PARADE Update: Creating a Rock Star Resume

PARADE Update: Creating a Rock Star Resume


Meghan found a terrific job opening at a socially conscience company where she can leverage her marketing expertise and culinary background.

As I talked about in my book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand,” this is what I know for sure: When you are able to articulate the kinds of responsibilities, the management style and company culture where you want to work in your next career – the universe has a way of sending you those opportunities.

And now the universe is churning out opportunities for Meghan! The next step is for us to create a rock star resume.

Here are my top three tips for creating a resume to help you get noticed, get hired and even get a higher salary!

Showcase key words. Key words are those skills in the job postings that are listed as the “job requirements.” Look closely at the job description and use a highlighter to mark all of the requirements listed. Then, take all of those requirements that you meet and showcase those “key words” towards the top of your resume underneath the “Objective” section. Label this section “Key Strengths” and list those requirements that you meet in bullet format.

Emphasize results. This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from your competition. Don’t talk about responsibilities. That’s boring. Instead, talk about what you have achieved for an organization, or what you’ve helped the organization achieve. For example, don’t just say that you managed a team of 9 people in the sales department. Instead, say that you led a sales team that generated $250,000 a year for the past three years. Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, numbers or percentages.

Show leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong contributors and strong leaders (or at least demonstrate leadership potential.) Talk about projects or teams that you’ve led – and what the results were. If you haven’t led any projects or teams in your professional life, then highlight any leadership experience you’ve had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church activities or community events.

Meghan’s Assignment this Week:
I gave Meghan one of my exclusive resume templates to showcase her marketing and events-management skills. She will be busy this week converting her resume from being “responsibilities” to “results” focused. That means she’ll be meeting with past managers and business associates to learn the real results of her previous marketing campaigns and big projects. Ideally, she’ll want her resume to state that her marketing campaigns helped gain a certain number of new customers, or that the projects she worked on helped generate new revenue, saved the company money, or created more market share for the organization.
Her homework assignment is not easy, but it will be the icing on the cake to help Meghan’s resume stand out from her competition and land that fabulous job.

3 Tips to Create a Rock Star Resume to get noticed, get hired and even get a higher starting salary

Prefer to listen to the podcast version of this post?
You can also subscribe to our Career Coaching 360 podcast RSS feed. Career Coaching 360 podcasts are also available on iTunes.

I want to give you a very simple piece of advice – and that is… if you’re sending out your resume and NOT hearing back from companies – then you need a stronger resume. It’s just that simple. It’s a good problem to have because it’s completely FIXABLE! If you’re going after jobs that you’re qualified for – but not hearing back from hiring managers or HR managers – then your resume stinks!! You need a stronger resume.

Did you know that your resume can do 3 things

  1. It can get you MORE INTERVIEWS.
  2. It can get you interviews for those jobs that YOU REALLY WANT. And I’m talking about those jobs that make your heart flutter a little bit.
  3. It can help you get a HIGHER STARTING SALARY.

I help clients every day by writing their resume and giving them my step-by-step career strategies. The reason my clients are able to successfully reinvent themselves and transition into a new career is because I give them the exact same strategies that I’ve personally used when I reinvented my own career and successfully transitioned into the radio, TV, professional sports and high tech industries.
So here are my top 3 resume tips to help you get noticed, get hired and even get a higher salary!

    1. Showcase key words. Key words are those skills in the job postings that are listed as the “job requirements”. Key words are different for every job, so you need to look closely at the job description – and what I do is pull out a highlighter and go through the job posting and highlight all of those requirements. And then, I take all of those requirements that I meet – and showcase those KEY WORDS, or those KEY SKILLS right at the top of my resume. Underneath my “Objective” in my resume, I have a section that I call “Key Strengths” and I list in bullet format – those requirements, or key skills, that I have. So that’s #1 – showcasing key words.

 

    1. Emphasize results. This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from your competition. Don’t talk about responsibilities. That’s boring. Instead, talk about what you achieved for an organization, or what you’ve helped the organization achieve.

      This is how I transitioned into different industries. This is how I got into the Fortune 100 Companies. Because my resume did NOT focus on responsibilities – instead, I focused on results.

