Posts tagged ‘differentiation’

Important things you need to have on your resume

Sure it’s important to include your name, contact information, work history, education and key responsibilities.

The biggest mistake people make is leaving out their key differentiators.

What do employers really want to know about you? They want to know that you produce results.

  • What problems have you solved?
  • Did you serve as a project or team leader? Mentor to others?
  • Have you helped the company save money, improve efficiency or increase productivity?

And it doesn’t stop here. Anywhere that you can, you need to quantify and quality your achievements:

  • How many dollars did you save the company by your efforts?
  • How much in additional business did you bring in?
  • What was the percentage increase you brought about in productivity, safety, efficiency…?

In a tight job market, and as a young person just starting out in general, it’s important to include these extras to make you stand out in a sea of typical resumes and typical candidates.

April 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm 3 comments

Updating your resume after your first job

Making the transition from “recent graduate” to full-fledged “business professional” can be tough. The resume you have when you first get out of school may not have a lot of relevant job experience. Sure that part time job got you through school, but most employers aren’t really interested in your summer as a wedding caterer or camp counselor by the time you hit 25.

That being said, while you’re busy growing up and become a professional, your resume also needs to grow up. Here’s how you do it:

  1. If you haven’t already, get rid of anything highschool related. No one cares what your GPA was junior year or that you were captain of the math team. If you went to a prestigious high school (like many people in St. Louis), think about getting active in the alumni association and putting that in a Community Involvement section.
  2. Unless you had a very important leadership or employment role, you can probably remove most of your club or social involvement from college too. If you were a part of a Greek organization that may help for networking, get involved in the alumni association and put that in your Community Involvement section too.
  3. Move your education information down underneath your work experience. Now that you have job experience, that’s a lot more important that your liberal arts degree that everyone else has, too.
  4. Add an executive summary displaying your key skills and traits as well as your specific objectives for career development. Let’s face it, after graduation your objective literally translated to “please give me a job, any job.” Now that you’ve been out in the real world for a couple years, it’s important to know where you want to go next and what you’ll bring to your next employer.

To demonstrate the before and after of a resume makeover after a first job, check out Chris Mann’s new resume and his first resume out of school.

Still not sure how to make your resume mature with your career? E-mail me.

March 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm 2 comments

Advice on making a job switch in a tough market

Read Amy Hoover’s latest article “Salary and Title Expectations” on her Talent Zoo “Career Oxygen” blog for some great advice on how to make a job switch in a tough market.

I have a lot of friends that have been out of school for about 2 years now that are ready to make a move to a second job, but aren’t sure about what to do in an unstable market. Hoover’s article explains what to expect from the process, including moves that can help or hurt your career in the long term.

March 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Advice to college students

Earlier this month I visited an Integrated Communications Campaign class taught by my former boss at SLU. She asked me to talk to the class of college juniors and seniors… telling them about my college experience, job search and job. After telling my story (and probably boring the poor kids for 30 minutes), I offered a couple bits of advice:

If I could offer you some advice, I’d tell you to do something that you love. Something that you don’t mind getting there early to do or staying late. Don’t know what you want to do? You need to get out there! Intern. Job shadow. Go on informational interviews. Volunteer. You’ll learn best by doing.

When at all possible, work with people that you respect and will make you a better person. I have been extremely fortunate to work with people like this.

Your personal brand is important. Who you know and what you’ve done… that’s who you are. Network. And never burn bridges.

If you’re interested in getting into interactive marketing, do it. Our generation is naturally more tech savvy because we’ve grown up doing it. Read blogs. Check out web sites. Talk to people in the business.

Keep idea books. Bookmark web sites you like or articles that have good ideas in them. Part of what makes people successful in marketing is knowing what’s already been done… and how you can apply similar principles to your clients and innovate by improving on what’s already out there.

Then, to my surprise, I came across an article today: 10 job hunting tips for this year’s college graduates. In his blog post, Edward Boches,  Chief Creative Officer of Mullen, offers some very similar tips for how to get hired in advertising right out of school.

February 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

Top Interview Mistakes – Part 2

Continuing my series on the worst mistakes people make during interviews, here’s number #5 – Insufficient answers.

Did you know that 30 percent of hiring managers think that interviewees do not provide sufficient answers to questions during interviews? The best way to prevent insufficient answers in your own interviews is to prepare for difficult questions ahead of time.

Continue Reading June 4, 2008 at 4:38 am 1 comment