There was a time, not all that long ago, when the word brand meant something similar to everyone. When you think of branding you think of Ford, Nike, McDonald’s and Apple. They are companies that represent products that we all know, like and trust. They help define our image, and tell the world what we stand for.
These mega companies will likely always exist. But even if the aforementioned companies fail, others will take their place. But a new revolution is underway. I like to call it the Self-Branding Revolution.
The first time this was presented to me, I was a deer in the headlights. I seized the opportunity to sit down with a VP of the company I was working for. I could sense that he knew something that was eluding me, and could tell he was on his way to bigger and better things. He told me to immediately start building “Adam Inc.” This, as I was told, was a process of building my skills, education, and experience. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this, because I was used to showing up at work, doing what was on my to do list, and then heading home. In the past, building your skills, education and experience was what you did to boost your resume to GET the job you currently HAD. Once you HAD it, you just lived your days awaiting your next pay raise right?
Flash forward 6 years. We live in a whole new world. Social media has given us an opportunity to brand ourselves. Anyone, anywhere can quickly become a thought leader and even expert in any particular niche. You don’t have to go back to college and spend 25K per year to do it. Most of the resources you need are free, or very inexpensive. You don’t have to spend 40+ hours at a dead end job. You can now pick what you are passionate about in life, figure out a way to brand yourself and support the lifestyle you want to live. But it all starts with the Self-Branding Revolution. You are your own Ford, Nike, McDonald’s or Apple. You can set up your own website, brand yourself on social media platforms, and automate a system that allows you to profit from your new skills, education and experiences. It’s not easy, and there is a lot to learn, but life if so valuable and so short, we really can’t afford to waste any more time building someone else’s brand. It’s a brave new world! Will you join the Self-Branding Revolution?
Adam Wallschlaeger will be one of our featured speakers on August 23rd, 2016 from 9-11:30 a.m. in Maple Grove. To register for this free event, CLICK HERE or go to our “Event’s” tab above and learn more about what more he will share to affect your Job Search!
Well begun is half-done. But far too many resumes being with objective statements that can only be described as … half-baked.
As a professional resume writer, I review and analyze nearly 2,000 resumes each year. And the opening objective is an area where almost everyone could use a little help with their resume.
To show you what I mean, here are three example objectives from actual resumes sent to me for analysis by job seekers just like you. (My comments are in parentheses.)
To obtain a responsible (as opposed to irresponsible?) and challenging (what, you don’t like dull work?) position where my education and work experience will have valuable application (like finding a cure for cancer?)
Seeking a position in the sales department with an opportunity for advancement (in effect, you’re saying to the employer, “Give me a job where the pay is good … and keeps getting better.”)
Seeking a challenging career with a progressive organization which will utilize my skills, abilities and education in management, product management, operations, purchasing and buying. (Zzzzz. You won’t bore anyone into hiring you.)
You can stand out from the crowd if you’ll just write your objective from the employer’s point of view, instead of your own. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
All you have to do when writing your objective is make sure it answers this question: “What’s in it for me?” That’s the question on every employer’s mind as he or she reads your resume.
Here’s an example objective, to get you started:
Management position in procurement where over 10 years of experience will add value to operations.
Avoid such trite phrases as: “seeking a chance for advancement,” or “where my skills will be utilized,” or “where I can further my career.” I’ve seen each of these on resumes that were badly hampered as a result. So, to keep your objective from being objectionable (and torpedoing your job search), put the focus where it belongs — on the employer and their needs. Best of luck to you!
Mr X will be featured at our September 22nd You Can Get Hired! workshop in Maple Grove from 9-11:30 a.m.
Over the course of my career in Corporate America, I had to have a solid resume each time I changed jobs-which seemed to be every 18 months! I got pretty good at writing how my experiences were a perfect fit for the role. On the flip side, I also hired a lot of great people. And during the long process of finding that amazing new hire, I saw many resumes that were good. More often than not I would always have a few that were ‘not up to par’. Even if the person was a great fit-having a less than stellar resume didn’t get them very far in the process. Sometimes it was simple mistakes.
Your resume is your first impression to a recruiter, human resource professional or hiring manager. Mistakes can take you from an interesting candidate to a non-existent candidate getting thrown out before they can see how amazing you are.
In all my years as a hiring manager and career coach, there are a few things I have seen as consistent mistakes. I have highlighted FOUR. All it takes in one mistake….isn’t that the saying?
A Book of Experience.
Many times, I see three to four page resumes. The best approach is that if you have over 8 years’ experience, you should have a 2 page resume (front and back or two pages stapled). Less than 8 years, one page is adequate. In my career management workshops, this is the toughest one for people to get over. We all want to shout to the world how great we are right?
Your resume is a highlight of who you are – your summary section demonstrates your brand statement and skills that support the role you are applying for- and your accomplishments that back it up. Too many times I see people list their job duties. A hiring manager doesn’t care that you were responsible for pulling up a monthly report. They want to know how you are going to come in and be a rock star because you have proven you have done it before.