      For example, don’t just say that you managed a team of 9 people in the sales department. Instead, say that you led a sales team that generated $250,000 a year for the past 3 years! Or say that your marketing campaign helped generate 3-percent of additional annual revenue, or that you helped resolve an average of 6 customer complaints a day for the past two years!

      That says that you take your job seriously, and take your career seriously! Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, numbers or percentages.

 

  1. Show leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong contributors and strong leaders (or at least leadership potential.) Talk about projects or teams that you’ve led – and what the results were. If you haven’t led any projects or teams in your professional life, then highlight any leadership experience you’ve had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church activities or community events.

Career Reinvention: 5-Step Action Plan for Changing Job Roles, Industries or Professional Goals

Prefer to listen to the podcast version of this post?
You can also subscribe to our Career Coaching 360 podcast RSS feed. Career Coaching 360 podcasts are also available on iTunes.

There are times in everyone’s career that you feel like running away and starting all over again, and I’m here to say that you can do it!

I’ve successfully reinvented my own career four times including being in radio, television, professional sports, high tech, and now a successful entrepreneur and business owner.

Now one of the things I get asked most often is, “Can I reinvent my career without taking a step down in salary?” Every time I’ve reinvented my career, I’ve received between 20 to 45% increase in my salary. So you can move into a NEW career AND INCREASE your salary.

So let me share with you my five step action plan for reinventing your career AND getting a salary increase…

  1. Find your passion. What gets you excited? What gets you jazzed? The first step in reinventing your career is to identifying where you want to go. In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn’t sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work.

    If you’re not sure where you want to go then start reading trade magazines, industry publications, on-line job sites, even classified ads in your local newspaper. The key is to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you.

  2. Identify your transferable skills. These are skills that transition from industry to industry or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.

    Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All kinds of industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.

  3. Matching your transferable skills to job roles. Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.

    Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the required skills and the skills that you currently have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, freelancing, consulting, or even volunteering.

    Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.

  4. Blow up your resume. The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.

    Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that relate to the job you want. The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know if you can do their job. You may also want to get a professional resume critique to help you customize your resume and identify your transferable skills.

  5. Attitude is the key ingredient! I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion. I’ve never walked into an interview having met all of the job requirements. In fact, for the television interview, I lacked the two biggest requirements which were a minimum of two years experience in television, and a tape to show my TV work.

    To compensate, I focused on my transferable skills which were being highly creative and a solid copywriter. That got my foot in the door for the interview. But to get the job offer and beat out the other 4 job candidates, I was passionate about the company and the job! I also told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job!

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside. A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing. When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts!

PARADE Update: Make Those 20 Seconds Count

PARADE Update: Make Those 20 Seconds Count


Meghan shares the same challenge that many job changers in today’s market are facing. That is, her career history includes such a wide variety of industries, job roles and responsibilities, that she’s not sure how to market (or position) herself to potential employers.

The biggest mistake I see job seekers making is writing their resume and including every job that they’ve ever had and every skill that they’ve ever had. However, most hiring managers don’t care about all the different skills you have and tasks you can perform – they simply want to know – can you successfully perform their job?

So to position Meghan in the best possible light to hiring managers, and help her stand out from competition, I’m working with Meghan on the following –

Step #1 – Creating her personal Career Success Blueprint™. This includes her identifying three (3) primary areas of responsibility she wants to have in her next career. She’s also identifying her “must have” conditions about the company culture, management style and working conditions. These may include a baseline salary, flexible hours, telecommuting, professional training and development, a clear career path, autonomy, growth company, etc.

Step #2 – Assessing the job market. Meghan needs to understand what kind of jobs are available that also align to her personal Career Success Blueprint™. She’ll need to review on-line job boards, industry magazines, company websites, and business periodicals to get a clear understanding of what the “hot jobs” are, and what the requirements are for those jobs.

Step #3 – Customizing a polished and professional looking resume. Hiring managers, on average, only take about 15-20 seconds to review a resume before determining whether or not to interview the job applicant. Therefore, it’s critical that Meghan’s resume showcases her in the best possible light. I’ll teach Meghan how to create a resume that highlights the right key words, and makes her stand out from the competition.

