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How Your Resume Can Help Get Your Dream Job

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How Your Resume Can Help Get Your Dream Job

Crafting a professional, readable resume is absolutely key in today’s world. Especially when you’re looking to land a job that’s a step closer to your dream, crafting an effective resume can be the difference between success and disappointment. Learning how to perfect your resume today is an investment in tomorrow. You can make sure that you have the upper hand when striving for your dream job by communicating your skills and experience effectively.

Choose the Format That Works for You

When it comes to resumes, there are several different things you want to consider. The first should be whether or not your format works for you. You need to effectively communicate your excellent experience and skills, especially when you’re jostling for a position at your dream job. First, make sure you choose a format that complements your experience. For example, those with large gaps in their work history look best when using a functional resume instead of a chronological resume. By listing your work experience first and glazing over the dates, you get a more complete view of your experience, instead of emphasizing gaps in your employment to a prospective employer. 

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Stick to What’s Relevant

Many applicants include “objective” or “about me” lines, but employers no longer care for this information. It can be easy to make this mistake if you haven’t been job hunting for a few years. Now, employers simply want to know what you are going to bring to their company. With this in mind, skip personal information, while making sure your prior work experience is described in a way that shows off your relevant skills. Avoid listing personal details, unrelated hobbies, or irrelevant awards.

Be Truthful

It’s also unbelievably important that you are truthful on your resume, even when you’re switching careers or shooting for a higher position. It might seem easy to get away with lying or over-exaggerating your experience, but most employers are smarter than you think. For example, by simply searching online for the phone number’s area code you provide with each reference, your employer immediately has an idea of whether or not your referees could work where you say they do.

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Cite Facts, Not Opinions

Another way for your resume to pack a punch is to cite hard facts instead of opinions. Older resume formats usually included a spot to list your other skills, but avoid listing character traits, as these are in the eye of the beholder. Instead, state real results. For example, improvement in store ranking after you came on board, bringing a project in under budget by 10%, or other specific numbers. By listing your experience this way, you focus on results employers want to see, instead of opinions that your prospective new employer might not agree with.

Use a Readable Design

Another way to make your resume accessible is to use a readable design. It’s fine to format your resume in an original way if you are applying to graphic design or art-involved jobs, but the average resume is most effective on blank paper with dark type. Try to avoid cutesy graphics, overly ornate fonts, or colored paper.

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Use Direct Job Titles

Another crucial way to keep your resume accessible is to use direct job titles. If you list your job experience with names that are impossible to understand, a prospective employer may not realize the skills you bring to the table. To avoid being glazed over for a job you qualify for, list your experience with titles most people recognize.

Use a Professional Email Address

Another key way to keep your resume successful and eye-catching is to use a professional email address. You will want to include at least a phone number and an email address on your resume, so make sure your email address says the right things about you. The best way to ensure your email address is professional is to make one that just includes your name.

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Triple Check Spelling and Grammar

Finally, though it seems like a small mistake, spelling or grammar errors immediately tell future employers that you don’t care about details. To be the most valuable employee in the pile of resumes, you want to do everything right. This includes triple checking that your grammar and spelling are correct. Especially because many jobs require solid communication skills, either with customers or clients, your prospective boss is looking for someone who can communicate credibly and properly.

Keeping your resume to these guidelines will have you well on your way to landing your dream job. But what about grabbing a hiring manager’s attention with your cover letter? When you have your flawless resume set up, check out our tips on crafting the perfect cover letter here to truly perfect your application.

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Featured photo credit: Flazingo Photos via flickr.com

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Alicia Prince

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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