Presenting a Consistent Image During Your Job Search

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today we have a great guest post by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez. Jessica is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. You can find out more about her and her career tips at
There’s an old adage in communication: “Tell the audience what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, and then tell them what you told them.” In other words, preview, present, and review. The objective of this communication strategy is to make sure your message gets across. While saying something five times may seem redundant to you, you can be sure that it will stick in the mind of your listener.

The Preview: Your Resume

During your job search, your resume serves as the preview of who you are as an employee and what you have to offer a company. Your resume should include a summary of your accomplishments and a branding statement that sets you apart. Regardless of the specific focus of your resume, you want to be sure that you’re presenting the same image at other times during your job search as well.

The Presentation: Your Interview

An effective resume induces an employer to call you in for an interview. It can be helpful to review the resume you submitted to an employer prior to your face-to-face meeting or phone call with them. This way, the information you’ve already presented will be fresh in your mind. You can use the information summarized on your resume to relate to specific qualifications for the job and to discuss your previous accomplishments in more detail. However, you don’t want to just repeat the existing summary on your resume—the employer is interviewing you because he wants to know more.

The Review: Your Thank You Note

After meeting with or talking by telephone to an employer, a professional thank you note can serve to remind the employer of why you’re a particularly outstanding candidate. You want to use language consistent with that of your resume and the accomplishments you discussed during your interview. You may choose to actually include your branding statement at the top of the letter, or you can incorporate the language from the statement throughout the body of the note. Usually, the interviewer will have spoken with multiple other candidates by the time he receives your thank you letter, so the letter serves to remind him of your resume and interview conversation.

Your online presence

One final consideration is whether any information you have online, such as a LinkedIn profile, is consistent with the information presented throughout your job search. An employer may look you up online during the “preview” stage, before he ever meets you, or he might look you up in the “review” stage when he’s trying to decide between several candidates. Since you don’t have control over this part of your job search, it’s important that your message be consistent throughout all the phases of finding your new job.

Remember: preview, present, and review. Presenting a consistent message will help you stick out in the minds of employers who meet you!

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Related Articles: 
From The Eyes Of Someone Looking At Your Resume
Having Consistency When Looking For A Job


Stop Procrastinating - Get A Job Today

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

 photo by practicalowl

We all do it. If you think you don't you're either lying or really, really efficient!

I'm talking about procrastination. You know, getting to that big project tomorrow. Or updating your resume later. Checking email but telling yourself you will reply to them later.

When you are looking for a job this becomes an alarming problem. Procrastinating on updating your resume can cost you a job.  Procrastinating on walking into that business, putting it off a day or two means that your peers (who are essentially your competition) are going to beat you to the punch.

Beating procrastination isn't easy. If we didn't want to push this off till later we wouldn't need DVR's to watch LOST or Grey's Anatomy.

In a recent video post, we talked about having persistence during your job search. This is one step towards beating the procrastination bug. Learning from your past successes and failures can help to build your confidence and momentum that will have you up and back on the prowl in no time.

But for some, it's just not that easy. Over on the "On The Job Blog" by 43 Things, author Anita talks about some of the ways you can overcome procrastination that can be applied to both on the job and on the job hunt:

Most people don’t like to admit they put off tasks they need to get done. After all, no boss is going to be overjoyed to hear such news, and neither will co-workers whose own productivity can be impacted when you don’t pull your weight at work. And yet, it’s sometimes easier than ever to procrastinate, especially when you have so many more enjoyable things at your fingertips – such as the Internet.

...if you find yourself checking out Twitter when you’re supposed to be completing a boring report, tell yourself, “I know this report isn’t fun, but by getting it done I’ll make my boss happy and that means I’ll keep my job – and my paycheck will help me take care of my family.”

Sounds simple enough but we all know sometimes our mind can be stronger than our will power. That's why there are power tools - like saws and drills that you can apply to your life that help whip you into shape and get back on track.

Some of these tools are technology based, such as Rescue Time and Workrave.

Rescue Time is a web based application that keeps track of the things you do online. This can really help with procrastination when you get your report and see that you spent 5 hours browsing pictures on Facebook and only 10 minutes on the looking for jobs!

It also allows you to voluntarily block sites when your brain wants you to get off track to say head over to check out ESPN or something. Here is a cool intro video

Workrave is almost the opposite. It is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.

This is great for those that may be extremely focused on writing your resume or cover letter and need a break to re-focus. Workrave will give you a nice overall picture of when you should take your breaks and get you into a groove that is healthy.

Offline Procrastination Tools

One of the oldest tricks of the trade is using a stop watch in intervals of 40 minutes on, 15 minutes off. During these 15 minutes you should have some water, take a walk, stretch or engage yourself in activities that make your laugh or smile.

With today's technology much of this can be done on your cell phone.

The goal is to find your comfort zone, get in the groove and STOP Procrastinating. Remember the difference between still looking at sitting in the interview chair when faced with similar candidates is the one who is faster, has great follow up and follows directions.

