Now that you have defined your value proposition and the conditions you are looking for in a company, you should prepare the tools you will need to begin searching for a new job opportunity. It is very important that your message, your resume, and your LinkedIn profile are attractive and show what you want to highlight about your career and achievements.
After this, you will work on a networking strategy that will allow you to explore new industries and businesses and meet people that could give you valuable advice/information that will guide you in your search.
* More exercises and advice on preparing tools can be found through the offered work transition programs.
See a summary of programs here.
Schedule an evaluation session here.
For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A resume is a written summary of your work experience, educational background, and skills as a person. This is an introductory document that is normally used to apply to job positions.
Most resumes describe what one has done and where one has worked. In other words, it is focused on the past. What you should aim to achieve is a resume that is focused on the future, and for this, you must first recognize what you can provide professionally and understand the type of business and position your resume will be directed towards.
All of the work done in the prior section (Value Proposition) will be of great use in preparing your resume. We recommend that you review your principle conclusions of the aforementioned section before starting work on your resume.
Your resume will often be the first impression that you have on a person. Therefore, you should be able to create a resume that causes a positive impact and is very attractive.
A good resume is not just an instrument for applying to a job. It is a marketing tool that not only summarizes what you have done, but also provides reasons for why your potential employer wants and needs you to work with them.
Before preparing your resume, keep the following points in mind:
- The primary goal of a resume is for a potential employer to call you, not to tell your whole life story.
- Your resume should be easy and quick to read. Ideally, a resume should be no more than two pages if you have five years of experience, and one page if you have less experience.
- It is important that the person who reads your resume can “give it a glance” and be able to perceive the essence of who you are and what you have to offer, both of which should closely align with what the company is looking for.
- Review different sample resumes and select the format that you like most. Prepare a “base” version.
- For every concrete job opportunity, adapt your resume, making modifications to fulfill what is requested, highlighting any work experience and achievements that “fit like a glove” with what the company is looking for.
- Remember that a resume is a formal document and that it is a representation of you. As such, both the content and format should be carefully prepared and reviewed.
Format and structure
There are various different resume formats, but the most widely used is a chronological format. Below, we show you the different sections and contents of a resume.
Provide your full name and contact information: telephone, email
This section communicates what you have to offer to a potential employer. You should transmit that you are qualified for the position you are applying to. A quick read of the summary should be sufficient for establishing that what you have to offer meets what the company is looking for.
The summary should mention your years of experience, your profession, your principle skills, and the personal attributes you want to highlight.
Company – Dates of Employment
- Area/Market (it is important to add a small reference if the company is not well known)
- Position – Period in the Position
- Primary responsibility – Achievements
Transform your resume from a list of functions to a list of principle achievements that will spark the interest of your potential employer.
You can use the exercise in the previous section (Value Proposal) as a basis for this part of your resume, putting into use impactful verbs and words.
Degree – Educational Institution – Period of Time
Detail your undergraduate and graduate education.
Provide additional information related to your education, skills, or personal traits, such as diplomas, exchange stays, languages, and personal interests.
- I.D. Number
LinkedIn is a social network oriented towards companies, business, and employment. This platform can be used to search for employment and business opportunities, to publish job offers on behalf of companies or head hunters, and to stay in the loop by “following” companies and communities (e.g., alumni networks).
The use of LinkedIn by recruiters has rapidly increased in recent years. This platform is a go-to tool when searching for executives, reviewing candidates prior to interviews, and publishing job openings.
LinkedIn profiles are becoming a crucial vetting mechanism for job candidates – some candidates will be discarded after review for not having the desired profile or skillset, while other candidates may be fast-tracked for further consideration. These possible outcomes depend on the content of the LinkedIn profile under consideration.
Taking care of your LinkedIn profile is as important as taking care of your image across social networks. Your online brand should be positive. There are consequences to the photos and comments that you publish on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others. The content you upload influences how others perceive you and contribute to the image formed of you as a person and professional. Therefore, you should review you online presence to ensure your image is professional.
Here are some tips for creating and maintaining a good LinkedIn profile:
- The first step for creating a powerful LinkedIn profile is to understand who you want your profile to attract, i.e., who will be your audience. If you are looking for new job opportunities, your profile should be directed towards employment agencies and potential employers.
