Promoting yourself to get the next job

Warning: Do not read this unless you have read Rules 1 to 5 in the Daily Paradox of 10th March 2017. You can see that on the web site at www.TerrificMentors.com.

Losing a job is a wake-up call even if you were expecting it – even, in fact, if it is a long-anticipated retirement. Even, too, if you hated work. The sudden feeling of not being essential to someone for something is almost intolerable. If it was lonely at the top, it’s even lonelier on the outside. Take heart, you’re on the way to getting the next job.

Except that it may not be an actual job, more a portfolio of jobs. The passion for outsourcing, rather overdone I think but still growing, is an opportunity for you to cash in on your experience and have a small, select group of clients who don’t want to employ you fulltime but need your advice. The young are wonderful but you are longer on practice.

If you think you want to work independently and have a portfolio of jobs you will need different guidance not covered by this series of job-getting articles.

You may still want to job hunt for the kind of employment you are used to where your services are ring-fenced and you don’t have to sell them. If that is the case, and you have done all the preparatory work necessary and are clear about your purpose, go on to…

Rule No 6 – assemble your advertisement. You may call it a CV, a résumé, a work history or something else. It is your advertisement. Ignore almost all the advice available on how to present a CV or résumé. It is based on a time long-since gone. What you are preparing now is a soundbite. If successful it will attract enough attention to make the reader look further. It is different from other advertisements since it must be free of hyperbole. The boss and HR who are going to read it have seen thousands of adjectives intended to enthuse them to hire the writer. Each adjective is a nail in the coffin of the job you are trying to get.

Start with factual headlines, things you have achieved to which you can honestly lay claim and which have, when possible, some measures to support them. Perhaps six, never more than eight. Honesty is important. Many CVs and résumés are as imaginative as an Oscar Wilde play. This is a time when you need to remember rather than to invent. That doesn’t mean you can’t present attractively, merely that it must be true. If it isn’t, you will be found out and may even be sued for falsehoods.

On balance you should not include your picture. Whether to do so or not depends on the nature of the job (rather than how beautiful you are) but be sparing with your picture. The most important word to describe a good advertisement is flexible – not as to content but as to presentation. You don’t have to “match” your experience to the job or industry to which you are applying, you have to “relate” it, which is different. How does what you have achieved so far work for your potential employer? You may need help with this one.

Never send out an advertisement without reading it through and seeing how it may attract the person / business who is intended to read it. This is especially true of the headlines. Success is always relevant, however you have achieved it, but when your success relates to the business you wish to join it will be more powerful if you show how it does.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your advertisement. Products are made and destroyed by their promotion. You are a product and may be made by yours, too.

The next Daily Paradox will deal with social media and how to marshal your contacts.

Good morning
John Bittleston

Terrific Mentors has a programme on Careers and Jobs. Ask [email protected].

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