“To get what you’re after, you need to think far beyond your résumé, because scoring your dream job lies in the art of identifying the gorilla.”
We’ve all been there: squinting hard at the flashing cursor on the screen, running the umpteenth spell check and making sure the bullets and indents are just right. At times, you feel more like an architect drafting plans for a home extension than a job applicant. It’s almost a conditioned response to scour – click and fill – upload and submit. You feel a sense of accomplishment after completing two or three of these a day, blasting that virtual one-pager out into the ether, hoping, just hoping that you’ll get that ping. And then … nothing. The bad news: you probably have better odds playing a casino slot machine in Atlantic City than sending out 50 resumes. The good news: you already have the tools to create a digital presence that will do the work for you 24/7 and get you noticed. You just need to connect the dots.
Before I go any further, I ask you to do something difficult. Take 30 seconds, close your eyes, breathe and accept the notion that the pdf file and the click-upload-submit routine are not going to cut it anymore. Before panic sets in, I want you to take this moment and grab it with gusto and confidence in knowing that you already have the knowledge and drive to pivot into a better, more effective, and, yes, fun way of creating and promoting your professional brand.
It’s a safe assumption you know how to use social media. You Facebook, you Tweet, you Google, you find funny cat videos on YouTube. Now shift your thinking: increase your social media output to create your professional digital brand. To a lot of business clients, I recommend 6 tools, which you can start using right away. Many are free or low cost and will work for you around the clock. Before you dive in, I should mention that LinkedIn is not on this list. Two reasons for this: 1) you should already be using LinkedIn and 2) your Career Development Office already offers programs on its benefits. I use it every day and you should too. Instead, this series will highlight 6 tools that you may not yet have considered for enhancing your digital you.
The harsh reality is that pdf resumes just aren’t going to land you that dream job anymore. The sooner you realize this the better. Consider this: you are better positioned now than ever to make a bigger impression with the digital tools that are available to you. Using just one or two of the tools I will introduce this month on Carey the Torch will bolster your brand and brand awareness exponentially. Moreover, you will demonstrate to potential employers (or customers if you’re starting a business) skills that are in high demand. Being well versed in social and digital media is no longer an option. It’s essential.
If you’ve come to this post, it means you’re serious about creating your digital brand and I applaud you for taking this first, big step. In Part II of the series, I focus on how you can use Websites and YouTube to boost your brand and career.