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  • resume strategyIf you are fortunate enough to have had a long and successful career in one field and you are pursuing another position in the same area, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. For most job seekers, the search is more about survival than it is for career satisfaction. As we all know, the wider the net you can cast, the more likely you are to land something viable. However, this does not come without its challenges when it comes to resume strategy.

    Your resume can only hold so many characters and so many words. Additionally, your reader is only looking for so many skills, experiences, and qualifications. So the built-in challenge becomes “How does one develop a resume flexible enough for multiple goals, while focusing enough on any one reader to draw interest for an interview”?

    The answer to whether a viable resume target mix is possible depends upon WHICH employment targets are being pursued. For a resume to achieve any kind of consistency in performance, it must quickly communicate (usually within 10 seconds) that there is enough of a match for the HR manager or recruiter to explore further. Now, if our reader has to wade through totally unrelated content before getting to what matters to them, you will lose them. So the secret of a successful multi-targeted resume depends upon the commonality of the qualifications.

    For example, a resume strategy involving the targets Database Administrator and IT Project Manager, is likely to perform better than one for designed for a Database Administrator and Librarian. Think of your employment targets as being physical targets 30 feet in front of you. Then, consider your resume to be one handful of rocks. The farther apart the targets, the more difficult it will be to hit them with that one handful of rocks. But the closer together they are, the easier it will be.

    As a resume development strategy, it is recommended that you first prioritize the targets. Then, it is best to develop the resume to ensure that the primary target is fully addressed. Next, you would want to then begin integrating as much of the second target into the resume as possible. If you begin to notice a sort of dissonance between the content for each, you are going down the wrong path. The resume’s content should not fight against itself for attention. When this happens, think of how your reader will absorb this. While reviewing the documents, they will wonder why 50% of the information is even in front of them. At this point, you have lost the battle.

    There is nothing wrong with a diverse job search. In fact, for many people it is a necessity. But what will never change is that you must have the right tool to do any job. A resume that tries to cover too much ground will fail more often than it will succeed. When your employment goals have too many uncommon elements, you will simply need another resume to ensure both give you the results you seek.

    Be objective when it comes to your resume strategy development. It may be tempting to attempt to cover everything in one document, but remember, you are not the audience. Your readers are really pressed for time and do not want to go through the 200-plus resumes that have been handed to them. Make it too difficult to see your value and, well, let’s just say your search continues, shall we?

  • personal brandingWe all look to stay as employable as we possibly can. Not necessarily “employed”, but “employable. Being employed is always good. But being employable comes in handy when you happen to find yourself unemployed. As part of your career management strategy, ensuring an optimal skill set should not be the only item on your “To Do” list. What is the use of a killer skill set if no one knows you have it. Yeah, yeah, your Resume Clinic resume and cover letter will definitely give you an advantage, especially at the beginning of the process where 85% of applicants will be weeded out. But you have to think bigger than that. When you’re managing your career the right way, you should be looking for ways to raise your profile within your chosen profession. Here are a few easy things you can do to get started in establishing yourself as a leader in your chosen field.

    Personal Branding Strategy #1: Start a Blog or Vlog

    Hey, if you do something for 2080+ hours every year (the official number of work hours for the standard 40-hour per week employee), you are bound to know a lot about it. Well, there’s no easier way to let the world know than to begin your own blog or Vlog on the subject. There are any number of platforms you can use for free, including WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr, which is hot right now. A well maintained blog / vlog with thoughtful and insightful posts tells other professionals you take your career seriously. You can also offer to guest post on related blogs to increase your profile even more. Let others do the same. Also, if you maintain a website, a regularly updated blog give your website a consistent boost of fresh content that helps your SEO.

    Personal Branding Strategy #2: Be Visible

    Getting out into the community to represent your profession establishes you as a champion for the trade. Offer to deliver presentations at the local community college on subjects related to your chosen profession. Join the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as local and national branches of associations serving your industry, as well as related ones. Serve on their committees and take an active role.

