If you have been following my blogging, you already know that I am singularly focused on “accelerating your career success.” Accelerating your career may not seem like a priority for those of you that have gotten squeezed by the current economy and are out of work and actively looking for a job. Whether or not you have a plan to secure your next position and get on with your career, you should read this and incorporate my Top 6 Priorities to accelerate your job search so you can get back on track quicker. If you don’t have a plan, I will provide you with a valuable checklist will serve as the foundation the plan you will need to develop. I am assuming that you are already checking all relevant job boards and employer job listings daily and that you are networking like crazy!
Top 6 Priorities To Accelerate Your Job Search
- Create a career profile presentation
- Update your current resume
- Create/Update your LinkedIn profile
- Create a networking plan
- Connect with recruiters in your industry
- Join Twitter and leverage it’s power thoroughly
1) Create a Career Profile Presentation
If you think of yourself as a product and potential employers as customers, you will definitely want to provide your potential employer with much more comprehensive description of what value you will bring to their organization than can be provided in a resume, though a resume will still be required. Your profile presentation should be in PowerPoint and it should provide more context and content than your resume. It should be between 10 and 25 slides depending on your experience. Think of this as a marketing exercise. Your presentation will market you as a valuable employee. Here is an example of my profile.
Your presentation should cover the following topics, some of which you will share with potential employers, others which you will use for your own career development planning:
- Your career objectives
- Personal introduction
- Professional introduction
- Summary of your career progression
- Your strengths
- Your areas for improvement*
- Appendix with specific and significant details of each important marketable job skill/profile
- Target opportunities matrix*
- Your compensation history*
- Sales quotas/attainment history* (if applicable)
- Any other interesting/important information that you may like to share
* You probably won’t share these items with prospective employers, but you need to gather this information to use for assessing your compensation requirements and for help in negotiating offers.
2) Update Your Current Resume
Now that you have gathered all the pertinent facts for your profile presentation, you need to update your resume. Follow these steps to create the best resume possible.
- Provide more than “just the facts”. Your resume may be your only chance to market yourself.
- Provide details about how the tasks and activities you have completed positively impacted the business. For example, the new service offering resulted in 10 new customers and $1M new revenue in the first 6 months.
- Identify at least three people that are hiring authorities for positions like the one you are seeking. Ask those people for feedback on your resume. What can you improve? What should you add? What should you delete?
- After you are happy with your “base resume” you will now be ready to customize your resume for every position. It must be clear in your resume that you have the experience that the employer specifies in their job listing. People that screen resumes are looking for any reason to rule out your resume. Any gap in meeting the requirements for the job could result in your elimination from consideration.
If you need help, take advantage of this exclusive offer only available to HITC members from fellow HITT Squad colleague, Erin Kennedy of Professional Résumé Services.
3) Create/Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Now that you have developed significant content for your presentation and your resume, it is time to create your professional online presence on LinkedIn. If you are not already a LinkedIn user, go to LinkedIn and sign up. Take the time to make sure that your profile is high quality and depicts your expertise in a flattering but humble way. Once you have all your demographic information set, you should spend time taking advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer including groups, applications, recommendations, Q & A, etc. Since many others have written about how to optimize your LinkedIn presence, I will not do so here other than to tell you to Google “optimize LinkedIn presence” and then do at least the top 5 things that are common among the first 3 experts that Google returns.
Click here to view my LinkedIn profile for your reference.
4) Create a Networking Plan
It is not good enough to say that you are going to network to find your new employment. You need a specific written plan with tasks to be completed every day and every week.
- Schedule time at the first of the work day and the end of the work day (when most people are willing to take calls) to make calls. Make at least 2 calls per day.
- Be on the lookout for industry events, especially free and local ones, that you could attend to meet many people at one time
- Schedule specific time every morning to:
- increase your connections on LinkedIn
- to find contact information for former bosses and co-workers, and
- to use your current connections to get you introduced to new connections that are closer to hiring authorities for positions you are seeking
Keep finding new ways to network… If you find yourself stumped for ways to network, you may want to read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi to stimulate your creativity. Additionally, keep an eye out for Keith’s new book, Who’s Got Your Back. You can get more information about Keith and WGYB here.
5) Connect with Recruiters
If you don’t already know the recruiters that specialize in your industry for your job level and in your geography, make it a point to know who they are. However, keep in mind that recruiters work for companies, not for individuals. They will be happy to put your resume in their database, but unless they have a position currently available for you, they will not be able to provide you with much help or support.
I have found this series of posts on how to work effectively with recruiters by Miriam Salpeter to be very informative and interesting.
6) Join Twitter
Twitter is fast becoming the best resource to help you identify job opportunities, but it takes a while to figure out how to use Twitter. Start with these steps:
- Join Twitter – Use your name as your profile. Since you are looking for a job, your primary objective is to market you.
- Follow the Profile that I have set up for HC IT Jobs and Resultant.
- Follow all the people with Jobs in their names that I follow; also follow all the lists that I do.
- Google “Using Twitter to Find a Job” and start using the tips of the best articles you find.
The key thing is to have a plan and to work the plan. Don’t allow yourself to just mosey up to your computer each morning and “wander” the web without a specific plan. If you still feel stuck and would like some help, feel free to e-mail (Accelerate@ActAsIfSite.com) me:
- your resume,
- a link to your LinkedIn profile, and
- a short summary of your ideal position
And I will be happy to schedule a quick call to brainstorm with you. Get busy, network like crazy and Act As If your dream job is within your reach.
Good Luck! And always Act As If It Were Impossible to Fail!