5 steps to an effective job search [Career Coach]

There are 5 steps to implementing an effective job search:

  • Tons of personal background research
  • Decide upon your personal brand’s promise(s)
  • Write your “wow is me” paragraph for your master (base) resumé
  • Write your networking brief (ie: handbill), and
  • Create your elevator pitch.

What do the above 5 points mean? Let’s take some time to go through them, one-by-one. Know this, though: the main objective in an effective job search is to be unique, and memorable.

Tons of personal background research

Like painting a room, the more time, effort, and expertise you put into the preparation side, the better the paint job looks when you’re done, right?

Same thing applies to job search. If you don’t know your success stories, then you’ll never be able to create an effective resumé, much less all the other tools that you need.

This is the most-important step in the 5 steps to implementing an effective job search.

This image shows the year 2015 to point out how you may not recall what you did that year to move the needle.
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You may be asking yourself “what am I researching?” when you think about Point 1. This of course creates a question from me to you. Do you know the financial impact of what you did 2-3 years ago? 5 years? 10?

My guess would be, uuuuhhhh, no. At least not the exact numbers. If you don’t know the quantified metrics of these projects, how can you build an impactful story around them? How can you show how you moved the needle? I would submit that you can’t – on either front.

You can derive this background information from your SAR stories.

In case you’ve not heard of this acronym before, “SAR” stands for:
Situation as I found it
Action I took
Result(s) of my action

If you can’t write a good story around them, then you cannot write an effective resumé. Not a greatly effective resumé, anyway. A decent one? Sure. But do you want to be thought of as decent candidate, or as an effective person? A winner? A number 1 type player?

The answer to those questions will tell you how much research you need to do to collect the facts of your own career background.

Decide upon your personal brand’s promise(s)

Let’s go places. Think Different. Build once. Move and manage easily, on-premises or across any cloud. Life’s Good. The Power of Dreams. We’re passionate about creating a better world. Inspire new traditions. Resumé differently. Search differently. Just do it.

This shoe represents the logo of Nike. We are writing about brand promises in this section of the text. The "swoosh" logo does that for Nike.
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What are all of these? They are the “bumper stickers” that make up the brand promise of each of their respective companies (these phrases are also owned by their respective companies). They are 2-11 words that get a main point across. This is because the average American has the attention span of about 28 seconds.

You’ve got to get to the point, and get ready for the next question – your question of them, or theirs of you.

If you give large numbers first, referring to your Results statements, you’ll be on their agenda, and they will pay attention to you.

How did they come up with these short, pertinent thoughts? Guess what – it wasn’t over lunch at the local diner by some guy that no one knows. It was either due to paying an ad agency tons of money to come up with these phrases. Or it was through deep background research. More than likely, both.

Why are branding messages so short?

Now, if you’ve been reading us for long, you know that we know you get bombarded by at least 3,000 messages a day, according to recent marketing research. And it’s only getting worse, considering the more ways we have to communicate now.

What are your 2-10 words that make your point? Or do you drone on and on about how great you are, meanwhile all the people at your networking round table are falling asleep?

Or worse, you’re in an interview, and you go on and on about your life’s story when you’re asked “so tell me about yourself.” If you spend too much time on you, then the interviewer will mentally check out. They can’t help it – they are human. And humans (at least Americans) only have an attention span of about 28 seconds.

Figure it out. Make your point, then move on. Practice it until it feels and sounds natural. Record yourself saying it. Record it again and again until you feel it sounds just right. When it sounds right, you’re one step closer to an effective job search.

Write your “wow is me” paragraph for your master (base) resumé

The word "resumé" is lettered in chalk on blackboard background. In this section of the post, we are explaining how the first part of the reume is called "Wow is me."
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Your “wow is me” paragraph is made up of several of your best results phrases. Again, you’ve seen that we know that resume screeners only give you about 7 seconds, on average, to read your resume. You hook them by that timeframe? You’ll probably get 90 seconds. 90 seconds should put you into the “read again later” pile. Succeed in that pile, and you should get an interview.

In fact, your “wow is me” paragraph is actually 2 paragraphs long. The first is hard skills or hard results. Consider these: “Cut expenses by 12% without impacting sales activity.” “Increased EBIDTA by 5 x in just 2 years.” “Enhanced top-line revenue by 15%.” “Won President’s Club Trip, 3 years running.” “Exceeded quota by 109%, 116%, and 110% in first 3 years.”

Then you follow up with some soft skill phrases that you’ve been able to pull from your reviews, customer kudo letters, or colleague messages to your manager. “Known as inter-departmental bridge builder.” “Cool-headed during emergencies.” “Innovative thinker when designing IT systems.” “Visionary marketer.”

Write your networking brief (ie: handbill)

This section is going to be short. It’s simple, really. A resumé is a backwards-looking document, that discusses the chronological history of your career.

A handbill is a 1-page, forward-looking document that shows how your set of skills can be applied into (perhaps) a new market for you. An entirely new industry.

Use the resumé during interviews. At networking meetings, you will need a handbill (AKA a networking brief). Use statements from your “Wow is me!” paragraphs to build your handbill.

It also lists about 10-15 of your target industries, and within that list, about 10-15 target companies and even target titles within those companies of people you’d like to meet.

You may want to put your picture on your handbill – but NEVER put it on a resumé.

Also leave room at the bottom for feedback from anyone that wants to provide some. If they do, give that person another copy of your handbill for their collection.

Create your elevator pitch

We’ve already touched on an elevator pitch, up in section “Decide on your personal brand’s message.” We’ve got to know the successes you’ve had, and the impact you made on your organization or your team to put these together. For instance, the branding statement “Resumé differently. Search differently.” is eCareerCoaching.com, LLC’s branding statement.

In this picture, you see a person's right thumb pressing a button in an elevator/lift. In this section, we discuss the elevator pitch tool, and how it relates to an effective job search.
Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

The one we started with is “We translate your Unique Value Proposition into a vivid business premise. We do this by defining you in a distinctive fashion that provides context for your contributions.”

Isn’t it true you’d rather hear “Resumé differently. Search differently.?” We think it gets to the point of what we do very quickly. We work hard to find your unique value propositions, and then netting them out into bumper stickers for you. That’s why you pay us what you pay us.

Do the hard work up front, so the resumé writing part is much easier. It’ll be easier for you to speak to it during an interview, too. When it’s easier to speak to your tools, then you’re more confident.

Thought for the post

Confidence creates an effective job searcher. Do the research. Be justifiably confident.


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To purchase our 129-page eBook, “The Not Just for Executives Guide to Job Search, navigate to <https://eCareerCoaching.com/shop>. It’s $19.95 by itself.

There is also a “Companion WorkBook” available for $9.95. In it are 16 pages of templates and ideas for job search tools you’ll need to run an effective career transition.

If you’d like them both at this time, upgrade your order as we discuss above, and you’ll get both books for $24.95. This is a 16.7% discount off of SRP.

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