Happy hunting Atlanta and let us know what you think of the tips and tools in the comments below.



The Doorbell is Dead

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Today we have a guest post by Ed Muzio, author of Make Work Great: Supercharge Your Team, Reinvent the Culture, and Gain Influence -- One Person at a Time.
Literally, my doorbell is dead. It’s one of those battery operated wireless ones. I think it got some water in it, and it doesn’t work. Plus, my front door is fifteen feet behind a locked gate, so there’s no way to knock. Conventional wisdom says, if you drop by my house unannounced, you’re not getting in. It’s been this way for over a year and it has yet to be a problem.

I should perhaps be embarrassed by this, but I recently realized why it really doesn’t matter, while giving a friend a ride across town. When my car stopped in front of our destination – a relative’s house – my friend stepped out of the car, thanked me, and immediately initiated a cell phone call. As she was putting her phone away, the front door cracked open and she strolled in, carefree user of the new-age doorbell.

That’s why nobody has yet complained about mine: nobody uses it anyway! Figuratively as well, the doorbell is dead. And its death has bigger implications to our daily lives than many of us care to consider.

There’s a reason we call this the information age, and it’s not because we’re all so much smarter. It’s because we all have access to so much information, at our fingertips, all the time. I can track my package, check the status of my flight, and monitor my stock portfolio or my company’s financial status, all in a second, all with a click. I’m more informed than anyone in my position in history has ever been. And yet, being so informed has not made my life easier. If anything, I think I’m probably busier than a counterpart in my position would have been 20 years ago.

For one thing, I’m constantly doing things like checking the status of my packages and my flights! That didn’t used to be an option, but now that it is, it seems foolish not to avail myself of it. Why in the world would I choose to be uninformed, when it’s so easy to rectify my ignorance by learning exactly which city my all-important box is traversing at the moment?

Worse yet, everyone now has the expectation of immediacy. At times it feels like I’m fielding client questions and queries day and night, all of whom expect an instant answer. I pride myself on customer service, but it can be a challenge! If you supplement “client” with “customer,” “manager,” or “stockholder,” I’ve probably described your job too.

And it’s not just business contacts. Some loved ones have also come to expect an instantaneous reply when they call. I vividly recall a time when I returned calls to friends and family after I got home for the evening, or if it was a particularly long day, the following evening. Now, the calls come into my cell phone at all hours. If I don’t respond within a few hours, I end up on the receiving end of a concerned and vaguely annoyed follow-up call: “didn’t you get my message? I thought you would call me back over lunch.”

The problem is, my capacity for handling information has not expanded commensurately with the information explosion. I still have only two hands, only two ears, only two eyes, and only one brain. I may read a few hundred more emails per day than I used to, but I don’t read them a few hundred times faster. And my decision-making capacities still have limits as to how much information they can incorporate. For better or worse, I’m still just human.

And you, my friend, are in the same boat as I am. Admit it! You haven’t grown four extra hands or two extra brains either. That’s why it’s crucial for all of us to walk around with a well rehearsed script of what’s we’re trying to do, what l I call a Verbalized Summary Objective Statement, or VSO.

The VSO is a script that you play to others, and to yourself, as a reminder of what you’re working on. It’s also a filter that helps you turn on – or turn off – your most important sources of information. And, it’s a statement of your output that you can use at the end of the day to check that you’re making progress. If you are, you can feel satisfaction. If you’re not, you can make an adjustment. Either of those options is preferable to just going home exhausted, vaguely wondering when you started working so hard, and why you can’t seem to stop.

Tomorrow morning, when you first get to your desk and before you start doing anything, see if you can articulate your purpose for the day, or maybe the week, in about 90 seconds. Try writing it down, or better yet, say it to yourself a few times until you’ve memorized it. Then, use your little infomercial as your blueprint for the day. Whenever you’re about to engage with information – either a source of it, or a request for it – first check the contents of your VSO, and see how that source or request aligns with what you really want to be doing. In other words, pay attention to where you invest your mental and physical effort.

Probably, like me, you’ll find that not all of what is clamoring for your attention is in line with your own priorities. Although saying “no” is never easy, it is much easier when you have a burning “yes” to focus upon instead. Now that you know where you’re trying to head, you can begin to make the difficult decisions about what not to do. From here, the rest is up to you.

Actually, I do have one more suggestion. As you go through the day sorting through information, take a moment to check your calendar. If your evening plans include a visit to my house, be sure to take my cell phone number with you.

About Edward Muzio
Edward G. Muzio is president and CEO of Group Harmonics and is the award-winning author of Four Secrets to Liking Your Work: You May Not Need to Quit to Get the Job You Want. An expert in workplace improvement and its relationship to individual enjoyment, Muzio has been featured on Fox Business Network, CBS, and other national media, and he has been cited in many publications including the New York Post, the Austin American Statesman, and Spirit magazine. He lives in Albuquerque, NM.



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