Twelve Days of Progress
Wow! This has been a fast and busy twelve days. Yep, just twelve little days have passed since I started my resume writing business. Below is a list of what I have accomplished so far. It may seem like a lot, but I am a new business owner looking for referrals. If you are a job seeker, your To-Do List should be just as full. Looking for work is not unlike starting a business – you need referrals, recommendations, an online presence and networking – and it is a full-time job! Keep reading for more ideas.
1. PAPERWORK: Business license / fictitious business name filing / checking account.
3. LOGO: You can’t be branded without a logo. I created my own to get started with, but this will soon be replaced by one designed by a professional.
4. MARKET RESEARCH. I looked for industry certifications, evaluated options, surveyed industry pricing, correlated pricing trends by type of certification (can you tell I am a trained statistical analyst?)
5. WROTE A COVER LETTER FOR THE CLIENT. Job seekers need to pay just as much attention to the cover letter as to the resume. It could be seen before the resume and if it is word soup, it won’t get read.
6. WEBSITE: Attended a class and developed and published a webpage for the business www.resume-smith.com. Right now it’s a simple brochure page, eventually it will be SEO and e-commerce enabled.
7. CREATED A TESTIMONIAL PAGE FOR THE CLIENT. A few years ago, it was common to send a “reference page” with a resume, or state “Professional References Available Upon Request” at the bottom. Basically, this was a list of names and phone numbers so the company could check references before making a job offer. It is now assumed that these will pe provided and even including that information on the resume is a waste of space that could be used for more valuable information. Reference letters are also ineffective because it takes too much time for the Recruiter to read. Instead, I recommend a “Testimonial Page.” This includes short, relevant, actual quotes from your references (which can usually be pulled from your LinkedIn page). This adds value to the package you are sending a prospective employer.
8. TWITTER: I’ve never been a big Twitter user, but since it’s part of my new job description, I’m jumping in. I changed my Twitter ID from my name to @TheResumeSmith. Searched for Careers industry Tweeps and Followed, Re-Tweeted, Replied,@Mentioned and #Hashtagged. Learned so much about Twitter and the Careers industry from these people already. I’ve gained more than 50 new followers, including Ken Blanchard, whose book The One Minute Manager was one of the very first professional development books I read almost 20 years ago (OK so it could be one of his underlings at his company, but still – yay me!).
9. LINKEDIN: Wrote an updated LinkedIn profile to reflect my new role as a business owner and resume writer. Joined several groups related to resume writing, recruiting, and the careers industry. Discovered what a LION is (LinkedIn Open Networker) and decided to become one. Answered several resume questions on LI Answers. I have already begun connecting with new people from these groups by learning and sharing ideas and information. If you are a job seeker, this is how you should be using LinkedIn. Do not be a passive non-participant. Get out there and be seen.
12. FACEBOOK: Developed three Facebook pages. First, the standard “Info” page that Facebook gives you. Then a Flash page, which was beautiful but ran too slowly and kept freezing, so I replaced it with a simpler html page that is less “flashy” (pardon the pun) but more functional. As of this writing, I have gained 98 “Likes” for my page. How did I do this? A friend (Adele McIntosh of Legendary World Travel) invited me to play a game called Pre-Holiday Facebook Game of LIKE. This game was organized by two Social Media marketing consultants Idea Girl Media and More In Media. Basically, participants join the game to promote their own Facebook business page, learn about some other pages, participate in challenges that not only earn us points, but also teach us about leveraging social media to build our business. We are all having fun, learning, and meeting people (this blog post was also a Game of Like achievement).
13. READ TWO BOOKS. Yes, I still had time to read! The first was a book about resume writing, and I posted a review on my Amazon app on LinkedIn. The second, which is still in progress, is Launch, which was another Game of Like achievement. I’ll be posting a review as soon as I finish.
If you’ve read this far, then I hope you found some value in this action list. Almost all of these activities are things that could propel a job seeker forward, especially the social media activity. Each contact you make could be the one that gets you the referral to your next Great Opportunity.
Thanks for reading! Please leave me a message and let me know what you think. Do YOU think starting a business and job hunting are alike?