If you were building a new home, would you put the roof on before you dug the foundation? Would you put the windows in before you had the walls up? Would you install new carpet before the floor was finished? Would you?
I have always found it interesting that some job seekers want to write a résumé before they have carefully considered their next move. Here’s a recent conversation with a job seeker I met at a social outing and the conversation went something like this:
Job Seeker: Yeah, I’d like to pick your brain for a couple minutes….
So what are you thinking about doing for your next job?
Job seeker: I have no clue – I just need a résumé so I can get “out there.”
Are you familiar with your knowledge, skills and abilities and are you comfortable speaking about them?
Job Seeker: Um, well, I haven’t really thought about that.
Do you know how to confidently and efficiently speak about your brand?
Job Seeker: My what?
Have you considered the value you will deliver to an employer?
Job Seeker: Well, like what do you mean?
Can you cite your five best achievements in the last five years?
Job Seeker: Look, all I do is work and take classes – I don’t see why I have to think about all that before I look for a job – or write a résumé. What’s up with the 20 questions?
As a job seeker, I hope you will take some time to consider who you are, what you want, and where you want to go next. Here are some very basic questions to ask yourself as a means of getting started before you hit the streets (or write a résumé).
- Who are you?
- What do you want? What proof and evidence do you offer that you can do what you say you want?
- When asked to describe your five best portable and transferable skills and your three to five top personality traits, what distinct words will you choose and what specific examples will you cite to back up your claims?
- Where do you prefer to work, doing what, with whom and in what geographical area?
- Why should an employer hire you?
- How will you go about preparing for a job search and how will you measure progress?
- How much money are you worth to an employer based upon research of at least three reliable sources?
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln