Whether you are going for a new job or a new career, packaging your background and experience in a persuasive and compelling way is critical to moving your search forward. The most effective packaging goes far beyond a resume–it is the whole enchilada. It’s you on paper, online and in person. Everything matters!
Take the Career Packaging Quiz
Surprisingly, even high achievers in the job market make some very basic mistakes in how they package themselves. How many of these are you making? (BTW, these same mistakes can hurt your chances for moving up in your organization, too.)
- Saying too much. A wall of words is daunting to a recruiter. You don’t need to say everything about what you did.
- Focusing on the unimportant. Whether it’s too many or too few words, they need to showcase your results. That’s what employers are hiring.
- Leading with an ambiguous goal. Clarity is magnetic! The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it will be for others to help you find it. (Read more about clarity and how to get it in my book, Do Your Great Work! Learn the Rules, Dissolve the Myths that Hold You Back and Start Making It Happen Today.)
- Obsessing about formats and fonts. A simple layout in an easy-to-read font with plenty of white space will get your message across better than any complicated layout with fancy type.
- Telling vs. showing. You can tell people what you did by way of your job description or you can show them what you did by talking about your results. Which do you think an employer is buying? (See Mistake #2.)
- Delivering a vague or rambling elevator pitch. It’s that clarity thing, again. Short and sweet wins the day.
- Ignoring the importance of LinkedIn. Yes, there are still a few people who don’t know (or believe) that LinkedIn has any place in their job search. Amazing!
- Diluting the message with distractions. A great background and experience can sink under the weight of unnecessary or inappropriate “stuff.” That goes for head shots, clothing choices, and all the rest of your personal presentation.
- Leading others back on social media to a misspent past or present. Those party pictures and hot button rants certainly let people know what you think and do, but how well do they sell you into the work you want?
- Believing that career packaging starts and ends with the resume. Your resume is just your big business card, a door-opener to an interview. Remember, you are the gift inside the package.
Scoring: If you recognize yourself in one or more of the above, spend time working on that issue to improve your chances for achieving your goals.
Until next time,