This article is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every graduate at Flatiron School is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.
As a job seeker, your primary function is to market yourself as a service provider. You are marketing your skills, your innate abilities, and the services you can provide to a company. More importantly, you are showing how your unique background is a fit for the job opportunity you are targeting.
Of course, you will articulate your story in a job interview. But, your resume is the first piece of communication that someone will see, and your resume should share this story as well. You can think about the resume as an outline of your story, highlighting specific skills and accomplishments that you will expand on in other conversations.
When I’m working with job seeking graduates from Flatiron School, we work together to understand the individual’s previous career experience, goals for their next role, and most importantly, their dream job and ideal situation.
Before starting your resume, “ground yourself” in what you offer as a job candidate and what you want in a role. You should aim to craft your resume in a way to tell your story and emphasize the value you can add to the industry, company, and the role you are targeting.
Grounding yourself as a job seeker will help you understand:
- who you are are a job candidate
- what you bring to the table
- what motivates and drives you
- what you are passionate about
- what skills or services you can provide
Not sure how to answer these questions? I encourage you to do some more personal exploration and find out your Myers Briggs Personality Type. You can take a free personality test on 16personalities.com. I find that taking this test can be very helpful if you are having a hard time seeing your strengths and identifying your uniqueness.
If the description of your personality type resonates with you, it can remind you of the innate skills you bring to the table and help you see what motivates and drives you. The personality test can also give you some ideas for adjectives to describe yourself in your resume, conversations, and communications.
Another exercise I like to use with graduates when we craft their resume is the “Stream of Consciousness exercise.” Try these exercises to help you get clear on what is driving and motivating you, what you want, and what your ideal work situation would be.
Write a stream of consciousness on your career and personal history, “pivotal moments,” achievements, and challenges you have overcome. What motivated you to make the decisions you made? What was your goal at each point? What did you do and why did you do it? What was motivating you?
Write a stream of consciousness on your ideal role. What type or size of company do you want to work for? What industry are you most interested in?
Try to come up with 5 industries that you are excited about, and look for specific companies in those industries. What type of function or role are you looking for? Try to find job descriptions at companies that are interesting to you. What do you want your day to day to look like? For example, are you going to the office or are you speaking with clients? Working remote? Or are you working with a team or independently?
Do the work up front to understand your personal goals and the value you can bring to a company. The more work you do on exploring industries, companies of interest, and even types of roles, will allow you to be more focused. And this focus will keep you grounded on applying to companies that fit your ideal and will ultimately lead to a more positive and fulfilling career.