08 Oct Marketing You – Don’t I Just Need An Updated Resume?
Career Search Series – Part 2
The intent of this series of posts is to provide practical tips, and guidance from an HR pro’s perspective. Unemployment and job loss continue to be a pressing issue and we can’t forget the impact it is having on job seekers and the community at large.
Building on the first article in this series that addressed the dreaded question of “why did you leave your last job”, this post focuses on the key marketing materials you need to have ready to go before you start hitting the send button on your search.
Marketing You – Don’t I Just Need an Updated Resume?
The short answer is no. If you are currently seeking a new opportunity, you need a marketing package. Yes, I said a marketing package. Your marketing package needs to show who you are, what you’re really good at doing and where you want to go next. It’s competitive out there and having a complete set of job search tools that represent you clearly and authentically will help you get in the game and stand out. In addition to driving your job search, putting together your marketing package will do two important things:
- Help you get clear on what you do well and the value you bring
- Give you practice telling others what you want to do next in your career
There are six key items that you should have prepared beforeyou start your job search. You’ve likely heard all of this before, but it takes work to put together a package that truly reflects you.
When people lose their jobs, the very first thing they want to get done is their resume. That makes sense and with so many templates and tools on-line, it can come together quickly. Quality however, not speed is what you should be aiming for. I have worked with many job seekers who regret sending out their resume hastily and wished they spent more time on creating it. Recruiters look at resumes in 10 seconds or less so here some key tips:
- Focus on results. You did something – then what happened?
- Choose the right style of resume for you. Organize it by skills (functional) or by dates (chronological).
- Keep it concise. 2 pages works for most and the focus is on the last 10 years of your work experience.
- Use a clean font that works for print and on-line. Calibri or Arial are some of the most popular.
Believe it or not, some recruiters still read these. If a posting asks for a cover letter, submit one. I was managing recruitment of a role for a client a couple of years ago, and asked for a cover letter and resume to be submitted. The majority of candidates did not submit one! I might be old school, but it’s free extra marketing for you! Research a good template on-line and then make it your own. By the way, it should match the look and format of your resume and references document as well.
Contact the people you want to use as references before you start applying and ensure that they will give you a good one! Recruiters want to hear from someone you reported to, or worked with closely and who can speak positively to your work and performance and accomplishments.
Thank You Email
After a networking event, meeting or interview, always send a follow-up note. Create a short 2-3 sentence follow-up email that let’s people know you appreciated meeting them and want to keep in touch.
Many job seekers don’t create personalized business cards but they should. A card with your current contact information is easier to hand out than a resume at networking coffees, events or to friends and neighbours who can help you. You can create your own or order on-line for low cost. Make them simple and easy to read.
If at all possible, use your mobile number as your contact number and make sure the voicemail message states your full name and is free from background noise. “You’ve reached the personal voicemail of Sally Smith….” Even your voicemail is making an impression, so make it a good one.
Take time to put together a solid marketing package. Your story is unique and it is worth sharing.
Our next article will focus on ways you can increase your visibility for a successful search.