I have heard this statement over and over again “Find a need and fill it.” Mostly people use it to describe opening their own business, creating a product or service, or selling something. Today I’m applying it to your job search and your resume. Find what the employer needs and sell them on how you can fill it. Specifically how you can do it, how much better you can do it than everyone else, and why they should give you a chance. This principle applies to your resume AND your interview. So let’s figure out what makes you different.
I often tell job seekers to think about what makes them unique. I generally ask what their three biggest strengths are and what their biggest weakness is. They can tell me those questions honestly because I’m not their interviewer. Then I ask what one career accomplishment they’re most proud of. Typically these questions give me a starting point to assess what the client feels they are best at and it is a good point for you to start at too.
After I address strengths and weaknesses I like to review resumes using the challenge, action, result format. Not in the typically resume writing way you may see on some samples but I like to know in each place you were employed what were your major challenges, how did you address those challenges, and what happened as a result of you addressing them? These simple questions provide me with measurable accomplishments. Measurable accomplishments lead to unique qualities, and unique qualities bring me to (drum roll please) **Your Professional Brand**.
When I think back over my career as an HR Manager I think about my most notable achievements. I reduced employee turnover from 50% to 12%. I decreased the amount of time it took to prescreen, interview, hire and train new employees from 3 weeks to 1 week. I decreased grievances by 50%. All of these points saved the organization’s I worked for immeasurable amounts of money. It also speaks volumes for what I can accomplish for an organization. If you think about major expenditures in the human capital market turnover and on boarding are the largest. I am a unique candidate in that I can implement processes and systems that inherently reduce a company’s output and increase their revenue. This becomes my value to a company and therefore my professional brand; how I market my skills to potential employers.
This is why it is vitally important that you do some soul searching (and career searching) for that matter. Dig deep back into your memory and start asking those tough questions. Those questions will help you figure out ‘who you are’ and how to brand yourself so prospective employers will see your worth and the value you can add to their organization. In this economy it’s all about value-added. So go get ‘em tiger – show them what you got.
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.
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