This post is about the importance of sending clear messages during your job search.
When I first planned to write this post, I was going to research the idea behind the title. Which I thought originated in eastern philosophy. Sounds like something Sun Tzu would say, right?
But after a few minutes looking for the quote, I was left with no obvious origin or author. Maybe you can find it.
The quote or saying is:
“A confused mind says no.” – Somebody
You hear it a lot in business. The basic idea being that if you’re not sending clear messages to people, they will be left with the easiest option. That is to choose “ignore” instead of engaging in a mental battle to figure out what you are really trying to say. This means that you, your proposition, any marketing messages, inspiring stories or projects get zero focused attention.
So the reason this matters during job search should be pretty obvious, right?
Sending clear messages allows people to at least consider your situation and your “ask for help” to find a new job.
Clear means understandable. Something I can apply immediately to my interpretation of your needs.
If so, here are the places where confusion exists and how to make sure you are sending clear messages to your network and to the folks who you want to consider you as a candidate:
Your Job Search Objectives
This one’s simple, but so few I meet have clear job search objectives. It’s a key part of your job search elevator pitch. And when asked by someone “what are you looking for?”, what are you saying? Watch this quick video for a summary:
Your Resume or CV
If you are using an old format, it’s possible you are still including your “Objective” on the top. If you are lose it. Your only objective once you decide to share a resume with an employer is to get that job with them. Anything more general is confusing.
Your Networking Biography
Do you have a networking biography? You should have one. Because networking with a resume stinks. And taking the time to create one helps you develop a crisp and more interesting way to share your history and key skills.
Your Cover Letter
Not everyone thinks these are a good idea. They can be risky if you don’t write a good one. Of course you can review the cover letter template I created to lower your risk. And also read about my cover letter segmentation study to understand the different types of cover letters I’ve seen. If you are not sending clear messages in your cover letter or if the messages in your cover letter are different from in your resume, that’s not good.
Your Networking Business Card
This last item is another area where you need to be sending clear messages. It also needs to be consistent with other materials you are sharing. So make sure you create a networking business card. And make sure you review these real-life networking business card examples before you spend money on printing.
Is That It?
Well, no. If you are using LinkedIn effectively, you’ll be sending clear messages there. Along with Twitter, Facebook and anywhere also your personal brand lives on-line.
Thanks Zach Dischner for the photo via Flickr.
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: networking for job | sending clear messages
Categories: Finding New Job