Communication tools beyond the resume

Nancy Anderson
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The communications aspect of your job hunt goes beyond the emailing of your resume or a phone call to the human resources department. Your job search should contain a communications strategy, with several components working together to sell you skills and abilities.

Each of the following tools will help you to prepare for every vital opportunity you get to communicate with a potential employer. Take the time to prepare each one of these and your effort will show.

A professional objective: This is a statement of the kind of work you want to do. Based on your skills, interests and values, this statement should make you stand out from other candidates for the same job. This statement will set the tone for your resume and any other communication tools you develop. If you don’t know where to start with your professional objective, look at some of these samples and try to consider these things:
Your overall career goal
Three specific core skills and three specific personal traits
Three specific interests
For example: “Front desk manager providing leadership in application of customer service and crisis management.”

Let’s dissect this objective. Front desk manager is the career goal. Leadership is a core skill. Customer service and crisis management are both specific interests as well as skills.

Exit statement: This is a carefully crafted statement of why you are in the market for a new job.
Even if you think the reason is simple and easy to convey, take the time to consider this communication piece and practice it out loud. It needs to be brief, positive and not defensive.
For example: “Due to the merger of Hotel X and Hotel Y, many positions were duplicated and some positions were eliminated, including mine. I look forward to working for a hotel that will find my 10 years of experience useful to them.”

Accomplishment stories: Describe obstacles you faced in a work situation, what you did in the face of those obstacles and what that accomplished. These are the key elements of any accomplishment statement. These stories of your achievements should be identified, written down and read out loud so you are ready to shine in the interview. It is up to you to demonstrate your talent to the interviewer and they are going to want to hear about specific incidents that illustrate your value to them.

References: This is just a list of people you worked for who will vouch for you, right? Wrong! This very powerful tool is a personal reflection of who you are. Think about your professional objective and put together a list of people who can speak to the values and abilities you listed. In our example, this would be people who know about your leadership and crisis management skills. Think of co-workers, people who have worked for you and people you have worked for. If you decide not to list your current or immediately former boss on this list, be prepared to explain why.

Prepare the people on your reference list by asking them first if you may use their name. Be sure to send each one a copy of your resume and cover letter and tell them what skills you are trying to highlight. Have them let you know when or if they are contacted to provide a reference so you know where you are in the process.

Take the time to work on these communication tools and you are going to distinguish yourself among the candidates for the job and improve your chances of getting hired.

By: Becky Papp

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