7 Essential Paper-tools and Social Media Tools for your Job Search Portfolio!

A resume is not enough!

You will need a portfolio of professional paper-tools and job search tools.

These tools should be in both the traditional formats (i.e.: hardcopy of a resume) and in the Web 2.0 formats (i.e.: LinkedIn profile)

Read on to learn about the 7 Essential Papertools for your Career Transition Action Plan (Part II)
This post is part II of the Career Transtion Action Plan Series. Read Career Transtion Action Plan (Part I) and 4 Stage Career Planning: Bitten Off More Than You Can Chew?

Are your Career Goals Well Defined?

• Do you have 1 or 2 industries which you are targeting?
• Do you have 1 or 2 sectors within these industries?
• Do you have 3-5 job titles which you are targeting?
• Do you have a leads list of 20 companies which you are targeting?

If your answer to these questions is no, then your career goals are too general and need to be refined. If you can't clearly articulate what your goals are - guaranteed your competition will! This lack of focus will turn off employers and may ruin your chances in interviews. Return to Career Transition Action Plan – Part I and or look into a Career Tune Up. Continue with your career exploration and career testing.

(Part II) Prepare your Professional Paper-tools and Social Media Tools
For this post, I will use the term professional papertools to decribe the traditional job-search tools. The term social media tools will be used to describe the new, online and Web 2.0 tools. Both hardcopy and online tools are essential for a modern job search. Ideally, both sets of tools are integrated and convey a consistent brand-message.

1. Resume
The most common types of resumes are Chronological, Combination, Hybrid, Functional and Text. Resume selection and style should NOT be random. Your resume choice should be based on your career goals, industry norms for your sector and the usage type. Each resume type is meant for a different use and they are not interchangeable. A qualified counselor can help you determine which style will best fit your needs.

2. LinkedIn
Create an online account, profile, webpage and resume. This takes about 4 times as long to create as a traditional resume. However, it works for you and attracts employers - even while you are asleep! A good LI page includes joining industry groups and affiliations, building up your professional contacts and actively contributing to the LI community. This is not a passive tool. This is a form of Pull Marketing which is meant to attract leads and employers to you. See my post on Push vs Pull Marketing. and my post on Hot LinkedIn groups for Career Transition.

Other Social Media Accounts and memberships
Note: there are many other tools: such as Facebook, Twitter etc. You will have to determine which, if any, are a good use of your valuable, job-search time. Then, you will have to budget time to build your site, and become an active user of the site. These are additional forms of Pull Marketing. Remember, employers are searching for candidates online. What will they find out about you?

3. Cover letter, Business letter, Introductory letter
To be competitive in this economy you MUST have a cover letter attached to each resume you send out. Determine which type of letter you will need. Types of cover letters include: traditional/all purpose, hybrid/bulleted, industry-style. Each industry will have a preferred style and often this will be related to how conservative or creative the industry is.

4. Reference Sheet
Job Seekers often forget to create a reference sheet or do not know how to create one. You should not include your references in the body of your resume. This must be a separate document. If you are asked for references in an interview, you can hand the employer this sheet. (Stay tuned for an article about how to create this).

LinkedIn Recommendations.
You can attach a URL to your LinkedIn profile and recommendations section. LI recommendations are not given the same weight as a live contact or formal letter.

5. Traditional, Business Card, Mini Digital CD business card or Verbal Business Card
A traditional, business card is still essential for live networking. If you are in a creative field, in technology or advertising you may want to create and purchase mini-digital business cards. These tiny CD’s with the flat edges are very popular but cost between 25cents to 75 cents each depending on how many you order. The advantage is that you can upload your entire resume on this digital card, include your references, samples of your work etc...

6. Google Profile online.
Google is the best site to create a profile which will raise you in the search rankings. This is your mini bio and mini introduction. Since a majority of recruiters will research candidate online (prior to an interview), this is as essential as a traditional business card. For the more adventurous job-seekers creating a website or a blogsite would take your online profile to the next level. If you are in a technology field or in a field which uses social media - this is essential.

7. Thank You Cards or Thank you Letters
Thank you cards should be sent to everyone you interview with and/or anyone who has made an extra effort. Use gender-neutral card designs. Use a formal, letter if you have more information than can fit on a card. A text message thank you is never appropriate. An email thank you is a good start, but it is not sufficient. You should always follow it up with a mailed card or letter, even if you have to hand deliver it (due to tight hiring timelines)

Stand out from the crowd and create an integrated, professional portfolio. Lefverage your strengths and work on your weakness.' You will see results@!

Author: © 2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon B. Cohen, MA, Counseling Psychology, CPRP. Licensed Counselor. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist.

"Helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"

Sharon B. Cohen on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/sharonbcohen

My Career Manager on Twitter http://twitter.com/MyCareerManager

Complete Archive of articles on My Career Manager www.mycareermanager.com/


  1. Better say nothing than nothing to the purpose. ........................................

  2. Perfect read for busy job-seekers! (what a irony!)
    Looking forward to the 'Professional Paper Tools' at RCB in Sept!

  3. I appreciate the encouragement! Looking forward to seeing you at our Fall workshops. I'll be teaching the workshop on Social Media for Job Seekers.


  4. I have never even observed of a variety of them, but what truly outstanding concepts.

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