Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

Does Your Resume Sell Your Key Skills?

Does your resume or online profile tell the world all about you? Does it sell your skills? Are you using key words that help it stand out in a search? Have you defined your brand? If not, now is the time to do it.

I put my website into a tool called Wordle, which creates word pictures based on key words. The picture below is what was created. It tells me that I am positioning my work exactly where it is supposed to be, helping job seekers and career changers find new opportunities.

Go to Wordle, put in your resume or better yet, your profile (who you are and what you can do) and make sure that what comes back is the right message. Key word searches, meta tags, and inherent messages in online profiles will ultimately sell job seekers to their next employers. Take your LinkedIn profile and put it through Wordle to check and define your skills set.

Create a profile that is imaginative, uses key words, and picks up the language of the employer in their job application. Better yet, make sure that you think like the employer and do research on their company. Do a Wordle picture of your next potential employer and compare it to the resume that you are sending in. When they match very closely, your message is on point. Use a key words search to define and ultimately sell your skills set as a solution person to the employers need or problem.

Continued from part 1 of Filling Gaps in Your Resume – First 5 Tips

Part 2 – Next 5 tips

  1. Always Update Your Resume                        
    • Keep track of your full-time job search
    • Use a database or a CRM to track all of your contacts – useful in interviews and later on when that potential employer you applied to eight months ago finally calls (I recommend using Jibber Jobber – www.jibberjobber.com)
    • Consider changing careers – do research on new careers / companies
    • Go on Information Interviews – to research into new markets and potential employers
    • Go after the Hidden Job Market
  2. Try Job Sharing or Part-Time Work
    • Consider job sharing – will help you keep your skills current
    • Find contracts as opposed to only looking for full-time work
    • Take a part-time job to keep yourself afloat, keep yourself networked, and keep your spirits up 
  3.  Work with Former Employers and Colleagues
    • Call up a former employer and offer to help them with their latest projects
    • Do some free-lance work
    • Support former colleagues by offering your assistance 
  4. Join Professional Organizations
    • Maintain contacts and find new ones by joining professional organizations in your field and in your community 
      •  Examples of such organizations are the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) {or the one for your province or state}, Certified  Human Resources Professional (CHRP) {or the one for your province or state}, Project Management Institute (PMI), etc.
    • Find mentors, co-workers and new projects to work on
    • Network through these organizations – search their job boards and databases
    • Work on a Board of Directors of a professional organization in order to get noticed
  5. Build and Work on Your Network
    • Always work on your network before you need it and continue to work on it when you get laid-off
    • Consider becoming a Mentor
    • Attend meetings of local community groups that support laid-off workers and find new ways to expand your network, knowledge and your field i.e. Kanata Kareer Group (KKG in Ottawa, Canada), OCRI – Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation,  The Ottawa Network (TON), etc.
    • Find community groups in your city or town where you can expand your knowledge and obtain support while looking for a new opportunity
    • Listen and join podcasts, read blogs, join LinkedIn discussion groups – make comments on all and get noticed

It’s really hard to find full-time work unless you are actively working at the job hunt everyday. When job seekers have not tried to fill the gaps and say that they have been ACTIVELY JOB SEEKING, potential employers are turned off.  Companies who might be hiring do not even consider qualified job seekers for an interview when they have large gaps in their resumes. It is better to fill the gap with relevant and useful work rather than to leave breaks where you could have been doing something useful and proactive   

Your resume is one of your best marketing tools, so try to show potential employers just how skilled and accomplished you really are by “Filling Gaps in Your Resume”.

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