11 Tools for the Job Search Process

11 Tools for the Job Search Process

Have you ever noticed when you sit down to do a do-it-yourself assembly project that the first step is always to assemble the tools and make sure you have all the pieces that you should have. How many times do you just dive in and start the project thinking that you will just get the tools and figure out what pieces you have along the way? Have you ever noticed that you can waste an inordinate amount of time and cause unnecessary levels of stress for yourself and for others around you when you flail around with all of the pieces scattered on the floor while you look for that rechargeable screwdriver that you can’t find and when you do it isn’t charged up?

Well, you can have the same experience with the job search project when you just dive in and don’t take some time to put some basic tools in place and get organized in such a way that you are managing it instead of it having you run around like a frantic chicken!

So what are the basic tools?

  1. The big tool in your toolkit is your resume, with the key elements in it that everything else is built on: the qualifications summary, the key accomplishments and results you created for your employer, and an adaptable format that will allow you to customize the content to the specific needs of the job posting.
  1. The next workhorse in your toolkit is your list of contacts – colleagues form your jobs, former managers, volunteer leaders with whom you have worked, community leaders, and volunteers you have worked with, former classmates, members of your professional associations and affiliations, the professionals with whom you do business, any service people you engage, your club or sports team members, your neighbors, and of course your family and friends.
  1. The third piece of this tool box is a list of places you would like to work – your top thirty organizations, with key contacts and websites.

Once you have the basic tools in place, you can add some others:

  1. Job boards where the opportunities might be posted including company job boards, association job boards and specialty job boards; and a list of the job alerts you have created for each one.
  2. Templates for resume, cover letter, thank you notes, and anything else you might customize on a regular basis for specific job postings all stored electronically in an easy to access place.
  3. References, testimonials, personal recommendations, and copies of performance reviews.
  4. All of your collateral materials including business cards, portfolio of work samples (for all professionals), biographical sketches, customized resumes and cover letters organized in such a way that you can reuse them and keep track of what you sent to whom.
  5. Tracking tools to keep track of conversations with contacts and actions you have taken on specific job postings or opportunities.
  6. A list of periodic networking events, business meetings, professional association conferences where you engage in getting known as an expert in your chosen area or find people who can help you uncover job opportunities.
  7. Social media profiles and sites which you engage in for a variety of purposes: identifying people with whom to connect; making yourself visible as an expert in a particular area; and finding referral sources, just to name a few!
  8. Interview questions that you will want to be adept at answering when you talk with connections in informal situations and in formal interviews.

Gather these tools, find a clear space on your computer and a small desk space with a plug in to keep your phone charged –put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign during your regular “job search” hours and you will find the whole process a lot less stressful and a whole lot more productive!

What tool have you found most valuable for you in the job search process? Share the wealth here with other job seekers and win a giveaway Job Search Strategy Session worth $297.

Pegotty Cooper is a Certified Career Coach who works primarily with association executives. Many of these tool and job search processes are discussed in her weekly career search group calls. And she is available one-on-one for resumes, collateral material, interview preparation, social media activities. For a complimentary job search or career strategy session, or to find out more about any of the services mentioned here, go to: http://bit.ly/PegottyCalendar. and schedule a half hour call.

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