A – ASPIRATIONAL CAREER GOAL
Where do you want to be going with your career? What is your job target?
Your career focus for the future is not set in stone. It does not have to be driven by previous career roles, employers, or locales. If that were the case, no one would have ever made a career change, or even a job change!
So what is the job role you are targeting right now? What job function / job title? Hiring managers fill open job roles based on job titles. Providing an opening headline allows me (the hiring manager) to scan the rest of your professional resume with an eye for the targeted job function’s essential requirements.
Why should I, the potential employer, believe that you are a plausible candidate for your aspirational job target?
Do you meet the minimum requirements? Does your skill set include the requisite skills for the job?
Beef up your resume with all your skills that are relevant to your job target. Mine the job description and job requirements for skills-based keywords and use them when you are writing your resume, not just in a skills section.
If you do not possess all the necessary skills, can you bridge the gap via education and training? Or can you demonstrate via previous experience that you can quickly gain mastery of missing skills?
Beyond skills, your resume must clearly show that you have gotten results in your previous jobs. Highlight those accomplishments that are most aligned with your aspirational job target. Quantified results in particular serve as powerful ‘proof’ that you can get the job done – and done well.
Understand the desired end result (from the employer’s perspective) for each job’s required skills . For example, data entry is a key job function in Medical Records Transcription. Ask yourself, why would accuracy be important to the employer? Could it be to avoid costly medical mistakes and potential lawsuits? Do not take for granted that the potential employer will assume you are accurate.
C – COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATION
Let’s say you have established that you have the required skills and relevant key accomplishments in your past experience (paid and/or unpaid) for your job target. Hurrah! You have made it past two important hurdles.
But there is one more – and it is daunting. It is the age-old question, ‘Why should I hire you?’ Because, after all, you are not the only candidate with the skills, experience, and proven accomplishments to get the job done.
The ultimate deciding factor has to do with culture fit. Will you be a good match with the existing team and fit in with the company culture and values? What added value can you bring that your competition does not?
Be clear about HOW you get results (personal brand attributes, brand strengths) and WHY that is important (brand value). Seek out and apply to employers whose company culture not only aligns with, but also prizes your unique personal brand and brand value.
Showcase your personal brand prominently throughout your branded resume for maximum competitive differentiation. Dispel any notion of your being the ‘same as’ your competition. ‘Sameness’ never won the job!