I’ve had a blast doing some resume makeover webinars lately – so much so that I’m doing a new webinar on LinkedIn profile makeovers later this month.
Now, explaining how to incorporate a personal brand into a resume (or LinkedIn profile) can be tricky — It’s a fairly nebulous concept to explain. So I decided to borrow from the tried and true “before” and “after” photos and show resume makeovers in this way.
Think of it as the career coach version of “What Not To Wear:”
- what not to include on your resume
- how to match the style to your job
- how to pair your experience with the right keywords.
I’m a very visual person, so I like real examples, and I’ll be using real world examples again for the LinkedIn profile webinar.
During the Q&As after the resume makeovers, and at least three times a week, I get asked: “Do I have to tweak my resume for each and every job?” My short answer is yes. Of course you do.
You absolutely need to target the content to what you know the employer is looking for. I know, I know, it’s not easy. But that’s what it takes (remember, you’re trying to make it into the candidate pool) to get your resume/LinkedIn profile noticed. You’ve got to get noticed to be a candidate, so that’s why it’s critical to hitting this mark.
After they hear the short answer, at least one in three people follow up with “But I spend so much time tweaking each resume – isn’t there a more efficient way of doing it?” When I ask how much time they’re spending per resume, it’s not uncommon for me to hear anywhere between one and two hours. That’s per resume. And that’s crazy. Must. Stop.
While there is no easy shortcut (you’d know about it if there were – I will not hold out on you) there is an easier way to do it. It’s to find your sweet spot.
Your sweet spot is the intersection of what you do well with the understanding of what’s most marketable about you.
What is your sweet spot and how do you find it? Excellent question. First, let me clarify one thing about tweaking your resume, OK? If you’re spending an hour or two editing your resume every time you send it out, there’s one of two things happening:
One: you’re either not clear about your most marketable skills/experience (most likely) or;
Two: you’re applying to the wrong types of jobs (random jobs where your skills and experience don’t translate on paper).
Here are two blog posts where I share suggestions about getting clear about your most marketable skills/experience: “Formula for a Great Resume” and “Decision: Look for a New Job or Stay Where You Are?”
And if you’re applying for random jobs, stop. Right now. Why? Because you’re wasting your most valuable commodity – time – on a false sense of productivity. I know how it goes… sometimes you apply for jobs just so you can say you’re doing something to move your job search forward. In this case, nothing is better than something.
Save this energy and invest it in you. Use that hour to help you understand something yourself. Maybe you’ll journal. Maybe you’ll take a walk. Maybe you’ll make a list of all the meaningful professional compliments you’ve received. Or you can research your marketability. Or reflect on your successes. Or get clear about what you really want. Just don’t get caught up in feeling like self-reflection isn’t productive.
What self-assessment provides is access to your sweet spot. Your sweet spot is the intersection of what you do well with the understanding of what’s most marketable about you. When you find this sweet spot, you’ll spend less time tweaking and more time targeting ideal opportunities. Oh – and here’s another thing… your sweet spot will make things more fun.
You don’t believe that “fun” and “job search” belong in the same sentence? Then how about more enjoyable? Can you tolerate a more enjoyable job search? Take a stab at finding your sweet spot and report back.
I’m Stacey Lane: Confidence Builder. Networking Smarts. Resume Wordsmith. Personal Branding Strategist. Career Coach.
I help individuals with unique backgrounds find their perfect fit and effectively market themselves so they find work that is as interesting as they are.
Contact me to get started!
FREE Webinars to Watch at Your Convenience: Need to makeover your resume? Or figure out what your next career will be? Need help attracting the perfect job to you? Learn more and signup for my FREE webinars here.