In today’s competitive job environment, you need to do more than float your resumé, attend networking events, and make telephone calls. You need to have a plan. Most important, along with knowing what kind of position you want, you need to insure that everything you present to prospective employers, recruiters and networking contacts is designed to tell a consistent story about you.Here's the plan.
The most effective way for a job seeker to make a memorable impression on prospective employers is to create a story. It should be a consistent story, reinforced through every part of the job search – from the résumé to the business card to the 30-second introduction to the message left on the answering machine.
Here’s an example. Our of our clients is employed in a small business that is declining because of competition from a national enterprise, and he expects to be laid off soon. Realizing that his niche is going to go away, he needs to reinvent himself. He’s held a series of other positions, but they don’t connect in any way—they’re not in the same industry, they’re not in the same functional position (i.e., he was in sales in one position, in finance in another, and he began his professional career in an entirely different kind of working environment).
But he was passionate in his interest in the environment, and had brought that passion to all of his prior jobs. So in re-designing his resumé, we created a story that showed his wide variety of skills that could be applicable to emerging “green businesses”. Then we created a 30-second introduction which began with his passion, and captured how he hoped to find a position that would marry that passion with the wide range of skills he had developed in his professional career.
Rather than attending a wide variety of networking groups, we urged our job seeker to research and attend organizations where individuals and businesses involved in the green world would participate. In this way his valuable (and limited) time would be spent where he would most likely meet people potentially helpful to his job search.
Finally, he created new business cards and other collateral material that emphasized not his history, but his new story.
Now he is telling a compelling story. He is able to express his passion for the environment, to which he is committed to bringing his considerable business skills. He networks with those who can introduce him to opportunities in green businesses. He leaves a compelling phone message, and makes a strong impression on the people he meets. He is making effective use of his time and other resources. And he is well-positioned for success in his search.