You need to describe the value you offer
The self-assessment tools we suggest should help you to clarify what is sometimes called your "professional brand." Describing your experiences, achievements, interests, strengths, and skills concisely and memorablely will help recruiters understand how you might add value to their team. By connecting those dots for them, you are MUCH more likely to get an interview and get hired. If you are in a career transition, that is part of your communication challenge.
You will be describing yourself professionally across many communication channels:
- Elevator pitch/introduction: tone, content, and body language.
- Storytelling: the success (aka SOAR) stories that you weave into all your communications.
- Resumes and cover letters: to communicate your fit for a specific job.
- One-pager to communicate your career goals and target companies.
- LinkedIn profile: plus your LI comments and posts. and other social media.
- Interview answers: plus the questions you ask them. See the Skill Building section for more about interviewing.
- Portfolio: additional materials you create to describe your value.
Here are some things employers want to know
The basics: What is your most recent job, and how is it related to their needs? How many years of experience do you have? What are your technical and transferable/"soft" skills?
What's unique about how you do what you do? What do you bring that others can't?
How have you used your skills and abilities to solve problems? What was the bottom line benefit and ultimate impact of what you did?
What motivates you? How did you discover the love for your career?
What's your "special sauce" How has it solved issues or helped move the team forward?
How will you fit into their culture? Companies pride themselves on their cultures and seek employees who will thrive in it.
Who is your target audience?
- Networking contacts: including your LinkedIn connections
- Recruiters: internal/company and external/agency
- Hiring managers: the decision makers
Communicating your value in a clear, consistent, professional way to everyone you encounter in your search is essential.
You will get to practice this at our Monday meetings. An elevator pitch is a very brief introduction: your name, and what type of role and industry you seek. Nonverbals are important here: speak slowly, and make eye contact.
Our Resumes 101 Skill Builder Workshop extensively details storytelling and how to create your own compelling success stories. Plan to attend a session online (maybe even more than once!) where you will have a chance to ask all your questions in addition to reviewing this PDF. Here is a worksheet you can use to document your own stories.
Resumes and One-Pager
Our Resumes 101 Skill Builder Workshop also provides a step-by-step guide to create a resume that highlights your strengths.
Resume templates can help you jump-start your efforts:
- Chronological Resume Example (Word, PDF)
- Hybrid Resume Example - Career Pivot (Word, PDF)
- Hybrid Resume Example - Executive Level (Word, PDF)
- Resume examples by industry
A "one-pager" summary that includes your target role and companies can be a great tool for networking meetings.
Our cover letter presentation details why they are important and how to write them.
This cover letter article by a long-time recruiter gives you the inside scoop on what recruiters are looking for.
Our LinkedIn 101 Skill Builder Workshop, like our other Skill Builder Workshops, details everything you need to optimize your profile and tell your unique career story. Attend the session online to get personalized attention and ask all the questions.
Already have a working profile? CareerFlowAI, a Chrome extension, offers concrete steps for improvement. The tool's evaluation system offers a quick visual representation of a LinkedIn profile's strengths and areas of improvement. Remember, like all tools, its effectiveness is maximized when combined common sense and judgment. Use it as an aid, not as a replacement for your own words or ideas.
A portfolio is not essential, but it can help set you apart from other applicants by highlighting examples of your work, sharing your career history, or defining your work philosophy.
- Portfolio Examples - Carol Jones (PDF) | Andy Guiles (PDF) | Tim McMillan (PDF) | Kevin G (website)
- Portfolio Templates: Comprehensive | Onboarding Plan
- Podcast and example from MadeToHire by Merryn Roberts-Huntley
- 20+ Best Portfolio Website Examples
Find additional content on our website
Use the Categories or enter a custom search term to find more information on all these topics:
- Personal Branding
- LinkedIn & Social Media
- Cover Letters
Also check out the Extras page for more helpful information.