12 Resume Tips to Snag Your Dream Job


shutterstock_143481439“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”– George Bernhard Shaw, author


Employers look for someone who offers the “whole package” when hiring. An applicant who has the skills, expertise, and experiences to meet the complex challenges their company faces. “Soft skills” such as integrity, accountability, common sense, motivation, energy, enthusiasm for the work, humility, intellectual curiosity, are the emotional intelligence factors that will weigh equally in helping you get noticed in today’s workplace. These traits combined with the appropriate proficiencies will make you stand out as an ideal candidate.

Clear value proposition

Your resume should contain a clear statement that indicates you understand the industry, the company’s business, its core values, and the specific role they’re seeking. Your cover letter is the place to share a brief narrative that showcases a positive trait tied to an accomplishment that’s relevant to your prospective employer. To do this, you need to learn about the company (through LinkedIn’s company pages, following the company and its leaders on twitter, and from reaching out to connections who work there for informational interviews) and then tease out your accomplishments that apply to a company’s needs. The top of the resume is the place to highlight bullets of capabilities that demonstrate you’re ability to add value to their company. (see Jay Block’s  book, “202 Great Resumes.”

Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses

Take a personality profile test, like the Myers-Briggs, StrengthFinder 2.0 or the DiSC. These tests will inform you of your strengths and help you identify the types of jobs and industries that best fit your skills.

Show your impact

Describe briefly and with precise examples the ways in which you have delivered impact to your current organization, your colleagues, or your customer base; the ways in which you tackled difficult challenges, and managed projects. Did you deliver results to your business unit or connect people across functions or departments? Have you achieved unexpected results? Or perhaps you’ve done something that others thought was impossible? Demonstrate that you have taken responsibility for your career and for helping others achieve their potential.

Individual achievements outweigh employer’s prestige

Listing off your employer’s achievements says nothing about your personal accomplishments. Instead, explain in your cover letter if you ran a marketing campaign, what were its specific goals and how did you help your employer achieve these goals? Providing specific metrics ensures you were a key player on that project and instrumental to its success. Everyone wants to hire a winning employee, so make sure your resume highlights your specific accomplishments, especially those that are transferrable to your desired next position.

Research the company prior to your interview 

It goes without saying, but always remember to research the company before your interview. Those interviewing you will appreciate your diligence and it will likely give you huge leg-up on the competition.

Show passion and interest for the industry

Show you’re someone who is self-motivated and genuinely interested in advancing their company’s strategic and financial goals. Give ways you’ll take time to explore innovative ideas and technology. Stand out as an all-star by identifying an acute pain point your prospective employer is struggling with and share some research that could help provide them with a solution to fix that problem. Reinforce your capability to be a problem solver by sharing a specific incident where you successfully tackled an employer’s tough challenge and achieved great outcomes for them.

Commitment to the company’s work

In order to show you’re dedicated to their work, and not just looking for a job, make sure your resume highlights your genuine interest in the company’s mission through previous experiences.

More important than intelligence

Employers care about many things, including but not limited to core qualifications, leadership qualities, personal integrity, passion for the work there, and intellectual curiosity.

Prove you can multitask

Give proof that you’re adept at multitasking, but be clear that you also can focus when necessary on a singular task.  Have examples when you helped the firm achieve its goals when it required you handle multiple responsibilities and another time where it required you go deep into researching a specific issue to solve a problem.

Leadership potential

Applicants should ask themselves whether their resume highlights a particular activity, event, or action that is an example of a willingness to step up, inspire, and lead others.

Personalize your narrative and pepper it with humility

A standalone resume lacks context. It shows nothing about the personality of the prospective hire and is simply a list of ingredients. An exceptional candidate will add context beyond the resume that clearly shows her interest and knowledge of the position.

It’s important to demonstrate your expertise with stories, not words. In Dorie Clark’s book, “Reinventing You”, she stresses showing humility in your narrative.  Saying “I’m great at pitching investors” sounds pretty egotistical, but sharing a compelling tale of how you rounded up seed funding allows others to deduce your skill without having to make it explicit.

