Whether you're looking for a new position, changing careers, or are unemployed, Aliza Licht has some advice for you. Aliza Licht: Communications Executive, creator of @DKNY PR Girl, Author, and red lipstick lover penned the best selling career tome Leave Your Mark. If you haven't picked it up, it's full of pearls of wisdom on creating your personal brand, using social media, and landing a job. Here are a few of our favorite takeaways.
On Creating Your Personal Brand
"YOU are your own brand, and how you manage your personal brand can make or break your career," says Licht. When it comes to "branding," it's not only about businesses anymore. Social media has made sure everyone has a brand whether they know it or not. Now when you meet someone new, they've likely done their homework on you and created a first impression before you had a chance to walk in the door. Social media has "shown us how influence matters and how it can grow from anywhere." Make sure you're tending to your personal brand and creating the best online presence you can. First thing first? The profile picture and bio. In social media, they're like your resume. Don't leave them blank.
Speaking of resumes, does your personal brand help or hurt you during a job hunt? Yes! Potential employers and recruiters know that your resume never tells the full story, so your social media presence is Exhibit B. "Back in the day, your personal life would never come into play in a hiring decision, but those days are long over," she says. An Insider Tip: The lines have blurred between what is personal versus professional, so always make sure you're putting your best (social) foot forward.
Finding a New Job
If you need a cheerleader to encourage you to seek a better career opportunity, Aliza Licht should be your go to. Her rule? Bottom line: It's never too late to start over. "That gut feeling, the one that pulls at you to get you attention, is definitely worth the time to examine." The book chronicles her career moves and provides parallels you can find in your own life. If you're ready to move on, check out her cover letter and resume tips, then find a new position and submit your materials.
Job Hunting: The Resume
Leave Your Mark has tons of nuggets of good advice when it comes to creating a killer resume. Including what to include or omit, and what keeps a resume out of the trash. Here are a handful of our favorites:
- When you design your resume you need to remember that this little piece of paper is the only thing representing you until you hopefully get called in to interview.
- Don't lie about your experience or your contacts. It's just stupid and it's very easy to get caught.
- A good resume should make you appear at least a year ahead of your age or assumed experience level.
- If I boot a resume out of the game right away, it's because the writer was sloppy or messed up the basics.
- Make sure your resume style matches the job you are applying for.
- Paper color, quality and font inevitably make a powerful first impression.
- It's OK to omit unimportant experiences or jobs if they are not going to enhance your resume, but only if omitting them does not create new gaps of time.
The Cover Letter
"Insider Tip: One size cover letter does not fit all." Licht agrees with most of the experts that you should personalize your cover letter to each job you are applying for. When crafting the cover letter, here are 3 things you should keep in mind according to Licht:
- When you have a glaring omission or lack of experience on your resume, it's best to address it head-on.
- If you are emailing your resume and cover letter, the cover letter should be written right into the body of the email with the resume document attached. People are lazy, and opening two attachments is one more step they might not want to take. Bonus Tip: Don't fill out the "to" section of the email until you're sure the content is perfect. Otherwise, you might hit send by accident on a half-written or poorly constructed email.
- Make it easy. For example, if the employer includes technical skill terms on the job posting, serve them right back up on your cover letter.
A Final Tip
This is just a small smattering of the great advice offered in Leave Your Mark. But one final tip? After your killer cover letter and resume landed an interview. Did you THANK them? Licht says "even though I'm a huge fan of the written note, I've realized that the silence of not sending a timely thank-you email speaks volumes. Interviewers actively look out for that thank-you email. You need to send it, and you need to send it on the same day as the interview."
Any other great tips you learned from Aliza Licht's Leave Your Mark? Tweet them to us and let us know!
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*This book was lovingly read by our Social Media Manager, Kirsten Agnello-Dean and was not sponsored or promoted.