Recently, a mid-level marketing professional contacted me about getting assistance with his career marketing and job search process.
I was not surprised to hear the frustration, worry and concern in his voice; often a successful, fruitful job search can take more than six months and sometimes even as long as a year.
I know that is not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth – there are no guarantees with any job search, it simply comes down to the right time and the right opportunity. Luck has nothing to do with it, it’s all about preparation.
So back to my worried and concerned job seeker – well, he knew investing in resume writing and personal branding services would better position and market him for new career opportunities, but I guess he needed more proof. Proof that about my identity, proof about my credentials, proof that my services will magically change his life. Proof, proof, proof!
Why am I telling you all of this? You will be in similar situations where employers and recruiters will for proof of performance and achievements to validate what you’re saying in interviews and what’s written on your resume.
Here are a few recommendations on how to effectively “sell” yourself rather than just “telling” your career story:
- Create a Career Highlights or Critical Leadership Initiatives document that showcases three to five top career achievements written in the Challenge-Action-Results format…make sure to use it as a leave-behind document after interviews and networking meetings.
- Use VisualCV.com to upload samples of your work, video clips, articles, press items, notable mentions, third-party endorsements and other favorable data that cannot fit on a two-page resume.
- Update your LinkedIn profile to include recent, relevant and positive recommendations and endorsements from former colleagues, bosses, clients, vendors and anyone who can directly comment on your work performance.
- Properly prepare for interviews (job-related and informational) so you can respond to behavioral-style questions with quantifiable, realistic stories and examples that demonstrate your skills, knowledge and abilities.
- Conduct extensive companies, understand industry challenges and develop your own “how-to” examples of potential business solutions you can bring to the table – remember describe the “what”and not the “how”, so that no-one else steals your ideas.
Channel your energy and your response not on why you should get the job, but demonstrate why they (the companies) need you…show that you are the perfect solution and the missing link on their team.