Tag: Resumes (page 2 of 2)
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Dave was an attorney with a big law firm. His dream was to move into a corporate counsel role with a big corporation. When he first hired me to write his resume he spent a lot of time telling me about how underappreciated he was at his current firm.
When we would brainstorm ideas on how he could transition into his chosen industry he constantly repeated that he “already tried that.” In fact, Dave spent a lot of time shooting down most ideas I knew would help him tremendously.
When we talked about job search strategies he shared with me he didn’t have any time. “Surely you understand,” he would say.” I am an attorney and I work incredibly long hours. Plus I have a family.”
When we discussed his salary goals he said he had to make at least 30% more than what he currently made to “justify the move.”
When I asked him why he had been fired from his last position he said that he and one of the partners could not get along. He refused to elaborate.
Despite the building complexities Dave was creating for himself, he maintained he wanted to be in a new position in less that 60 days. When I attempted share with Dave that it appeared that he was neither ready nor willing to do what it would take to move forward – he simply ignored my comments.
Dave never did make his corporate counsel move. He took a job with another firm…. A job that a recruiter had called to pitch him over the phone. It was the first and only opportunity Dave ever explored.
The story above illustrates how brilliant professionals can undermine their own career progress through not taking responsibility for their job search goals.
And then there was Brian.
Brian hired me as a career coach during a major transition in his life. He drove all the way from Houston to San Antonio to meet with me in person and discuss his situation.
He was a SVP for a mid size company in Houston and he was really ready for a CMO position with a large firm. He had done his research and picked two industries he was interested in exploring further.
He knew he had one chance to make a great first impression and he wanted to do it right. He wanted help researching particular companies, identifying what job search strategies would give him the most leverage and he wanted to make sure his resume was written to best position him for a CMO title.
I will always remember how positive Brian was. He always seemed to see the glass as half full. He took responsibility for his ultimate success and he stayed focused on the strategies I showed him to get quality interviews. He knew the power of a team approach.
Brian was busy and had a family too, but he made his career transition a priority during that window of time.
He landed several high quality interviews and accepted an offer from a company he was truly excited about – at the compensation level that met his goals. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen within four months of our working together.
One of his goals was to work out of his home one day per week. With the coaching I gave him he successfully negotiated this into his compensation package.
Brian invested in himself and in his career move because as he put it, he knew that “for every $100 he put in he would get $1000 back.”
Brian was willing to listen. That was not true for Dave.
Being “successful” has so much to do with one’s mindset. And coupled with an industry expert’s guidance, moving forward happens much more quickly and easily.
So if you want to get yourself and your job search “unstuck” it’s a wise move to first make sure you are committed to doing what it takes to reach your goals before you hire a career coach or resume writer. However once you are certain about your commitment to your own success, these partnerships can make getting there faster and easier, and your confidence, clarity and motivation will soar.
One of the wisest things you will do in your job search is learn the best non-traditional job search methods that fit your particular goals.
One method (and it happens to be my favorite – read on to find out why) is finding and following up on what I like to call corporate growth opportunities.
Growth opportunities are windows when a company is experiencing some form of growth. These can include moves, expansions, launching new products or services, mergers or acquisitions, awards and new rounds of venture capital funding, just to name a few.
Because of the fact that in so many cases when a company is experiencing a major change and/or growth there is a hiring need, it is truly a perfect time for YOU to make an introduction!
A few of the benefits you will enjoy when you capitalize on growth opportunities are:
- You set the pace for leadership and control vs. answering an ad, which positions you as the less desirable, passive/receiver.
- You maximize your leverage, options and opportunities in your industry of choice. In other words, you are in control.
- You are introducing yourself at a time when that company may be investing considerable sums of money to find great talent (like YOU!).
- You have little or no competition.
- You are putting the focus on THEM and their particular situation – highly flattering to the decision maker who you are connecting with – which makes you look fantastic.
