skills/abilities, technology  and current job postings.
Cost: $600 - for the general public.  $100 discount for active military, veterans or current,  University students. So, the total cost for veterans or students is = $500. 

Tru Colors Personality Type - What do your Online Comments Reveal about you?


  • As a counseling psychologist, I use many test instruments to support my clients. One test I've used is the Tru Colors assessment. It's a great tool for team building in business settings. I used to use it with all of my business students when I worked at a college in Vancouver, British Columbia. These days, everyone is constantly posting their comments and opinions online whether it's a Yelp restaurant review or a Twitter post. 
  • As I was browsing company reviews on GlassDoor, I came across reviews about a historic candy store.  I had an 'Aha' moment! The reviewers personality types and preferences suddenly became crystal clear to me. All 7 employee reviews (below) rated their employer as 5/5 stars! However, the reasons for their satisfaction vary greatly. 

Can you guess the “True colors”personality type of each employee?

Key Holder/Sales Associate  Candy Store – February 25, 2015

 Pros: chill atmosphere

Cons: lack of product knowledge

During Christmas there were two See's Candies kiosks at different sides of the mall. The location I was at during Christmas was in the hallway but right in front of a giant Christmas Tree. It was cozy and there wasn't an overload of traffic. However during the Valentine's season, the only kiosk that was open was on the other side, which is just in the middle of a busy hallway. It just wasn't as comfortable. 

My manager was nice, I never really had a problem with coworkers, and the job isn't that stressful because most of the clientele are happy you are even there. Plus with a limited selection of items (at Seasonal Gift Centers like mine) and their prices right next to them, there really isn't any, "That's not what the sign said" type situations. 

My least favorite part of the job was sampling, but that's just me. Maybe someone else would enjoy that. Another thing I didn't like was not having enough knowledge about products. The insides of the assortments don't say what each item is like other places. I didn't like not knowing what was in each box. I personally liked the stocking/keeping things looking nice part of the job the most, but helping people figure out what they want was likable too.


Sales Associate/Cashier  - Candy Store – January 28, 2015

Pros: great staff, free candy at work only, easy-going

Cons: not enough hours, small checks

This job is by far my favorite. I love everything about the store, products and staff. Very comfortable and satisfying work place. I gained more customer service skills and can speak to the general public in a professional yet friendly manner. My co-workers great people and working as a team is our priority. Never leave anyone behind kind of environment. The most difficult part was being short staffed during rush hour but once we got a system going it was perfect. If I could stay on full-time I would but unfortunately, I was only hired as a seasonal employee.

Great company and free chocolate

Sales Associate (Former Employee), - Candy Store – February 2, 2014

 Pros: free chocolate while on duty, good hours, happy customers

Cons: hard to make it make it to full time

 Days run very smoothly with a scheduled day as well as structured workflow. Most customers are very happy. Not many workplace problems. Good pay.

Fun Place to Work

Assistant Team Lead - Candy Store –  January 23, 2014

 Pros: selling chocolate, samples, discount

Cons: uniform, outdated equipment, no permanent store in the area

See's is a great place to work, especially when you already love the candy and the company's history. We had a great team that exceeded our sales goal. The company is generous with employee sampling and there is a discount on a few varieties of candy. The hardest part of the job is two-fold: wearing the antiquated uniform while stocking shelves and working with the antiquated equipment we were provided. While I love the candy and the respect for the heritage and history, it is possible for them to retain respect for history, and still upgrade for the 21st century.

Seasonal Clerk (Former Employee), Corona del Mar, CAOctober 25, 2013
Pros: when you are on your game everyone knows you are par with customers and your duties. Customer service oriented
Cons: angry customers, random problems, safety
When I have been on the job performing certain tasks I tend to customers, on first priority, take care of other job duties, and cleanliness of the area. When dealing with food you have to tend to proper temperature and proper time stored. Proper cleaning of equipment and top notch customer service.


Enhances your people skills and teaches you responsibility.

Customer Service Representative – January 14, 2014

Pros: my co-workers and the family based environment.

