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Posts Tagged ‘personal branding’

How to Create a Resume or CV that Gets You Interviews

June 16th, 2014

In the business I’m in, I review a lot of resumes and CVs and I know a great deal of Recruiters, HR Executives

Lisa Orrell, CPC: The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert

Lisa Orrell, CPC: The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert, and author of the NEW book,”Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands!”

and Hiring Managers who do as well. And we all agree on one thing: most resumes and CVs are bad. Really bad.

I’m not talking about grammar mistakes or ugly formatting, although there is plenty of that. I’m talking about descriptions that make no sense, whole lines and paragraphs that are so full of clichés and corporate-speak that they don’t actually communicate anything, and missing details that any potential employer would want to know. You’d be amazed how often I can read a whole job description and not know what the person actually did. Or if I do know what they did, I often have no idea if they did it well.

As a Professional Speaker and Trainer, I conduct many career-focused workshops for college students. And trust me when I say, their resumes aren’t great, but they aren’t that much worse than many seasoned professionals who should know better. The resume is the most important document any individual can create for finding a job. After all, the resume can be the difference between the job of your dreams and just something that pays the bills.

So how can they be so universally bad given the incentive that very smart and competent professionals have to do them well?

The reason is it’s very hard to self-evaluate your accomplishments and communicate them effectively. It’s hard to see yourself objectively, and if you are in a field that is at all technical, it can be incredibly difficult to communicate your work to people in HR and recruiting. It is very hard to separate yourself from your own experience, memories, and associations, and objectively and effectively communicate your experience and skills.

What can you do?

That’s why I recommend that job seekers consider hiring a resume writing service. The problem is that there are just so many bad ones out there. And paying somebody to review a document might seem like a waste of money since you can find a friend to read your resume and critique it.

Trust me, it’s worth it. Unless someone has seen a truly great resume they won’t know what’s wrong with yours. And unless they’ve made truly great resumes, in a variety of fields, they can’t tell you how to create one.

Therefore, I recommend looking into Resume to Interviews to create your resume, CV, and other career related documents (LinkedIn profile, cover letter, etc.). It doesn’t matter whether you are a college student, C-level executive, or someone in between. It’s an awesome, cost-effective, service and one of the few legitimate services that exist that provides real value. In fact, their blog provides some valuable how to write a resume guide for specific industries like nursing and IT.

Here’s an overview of how they describe their service and how it can benefit you:

Your resume reflects YOUR Personal Brand!

We’re a company that creates custom resumes, CV’s, cover letters and personal statements (aka: Personal Branding) that stand out and get noticed among the mountains of resumes and CV’s that employers and recruiters have to wade through on a daily basis. At Resume to Interviews, our goal isn’t to create a good looking resume, or one that looks like others you’ve seen in your field.

We create resumes that are better than what you’ve seen before, and better than most hiring managers have seen before as well. That’s why they pick up the phone so quickly to set up interviews with our clients.

Resumes to Interviews has created over 5,000 resumes and CV’s over the last seven years and they create close to 100 each month for clients from all over the world and in every conceivable industry. What really sets them apart is their process: they have you fill out an intake questionnaire (this takes work on your part) and use it to create a brand new document, which they then perfect during a back and forth editing process with you.

They don’t just proofread your document and change some language. They ask you hundreds of questions to develop your content and carefully target it towards job listings you provide. And the process isn’t over until you are 100% satisfied.

Plus, they offer LinkedIn Profile consultation and Professional Coaching services for interviewing tips, as well.

All of that said, here are two questions for you:

Why spend countless hours trying to draft your own resume or CV only to find out it’s one of the “bad ones” that gets immediately thrown in the trash? Why not consider a service like theirs to ensure your resume separates itself from the piles of mediocre resumes that get sent to employers every time a job opening in posted online?

I think you know the answer to those questions. So check out Resume to Interviews.

Three Reasons Why Employees Should Focus on Personal Branding

May 04th, 2014

Hi All,

Personal Branding has become a hot topic in the workforce these days. I know this firsthand based on how often I’m hired to conduct my Personal Branding Workshops and training sessions for employees at companies all over the country. And the popularity of this topic is what also prompted me to write my fourth book that JUST came out on Amazon: “Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!”

