What is a Career Launching Resume and why should you use one?

2 Apr

Recently during a roundtable discussion about personal branding I was asked: “What should I do if my experience isn’t exactly linear or it’s not obvious that I have the skills necessary for the job?” My answer: forget the traditional resume and use a Career Launching Resume (CLR).


Unlike traditional resumes that are linear and based around where you worked and when, with a career launching resume you can highlight previous experience that is directly connected to the job you’re applying for. This is especially important for college students and recent graduates. When you’re in college, you’re most likely working random jobs or internships that may not go together or show a clear career path. You’re trying out different positions, industries, and organizations maybe only for a few months at a time. Therefore, a traditional linear resume is not the answer; what you want to send to potential employers is a Career Launching Resume (CLR).

Key Elements of a Career Launching Resume

It highlights your life experience, not your work experience

Why stuff your volunteer experience all the way at the bottom of your résumé, especially if it’s the most relevant to your potential job? Your volunteer and extra-curricular experiences are indicators of your potential in the workplace. Plus, the experience you gained through those activities is often more relevant than the experience or training gained in paid (but unrelated) work.

It focuses on your greatest assets and achievements

If the job you are applying for wants management skills, give data that shows what the team or project you managed accomplished, how you increased sales, or how you followed through with a successful project. Connect what you did and who you are with what the organization wants. This is where a strong personal brand can really help you craft your career launching resume.

It demonstrates your authentic interest in the role you’re applying for

Be explicit: how do your experiences connect with the mission of the organization? Highlight any experience (academic, extra-curricular, volunteer, internship, etc.) related to the position.

It’s written like a sales proposal and the product is you

In the end you are marketing a product: you! It is crucial that the packaging is put together and there are no surprises (think about the three C’s). What is your best presentation? Think about your personal brand and make sure your résumé highlights your brand and backs it up with specific examples.

Straying from the traditional resume can be scary and controversial. I argue that these days it’s hard to get a job without a personal connection, so you might as well do what you can to market yourself and stand out in a tough job market. For college students and recent graduates, this is especially important because you may not have the real-world experience to prove that you have the skills necessary for the job. Do you want more information about a career launching resume? Contact me and I can help you craft a resume destined for success!

What do you think about a career launching resume vs. a traditional resume? Share your answers in the comments!

My Application for Public Allies

31 Mar
Everyone Leads!

Everyone Leads!

Recently when I decided to change the name of my blog, I began thinking about how I started this journey. July 7, 2009 22 year old me applied to Public Allies New York and was rejected. They’re an incredibly competitive site and I was a new graduate living in New Jersey applying after the priority deadline. The problem was that I had found out about Public Allies too late! Luckily I didn’t give up and next year applied to Public Allies Maryland and was accepted into this life-changing and amazing program. With the application process open for Public Allies this year, I will be reflecting on and posting about how I became an AmeriCorps member at Public Allies Maryland over the next few weeks. To start this process, I want to share my first application.

Looking at the answers to these questions I am so happy I had two years with Public Allies Maryland to better define my personal mission and goals. I also had the opportunity to learn about other social problems in a real world context and serve and work with people from diverse backgrounds. Make sure to check out the last question about my definition of community.

Sample Answers from my Public Allies New York Application 2009

Please list your educational and career goals

I hope to work in the non-profit sector for the next one to three years and then I want to attend law school so I can better serve those in need. My interests involve education and grassroots organizing around reproductive health, domestic violence, sexual assault and LGBTQ rights.  I am interested in working with people in general, but specifically women, teens, and girls. While in law school I hope to get a fellowship that deals with the issues I am passionate about and I then plan to use my law degree to help people who are discriminated against. Eventually I would like to return to the non-profit sector, not necessarily in a legal capacity, but as a vice-president, president, director or executive director.  This way I can change the world in a larger sense and also help others realize their dreams and goals to change the world as I have been helped.

See more answers below the break!

Continue reading

The Three C’s of Personal Branding

30 Mar
The Three C's of Personal Branding

The Three C’s of Personal Branding

A simple way to craft a strong personal brand is to use the three C’s of personal branding. This concept was first coined by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson in their book Career Distinction: Stand out by building your brand. Want to know more about the three C’s of personal branding? Keep reading!

The three C’s of personal branding stand for: clarity, consistency, and constancy.

  • Clarity – be clear about who you are, who you are not, who your audience is, and what differentiates you from the pack.
  • Consistency –always express your brand the same way across all communication channels, both online and offline.
  • Constancy – strong brands are always visible to their target audience.

To make sure you’re using the three C’s of personal branding ask yourself these questions:

  • Clear – Check with the people who know you best or ask for feedback from me or other professionals in your field: does your brand make sense? Is your brand easy to understand?
  • Consistent – Are you a different person online than you are offline? If so, your brand is not consistent. Does your personal brand encompass all of your interests, passions, and goals? If so, you’re on the right track!
  • Constant – Are you googling yourself? (if not… do it! now!) Do you find anything on the first page? Do you find any negative information? Remember, finding nothing bad when you google yourself isn’t enough, you want anyone who googles you to find great content that accurately portrays your personal brand.

