If you’re thinking of looking for a job in the new year, there are a lot of things for you to consider. How you present your information is sometimes half the battle.
Consider these questions:
- What do you want to do?
- What do you offer?
- Where do you want to work?
- What are the touch points between you and that target organization? (In other words, why would they want to hire you?)
- How can you leverage social media tools (including ones who may not have considered) to get the word out about your expertise?
- What will you say in your online profiles and other job search materials to help you stand out from the crowd?
Ultimately, it is your job to know what is unique and special about you, and to package it in a way to appeal to your audience.
If it is difficult to decide what to focus on, you should take some time to decide on the right angle — and the right presentation — to showcase your talents.
Take a close look at this picture (above)…It’s a piece of art by El Anatsui hanging in the de Young art museum in San Francisco. Standing in front of it, it’s hard to believe it’s not a cloth quilt. But, look closely: it’s made of aluminum bottle caps and copper wire.
What do your materials look like to employers? If they stand back and evaluate your profiles (including your online information and your application materials), will it look like a beautifully woven quilt, or more like a rag-tag collection of recycled bottle caps?
Maybe you haven’t put much effort into driving your career, and all you HAVE is really a collection of odds and ends — you can’t see an obvious connection between what you have done and what you want to do next.
I think the lesson in El Anatsui’s piece is that you can take what you have and weave it into something special — even if it isn’t obviously spectacular by itself. It may take some work to create a piece of “art” from your materials — maybe you could use some expert advice to be sure you are telling a story that has the power to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Regardless of how you get there, don’t ignore your presentation. How you look to employers will either land you a job or keep you looking. It’s in your hands!