Cons: salary.

Interacting with hundreds of customers over the phone and being able to meet their expectations with a product that sells itself. My co-workers were awesome and so very helpful in complicating situations. The hardest part was the system that we went through and how old it was,

Associate (Current Employee), – November 16, 2013

Pros: all you can eat See's candies

Cons: management, old school cash registers, rude picky customers, retail

I worked at See's since it opened in October 2012, there were periods when I don't work for weeks but I do enjoy it. My co-workers were great, kind and helpful. My managers were real and understanding, there was no misunderstanding, no drama. The district manager was difficult to please and I am constantly misunderstood (He probably thinks I am a dumb worker). '

Nevertheless, I worked hard and focused on my studies. I'm never out to cause problems for anyone. Slowly my wonderful co-workers slowly left See's. But again I do not hate it, no work place is perfect anyways. However a new manager is hired. the first few weeks working along side with the new manager was great, everything was problem-free. But underneath the smile was hatred. I am constantly undermined, my employment was on very thin ice. I'm constantly in fear of getting fired and I don't know why.

Which employee is Green, Gold, Blue or Orange type? 


Author: © 2017 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Dip.Educ, Career Counselor & Career Transition Specialist. Atlanta, GA. "Helping business professionals, reach their career potential!" sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net

Help, My LinkedIn was Hacked! True Story.

Well, readers my carefully curated LinkedIn Account was hacked. Months later, I'm still untangling the criminal hackers' tentacles and dealing with the fallout!  The hacker (s), removed my email access from my account so I was totally locked out. The hacker with the fake email "Bruce Lee"disguised themselves as me. They reconfigured my own email to spam my 2,000+ contacts! Even my husband received the spam request, which appeared to be from my own email.

All I could do was watch this with horror. The account I'd nurtured and grown for 10+ years was being dismantled, along with my reputation. As a career coach and lecturer in Higher Education, I had thousands of student/alumni contacts built over 10 years. The spammer targeted all of my lovely students and alumni! The LinkedIn help page only has tips for people who were hacked but still have access to their account and email? What?!?

Here are some unvarnished facts I've learned from this experience. I hope they help you.

You may think your social media accounts are yours, but they are not! You are allowed access, but do not have any rights to the years of content, contacts, recommendations etc  This is the sad truth.

For LinkedIn the only tech support is via email, no phone support line exists. You'll have to wait 4-5 days for each reply. Each reply will be from a different tech person and you have to explain your whole situation again.

If you are hacked, immediately request that LinkedIn freeze your account. It took 8-10 emails and several weeks for LinkedIn to respond and comply. But, they didn't tell me it was frozen. So, when I Googled my own account, now there was nothing online! This temporarily stopped the spammer, hacker or bot. Now, I was worried my entire profile was destroyed. Meanwhile, be prepared to loose all access to your own account. LinkedIn will say they are 'investigating' not sure if they did or not. Never received any updates on this, though I asked many times.

Meanwhile, I was trying to respond to dozens of emails from my contacts. They were confused and upset. They were receiving incessant, marketing emails (in very poor English) from my account. The irony is that I proofread resumes for a living! You'd think someone would say - this poor English doesn't sound like Sharon.

*I'm a career coach, not a sales person asking people to do survey! Yet, some of my contacts fell victim to the scammer who promised money for Mystery Dinners restaurant reviews. 3 of my contacts actually sent the hacker their personal information and filled in surveys! Then, they were paid with fake checks. The survey takers were told they'd receive 80% or close to $2,000. Of course, the the banks wouldn't cash these fraudulent checks. Then my 3 contacts called me to complain?!?

LinkedIn will ask you to prove you are the person who set up the account, before opening it back up to you.  LinkedIn requested a copy of my drivers license and passport, which I was NOT willing to provide. It's a shame that this level of security is not available at the front end, to protect your account in the 1st place.

This sounded so outrageous, I wasn't sure it wasn't the hacker tricking me. Noting their lack of coordination with multiple, technical support people, I had no idea who this sensitive information would go to. An alternative was to get my personal ID verified and notarized by a notary public. Cost, time, energy and more embarrassment explaining this hack to a stranger. I did this and sent it in 5 times, before LinkedIn acknowledged receipt. No action...