By using the three C’s you will keep yourself engaged (continuously learning about your field, passions, and interests) and stand out among the competition in a tough job market.

Want to learn more about the three c’s? Get more information from the source!

Personal Branding: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

30 Mar

I got a tweet from one of the participants in my personal branding workshop last week. She ordered her first set of personal business cards from moo.com. Love when my participants follow their action plans and get serious about personal branding!

Reblog from Volunteer Maryland: The Strength of Branding

29 Mar


Kelly not only attended, but organized the personal branding roundtable discussion yesterday on behalf of AmeriCorps Alums Baltimore. (She also baked a delicious cake for all of us to enjoy!) In her post for Volunteer Maryland’s fantastic blog, she talks about some of the key aspects of personal branding (including the three C’s of personal branding) and provides some excellent examples that give personal branding real-world context. Thanks for sharing Kelly!

Originally posted on Volunteer Maryland:

Yesterday, I got to hear a great presentation from an AmeriCorps alum, Dara Goldberg, on personal branding.  While “personal branding” is a hot buzzword that a people tend to love or hate, what it really refers to is deliberately designing your reputation.  What do you want to be known for?  How do you want people to talk about you when you’re out of the room?

To create a strong personal brand, Dara stated that you need to have the 3 Cs: be clear in what your central message is, consistent in repeating that message, and constant in getting it out there for people to hear and remember.

Taking the idea of branding back to it roots as a marketing tool for companies, I started thinking about how I had seen branding taking place at some of Volunteer Maryland’s partner sites.  How had I seen Volunteer Maryland Coordinators employ branding…

View original 411 more words

Change in Blog’s name

29 Mar
No you aren't seeing double... I think. Here's a screen grab of my old blog title: Year + One

No you aren’t seeing double… I think. Here’s a screen grab of my old blog title: Year + One

Quick update and a little personal history: I’ve decided to change the name of my blog to “If I knew that in college…” from “Year + One.” When I started my blog I had just moved to Baltimore and completed my first year of AmeriCorps at Public Allies Maryland. It was a year full of growth, change, and exploration! I’d lived in New Jersey for most of my life so I was living in a new place, I was finally doing work that I was passionate about, and I started a continuous learning journey into the world of social media and personal branding. At the time, Year + One made sense to me because I really felt that I could already see a clear distinction: my life before AmeriCorps and my life after… that year plus all the others.

Now, as I’ve developed more as a professional and have some new skills under my belt, I thought it was time for a change. I don’t know if this new blog name will stick around longer than the last, but I think it’s important to acknowledge when changes occur in our lives, so it feels right.

I can’t tell you how many times after I’ve finished a workshop, training, or roundtable discussion and I’ve had someone come up to me and say, “where was all this information while I was still in college?! I wish I knew this stuff then!” Because one of my goals is to help my peers, colleagues, recent graduates, and college students figure out their passions, goals, values, and skills and turn that into a rewarding and challenging career… I figured, why not just come right out and say it at the top of my blog!

So here we are, almost at my two-year blog anniversary, with a new name that rings true to my mission.

Thanks for reading!

Tweets from my Roundtable Discussion about Personal Branding

29 Mar

The discussion was informal and small, so I didn’t use a twitter hashtag for the conversation, but I couldn’t stop some participants from tweeting (including me)! Here are a few tweets from my personal branding discussion yesterday. Thanks again to all the amazing AmeriCorps Alums that attended and Baltimore AmeriCorps Alums for inviting me and organizing the event.

Did I miss your tweet? Want me to add it to the list? Leave me a link or heads up in the comments!


Roundtable Discussion about Personal Branding

28 Mar

Round Table @ Israeli Democracy Institute

Today I lead a round-table discussion hosted by Baltimore AmeriCorps Alums. It was wonderful to connect with local alums and other nonprofiteers in Baltimore. I love sharing my thoughts and knowledge about personal branding especially in an informal, interactive, and discussion based format.

Our host provided the ice breaker and I provided an agenda and an info/resources sheet. (I obviously had to follow my own tips about how to lead an effective roundtable discussion!). Below is the information we covered during the discussion.

What is Personal Branding?

We already know about personal branding. Your brand is your reputation: the personal attributes, values, strengths, and passions that set you apart from the crowd. It’s up to you to identify those qualities and characteristics, integrate your personal mission in everything you do, and communicate a clear, consistent, and constant (the three C’s of personal branding) message–online and offline–that resonates with your audience.

