Okay, so I admit it – I’m a fanatic with job search (and, therefore, this blog). When I’m looking for a job I’m obsessed. But because I’m an organized fanatic. I use a tried and true process which enables me to more quickly find the right job for me. This process is what I call the “Job Search Marketing Toolkit”. You probably already have some job search tools, but getting them organized into a logical process will help you quickly leverage whatever job search aid you need during your search. My toolkit approach has help me and others as well.
We are going to provide everything you need to organize and build you job search toolkit over the next few posts.
First, an overview of the main components of a Job Search Marketing Toolkit (with a deep dive in future posts):
- Job Search Planning – You can’t execute on a plan if you don’t have one. Don’t worry, this is not about spending all of your time creating a plan, but you do need to know how, where and what you will do in your job search. Your “plan” is essentially to create the lists you will need to get your job search started. You need to create lists of (don’t forget to prioritize within each list). Much more detail on this in the next few posts.
- Building Your Resume – If you could only have one job search document it would, of course, be your resume. Whether you are brushing up an old resume or starting from a blank piece of paper, you need to spend the time to get it right. There are tools that can help you quickly build the framework for what will become a great resume. Your resume is a living document that will change as your job search progresses. And while you want to get some version done as quickly as possible in order to get into the market, you should balance quality with speed. If you are new to resume writing (or just need some help), you should use a checklist process (what to include). Once you have what you think is a good working copy, compare it to other resumes and ask some of your friends and relatives to give an honest critique (painful but helpful). Now, as if all that work writing one resume isn’t enough, many people have multiple resumes each geared to specific jobs.
- Your Elevator Speech – If you’ve been job hunting for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of the “Elevator Speech”. It is your short marketing speech (your job search objectives) and can be used in a variety of situations such as cold calls, job fairs, meeting someone at a networking event, yes – even an elevator! The actual length of the speech varies depending on who you speak with and what you read (30 seconds, 90 seconds, 3 minutes). I think the length is less important than the content (although 3 minutes would be a very long elevator ride). The suggestions as to style and content vary as much as the suggestions on length. Regardless of the length and format, it is an essential part of your job search marketing toolkit.
- Cover Letters – The most important document after your resume is your cover letter(s). No resume should be sent without a cover letter. This is true whether you are sending your resume via “snail mail”, submitting to a company career site or via email. Many job sites now give the option of including a cover letter as well, if this option is offered do not send your resume without a cover letter.
- Networking – You know that old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. While I don’t believe the first part of the saying (because what you don’t know will eventually catch up with you), the second part could not be more true with today’s social networks. While “who you know” has always been important, it has never been easier to leverage your network with services like LinkedIn and other social networks. But more importantly, it’s not only who you know, but also who knows you. Successfully leveraging your social networks in job search requires that you focus on those individuals who know first hand about you and what you’ve accomplished in your career.
- Interviews – Your work has paid off, you have a job interview – what now? Be prepared for your job interview. Many people think they can “wing it” but very few people can pull this off. There are thousands of articles on this topic (Interviews Archives – CareerAlley), but the basic points are generally the same. There are several types of interviews: initial interviews with recruiters, telephone interviews and “in-person” interviews. We will cover all of this in depth in upcoming posts.
- Thank You Letters – Thank you letters are another important part of your Job Search Marketing Toolkit. The main purpose (besides the obvious thanks) is to ensure that the interviewer knows that, not only are you are a good match for the job, but that you heard everything that was discussed during the interview. There is an expectation that everyone will send a Thank You letter, and those that don’t may not get the opportunity to continue in the interview process. This is your chance to list those characteristics that match the job and company profile.
So what comes next? Watch for all of the future articles to learn how to build your Job Search Marketing Toolkit.
We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.
Good luck in your search,