After a month of polite and patient emails, nothing was progressing. So, as a last resort I went to my Twitter Account and my large group of followers. I tweeted about the hack and used #fixit #LinkedIn @LinkedIn support. This got their attention, and they responded the same day. But, Twitter LinkedIn staff said that a hack was too big an issue for them to resolve. They couldn't help me. I had to return to the slow/non-existent email support.

Two weeks later, still no progress. I was scheduled to teach LinkedIn at the University of Georgia to a group of MBA students. I told LinkedIn that I still didn't have access to my own account. I also told them that I would share this story of the hack and callous indifference by LinkedIn support. At 1:00 am the day before my lecture, my account was re-opened. How miraculous! But, they re-opened it while still allowing the Hacker to be the primary email and contact. So, the hacker began spamming again. 1 month later, dozens more emails, from me to LinkedIn I finally got control of my own account.

But - now I'm exhausted. I'm trying to rebuild my social media brand and am not as innocent as I was. I truly hope this never happens to you!

your career manager - Sharon C.
Read more about a LinkedIn Hacker that was caught this past Fall, in Europe. He'd stolen 117 million passwords and logins from users and was trafficking this data.

 Author: © 2017 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Dip.Educ, Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist. Atlanta, GA. "Helping business professionals, reach their career potential!" sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net

Virtual Career Coaching: Get Help Today!

Career Coaching is a key component for success for many business professionals.  Reach your career potential! Drop me a line to schedule a session sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net

1. What’s the difference between virtual coaching and face to face coaching?
 You'll find the best counselor regardless of geography 
 • You can avoid driving and parking hassles.
 • You won't accidentally run into your boss or friends/family. It's anonymous and confidential.

 • You don't need time off of work. I offer evening and weekend coaching sessions.

2. What do I need? I am not technologically savvy...
90% of my clients choose a phone, coaching session. You may need a computer to take a career assessment or to work on a resume (with me) in real time.

3. How can I get started?
Contact me directly. Call 404 791 0848 or email sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net As an ethical provider, if your needs are outside of my scope of my expertise, I will provide a referral.

4. How long will it take?
My services are short-term and solution focused (4-6 sessions are the average). However, this depends on the complexity of your career concerns. Each advising package is customized to address clients unique needs. (About and Services)

5. How effective is Virtual Coaching and Why?
Research has found that Virtual Counseling is more effective, than face to face counseling for many clients. Clients are more relaxed and are more open and honest in an anonymous, virtual setting.

6. What happens when my monthly package is complete?
I have an open door policy.  Many clients like to book an annual,career tune-up which includes 2 sessions, to ensure their career is progressing well and help with any bumps in the road. Some common reasons for additional coaching: a new promotion/assignment,  a new job, a performance review, an interview, lay-off or for an annual, performance review.

 7. How can I choose a “Virtual Coach or Counselor”? What should I ask?
Do your due diligence. A virtual career counselor should have all the same credentials, education and experience as a regular career, counselor. Check out their online profile on the LinkedIn business site. 

• Is your counselor experienced? Who are their typical clients (age, gender, diversity, education, industry). Do you fit that profile or not?

•Is your counselor working with both job seekers and recruiters? If you career counselor is only working with job seekers, they may lose touch with employers' current needs, job search and labor market trends. 


Author: © 2009-present. All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen. Drop me a line to schedule a session sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net

MBA Interview: Get analyzed by a Career Expert!

Mock Interview Feedback
Business Interview

  • Are you landing 1st interviews, but not 2nd interviews? 
  • Are you struggling to 'close' in your interviews? 
  • Would you like to get honest and thorough feedback from an interview expert?

Executive interview coaching is in demand both in my private practice and in my MBA Career Advising role at the University of Georgia. Since you put so much effort into landing an interview, it's essential that you ace it!

