By Liz Ryan
Getting ready to start a job hunt?
Here are 25 essential elements you’ll need in your Job-Seeker’s Toolkit!
1. A career direction to focus on as you begin your job search, so that you’re not wasting your time applying for jobs you’d never be considered for. Your branding in your Human-Voiced Resume and your LinkedIn profile will make it clear to hiring managers that you’re more than qualified for the jobs you pursue.
2. A Human-Voiced Resume that brings your power and personality across on the page.
3. A LinkedIn profile that complements and expands on your resume.
4. A LinkedIn network — without a network of connections, you’ll be an island on LinkedIn and that’s no good! Ask your friends to connect with you first if you’re new to using LinkedIn. As you get out and network in town, your network will grow.
5. A consulting business card. You are a consultant now, whether you ever were one before or not! Give out your consulting business card when you’re networking, rather than some card your employer gave you.
7. A solid understanding of the kind(s) of Business Pain you solve for employers.
9. Three interviewing outfits you can wear to job interviews.
10. A portfolio with a notepad inside you can bring to job interviews, and two or three good pens.
11. A typed list of reference-givers who know you are job-hunting, have spoken to you recently, worked with you before and can say good things about you. (Don’t give this list to an employer until after you’ve met them in person!)
12. A network of people who know you and can support you through your job-search process. If you haven’t spent much time or energy cultivating your network up until now, that’s OK — this is a great time to start!
13. A Target List of employers you will focus on in your job search. Here’s how to build one!
14. An understanding of the Pain Letter process and how to reach your hiring manager directly.
15. A journal to keep you on track and give you a way to process your job-search activity as it’s unfolding.
17. A spreadsheet or your own favorite system to track your job search progress, so that you’ll know who you’ve reached out to and when.
18. A clear statement (in writing) about what you want and need in your next job. Get this done up front so that you won’t be forced to wonder “Is this job good enough, or should I keep looking?” when you receive your first job offer! Know what you need to earn, what your comfortable commuting radius is, what you need in a job title and so on.
20. A friend who will agree to go to networking events with you if you’d rather not go alone to meet a bunch of strangers. You and your friend can give each other support!
21. A place in your home where you’ll work on your job search, one that your kids and animals won’t disturb. When you are job-hunting at home (researching prospective employers, reading job ads, reaching out to hiring managers and corresponding with people about your job search) you need a quiet place to think.
22. Goals and a schedule that will help you keep your job search going when other real-life matters intrude on your schedule. A full-time job seeker can commit to spending 25 hours per week on job search activities, while a part-time job-seeker (e.g., someone who’s working a full-time job and job-hunting on the side) might be able to devote six hours per week to job-search activities.
23. Inspiration to keep you going when your job search gets frustrating or boring. Pick your favorite tunes and meld them into a playlist or use mine!
24. A good friend or mentor you can talk with about your job search and bounce ideas off of — a must!
25. The last item in your Job-Seeker’s Toolkit is a steady supply of mojo, the fuel that will power your job search and blast you into your new adventure! How will you keep your mojo fuel tank full? Exercise, reading, dancing, taking walks, gardening or hanging out with your friends might be your mojo-booster — make sure you get your daily dose!