Updated: May 6, 2019
"What do you do here?"
"I put people in space," replied the janitor
I read this story first in a book entitled, Leadership Between the Sheets by Bob Berk.
The janitor understood that in order for astronauts to do the best job they could, among many other things, they have to work in clean facilities and clean environment. So, this janitor understood how a small part of what he does fits into a much bigger mission of NASA sending people to space.
How to score a perfect resume and stand out during the interviewing process.
Never say: "I’m just a designer" or "I’m just a programmer"
Communicate how the work that you do fits into a bigger picture or the organization’s mission. If you’re successful at that, I can guarantee you that you have a wonderful career for life.
Now, let’s talk about how we can apply this concept to your resume writing and also to your interviewing process.
A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s really important to make your resume look good on paper: visually appealing. There are so many different resources that are available out there to make your resume look really nice. One of my absolute favorites and your probably heard of it before, it’s called www.Canva.com Canva is free to use and it offers hundreds and hundreds of templates for you to choose from, including options for resumes and cover letters. I recommend with sticking to normally more of elegant and simple looking designs, but of course, if you’re applying for a very creative job then, you can be creative with some of the selections.
When it comes to cover letters, most companies still want you to submit a cover letter and we definitely want you to go through the process of filling out the application. Most companies are using a software for that. But one thing that most applicants never do, in fact I would say about 99% of the applicants have never thought of is submitting a video cover letter.
Video cover letters can be very powerful. You can make them literally 20 - 30 seconds long, but it will leave a lasting impression on the person who will be reviewing your resume.
Did you know that an average recruiter spends about six seconds looking at a resume?
In six seconds, they make a decision whether an applicant is good at a job or not. Content really matters when it comes to your resume.
Let’s talk about what exactly you should put in your resume and cover letter.
Let’s talk about the cover letter first. Here’s an example of what you need to do.
Set it up and select a natural background with plenty of natural light. Use your phone to record. Place the phone either on a tripod or on a stack of books, so that the camera captures your shoulders and your head. You can also use a software that I really like. It’s called www.Loom.com and it’s actually available on desktop. It helps you record your video. You can share it in any way you’d like or you can also download it to your desktop as an original file.
Here’s a sample script that I recommend following.
Thank the person that is the interviewing manager for this position.
Tell them what interested you about the job specifically.
Tell them how your interests align with your specific skill set.
Thank them for the opportunity and ask them for a chance to meet and discuss this job posting further.
20 - 30 seconds. No more, no less. I assure that it will be a very good way to make the
Top 2 Resume Strategies to Focus on Today:
Include your brand statement
Focus on outcomes not just the process
1. Include Your Brand Statement in the Resume Remember that six second rule? People do not focus on reading Objective Statements and quite frankly, it takes a real important real estate on your resume. So, skip straight to it or go to your brand statement or a section called, "My Why". In "My Why" section, in one or two sentences, you need to describe why you are passionate about the job you’re applying for.
Explain what you’re great at, what you’re most interested in and how you can provide value to your employer.
My brand statement for my marketing consultancy firm reads
“I help companies turn marketing dollars into business outcomes that they care about.”
For this website, my brand statement reads,
“I help graduating students successfully transition from their last year in college to their first year on the job.”
I do so, by providing them with necessary tools, content and inspiration to keep going.
As you can see, in both cases, I focus on the problem. Most companies don’t like to spend more dollars on marketing because they don’t see outcomes they care about and this instance, 90% of college graduates feel that they are unprepared to go to work right after college, so I’m helping them transition smoothly.
2. Focus on Outcomes Not Just Process My second advice is to focus on accomplishments and not tasks.If you want to stand out with your resume, focus on outcomes of the work you have done, not just the process. You can always elaborate on the process during the interview, as you should, but what’s important during those six seconds where the recruiter is reading your resume is to make sure that they find you qualified because of the results you have produced.
By the way, even as college students you already have a wealth of experience. I here it often that college students don’t have experience. It’s all about how you package it. If you have more projects, been part of a school club, a professional organization, professional association, internships, chances are you have produced something you can be proud of. Use this as a way to illustrate a skill set that is important for the job that you are applying for.
Create Lists of Accomplishments
If you produced a marketing conference for your PR club at school, list your accomplishments in order of importance:
How many people attended the conference?
What was the feedback you have received?
What were the satisfaction scores once you’ve sent out the surveys? List testimonials
List ancillary accomplishments:
How did you promote the conference?
How many impressions did you generate?
How many people engaged with your posts online?
Things like that make a big difference compared to just listening to the tasks that you have completed.
So two things, include your why/brand statement and focus on results versus tasks.
It’s your interview day and remember that story I told you about NASA janitor who said his job is to send people to space? I want you to be that janitor. In addition to your training and skill set, I also want you to be just like that janitor by showing them how you will care not just about your own job and tasks but about the bigger picture. How the work that you will do will fit the whole puzzle and help the organization move towards achieving its goals.
Here’s what you need to do.
Do your homework before you walk into the interview. Check out the company’s websites. Read the latest newsletters, blogs, press releases. Check out their LinkedIn profiles. Find out the names of the executives, Vice President, CEO, people that work in your department of interest and follow their LinkedIn profiles. Pay attention to what type of conversations they are having and what type of content they are posting. You may notice certain themes, make a list and make sure you weave them during your interview.
Show interviewers you can take care of their problems. You’re not just responsible for the work you do but your goal should be understanding how your work will help the company achieve its goals and overall company objective.
Ask them questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. So find out: What type of goals do they have in the next 2-3 years? What type of challenges they are experiencing now? Think about your own skill set. Your experience that you’ve had, your internships and your school projects or some jobs that you held. Think about how you can help solve some of the problems that they have. This will set you apart from every other candidate when you think not just about your job responsibilities but how your job fits a bigger picture.