One of the most important parts of prepping for job search is fine-tuning your message. How do you summarize your most marketable assets in a way that entices the reader and listener to want more?
Inventory Your Assets
Start by creating a list of your personality traits, technical skills, industry experience, projects, and accomplishments.
|Loving||Loyal||Manages Time Well|
|Practical||Presents Self Well||Proactive|
|Sense of Humor||Sensual||Serves Others|
Your Technical Skills: These are work related things you know how to do. These are some of the skills & expertise listed on LinkedIn: month-end and year-end reports, bank reconciliation, general ledger, fixed assets, trial balance.
Each occupation has its own list of must-know skills. You can also check job descriptions to make sure your inventory is complete.
And by the way, if you are missing any in-demand skills, make note and plan on developing or acquiring those skills ASAP.
Industry Experience: What industries have you been exposed to? Your breadth and depth of industry knowledge is what will help differentiate you. Create a list of all the industries you feel knowledgeable on.
Projects: Create a list of the projects you’ve worked on. What was their purpose and what was your role.
Accomplishments: Every day you made a difference. These are called accomplishments and they can be big or small. If you are looking for a way to recall your past accomplishments, take a look at this list.
Personal Brand Statement or Value Proposition
Now lets spin this stuff to make it interesting to your audience. Yes, your audience determines your message, not you. We need to put your value in terms that are meaningful to others. Which means you have to understand what their problems are and how you can solve them. In order to do this, you need to answer three questions:
1. What problem do you solve (Look at your projects and accomplishments)
2. How you do it uniquely (look at your personality traits)
3. Whom you do it for (check industry listing or projects)
If you want to learn more about creating your personal branding statement (and see a link to examples, you can go here.)
The Summary On Your Resume
Every resume written today needs a summary. It may just be key words or it may be a short paragraph, either way, it needs to convey your message. Based on the job requirements, you may have to fine tune your summary to include the right words (as long as you do not lie.)
Your LinkedIn Summary
Your LinkedIn summary is more robust, thorough and static than your resume summary. LinkedIn says your summary shares “information about your mission, accomplishments, and goals.” Your summary can use up to 2,000 characters (that’s a lot of words!)
Please don’t copy and paste the exact same summary from your resume into your LinkedIn profile. People would like to learn more about you than what they can find on your resume. This is your opportunity to state what is important to you (values, work ethic, and what motivates you).
Start by cutting and pasting your summary from your resume (if you must) but go back and add the words “I” , “me” and “my” to make it more personal. Include interests, stories, examples of your work to help the reader understand what makes you tick!
Your pitch may include many of the elements above. It too, needs to be adjusted based on your audience. The pitch you use while introducing yourself at a gathering with family and friends would be different from the pitch you deliver in an interview. The formula is likely the same, but the words you chose to use need to be adapted.
Ditch your old pitch formula and try answering Chris Westfall’s question instead:
“What would it mean to you if…”
If you don’t know Chris, he is the national Elevator pitch winner and you can see his numerous videos on pitches here.
Do you have a pitch or summary you would like critiqued? I would be happy to evaluate it so leave a link in the comment!