Seems like I’ve been receiving lots of resumes as of late. Typically, I look at them for about five seconds and then they quickly get archived, or “put on file” as HR professionals everywhere like to say.
The problem is, they’re not really put on file…as a file would indicate an organizational mechanism used for reference at a later date. My resume file is neither organized nor ever referenced. My lack of interest isn’t due to one to0 few power words in the opening “objective”. Nor is it due to spelling errors or inconsistencies or crappy sentence structure.
My lack of enthusiasm to read a one-page bulleted-list power sell is bolstered by the fact that I find resumes to be useless. An 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper just seems to be a really poor synopsis of a person that I’m going to have to spend a lot of time with.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t write a resume, as it’s unfortunately still way too commonplace for them to be expected. But perhaps it would suit you well to focus on a few other channels that might help promote your personal brand.
Take time for Twitter
“I have an account, but I don’t really use it.”
Well, you should be using it if you’re trying to get a job in modern marketing. I can’t tell you how many students have come through our doors, seeking an intership/job, and they’ve fewer Tweets to their name than years of work experience.
If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely young. And if you’re young, you’re going to be expected to understand and use the social channels. Get familiar. And please, don’t protect your tweets. We understand that you’re going to misfire a message or two. We do it too. It’s okay. Just don’t keep others from seeing what you’re up to. After all, if it’s that private, you probably shouldn’t be tweeting it.
Learn to love LinkedIn
You’re correct. It’s not as much fun as Facebook or Twitter. But, it’s where WE are. The people who WANT to hire you. Therefore, you need to be there too. What’s the saying – fish where the fish are? Hmmmm…
Fill out a COMPLETE profile, sync your Twitter account (unless your Tweets are REALLY unprofessional) and make it a point weekly, to log in and interact with your connections, as well as add new ones. And while you’re at it, maybe write a recommendation or two. You’d be surprised the power of an unsolicited pat on the back.
Contrary to Twitter, your LinkedIn brand should be a little more buttoned up, as it’s a pretty professional place. Lots of suits and well-thought-out headshots.
What’s your wildcard?
In addition to LinkedIn and Twitter (and Facebook), there are many other social networks of which to take advantage. And the key is to not just think of them as exposure to your business sense, but windows to you as a person. What makes you tick? Likes? Dislike? Etc. Also, how can you better highlight your skill set? Say you’re a photographer – maybe Instagram of Flickr are a smart first step. Or, if you’re a writer, blogging would be a good fit. Or…long story short, use as many as you feel comfortable using that make sense for the personal brand you’re trying to build. And have fun with it.
When it’s okay to be traditional…
…when you write a thank you. Don’t send an email thanking someone for their time. Take the time to handwrite a note thanking your interviewee for their time. Stamp then snail mail. Guaranteed you’ll make an impression. I have several contacts (now clients) that to this day, still have the original thank you I wrote them hanging up in their office. It’s the least you can do for someone taking the time out of their day to meet with you.
Then, look them up on LinkedIn and connect.
Thanks for reading.