Step #4 – Developing a personalized job search strategy. Now that Meghan will have a keen focus on what she wants in her next career, as well as a top notch professional resume – now she’ll be ready to seek out those job openings. I’ll help her create an on-line and off-line targeted job search strategy, as well as give her my exclusive networking techniques to help her get more referrals, recommendations and job leads.

Is Your Resume Getting Results?

Take a look at your resume. Is it getting you results? Today’s job market is extremely competitive – having a good resume isn’t good enough. Many clients bring me their resumes complaining about not getting interviews and about how there just aren’t enough jobs out there. In reality, millions of people will get new jobs this year. So, why aren’t you one of them? The answer may be because your resume is not sending the right message.

Your resume must prove you are a clear, focused and results-driven individual who can provide the value the company needs. Employers or new clients want to see the value and the results you provided in your last work environment, so state your accomplishments in terms of dollars, percentages and numbers. How have you impacted the bottom line? Highlighting your skills is critical, but stating specific results of your accomplishments will get you the job interview.

To ensure your resume is giving the right message, I encourage you to have it professionally written, or at a minimum, professionally critiqued. The result can not only give you the edge for getting an interview, but it can help you get a higher starting salary. This can mean tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career! A resume coach may also provide great insight about the skills and qualifications valued within the industry.

5 Must-Have Tools for your Career Emergency First Aid Kit

Just like with any emergency situation it’s critical to have a plan, an exit strategy, and a toolkit with all the essentials to help you land back on your feet. So to help you bounce back quickly from any career setback, here are five essentials to have in your “career emergency toolkit”.

  1. A professionally critiqued resume. Many times your resume is the “first impression” a hiring manager has of you, so it needs to be spectacular! In order to get noticed in this tough job market, your resume must be in the top 2-percent of all submitted resumes. Does your resume measure up?
  2. An “Interview Prep Kit” including a polished portfolio, briefcase and power suit. Make sure you’re prepared for an interview, by having a hefty sample of your best work available including reports, strategic plans, proposals, campaigns or presentations that you created. This helps validate your successes and what you can do for the next company that hires you.
  3. List of high powered references. Start identifying those who could give you a strong professional recommendation. Go after those managers and executives with the highest title, biggest influence, and work for the most prestigious companies.
  4. A Deep and Wide Professional Network. Don’t wait to start networking – do it now. Send your contacts links to reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think may interest them. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers. Career influencers (those who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you) are drawn to those who are resourceful and well connected.
  5. Your Plan “B”. What is your back-up plan if you lost your job right now? Could you freelance or start consulting? Would you prefer to work part-time while getting some specialized training or advanced education to help you come back better and stronger? Create a contingency plan to help you land back on your feet quickly should your career take an unexpected turn.

The key is to always be prepared for the worst – always. By having the right tools and plans in your Career Emergency First Aid Kit, you’ll be better equipped to manage through any career setback, as well as come back faster and stronger!

Create a strategic job search plan

The single biggest mistake I see job seekers making is not having a personalized job search strategy. That is, an action plan loaded with websites, companies and people they are going to leverage to land their next career move.

Many professionals are simply applying for a few jobs they see on-line, attend a couple of networking events, and then get completely discouraged and say that there aren’t any job openings. The fact is companies are hiring professionals every day. So what shouldn’t one of them by YOU?!

The fastest and easiest way to land your next job is to create a personalized job search strategy and then follow it every week!

You need to fish where the fish are, so find out where your potential employers are by reading on-line job boards (i.e. CareerJournal.com, theLadders.com, etc.) specialized trade magazines, industry publications (the Business Journal) and company websites. You’ll learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.

Additionally, you’ll want to create a list of organizations where you would like to work. Visit their website every week to search for on-line jobs, and any press releases or blog postings about internal departments that may be hiring.

The reason that on-line job boards should NOT be your only source for job openings is that some sites are notorious for listing outdated jobs. Why waste your time? Instead, I suggest that you make a list of job search sites that offer high quality jobs that match your skillset, and then check those sites weekly.

