Guest post by Hannah Morgan
Your Job Search Doesn’t Begin with A Resume
So how do you begin your job search? It starts with assessment and research. Yuck, I know. But doing an assessment of what you want to do and what you like to do will focus your job search on the right opportunities. By pulling together these 13 items early in your job search, you are in fact doing an assessment and research and it will prepare you to get moving in the right direction faster
- Portfolio of work and evaluations - Dig through your files or call Human Resources for copies of your performance reviews. Look for copies of complimentary emails from customers or colleagues. Perhaps you have samples/examples of your work such as project plans, revised processes, work instructions or reports. These may be confidential or proprietary information, but they can be helpful in reminding you of what you accomplished.
- Professional greeting on main voicemail - It may be obvious, however, it is a frequently overlooked step. Make sure your home voice mail and mobile voice mail include your name so the person contacting you knows they have the right number.
Professional email address and email signature - Each time you email someone it is an opportunity for you to remind them of what you do and how to contact you. Be sure your email signature includes this information. Here’s what a good one could/should include.
20+ Accomplishment stories - You will use these stories on your resume and during interviews. Begin crafting them immediately. You can read more about how to create them here.
10 or more ideal job titles - In order for you to find a job, you have to know what they are calling it at different companies. You will most likely discover during your investigation that companies have varying titles for the kind of work you are looking for. Don’t miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t see it.
Listings of “dream” job postings - You will use the key words in these dream posting to craft your resume. By researching the requirements within these job postings, you will have a much better idea of what information to include in your resume.
50+ companies that could potentially hire you for what you want to do - As with any marketing and sales campaign, you want to identify potential targets. Once you begin to identify companies you would like to work for (even if they do not have advertised openings) you can proactively begin reaching out to people who work there and ask for informational meetings.
Targeted, strategically focused resume for each job title and/or ideal job posting - Each resume you submit must be customized based on the specific requirements of the job you are applying for. Gone are the days of the generic resume.
Elevator speech/45 second commercial - People will ask you what you do, you will be asked to introduce yourself, and during an interview you will be asked to tell them about yourself. I recommend you use this tool to develop your answer. Harvard Business School’s Elevator Pitch Builder
LinkedIn profile - You have to be on LinkedIn if you are searching for a job today. But it isn’t enough to have a profile. It has to be keyword rich. Spiff yours up today with these 12 tips.
List 100+ people you know - Create this list so you can systematically reach out to each person and let them know you are searching for a new opportunity. These people in your personal network care about you and because of the quality of your relationship are most likely to want to help you land your next job.
Business cards - You will be meeting new people every day. Having a business card will leave a them with useful information. Here’s what should you include and why.
A Personal Marketing Plan - If you have pulled together all the items from above, then you have all the information you need to create a personal marketing plan. This document serves as a guide for you as well as for the people you network with.
If you are having difficulty pulling together these pieces, you are not alone. It is challenging. Please don’t use this as an excuse NOT to do it. You don’t want to waste a single minute and having these items will help you hit the ground running faster and more effectively.