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The Career Coach: Tips for Springing into Job Hunting Action

March signals the advent of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, which means spring cleaning and renewal. Whether you are working, unemployed or about to enter or re-enter the job market, here are some tips to make sure you are in shape for springing into action.

pam.gif Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

March signals the advent of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, which means spring cleaning and renewal. Whether you are working, unemployed or about to enter or re-enter the job market, here are some tips to make sure you are in shape for springing into action.

Clean out your portfolio. Remove any work that is out of date. Don't keep that piece you did 5 years ago even if it won you accolades at college. Your skills are more developed now and the old piece probably is one of your weaker pieces. Don't leave anything you are unsure about in your portfolio. Not happy with most of your work? It may be time for an update. Get some new life drawing and quick sketches in your portfolio. Try to capture the personalities of the people or animals you see.

Spruce up your resume. Revamp it so it reflects the job you want. If it's unclear what you want to do from your resume, put an objective or goal on top. If it's unclear what you've accomplished put a summary on the top. Make sure your name, phone number, and email address are prominent. Make it easy to read. Remove any gray scale background or artwork so it can be scanned. Keep it clean and simple.

Update your demo reel. Put your best stuff up front right after the slate with your name and phone number and email address.Remove any old or repetitive pieces.Make sure you label your reel and the box you send it in with your contact information.

Renew your friendships. Take a friend out to lunch or for dinner after work. Make an effort to keep contact with those friends you may not have seen in ages. Share information about the business with them.

Plant the seeds for new relationships. Attend meetings, seminars, and conferences and make the first move to introduce yourself to someone new. Others in the audience have the same interests as you do. It isn't always vital to meet the people on stage. The people sitting next to you are fascinating as well. Update your address book with your new friends as well as your old ones.

Exercise your brain. Get creative. Take a class in something that may not be related to work. It may lead you down paths you haven't yet dreamed of and give you the fresh outlook you need.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach and recruiter. She frequently speaks about animation careers at colleges and universities. As a career coach, she helps clients develop strategies to achieve career goals.

©2001 Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

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