But, what is Personal Branding? Short answer: A strong Personal Brand allows all that’s strong and effective about your personal and professional style to become known (in a deliberate and managed way) to your colleagues up, down, and across the organization, thus enabling you to generate maximum value and unique “distinction” for yourself.

And, as with product or company branding, if you do not take control of developing, establishing, and managing your Personal Brand, and actually put some thought into it versus just letting it happen organically, other people will do it for you…and it may not always be accurate or personally favorable.

So how can it help you achieve the career success you desire? Here are three reasons why focusing on developing and managing a Personal Brand is critical to your career growth:

It Gives You Clarity

Personal Branding is all about increased self-awareness by: acknowledging your weaknesses (such as having a bad temper or being a poor communicator), making the necessary changes to improve yourself, and by also understanding your strengths. You have to know “who you are and who you aspire to be” in order to conduct yourself in any role effectively; be it entry-level or a senior leadership position. And the more clarity you have, the better your chances are for career advancement and managing employees more effectively!

Improves Your Job Satisfaction

As you becomes clear on your Personal Brand, you become clearer on your personal and professional values. This normally leads to asking yourself things like: Am I in the right job or role? Do I even like what I do or should I make a career change? Does my Boss, or the Company, mesh with my Personal Brand values? Those are all valid questions. Knowing the answers benefits you because it improves the odds of being at a company or in a position where you’re “truly happy to be”…and that is key to job satisfaction.

Also, if you’re unemployed or actively job seeking, determining your Personal Brand will help you hone in on the companies, positions, and Boss’s that will best work for you. There are many job candidates who turn down employment offers because they know it’s not the right fit with their Personal Brand.

 Expands Your Notoriety

In addition to wanting more notoriety at work, many employees also want to stand out in their industry. They want to be asked to speak at industry tradeshows and conventions, and they want industry media to contact them for interviews. There’s nothing wrong with desiring this type of recognition; it’s actually a very smart career growth strategy.

If you strategically create and promote your Personal Brand as a Thought Leaders within your industry, this type of notoriety can be achieved. It does require you to be your own “Publicist”, and to stay current on trends so that you have unique insights to share, but it can be done. And it can quickly expand awareness for your Personal Brand outside of the office.

So take the time to focus on you! Be honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, things you need to work on, and traits you ASPIRE to have. No one is going to do it for you…except YOU!

New Book for Employees on How to Create a Unique Personal Brand

April 22nd, 2014

employee-brand2Hi All!

I’m happy to announce the release of my fourth book, Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!”. It’s available on Amazon and getting 5-Star ratings!

Here is the Press Release that was deployed with all the info:

Leadership Expert, Lisa Orrell, Releases Highly Anticipated Book for Employees on How to Create a Unique Personal Brand at Work

Lisa Orrell, The Generations Relations and Leadership Expert, has published her fourth book, “Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands”. This timely book clearly explains how employees of all ages and experience levels can create and promote a unique Personal Brand to get more notoriety at work, stand out in their industry, and achieve greater career success in this increasingly competitive world.

Lisa Orrell is globally recognized as The Generations Relations & Leadership Expert. She’s an in demand Speaker, Thought Leader, Media Guest, and the Author of three top-selling business books: Millennials Incorporated; Millennials into Leadership; and Boomers into Business. And her new fourth book, “Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!” (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing) was just released to rave reviews plus 5-star ratings on Amazon.

“Most books on Personal Branding are written for self-employed people to help them grow their businesses. But creating and managing a unique Personal Brand as an ‘employee in the workforce’ is a critical component to success and something that highly successful Leaders and Executives focus on daily,” explains Orrell. “For several years, I’ve been conducting a very popular Personal Branding workshop for employees, as well as for college students. My new book is a direct result of that workshop, along with the constant inquiries I got from people asking if I could recommend a good book on this topic. But I struggled to recommend one because there are very few out there, so I wrote one.”

Adds Orrell, “I have one particular client, a very large global corporation, who has hired me to conduct my Personal Branding Workshop over 20 times. So, obviously, not only do their employees benefit from this topic and my training, their company does, too. The bottom line, for any company, is there’s no downside to having employees with heightened self-awareness and a willingness to improve themselves.”

