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Looking for a job

Looking for a job is tricky. Try these tips.

Know your outcome

Decide what you want to do next.

  • What’s your “brand”? What are you already known for? What’s totally against brand?
  • What are your strengths (try strengthsfinder 2.0 to get some help: you can get your top 5 or all 34, trust me, 5 is enough)
  • What are your key skills? (are there some skills you’ve used in the past which you want to avoid, make sure you leave them OFF the CV and your linked in profile)

Be clear for potential “buyers” about what you want and who you are

Make it easy for people to know what you do and what you want

  • Make sure your linked in has your photo (so they know they’ve found the right you)
  • Make your job titles describe what you do (project manager? of what?)
  • Kill any modesty – if you acted in a role there’s no need to say “acting”. You did the role, own up to it. If you lead a team that achieved something, then claim that (could you imagine a CEO resume that says “I lead a team who lead a team who lead a team who achieved greatness”?)
  • On linked in use the header photo (it’s like the facebook header: it’s a broader photograph that goes behind your photo). Put a graphic in there with words to describe what you do, what you specialise in, what people should expect from you
  • Make your headings into headlines – in your CV don’t just have “Education” as a heading, have “Well Educated Marketing Specialist” or “Practical AND Theoretical Specialist” or “Schools of Hard Knocks”, whatever is true for you.

Focus on who knows you and ask for their help

Ask for help from those who know you already:

  • decide what your skills are, and on linked in ask your friends and colleagues to endorse you for those skills. Make it easy for them, send them a link to do it, so all they need to do is follow it
  • get rid of any skills which are under represented or which you don’t want to use any more
  • if people have said nice things about you and your job performance in the past, give them a “script” of what they said and ask them to write you a recommendation on Linked in. Don’t limit yourself: ask everyone to recommend you – give them a list or a menu of things they might say, so it takes the hard work out of it for them
  • make sure you return the favour and endorse them for whatever they do well too.

Focus on the interview, not the job

Remember it’s not about getting a job, it’s about getting an interview. Think about these things:

  • more people will look at your linked in than your CV. No one will read your CV in detail, so put your efforts into your cover letter and into Linked in
  • make sure your cover letter addresses the criteria that they ask for in the job ad. A useful book on this is Stacked. My friend Niels changed his hit rate from 1 in 100 resumes getting an interview to 1 in 3. That’s a big difference.
  • how to negotiate your way into a job from black swan will make you think very practically

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