- Establish the message you want to deliver, the image you want to project.
- Review the profiles of executives who have a position similar to yours, and observe the keywords they use; select the best summaries; take note of the groups they are connected with, etc.
- If you have a very common name, consider adding your middle name or second last name (frequently used in Chile and other Latin American countries). This will make it easier for you to be found.
- Always keep your profile updated.
- Having a photograph is critical. Many people remember a face more than a name.
- Your photograph does not need to be professionally taken, but it should be recent and it should transmit a professional image.
- For the title or header that appears below your name, you should put your current position or your professional role, such as “Finance Manager,” “Project Manager,” etc. The first thing seen by potential employers when conducting a profile search is your photograph and header. As such, you should ensure that your header describes your experience, the primary responsibilities you have handled, and the industries in which you have worked.
- Your LinkedIn summary (or abstract), which appears below the header, is a short version of your value proposition or of the summary you have written for your resume. Highlight your key abilities and knowledge, achievements, and interests, all while keeping your future objectives in mind.
- Recruiters search LinkedIn profiles through keywords that might be present in the profiles they review. Therefore, it is important that your LinkedIn header and summary use keywords related to your profile, such as “manager”, “commercial,” “finances”, “motivated,” “dynamic”, “leadership”, and others.
- One way to increase the chances that your profile is the first to appear in a search is to have a current position. If you are not currently employed, you can list this item as follows: “[Position here], employment transition.” For example: “Finance Manager, employment transition.”
- Ensure that headhunters are 1st-degree contacts. This will guarantee your profile is placed above any 3rd-degree contacts.
- If you have an active LinkedIn profile (i.e., you publish, comment, or share), this will also help your profile appear above inactive profiles in search results.
- One way to establish which words or phrases are important to include in your profile is to search and review those most common on profiles of individuals with the position you want.
- Under your work experience, you do not have to provide the same level of detail as given in your resume. It is enough to provide a short summary of each position. For the positions you have held in the last five years, include the company, your position, your period of employment, your responsibilities, any leadership roles, and your principle achievements. For older positions, you should include the company, your position, and your period of employment. If this section is too long and detailed, no one will finish reading it.
- You can include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your business cards, in your resume, and in your email signature, which will help increase visibility.
- Connect with alumni groups, businesses, professional associations, etc. This will allow you to connect with professionals for whom you do not have a direct email address, telephone, or other form of communication.
- Include your preferred contact information.
- Search for job opportunities by filtering for specific companies, industries, locations, etc. You can save your searches and receive daily or weekly notifications on related opportunities.
- Use LinkedIn to research the experience and background of the executive who will interview you, as well as to research recent developments and key figures for the companies you are applying to.
When you meet or run into someone that you have not seen in a long time or do not know, you have to explain who you are and what you do. This is what we call your “message.” We invite you to prepare a message that captures the attention of the listener in the first seconds, paving the way for a fruitful conversation.
This message is what you will use when you work your contact network and begin to frequently meet with people that will help you in your search for a new job.
The difference between a good and bad message can mean winning or losing a job opportunity.
From this moment onward, you will frequently get asked questions such as, “Tell me about yourself”; “What have you done during your career?”; and “Can you briefly summarize your professional experience?”
When faced with these questions, not everyone is able to respond with a solid, well-structured, coherent message that establishes confidence. On the other hand, there are people that, when asked such questions, cause a wonderful first impression, making them more attractive as professionals and resulting in the other party wanting to know more.
It is very important to structure a good personal introduction. Your message will allow you to transmit to all those around you the essence of who you are, what you have done and achieved, what you are currently doing, and what you want to achieve. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to try and communicate many different points – it is better to concentrate on what is most important.
You can start working on your message if you have completed the exercises in the previous section.
The structure of your message should be:
Who I am and what I am doing
Good afternoon, my name is XXXX, and I have been working at XXXX for the last XXXX years. I am currently looking for a new job, and I am taking the time to get to know the market and receive professional guidance that will help me in my search.
Why I am worth it, my achievements
(Focus on three skills or achievements) My experience in XXXX was notable for what I achieved in the XXXX area. When I was studying at XXXX, I learned XXXX. What most distinguishes me as a leader is XXXX.
