Chronic illness or not, being able to network and write compelling resumes are keys to landing jobs. But do they always go hand in hand?
My daughter is 23 and has been working as an ESL teacher through Teach for America (TFA). Calling me at 7:00 am this morning (as she often does on her way to work), she tells me that she has a networking meeting later that day with someone at TFA and had forgotten to run off a resume. What to do?
Ah hah! Mom actually had some good advice here (that’s where being a career coach helps!). I told her that she doesn’t need a resume in this kind of meeting. Sound like sacriligious? Look. If you’re not interviewing for a job but asking someone to brainstorm possibilities or open up the rollodex, you’re better off with what I call your “Career Highlights” sheet. (I have to come up with a snappier name for it).
When I was job hunting, I used to mail (in the dark ages before email) my resume before such a meeting — thinking this made me look prepared. But once there, I could see it hadn’t been opened. I even found this was true with formal interviews. And you certainly don’t want someone wading through this detail while you’re sitting there.
Better to create something that can be read quickly -and efficiently.
- Career goal or job objective. IF you know this, then it’s really important to make it clear especially in informational interviews so people don’t wander all over the map wasting your time and theirs.
- A bulleted list of your skills and competencies (just a few).
- Most important jobs with job title and dates.
- Relevant education.
That’s it. Fill in the blanks when you’re talking. Much easier and more likely to accomplish what you need.
I plan to write in the next post about how to talk with “connectors” — the people you’re networking with — about the “blanks” that happen from disability leaves or the career switches due to illness. Have you got any stories to share?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com
PS. NEWS UPDATE! I’ve been told that my book Women, Work and Autoimimune Disease: Keep Working Girlfriend! has been printed and is ready to go to the book distributor. Very exciting. I’m also creating a home study guide workbook system to go with it. Stay tuned…