It took me a long time to really grasp this concept, but design isn’t just about making something look pretty or trying to cram as much stuff into as little space as possible to show how many concepts you know. Design is far more than that. Aside from the fact the following graphic is centered around PowerPoint, the concept remains the same for all aspects of design. Whether you are creating a website, writing a blog post or decorating a house, your goal should always be, how can I make the most impact without losing your message with as few details as possible. Sounds easy right? You might be surprised to know that this takes practice and patience, but most of all, the ability to constantly review your work and think to yourself, what else can I remove without taking away my core message.
A great example of this is Apple. By no means am I an apple fanboy and I often dislike many technical decisions Apple makes, but the one thing that very few people can argue against is that their products look attractive. One of the reasons for this is that they are constantly looking at their products and thinking, how can I remove something without decreasing its abilities. It is the reason why their products have very few buttons. From the mouse to the iPhone, they have managed to make 1 button accomplish many tasks. When products and services are simple, they become more attractive, easy to use and easy to maintain. Why do you think I redesigned this website?
I have seen it again and again, people who start searching for jobs begin censoring their Facebook profiles, creating/updating LinkedIn, and adding new content to their résumé. If you do this, you have already failed! In a time where employers are asking what your klout scores are or recruiters are offering jobs over LinkedIn my previous statement may seem a little harsh, but often times people try to sell themselves and it is too little too late. Here are a few ways successful people take the “résumé of you” to a whole new level!
Embrace Social Networking
I am sure many of you have heard the horror stories of people losing job opportunities because they had an embarrassing picture on Facebook. This is entirely possible; however, there are many ways you can deal with this situation and create an environment worthy of public visibility without hoping you set your privacy settings up correctly.
Create your social ecosystem by being open, positive, and share successes when you meet personal goals. If you post to social networks like minded people flock to the items you post. Think about it, people will like, retweet and share items that are relevant to them. If you are negative, people who relate and are having a bad day may also feed into it creating more exposure to your negativity. If you post that photo of you drunk at a party, some of your friends and acquaintances will think it is ok and the next time you may find that they think it is ok to do the same. On the flip side, if you are positive and share information about an interest or career goal, people who are also positive will very likely engage with you in just this way. YOU create your social ecosystem.
Become the “Expert” – Prove your Knowledge
Your résumé shows you know a bunch of bullet points on what you know and what you have done, right? Prove it!
Share your knowledge. One of the best ways to viewed as if you know what you are talking about is to write about it. With WordPress, starting a blog is free. Get out there and become passionate about topics you find interesting. Spend a few minutes reading about topics in your industry and provide some commentary about them. YOU don’t have to write a lot, you don’t have to be the expert, you just have to be passionate and engaging.
Every Social Opportunity is a Networking Opportunity
Has a hiring manager ever walked you out or a boss just “had a chat” in the hallway? What you probably didn’t realize, this is their way to try getting to know you in a personal, unguarded way.
Treat every social interaction as an interview. Formal interviews are often structured based on a company’s template for running effective interviews. Here, they will pull you into an office or conference room and drill you with questions about your experience and previous education and job related activities. You, will be prepared and answer those questions with the utmost professionalism. What you may not realize is that they have already narrowed the list of potential candidates to 10 or fewer people who all say on paper they can do the job; however, when they walk you out or your current boss follows you down the hall after a 1-on-1, you may find them asking questions like, do you have kids, where do you live, or what do you think of the local football team this year? Often times they are actually giving you a second interview to catch you when your guard is down and see how you handle informal interactions, to see how you are different from the rest or to see what level of risk you will be to them. Not interviewing? What you may not realize is that your current boss may have two excellent employees and HR is only allowing one promotion this year. These informal talks may just be a way to see who is more professional and best suited for the promotion. YOU, need to stand out from the crowd as being better than the other candidate.
90% of Reqs are Filled Before Being Posted
I know what you are thinking, “how can that be possible? If it was filled, why would they even post it?” The interesting thing is, this is one of the more memorable quotes I’ve ever heard come from a director and up of a major fortune 500 company.
The Power of Doing The Job You Want, Not Waiting For It. This is the title of another post I wrote in detail. I am with you, if someone told me this a few years ago I would have told them they are crazy; however, last year I got to experience it for myself. In short, I was working as a support engineer and was actively working on side projects for the company, while I was always hoping for the next growth opportunity. It was the end of 2011 and I was tapped on the shoulder by a Senior Director and was asked to join a new venture within the company to start a new team. At the start, the team was an experiment and was told there would be no official title change or promotion because there were no reqs, but when there is one posted you can apply to it and get the job officially. Strange, huh? This sort of thing happens fairly frequently. Another example is a friend of mine recently changed jobs. The interesting part to note was that he already did the bulk of the negotiations before there was a req and even before the interview. How is this possible? He maintained a great relationship with the hiring manager at his previous position. The rest was just a formality for tracking purposes. YOU, just might be applying for a job, before you even know it!
If there is anything you take away from this post remember, in a sea of sameness, YOU need to show how YOU stand out from the crowd. No one else or no one application can do this for you. It becomes increasingly important to find ways to make you unique and stand out from the crowd. Just think of the impact it will be when you are shooting for your next job and when the hiring manager ask why you should be considered for the role, you can just point them to one of the many outlets you use to demonstrate how YOU actually know/do the job, and don’t rely on a few bullet points and a smile to sell the “résumé of you!”
I don’t presume to have all the answers, so please comment below! I would love to hear your stories and feedback!