Job Search Basics

Two clients reported getting jobs this week: one after a somewhat checkered work history and a lengthy temporary stint, and the other making a career transition from one field to another.

What did they have in common?

1. They worked with me :-) – couldn’t resist. Seriously, though, they did work with me to discover and then market their Core Value Proposition to employers.

  • Together, we uncovered their talents and skills and impact, and then packaged it into a resume that showcased their value to an employer in their desired field.
  • We zeroed in on EXACTLY what they wanted to do.
  • We targeted their search to finding opportunities exactly matched to what they love and want to do – because that’s where they can speak most comfortably and confidently about themselves, and that’s where they deliver most value to an employer.
  • And we crafted marketing cover letters that did the work for the employer of matching their abilities with the job requirements.

2. They NETWORKED. Both got their jobs through recommendations of people who knew the hiring manager.

The people making the referrals recognized that my clients were perfect matches for the job description – because their resumes made the case and so did my clients verbally. The referring people were well-respected by the hiring managers, so my clients’ resumes got to the top of the pile. And they got interviews because of the recommendations.

Then my clients aced the interviews because they were confident that they were the “right fit.”

Here’s some practical advice about networking:

  1. Put together a list of people you could contact to ask for help in getting a job doing what you want to do. List the obvious (former colleagues & bosses) to the not-so-obvious – one client got a job through her hairstylist.
  2. Add to your LinkedIn network – you need at least 100 contacts for it to become really useful. Go through your email. Use the LinkedIn tools to find people from your college, former workplaces, professional groups.
  3. Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn from at least 3 colleagues, former bosses, co-workers, clients, vendors, professors, teachers, classmates – anyone who knows your work product, work ethic, professional character, and working style. This is going to be used for a soft reference check by potential employers. It also gives you a reason to reach out to people – the beginning of a great network.
  4. Put some supporting documents on LinkedIn – a writing sample, a part of your reel, a presentation (obviously without disclosing proprietary information or intellectual property). People can see what you’ve got right away.
  5. Finalize your “intention statement” – the 30 second summary of what you want to do, what impact you want to have, and where you want to have the impact.

Once you have your intention statement finalized, you can get out there and network. You can even start now, as long as you keep a close watch on how people respond to what you’re saying.

  • Are they interested in what you say about what you want to do?
  • Or do their eyes glaze over?
  • If there’s a combination response, what made them pay attention? Those are the words and phrases that you want to keep.

One note: indecision and generalities are not useful. People usually want to help you, but in order to do so, they need you to be focused and specific. Otherwise, they’ll have to do the work of getting you to be focused and specific. And most people won’t do that. That’s why coaches exist :-). We help you get specific, targeted and headed in the direction of your “right fit” job.