Branding

Showcase your Difference in your Job Search

I lived in Sweden for a year after I graduated college. I learned a lot that year and was introduced to many wonderful people and Scandinavian treasures – Fika. H&M. IKEA.

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The most interesting was a Swedish cultural concept - “Lagom.” It comes from the phrase “laget om” (correct me if I am wrong, Swedes, as I struggled in that 6-week language course!) which means middle, median, appropriate.

While this concept permeates Scandinavian culture from social interactions to what you wear or eat, it won’t do you any favors in an American job search. In fact, if you stay on middle ground in your job search, you will be anchored there. 

Most people who are applying and networking for your new job of interest, typically have a similar degree, qualifications and skill set. Don’t stay similar. Be different. 

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Identify your competitive edge. 

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What strengths do others consistently acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you really good at?

Leverage what sets you apart in your job search and career documents. Need help discovering your 'difference'? Find resources here.

What do people think about You? One FREE way to find Out!

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I’ve always wanted the ability to read people’s minds. Now you can.

Find out what people think of you based on your LinkedIn profile headshot with Photofeeler.

Photofeeler is a data science company that according to their website helps people “land good jobs and life partners.” You can now learn if people find you competent, likable and influential in categories of business, social and dating.

I decided to give it a go with my LinkedIn profile photo!

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Just download your photo, choose a category and enter your job title. Then wait for votes from others regarding your competency, likability and influence.

Check out my results from my LinkedIn profile photo:

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I recommend to test out a few photos and then choose the photo that best represents YOU and the vibe you want to project. Whether you are heading into a job search or leveraging your expertise online, effectively optimize your photo for your professional endeavors.

Cover Letter: Less is More

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I used to jam pack all the words I could on a page to describe why I was the best candidate for the job in my cover letters. More words = more qualified, right?

Wrong.

I recently was having this same discussion with a client. The verbosity of complex experiences doesn’t mean more readership, it means less. Do you have that person in your life that is constantly talking versus the one who refrains, but when s/he does speak up - it is profoundly worthwhile to listen? Be the latter in your cover letter.

The purpose of a cover letter is to illustrate how you are the perfect (or near perfect!) candidate for the job. Land an interview to tell more! Here’s how:

+ The job posting is your compass. Demonstrate your skills and qualifications for the job by first knowing what experience the company/job are requiring. Customize your letter accordingly.

+ Use bullet points to draw attention to hard and soft skills, education and/or professional experiences relevant to the posting. Let your text breathe with white space. Pack a punch with succinct sentences and powerful accomplishments.

+ Highlight memorable stories. Those applying for the position have a similar skill set. Convey what makes you unique. Illustrate your skills instead of listing them. Share a distinct professional accomplishment or a personal story tying you to the company or brand values. Stand out!

Give yourself the advantage by sending a strong cover letter even if not required of the posting.

Give Career Fulfillment This Christmas

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Happy Cyber Monday! As you sift through the deals of the day, consider giving the long-lasting gift of career fulfillment and hope (for under ten bucks)!

Grab our resume branding mini-workbook ($8.99) to guide you or a loved one through our branded statement writing formula, that ensures you can:

➝ Communicate the best blend of your skill set to win interviews.

➝ Infuse professional accomplishments into your resume.

➝ Locate keywords in a job posting to tweak your resume for your application.

➝ Craft a statement that showcases your value and sets you apart from the crowd.

Take charge to hone your professional value and lead a friend to theirs! Career fulfillment belongs to those that do the inner work to get there. Buy your copy here.

Develop Skills With Intentionality

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Nothing like a snow day in central Indiana to slow you down.

While I take stock of ingredients today to cook up a baked treat with my kids, it reminds me what I’ve been reading regarding “deliberate practice” in Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit.

I’ve never been good at baking and honestly, getting out and dirtying all the kitchen things to do one of my most dreaded chores (washing dishes) always sways me to another activity despite a sweet reward.

But this holiday season, I’m aiming to establish traditions around baking with my family that I have yet to create. “Deliberate practice” is more than just logging hours and hours of a new skill, but in being intentional in the practicing of it.

With baking it might be trying a recipe a few different ways, adding a smidge here or there of an ingredient, commenting on a recipe noting what worked and what didn’t and having honest taste testers (I have three little ones of those;) reflect which was the most successful.

What skill do you want to improve or add to your skill set? What deliberate measures can you take to practice honing it? Mastering a skill adds to your value and brand.

Need help articulating it on your resume? Invest in our mini-workbook.

An Exceptional Secret for the Job Search

“There’s nothing particularly special about me, I just do my job.”

I hear that a lot from my clients when we are discussing their current or past roles, but I want to bring YOU in on a secret.

Yes, lean in. Get really close. Hear this:

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You are unique! ONE OF A KIND! There isn’t anyone else like you on the planet.

No one does your job, just like you. Own it!

Still unsure? Use these questions as you reflect on your exceptionality.

✪ What strengths do others continue to acknowledge in you?

✪ What are you known for?

✪ What makes you come alive?

Don’t venture into the discovery process alone. Grab our mini-workbook to discover your unique value proposition.

Move Forward in your Career: Speak Your Value

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Are you struggling to put words to your achievements or even claim them? You are not alone.

However, being cautious or unable to articulate your skills and experience incurs costs throughout your career especially when pursuing a promotion or a new job.

If you don’t find a way to speak about the value of what you’re doing, you send a message that you don’t put much value on it. And if you don’t value it, why should anyone else?
— Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith

Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith in their book, How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back From your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job recommend considering yourself as a product.

What are your most notable achievements that make you a trustworthy and likable product that people will want to buy? If you don’t know, spend a morning reflecting or journaling on the idea.

Once you have some thoughts, say them out loud to yourself with confidence, then to a couple friends or colleagues and so on.

Take time to believe in yourself! Do the work to proclaim your successes to propel your career forward.