Elevator Speech in a Job Search – Purpose

The elevator speech is a critical component to your job search. By definition, an elevator speech is a 30-second speech that summarizes who you are, what you do, and why you’d be a perfect candidate.  In essence, it is your personal commercial.

In this multi-part posting, we will discuss the critical elements of a elevator speech as used in a job search.

The purpose of your elevator speech is to grab the listener’s attention, quickly provide relevant information, and initiate conversation. A crisply delivered elevator speech is a differentiator from other job seekers. While others may struggle and stumble, you will be able to concisely inform the listener about your professional value proposition (brand).

Develop a handful of variations for different situations, including all forms of networking, interviews, association and industry conferences, and strictly social gatherings. This will be easy to do once you get your talking-points memorized.

Please comment.

For daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Infographic Resumes – Some Additional Considerations – Continued

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the considerations and use of an infographic resume as a tool in your job search. Let’s continue by discussing some additional considerations of using an infographic resume in your job search.

It must look great! Not just good, but great! If you pursue this differentiation tactic, the final product must have a “wow” factor…a “holy cow this is really cool” factor. Otherwise, it will not have the persuasive and differentiating effect you are looking for. It is highly recommended that, should you pursue this job search tactic, you hire a professional to create it. Creating the document on your own can take countless hours. Time better spent pursuing other job search activities – networking, marketing your professional credentials, and so on.

A few final thoughts. One interesting concept you could explore is creating an infographic section to your traditional resume. This would be a form of a showcase resume using color and graphics as your showcase section. Then, traditional resume information would follow.

If you create an infographic resume, get it out there! Use it! One easy thing to do is attach it to your LinkedIn profile. Obviously you want to have it and hand it out during networking events and as a supplement to interviews. Since you put in the time, effort, thought, and money into this tactic, look for ways to leverage it in your job search activities.

Caution. Creating an infographic resume can be a distraction. Its creation can easily become busy-work that distracts you from the real tasks of moving your job search forward. Be aware of your time and use it wisely. An Infographic resume is a differentiator, but it will not by itself get you a job.

Discovering examples of infographic resumes and professionals (vendors) that create them is as simple as a Google search for “infographic resumes.”

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Infographic Resumes – Now, The Disadvantages

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing the considerations and use of an infographic resume as a tool in your job search. The previous post discussed the advantages of an infographic resume. Let’s continue by discussing some disadvantages of using an infographic resume in your job search.

How will it be Received by Hiring Executives for Positions You are Pursuing? This is a serious consideration. An infographic resume is a neat idea and can be very intriguing. It can open your mind to all sorts of creative thoughts on how to present your information. This is especially true once you start viewing examples. However, it is not the right or most impactful strategy for every industry or position. Only you can gauge the receptiveness and persuasive influence an infographic resume would have on hiring executives in your job search.

It must Contain Impactful Information. If an infographic resume does not have impactful or persuasive information or is poorly constructed, it will hurt your job search. It can be a distraction, reflect poorly on your candidacy for the job, or eliminate you from contention for the position.

This is where it is highly recommended that you speak to professionals that create these documents. Seek their opinion as to whether you have the caliber of career information and accomplishments to have an impactful infographic resume (with the understanding that they will have the incentive for you to buy their services). Seek out examples of others like you with similar backgrounds (if possible). Set aside any thoughts you have about the uniqueness of the approach and objectively evaluate whether you have the kind of career information that would make for a compelling infographic resume.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of the content of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Infographic Resumes – Introduction

An infographic resume is a colorful, high resolution document that visually presents your background and accomplishments by using pie charts, bar graphs, time lines, and other graphics  in very creative ways. They can be particularly impactful to display notable achievements, high-level recommendations, patterns of success among other things.

In this multi-part posting, we will discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and considerations of using an infographic resume (and other derivative ideas) in your job search.

The impact of an infographic resume comes from the fact that readers are drawn to colorful images. It grabs their attention which is precisely the differentiation you want in a competitive job market. There’s a tendency to remember things better when they are presented by images.

An infographic resume can, in limited circumstances, replace the traditional resume. This is most often the case in the creative fields like design, marketing, advertising, digital media, and so on.

However, for most, an infographic resume should be used as a supplement or differentiation tactic in conjunction with a traditional resume. Even then, its use is better suited for some positions (sales, for example) than others. With these caveats, an infographic resume can be a persuasive tool in your job search arsenal.

Please comment.

