Common Mistakes in Branding: Resumes and Interviews

Is whatever you’re doing not working? Are you trying to change careers entirely? In either case . . .

Don’t Submit Yesterday’s Resume – You’ll Just Be Applying to Do Again What You’ve Already Done!

Most people focus their resumes and interview presentations on what they have done – in the past, that is — which is not where you’re going!  Does your resume read like a police procedural, or a report to your probation officer?  I did this, and then I did this, and then I did this?  If so, do those work activities (say, in 1992, 2001, 2007) tend to prove, or support, what you want to do for work now? Or are they just a list of activities, of things you “did”, as you interpreted them then – without any guidance on how the reader should interpret what you have done as being relevant to your future?

Have you dramatically changed your resume’s description of your work at previous jobs, at any time since you first wrote it down? Or is it basically the same presentation?

Let’s put it this way: does your resume’s description of what you did many years and jobs ago argue for what you want to do next? If not, then you are applying to do what you have already done.  Our resume coaches and interview coaches will show you how to fix that!

More Resume and Interview No-No’s We’ll Explain in Detail

Don’t rely on the Internet! Most submissions through job websites are a waste of time. If you are really serious about getting a job, you need to act as if the Internet didn’t exist – network and make yourself known out in the real world – and use the Internet effectively.

And don’t make your resume a graveyard of the most repeated cliches on LinkedIn:

1. Creative
2. Organizational
3. Effective
4. Motivated
5. Extensive experience
6. Track record
7. Innovative
8. Responsible
9. Analytical
10. Problem solving

More Branding Mistakes

  • Focus on your “skills,” or assume employers still are. Skills are so 1980s.
  • Tell potential employers what you’ve done instead of how and why you did it. What you did rarely differentiates you from anyone.
  • Focus on specific tasks or activities in your work history, especially if you are trying to get a job that’s a fresh break from the old ones. It won’t work!
  • Don’t plan how to immediately make a positive first impression.
  • Don’t ask questions about the company’s fit with your passions, strengths, and values – so you can (1) demonstrate them and (2) find out if the job offered gives you ways to grow and get into FLOW.
  • Don’t set a memorable hook that helps the interviewers to remember you out of the sea of interviewees they’ve seen over days or even weeks.
  • Create negative soundbites.
  • Lie.  Exaggerate.  Embellish.

Things You Should Do in Branding, Resumes, and Interviews

  • Make sure every line of your resume either proves something crucial to your NEXT MOVE or is not there at all.
  • Perform the research to know what you can offer the company – and deliver your proposal as if you were a highly-paid consultant.
  • Ask for the job based on a proven fit between the facts of your strengths and experience and the law of the job description.
  • Milk the power of gratitude and connection with your professional follow-up.
  • Make your resume the first resume an employer receives. Recruiters often stop looking for candidates when they find what they need.  Use alerts to be the first to find out about a new opening.
  • Format your resume so that it’s computer-readable, and contains keywords sought by recruiters.



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