There are three things that, if you do them, are guaranteed to improve your job satisfaction and your income dramatically. These three things will not ask you to compromise your values or to find numerous hours each week, on top of your already busy workload.
A KILLER RESUME…
Women tend not to apply for roles unless they’re sure they can do ALL of the requirements… but sadly that often means by the time they apply they’re ‘overqualified’ for the position.
WE KNOW that a key factor in this is “when the opportunity came up I was to busy with XYZ project to put any time into an application”. Have your resume ready to go, so that competing priorities don’t get in the way.
It’s possible to make a big difference to a resume, really quickly, if you have a road map. In the spirit of helping you get ahead quickly here’s 2 Before & After Resumé Examples including our notes explaining what we changed and why. 95% of people report that they’ll make some kind of change after seeing these examples.
A quick google search will show you LOTS of images of really cool resumes. Let’s be honest, they look a LOT spunkier than most of the Word format resumes that are the norm for this part of the world, right? There are two things you need to keep in mind. Those really spunky examples are fantastic for highly creative roles like graphic design, where your resume should demonstrate your creative abilities and your use of creative programs.
A mining industry mate of mine recently received a shovel in lieu of a marketing resume – it held coordinates so he could dig for the actual resumé. That was sure impactful!
But for most roles, the super-creative approach is not quite corporate enough. Also, for most roles you’re applying for, an online application in Word format is exactly what’s expected and it’s tough to funky image graphics into Word in a way that automated recruitment software can read.
If your best qualities are embedded in an image, your resume may never get to see human eyes.
If you haven’t yet clicked on that link above for the Before & After examples, here are a couple of the most important tips:
- Embrace white space. Long paragraphs are a turn-off: keep it concise.
- Your audience is the MOST important factor in your resume. What do they want to see? Are those things obvious from your resume?
- Be sure that your language matches theirs. That carries for cover letters as much as it does for your resume. Highly innovative, creative environment? Don’t bust your chances with formal language. On the flip side: conservative environment? Really, don’t address the hiring manager as “M8” – that’s a step too casual.
Once you’ve updated your resumé, translate it over to your LinkedIn Profile. A strong profile does more than impress others. A strong profile makes YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF. It’s a great confidence boost.
Being reminded of your great qualities encourages you to use those great qualities.
They say that to improve kids’ behaviour you focus on the good: encourage the good things they do and then they behave better. Oh if only that were a panacea!! (Honestly, my kids are angels… mostly!) But encouragement does certainly have a noticeable impact. Updating your resume is a great way to take stock of the good you’ve achieved and encourage yourself to create more of the same.
…AND USE IT!
So you’ve updated your resume.
Whether we’re working one on one with Execs in Leadership Programs or our online programs, our first focus is always dedicated to identifying what makes you tick. Its that important – no matter whether your preference is to stay put, move on internally or leave to a new venture altogether.
Be clear about what you want from work, so that when opportunities come up, you CAN apply with confidence that they’re aligned to what’s important to you and not just a waste of time.
Commit to applying for more opportunities this year. What does that mean for you? Negotiating a better deal at work? Keeping a more active eye on external job ads? Being more visible internally? Now we’re moving on to our 2nd strategy.
BOOST YOUR EXECUTIVE PRESENCE
Executive Presence is being noticed, right? It’s having your ideas heard, your brilliance noticed.
If you were to only do ONE THING this year, be GREAT at your job. Really, be great. There’s a chance that the boss (or the boss’ boss) will notice and be strong enough to encourage you beyond the role you’re in. But there’s also a chance that being great at your job makes you indispensible and overlooked for anything else.
Boosting your Executive Presence will help that.
We’ve checked that your work is aligned to what’s important to you. Here I want to you to check that your best efforts are aligned to what’s most important to the boss / the business.
So you’re being great at your job, you’re ‘owning’ your expertise. You’re sure that your advice supports the direction of the business – even if that means disagreeing with certain strategies. Now let me go back to being GREAT at your job. Put your ideas forward.
Early in your career the ‘what skills do I need to be great’ question has an obvious answer. There are some very clear skills you simply must gather in order to be an effective leader. As you progress though, the ultimate skill most leaders continue to work on is influence. Some are horrified by the potentially political or game-playing connotations. Others work out a way to make it happen effectively, without compromising on authenticity.
Add strong communication and confidence to your mix and your ideas are portrayed without “I just think…” or “I’m sorry but…”. Instead your expertise is presented as “based on [insert corp goal] & [insert relevant market conditions] from a [insert your expertise area] we need to take this action. I’ll show you why / what that might look like.”
2015 saw us asked to speak with many hundreds of professional women over different events about executive presence. Every session incorporated network and that’s where we’re going next. Few of us believe we do it well, and yet there are some simple strategies you can apply to do it a little better, comfortably.
How comfortable are you with ‘networking’? ‘The 8 People You Need In Your Network’ tells who you need to connect with and why it’s worth the trouble.
In the past networking meant giving up an evening to peer at name tags over cheap wine and canapés. You can actually accomplish a great deal without any face time with other humans. Yes, that also means you can get around to it at 10pm Friday night in your pjs. See some tips in Why Successful Leaders Are Raising Their Digital Profile And How You Can Too .
Can’t find time to update your resume this holiday season? At least apply the concepts you see in our Before & After Resume Examples to give your LinkedIn Profile a boost. Where we talk about brevity in your resume, it’s even more important on LinkedIn. The fantastic bonus of a LinkedIn update is that you can be updating your network, raising your profile AND boosting your confidence all in one.
Now THAT’S a fantastic boost to your career.
Cath Nolan is MD of Gender Gap Gone and Director of CNConsulting.com.au