Hi! I’m Suzanne.
I am an executive recruiter and successful entrepreneur.
My life’s mission is to teach the best and brightest professionals how to manage their careers so they can accelerate, advance and grow in their dream career.
Before You Start Applying for Jobs, Do This
by Suzanne September 19, 2017
Hands down, the biggest mistake that I see among jobseekers is in their fundamental approach to the job search, they position themselves for the job they already have. This can play out in many different formats, from LinkedIn, to your resume, to the way you talk about your skills and experience in casual conversation, all the way to your interviews. In short, this fundamental mistake infuses every message and communication you create about yourself and ultimately, can lead you to an almost impossible situation where you are only well-positioned for the job you already have.
Essentially, what’s happening here is that people begin branding themselves in every communication. Branding is GREAT, but only when it’s done in a thoughtful, strategic manner.
How This Mistake Plays Out on a Resume
Most often, this shows up on resumes when someone utilizes their resume as a laundry list of everything they’ve done in their job. Or, if they’ve put more thought into their resume, they distill their messaging down to the 3-4 things they spend most of their time on, regardless of whether those activities are related to what they want to do in their next role. Take a look at your resume – have you left anything out simply because it’s not where you spend the majority of your time?
Awareness is the first step, right?
What to Do Instead
Before you go out and start branding yourself, you need to first think of yourself as a product, and get really clear on how your product (your skills and experience) will benefit your customer (the hiring manager for your ideal job). In doing so, you’ll be taking an incredibly important step in redefining your brand, because ultimately, it’s incredibly important to position yourself for the job you want.
“It’s incredibly important to position yourself for the job you want, NOT the job you already have.”
Your Actionable Resume Tweak – Do This Now!
Corporations spend millions on market research to define their messaging in the best way possible, so there’s obviously a broad spectrum of things you can do to improve your messaging and position yourself for the job you want. But don’t forget that EVERY STEP FORWARD is an improvement, so if you want a quick win, here’s what you can do today.
Review your resume and highlight the things you want to do more of in your next job – move those bullet points to the top of each job summary so people see them first (don’t leave them highlighted). Then consider if there’s more you’ve done in those priority areas, and consider adding a bullet point or two to place more emphasis on the work you want to do.
A Word For the Naysayers
Some might say that your resume should be an honest portrayal of what you do and I wholeheartedly agree. What I don’t agree with is the idea that space on your resume should be allocated based on the percentage of time you spend doing something. In other words, if you spend 80% of your time managing people, you don’t have to spend 80% of your resume talking about how you manage people. You absolutely should be 100% honest in your resume, but it’s ok to emphasize the things you enjoy most and want to spend more of your time doing.
Make it Happen
Think of how proud you’ll feel, look and sound, when your resume truly speaks to the work you love most. You’ll have more of an opportunity to talk about your best work during interviews, and you’ll also increase the chances that you’ll get called to interview for jobs that align with your career ambitions.
“Being true to yourself can pay off big time in your career, and this is the perfect first step.”