Enter and Sign In Please… The Goal of the Resume is…

What do Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Zappa have in common (besides leading the weird (awesome) train?) They both appeared on an old television show called, What’s My Line.  The premise of the show was that a panel of people would try to guess what a person did for a living. So imagine, you’re on the panel and Alfred Hitchcock or Salvidor Dali saunter out. Wow.

So what’s that got to do with you and your resume? Keep reading, please.

People ask me to look over their resume and before I do, I ask them,”What is the goal of a resume?” Boy, do I get some interesting answers.

“To show them how great I am.”

“To highlight my experience.”

“To make sure that they know that I’m the best candidate.”

Um, no.

The goal of a resume to GET AN INTERVIEW. Hello? A resume needs to create a sense of urgency for the person reading it– you want them to glance at it and think, “I need to call this person!”  It needs to be compelling and it needs to provide the reader with what we in marketing refer to as a “call to action.”

I like how this article by Keppie Careers describes it in this article entitled, “How to write your resume.”  She suggests focusing on these things:

  • What problems did you solve?
  • How did you improve your organization?
  • What innovative ideas did you introduce (and what were the positive results)?
  • How did you make a difference?

If you didn’ t do any of these then what were you doing and why do you think someone should hire you? If you’re unemployed and you can’t answer these questions in a meaningful way, I suggest you find a way to do something today that does help you answer that; whether at your church, for a non-profit, as a mentor something, somewhere.

Go That Way Really Fast…

Famous movie line from John Cusack in Better Off Dead:

““Go that way… really fast. If something gets in your way… turn”

When we’re in transition (new job, no job, marriage, divorce, new baby, etc.) we get lots of advice from well-meaning friends and family members. They usually suggest taking time to asses all your alternatives. Now I’m not opposed to taking time to think but…

I notice that a lot of people use thinking as a way to block action.

Let me say that again. If you are unhappy, if you are stuck, if you don’t know what the next step should be… take action. Go fast. Really fast.

I like this article titled, “On Gen Y Careers… Go That Way.” It encourages young people to try lots of things; lots of different things. It’s great advice and it comes naturally to millenials.  For those of us that are not 20- somethings, we can follow this advice too.

I have had 5 careers. Every job I landed, I took because the position held great learning opportunities for me. In looking back, I should have changed more not less. I could have had more mentors if only I’d asked. I did a lot but I was afraid and perhaps, so are you. Go really fast, if something gets in your way, turn!

Photo credit: Mansoor Siddique.com

Who’s Your Customer? It’s Not Who You Think…

A lot is written about discovering who your customer is and how to find them. A new blog post by Seth Godin, titled, “Who is Your Customer?” sheds light on this in a whole new way.

Instead of thinking about customers as a group of people, think about the one, two or three people who are most important and pay attention to them.

For example, Godin asserts that Apple employees had one customer only, Steve Jobs. Nike’s customers are not the people who buy their shoes but the athletes who endorse them.

I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Godin; but I do like the idea of shifting our thinking. Whether we are in a job search or looking to put some sparkle back into our lives, the idea of thinking about who we are trying to get to support us is a great exercise.

If I want to sell a book of fiction, maybe my customer is a publisher. In a way, this is like the viral sales funnel. In the “old” way of selling, we broadcast messages to lots of people. The ‘new’ way (social) of selling/marketing is to get to the key influencers and then ‘attract’ them to help you spread the word.

If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got… but the rules have changed and we have to find a way to change too.

Photo credit: Inc.com

Viral funnel credit: Socialsteve’s blog