The Right Tools for the Job

tools 3My Dad was a woodworker.  He built furniture. My Mom was a homemaker and baker.  Both of them would always get out the tools and materials needed before they started a project. 

Job search, if nothing else, is a project.  It is not simply a wish.  What tools and materials do you gather to accomplish this project?

The materials you will use are your skills, expertise, desires, career goals, etc.  These will always be unique to each person. 

The tools you use will be used over and over again.  Jobs may only last 3-5 years these days, so you will be doing job search projects at least 6 times in your working life.

The most useful tool is your professional network and the means you use to keep track of it and maintain it. 

I use:

  • Outlook to track my scheduled meetings, calls and coffee dates
  • Access to keep my lists and data (I have all the people I’ve ever talked with about jobs, their contact info, where they work and what their title is, sometimes who their boss is)
  • Excel (as the way to put the info into Access or instead of Access)
  • MailChimp  and AceOfSales to manage my regular emails and newsletter,
  • LinkedIn to keep up with some of my network (not all use it!),
  • Facebook mostly for my non-career network (grandson pictures! And politics!),
  • Google+ to explore this amazing platform and as a supplement to LI and FB
  • Twitter to join the conversations,
  • Pinterest to stay informed visually
  • YouTube to connect with people who prefer this media
  • and some specialized sites like Biowebspin. 

I also use the US Postal Service and cards that my sister makes by hand (such art!). 

But these are general tools, useful for many things.

For a job search, you may want specialized tools like JibberJobber or SuccessHawk.  Although these may be the “mini doughnut maker” or the “120 piece diamond tip carving burr set”, those tools you lust after but never actually use. 

You will also want some lists, checklists and templates.

  • Lists of your skills, the tasks you are competent in and like doing, your expertise, your keywords
  • PAR statements for each problem you have solved
  • Checklists of the process of job search
  • Resume templates
  • Follow up content templates

If you are starting a job search this year, what tools do you already have?  What tools do you need to acquire?  Have you gathered your materials before you start?

Tell me what you prefer!

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