Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cranky Recruiter: Show Your Strengths

Pow : Comic Book IllustrationUh-oh, here's Cranky Recruiter digging in after a long holiday weekend.  May spell trouble for some job hunters out there.

Ok, so I've wrapped up working on some marketing roles recently and am struck by the fact that so many marketing resumes are so blah.  Often I see sales resumes that are pretty blah and I think that they probably know how to sell things but rely on a good marketer to come up with the collateral.  But a marketer with a boring resume.  It seems to scream poor marketing skills.

Everyone says you should do what you love.  If I was to become a marketer, I think I would love to market things.  If I was in the hunt for a job, I think my number one goal would be to market myself.  First I'd throw away those old versions of my resume, sit down at my creativity inducing desk/table/park bench and brainstorm what I should be branding myself as.  Do I want to be a packaging guru?  Then I had better have a resume that packs a visual punch.  Do I want to be the strategic marketer who can develop an entire program for my future company?  Well I had better have a logically laid out resume that reflects the tactical nature of my expertise.  Am I a technical expert?  My resume had better scream tech wizardry while explaining some highly involved expertise in plain old English. 

This may all seem simple, but this Cranky Recruiter has to slog through boring black and white, Times New Roman resumes all day long.  Occasionally I get a glimpse of color--but all too often it is just the hyperlink blue on an email address.

What wakes me up and makes me notice a resume?  Give me logos.  Did you work at Clorox Company--ooh, put the logo on it for easy recognition.  Were you the lead manager on the revamp of The Gap's marketing campaign--show me some of that classic "Gap" style and make it easy for me to figure out what you did.  Be a little creative--especially if you are in a more creative realm of marketing.  Isn't that the real goal of a marketer--making someone quickly understand why they should want and need the product they are marketing? 

So am I just going after marketers today?  No.  I think this is relevant to every job seeker.  Every resume needs to be factual, but it is also a marketing piece for you.  Do you want to be like every other job seeker out there and hope that your resume, which is one of 100's a hiring manager receives, gets a second look?  I hope not.  So put some time into it and make it reflect you. 

Lastly, get consumer input.  Pass it by someone before you send out your awe-inspiring resume.  Often a friend can spot typos that you've missed over and over.  And yes, you may get some other advice about changes you should make.  Maybe get a few people's advice on the resume and go for the consensus version.   I do often say that you need to take all resume advice with a grain of salt.  People are quick to give advice, but you need to write a resume you are comfortable with.  So, dear reader, take this advice for what it is worth.  Back to the inbox.

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