Would Your Resume Pass The Brand Test?

Would your resume pass the brand test? This is a question I ask my clients every time a resume review is on the agenda. Answering this question has a couple prerequisites – let’s discuss them.

You must know your ideal brand points. Choose 3-5 to highlight.

I use the term “ideal” loosely. These can’t be things that you “dream of being someday” – they have to be qualities that you currently possess or things that you are already passionate about. I say “ideal” because I’m sure you are lots of things, and some of them probably aren’t things you want on display to potential employers. Hey, we’re all a work-in-progress, right?

You must review your resume through the lens of your brand.

Let’s say one of your ideal brand points is “excellent communicator.” Is your resume well-written? Are there multiple bullets that demonstrate your ability to communicate well? Does your career summary highlight your accomplishments that relate to communication?

Remember, your resume is an extension of you and your brand – it shouldn’t just be a random assortment of job duties, skills and accomplishments. Your resume is meant to tell a story, with you as the author!

One way to give your resume a quick “brand test” is to have someone else review it and tell you the first 5 words that come to mind. Note: This is the only time I will condone having a friend/family member review your resume – simply because this part is subjective. If at least 2/5 words they choose line up with your brand, you’re likely in good shape.

So go ahead and give it a shot. If your resume doesn’t pass the brand test, take a close look at it and identify changes you can implement to improve the way you tell your story!

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4 Simple Habits of Productive Job Seekers

2020 was a year that really did a number on the economy and caused so many individuals and companies to suffer considerable financial losses. Thus, there are myriads of great professionals in search of new job opportunities. With the dramatic increase in available talent and the perceived decrease in available opportunities, it’s important to exercise efficient and effective job-seeking habits. Here are four of the best habits to implement in your daily quest for a new contract or position.

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Check For Opportunities Within Your Current Network

While you’ve probably become very familiar with every job board available, you want to also take advantage of your network by inquiring directly about any vacancies that suit your skillset. You should aim to spend at least 30 minutes a day sourcing and messaging people in your network about potential job openings. The best way to do this is via Linkedin so that they can easily view your profile and have an informed response about positions that would suit you. Feel free to add your direct contact information as well for them to pass along to their HR team. While this tactic may seem untraditional, you’d be surprised the results it can yield! According to CNBC, nearly 70 percent of jobs in 2018 were filled due to networking.

Keep Track of All Applications/Updates

Keeping track of all your applications and updates in a centralized location is an extremely important habit many job seekers miss! I’m sure many of us have been here before – receiving a call from a company about your application, but you can’t remember what the position was or what the key qualifications were – *slowly raises hand because I’m guilty too*. Note: It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, keeping it simple will likely increase your chances of sticking with it.. so do that!

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Tailor Resumes Per Position

Did you just roll your eyes out loud? I know, many people cringe at the thought of updating their resume for each position because, well, it takes time. However, this makes you stand out as a candidate more than a one-size-fits-all resume because it highlights education and experience most relevant to the position. For example, if you are a sales and marketing professional, your resume for a Marketing Specialist role would likely focus more on creative abilities, research and strategy planning, and tech-savviness versus your resume for an Account Executive role that would likely focus more so on communication skills, funnel development, and competitive goal-driven nature to constantly hit commission targets. Note: You many also find two marketing positions that highlight different preferred qualifications as well. In this case, you’ll want to make sure each resume includes the qualifications specified.

Check Email and Voicemail Often

This should go without saying but – return missed calls, listen to all voicemails and follow up on all emails! Make sure that your cellphone remains charged and you make yourself available to chat with any employers who want to speak with you in a timely manner. As the old saying goes, sometimes “you snooze, you lose.”

These, among others, are fundamental to being proactive and productive in your job search! Follow these steps and you will optimize your search and yield best results.

 

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Crafting an Irresistible Career Summary

Raise your hand if you like to decide whether you want to see a movie based on the trailer.

That’s because the trailer typically gives you a good idea of what the movie is about, using some of the most interesting parts to capture your attention. Your career summary should do the same!

Your career summary acts as a teaser for the rest of your resume; you need to give the recruiter/hiring manager a reason to want to read more. Not sure what that looks like? Well, you’re in luck because I’m telling you exactly how!

  1. Save it for last. Although it appears at the top of your resume, you should make it the last piece you update – this way, you’ve already filtered through your most relevant accomplishments. From there, it’s easy to decide your most significant selling points!
  2. Keep it brief. After all, making it super long sort of defeats the point of having a career summary. Think about it – a 35-minute trailer just isn’t as appealing as a 2-minute trailer.
  3. Structure it well. Lead with your professional identity; be sure to include your number of years of experience. Follow that with highlights from your general experience. Close it out with your top achievement.
  4. Use quantifiable data to complement your skills where possible. Remember, numbers are much more persuasive than words. “Great saleswoman” is subjective, but “Increased department sales by 75% in one year” is MAGIC!
  5. Ensure it uses the keywords from your desired job description. This is where excellence and secret sauce intersect! You know what buzzwords applicant tracking systems, recruiters, and hiring managers are scanning your resume for? The words listed in the job description!

Here’s my real-life example:

Dynamic Program Manager with 10+ years of experience leading small to large-scale projects in healthcare technology, financial services, and business research. Proven track record in risk mitigation, building cross-functional teams, and coaching individuals to success. Experienced in managing $1M+ budgets and 20+ member teams.

Struggling to capture your awesome-ness via a career summary? Drop me a line & let’s chat!

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