Shawn was a stubborn client. Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation. When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he. Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.
A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work. But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.
“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”
- Credibility. Potential employers, hiring managers and recruiters are tired of seeing resume after resume with adjectives such as: “seasoned”, “ambitious”, “driven”, and “possessing a proven track record of success” without information to back up those claims. No one will know of your value and expertise if they can’t read it for themselves.
- Are you an Expert? And Show me the money! Your resume needs to be achievement based and include results of your work. Every organization, whether it is for-profit or non-profit, needs employees who either make money or save money or both. Employers expect performance which results in gaining more clients, customers, accounts and increased volume and profit, as well as improvements in procedures and practices which save money. What does that look like on a resume? Here is an example, from my own resume as a Human Resources Director, prior to my career coaching business:
- Initiated and developed a company sponsored wellness program that reduced absenteeism by 6% and medical claim costs by 11% over a two year period.
- Advised and supported CEO on legal issues and organizational design during two hospital acquisitions, a savings of $40,000 due to not using an external consulting company.
- Reduced turnover from 27% to 19%, during the first year of designing a cutting-edge recruitment and retention program that positioned the organization as a top employer and “Best Place to Work”.
Including key results, with facts and metrics to demonstrate your success, builds your credibility, positions yourself as an expert in your field and increases your chances of being invited for a job interview. Recruiters and employers will be anxious to meet you in order to discuss what you could contribute to their company.
- Your Social Media footprint. In today’s workplace and marketplace, we are accustomed to reviewing social media for “social proof” of your credibility. When you search for a physician, for example, you may research reviews of other patients. When looking for a hotel in New York City, you review ratings and comments of customers to influence your purchasing decision. It is no different with the selection process. Linked In is not an option anymore. And it is not enough just to have a completed profile. Your recommendations, endorsements, and activity all contribute to your credibility and believability that you are an expert.
- The Company you Keep. Recruiters love Linked In because they can quickly determine how well networked you are. Do you have 75 connections or 750? Who are your connections – your friends and family or respected colleagues and leaders? We are judged by our connections and network to a certain extent. How about recommendations? Have your managers, customers, clients and colleagues endorsed your skills and strengths? Recruiters read those and, if they are on Linked In, know they are truthful since Linked In has built-in integrity to ensure that they are truthful. If you haven’t done so, focus on building your network. It is an important investment in your career. And it is never too late. Six years ago, I had 100 connections and I now have over 2,000 as well as 2,570 followers who read my published articles on Linked In.
So rather than using worn out and tired adjectives and hyperboles to convey your value, use facts and tell your stories of success with numbers, metrics and results.