Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself With Your Resume

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your resume as a list of qualifications and accomplishments. What will really makes it work for you is to treat it as a sales brochure, highlighting all of the reasons why an employer should look at you for the benefits you bring to them.

Consider this: whenever you’re on the job hunt, you’re basically acting as a salesperson. The product you’re selling? You!


Sales professionals often give out brochures or other documents to provide additional, compelling information to potential customers. In exactly the same way you’ll give out your resume to potential employers to provide Selling Yourself additional, compelling information about you. A big part of making this an effective strategy is making sure you’ve established a clear narrative in your resume that makes it obvious that you are the right person for their job.

It’s amazing how many people I talk to who never tweak their resume to match the unique needs of a specific position; they just send the same version of the document to every potential employer. When you do this, you’re likely leaving many irrelevant former positions and skills in play. These become distractions to that important person who ultimately reads your resume and decides – often in seconds – whether you are a good fit for their needs.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t keep prior work experience on a resume if it’s not completely relevant to the position you’re seeking. But what you should do is make sure that you use that experience or other skills you have in a way that clearly explains how it makes you qualified for a given position. Show exactly how your skills and experience being specific benefits to their situation.

Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your entering the workforce without a long history of work experience. Yes you worked a job as a camp counselor every summer through your undergraduate years, but with your degree in hand you are now applying for a job with a marketing firm. While you wouldn’t necessarily focus on the duties of your former position, you could emphasize the leadership, organization, supervision and general people and event management skills you used every day in that work.

Take a good look at your resume before you send in your next application. Does it have a clear narrative that “sells” you to that potential employer? If not, it’s time to make some adjustments.

Good hunting!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

battle plan for auditors

How to Be Productive With Your Job Hunt

There’s no getting around it: hunting for jobs is a pain. It’s time consuming, stressful and occasionally disheartening. Worst of all, it’s easy to lose focus, potentially keeping you unemployed for even longer.

However, there are certain steps you can take to be more productive with your job hunt and avoid losing focus. You’ve probably heard this before, but just in case: when you’re unemployed and searching for a job, you need to think of your job search as your full-time job. Treating your search this way makes it much more likely to yield results.

Here are some tips that you should consider:

  • Plan out your days. Just as you would with an average work day, plan out what your days look like while on the job hunt. You might reserve certain days for networking sessions, or set aside blocks of hours looking job huntingfor jobs online. You should also reserve time to tweak your resume, fill out applications, write letters, etc. Stay organized with your planning so that you start to get yourself into a routine; that makes it much easier to stay focused.
  • Track everything. Keep a thorough spreadsheet of all your job seeking activities. Track the jobs that you’ve applied for, when you applied for them, who your contact person was and when you followed up. You should also track all of the networking contacts you’ve made and when you had correspondence with them. Update this spreadsheet regularly to make sure that you’re staying organized.
  • Take advantage of technology. Use social networking or job hunting sites to your advantage. Many of them even have email alert systems when jobs that match your searches or your qualifications show up. You can get alerts as soon as listings are posted, so you can have an inside track on applications.
  • Revise your resume and cover letter for each application. You won’t find great results if you use the same generic resume and cover letter for every position you pursue. Research the target organization and what they’re looking for in an applicant so you have a better understanding of how to frame your application materials.
  • Keep your schedule arranged like you would at work. Get up early, stay well groomed and dressed, take lunch breaks and call an end to your job hunting activities by a certain time of the day. This will make your transition into your eventual new job a lot easier, and also keep you more productive during your search.

Getting that important work position is critical. Take these and other steps that each increase the probability of a successful pursuit. Good hunting!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”