How to Improve Your Personal Branding

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In today’s world, creating a unique and interesting personal brand is vital to your career success. Yes, your resume and cover letter are still important – but companies are gradually placing higher importance on who you are as a person, opposed to what you have done in the past. With that being said, start thinking of yourself as a brand. What do you want people to think of when they hear your name? What do people associate with your name? Once you begin to think of yourself as a brand you can determine what you need to do to cultivate and polish your personal brand.

A great first step in perfecting your personal brand is to develop your own personal website or blog. Use this website as a freedom of expression – your website doesn’t necessarily have to be career-focused. You could develop a food blog, fashion website, or anything in between. What matters is that through this website or blog someone can see who you are – your personality, your strengths, and your values. Cleaning up your social media accounts is also extremely important. Your personal brand is affected by what you portray on your social media, so make sure that your social media and personal brand coexist and compliment one another.

Your personal brand should also show that you are continuously growing and improving. Become an expert in your field – take classes, get unique certifications, and promote your accomplishments. People will notice that you are striving to be the best version of yourself that you can be, which will work to your advantage when others speak of you. Nothing is more powerful in building your personal brand than what your network of contacts say about you and your set of skills, education, and accomplishments.

What may be the most important element when developing a personal brand is differentiation. In order to stand out, you must differentiate yourself. What do you do better than your competitors? What do you do that is valuable and unique? What are you most proud of? If you’re going to have a personal brand, you have to become relentlessly focused on what you do better than your competitors, what adds value, and what you are most proud of.

Lastly, make sure you promote yourself! If you have an amazing personal brand, make sure people know about it. Link your personal website to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media accounts. As the old saying goes, “If you got it, flaunt it!” Having a unique personal brand is essential for your success, so tell people about it. Once you have mastered your personal brand, check out our website and see what opportunities await!

Tips To Making a Confident Resume and Cover Letter

 

Whenever you have the chance write a cover letter or resume, make sure you follow these tips on how to make confident cover letter and resume!

When writing your resume you should always tailor it depending on what job you’re applying for. It wouldn’t be the best decision on your part to send the same resume to every job you’re interested in. Same goes for your cover letter. Before you start either, make you sure you take the time to research the company and position you will be applying to. That way, when you begin describing how you will be able to apply your skills to the position and overall company, you’ll actually know what company you’re talking to and what they’ll expect.

When it comes to stating your skills and how the company will benefit from them, be sure to be confident and direct. When employers look through your cover letter and resume, it’s not for very long. You want to let the employers know what you will bring to the table and your abilities that you will apply to your daily work. Also it’s important to show some enthusiasm, saying that you’re excited for this opportunity, how you would love to be apart of the work environment. This shows that you have a passion for this certain line of work and that you are ready whenever they are. Speaking of passion, it’s also good to let out some inner devotion towards this career of choice. This let’s the hiring managers know that you mean business and you’ll be a hardworking candidate and you are going to enjoy what you’re applying for.

Proofreading is the most annoying, but the most crucial step of any professional writing, including resumes and cover letters. Grammar and punctuation errors are obviously a no-no, because if they see those mistakes, they will think you didn’t put much effort into your work. Not a good first impression to make. It’s also good to use the correct phrases. My advice would be to avoid saying things like, “I think…”, “I guess…”, “I believe…” and other passive statements. You need to show that you’re strong within your wording. Say, “I will…”! Don’t lower yourself, be positive and courageous! But also keep in mind to not over do it. Don’t over-flatter yourself or the company. It will make the hiring manager wonder if these skills are even true and no one really likes a suck-up. Be short, and be sufficient with what you say in your resume and cover letter.

Take these key skills and apply them to your cover letter and resume and you’ll come out with a very confident and strong resume! If you need more help with resumes and would like to submit your resume in to The Wilson Group, visit our website.

Spring Cleaning for Your Job Search

Spring is finally here and that means spring cleaning is in order. However, we are not talking about scrubbing your floors and getting rid of household clutter. This spring we are discussing spring cleaning to prepare for your job search. In today’s competitive job market it is crucial that the first items you submit to an employer are representing your best self.

Resume:
A resume is essentially an advertisement, and you are the product being sold, therefore, sell yourself in the best way possible. Make sure the look of your resume expresses the up to date look of the industry. If you are still using the same format you have for years, you may need to reevaluate. Make sure that it includes information about yourself currently and has an updated/polished layout and graphics. Be sure you have your resume in different formats such as .pdf, Microsoft Word and text only in case the company needs a different file format.

It is crucial that your resume is only one page. Although you may have more information than a page, a resume surpassing one page will not be taken seriously. Make sure you tailor your resume to each job application you apply for. This way if you have more than a page of information, you can put the most relevant information that relates to the position you are seeking.

Focus on accomplishments within each job experience and include them on your resume. This also entails using concrete details. For example, if you increased sales at a company by 65%, include this in the job description.

Cover Letter:
Since the job seeking market is highly saturated, a cover letter template used across all applications is not going to help you stand out. Employers can recognize when there is a generic cover letter that has the position and company copied and pasted into the blanks.

Tailor your cover letter’s formality to the formality of the company. This means if you are applying for a creative graphic design position your cover letter should look much different than if you are applying for an accounting position. If you are applying for a creative position, use your cover letter to show how creative you are, and if you are applying for a position where results and percentages matter the most, make sure to include concrete evidence showcasing your accomplishments.

