Building your career doesn’t wait until after graduation or when you decide to leave a job. Every new experience you have, every new skill you learn, every time you are part of a team, sets you apart from the competition and one step closer to a job.
A construction worker can’t go to a job site without his toolkit. A football player can’t go on the field to play without the proper equipment and gear. The job search process works better when you have all the tools you may need completed ahead of time.
Listed below are the minimum tools you will need to help portray a professional impression to your targeted audience. Remember, each ‘tool’ represents your professional brand so they should tell your story in a consistent way. Put time aside each day to work on your toolkit so you can hit the ground running.
- Resume: Make sure your resume is read online and in person. Is it up to date with all the current activities, skills, keywords, and experiences?
- Cover Letter Template: Do you have the right format and information to encourage recruiters to read your resume?
- LinkedIn Profile: Is your profile aligned with your resume? Is your picture professional? Have you invited everyone you know to join you on LinkedIn?
- Portfolio: Have you gathered all relevant examples of your work and links to your digital footprint?
- Your Story: Can you tell your story clearly? Have you practiced it outload so it flows easily and confidently when networking and interviewing? It is critical to be able to explain what you’re looking for in a few succinct sentences. Therefore, prepare a clear, easily understood statement about who you are, the job you are looking for and your competitive edge.
- Phone Message: Does the message you have on your phone align with the ‘professional tone’ you want to portray?
- Business Card: Does your card present the basic information: name, phone, email, targeted job titles or tagline?
- Email Address: Create an email address that sounds professional. If possible, set up a special email address with your name. (ie. JaneDoe@gmail.com)?
- Appearance: Do you have at least two outfits, including shoes, ready to put on for a networking event or job interview?
Other tools may include a BLOG, Twitter account, website or portfolio page. Utilizing multiple tools to market/brand yourself will help you portray a consistent, professional, sophisticated impression to your targeted audience
Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series.
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