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Build Your Personal Brand by Working for Free

Build Your Personal Brand by Working for Free

Build Your Personal Brand

    After reading that headline, you may think I’m insane or tell yourself that working for free is out of the question. 

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      There have been millions of layoffs since the end of 2007 up until now and for college graduates, the competition might make you comatose.  The NACE reports that 41% of students haven’t even started the job search and 27% of graduates are going to graduate school because of the bad economy.  Of course, going to graduate school is going to put you in more debt and you’re betting on the economy coming back in two years.  If you’re trying to get a job right now, you’ll notice that many employers are cutting down salaries of current employees and offers to new hires.  Although, your education is a factor in you getting a job, what’s more important is your work experience.  Just like content is king on the internet, your experience is king when it comes to getting a job. Today, I’m going to explain why you might need to work for free for at least part of your time each week.

      When interviewing, experience trumps income

        Have you ever noticed how resumes don’t have salaries next to each job you’ve had?  You’ll ies ever find a resume that lists salaries or internship compensation.  Salaries are negotiated if there’s a job offer that doesn’t meet the applicants standards.  Corporate salaries are based on job title and you can salaries at various companies by doing to Glassdoor.com.  Since, salaries aren’t listed on resumes, your experience becomes the most important element in getting a job, aside from how you present yourself online and in an interview.  I took two non-paid internships while in college to gain more experience, thus building my personal brand to become a stronger applicant.

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        When I applied for jobs, the experience I gained at those companies really made a difference and it was well worth the compensation sacrifice.  Since it’s hard to get a job right now, start focusing on building your credentials, enhancing your resume and acquiring skills that can help you in future job searches.  It will pay off and you’ll forget that you had to sacrifice compensation.

        Work for free so you remain active

          The worst thing you can do right now is sulk on your couch, with some potato chips, and a coke.  Well, there could be worse, but the point is that you need to stay active at all times.  Recruiters don’t want to talk to people that have been out of the job market for a while, without remaining relevant to their industry or at least trying to acquire some experience. You never want to get into a situation, where you’re in an interview and you’re asked “so what have you been doing recently, I noticed that your last job ended six months ago,” and then not have a good answer.

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          Find people in your network that can help you stay active, by working for them for free if they can’t pay you.  Also, you can do community service or start your own company to at least make it seem like you haven’t given up and that you are aggressive and actually care about your career.

          Work for free while having a side job

            If you work for free to gain experience, you’ll still need a side job to make money.  Work for a company for free part-time to gain experience and also work for another company to get paid.  If you want to get money, and things are getting tough, then it’s not a bad decision to do retail or work at a restaurant to pay the bills.

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            If you do that, and you invest time in building your personal brand online, gaining experience by working for free part-time and job searching constantly, you should be in a good position to get a job when it becomes available.  A lot of college students are making these hard decisions right now because they realize that they don’t have a choice.  If you want to stay ontop during tough times, you’ll have to make tough decisions, but you’ll want to make them before everyone else does for yo.

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            Dan Schawbel

            Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for young professionals.

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            Published on August 4, 2020

            36 Important Resume Skills (For All Types of Jobs)

            36 Important Resume Skills (For All Types of Jobs)

            Most jobs require specialized skills. At the same time, there are a lot of resume skills that apply across the board.

            If you’re on the hunt for a new job, give your resume a refresh. Employers want to know: Can you communicate effectively? Are you easy to get along with? Can you manage your time effectively?

            Remember, you may not get a second look. Use your resume to make a great first impression.

            Holistic ability is what employers want to see when hiring. These resume skills can make you a top pick regardless of what role you’re applying for.

            Communication

            Being properly understood is critical. On any team, you must be able to relay and interpret messages with speed and precision. How you describe yourself, the concision of your phrasings, and the layout of your resume are great ways to showcase these skills.

            1. Writing

            Whether it’s emails or official documents, writing skills are essential for candidates in any industry. Clear, concise phrasings minimize misunderstandings and save the recipient time. This is probably one of the most important resume skills.