Steps for crafting a strong Personal Brand

  1. Define your personal mission: What do you care most about? What are your core values? What are your passions? What are your goals?
  2. Think Local: Chances are, you aren’t going to be famous; connect with those in your community and sector.
  3. Identify your unique talents: What do you do that is different, special, or better than others? What is your niche? Are there specific skills you have mastered or want to showcase? Emphasize your top five and weave them into your brand statement.
  4. Three words: Come up with three words, characteristics or attributes that you want people to think of when they think of you. What do you want to be known for?
  5. Craft your personal brand statement: Keep it short, sweet, and memorable. Try writing a paragraph first and then summarizing it in a succinct tagline with a big impact.

Tools for Brand Management

  • Twitter: use real name, great photo, tweet often, engage, be specific, fill out completely
  • LinkedIn: sign up today, engage with groups, write recommendations, connect.
  • About.me: blogs need a lot of upkeep, use this site as a personal brand landing pad.
  • Business Card: always have a personal business card that highlights your brand.
  • Events: conferences, meetups, volunteer, and informational interviews.

We also discussed reasons why we don’t engage in personal branding–what are our apprehensions? People talked about not having enough time, feeling like twitter is just stream of consciousness and can’t be used professionally, and they aren’t sure if their brand has value. Like so many things in life, sometimes you just need to believe it will work and try.

If you’re feeling apprehensive about personal branding or social media, contact me. We can schedule time to talk over the phone or we can meet if you live in the Baltimore area to discuss specific, measurable, and realistic goals for your personal brand and online presence. And like I’ve said in so many of my workshops, if you aren’t out there doing it, you’re missing out on potential connections and job opportunities. So, why not?

Have any social media or personal branding tips? Share them in the comments!

I’ve been selected as one of Google’s Project Glass Explorers

27 Mar

Project Glass eyewear

Breaking news! I’ve been selected as one of Google’s Project Glass Explorers. What does that mean? I will be allowed to purchase google glass before the general public and help launch the product in the US. I am super excited!!!

There’s only one problem… it costs $1,500! I’m not sure how many people were chosen from Baltimore, but I’m thinking about raising the money (similar to how I raised money to attend the National Service-Learning conference in 2012). Maybe I can look for a sponsor who will help me get glass and then I can attend their events.

I haven’t figured out all the details yet, but if you have ideas share them with me in the comments. Maybe we can partner and get glass together?

Why Parents should Not Support School Vouchers: an Economic Analysis

27 Mar

As part of my Economics class for my Master’s of Public Policy program at Johns Hopkins University, I was to write a one-page blog post responding directly to another post. The goal was to use economic principles and theory to construct an argument opposed to another article. Below is my economic blog post analysis about school vouchers.

Should parents receive vouchers to send their children to the school of their choice?

Should parents receive vouchers to send their children to the school of their choice? Source.

School vouchers act as certificates parents use towards private school tuition instead of sending their child to public school. School voucher policies attempt to allow students and families to choose the school that best fits their needs.

The free-market economic justification for school vouchers is that increased competition among schools will lead to better quality education because public schools will have to compete with private schools for funding. When families can choose between their home public school and a private school that becomes affordable to them because of the voucher payment, public schools have a monetary incentive to improve. If they do not, students will leave causing enrollment to drop, and the school will lose funding. On the surface this sounds like a great idea: in the battle for vouchers, the highest quality schools win! However, the economic theory of positive externalities paints a different picture.

Individuals that have access to quality education throughout primary and secondary school and graduate are more likely to have stable families and be active and productive citizens. They are also less likely to commit serious crimes, place high demands on the public health care system, and enroll in welfare assistance programs. These extra benefits that education brings to society are what economists call positive externalities.

Since people do not recognize the extra benefits they bring to society by receiving quality education, they may not receive as much education as society wants. In other words, without a government intervention, people probably would not be willing to pay for or spend as much time in school as they do with government intervention. What people also don’t realize is that these externalities make it in their best interest to ensure a quality education for as many people as possible. And research shows that voucher programs may actually diminish school quality overall. With a decrease in school quality society may experience additional costs—such as more people enrolling in welfare assistance programs.

A market-oriented education system like the one created by school vouchers creates an additional incentive for schools to focus on test scores and neglect other important lessons. Many of the important things that we ask schools to do, like teaching creativity, morality and civic duty impact society. If we leave it up to the private market, the theory of externalities states that these externalities will be under-provided.

Another downside of school vouchers as an intervention: parents who value education more highly will leave the lowest achieving schools. Often the most participatory parents are the ones who value education highly. Schools rely on these parents to run fundraisers, volunteer for school trips, and participate in the PTA. Vouchers create concentrations of these parents in schools that don’t need them, diminishing education quality across the schools left behind.

By using school vouchers as an intervention in education, the government will decrease education quality for many students. This will create negative externalities and diminish positive externalities thus hurting not only our young peoples’ education, but society as a whole.

In response to: Public strongly supports school vouchers, new report finds.


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