I am losing my job this week. My last day is Friday, January 15. I have revamped my resume and it is posted at a couple of job boards. But there is more that I can do to prepare for my job hunt. I need to plan it well.
A job hunt is just like a real hunt. When you are hunting you have tools that you need in order to get your prey, er, job. This is where social networks can help you. I have a Facebook space and I have a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a network for professionals. It has a job search function which allows a job seeker to find out if he or she has a contact in his/her network that is at the job. Sometimes that can make all the difference.
In Michigan, we have an agency that works with the unemployment office. The agency is called Michigan Works and it is a requirement that you register with Michigan Works before you can get your unemployment benefits. I will go to Michigan Works on Tuesday and register there, so that I will get my money. While I am there, I will get a schedule of their activities and see what I can do with that. Resume and cover letters are two items I need help to write up. I know that I have a good set of skills, but I am not good at blowing my own horn. I need to develop that skill.
There’s another tool I plan to use in my job hunt. It’s called a JIST card. A JIST card is a mini resume that fits on a standard business card. My has my contact information on the front along with a listing of my skills. On the back, I list a few more skills and experience levels. It fits on a standard business card which means that it is easier to carry around with you. I plan to give one to my hairdresser when I get my hair cut. You can also give them to people and family members.
When designing JIST cards, I suggest that you download a template that allows you to see what margins you need to stay within. After you make them looke the way you want, you should print a proof on plain paper so that you can see it as it really prints. I wouldn’t print it on card stock just yet, as the card stock can be more expensive than plain paper. How you design your JIST card is up to you.
Some people advocate putting them vertically on the card, with the longer sides being the sides of the card and the short sides being the top and bottom of the card. That would make them stand out, but they wouldn’t fit in a normal business card folder. That might make them hard to read in one. Of course, they might not be in such a folder or other type of holder, I honestly don’t know. I went with a classic style of JIST card, printed horizontally. One that tells people who I am with my contact information on one side, and what my skill set is on the other side. I also don’t think mixing styles is a good idea, you know horizontal on the front and vertical on the back. That might be confusing and we don’t want to confuse prospective employers. We want to show what I can do to help them, not frustrate them.
In making my JIST card, I simply copied the skills section and pasted it on the front of my JIST card underneath my contact information. For the backside, I copied some of the responsibilities that I have in my current job and a couple that are from earlier jobs. I pasted those on the back of the JIST card under my name. I have printed them out on one sheet of business card stock. There was something I needed to fix in the spacing that was not bad enough to force me to trash the ten cards that I made. For the first group, it doesn’t look that bad. They should help me a lot.
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