            2. Verbal Communication

            Speaking clearly and eloquently is one of the first things a hiring manager will note in an interview. Communicating over the phone is commonplace in business. Outline this skill on your resume, and they’ll invite you in to listen for themselves. This is easily one of the most important resume skills in most industries.

            3. Presentation

            Sales pitches and company meetings may include presentations, which require special communication skills. Being able to spearhead and properly carry out a presentation shows organization and resolve.

            4. Multilingualism

            Knowing more than one language can open doors for you and the business you represent.[1] Being able to speak another language allows your company to serve a whole new demographic.

            5. Reading Comprehension

            At any job, employee handbooks, company newsletters, and emails will come your way. Being able to decipher them quickly and effectively is an important resume skill. This goes hand in hand with having excellent writing skills.

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            Tech Savvy

            Technology is evolving rapidly, especially in the business world. Be sure to mention the technologies you’re familiar with on your resume, even if you don’t expect to use them daily.

            6. Social Media

            Almost everyone has some form of social media these days. Companies use platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to reach new audiences, provide customer service, and build brand loyalty.

            7. Operating Systems

            Can you use a Mac? What about a PC? Most jobs today require the use of a computer. Prior experience navigating common operating systems will help you acclimate much more quickly. This has become an important resume skill ever since the start of the information age.

            8. Microsoft Office

            Of all the software in the world, Microsoft’s Office suite might be the most popular. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook are widely used in the business world. Having this as part of your resume skills is very helpful especially in certain industries.

            9. Job-Specific Programs

            Did you get the hang of HubSpot in your last role? Is Slack something you’ve mastered? Be sure to mention them on your list of resume skills. These demonstrate that you can pick up new tools quickly.

            Interpersonal Skills

            Despite the rise in technology, businesses are run by people. Working with and for people means you need to be able to handle yourself with poise in different social settings. Highlight roles and situations on your resume that involved tricky conversations.

            10. Customer Service

            No company can succeed without its customers. Being able to treat customers with respect and attention is an absolute must for any applicant. Specific industries regard this as the most important resume skill their prospective employees should have.

            11. Active Listening

            Listening is an underrated skill, especially for leaders.[2] If you can’t listen to other people, you’ll struggle to work as part of a team.

            12. Sense of Humor

            You might wonder why having a sense of humor is a part of your resume skills. Humor is important for building rapport, but getting it right in the workplace can be tough. Everyone loves someone who is entertaining and can lighten the mood. On the other hand, people are turned off by immaturity and inappropriate jokes.

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            13. Conflict Resolution

            A customer stomps up to your desk and starts yelling about a problem he or she is having – how do you handle this situation? The right approach is to work to resolve the situation, not to escalate or avoid it.

            Teamwork

            One of the best parts of any job is the bonds you build with your co-workers. Fostering healthy relationships can make the workspace more enjoyable for everyone.

            14. Collaboration

            Whatever your line of work, chances are good that you’ll be working with others. Being able to collaborate effectively with them is critical if the whole team is to hit its goals. You can use various apps and tools available to help you collaborate with your team.

            15. Leadership

            Even if the title of the job you’re applying to isn’t “manager” or “executive,” there will still be moments when it’s your turn to lead. Prove that you’re up to the challenge, and you’ll be looked at as a long-term asset. Listing this as one of your resume skills is certainly an eye-catcher for most.

            16. Reliability

            Work isn’t always easy or fun. You have to be willing to pull your weight, even when times are hard. Otherwise, your co-workers won’t feel as if they can count on you. Reliability is important in maintaining the cohesion of a team. You should let people know that they can rely on you.

            17. Transparency

            To work as a team, members must be willing to share information with each other. Are you willing to own up to your mistakes, share your challenges, and accept consequences like an adult? Let them know that you’re transparent and reliable.

