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PURPOSE is the new passion

Purpose is the new PassionThere is universal agreement that the word “passion” is highly overused in professional settings. It needs to be retired.

That word should have been tossed in the wastebasket years ago but seems to continue to land in recycle. It comes back to haunt hiring managers, job seekers, recruiters, and everyone year after year.

In a purely selfish attempt to prevent me from reading one more cover letter explaining someone’s passion for working on programs; might I suggest the word “purpose”.

I know, you like that right? But wait, don’t just go through your documents and replace one word with the other.

Replacing passion with purpose requires a little more work on your part.
You need to ask yourself “What motivates me?” “What inspires me?” “What type of work will engage me and spark my A game most of the time?”

Please do not misunderstand, walking a purposeful path does not mean you will avoid every frustration that naturally comes along with work. It will, however, better align the personal and professional and minimize feelings of discontent.

Move toward a purposeful existence. Examine what you are doing and determine if it makes your heart smile in some way. If not, don’t be afraid to change direction.

Reconnect with references in the new year

Reference

If you can not easily think of three people to use as professional references now is a great time to strengthen those connections. If you have not offered a “Happy New Year” to past supervisors and colleagues do it today.

Take the opportunity to discuss your career aspirations for this year and how they may be of assistance.

Do not forget to offer assistance with their goals and actually follow through if you are asked to do something.

Tips for Updating Your Resume

A new year provides new opportunities. This is the perfect time to do a quick and fairly simple update of your resume. Here’s how.

careerbuilder-ar_post-3070Update contact information
Try removing your full address from your resume. It will save space in your document and it is seemingly unnecessary information. Instead, use the space to provide solid contact information (i.e. phone number and email address) as well as links to professional profiles (i.e. LinkedIn)

Remove objective statement
I don’t know how many times this has to be said, “Remove objective statements from your resume!” 99.5% of the time they add nothing to your story.

Make sure you include relevant skills and experience
Do not fall into the trap of listing everything you have ever done or can do. Focus on the skills and experience that speaks to where you want to go.

Simplify your educational achievements
If you are including information about which high school you attended, stop it immediately. GPA’s and irrelevant certifications need not be included on your resume.

Modernize your formatting
This does not mean that you have to produce a highly stylized document. Style will never trump substance. Your resume must be accessible, skimmable, and of course, able to get past the always dreaded applicant tracking system.