Job Seeker Spotlight: Tal Vinnik

By Tony Valdivieso

Each month, we want to shine the spotlight onto job seekers like you. The goal of Job Seeker Spotlight is to showcase individuals who exemplify creativity, personality and passion for their job hunt but need a little push or assistance in making their goals achievable.

Each job seeker works with a certified career coach to assess their current résumé and job search strategy. Working together in a pair of one-on-one sessions, they create an action plan designed to enhance the job seeker's approach toward their career journey and empower them with the tools (and confidence) to succeed.

Today, our spotlight shines on Tal Vinnik, a young job seeker eager to embark upon his career, but finding that all his job search efforts weren't adding up. Despite using social media, his personal website and his professional documents, which included a very striking résumé, all these efforts didn't seem to be working for him. Put simply, Tal had the ingredients but needed to figure out how to mix them together.

Although active online in his job search, Tal was missing an opportunity to use these connections and conversations to show off his portfolio. Tal couldn't move his job search forward with his fantastic résumé if nobody was seeing it.

The biggest hurdle Tal had to get over? Defining his personal brand. Working with Jill Hinrichs, one of our career coaches, Tal figured out what he wanted employers to know about him whether they saw his LinkedIn profile, his résumé, or received one of his business cards.

Here's what all of us can learn from Tal's sessions with CareerBuilder:

1. A consistent personal brand across everything you stamp your name on (your social accounts, your cover letter, business cards, et al.) makes you more memorable as a job seeker. It will help you stand out in the minds of potential employers and define the message you'd like to send. Ex. If there are distinct graphic elements or a theme you use on your personal website, you should stick with this theme across your documents.

2. Those little design issues you don't think anyone will notice on your résumé? They'll be noticed almost immediately. Be thorough in editing or you'll give the wrong message about how you'll be as an employee. If you need motivation to ensure things look as good as possible, think of potential jobs as your reward. Sometimes it's best to ask someone else to review for any design or spelling errors you might have overlooked.

3. Use every tool you have at your disposal. This means working with recruiters (and I mean really working with them), scheduling informational interviews with people you'd like to learn from, and building up your professional network.

4. There's a time and a place for being witty and telling jokes – but not on your résumé. Focus your personal brand on selling your skills and avoid using gimmicks to sell yourself.

After working with Jill, Tal knew his next moves and had a lot of momentum as he headed back to his job search. Here's what Tal had to say about his experience:

"The biggest help was seeing (and selling) myself as a brand; I felt I had a strong résumé, but once I got the rest of my materials (e.g. cover letters, website, LinkedIn) to wholly represent what I bring to the table, I gained momentum that hadn't quite been there."

With his résumé looking stronger than ever and his newly defined personal brand on display, we know Tal's job search won't last long. Enjoy your time in the spotlight, Tal – you've earned it.

Do you need some one-on-one career advice?

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