Last week, I started Part 1 of this series talking about how goal setting is the most important step for running an efficient job hunt. You have to have clearly written career goals. As a matter of fact, I’ve written another articles called “Without Goals, You’re Alice in Wonderland.” Forgetting to set your goals is not a good thing.
In Part 1, I also provided some recommended resources so you can set your goals and get that part of your job search settled. Here is a quote worth repeating from that earlier article,
“…if you even think you are unclear about your job search or career goals, STOP. Spend the time now to figure it out. I mean it. Don’t take another step until you’ve clarified your objectives.”
Enough said. So here’s the next step.
Step 2 – Writing Your Pocket Resume
Before your actually write your pocket resume let’s talk about how you’re going to use it.
Question: Who is the audience for the pocket resume? We can play some Final Jeopardy music here if you like. Think about who gets your pocket resume. Who will receive it and what will they do with it?
Let me give you a few scenarios:
You’re at a networking event and you meet someone.
You’re at Starbucks having coffee with someone and a third person comes up to say hello to your guest. You get introduced.
You meet someone who needs something and you want to offer help.
Answer: The person receiving your pocket resume is a stranger or close to it. They don’t have your contact information, so you are providing them with a way to reach you.
The goal of your pocket resume is to participate in an interaction with the person to get them to remember you. If you gave it to someone at a networking meeting, you’ll be doing some follow up via email, hand written note or a cover letter / resume package to re-enforce its message. It’s almost like you gave them a perfume sample like those ladies dish out at the department stores and you follow it up with a second more lasting sample they can connect with the first. (More on this in part 3 of the series.)
Sales people use the same technique I’m recommending all the time. They hand out a card with their brand on it so the receiver associates them with their brand. The photocopier sales guy hopes you associate Xerox or Minolta or Canon with them and pass it along to the person at your office in charge of photo copiers.
So what do you write on the card. You can check out a few online services for examples so you can picture it. (BTW, I make no money off of these.) The first is Thumbnail Resumes. The second is referenced in a Women for Hire article, a site associated with Tory Johnson from Good Morning, America. I’m not recommending either service, I just want you to see what one of these can look like. After you know what you want on the card, head on out to VistaPrint to get them printed. (It will be hard to beat the VistaPrint price.)
One mistake I’ve seen people make when introducing themselves, and I hope you don’t do the same with your card, is to pussyfoot around the issue. Let’s get real here. You are looking for work. You are a job hunter, job seeker…unemployed. Sure you may be looking for an opportunity, but let’s get real. You need a job. You want to make sure everyone hearing your message knows that and your goals is to enlist your every contact to help you secure your next job.
My recommendation is to keep your message simple. The obvious stuff for your pocket resume is your name, phone number (mobile only)preferred email and all other possible ways to reach you. Then deliver a clear message (the one’s on those sites are move involved) using the front or possibly the back to:
make it clear you are looking for work (job seeker, resume, seeking employment),
state what sort of work you are looking to get and
announce some key qualifications.
The objective here is not to exhaustively describe yourself, but to condition this person who barely knows you think of you when an opportunity to promote you comes up.
So here’s a few sample conversation you can have as you exchange cards.
“Hi, my name is Fred Little. I’m looking for work as a Pharmaceutical Rep and would welcome meeting any contacts you may have in that field. Here’s my card with some of my background information. May I have your card?”
“Hello, I’m Mary Gunter. I’m looking for work as a Systems Administrator. My preference would be larger organizations. Here’s my card. Could you put me in contact with people you know who could help me in my search? May I have your card as well?”
On the pocket resume give yourself the title “Job Hunter” or “Job Seeker.” An alternative is to display one of the following prominently “Resume” or “Seeking Employment” or “In Search of Work.” Then you tell ‘em your message. This should be straight forward if you completed Step 1.
Here are some examples of a sample message:
Customer service, sales associate, problem solver
Network Engineer, solid Cisco certifications, large company experience
Recent college grad, financial analyst, banking experience
Former IBMer, technology sales experience
If you are having a hard time coming up with this message, you can refer to my “Pocket Resume Mentality” article or better yet, consider getting yourself Kevin Donlin’s Guerrilla Resume book. Kevin’s goal is to promote you with a one page resume. He helps you decide on your message and asks you to consider including logos of organizations you are associated with on your resume. That might be something to consider for this pocket resume.
Enough for this topic. In Part 3 of this series, coming up next week, I’ll cover “Pocket Resume Follow Up and Getting the Interview.