…as much as you do.
It seems a bit harsh, I know. This reality can be quite difficult to take in, but once you accept and understand this, telling your story and pursuing your goals in a more deliberate way will significantly help you in both the short and long-term.
RESUME + COVER LETTER | MARKETING MATERIALS
Far too many times, we see resumes and cover letters as a simple work history document or a vague statement describing what position you are applying for. Some see resumes as a document that includes organizations that you have worked for, dates, and a simple list of tasks that you were expected to perform while on the time clock.
Think about this for a second, when was the last time you saw or heard an ad that was simply listing what the organization or product did? Probably not recently. Productive ads will always imply or state what the product will do for the consumer. We all have our dreams and career goals, but we have to be considerate about what the organization (the consumer in this case) is looking for on a resume or cover letter. How do you sell your past experiences for future positions?
Ads are intended to be captivating – make sure your “marketing materials” or resume and cover letter are visually appealing and easy to read. This is your first look and opportunity to sell your brand, ask a friend or one of us here at the Career Development Center what message comes across when looking at your application materials.
INTERVIEWING | ARE YOU BUYING WHAT I’M SELLING?
As a young adult, I remember thinking often about how I knew there were certain fields that I wanted to pursue and others that did not interest me as far as a full-time career goes. I wanted to make a difference in others’ lives and be able to see the impact through my daily work. I believed that if I wanted to do good in the world that karma would help bring these positive things my way – because we all know good things happen to good people, right?
In my second to last year in college, I had applied for an internship that fit well with my personal and career goals, one that would allow me to contribute to the city and its citizens. I was ecstatic when I was notified that I made it past the initial application process and was invited to an interview day. The day came and I vaguely remember all that happened or the questions that were asked. Two things from that experience I do keep with me is that the selection committee chose another candidate and after reflecting during the days after I realized my answers for questions mostly focused on my goal of helping others. I also realized I contributed no explanation on how my skills or my experiences could help the organization achieve their goals.
Before an interview, you should always consider what the organization’s needs are and how you can sell your personal brand to help them exceed those expectations. Have examples of your work ethic, creativity, and ability to be innovative to help interviewers understand exactly what you bring to the table.
MAKING THE DREAM WORK
This is tough. This part is where the hard work comes in and, honestly, it is going to be an ongoing process. I have a friend who is currently a supervisor for a young professional trying to pursue a career in the business field. He constantly shares his frustration with how little drive his employee has to succeed. We have shared many conversations on how to encourage and coach someone to make a positive impact on the company, but ultimately someone’s abilities and drive comes from that individual alone.
When it comes to waking up early, putting the hours in, taking chances, and pushing the limits only you can make those decisions each day. No one can bring life or passion to your goals. No one will push you along the way because no one will care about your dreams as much as you do.
Reflect often on your “why” and be accepting that this will likely change throughout your life. Make plans, timelines, and actual action steps you can take to make the dream a reality. If you find yourself stuck in a never-ending rut, take time away from focusing so much on the end game. Sometimes moving your focus on something simple such as a hobby or relaxing can guide you back to your focus in a more inspired route.