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." Being able to describe your experiences, achievements, interests, strengths, and skills in a concise and memorable way will help recruiters to 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 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: how you communicate your fit for a specific job
- LinkedIn profile: plus your LI comments and posts. and other social media
- Interview answers: plus the questions you ask them
- 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 really an introduction: your name, a super concise career history, and what type of role and industry you are seeking. Nonverbals are important here: speak slowly, and make eye contact.
Here is a good article about introductions that provides more detail.
Our Resumes 101 Skill Builder Workshop goes into extensive detail about storytelling and how to create your own compelling success stories. Definitely 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.
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:
Our cover letter presentation shows you why they are important and how to write them (coming in September 2023).
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.
A portfolio is not essential, but it can help to set you apart from other applicants by highlighting examples of your work, sharing your career history, or defining your work philosophy.
- Example Career Portfolio Template for a simple personal portfolio.
- Career Portfolio Examples (paper / documents)
- Career Portfolio Examples (website / online)
Find additional content on our website
Use the categories or enter a 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.