The main purpose of the resume is to get them to say “I want to talk to that person more” and get you an interview where you can spend the time going into the depths of your experience. So, pick your best accomplishments and shorten that resume. (Know where to find those great accomplishments? Start with performance reviews-where else are you expected to talk about the great things you did over time!)
Seems obvious right? Unfortunately it happens often. You spend a lot of time working on your resume. Crafting the right accomplishment statements and nailing down the perfect brand statement. It isn’t until you hand over your resume to a potential hiring manager that you notice it. The typo. How could you let that it happen?
The fact is the more you spend time looking at your resume, the easier it is to skim over that dreaded typo that spell check didn’t catch. It doesn’t know you meant to say ‘Their’ vs ‘There’.
How can you prevent this? Find someone else to read your resume. Heck, find two. The more eyes on your resume, the more confident you can be that it’s right. Also, try reading your resume from bottom to top. Changing how you approach your own proofing can help.
It’s great to show uniqueness in how you approach your work but a resume is not the place to do this. A recruiter or hiring manager spends less than 30 seconds looking at your resume to determine if they are going to spend more time looking at the content.
Keep your formatting consistent. Use fourteen point font for company name. At least 12 point font for job titles and eleven point font for your accomplishments. Keep you margins at an inch. Same spacing between paragraphs. No borders at all. And as much as you may not want to, remove any italics from your resume.
Crisp and clean resumes are the way to go. Show your creativity in the interview when you can bring supplemental documents to showcase your work.
Fabricated Truths (misrepresentation).
We all know lying is bad. Our parents taught us this. It’s easy to misrepresent on your resume. Nobody will know right? I cannot stress this enough – It is NEVER okay to tell a little white lie. NEVER. It’s also not worth it. If you saved your company 100k on a project. Say it. Don’t tell them you saved 1M. If you have completed only 3 years of college, don’t tell them you graduated. Things can be validated. Information can be checked. People talk. Be honest. That’s all. It’s not worth losing a great opportunity by fabricating the work you did. Ever. Okay, I won’t beat that one anymore.
Some other things to remember-keep acronyms to a minimum and don’t use any personal pronouns.
Hopefully these are helpful tips. Avoiding these simple mistakes will help your resume get noticed!
For more outrageous and crazy resume mistakes, check out the 2013 Career Builders study of Common and Not-So-Common Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job. Find interesting things like how someone listed on their resume their objective was “To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI’s like my current employer”. I am not easily surprised these days…but that one threw me for a loop.
To your development, growth and amazing potential
Lisa is one of our valued experts who will be speaking and sharing some great tools at our August workshop. Please join us if you are available. Click here for more information and to register!
It’s a common question. You know it’s coming. But that doesn’t stop you from waffling and fidgeting when you hear it: “What are your greatest weaknesses?” You know you have some, but you don’t want to reveal anything too terrible that will potentially cost you your interview. Then again, you don’t want to be dishonest or gloss over the answer with something like, “People say I work too much and am too dedicated to the company!” No interviewer is going to be impressed with an answer like that. It’s disingenuous and doesn’t tell them anything about you, except that you’re good at studying stock answers for interview questions. So how to approach this question?
First of all, be aware that sharing your challenges and flaws—the very things that make you human—can actually help you come off as a more authentic, relatable candidate. Joe Grimm of the POYNTER INSTITUTE, an organization dedicated to integrity in journalism, suggests that interviewees faced with this question should always be honest and avoid mentioning character flaws because they seldom change. Instead, mention areas where you’re determined to improve. Consider saying something like, “I’m not as Excel-savvy as I’d like to be, but I’m currently improving my skills through internet tutorials.” Never mention strengths as weaknesses.
Don’t overthink your response to the point that you panic and don’t have one. As WASHINGTON POST journalist Lily Whiteman reminds us, “the worst responses are ‘I don’t know’ and the comical ‘I have no weaknesses.’”
You should also try to cater your response to the position and organization to which you are applying. Anticipate the motivation and interests of the interviewer when selecting your response and personal story. For example, if you are applying for a position as a financial adviser, you might talk about one of the specific areas in which you lack experience—say estate planning for people with over $1 Million in assets. And then (as mentioned earlier), demonstrate how you will familiarize yourself or how you are already working to improve in this area.
Remember: this question mainly exists because it reveals whether you, the applicant, possess key qualities such as self-awareness, authenticity, sincerity, adaptability, and foresightedness. Reveal that yes, you have weaknesses, but you will not let them stop you from doing the best job you can do for their organization.
Happy interviewing! Please CONTACT UXL TODAY to find out how we can help you transform the future of your business or career through guided professional coaching.
Margaret B Smith will be one of our featured guests at the August 11th You Can Get Hired workshop. Click on the Events tab to Register and for more information about our workshop.
