My son turns 24 tomorrow. The light of my life, my sweet baby boy. My sweet, very tall, sarcastic, challenging, turned-my-hair-grey-in-my-20s boy. Obviously, he did not get the height from me (as you can see in the picture – I’m even wearing heels!) but he sure got my sarcasm. In spades. Must be genetic.
The challenging part – well, I take the ‘blame’ for that, it was something I taught him to do.
When he was a little boy and would do something not so good followed by a halfhearted ‘sorry’ I would immediately ask him ‘for what?’ then make him explain. In detail. He hated that.
When he would struggle with a school problem I would ask him rapid fire questions of why or why not repeatedly with little time in between his answer and the next why. I ignored his “I don’t knows” and instead asked what ifs. He hated that.
There was a method to my madness.
It is never enough to just say sorry, you have to know why you were saying it and at least try to mean it.
When you are struggling with a problem, often you know the answer. You either doubt yourself or do not trust yourself to follow through on your own answer.
After the rapid fire and the light turned on that he did know the answer, I would tell him ‘you got this’ and he would smile with a ‘yeah, I do.’
How does this at all relate to careers? Doubting oneself is a major roadblock in writing your resume.
There are two primary themes in the advice I give for writing your resume:
- Write toward what you want
- Write for your audience
Your resume is your branding statement to show the reader that you can solve their problems. If they did not have a problem, they would not be talking to you (or rather readying your resume).
It is important to know what is important to your reader, the position, the company, the industry. What are their problems, where do they need the most help, what is most important to succeed in that role?
You may not know the specifics to a company, but you should know the importance to the position. If you cannot answer those questions then why are you going after it?
Here is my challenging to you: if you cannot answer what is important in the job you want and how you can add value – then what are you doing? Why would anyone want to interview you if you do not even know anything about the position? How can you possibly sell them if you cannot speak to what is important to them?
I am not a car person, I once confused the oil light for the low on gas light. I am not a car person. If I were going to go buy a new car I do not want to get the sales person like me in terms of car knowledge.
Someone who comes up and says, “yeah, I don’t really know anything about cars, but I am a people person so I know I can do this job. Gas mileage on this one? I don’t know, I think it takes unleaded. You should buy it, it has four wheels, lots of shiny things on the dashboard and a great color of blue.”
Here is the thing – you DO know.
If it is a lateral move you really know. If it is a move up in your career, you have a pretty good idea. Stop doubting yourself so much. Besides, you can do research to back it up for crying out loud.
If you are doing a lateral move – think about it from this perspective: who would you hire? What would you want them to do? What skills, strengths, aptitudes and attitudes do they need to do well? How will they be measured? What would be expected of them? Write a job description for that job wanting to attract the best/perfect candidate. Then compare it to your resume. Did you even pass your own job search/interview?
If you are moving up, think about people in that position that you know or knew that did well or what you feel it would take. Research the position, connect with people in that position on LinkedIn and talk to them. Do some research, trust yourself and start putting it together then make sure your resume reflects the attributes that are necessary to perform the duties.
If you are transitioning into an unknown area, start with the research. Dig into the job, industries, markets, trends and reach out on LinkedIn to those in the industry or positions. Ask questions, take notes and put it all together. Then take a step back and identify what strengths and skills are required to perform the duties. Highlight those skills – they are called transferable skills.
Did you notice a bit of a theme here – talk to people. Leverage LinkedIn, it is an amazing business tool. Find an accountability partner who will ask you those rapid fire questions so you stop thinking so much and spit it out.
Time to get back in the game – you’ve got this!
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
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