What I am looking for
I am looking for a job opportunity in the XXXX area, where I project my future career development.
How you can help me
In relation to this, I wanted to ask if you could provide me with more information on XXXX or advice on XXXX. Do you know someone in XXXX (company)? What do you think about the XXXX industry?
The process of building relationships, i.e., of establishing a contact network, is very important for your career, especially if you are in the process of searching for a new job.
If we begin with the premise that more than 70% of jobs are found through contacts, as supported by various studies, your networking strategy becomes all the more relevant.
1)We invite you to first make a list of all the people you know with whom you could exchange ideas and information. These could be individuals you have worked with, old classmates, family members, etc. This exercise will help you establish the scope of “your network.” Begin with a list of less than 50 people. These will be your “direct contacts.” All of these people could be your allies in searching for new job opportunities, but the support provided by each will likely differ.
For each contact in your list, include their name, contact details, relationship (e.g., former colleague, uncle, etc.), and the objective of getting in touch (e.g., gain industry information, receive feedback of your development in a particular area, solicit an introduction to a contact in the company you are interested in, etc.).
2) Contact each person on your list, either by email or phone. Schedule a time to speak in depth, and make the purpose of your meeting as clear as possible. You should work on having a friendly, not invasive, approach.
The possible results of a successful meeting could include:
- Specific information about an industry, company, position, etc.
- The name of a company that you had not considered in your search and that might fit with your objectives
- The name of a person you can contact who is different from one of your direct contacts.
3) As you advance in this process, you will gain new potential contacts. It is important that you keep a record of all your meetings and follow up on any information you have been given.
Do not form your contact network on the basis of “asking for help.” This will give the impression of someone who is desperate and who makes others responsible for their job search.
The objective of the meetings you have with your contacts is simply to deliver your message, conduct research, and gain information – not ask for a job. Instead of asking, “Do you know anyone who is looking for a [finance manager, project manager, etc.]?” ask, “Who do you admire or respect in the XXXX industry that I could contact?”
4) Always thank your contact for their time via email as soon as possible, keep your contact “active,” and follow up on the subjects discussed in your meeting.
Preparing for interviews
The most important factor for a successful interview is preparation. Below, we provide you with some advice and frequently asked questions to help you:
- Prepare for your interview by researching the company and position. Find out the name, the position, and the history of the person or people that will be interviewing you.
- Always prepare for an interview from the perspective of the interviewer. Who is it? What are they looking for? What are they interested in?
- After answering these questions, select three of your skills that you want to communicate and that are in line with what the company is looking for in relation to the position. Show these skills through examples and achievements you have previously identified.
- Use positive language, even if you are asked about negative aspects of your work experience.
- Show interest in the position and give reasons for your interest. Show the interviewer that it is very probable you will accept an offer for the position.
- Be honest with yourself and the interviewer. The important thing is that you are on the path towards the right company and position for you.
- Prepare yourself for questions that you worry you will be asked, such as, “Why did you leave your previous position?”
- Prepare good questions to ask the interviewer. This will demonstrate your interest and motivation for the position. Ask questions about the business, about the people that work there, and about the position for which you are interviewing.
- Being punctual is very important. Be formal but genuine with the interviewer.
- The more you are prepared for an interview, the more confidence, energy, and spontaneity you will show. You will not be worried about what to say; rather, you will create a calm environment and demonstrate your personal (no verbal) attributes to the interviewer.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will have to answer a variety of questions during a job interview. Questions about your behavior at work, which will give the interviewer insight into your skills, such as “Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict.” Questions that put you in real or hypothetical situations, such as “If you were faced with a client who was very upset, what would you do?” Questions that are open-ended and others that are very direct. It is important that you prepare your responses to as many interview questions as possible.
Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake and what you learned from it.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe your responsibilities or role at your last job.
- What would you like to do in the position you are looking for?
- What do you know about us?
- Why do you want to work with us?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is your ideal boss like?
- What concrete results have you obtained through your work experience?
- Do you work well under pressure?
- How long do you expect you will take to be proficient at this job?
- Do you think you are the right person for this position?
- What are your salary expectations?
* More exercises and advice on preparing your tools can be found through the offered work transition programs.
See a summary of programs here.
Schedule an evaluation session here.