It’s 2014, and many executives and managers that I’ve been speaking to are talking about the importance of making a commitment to themselves. This is the year they will make that long overdue career leap.
With that thought in mind, I decided to write an article that would help you be noticed easier so that you get there faster. Sure, a professionally written resume is important (ask anyone who has been sending out an outdated version of their career document).
The trend in the market however for more senior positions is speeding towards combining this all important document, with something that shows your skills off in a concise, more accessible manner than the traditional resume alone.
With so many strong candidates competing for the same roles, alone, sometimes a resume is not enough. And if you do think that the experience listed on your CV speaks volumes on its own, think about this: wouldn’t you much prefer to interview a candidate who has clearly made a significant effort to stand apart from the competition?
Whilst your resume forms the backbone of your ‘personal brand’ when job hunting, it is crucial to be able to swiftly produce something that can show employers a ‘snapshot’ of who you are, what you believe in and what you can bring to an organisation in a creative way, to support your capabilities listed in your resume. I’m talking about a document that will highlight the particular skills and benefits you bring to a new organisation in a punchy, concise and intriguing way to set you aside from the pile of ordinary resumes.
Resources To Create The Wow Factor.
How big is your imagination? Now is the time to use it.
A resume, strong LinkedIn profile and a word perfect elevator pitch are invaluable tools to the job search. Nowadays however, these are only the beginning and you need to expand your thinking to consider a more colourful set of jockey silks so that recruiters sit up and take notice.
Infographics are an EXCELLENT way of presenting a ‘Best Bits’ show to a hiring manager. They are particularly suited to senior and executive roles because they are totally focused on achievement.
An Infographic is usually a graphically designed representation of your highlights, using tables, charts and diagrams to display key cost savings or revenue growth, business process improvement statistics, employee / customer feedback and testimonials and references from colleagues and clients. It’s a ‘This Is Your Work Life’ on a page and it sure packs a punch when a vibrant, well-presented infographic pops its head from the CV pile.
Industries for which an Infographic can be used for great effect for executive positions include Sales, Marketing, IT, Finance and Retail. Think Accountancy and Consultancy companies.
Personal Jobseeking Website.
I know – who has time to develop their own website, right? Actually, it is really easy if you use a template from one of the many providers that are out there. You can pop in some content and the formatting and presentation is all taken care of.
Personal Jobseeking Websites give an opportunity to provide a more ‘rounded’ view of yourself as a complete package. You can include many sections or pages, or keep it as simple as your name and a tagline. Using a Personal Jobseeking Website can let you build a story about your skills, attributes, personality and career goals, as well as allow you to present work that you have already completed. In addition, it shows that you are technically savvy – a must in 2014 and beyond.
And for those of you who still don’t like the idea of being found online (I know you’re out there) you really need to find a way forward, because if you can’t be found on Google, it’s almost as if you don’t exist!
Industries suited to Personal Jobseeking Websites include Marketing, Media, Journalism, Creative Arts, IT, Academia, Graduate roles and some Public Sector roles.
Work portfolios provide a garnish to the resume/cover letter sandwich, adding a new layer of interest and insight into previous achievements. Developing a visually stimulating Work Portfolio demonstrates your talents via career highlights and specialist skills.
These can give a busy HR Department a reason to pause and pay more attention to you. If you worked on a great construction project or marketing campaign, or introduced a new work process, get pictures of it and give some background as to why you made it successful and how it impacted the business in a positive manner.
Use a work portfolio to make recruiters sit up in Project management, Advertising, Media, Manufacturing, Creative Arts, Legal and Architecture industries.
One Page Job Proposals.
The concept of the One Page Job proposal is a fairly new entrant to the recruitment ring. It is based on identifying a problem your chosen organisation has and offering to fix it for them. It lets you show your problem solving skills, knowledge of the organisation and highlights the key capabilities you have that would help provide immediate benefit to the company.
By creating a one page proposal indicating what the problem is, how you will tackle it, how much it will cost and what the return would be, you are able to immediately display your worth above other candidates. How would you help an Oil company raise their image as socially responsible? Do you have an idea that will make consumers start trusting banks again? How about your plan for selling the game of Cricket to the USA?
A One Page Job Proposal also encourages recruiters to picture you in a role – almost a preview of how you would perform given a specific task, making you stand out as being worth the salary before you start. And it also says to the company, “I don’t need you to babysit me nor handhold me. I am smart, savvy and can add real value to your company, taking the role you imagined to heights you never imagined. This is what I can do.”
Try out a one page proposal for industries such as Retail, Media, Public Sector, Transport, IT, Banking….actually, a One Page Job Proposal will work just about anywhere, as long as you identify the right problem and provide a feasible answer to it.
Pros And Cons Of Shiny Add Ons.
The methods outlined above can help you stand out as an applicant by being concise and focused. They can also save time in rejigging your resume for every position you apply for and can show a more in depth focus on the things that really matter within a particular industry.
Be wary though. Make sure you know the company well before using a new personal branding initiative. Always follow any application guidelines and check if your portfolio or Infographic is appropriate for both the role and the organisational culture.
Don’t use just these initiatives when applying for jobs. The resume is still crucial for displaying experience and training and for ensuring that automated keyword checkers pick up on your details.
Also, I would recommend that you ‘go big or go home.’ You are selling yourself in order to appear superior to your peers, so invest some time and effort in to adding value to your existing resume and LinkedIn profile. Don’t just repeat what you already have and add another document for recruiters to read through. Make your ‘Shiny Add On’ the bright front page of your job seeking story, one that will have recruiters fighting over on the bookshelf.