For (almost) daily job search thoughts, follow me on Twitter: @bhowardauthor

© 2016 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of this response or post may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Starting Your Job Search – Getting Off to a Successful Start – Job Alerts – Conclusion

This is the last installment of a multi-part posting discussing how to start a job search. Previous posts have discussed your emotions when starting a job search, getting organized, creating a short list of target employers and networking contacts, and updating your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Create job alerts. Use websites like Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com. You can choose to be alerted about titles, locations, specific companies (your short list), and so on. Set up alerts on LinkedIn too. Companies (and recruiters) post jobs on LinkedIn and you can receive notifications when they do. Are there any industry-specific or niche job boards you could search? Get a sense of the job market, and start the flow of opportunities you are looking for. If a position pops up, and you’re interested, do not apply for it through the website! Research the likely hiring executive(s) and contact them directly.

Starting a job search can easily be overwhelming, especially if you didn’t expect to become unemployed or need to find a new job. If you follow the steps outlined in these series of posts on Starting Your Job Search, you will be able to successfully launch your job search and reduce any feelings of anxiety.

Please comment.

© 2015 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of this response or post may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Starting Your Job Search – Getting Off to a Successful Start – Update Resume and LinkedIn Profile -Part 5

This is the next installment of a multi-part posting discussing how to start a job search. Previous posts have discussed your emotions when starting a job search, getting organized, creating a short list of target employers and networking contacts. This post will discuss updating your resume, LinkedIn profile, and expanding your network.

Update your resume. Update your resume. Either prepare one yourself, or seek professional services (which will free your time for other job search activities). If you have an out-of-date resume, having your resume professionally done could be a good investment.

Update your LinkedIn profile and expand your network. Update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are in sync with each other. Most importantly, your former employers and dates of employment must match exactly. Make sure your profile is complete, optimized, and compelling. Work towards expanding your network by adding one hundred new connections (it’s not as hard as you may think). Make them the right kind of high-value connections that will significantly advance your job search (people that can hire you or help you or both).

Please comment.

© 2015 Brian E. Howard. All rights reserved. No part of this response or post may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopying, or recording, without the expressed written permission from the author.

Starting Your Job Search – Getting Off to a Successful Start – Short List of Target Employers – Part 3

This is the third installment of a multi-part posting discussing how to start a job search. Previous posts have discussed your emotions when starting a job search and getting organized. This post will discuss creating a short list of targeted companies.

Create a short list of target employers you would be interested in working for. It may be only three, five, or ten companies. Add to the list as you discover new companies. But the point here is to start the list and get you thinking. Now, look up the companies on LinkedIn. Follow them by setting up alerts to receive news, press releases, and job postings. Google Alerts may also be used. If you have Twitter, follow the companies (check out Twellow at www.twellow.com and Wefollow at www.wefollow.com) to receive information/tweets. This starts the flow of information from these companies (and others you’ll add), including jobs and industry trends, which will benefit your job search. Add this information to your Excel spreadsheets to create a complete picture of each company before moving ahead, to eliminate needless backtracking for additional research.

© 2015 Brian Howard. All rights reserved.

Starting Your Job Search – Getting Off to a Successful Start – Part 2

This is the second installment of a multi-part posting discussing how to start a job search.

Get organized. You will need to make lists—of companies, people, and “to-do” lists. Think through how you will keep track of everything. Relying on your memory or sticky-notes in a shotgun fashion is a recipe for disaster. In the thick of your job search, you won’t be able to keep track of what you’re doing without a system. Excel spreadsheets are highly recommended for creating lists of companies and people. Only create columns for the information you will really need (name of contact, company, company website, email address, phone number, date contacted). Don’t get carried away recording non-useful information. There are commercial services that can help you stay organized in your job search. Check out JibberJobber (www.jibberjobber.com). Microsoft Outlook’s calendar feature can also help. You can record tasks to be done, schedule follow-up calls, and so on.

© 2015 Brian Howard. All rights reserved.

Starting Your Job Search – Getting Off to a Successful Start – Part 1

Beyond “I need to update my resume,” many job seekers don’t know what to do, let alone in what order to do it, especially if the job search is starting from scratch. It can easily be overwhelming, especially if you didn’t expect to become unemployed or need to find a new job. In this multi-part posting we will discuss the top priorities to successfully launch your job search and reduce many feelings of anxiety.

Get (and keep) your emotions in check. This is the first order of business. If you need a day or a weekend to work through your emotions before starting your job search, fine, but no more than that! You don’t have time for a pity party! Now here comes the big secret: The moment you start taking real steps to begin your job search, the sooner the feelings of anxiety, fear, and even anger will fade. Not dwelling on the past moves you forward to your future and your next job!

© 2015 Brian Howard. All rights reserved.