Facts from Career Potential, Special for US Daily Review
A carpenter would never show up at a construction site with only a hammer. An artist would never apply for a design position without showing a complete portfolio. So why is it that most job seekers use only their resume as the cornerstone of their search?
Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, www.GetTheJobBook.com), says, “Job seekers over-emphasize the resume because their other ‘tools’ are weak or nonexistent. But the resume should actually be one of your least used job-seeking tools! Unfortunately, most people don’t know what these other tools are or how to use them.”
Myers claims that by integrating the following 10 elements into one’s job search “tool kit” – and not relying solely on the resume – job seekers can add power, professionalism and flexibility to their efforts.
1. Written accomplishments. Write five or six stories about work-related tasks that made you proud. Describe the challenge or problem, your specific actions, and the positive results you produced.
2. Verbal statements. Prepare and practice a “15-second commercial” about who you are professionally, the industries you’ve served, and the particular strengths you can contribute to a new employer. You’ll also need a brief statement describing the circumstances by which you left your last position.
3. Professional biography. Write a one-page narrative of your career in the third person, including a bullet list of the tangible results you have achieved. This is no time to be shy, so make it sound impressive!
4. Target company list. Make a wish list of adjectives that describe your ideal employer, such as size, location, industry, culture, and environment. Then research specific organizations that meet those criteria. Finally, network your way in to meet with the hiring managers (not Human Resources) at these companies.
5. Contact list. Compile a list of all of the people you know personally and professionally. Yes, all of them. Remember that approximately 80% of new opportunities are secured through networking.
6. Professional references. List colleagues who would sing your praises if asked about you. Contact each of them, and get approval to use their names on your list of references.
7. Letters of recommendation. Request letters from four or five respected business associates, printed on their company letterhead. These individuals could be superiors, subordinates, peers, suppliers, clients, etc.
8. Networking Agenda. People often find it difficult to get started with their networking usually because they feel nervous or afraid of making a mistake. The best way to avoid this problem is to learn the specific steps (the agenda) of a networking discussion – how it flows, what to say, what to expect, how to react to the other person’s comments, etc.
9. Tracking system. Keep a detailed, hard copy record of your job search activities, including phone calls, networking meetings, interviews, letters, correspondence, etc. This is vital for planning follow-up steps and assessing your performance week-to-week.
10. Resume. It’s last on the list, but still indispensable. Include not only your job responsibilities for each position, but also your accomplishment statements. Be sure the final resume is carefully edited and succinct (no more than two pages), with a layout that is easy for the eye to follow.
Myers’s adds, “It may take some time to produce these documents and to learn how to use them effectively, but it will be worth it. Building a satisfying career is much easier when you have the right tools.”
Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. His firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Ford has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. His articles and interviews have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, and he has conducted presentations at numerous companies, associations and universities. In addition, Ford has been a frequent guest on television and radio programs across the country. He is author of Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. More information is available at: http://www.getthejobbook.com and http://www.careerpotential.com.