Yes, this is harsh title. And no, I haven’t lost my cheery disposition or rosy outlook on life. I chose the title of this blog with deliberate intention. Allow me to explain.
My line of work is business writing. I work with professionals to create effective resumes and LinkedIn profiles. I work with business owners and managers to create result-driving website content, LinkedIn profiles,blogs, articles, etc. I also, teach strategies for finding and engaging customers through Social Networks.
The main theme of my work is reaching and captivating an audience. Job Seekers and Business Owners alike have target markets they need to impress.
Everyone I work with has a starting point. They either have an existing resume, a partially completed LinkedIn profile, or content on their website. In 2013, I did in-depth analysis of content for over 165 new clients and I discovered a trend.
In reviewing dozens of resumes and websites, I realized a common weakness. Very often the content was “company” oriented. Job seekers were courting a certain company with lots of lingo and buzzwords. My business clients, particularly those focused on Business-to-Business (B2B) sales used a lot of technical words and industry jargon. For example:
On a Resume
Outstanding career history integrating multi-user inputs to lead successful joint plans and exercises. What?
On a Website
When your misconfigured systems shut you down, only ACME Inc. has the level 3 laser integration functionality and Quantum Alignment Certified Fiber-Optic Technicians needed for wide scale integration of melded metal to glass cybertronic, fusion-shielded virtual processors to support the centralized digital property storage and interactions portals required for your global success. Battlestar Galactica, anyone?
Tailor Your Message To Humans
Before my web savvy readers scream in protest, this isn’t about keywording. I’m all about keywording, but if you have read my previous blogs, then you know that I am proponent of balancing keywords for SEO with keywords for humans.
Yes, humans! It may be your dream to get a job or a vendor contract with ACME, Inc., but guess what? ACME, Inc. can’t interview you, can’t watch your sales presentation, can’t send you an offer letter, and can’t sign a contract. ACME, Inc. will never hire you. In fact, no company will ever hire you or buy your product.
A company brand is very, very real, but every decision made behind that brand is made by humans. And that folks, is my point. In 2014, if you want to get hired or do business with a company, I strongly suggest you start tailoring your communications to humans.
When I do LinkedIn training for job seekers, business owners, or sales teams, I always ask them about their target market. Invariably, their either have a segment, industry, or a very specific company in their sights. When I teach them to search their LinkedIn connections, without fail, most class attendees have at least one person in their network directly connected to that segment, industry, or company.
Why didn’t they know this? Because so many professionals are spending hours doing Google searches, reading company websites, press-releases, news articles (all good things to do) and it never occurs to them to focus on the people within that company.
Want to get a job with ACME Inc.? You just might be connected via LinkedIn with the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Human Resources or the actual Director! Now here is the million dollar question? Is this person just a stranger on an insignificant list of connections, or having you been communicating? Perhaps even cultivating a relationship? Your connections in Social Networks may start as strangers – it is up to you to convert them into powerful allies.
Success is Easier Than You Think
Job seekers, business owners, speakers, entrepreneurs…so many of you are inches away from outstanding success. All you need to do is to start reaching out and communicating with humans. Tell your story strategically and honestly using words meant to be understood by people. Be clear about the value you offer, whether in a resume, website content, LinkedIn Profile, Blog, or in person conversation.
There it is. My wish for you in 2014 is that you tap into the huge pockets of success available by just captivating your audience – folks that includes being a really good listener! Remember, there is more power in being interested rather than just being interesting.
Whether you are at a professional association event, a networking meeting, emailing peers, crafting a new resume, or interacting on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, make sure you craft your message to the people that you meet…you know…when you’re walking down the…road to success!
As a Professional Business Writer and Resume Designer Liz has helped hundreds of clients develop their brand identity, tell their story honestly, and create a compelling “call-to-action” about their product or service.
With over 10 years working with Small Businesses and job seekers, Liz is an expert at creating content that captivates the target audience. She also teaches easy to use strategies for engaging your target market via Social Networks.
Need help crafting your resume or business content? Need to learn how to cultivate customers using Social Media? Contact Liz at Liz@LizMLopez.com.