I refer to your resume, LinkedIn profile, and networking plan as your job search essential. Each of these works together to help ensure your best chances of getting invited to interview. Often times job seekers focus on just the resume. You might have a killer resume but if you end up getting compared to someone with a great networking reference or a professional looking LinkedIn profile, you’ve essentially devalued your resume.
The jobs search essentials are the tools in your toolbelt for getting an interview and you won’t likely get an interview without some combination of the three so let’s dive into each of these in more detail.
I don’t think anyone would argue that a resume is a must for every job seeker. There will always be a counter-advice argument that so-and-so’s cousin got an awesome job without ever handing in a resume but that doesn’t translate into good advice for you. Your resume should be succinct, I personally recommend 1 page because that is the only side that is guaranteed to be scanned. Any more information beyond that drops to less than 50% viewing potential. When all of your best and most relevant information is on one page you don’t run the risk of saying too much. Saying too much is to me, as a previous hiring manager, riskier in most cases than saying too little. One page forces you to put your best foot forward. Read more about ways to upgrade your resume here.
Secondly, hiring managers these days are looking at your LinkedIn profile. Let me point out why and how they are using it. They won’t be looking at every applicant’s LinkedIn page, just the ones that have made it to the top round and they are looking for a reason to choose one or the other. Put yourself in their shoes, on paper two people can be close in the running but a simple search of LinkedIn can be the tiebreaker. So what can you do to be the chosen one?
Finally, the networking plan may just be the most important of the three, especially if you don’t have a particularly strong resume or are making a stretch from one career type to another. The essential is a plan and not just “networking” because you want to be sure that it is accomplishing a purpose just as you are with your resume and a LinkedIn profile.
Most career seekers feel a lot of overwhelm and part of that is from going round in circles trying to get the good jobs and then applying and not hearing back. Or worse, getting invited to interview and then still not getting the offers. You can clear some of the overwhelm by really nailing the job search essentials up front and then focusing on getting clear on where you should and shouldn’t be applying. We’ll cover that another time. All of this is covered in the Online Career Plan Course.
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