It does not work. Period.
Well, this could be a short blog today…
Let’s just take a look at this in terms of communication – your business or personal communication.
By this I mean your resume or business communication, i.e. websites, promotional material, business bios etc.
Stop trying to herd the masses and focus on your intended audience.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with these types of communication is trying to make yourself a one-size-fits-all.
Let’s take someone in sales as an example. This individual could take a position as a Sales Representative, a Sales Manager or a Sales Trainer. They have the skill set and experience for all three positions, it is just a matter of opportunity.
They should utilize a different resume for each type of position.
Each resume should focus on the specific position at hand and speak directly to that position, even thought the resumes are going to be similar.
Think of the 80/20 rule. If this person was targeting a management position then the resume should focus 80% on their management qualifications, value and deliverables and 20% on actual sales/training background. Of course the training can be rolled into the management side.
If they want a Sales Representative job without the management aspect then the resume should focus 80% on their sales experiences, results and value and 20% on the additional value, skills and abilities from their previous positions.
The resume should speak directly to the position for which you are applying making it easier for the reader to see you in that role. This makes them more inclined to call you.
Sending out a broad based resume is putting the work on the reader to try to determine where you fit in the organization. Honestly, they do not have time to do this. More importantly, if you don’t know what you want why is it their job to figure it out for you?
If you are in sales or running your own company you know your market. If you don’t you better figure it out before you attempt to communicate with anyone. If you don’t know who you serve then you don’t serve anyone.
People hire you because the service you provide, value you offer and positive treatment of your clients. Know your value, know your audience and speak directly to them. Stop trying to sell yourself across all lines of business, groups, individuals and industries.
Be honest – not all prospects are ideal clients for you. Know who your ideal audience is and address their concerns. Let it go that you will not appeal to everyone, remember, you don’t want everyone, or just anyone – you want your ideal client.
I am not staying offend the unwanted audiences, but write your message in a way that does not engage them. How: by not speaking to their needs. Using broad, overall comments or proclamations gives the indication that you will take anyone on as a client. Not true.
Let’s use the example of a Financial Advisor. Their target audience is established individuals or couples in a specific age range in an income range who work in the health care industry. If they presented themselves as the solution to everyone they might get a hit on their target market every now and then, but they will also get a lot of hits from a wide audience that does not fit this criteria. This means a lot of time “weeding out” the leads that do not match their criteria.
That is a lot of wasted time, on both sides.
Writing their website, bio or promotional material in such a way that speaks directly to their audience helps them align with their targets because they are speaking their language, know their needs and demonstrate their expertise in being able to address, and solve them.
It will narrow down the number of contacts they receive, but it is worth it to get fewer, quality leads rather than numerous, dead-end inquiries.
You are a unique individual with specific skills, value and abilities. Present yourself as the solution to the audience you want to engage rather than a possible fit for just anyone.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW