As a career practitioner specializing in writing self-marketing documents such as resume, cover letter, project profile, professional biography and more, I answer calls of interest requesting a “general resume.” That is, a resume that can be used for any sort of position that with a little training, the client might think he or she can do.
And, as a career practitioner with training in developing resumes that work, in interview coaching, and in job search strategies, I know that there is no such thing as a “general resume” that would land even one interview. Herein lies the problem: many job hunters have no idea how to market themselves. Many are unfocused, untargeted, and hence, unproductive. Many attack the job hunt like the proverbial chicken without a head: running all about, flapping its wings without taking flight. Utterly useless.
Let’s leave the chicken in the barnyard, and move to the field. Would a farmer reap a better crop if he throws seed up in the air, allowing it to scatter where it will? Or will his resulting yield be more plentiful if he carefully sows the seed in a specially chosen field, carefully prepared soil, all aligned with the plant’s preferences, and then nurtures the seed with care? I think that you can see where I am going with this.
A successful job hunt, like a successful harvest, is best when you plan, seed, and nurture; only then will you harvest reward. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of planting a job hunt garden.
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1. First you must know your product: You! Before you can plan an effective job search strategy you must know what you offer an employer. Personal “branding” is what this is called in today’s career lingo. You can conduct a branding process on your own, or hire an expert. You can access free internet and library resources, or work with a branding expert, or qualified resume writer. Until you are ultra clear on your value, you will flounder in trying to communicate it.
2. You must now determine what you want. Typical titles, size of company, company culture-all of these help you develop a targeted job search.
3. Having a direction, you can now compile a list of employers that interest you. Find out everything you can about each company. Who is in charge, what the departments are, the organizational structure, news stories-you never know what piece of information will prove useful.
4. Shorten your list to a top ten, and get to know this list well: their mission, vision, products, and challenges, and devise a strategy to meet people in the organization. Begin building relationships.
A targeted job search gives you back some of the control and is also a proactive and most importantly- effective-job search technique. Statistically, 80 percent of jobs come from a proactive approach (and only 3 percent or less from websites that post positions). After all, when you’ve nurtured your garden, you have a connection to it; no less so to the relationships you establish and build while nurturing your job search.
For more insight into conducting a targeted job search campaign, look up “The Job Search Solution,” by Tony Beshara, or “The Five O’Clock Job Search” series of books by Kate Wendleton.
Copyright©2009 NewLeafResumes,ca. Feel free to reprint this article, but please provide the author with full credit.
Stephanie Clark, BA, CRS, CIS, http://www.newleafresumes.ca An award-winning and published Resume Strategist, dedicated to advancing your career goals, proudly serving clients from around the globe. Please visit http://NewLeafResumes.ca or call 519-505-5627 for more information on the interview-generating services offered at New Leaf Resumes.
#vitamix 57 Strawberry/Banana (& snuck in some spinach & chia seeds) for the kids first smoothie of the summer, after a nice bike ride
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honey oat loaf with chia seeds
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