Orrell isn’t the only expert who feels that defining a unique Personal Brand, and being your own “Publicist” at work, is key to one’s career success. Others agree and think that her new book is both timely and important.

Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of the niche job board, CollegeRecruiter.com, shares, “Most consumers prefer to buy brands that we know, like, and trust. In many cases, we’re also willing to pay more for those brands. Yet most of us don’t think of the fact that in our places of employment we have our own ‘personal brands’. Some of those brands are positive, some are neutral, and some are negative. So if you want the people making the decisions about your career and compensation to know, like, and trust you then you need a positive brand, and Lisa’s book will show you exactly how to make that happen.”

“Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands” is also gaining attention due to the aging Baby Boomer population in the workforce, along with the fact that Millennials are getting moved into leadership roles younger and faster than generations before them. In many of her Personal Branding Workshops Orrell says she sees employees ranging from their early 20’s to their late 60’s.

To that point Orrell explains, “Most Boomers buy my new book or attend my workshops to determine how to stay ‘relevant’ and redefine themselves at work. Whereas many Millennial employees want to learn how to: stand out at work; gain notoriety in their industry; and learn how be taken seriously so they can move up the ladder into management and leadership roles. They are very serious about being successful in those positions, yet a lot of Millennials don’t feel their employers have prepared them to succeed in those roles.”

Orrell’s observations are reflected in extensive research conducted by Deloitte which was, among many places, featured in a FORBES article published on September 12, 2013. The article was written by Josh Bersin and entitled, “Millennials Will Soon Rule the World: But How Will They Lead?”

Due to the major generational shifts occurring in the workforce, “business as usual” is becoming obsolete. Orrell sees this firsthand and knows this is not only a very challenging time for employees, but for Employers, too. As a result, companies regularly contact her to speak and consult on these issues. And many other Throught Leaders agree the situation is only going to get more serious over the next two decades.

Thus, in addition to her Personal Branding expertise, Orrell is consistently booked to conduct presentations on topics such as: Understanding generational dynamics at work; improving communication across the generations; educating Leadership Teams on workforce trends; improving the recruitment, management and retention of Millennial (aka: Gen Y) Talent; and educating Millennial employees, and college students, on how to be young, effective, respected leaders in the workforce.

A small sample of Orrell’s stellar client list includes: Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, Chicos, State University of New York, USC, Intuit, Pepsi, Applied Materials, Paul Mitchell Schools, PayPal, Blue Cross/BlueShield, and Monster.com. Orrell is also hired to speak for a wide variety of Professional Associations that cater to members in HR, Leadership, Management, Training, and Diversity roles.

“Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands” is currently available in paperback for $15.95 on Amazon and through other major online book retailers. A Kindle version will be available by May 1st, 2014.

For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or book information, please contact Lisa Orrell at 408-340-8789 or Lisa@TheOrrellGroup.com or visit her website: TheOrrellGroup.com. To receive a 25% discount on bulk book orders of 10 or more, please contact Lisa Orrell directly.

Book Info:

Title: Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success!

Publisher: Intelligent Women Publishing (an imprint of Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, Inc.)

Pages: 150-Pages, soft cover 8.5 x 5.5

Retail Cost: $15.95

ISBN: 978-193928808

Communication is at the Core of Effective Leadership

March 04th, 2014

Hi All,

One of the main points I heavily emphasize in my Personal Branding workshops for employees and Managers, regardless of what generation they’re from or level they’re at in their career, is this: It isn’t possible to become a great leader without being an effective communicator. In fact, effective communication is a key component of success in the professional world, whether it is at the organizational, intra-group, inter-group, or interpersonal level.

And when I say “leader”, I’m referring to ANY level you’re at or role you’re in now. Millennials (aka: Gen Y), Gen X, and Boomers need to be in a “leadership mindset” at work and conduct themselves accordingly!

The best quality of an effective leader is the strategic way they communicate with other employees, translating key business goals into terms that help the latter identify ‘what’s in it for me, thus motivating them to align their actions toward the success of their organization. It’s part of a leader’s job responsibility to communicate effectively what the employees want and need to know.

