Not everyone has the entrepreneur spirit or are in the position to work full-time for themselves. Is there any sales and marketing stuff people in those categories can pay attention to? Sure is!
Even with unemployment and self-employment there’s never been a moment when having a good resume didn’t come in handy for promoting ones education and experience as a service to employers. This document, along with a customized and well-written cover letter can sell a potential employer on your abilities and prospective value to their company. So are there any pointers to keep mind when marketing yourself as the next best candidate?
There are basics about resume writing that you can find on sites like Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com. However, the typical resume how-to’s won’t remind you of key skills to highlight. One thing that’s helped me over the years is to keep both a running list, in a spreadsheet, of skills, experience, and employment and a record of precious resumes. Additionally, I read tons of job descriptions and duties to find out the language hiring managers are using for my skill set so that my resume can be found in searches and deemed relevant for today’s job market.
It boils down to brand positioning, you being the brand. What is the message you want to send to potential employers? Are you a top candidate for a data entry position with a million keystrokes per minute? Find a way to highlight that and don’t bury it in irrelevant skills and tasks you completed at previous jobs.
Also, do your research. In your field, what are they looking for and what skills and experience are relevant to that specific job? Create a resume tailored just for that job.
Chronological resumes are typical so stick to that unless you are in a creative profession which may call for a more graphic heavy version of your job history and skills in a cool format. Some even create image files of their resumes and post to Pinterest. (How cool is that?!)
There is so much you can do to create a really good resume and get it out in front of hiring managers. The goal is to get the interview and then wow them with your greatness and prove you’re the best candidate to hire. Of course, brand YOU will have to articulate this with confidence and great interview skills (My quick tip: Always ask questions and don’t let the employer dominate the conversation as you want to make sure the job is a match for you and at least that you have all the information you need about the position, company and culture).
So, what about being employed instead of being an entrepreneur? My viewpoint? Money is money. Get it the best way you know how. There is a lot of talk about passion and doing what you love but for some entrepreneurship provides the stability and security they require, and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.
I encourage entrepreneurs to keep their resumes up to date because some awesome headhunter may be looking to recruit consultants for a great gig. Always be prepared with whatever marketing materials, in this case a resume and cover letter, so you’re prepared for a great opportunity should it arise. I know I have my resume on lock!
List your skills, research your industry, position yourself accordingly in paper and nail the interview. Employment can be a wonderful thing. Go get your next job!