Once again, we are writing this—the final 2021 post–on Christmas Day, a traditional time for us to look back, and then look forward. We’ve already spent a lot of time this year examining the post-pandemic job market, and will be doing more in the coming weeks and months. So, we are going to review the all-important basics—the documents we all must have at the beginning of a job search marketing campaign. They include your:
- Job search letters,
- LinkedIn profile, and
- Interview talking points.
Social media, the “great resignation,” and a labor shortage that has created a “war for talent” in some fields has not made job search marketing strategy less important. It’s more important than ever because you want to get the right job, not just any job.
The traditional resume is still with us.
We’ve been helping job seekers advance their careers since 1998. Each year since then experts told us the resume was dead. The internet has killed it, so you no longer need a resume.
It was “fake news” In 1998, and as far as we’re concerned, it still is not true. The resume serves a unique place in job search marketing campaigns, so it is one of the first documents we should prepare when we seek career advancement.
The resume is unique because it serves as a one- or two-page summary (with limited exceptions) of our relevant qualifications to work in a specific job or business. Unlike a social media profile, we can customize our resume for each target company.
Also, unlike a social media profile, a resume is a private communication between you and your prospective employer or industry contact. That means you may feel comfortable including specific information on a resume that you do not want posted on social media such as LinkedIn.
Although you will deliver your resume electronically the vast majority of the time, unlike in the 1990s, it is still a printable, accomplishment-based document senior managers are accustomed to working with.
You will still need a resume in 2022. It is primarily an electronic document now, but it will continue being an important job search marketing tool.
Job search letters will continue playing a role, too.
It’s true that not every employer and recruiter reads cover letters. It is still good practice to prepare a cover letter because we rarely know whether or not it will be read unless a hiring team instructs us not to send a letter.
Use a job search letter whenever you have the option of including a letter with an online application because it gives you an opportunity to be even more focused on the employers needs than you are in the resume. You will have the opportunity to address a specific person, and then show how your qualifications match the specific job you are applying to fill.
A busy, short-handed, employer may not take the time to be certain you are a match for their job, so this step is vitally important now. You’ll be happier and earn more money in a job that matches your talents.
Our detailed post on cover letters offers even more specific guidance to help you find the right job faster.
A LinkedIn profile could be the key to post-pandemic success.
You may be relatively unfamiliar with LinkedIn if you were in one job for 15 or more years before the Pandemic. It’s critical for you to use LinkedIn in many industries because prospective employers and others that are doing business with you will bring your LinkedIn profile to their screen while chatting with you on the phone, Zoom, or FaceTime. Additionally, some employers and recruiters scour LinkedIn for candidates electronically without requesting resumes.
Your LinkedIn profile, then, will make that all-important first impression on your prospective employers and industry contacts. This will be a new experience for you if you have not looked for work since the last recession in 2007 or 2008, when social media was in its infancy.
Have interview talking points ready.
Last, but not least, use your resume and job search letter content to prepare for interviews. Again, if you haven’t job searched since the last recession or earlier, you will find that a higher level of prep work is important. It is no longer sufficient to be prepared for so-called “tough questions” such as “tell me about yourself?” You should have detailed explanations of each accomplishment on your resume available in a form you can easily refer to during the interview. Additionally, have the information from your job search letter on how you match the specific job available for reference as you speak.
This is one document that you are not going to post or show to anyone, so you can format it any way that works for you. If your target companies do interviews on Zoom or over the phone, you are really in luck because you can read notes from your screen while you speak. For in-person interviews, you may want to keep a tablet on your lap, use an old-school paper notebook or, better yet, memorize your talking points.
You will now be well prepared to get the best possible job in 2022.