You can start by conducting a search on Google or Yahoo for the job role and the city where you want to work (example: software engineer, Portland). Review all the sites listed on the top four or five pages, and bookmark only those sites that list promising job opportunities.

You’ll find that each site varies in the quality of positions listed (lower-level to senior-level, as well as salary ranges), plus the type of industries, or vertical sectors listed. Some sites do a better job than others updating their lists, or publicizing openings in your city.

Focus your attention only on those sites. Once you’ve created a list of your top job search sites, make a commitment to review those sites weekly.

For more juicy tips on how to find out which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are pick up my exclusive Career Change Boot Camp Program. My two (2) CD audio program w/ e-Workbook gives proven, step-by-step strategies to help you transition QUICKLY and EASILY into a new job role, company, or industry.

Resume Tips to Get You Noticed

Customize your resume to go for the job and company you want. A hiring manager will notice you so much more if your resume is specifically targeted to that position for which you are applying.

 

* Relevant, targeted and customized. Employers don’t have time to read about every single skill and job that you’ve ever had. They just want to know, are you qualified to do their job? So spotlight only those skills and responsibilities that directly relate to that position.

 

* Write a personalized cover letter. Hiring managers form their first impression of you based on your resume and cover letter. So the last thing you want to do is send out a generic, mass mailing cover letter. It should be short, direct, state your key accomplishments, and be enthusiastic. Make it personal and be specific why you are passionate about going to work for that particular company.

 

* Invest in a professional resume critique. Studies show that your resume has about 20-seconds in the hands of a hiring manager before it gets tossed into the maybe pile, or into the trash. So it needs to make a great first impression! Think of it this way – when you walk into an interview you want to make a great first impression so you’re going to dress well, wear a great pair of shoes, you’re going to smile more, etc. Well your resume needs to do the same thing.

 

Invest in having your resume professionally critiqued. Getting some personalized recommendations from a resume expert could not only get you more high quality job interviews, but it may also help position you at a higher level which could mean getting a higher starting salary!

 

For more juicy tips and help from our resume writing pro(!) to make your resume stand out from your competition, visit our resume tips page!

What have you done lately to drive your career forward?

As your career coach, I need to ask you “What have you done lately to drive your career forward?”

 

Great jobs don’t just land in your lap. You need to know what you want and then go after it!

 

Have you identified a job role that leverages your passions and strengths? Have you had your resume professionally critiqued and customized to meet the requirements of your dream job? Have you been setting up informational interviews to learn more about different job roles and industries?

 

So much of having a successful career change depends on your ability to interview well. You may spend months aggressively going after job opportunities – but it all comes down to the last 60-minutes of interviewing that determines the fate of your career.

 

Want help to make you stand out from your competition? Learn how to showcase your strengths, transferable skills, leadership abilities, accomplishments, and manage perceptions in your next interview in “Interviewing Smart: Insider Secrets to Getting the Job” Guide.

Tips to get your Resume Noticed!

Don’t worry if there is a product nobody’s heard about or is difficult to explain on your resume. You want the hiring manager to be curious about you. That’s why they have interviews – so they can get more information about your qualifications. Be brief. Be specific. And give them enough information that will leave them wanting more.

 

* Highlight leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong leaders, AND strong team contributors. Someone who can lead, as well as be led. So highlight your leadership skills – and what the results were with the projects and teams that you’ve led. If you’re just started out in your career and haven’t led any projects or teams, then highlight any leadership experience you may have had in professional organizations, a sports league, in church, or any other extra-curricular activities. Also, list projects in which you were a strong team member in terms of what your role was, and what the team accomplished.

 

* Be specific and clear. Don’t waste your resume space (or the hiring manager’s time) by using “filler” words or vague overarching comments like, “received awards for various contributions”, or “launched several products”. List the specific awards you received, or the names of the products you’ve launched. This gives your resume substance and credibility.

 

For more juicy tips and help from our resume writing pro(!) to make your resume stand out from your competition, visit our resume tips page!