For Christmas my wife sent me to the grocery store for various ingredients for our holiday dinner. I knew trying to remember all the ingredients was going to challenge my waning memory, so I asked her to write a list of said ingredients.
She rolled her eyes but understood how important it was for me to return with the proper ingredients–so important that her list numbered in the area of 25.
The lesson I learned from my shopping spree–by the way, I got all ingredients–was that it was akin to the list of must do’s in the job search.
In reading the list of must do’s below, ask yourself if you’re doing each one in your job search. For example, do you have an elevator speech? Have you attended informational meetings? Consider this the checklist below a partial list of your “ingredients” for the job search.
- Understand your workplace values.
- Determine what you want to do…what you really want to do. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a great tool.
- Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa, suggests, “a personal marketing plan. It ensures better information gathering during networking meetings and more proactive rather than reactive job search actions.”
- Ask for an informational meeting to talk to someone to make sure you’re on the right track, or to introduce yourself to a company.
- Assess your skills and accomplishments. Make a list for both.
- Learn how to write your résumé. Attend workshops offered by your college or local career center.
- Write a targeted résumé with highlighted experience and accomplishments.
- Write a cover letter template, which will later be targeted for particular positions.
- Create a personal commercial or elevator speech which explains your value to the employer.
- Determine how you’ll approach the job search, making networking your primary method.
- Join LinkedIn with full intention of engaging, not using it as a place mat on the Internet.
- Copy and paste the contents of your new résumé to your LinkedIn profile, which you’ll modify to be a better networking tool.
- Develop a networking list that includes past colleagues and managers, as well as others who we’ll call your superficial connections.
- Formally let people know you’re out of work. How can they help you if they don’t know you’re looking?
- Develop business cards for your business—the product you’re selling is you.
- Attend networking events. Make sure you bring your business cards.
- Follow up with everyone with whom you’ve conversed and exchanged business cards.
- Send approach letters/e-mails to companies for which you’d like to work.
- Organize your job search by keeping track of your inquiries, contacts, résumés sent out, etc.
- Prepare for telephone interviews. Make sure all of the above written communications are in place.
- Ask for mock interviews which should be recorded and critiqued by a professional career consultant.
- Do your research on the jobs and the companies to which you apply.
- Double check your first impression, including attire, body language, small talk, and portfolio.
- Be prepared to answer the difficult questions concerning job-related, transferable, and personality skills.
- Have your stories ready using the STAR formula.
- Write thank you notes via e-mail or hard copy.
Have you been doing everything on this list, or the majority of them? If you are missing any of the above, make sure to nail them this year. Let me know of others I’m missing. Perhaps we can double this list. And yes, the meal was excellent.