Today, I Interviewed Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Jacqui is a career and resume strategist. She has a Bachelor’s degree in writing and over 15 years’ corporate experience that contribute to her Wall-Street-Journal-style writing and knowledge of the corporate environment. Jacqui is one of only 28 people in the world to have earned the elite certified master resume writer distinction from Career Management Alliance. She also is a distinguished Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP).
Mohammed: With the recession around the world, unemployed people are accepting any job title whatever their background. Does changing career paths have negative or positive impacts on their personal brand? And what is the best way to keep resume directed into one industry?
Jacqui: Although perpetuating your personal brand by taking a stand and navigating a focused course is ideal (i.e., putting blinders on and just ‘going for it’), sometimes adjusting one’s career course is necessary. For example, job seekers in hard-hit industries such as financial services (wholesale account executives, mortgage brokers, banking executives) or manufacturing (automobile workers and executives as well as front-line, management and senior management roles for other manufacturing organizations where offshoring the manufacturing jobs has exacerbated US job loss) are being compelled to change career paths.
I think one’s brand and unique value drivers may remain intact despite career path change. Research ancillary industries, companies and jobs that tie-in to your past industry/niche. For example, research suppliers and/or customers to your industry; look into positions that require similar talents and skills and will tap into your record of achievements and strengths, thereto. I have a financial services executive in the banking industry who reshaped and honed his value proposition to focus in on financial lending in the areas of credit quality, credit procedures, credit audit, etc., areas of pain that financial lending institutions faced as a result of the financial services implosion.
The best way to keep your resume directed into one industry/area of focus, again, is to research particular industry needs. As well, become intimate with your unique value drivers; for example, have you shown success spearheading cost-containment efforts, boosting revenue through product development efforts or streamlining projects through innovative process and people management initiatives? These are just a few of the types of value drivers that can be identified, fleshed out, then mapped to target audience needs.
Mohammed: Do we still need to put a job objective in the resume headline? As a resume expert, can you share some secrets that employers love to see in today’s resume?
Jacqui: Job objectives are out, as they are perceived as being me-focused (i.e., A sales management position with a growing company that will allow me to use my skills in territory management and business development and will enhance my career growth). Whereas, a Headline (followed by a pithy Profile) that leads into your resume and articulates the type of role/position you will fulfill and the value you provide will ease the reader’s understanding and resonate with THEIR needs. Here’s an example headline from a resume at my website:
VICE PRESIDENT | CORPORATE
Focus: General Management | Top Hispanic Markets | Media Sales
Expertise: Deep Understanding & Passion of the Hispanic Market
Skill Sets: Bi-lingual/bi-literate in Spanish | Grass Roots Promotions | Station Launches & Turnarounds Team Building | Community Presence | Leadership & Operational Management
Secrets that employers love to see in today’s resume: Glimpseable format, rich content with meat to the bones. Remember, meaty content is relative to the employers’ unique needs, areas of pain and specific problems. Research, research and then research some more the types of issues and challenges your target industry and company(ies) face then wrap your message around that need to punctuate your value. If you can resonate with their need, you will spark an emotional response inspiring them to call you.
Mohammed: What are the must have career marketing tools that jobssekers needs today in order to be differentiated from the crowd?
Jacqui: THE most vital tool is a value-focused resume that was created as a result of deep career introspection then mapped toward the target reader’s needs. A resume is not a quick-fix Bandaid that can be purchased off the shelf, quickly cover the ‘sore’ caused by job loss and then springboard to an interview.
A resume is a strategic marketing document that is the value-replete story board that engages the reader to delve deeper into conversation with the candidate. The resume and the career archaeology findings that a candidate unearths through the resume crafting process is the hub and the other multi-faceted career communications (cover letter, LinkedIn / Twitter / Visual CV profiles, leadership addendum, biography, executive summary … and more) are the spokes.
As well, a handle on one’s talk points that she/he uses in daily career search communication, whether 140-character tweets or brief/meaty emails or over-the-fence casual chat must be carved from the career communications repository that one has mapped out.
Brand Word: “You Can’t Cross the Sea Merely by Standing and Staring at the Water.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
Spotlight: As a Master Resume Writer, career researcher and story shaper, I compose career positioning documents that put your value into words: http://www.careertrend.net