Too bad most people don’t follow it.
So often we get so wrapped up in our titles that we forget who we are as an individual. This can be very detrimental in job searching.
If you have always identified yourself as a certain “thing” then you cannot define yourself as a person who adds value.
Don’t be a thing – a title; be a value-driven, contributing person.
Don’t just be it – demonstrate it.
That is where consistency comes into play.
Start with your resume. This is the cornerstone of your entire job search process. Not on the idea of sending it out to every opportunity under the sun. There are many who would argue that a resume is worthless in today’s job market because it is all about the networking.
You may have an occasion not to use a resume, but you darn well better have one.
Because it is the complete, written manifesto of who you are as a value-driven, contributing person.
This manifesto not only tells your story of a perhaps mishmash of jobs; but it tells the story you want to tell: what you have learned at each position, what you contributed, how you brought value and the impact you made – all told in your voice.
This is where you determine what is important, how it is important and how to communicate it.
From there you can build your networking speeches and prepare for interviews. Taking your cues off of your resume helps ensure consistency in your message. At least the written and spoken message.
But there is one more message: your actions.
Here is where the disconnect tends to happen.
If you are proclaiming on your resume that you are a real go getter but then never follow up with contacts, prospects or interviewers that isn’t really go getting now is it?
Actions are where the rubber meets the road. You can tell me the greatest story ever but if you can’t back it up you just wasted a portion of time that I can never get back. Not only that, you have lost my attention, respect and possibly any opportunity that you might have had. Poof – gone. All because in consistency.
Let me let you in on a little secret – the inconsistency doesn’t have to be some big, major, glaring event. It can be something small like a contradicting statement. One small slip and you have brought all your prior work into question. And interviewers/companies are looking for it.
It reminds me of a video someone posted on Facebook yesterday. A woman officer had pulled over a big ol’ country boy. She said he was weaving all over the road so she proceeded to give him a sobriety test, then another, and another… First it was touching the tips of the fingers to the nose, reciting the alphabet backwards (which was amazing to hear him do it) then walking heel to toe.
Then the dance sequence started. First it was a step, bump, step, bump, bump; then ball change, kick – it was really amusing. He then suggested a whole new routine and demonstrated. She told him he was really good and asked if he was a dancer, he replied, “Na, I’m just drunk.”
They pointed at each other laughed and then she cuffed him.
She was looking for it and knew she would get him. Interviewers and companies do the same thing – without the dance moves. Although that could prove an interesting interview, but that is another story.
As you are writing your resume think about what actions you normally take, what you are willing to take and what you just won’t do. If any do no resonate with what you are writing then you need to tweak your resume to make sure there is consistency in everything you do.
Remember – it is not just what you say, it is how you say it and how you back it up.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.