    Personal Branding Strategy #2: Social Media

    Man, I can’t tell you how many people are wrecking their brand daily on social media. Well, if you have a social media account, you already see it. Many of us make the mistake of thinking our social media accounts are separate from or professional lives, but it simply is not true. Employers are not only hiring talent, they are hiring personalities and people who will in one way or another represent THEIR brand. If you’re smart, you’ll delete all of the skimpy selfies and pics from the keggers and use the platform to reshape the view of your persona to the rest of the world. When employers are making the decision between you and your competition, they’ll see you expounding on the nuts-n-bolts of your industry, while your competition is posting fight videos and vines.

    In the future, think of your personal brand in terms of dollars and cents. Every public interaction (either real or digital) has the ability to add to your pocketbook, or subtract from it. Manage these interactions accordingly.

  •  online career managementI can remember back in the late 90s when I ran across the first person I knew who had no home landline phone. He was a cell phone only guy. It thought the guy weird. But dude was just ahead of his time. At some point, the weird looks began to be reserved for those who didn’t have a cell phone. Today, you would think that a cell phone comes with a social security number. Our presence on social media is currently cycling through such a transition. When they first appeared, social media accounts were seen as novel entertainment vehicles (well, they can STILL be quite entertaining, and time draining if not careful). But we are moving into a time where people begin to wonder about you if you are NOT on some type of social media.

    How does this relate to one’s online career management, you ask? Well, let’s remember that hiring managers are always looking to eliminate candidates to manage the process. They may get 185 applicants for 1 position and need trim that resume stack to 20 interview-worthy candidates in 48 hours. Trust me when I tell you they manufacture reasons to get rid of applicants. With social media being such an integral aspect of our society, one begins to wonder “Why AREN’T they on social media?” The hiring manager’s mind is suspicious by nature, so the imagination begins to go into overdrive:

    • “Is this candidate avoiding social media because they have high-drama people they are trying to avoid?”
    • “Were they once on social media and left because they became addicted to it?”
    • “Are they in trouble with the law and staying off social media to avoid being caught?”
    • “Are they not up with the times and not comfortable with the changes in technology?”

    Social media has almost become synonymous with your driver’s license and other forms of ID. Not necessarily passing opinion on whether it is a good or bad thing, but it is a TRUE thing and should be considered an important aspect of online career management. Did you know that as of the 2nd quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users? Many want to avoid the noise that social media brings. But one doesn’t have to fully take in the noise to get the benefits that social media can provide in establishing ones brand and confirming they are in fact of the 21st century.

    Don’t do it for the celebrity gossip. Think of online career management activities instead. Join professional pages, participate in career related conversations, and build your professional network. Let your social media footprint communicate your relevance and professional knowledge.

    And stop making people think you’re on the run! (geez!)

  • entry level resumeIt is no mystery to anyone who has ever sought guidance on how to write a resume. Brevity is key to keeping your reader’s attention. Of course, one does not want to bite off one’s nose to spite one’s face. There are times when the approach to a resume is too choppy and the punch is not delivered with the power needed to convey the qualifications. There is erroneous advice often given (and sometimes by career professionals) that no resume should exceed one page. But for a professional with 15 years of experience to communicate, one page won’t do. But what about our entry level resume people out there? Well, for you, the one-page entry level resume approach is a MUST.

    If you are an entry level candidate, be it a new college grad or someone transitioning into a different field, there is only so much you can say that will be of interest to the hiring authority. If you received your degree in engineering this past May and have four jobs in the fast food industry, the hiring authority will not be interested in several lines of detail on your back-of-house job description. There is no reason this information should take up 70% of the page space in your entry level resume. Instead, take your reader on a journey into your education, training, certifications, and technical skills. Trimming detail from your professional experience entries will ensure that your reader’s time and attention stays focused on where it should be. Let’s not forget that the valuable white space added to the document gives your reader’s eyes a rest. After all, what if your resume is the 145th of 175 entry level resume submissions they will be reading that day? Remember, the average resume has only 6 to 10 seconds to impress.

