One of my best friends moved to China 20 years ago and recently returned to the U.S. to care for his aging parents. With no job waiting for him, and only a few active contacts with whom to network, he asked me to help him write a resume. While your situation may be different, it may be as equally challenging. In helping him, I learned that what is needed to successfully network is more than just a resume, it is a…
Complete Communication Package!
Before you write your resume, may I suggest that you explore these three steps:
Step 1: Market
For whom do you want to work? What work or job do you want to do? Explore the following to help you to make these make decisions:
- Would you rather be an employee or self-employed?
- What kind of culture would be the best fit for you?
- Employers: search industry links https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag_index_naics.htm
- Occupations: search network links https://www.onetonline.org/find/all
- Locations: cities, states, countries https://www.bestplaces.net
- Income and benefits: https://www.salary.com
Step 2: Message
Keeping in mind the six Market factors, what do you have to offer? To help employers see the value you can bring to the job, briefly describe these six Message factors:
- Experiences: Your work, education, and personal.
- Abilities: What you do best. Talents, knowledge, and skills.
- Personality: How you best do what you do. Natural behavioral traits.
- Interests: What do you like the most? People, places, things, and activities.
- Values: What is important to you? Life purpose and values.
- Spiritual gifts: How does God’s supernatural ability show up in your life in various ways?
Step 3: Media
Now that you are clear about your Market and Message, it is time to get the word out by selecting from six basic communication Media channels:
- Prayer and praise.
- Individual and group connecting in-person, by phone/zoom, and through email.
- Corporate, contingency, and retained recruiters.
- Resume, curriculum vitae, and biography.
- LinkedIn, social media, and website.
- Flyers, brochures, and articles.
Complete Communication Package
No one uses everything. Rather, everyone mixes and matches media, depending on their market and message. As you create your Complete Communication Package, you may find it helpful to consider the three parts of the Crossroads Career mission:
- Hear God calling
- Maximize your potential
- Get the right job
First and foremost is to pray and praise. Since God knows everything about everyone, including you, talk to Him about your job, career, and calling. At the beginning of each day, ask God what work He has prepared for you. As you finish the day, thank God for His faithfulness no matter what happens. Consider how you might apply this Bible verse: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”. Ephesians 2:10
Engage in individual and group networking connections in-person, by phone or Zoom, and through email with family, friends, past and current workmates, and more. Use script outlines. Print business or personal cards with your name, phone, and email. Ask for potential employers, jobs, and personal referrals.
Recruit recruiters! The best method for finding the best recruiters for you is to ask your friends, networking contacts, and employers. See how to work with recruiters. Write or update your resume. Even if you are not looking for a job, be ready if you are contacted. For academia or certain professions, write a curriculum vitae or CV. For a less formal and more personalized presentation of your experiences and expertise, consider writing a short biography.
Join LinkedIn or update or upgrade your profile on LinkedIn, the #1 professional network in the world. Through LinkedIn, you can best express your Message and network to your Market, find not only jobs, employers, and customers, but also connect with key people. If you are already active on social media or your website, make the most of them by focusing on your job, career, and calling. Flyers, brochures, published articles, television, and radio can be very effective in making you stand out above others IF you have relevant talent and connections. Your Complete Communication Package Words and graphics are critically important in describing the Market you want to reach and the message you want to share. Be consistent throughout the variety of Media you use.
The three must-have media we recommend are:
- Daily prayer
- Weekly networking
- Monthly updating and connecting on LinkedIn
If you are actively or passively job searching, we suggest you also continue to update your:
- Resume, CV, and/or bio
- Recruiter relationships
To increase your visibility, accelerate your career, and maximize your potential, consider making use of:
- Social media and/or website
- Fliers, brochures, and/or published articles
- Radio and television
As my friend is completing his communication package, he is becoming more crystal clear about who he wants to work for, and how he can help them. His confidence and commitment are increasingly compelling. I look forward to seeing him walk the work God has prepared for him.
Brian Ray has been writing, speaking and connecting people to Christ in the workplace for 45 years. Brian was one of three Co-Founders of Crossroads Career Services, Inc. See short video below about how it started. While continuing to volunteer and serve as a board member, he owns Primus Consulting that provides executive search advice, counsel and referrals to business, ministry and government organizations. Prior to his business and ministry work, he served the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain as VP for Human Resources and Administration. He has authored Christian resources including Mastery of Leadership, Crossroads Career Workbook, Real Success at Work, and New Job Jump Start. Brian and his wife Kristy live in the Charlotte, NC area.