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Was Your Resume Rejected? Here’s What to Do Next

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Was Your Resume Rejected? Here’s What to Do Next

You’re whipping your resume into shape for 2014, and you’ve done everything to make the document more appealing. You’ve even applied all the recruitment tips to the t.

You’re now waiting for the right opportunity to send your shiny resume off to a dream employer who’ll be floored by your awesomeness.

Sadly, there are several hiccups before that can happen. Most employers will spend about 5–7 seconds on your resume, and that too if you’re among the first few applicants received 200 seconds after the job is posted (yes, that’s 200 seconds only!)

If you do manage to hit “Send” in those first few minutes, there’s a huge chance you’ll be looked up online (68% employers will search for you on Facebook), so you want to make sure your after-party video does not make it to YouTube.

One spelling mistake and you’ve lost your only chance.

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But that’s not all—once you do take care of all the possible road blocks, you have a new problem.

How do you stand out from the crowd who have put equal amount of effort and care in their resumes?

The answer is simple. You must do what most of your competition hasn’t thought of yet: Embrace the technology of Interactive Resumes.

Needless to say, an interactive resume (when done right) will get you far in the fiercely competitive race for a job than a plain, boring one.

For starters, interactive resumes let you show your personality to your prospects. You become “more human” and less of a faceless applicant (that said, do not put a photo on your resume ever—research states that 88% of employers will reject you if you have a photo on the document).

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Secondly, with interactive resumes, you get to show your creativity, which could well be the deciding factor between you and the next person.

But before we delve further, let’s first take a look at what it means to build an interactive resume.

Just What Is an Interactive Resume?

This question can be best answered using an example. Check out Robby Leonardi’s Mario-inspired resume here to get an idea.

An interactive resume, unlike the traditional ones, is a website created with the sole purpose to showcase your skills, knowledge and abilities so far. Think of it as your store-front where you put your best wares for sale.

Interactive resumes are also known as multi-media resumes which include audio, text, video, links and graphics that give you a lot of room to play and build credibility.

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But don’t be mistaken—your resume doesn’t have to be over the top and scare off the employer. Some industries may not be ready for a fluorescent-themed animation (is anyone ready for that?) but if subtly done, by mixing creativity and fun, you can build a cool resume that captures your prospect’s attention, such as this one.

More Benefits of Interactive Resumes

1. You always know what happens to your application.

With most text-based resumes, you have no idea if the document was ever opened. If you never heard from the employer, how do you know if they even looked at your application?
Since an interactive resume is basically a website, you can track the number of clicks and the most popular links on your resume using monitoring services such as Click Meter.

2. You can update your resume instantaneously.

With traditional resumes, once you’ve sent it away to the employer, you won’t be able to send them an updated version (unless you’re asked for one).

With an interactive resume however, you can almost instantly make changes and keep your career history updated for head-hunters.

3. You can make informed decisions based on the clicks.

Let’s say you have a link to your YouTube video on your resume. If you notice employers clicking the link and staying on your YouTube page a lot, then you can make the smart decision to keep adding/updating your videos.

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4. You prove you’re comfortable using new technology.

One of the selling points, especially for older job-hunters, is the ability to stay abreast with technology. If you’re a graphics designer looking for a job, an interactive resume can give you an edge over competition.

The Downsides

Like everything in life, interactive resumes come with their own set of flaws. One could be the industry you’re applying in is not yet ready to face such interactivity. For such industries, bring in a moderate level of interactivity with hyperlinks to your blog and website.

Another possible down-side could arise when head-hunters compare different resumes. They could have a hard time comparing your interactive resume with other text-based ones, so much so that they might give up on reading yours.

How to Create Interactive Resumes?

Okay, you’re now convinced and ready to give interactive resumes a go. The question naturally arises “Just how do I create these beautiful resumes? Do I have to learn to code?”

Thankfully, there are services that do the most work for you. So no, you don’t have to learn coding. This tool lets you create interactive resumes for free and you don’t need to download any additional software either.

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Your Turn

Have you ever built an interactive resume for a job? How did it go? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

Want more? How to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd.

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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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