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eCourse Step 5 Getting The Career You Want

What Impression Are You Leaving?

Are you ready to evaluate yourself and focus on the impression you are leaving behind?

Put your best foot forward to gain the Career You Want.

Step 5 of 10:  Your First Impression is Lasting

Let’s start with something as basic as your email address. Cutesy, witty and vulgar are not appropriate for applying for an opportunity.  This sounds like a no brainer, but  20% to 30% of the resumes I receive are attached to emails like this.  

Here’s an example of one I got today:  iceprincess@..., or how about ImALittleRusty@... Here’s one that I seem to get a lot of variations of lately ImBroke@...   I have many more, less appropriate examples, but I think you get the point.

I know these emails may have a lot of meaning to the people using them, but is this really the way you want to “stand out above the crowd”?  It’s not putting your best impression forward if you want to be taken seriously.

I think people get so used to their email address they don’t even realize what it says.  This is an easy fix and well worth your effort.  If this is you, please stop reading now and fix it so you don’t forget.  Sign up for a free account at Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc…, or which ever email provider best suits you.

Next, Google yourself. You may be surprised at what comes back. Be prepared to talk about it if an employer asks. Do you always stay on top of what’s “said about you”?  Use Google Alerts to create an alert using your name so you can see if there’s any new information being “talked” about that links back to you.  It’s better to be in the know – first!  This is a good exercise.  Take a moment to do this now. 

Make sure your Facebook, MySpace and other social sites are also free of anything you wouldn't want to be “out there”. You know what I’m talking about.... Quick, go fix it now while you are thinking about it!

Fixing Bad Press 

Whoops, you found some things you are less than proud of.  How do you fix it?  Well, to be honest, it will take some effort on your part and some things may be impossible to completely remove,  but you may be able to carefully “bury” it.  Here’s a good resource from Lifehacker’s blog on how to do just that. 

If you found some information that is “questionable” or “hard to explain” follow the advice given in Lifehacker’s blog.  Stop now and spend some quality time doing this.

What Is Your Resume Saying About You? 

Check your resume. Have someone close to you read it and critique it. Think of someone who’s opinion you trust and respect and call them right now.  If you can’t reach them, send them an email with your resume attached.  Do it now before you forget.  Tell them how important their opinion is to you.

Read it out loud and see how it sounds. You can find many mistakes this way.  Better yet; read it into a recorder.  Listen to it a short time later and you’ll find even more things you’ll want to fix.

Resumes are a tricky subject.  Personally I don’t think they are a realistic representation of most people and I see them used as a tool to screen people out. Your resume alone could be what’s preventing you from getting the interview. 

Because candidates realize they’re being screened by their resume, statistically, 50% of the time they falsify information somewhere on there. Don’t be one of those 50%. If it doesn’t bite you now, it will later and you can be fired.

If you lie on a resume today, you never know where it will end up tomorrow. If you fix your lie at a future date, realize someone may somehow obtain the one you had lied on previously. Nothing is a secret anymore and you never know whose hands it may fall in. 

Do you know how many candidates have sent me their resume in the last 15 years and later forgot which version they sent?  Whoops!

Miraculously at some point they send another version that’s completely different than the original.  I’m not talking about the differences that are natural when you customize a resume to a position or to enhance a particular skill you have if the opportunity you’re applying for focuses on that one specialty.  I’m talking about fudged dates of employment, companies completely omitted, and highly inflated titles.  It’s not worth it.

Another “tactic” candidates use is to provide a vague resume, which keeps the reviewer guessing.  As an example, some still don’t list their dates of employment because there may be gaps or many short stints in a row.  Still others lump their accomplishments at the top of their resume and then below list their places of employment and dates so you are guessing when and where did they accomplish what they said they did.  Here is a Sample Resume of what I mean.  Disclaimer - This is a completely fabricated resume.  If it looks like it is yours, that's completely coincidental.

Don't Be A Mystery 

The problem with all these variations of being vague is the person reading your resume now has a reason to pass on your candidacy and move on to the next.  Do you realize how many resumes they’ve received that day alone?  Figure at minimum 100 others applying for the same position.  Do you think they’re going to spend time to try to “figure” yours out? 

If you simply make your information clear and put explanations for each item you think they will have an objection to, you’ll have a much greater chance for being considered.  Will you still stand a chance of being passed on?  Yes, but at least you had a chance. 

If you don’t know how to write a winning resume, I would suggest hiring a professional. If you don’t know where to turn, Email Me, I have suggestions depending on what it is you’re looking for.  I have been able to help many candidates based on their personal situation.

If your ready to take a stab at it yourself, read this:  10 Steps to a Winning Resume. 

Until next time, please send any comments/suggestions to:

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