There’s few people these days that don’t wear multiple hats where they work. You might be applying for and holding the title of events coordinator, but you’re probably also dabbling in website updates, PPC marketing, marketing automation, and who knows what else. Employers love to do this for many reasons, not the least of which being that you might be very good at those other things too. This makes you much more valuable to your current employer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do you any favors for your personal branding. You simply look like the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none.” Don’t forget that you’re one of many in a sea of applicants trying to vie for the attention of the great employers out there.
If you’re like me, then you love wearing multiple hats. It’s fun. New things are always coming up to work on and learn. New challenges keep your mind engaged. Cross departmental projects get you more involved. You get more areas to feel a sense of ownership at the same time. You feel like you’re making a meaningful impact. This is all good. Especially when you feel like you’re good or great at multiple or all of the things you’re doing.
Wearing multiple hats is not a bad thing, for many reasons. One of the most exciting reasons is that doing this might help you to discover that you actually love another career option more than your current one. This article shouldn’t discourage you from doing this. Wear as many hats as you can at your current job. However, you need to make sure that your external-facing profiles and materials are much more focused.
Hiring Manager Wants versus Needs
Even though the next hiring manager that you’ll talk to wants you to fill multiple roles, they’re really only looking for one – everything else you can do is simply an added bonus for them. If they’re looking for a high-tech sales person, they don’t want to see your résumé diluted with other things like webinars, lead generation, project management, and being a server. Having all of these things showing up is a real challenge because they don’t effectively communicate the value you can bring to the company (at the right time). When a hiring manager is looking at your résumé or looking you up online, the last thing they want to see is that you’re not able to do one thing great or not able to focus on a specific specialty.
When you’re not there to represent yourself like at your current day job, you need to be well-represented by the materials and profiles that you have speaking on your behalf. Show the hiring managers that you are and you have what they need.
Appear to Be Focused on a Single Hat
The solution to this dilemma is surprisingly simple, but it will take a bit more effort on your part than you may be doing today. Hopefully you have your LinkedIn profile updated, in addition to having a résumé floating around out there. This advice will ask you to take both of those one step further. I’ll go deeper on specifics of your résumés and your LinkedIn profile. Here’s some quick tips in the meantime.
In short, if you are attempting to get one job title, you should have one résumé. Every job, award, accomplishment, competency, and individual experience note should in some way cater to your target position you’re looking to advance to.
If you have multiple target jobs, then you should have multiple résumés too. Each résumé should be customized to fit the needs of the target position. If you’re looking for both high-tech sales and lead generation jobs at the same time, have a résumé ready for each. Ideally, you shouldn’t be targeting more than 3 different jobs. If you are, you need to whittle them down to 3 or less.
A great way to figure out how to get each résumé targeted correctly is to look at the existing job openings that are out there. Take a look at companies that you would like to work for, no matter where they are. Also look at their competitors. Isolate the language that they’re using to describe the positions and the experience they’re looking for. Then, repurpose it on your respective résumé.
Your LinkedIn profile is unfortunately a one-size-fits-all approach to your professional identity. They haven’t yet exposed any features to customize your profile based upon the type of person viewing it at that time. Once they do, you can bet my advice here will be the same as with your résumé. Until then, you need to be a bit more strategic.
If you’re looking to get one of three different types of jobs, now is the time to figure out which one is the primary one you want. There are numerous ways to do this. At the end of the day, you should weigh out the potential for each and determine which one is the most ideal to your future. One you do, use the same techniques you applied to your résumés and apply them to your LinkedIn profile. You might be able to copy and paste most of it.
You might have profiles on other professional websites and services. In fact, you might even have your own personal website. Ensure that all of your profiles and presence are consistent. Hiring managers will looking you up before deciding to talk to you. If you have multiple representations of what you want out there, it could prevent you from getting that phone call you’re waiting for.
This article is cross-posted from my personal blog.