When you are out of work & looking for the next opportunity, there is a chance that you will do what many professionals in transition will do to improve their chances of being hired. First, your resume, you may sometimes consult your resume & may make small changes to it. Because of attending a networking event or talking to a career counselor, you may make additional changes. It could eventually get to the point that you are constantly revising & updating your resume as you travel through the job search process.
Same thing could apply to other aspects of your job search. How many times will you revise your business card? It may be at least a few times. Do you want to add a mission statement and/or some bullet points to the back of your card? Other times, you feel the back part of your business card should be blank. There is also a handbill you may use during your transition. Some job seekers use the handbill when they are at a networking event. This document is a one page summary of your past work experiences & job skills. While you network, you may want to distribute something more substantial than their business card but something less than a resume. Hence, the handbill appears to be a popular option. Sometimes, job seekers develop a marketing bill. This is similar to a handbill but is generally designed to target prospective companies/clients instead of prospective employers. Many who are contemplating developing their own business or trying to improve their brand may also use this approach.
I’m not against improving your resume, handbill, marketing bill, or business cards. I’m not against becoming better at job interviewing, improving your elevator speech, or improving your LinkedIn profile. I’m not against networking as much as possible to get more comfortable with your brand & making valuable connections or improving your online presence to help improve your visibility. So what to do?
It’s important to be well balanced during this transition. Don’t spend too much time trying to get a job if you’re completely ignoring your current skill portfolio. It’s important to focus on many of the skills needed to get a job as well as working on current & new skills while in transition. For example, you may volunteer during your transition in an area where you could “polish” your skills or even acquire new ones. Besides being a volunteer, you could enroll in online courses. There are a number of free online courses to help you stay current with your skill set. What about going online to read pertinent business articles & periodicals? The local library is a terrific resource too, become a familiar face at the library where you can access many business articles to help you stay current. If you can, blog & participate in forums or LinkedIn discussions. There are many videos to help you with software & business related materials.
So balance the two areas as much as possible. Of course, there will be times where you focus the majority of your attention on job transition. Sometimes you’ll find most of your time could be spent developing new skills. It’s important to try to balance these two areas as these two areas may compete for your time & attention. Get out of your comfort zone when you’re networking or attending job related meetings. However, don’t forget about the improving your skill repertoire. When your prospective employer asks you what you’ve been doing besides looking for work, you will have an acceptable & legitimate response. Besides, at some point, you’ll need to draw on those polished or new skills as your journey takes you on another challenge.