Statistics tell us that we are all connected to each other with as few as only six people (or six referrals) between us. Let’s think about this 6° of separation for a moment…
In addition to there being only 6 people between us in a network of connections, we know that over 85% of jobs are created for or secured by job seekers who actively engage in effective networking. Yet, many job seekers still resort to trying to find new jobs by the least effective style of job search known to job search; they read job boards exclusively, filling out applications, sending out resumes to cold contacts, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. And, unfortunately, if those same job seekers don’t know how to effectively complete electronic applications, or to develop resumes for scoring by Automatic Tracking Systems, they will still be waiting for a call-back for several days or months after the position for which they applied has already been filled. And they may still never know if their applications or resumes were delivered to the correct electronic destination because they never followed up.
OK, so we shouldn’t be surprised that doing things the same way they’ve always been done will produce results that are no different from those produced in the past. But it would seem that equally elusive is the concept that there is a difference between having contacts and having a working network of individuals who will help you build a working network that will ultimately lead you to your next job or career position.
You can have 5,000 or 20,000 contacts on LinkedIn or social media, for example, or 1,000 business cards stashed in a shoe box, but that doesn’t mean you have a network that will do you any good during job search or while building your career for the long haul. Being networked means having people in your life who know enough about you to talk about you with people in their own personal and professional networks. Being effectively networked means having a connection or a relationship with someone with whom you’ve shared contacts of your own that may help another person reach a specific network need. Having a network means being actively engaged in the lives of other people.
You are not networking during job search by sitting at home reading about jobs, talking on the phone with peers to complain about how hard it is to job search, or worse, to commiserate about the poor condition of the job market. Not finding a new job is not because of your age, the color of your hair or even your skin color or body shape. Not finding a job is the result of not talking to other people to learn about their jobs and how they decided to do the work they do, or why they don’t do something they enjoyed 10 years ago but don’t enjoy today. Communicating with other people allows you to learn about company personalities, the what, why and where of jobs people within your network hold and how they got to where they are. Networking helps you learn about yourself by learning about others. Networking is allowing first degree contacts (family, existing friends, teachers, insurance reps and the guy working in the local grocer) know that you want to learn more about what they do, why they do it and with whom they can connect you to help you learn more about the local economy, what employers are doing well, which ones are moving in, expanding, moving out or closing shop. Without other people in your life with whom you network during a job search, you are working in a vacuum and are likely getting sucked up by negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are capable of being emotionally and sometimes physically dangerous to your personal short- and/or long-term career growth.
Don’t do this to yourself. Get out there. If you can, take classes to meet people and get to know each other mutually so everyone has an opportunity to grow from the experience of connecting with other human beings. Participate in job-search support, transition, and networking groups—but don’t make the mistake that simply attending these events means you are actually “networking”. You must be making eye contact and doing something memorable, like striking up a conversation that leads to meaningful connectedness.
Don’t allow someone to tell you that introversion is holding you back. You may be introverted, but introversion is not about reaching out to others. Introversion is about where you get your energy with respect to being around and interacting with other people. Interestingly, for all the noise about the challenges presented in job search when someone is as an introvert, there are statistically far more extroverted people than there are introverts. But it isn’t only introverts who sometimes struggle with developing effective, working networks. Truth-be-told, extroverts are often as unwilling to establish functional networks because they are shy, or withdrawn for any number of reasons.
It is my personal premise that no one is too introverted to network. Shyness on the other hand is a behavior that can hold someone back from reaching out to or getting to know others socially. Shy people are capable of learning new ways to function, and networking is a skill that can be learned. And, like other things that can be learned, the more you practice networking, the more proficient you become, and the easier it gets to meet and interact with new people. Don’t hide behind excuses. Inhibited or shy, quiet or not accustomed to visiting with other people is admittedly extremely difficult for many people, but with some help from close friends and family, and active members of your working network, or even a counselor or coach if necessary, you can learn and practice communication skills, and you can get in touch with that person who is the sixth person out who may hold the keys to your next job.
Networking is an extensive exertion of energy. It can be exhausting. Networking can drain you of your energy at the end of several hours if you are truly an introvert. But no matter the reason that may be preventing you from truly networking, the barriers can be overcome and effective networking can be achieved. It is imperative that you develop, nurture, and use an ever-evolving working network of your own making to become part of the 85% of job seekers who successfully find that person who is their 6th degree of distance from their next job opportunity.
Kim is an Outplacement Job Transition Specialist who speaks for You Can Get Hired, and will be one of our featured speakers on May 5, 2015. You can find her on Personal LinkedIn, her company LinkedIn or through her website. Please see our Events page to register and learn more.
It’s been one of the most quoted economic statistics in Minnesota public life, cited by a chorus of business, education and political leaders since the recession.
By 2018, 70 percent of jobs in the state will require postsecondary education.
The projection gained currency at the State Capitol and bolsters the argument that Minnesota suffers from a skills gap that leaves employers unable to fill jobs because workers aren’t prepared for them.
But five years after the claim surfaced in a report from Georgetown University, it isn’t coming true.
The share of jobs that require training beyond high school in Minnesota is growing only moderately, and the share of open jobs today that require postsecondary education is actually shrinking.
Job Search Blog | Driving Your Career Starts NOW : Joanne Meehl Career Services.
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