    When it comes to entry level positions, the hiring authority will not expect you to have experience. So there is no need to pepper into the entry level resume work experience of another kind just to have it. The position’s skeleton itself is important (job title, employer name, date range) because it gives them a needed information for background checks and communicates your ability to hold gainful employment. Also, if you have any highlights in those positions that can communicate your ability to rise above your peers and contribute, this can have some value. But be sure to stop there. If you want your entry level resume to bear fruit.

  • laptop and notebookEvery now and then, the subject comes up at to whether or not hiring a resume writer is considered perpetrating a fraud upon the reader. Usually, those who are asking the question do not truly understand the hiring process is supposed to achieve. Or just not thinking about it. Let’s use an example to illustrate the point.

    A company finds itself in need of a top-notch business development professional. There are several critical qualifications of each applicant they will want to consider. However, this critical juncture in the sourcing and hiring process also involves limited reader time and concentration. After all, you are looking at anywhere from dozens to hundreds of resumes that need to be reviews prior to selecting the lucky interviewees. Now, if our esteemed HR professional has to review 175 resumes in order to find 15 qualified and this needs to be done by end of business tomorrow, what type of document do you believe this professional would want to see? Do you believe this individual would want to wade through poorly organized resumes to determine our business development professional’s network building skills, presentation development acumen, or sales closing skills?

    Think of it this way: is someone misrepresenting themselves in a court of law when they hire an attorney to speak on their behalf? Of course not. A smart person knows that in order to get the desired legal judgment, they need someone who knows the process and has the resources to quickly get and interpret the information necessary for their defense. What a professional resume writer does for their clients is similar in nature to what an attorney does for theirs. We help our clients to navigate the process by avoiding the pitfalls that can hurt your cause. You can bet that our HR professional does not care who wrote the resume. As long as it clearly and honestly communicates our professional’s relevant skill set in a way that can be easily digested, they will be happy.

    After all, do you believe our hiring authority really cares about the resume writing skill of a rainmaker who can bring home a $38 million account? Nah, me either.

  • help your careerWe are head-long into the meat of an election year. The mud is being slung and the posturing has begun. But did ever consider how this time of year is a great opportunity to help your career management efforts? Whether you are out of a job and looking, holding down a great job, or a business owner, lending a hand to your local (or national) political figures can help you position yourself for success.

    Networking Bonanza

    Make no mistake, no matter how advanced technology gets and how many avenues are developed for finding a job (or a better one), nothing will EVER beat your well-developed and diverse network of contacts. And where better to grow and strengthen that network than within the political sphere? From your fellow volunteers, to campaign contacts of influence and the candidates themselves, it is a veritable cornucopia of fertile relationship development ground. Campaign volunteers should approach this opportunity the same way a young intern would and internship. Keep your eyes, ears, and contact book open for leads that can help your career and long-term professional mission.

    Understanding the Political Process / Business Symbiosis

    When most people see a business open, they never consider all of the things that may have gone into making that possible. Everything that makes up the climate in which that business can flourish (zoning laws, grant money, tax issues, etc.) had its evolution come from the political process. Donating your time in a campaign can give you a better understanding as to what goes into creating a particular business climate that may affect everything from businesses relocating to your town, to potential hiring windows coming down the line. Hey, you may be looking to start your own business one day soon (at least you should be). This is an excellent way to learn the terrain that helps you build one that is viable and sustainable.

    Looks Great on Your Resume (Maybe)

    Okay, how much your campaign involvement will help your career through your resume is not as clear cut. One’s resume writing strategy needs to revolve around keep the reader engaged POSITIVELY. That means avoiding content that can be a turnoff to your reader. If you are supporting a far left candidate through your volunteer efforts, you may have better luck getting your resume past the gatekeepers in a social service non-profit on the west coast than you will an oil and gas company in the deep south. Regardless of the political affiliation, the extent in your involvement in the campaign can communicate to your resume’s reader that you may have inroads to certain rainmaker that can benefit their long-term cause. If this is the case, consider dedicating more than just a one-line blurb. Elaborate a bit on any notable interactions with high profile personalities that can be a conversation starter. Or perhaps you can document involvement in any noteworthy events.Either way, always think about your audience before including this information on your resume.

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