Effective communication also includes a greater sense of contextual and situational awareness…which many people aren’t good at, and is why I believe companies need to provide more training on communication! That said, let’s look at some tips…

Communication Secrets of Effective Leaders

Great Listeners

Great communicators believe in two-way communication. They understand that simply broadcasting their message won’t have the same effect as engaging in a meaningful conversation. They are good listeners while being astute in observations, possessing the ability to adapt their responses to the environment and situation without missing a beat.

Great Contributors

Effective communicators are adept at transferring ideas and spreading their vision. Their words inspire action and align expectations, focusing more on contributing than receiving. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it pays off in the longer run. In fact, a leader that focuses more on leave-behind than the take-aways is more likely to learn deeper than they ever would by concentrating only on their agenda.

Clear Communicators

One of the best qualities of an effective leader is that they communicate with clarity, focusing on being simple and concise. Who would appreciate or understand your point of view if you remain complicated and confusing? After all, who has time to spare for trying to understand your complex language? Great leaders understand the value of clarity and brevity and know how to hit the point and cut to the chase. In order to be an effective leader, it is crucial to learn the importance of weeding out the superfluous in order to make yourself heard.

Focus on Inter-Personal Relationships

Great leaders reject the classic business theory that suggests them to stay at an arm’s length. They have a firm belief that only those prefer to stay away from others who want to remain in the dark.  No great leader wishes to receive highly sanitized versions of the reality. They believe in developing meaningful relationships with employees in order to know what’s actually on their minds. A deeper understanding of each other is necessary for organizational success, and a good leader understands this well. Don’t let your ego be the roadblock to your relationship with other employees in the organization. Be candid and empathetic toward others to turn doubt into trust and earn greater respect.

Preparedness and Contingency Planning

The best leaders are always prepared for any kind of situation. They have a contingency plan in mind for any message that seems to evoke anger or criticism. In order to be a successful leader, it is important to learn how to justify your message with reason, business logic, and knowledge in order to make a lasting impact on the listeners. Remember, communication isn’t about you, your beliefs, your opinions, or your circumstances. In fact, it’s more about understanding others concerns, and fulfilling their needs. This will help you show your empathetic side and add value to their world.

In closing, DON”T be the type of leader that you wouldn’t want to work for. And you can prevent that by working on HOW you communicate with people, both verbally and visually!

Why Managers Need to Focus on Communication to Avoid Trouble

October 18th, 2013

Hi All!

I don’t think anybody doubts the importance of communication in the workplace. In fact, it’s not farfetched to say that effective communication is the cornerstone of your success at work, whether you are a seasoned Manager or a younger Millennial (aka: Generation Y) aspiring to be one. And it’s becoming even more challenging with four generations at work, that are very different!

Difficult employees can make each work day tough; repeatedly making efforts to bring down your team’s morale, creating unnecessary stress, and affecting productivity. However, I’ve conducted enough training workshops and seminars for Management Teams, as well as have provided private Leadership Coaching for many Managers, so I can say first hand that MOST Managers are NOT good at communication with their employees…so it’s NOT always the employees’ fault that there’s problems within the team.

A good starting point is to accept that you, as a Manager, can’t always change others, but you can certainly improve yourself. Remember, you are in a professional environment, so maintaining dignity and decorum is of utmost importance, and is key to creating an effective and respected Personal Brand at work. You should strive to create an environment where effective, open, communication with your employees is welcome.

The essence of effective communication lies in paying full attention to what others say while also making yourself heard. Communication is a two-way dialogue process that is about:

  • actively listening to others – making the speaker feel heard, without being frequently interrupted
  • understanding them – showing that you understand their situation well
  • conveying your viewpoint – ensuring you are clear and concise to the other person while being selective about how and what you say

All in all, effective communication is about creating a culture where creative ideas flourish; giving both sides an equal opportunity to confidently and conveniently convey their messages so as to build trust and respect. Plus, in an open environment where everybody can express themselves clearly, without fear, negative emotions can’t flourish or survive (for very long).

Remember: being overly negative can destroy employees’ desire to assist, further fueling their negative feelings…which can then lead to their quitting…and you possibly getting fired due to reduced retention of top talent.

Your job as a Leader is to increase confidence in your team, not beat them down. However, sadly, I see Managers who adhere to the “managing through negativity” mentality…and then wonder why they have problems with their team. Really???!!!

Don’t be one of them! Your company and your employees will thank you…and, trust me, your career will skyrocket!

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