Sounds great right? Believe me, it is! And it’s easy to find and follow up on growth opportunities in your specific target market using internet resources including: US Business Journals, Google news alerts, article finders and even associations related to your industry of focus.
Each week you can connect with key decision makers associated with the various growth opportunities that interest you. Send a short value proposition letter and don’t forget to attach a copy of the article and follow up in order to maximize your favorable responses.
This particular method can increase your response rate to 20, 40 and even 60%! Compared to the 1 to 3% response rates you will get through submitting your resume to jobs posted on major job boards there is simply no contest. Learning how to follow up on corporate growth opportunities can easily become your most powerful and effective job search strategy.
Are you wondering if your resume best positions you to land the job of your dreams in a parallel market, new industry or higher level position? One area you want to make sure to check is your key-words.
Resume key-words are simply the words used to describe your hard and soft skills. Many companies today use key-word scanning software to organize and qualify applicant matches with available positions. Even if a company doesn’t use key-word scanning software, it’s still extremely important to mirror the key-words listed in a position as much as possible.
You can quickly and easily make certain that your resume attracts the right attention using the following simple steps:
Step One: Identify Your Favorite Jobs
First, through you favorite job aggregator or niche job board, identify at least two positions that you would qualify as your dream job.
Next, print them out and highlight all of the key-words and phrases that best describe both what you love to do the most and any other strengths and attributes that match your skills. Highlight even those strengths that match functionally, even if the position is in another industry.
Now make sure these key-words are woven throughout your resume, putting special emphasis on the top part of your first page.
Step Two: Use Your Two To Three Best Key-words
You don’t necessarily have to redesign your resume for each job you wish to submit your resume to. In fact, if you are finding this to be necessary for you, you may wish to check your focus.
Many professionally-designed resumes will have approximately three key-words in a bigger, bold font right up at the top of their resume. I call these headline key-words. This is a powerful way to immediately target your resume for each particular job you submit your resume to.
Let’s say you are submitting for a job that stresses operations, global expansions and teambuilding. If these are all matching skills for you then you want to mirror these in your headline key-words. With this method you can very simply shift a few main key-words and get maximum attention from your target audience!
Step Three: Consider a Key-word Only Section
In my resumes I always like to include a keyword-only section. I call it core competencies or skills and abilities. A good list should include three rows of 4 to 5 bullet points per row. In the first row include your strongest competencies, in the middle perhaps soft skills that would include leadership and management abilities and your third row can include technical aptitudes, language skills and/or secondary skills such as leading training programs or creating marketing collateral.
Using these valuable tips gives you a simple easy way to make sure your resume is targeted for the positions you really want!
Have you heard all the buzz about branding yourself? Are you wondering how to make sure your resume is reflecting your brand? Here are three quick tips to brand your resume so it really reflects you at your very best.
Tip Number One: Understand Your Brand
What is your brand? I believe your brand is simply the promise of an experience that a company will have by hiring you. That promise shows itself through the tone and content of your resume – which your reader garners their impressions of you from.
Tip Number Two: Define Your Brand
A couple ways to define your unique brand is first to think about what you are doing when you are at your best. Brainstorm on keywords and phrases. You are going to want these in your resume!
Another powerful technique is to ask three different people (let’s say your spouse, your co-worker and a friend) to describe you using only three words. As them to be boldly honest and say the first three words that come into their mind!
Tip Number Three: Sell Your Brand
Your brand should weave throughout your resume in words and phrases that best reflect you “doing what you love.” Are you struggling with what information to include in your resume? If you are having trouble with a particular area, just compare it to your branding statements. Does it illustrate you in action using your branding keywords? Is it an important component to the position you are seeking? If the answer is no, delete it!
As you build your brand here’s one additional tip: always track your accomplishments. It’s really hard to go back and remember the goals you’ve reached and the challenges you have overcome, especially if it’s been over a twelve month span of time. Make an effort to track your accomplishments as they occur.
Follow these three tips and you will be on your way to a crystal clear, compelling and unique brand.