The world of looking for work has changed quite drastically over the last ten years. What recruiters and human resource people are looking for and how they are looking, has entered a new era where terms such as branding and keyword search has entered the mainstream of the people search game. This is an overview of what the current world of work search looks like and how to become prepared.


What everyone wants to know about you is, “What makes you unique and what qualities you will bring to the organization”? What are your unique abilities and talents? If you are struggling with this question, ask the people who know you best to produce a “Wordle” of you and look for the words that are used the most. Having a solid grasp of your strengths will allow you to position yourself to fit in with and chose which organizations you want to work for. Think of all your social media as a branding process. Many employers will check social media so think carefully before posting anything. Come up with a strategy for postings that will portray an image you want the world, especially your potential future employer, to come away with after viewing your sites. Ask people who don’t know you to give you honest feedback upon viewing your sites and describe the person that they see.

The bad: Posts showing you having too much to drink partying with friends, slacking off and enjoying sedentary leisure time such as sitting around with a drink in your hand.

The good: Anything showing you helping others in the community, doing charity work, learning a new skill and/or spending quality time with family. Basically anything that portrays you as an engaged person who enjoys learning and is actively involved with helping others in their community. If there are vacation photos, try to post shots of you doing something active, part of a team effort, outgoing and positive.


Forget the objectives and writing that you are a good team player. Everyone is going to put that and this becomes meaningless. Instead of focusing on something that you consider yourself to be (hard worker, persistent, out of the box thinker) talk about what you have done.

During the 70’s and 80’s resumes, were expected to be only one page, as most people looking for work only had a few jobs during their lifetime. Today, it is common for people to switch jobs every three years. Resumes today can be two and up to three pages for executives. Having a number of short-term jobs once meant that the person was unreliable, lacked loyalty and the ability to stick with an employer. Today it can be an indicator that the person has self-confidence, great ability and knowledge and is in high demand in the marketplace.

Instead of an objective at the beginning, resumes now include a quick summary of what the job seeker is offering. After that, we will find a detailed job description focusing on accomplishments.
Resumes that were reviewed by Human Resource people in large organizations, managers and owners in smaller companies are increasingly scanned by information systems looking for keywords. When applying for any job it is crucial to carefully look over the job description and put in as many keywords as possible to increase the chances of having your resume come up in the right pile. Getting professional help with a resume is always a good idea as it is one of the most important documents you will create. However, make sure that whoever is helping you is up on what the marketplace is looking for today rather than being stuck in the 70’s.


“What results did you achieve, what challenges did you take on and what obstacles did you overcome?”

Bragging outright about accomplishments is a good way to turn off interviewers. However, when talking about achievements, there are ways to draw attention without appearing to be bragging. Communicate your success information as a story and focus on the struggle; what you had to overcome in order to attain the result. Instead of giving the impression that it was your own brilliance and talent that got you there, focus on the effort it took, the number of times you had to repeat a task or effort. Look for opportunities to use humor and to bring out your human side. Be yourself, real and authentic. When asked about weaknesses, don’t give the answers like being a perfectionist or that you put too much into your work. In the past, this was seen as a way of not giving away a real weakness, but something that employers actually valued. That won’t fly today and you will come across as insincere and trying to hide something. Be prepared to honestly talk about something you struggle with and what you are doing to change it. Many people have a fear of public speaking. You could, for example, say that you get flustered and nervous when speaking to groups, but mention you are going to toastmasters or taking a public speaking course to help you overcome your fear.