Don’t forget the obvious things

Be sure to accompany your resume with a cover letter. Check your syntax, word choice, grammar, spelling, and anecdotes–these are all crucial elements that distinguish a good candidate from a great candidate.

When you’re a great fit for your job you’ll be more likely to have an impact, feel appreciated and enjoy your work. So take time to invest in finding the intersection between what you bring to the table and a prospective employer’s needs. This way you’ll find that “sweet spot” at work and make an employer recognize he’d be crazy not to hire you!



Beth Kuhel, M.B.A., C.E.I.P., is a career coach specializing in millenials. She writes about career strategies and improving the workplace for The Huffington Post, The Personal Branding blog, TinyPulse.com and Sharkpreneur magazine, and has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and BusinessInsider.com. Beth’s weekly career column is sponsored by Executive Education at Weatherhead School of Management. Connect with Beth on Twitter @BethKuhel




Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career


A 5-Step Recipe to Snag Subscribers’ Attention


You want your emails to stand out, grab attention and make your readers take action. To do that takes a dose of creativity, a pinch of time and a heaping-helping of tips from your favorite email service provider, VerticalResponse.

We’ve created a recipe of sorts, so the next time you sit down to whip up a batch of sweet emails you’ll have all the ingredients you need to grab readers’ attention.

1. Create a killer subject line from scratch
When you bake chocolate chip cookies your whole house smells great, right? That smell grab’s attention and motivates your family to head to the kitchen for a treat. Think of your subject line as that mouth-watering, cookie-induced aroma.

“Your subject line needs one fantastic lure to get people to open and check out your email,” says our Community Education and Training Manager Jill Bastian.

To create a killer subject line you should:

  • Be creative. You can use a play on words, a little humor or create a fun title for an upcoming sale that’s mentioned in the subject line. Fabletics, an online shop that sells women’s workout clothes, had an effective play on words with their subject line: Stop meshing around. Their pre-header continued with: stay cool in brand-new mesh styles
  • Tell readers what to expect. If the email contains a discount code, say so in your subject line.
  • Intrigue your readers.

2. Add an incentive
One of the best ways to get recipients to notice your emails is to offer an incentive. Who doesn’t love a good deal? Consider sending an email with a discount code or free shipping. Maybe your loyal customers receive a free gift with their purchase, or a gift card when referring a friend. Drugstore.com has a great example. 

A 5-Step Recipe to Snag Subscribers’ Attention

Of course, promotional emails like this should be sent as part of a varied email diet. In other words, these emails should be sent once in a while, not every day.

3. Add a pinch of inspiration
An email that advertises a sale is great, but providing inspiration is even better, Bastian says. Take a look at the example below. Bastian, who loves to knit in her spare time, says the email below inspires her to get her needles moving.

A 5-Step Recipe to Snag Subscribers’ Attention

“What I really want is content to inspire me to create something new with the yarn I have,” she says. “Those are the emails that I spend time looking at, or clicking to check out a pattern on their website.”

When you’re creating your next email, inspire your customers. Help them use your product in new and fun ways.

4. Stir in a call-to-action
One of the biggest eye-catching ingredients in your email should be a call-to-action. When a recipient opens an email, he or she should know exactly what you want them to do. If you want them to email you, there should a call-to-action button that says “Contact Us.” If you want them to make a purchase, there should be a call to action that says, “Start Shopping.”

These buttons should be visibly different than the rest of your email. Take a look at the example below. The call-to-action grabs your attention. It’s a different color than the text, its size draws your eye, and it’s in a prominent location. 

A 5-Step Recipe to Snag Subscribers’ Attention

5. Presentation counts
If a dessert looks tempting, it will sell. It’s the same with emails. Your emails need to have a professional, modern look to catch people’s attention. Fortunately, we have a bunch of vibrant, easy-to-use templates already set up for you.

How do you make sure your emails grab attention? We’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to share them in the comment section below to fuel everyone’s email appetite.

Ready to whip up your next email? Get started with VerticalResponse

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