One shot

 

 

If you’ve been out of the job hunt for a while, you should know that the rules have changed in this competitive climate – on both sides of the Atlantic.  What follows doesn’t just apply to landing that next job. It’s also a wake up call that should scream: “this is the next move which will make me h-a-p-p-y“.

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Working in the financial services industry, I’ve given out lots of goodbye hugs in the last few years to close friends and colleagues. I learned what leading recruitment firms swear by, in order for you to stand out in this rocky job market. Here’s the inside scoop.

The questions you need to ask yourself are: Who am I? and What am I selling

You are your own brand. You need to manage yourself  like a company who sells a product because that’s exactly why a hiring manager is gracing you with their presence – to find out just how valuable a package you are. The only questions taped to their forehead are “Why should I hire you?” and “What makes you unique?”  

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Here comes the tough part. Write down all of the things that you do well – not just related to your specific job skills. Do you speak another language or play the guitar? Are you a good networker? Are you super organized? These talents are what you throw in as chit chat during the pregnant pauses of an interview which can turn it around if you feel it’s going south.

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I was told a priceless story from someone who knew he wasn’t hitting it off  with the person interviewing him. As he was getting ready to leave, he threw down his last card and mentioned he loved to cook. Turns out so did the hiring manager. They hit it off, the guy was hired and he shares that story with everyone to prove that it’s about your whole story and not just what’s on a piece of paper. Go back to my post on  Soft Sexy Skills for a read on how your magnetic personality can really turn the tables when landing a position. 

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You can also cheat by getting the skinny on anyone beforehand. Have a peek at their very public profile on Linked in. Here’s mine: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marisa-santoro/6/a19/186  – all above board dear readers and arms you with what makes for great conversation.

 

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Create your banner ad

Think of this as your name blinking in bright lights. What makes you the star? Your banner ad is the first thing they should see at the top of your Resume / CV. Here’s what mine would look like:

Distinctive mix of Creative, Technical and Online Media Writing skills

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My career is rooted in technology but I’m also very creative and I’ve always been a writer. Much like branding a product to market, you emphasize why your story is different because in these times you can’t be perceived to be the same as everyone else. .

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Branding can mean a variety of things. It could be an online presence, a blog, you can be a subject matter expert in a certain area. Write down all of the things you did in your career and it will flow; just make sure it lands with a splash!

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Your 30 second elevator pitch

The  top one third of your resume is the most valuable piece of real estate – it’s your bio in a few sentences and it needs to back up your banner ad above. It should answer the question: “So, tell me your story?”  This brief summary of  Fabulous You, is your 30 second elevator pitch. It’s what you would throw out at cocktails when you’re getting warmed up in the name of good networking. 

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 Your 2 minute Commerical

Your 2 minute commercial is in the interview, your one shot to expand on all of this. Yep, you heard me. Two minutes is the golden rule; go on longer than that and they’ve hit the snooze button. Of most importance before your curtain closes and you’re about to exit the interview, you turn around and remind them (while humming the Rocky theme song)

why you can repeat your successes again, in your sleep

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Readers, I leave you with more Job Search Tips here.  

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 Questions? Open it up here as a conversation that everyone can benefit from in the just released In Our Shoes ForumsNo login required and you don’t need to leave your real name or email.  Just click Reply.

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