I can help demystify this process by conducting a mock interview with you. Since I work with business recruiters I can help you understand what they are looking for and provde expert feedback. 

Below is a sample summary of an interview evaluation with a client. He uploaded a video interview and I provided the critique below and several follow up coaching sessions. I'm happy to report that the interview coaching worked. He has 2 offers and is choosing his favorite as we speak!

Waiting for an Interview
 Sharon B. Cohen (*career manager)  

Interviewee: JS. Business Professional                                                        
Decision: Passed - Good!

Thank you for uploading your mock interview and submitting your interview answers. After reviewing your video responses, I would like to provide some feedback.

Camera Placement – The camera has a good view of your profile.The background is neutral and the color of your tie is complimentary to your eyes and complexion. 

Verbal Communication –    Energy and variety in tonal inflection is key to maintain the interviewers' interest.  Employers are seeking 'engagement' as a criteria. This often determines if they call candidates in for the 2nd round of interviews. 

Non-verbal - body language appears to be direct and sincere. Eye contact is good. 

Interview Questions
1. Take me through your resume and tell me how you made a difference at each experience. – Good  
This question is all about confidence. Highlight your career accomplishments and express what you gained from each experience.

2. How have these experiences prepared you to be a successful employee with my firm? –Good
When you specifically stated the skills and software you are proficient in, you highlighted attributes that set you apart from other applicants. You described both your education, work experience and your transferable skills. Tying in the transferable skills to the needs of the employer is key! 

3. Describe a challenging team project you worked on in which the group had difficulty accomplishing its objectives. – Needs Improvement, partial answer. In your response you stated the situation and task but forgot to mention the action and results. Use the STAR system of interview answers to cover the situation, task, action and result. This will provide a comprehensive and cohesive answer. 
I’d recommend using the STAR technique to explain your great accomplishments.  You did give some examples, but you kept forgetting to tie them into any potential new job or employer needs. IE: when explaining technical skills go beyond the list and emphasize what a bonus this would be when doing x,y,z tasks. STAR stories describe the situation, task, individual actions/contributions, and the results. 

4. Tell me about a busy time in your career and how you managed your time effectively. – 
Very good answer.  You demonstrated work/life balance and showed how you perform under pressure. Good examples. 

5. How do you stay current in your field? What resources do you use? – Excellent
This is one of my favorite questions. It helps me determine if the candidate is truly motivated and passionate about their field. Give specific examples of e-sites, LinkedIn groups, professional journals that you subscribe to and read. They may test you and ask you about a recent article you read and what it implies for the industry. Be fully prepared. 

6. Tell me about your technical skills. – Good
Knowledge and proficiency from your educational background is good, but what other skills do you possess outside of the classroom? Good job using business language and mentioning what specifically you can do in Excel.

7. What is your greatest weakness? – Ok, could be better
This is a trick question. It's less about the actual 'weakness' than about your insight about your self. Remember, that recruiters have heard it all. So, saying you're a perfectionist is not the way to go. Highlight a skill you are currently working on, to show insight into future growth and development. Also, tie this to the job description and reference the “responsibilities” and how you can meet them effectively.

8. What are your short & long-term career goals? – Good. In your answer, you gave specific goals that you strive to accomplish. Ensure that your answer is aligned with the job and company goals. IE: this is not the time to mention you'd like to start your own business!

9. What will you say to “close” the interview? – Needs Improvement
Don't say “I believe I am a qualified candidate for this position, but there are probably a lot of others too.” In a live interview you need a 5 step closing, Show your confidence, re-state your pitch. offer a handshake and your business card. Ask for their card, so you have a name/address to send the "thank you card." Also, inquire about their hiring timeline. 
To book your interview assessment today, email sharonbcohen@bellsouth.net We can set up a time for an initial phone chat. 

your career manager, 

Sharon B. Cohen

 Author: © 2016 -present All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology, CPRP. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist. 

• Sharon B. Cohen on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonbcohen/
• My Career Manager on Twitter http://twitter.com/MyCareerManager
• Archive of articles on My Career Manager http://www.mycareermanager.com/