Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Take the Next Important Step to Landing that Job –Your Marketing Materials (Part 4)

Are you ready to move forward with your job search? Let’s check because you do not want to update your resume or begin the search until you have successfully completed the first three steps.

Step 1 is Attitude. Attitude is the most important step. Conduct an honest attitude check.

If you have given yourself time to process the loss of the job and are looking forward to the next opportunity, if you have chosen to have a good attitude (and it is a choice), then you are ready for the next important step to landing that job.

Step 2 is Aptitude: In this tough job market, you must know and be able to articulate what you offer a future employer and what makes you better than your competition.

Take the time to inventory (discover and document) your abilities, accomplishments, strengths, values, interests, education, personality, and technical skills. This information will be used to strengthen your resume and to add power to your interview answers. A side benefit is that it reminds YOU how valuable you are.

Step 3 is Altitude: Altitude is another term for determining who is hiring and where you want to work, i.e. your target companies.

If and only if you have completed Steps 1, 2, and 3 are you ready to create or update your marketing materials. Updating your marketing materials and launching your search without completing the first three steps will sabotage your job search efforts. If you have been in a job search and not getting results, revisit the first three steps and revise your marketing materials.

Complete List of Marketing Materials

The resume is not the only piece of a job seeker’s marketing material. In fact there are other pieces of marketing collateral that are just as important as the resume. It is important to have these and use them as they are intended. Let’s look at the entire list and then we will cover each one in detail.

• Brand Statement
• Elevator Pitch
• Marketing Plan
• Business Cards
• Resume / CV
• Cover Letter
• References
• Salary History
• Accomplishment List
• Social Network Sites especially Linked In

To read up on creating a brand statement and developing an elevator pitch, go to:

To read up on creating a marketing plan and how to use it, go to:

To read up on creating and using business cards, go to:

To read up on creating a powerful resume, go to:

To read the previously published article: The Most Powerful Cover Letter, go to:

This week we are covering References, Salary History, Accomplishment List, and Social Networking.


Companies may like what you said in the interview but companies also like talking with your references and asking questions about you to verify what you said about yourself is true.

Let’s start with a couple of don’t statements.

• Do not write “References available upon request” on your resume. In all except the rarest occasions, you will be asked for references so this is unnecessary.

• Do not give your references to an employer until asked.

• Do not use people as references unless you are confident they will say positive things about you.

• Do not assume your references and college degrees won’t be checked, even if they have never been checked before.

Now let’s discuss the do’s.

• Contact people who you want to use as a business or personal reference and ask them if they are willing to serve as your reference (do not assume). Some companies do not allow their employees to serve as a business reference for ex-employees. Ask your references to confirm their contact information (people change e-mail addresses more often than one would think) and preferred method of contact.

• When creating your printed reference list, use the same header as on your resume (your letterhead), list the references, and indicate if they are a business or personal reference.

• After an employer asks you for your list of references, contact each person on your reference sheet letting them know the name of the company, the title of the position you are applying for there, the traits they are looking for in a successful candidate, and then remind your contacts what you have done in the past that demonstrates these traits. On Law and Order this would be considered “leading the witness”; in the job search it is helping your references help you.


Although you will not give out salary information until you are in the negotiation phase, you should have a documented history of your salary, bonuses, etc. You have time; use some of it to compile that information. Watch in a couple of weeks for the article about Step 5, which will include ways to defer the salary discussion.


In Step 2, Aptitude, you documented your accomplishments in STAR format. These accomplishments will be used in three ways: to add power to your resume, to help answer interview questions, and to remind you how valuable you are when you start to feel down. Continually add to this list.

It is essential that you use all three parts of the STAR format. Remember to emphasize the R (results) while interviewing. On your resume, begin with the R. The hiring manager is especially interested in the R.


Social networking (such as Linked In, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) is the new forum for communication and many companies have a presence on a number of these sites. Since Recruiters and Human Resource representatives search the various social media to check out a candidate, job seekers need to have a presence on social media sites to show they are up to date on the newer technologies. This is especially true with more experienced (older) workers.

Linked In

• At a minimum, all job seekers must have a good profile on Linked In ( A good profile will have information from the resume, a professional picture, recommendations from former co-workers, and connections.

Join work related Linked In groups. Update your status periodically with work related books you have read and skills you have developed in order to keep your name out in front of the members of your Linked In network.

Send Linked In invitations to former co-workers, members of your network, and friends. When sending an invitation, customize the invitation so the person remembers how they know you. Beware that, if your invitations are rejected by multiple people instead of accepted or achieved, you will be locked out of Linked In. When you are on Linked In though, send an invitation to Judi Adams (author of this article) and mention that you read this article; your invitation will be accepted.

There will be more information on the use of Linked In for your job search in the next article.

Facebook, My Space, YouTube

The most important point about these sites is that IF you have a presence on them, do not have anything on them that you do not want your prospective boss to see or read. If you need to, clean them up now.

Check to see if your target companies have a site and if so, “friend” them and follow what they say.


Many companies are Tweeting (the verb used when leaving a message on Twitter). At a minimum, job seekers should “follow” their target companies.

These are the minimum recommendations. Read up on Linked In and Twitter and leverage the power of this new media.

Next week we are moving on to Step 4 – Search. Too many job seekers are using the wrong approach to finding a job and it is causing them unnecessary frustration and wasted time. Find out how to do it right.

Copyright: The 6 Steps of a Job Search are copyrighted by Crossroads Career Services.