You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect resume. The format is eye-catching and the wording is practically Pulitzer Prize winning. But you’ll need much more than a well-crafted resume if you want to land that all-important first job!
“Unfortunately, most people don’t know what these other tools are or how to use them. By integrating other elements into the job search – and not relying solely on the resume – new graduates can add power, professionalism, and flexibility to their efforts,” states Myers.
To stand out from the crowd, Myers suggests the following 10 items every new college graduate should have in the “Job Seekers’ Tool Kit:”
1. Accomplishment Stories. Write five or six compelling stories about school or work-related tasks that made you feel proud.
2. Positioning Statement. Prepare and practice a “15-second commercial” about who you are, what you’ve done in the past (academically and professionally, if applicable), and the particular strengths you can contribute to an employer.
3. Professional Biography. Write a one-page narrative of your career in the “third person” – as though someone else wrote it about you.
4. Target Company List. Make a “wish list” of adjectives that would describe your ideal employer, such as size, location, industry, culture, and environment. Then research specific organizations that meet those criteria and put them on a list of 35 to 50 “Target Companies.”
5. Contact List. Compile a list of all the people you know personally and professionally, including their contact information. Remember that approximately 80% of new opportunities are secured through networking.
6. Professional/Academic References. List respected peers, advisors or professors who would “sing your praises” if asked about you. Contact each of them, and get approval to use their names on your list of references.
7. Letters of Recommendation. Request letters from four or five business colleagues or academic associates, which will be printed on their professional letterhead.
8. Networking Agenda. Write out a full networking discussion or script so you will know exactly what to say in the networking discussion – how it flows, what to expect, how to react to the other person’s comments, follow-up steps, etc.
9. Tracking System. Keep a detailed record of your job search activities, including phone calls, networking meetings, interviews, cover letters, etc. This is essential to keep your process organized and productive.
10. Resume. It’s the last on the list, but still indispensable. And, it has to be GREAT. Be sure your final resume is carefully edited and succinct (no more than two pages) with a layout that is easy for the eye to follow.
Myers adds, “It may take some time to produce these documents and to learn how to use them effectively, but it will be worth it. Building a satisfying career is much easier when you have the right tools.”
Thanks to career coach Ford Myers for sharing this post with us. His timely book, “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” provides more tips for landing a job.