Social Media:
Facebook is not the only social media outlet you need to ensure is professional. Make sure you consider all of your social media accounts, such as: Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. While some photos and posts may seem appropriate to you, they may not be to a different audience, so take some time to consider all the audiences that could be potentially viewing your accounts. With technology and social media becoming so important to employers, make sure when you google your name, nothing questionable appears.

Check your privacy settings. While what you post to your own profile may not seem offensive, ensure that what other people are tagging you in is also appropriate. This means including privacy setting that allow you to review other people’s posts before they are published to your page. Just because you are not direct friends with a possible employer, does not mean there are not ways they could potentially view your profile.

If you need a helping hand with your spring cleaning, The Wilson Group, is at your service. For more tips and information visit our website.

Writing a Cover Letter

Cover letters are meant to compliment your resume and tell a prospective employer how your experience benefits them. Because of this, they must be tailored for each position to which you apply. To help make the process less time consuming, here are some general guidelines you can use to make your cover letter stand out amongst the competition.

Keep the overall theme employer-oriented.
If the story you are trying to tell doesn’t relate to the open position or the company’s needs, do not include it. Also, avoid using the word “I” as much as possible.

Start off strong.
Your first paragraph should be a value-packed statement showcasing what you offer and how it relates to the position you are applying. To prevent your cover letter just being skimmed by the Hiring Manager, emphasize the job title to catch their eye. Save space for valuable information by avoiding stating the obvious like your name (which should be in the contact header) or “I am writing…”.

Show that you would be an asset for the company.
A good way to style the body of your cover letter is by bulleting your skills and/or qualifications in no more than three to five bullets. The benefit to this approach is that it provides quick and easy readability for the Hiring Manager. Look at the job posting and emphasize your experience with their job requirements towards the top of the list, since these are the most important to them. Use specific examples and numbers to support your claims and show a clear image of your skills.

End with an action statement.
Rather than say you hope to hear from them soon, state that you would appreciate the opportunity to meet for an interview to further explain how your qualifications meet their needs. Be sure to tell them how and when you will follow up to schedule a meeting. If the job posting requests no calls to the company, then simply repeat your contact information for easy reference.

Beginning your job search can be a tedious process, and we are here to help and make it as easy as possible. Call us at 361.833.3535 or contact us online to learn how we can help!

Make a Good First Impression

In the job market, a first impression can be the biggest factor standing between you and that dream job. Be mindful of how you come across to potential employers, because their view of you may be the tiny make-it-or-break-it factor that gets you the job – or doesn’t. Here are a few things to consider when preparing yourself to jump into the job search, feet first.

1. Your Resume and Cover Letter

99.99% of the time, your resume and cover letter will be your potential employer’s first impression of you. Even though they are simply written documents on paper, you need to make them count! Make sure both are formatted properly, flow well, have no grammatical or spelling errors, are specifically tailored to the company of interest, and display your best achievements and most relevant experience. Check out our other blogs for a more in-depth look at resume do’s and dont’s.

2. Your Correspondence

If a potential employer takes the time to reach out to you for any reason (be it to thank you for the submission of your resume or to request an interview), be sure to respond in a timely manner! Even a short email with a “Thank you” will suffice and show the potential employer that you can be counted on.

3. Your Appearance

If you make it far enough to be invited in for an interview, make sure you dress the part! Though dress codes can vary dramatically nowadays based on company culture, it is always better to show up overdressed than underdressed. A good pair of slacks and a collared shirt (for men) or a conservative blouse (for women) are great choices to consider. Likewise, make sure that your personal hygiene is in check – clean hair and nails, and trimmed or shaved facial hair for men – and consider skipping the excessive perfume before an interview. Some overpowering scents can have an aversive effect on people, and it’s better to skip the fragrance than to risk giving your interviewer a headache.

4. Your Timeliness

Your physical appearance is not the only factor that you should consider before an interview. Timeliness is also incredibly pivotal – especially in our culture, where “time is money.” Most hiring managers will meet with multiple job prospects in a day – you don’t want to be that one person that throws off their entire schedule because you are late. In fact, a good rule-of-thumb to follow when showing up for interviews is to get to the site fifteen minutes early. Spend the extra time rehearsing your “self-pitch” in your head, or use it to catch up on world news in the paper. Do not however, take that time to check your phone and text your best friends. Some employers – particularly if they have a secretary that sits in the lobby with you while you wait to be called in – make note of the behavior of their prospective employees before interviews.

Remember, first impressions make a big impact. Next time you apply for a job, wow your prospective employer with how incredible you are – right off the bat!

Get the Most Out of Your Job Search

The last thing you want to do in a job search is waste time. Here are some tips to make sure you stay productive!

1. Set Goals.
This is the best way to help you stay focused on the big picture: getting you a job! Create daily, short-term and long-term goals to help you stay motivated and encouraged.

2. Create a Written Schedule.

Create a written schedule that lists when applications are due, and what you need to do each day to stay on track. Write in when you need to follow-up and you’ll be on time and ready to impress your potential employers.

3. Change Up Your Approach.

Try ways to keep the job search interesting, whether that means using snail mail instead of email for sending in your resume and cover letter or going to more networking events. Sitting at your computer for hours on end sending out applications will make you go crazy!

4. Do Some Research.

Research thoroughly to find the address, phone number and name of the hiring manager. This may seem like a pain, but it’s worth the effort!

Don’t get discouraged in your job search! What do you do to stay motivated? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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