We're big believers in incorporating personality and creativity into our professional brand. In our Rethink Your Resume guide, we encouraged integration of personal interests and photos into professional resumes.
But a resume is just one step in a career. There are so many opportunities to use this strategy.
This annual development competition asks young professionals with different backgrounds to form teams of four to eight members and submit a group application. From those applications, the judges select five teams to participate in the competition.
Our team, called Team HETED (Homeless Empowerment Through Efficient Development), consists of five members with a variety of experience in development, construction, real estate finance, social work, and architecture. While we were confident in our chances of being selected based on our backgrounds (resumes were part of the application), we took no chances and got creative and personal with our statement of interest.
Instead of the typical, bland, corporate sounding group statement, we split our statement of interest into short blurbs about our individual personal interest in entering this competition. Our statements also include our role on the team, education background, and a small picture.
Here's a sampling of our statement of interest page for the competition application, reformated for this post:
| ||The decision to enter this competition is very personal for each member of Team HETED. While our goal is to combine our skills to create an innovative solution for the homelessness issue in Los Angeles, we feel compelled to share our individual motivations for entering this competition.|
| ||Jed Tarr Development + Project FeasibilityWilliam Warren GroupDevelopment Associate|
Arizona State, B.A. Economics + Real Estate, 2007
| ||Connor Humphreys FinanceBudget Finance Co.Director of Acquisitions |
Emory University, B.A. Sociology, 2006
| ||Laura Leavitt, MSW Social WorkColumbia University School of Social Work, Masters of Social Work, 2009 Kenyon College, B.A. Psychology, 2005|
|Derek Leavitt, AIA Architecture + DevelopmentModative, Inc.Principal + Founder|
University of Southern California, B.Arch + Minor Business, 2000
Our fifth team member, Idalia Santos, was added to our team after this original application was submitted. Her knowledge of development and construction combined with her passion for homeless issues makes her a highly valuable part of our team.
Going creative and personal can be difficult. The easier approach is to play it safe and go with what's been done before. However, for Team HETED, the creative route worked as we were selected as one of the five teams to participate in the competition. Our team is now partnered up with the City of Glendale and Path Achieve Glendale and over the next six weeks we will develop a proposal for a permanent supportive housing project in Glendale.
What are your thoughts on professional applications?