My mom always says that you need the right tools for the job. Finding work is a job. Here are the tools you need:
- A plan. Know what you want. What are your goals? What are your skills? What can you offer an employer? Research and find employers who can use your skills. If an employer intrigues you, check the website and read the job postings to determine if there is a match with what you can offer.
- A way to keep track of applications and contacts. Be sure to note exactly when and where you met someone so you can follow up with him or her. Note when you sent in your materials. It may seem like it’s been weeks when you are anxious to hear back on an application, but if it has only been a few days, your application might not be processed yet.
- A resume. Keep it up to date even when you’re not looking for a job. Employers are interested in what you can do for them so make it easy for them to understand your skill set. Use bullet points or an executive summary to make your skills stand out.
- A Linkedin account. If you don’t already have a profile on Linkedin.com visit the site and set one up. This is a professional networking site and quite useful when job hunting. In the search area on the right side of the navigation bar you can put in any terms you want from a person’s name, a job title to a company name. You can also link you profile to your Twitter feed. In a future article, we’ll explore more about Linkedin. .
- A positive attitude. When you go to networking events, speak to people on the phone, or meet someone in an interview, your positive attitude will give you an edge over someone who does not express enthusiasm or exude energy.
- A website or a place to post your resume online. If you are an artist, you also need to post your reel and a reel breakdown or your portfolio. If you are posting your reel or resume online, be sure to include contact info so people can contact you. If you have a password protecting your reel, make it easy for someone to contact you and ask for the password.
- An updated reel or portfolio. Only include work you are proud of. You won’t be there to explain the reel to the viewer so be sure relevant information is there (such as your role on each shot, software used).
- Thank you notes and stamps. If you meet someone at a networking event, or during the interview process, send an e-mail thank you, but also a hand written thank you note in blue ink as soon as possible after the meeting. This follow up will make you stand out from the crowd. When was the last time you got a handwritten note from someone? My point exactly.
Copyright ©2012 Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach, recruiter, writer and speaker. She has presented her Career Navigator Program at conferences and schools such as Ringling, SCAD, IADT, and numerous Art Institute campuses. She enjoyed presenting the commencement address at AI Tampa in 2010. She will be speaking at Jalloo (www.jalloo.net ) in June. You can reach her for personal career coaching, recruiting, or speaking at PamRecruit@q.com .