            Personal Traits

            Your resume is about selling yourself, not just your education and work history. The good news is, your “soft” skills are a great opportunity to differentiate yourself. Use bullets beneath your past experiences to prove you have them.

            18. Adaptability

            In any role, you’ll need to adjust to new procedures, rules, and work environments. Remember, these are always subject to change. Being able to adapt ensures every transition goes smoothly.

            19. Proactivity

            An autonomous employee can get work done without being instructed every step of the way. Orientation is one thing; taking on challenges of your own accord is another. Being proactive is an essential resume skill, especially if you’re eyeing for managerial roles in the future.

            20. Problem-Solving

            When problems arise, can you come up with appropriate solutions? Being able to address your own problems makes your manager’s life easier and minimizes micro-management. Problem-solving is an important yet often overlooked resume skill.

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            21. Creativity

            Can you think outside of the box? Even roles that aren’t “creative,” strictly speaking, require creative thinking. Creativity also helps in your ability to solve problems.

            22. Organization

            Staying organized makes you more efficient and reduces the risk of mistakes. Organization skills make life easier not just for you, but also for other members of your team. This makes it an important skill to put in your list of resume skills.

            23. Work Ethic

            Every company wants hard workers on its team. You’re applying for employment after all, not a place to lounge around. Putting this on your list of resume skills is just as important as actually exhibiting it in the workplace once you’re hired.

            24. Stress Management

            How well do you work under stress? If you’ll be required to meet tight deadlines, you’ll have to prove you can handle the heat.

            25. Attention Management

            Whether you’re developing a partnership or writing a blog post, attention to detail makes all the difference. People who sweat the details do better work and tend to spot problems before they arise. Use Maura Thomas’s 4 Quadrants of Attention Management as a guide to managing attention.[3]

            26. Time Management

            Time is money. The better you are at using company time, the more valuable you’ll be. Show that you can make every second count. Managing your time also means being punctual. No employer wants to deal with a team member who’s constantly tardy. This is commonly included in most people’s resume skills, but not everyone lives up to it.

            27. Patience

            Things won’t always go your way. Can you calmly work through tough situations? If not, you’ll struggle with everything from sales to customer service to engineering.

            28. Gratitude

            When things do go your way, are you gracious? Simply being grateful can help you build real relationships.[4] This also helps foster a better team atmosphere.

            29. Learning

            Employers want to invest in people who are looking to grow. Whether you love to take online courses, read, or experiment with hobbies, make sure you show you’re willing to try new things.

            30. Physical Capability

            Many job postings have the classic line, “must be able to lift X amount of pounds” or “must be able to stand for X hours per day.” Play up past positions that required you to do physical labor.

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            31. Research

            How easily can you dig up new details about a concept? Research skills are critical for marketing, business analysis, writing, account management, and more.

            32. Money Handling

            Being able to count bills quickly and accurately is important at any company with a brick-and-mortar storefront. Integrity and honesty are key when you’re running the cash register or reconciling bank statements.

            Commitment

            To employers, every new hire represents an investment. Are you worth investing in? Prove it. Employers need to see signs of commitment before they bring you on board.

            33. Longevity

            Hiring managers love to see long tenures on your resume. This suggests that you’re in it for the long haul, not just passing through for a quick buck.

            34. Fidelity

            For an employer-employee relationship to work, there has to be trust. Employers tend to find out when someone is hiding side gig or sharing information they shouldn’t be. References from past employers can prove that you’re loyal to companies that hire you.

            35. Obedience

            You won’t agree with every choice your employer makes. With that said, you have to respect your role as an employee. Obedience is about doing what your leader decides is best, even if you have a different perspective.

            36. Flexibility

            Life is full of surprises. A month into your new job, your role could change entirely. Flexible people can roll with the punches.

            Final Words

            Perform a self-audit: Which of these skills will your potential employer want to see? Add them to your resume strategically, and you’ll be that much closer to your dream job.

            Tips on How to Create a Great Resume

            Featured photo credit: Van Tay Media via unsplash.com

            Reference

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