Most people think an understated approach to your job search is both respected and desired. We are not trained on how to self-promote and celebrate our accomplishments particularly when it comes to writing a resume or a bio. Often times we address ourselves in the third person or don’t address ourselves at all in a resume and use bullet points with statistics to talk about what we’ve achieved in our job. The next time you think a piece of paper or an electronic email is not an extension of YOU-think again. Making the most of who you are and what you did on paper is as important as your in-person interview. So when you have the chance to sing your praises, make sure to belt-it-out!
The next time you apply for a job I’m not suggesting you take out a bus ad or a billboard pronouncing your greatness. I am however, suggesting that a little self-promotion can go a long way in telling someone you don’t know a little bit about your accomplishments. Using buzz terms like, “a proven-leader,” “innovator”, “people person” or “change-agent” is not what I’m getting at either. People can read through the fluff without substance terms you use just as much as they can determine whether or not you are a “cultural fit”. Having a balanced resume or bio that outlines your triumphs and successes without being over-bearing or too statistical is the best way to tell someone how great you are without stating, “how great you are”.
It’s surprising to me how many writers, editors, publicists, marketing and business leaders have horribly executed resumes or bios. They either read like a who’s who of accomplishments or are so mired in statistics and analytics that you are not sure whether you are reading a resume or the Dow Jones report!. No one wants to read who you know or how many titles you had in one company, they want to read about what you did to, 1) increase revenues; 2) increase distribution; and, 3) save money and cut expenses. If your resume does not address any and all of these in some meaningful way while promoting your accomplishments, than frankly, your resume is not worth the paper it is written on.
Like any good sales person you have to, 1) know your audience; 2) deliver what the customer wants; and 3) be able to close the deal. In your case, you want to tailor your resume and bio to your audience and deliver what they want by doing the following:
1) Make sure your resume/bio is tailored to the business and position you are applying for. Which means if you have to tweak it for a specific company take the time and do it.
2) Make sure you do your homework on the company and read the posting or job description in detail. If need be, find someone in the company you can discuss the position with to determine challenges and opportunities and make sure your resume/bio highlights those in a BIG way (belt-it-out!) before you apply for the job.
3) Don’t hold back! If you’ve got what it takes and what they are looking for capitalize on your accomplishments, awards, achievements and testimonials-yes it’s time to shine if you want to close the deal and get an interview and hopefully a job offer!
Make sure you are living up to your true potential and don’t be afraid to let others know how great you are. Bragging for the sake of bragging when you have nothing to back it up is not going to get you noticed by those handing out job offers – people will see through that. Singing your own praises when in fact you have accomplished a great deal is what will get you noticed and in this market, that’s all you are looking for, that and of course a great job offer!
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