This post is about creating and using a networking biography. And includes a template.
Everybody looking for a job has a professional resume. Great. You are now equal with everyone else in the world.
Looking at your professional resume, some are better than others and it’s important that yours clearly outlines the value that a company can expect to find in you. And one that excites an HR or hiring manager about the fit and promise your background suggests.
But how do you begin to differentiate yourself while providing a tangible tool for others to truly know how they can help you?
The answer is a relative of the “one-sheet“. A term that originated in the movie business, a “one-sheet” is a single page document used to sell an idea, a concept or in your case, yourself. The key is that everything you need to know is right there on one page. A movie poster is the quintessential one-sheet. What else do you need to know?
So the idea of one piece of paper to sell something isn’t new. And, to be honest, the idea of a networking biography to present your candidacy for jobs isn’t new either. There are a number of good templates out there.
What amazes me is why so few people that I meet have a good networking biography. Is it an awareness issue? Are job seekers stuck in the past? Is it laziness?
Perhaps it is a mix of all these issues. Regardless, I have a networking biography template that I adjusted for my own use during a 2007 search that I wanted to share today.
It is a free job search tool. Available now on the career downloads page.
I call this a “resume companion”. Why? Because it includes many of the key pieces of information from the resume without the burden of too much data and with the addition of very tangible and actionable data.
So who wins when a job seeker has a networking biography like the SoloSheet™ ?
- Job seekers have a focused and very tangible pitch sheet or networking biography – perfect for the quick exchanges common at many structured networking events.
- Recruiters have a simpler format from which to make quick decisions as to the fit with their client listings.
- Fellow job seekers can now better help those they network with based on the additional data. Data that makes lining up new friends with new jobs much easier!
Now, let’s go through each section of the SoloSheet™ to describe how it is built differently from a professional resume.
NAME AND POSITIONING STATEMENT
The key difference on this networking biography is the positioning statement. Whether you have this on your professional resume or not, it is critical to quickly and well position yourself in a crowded market. Keep it short and make sure it says key things that make you unique.
The summary is a short written paragraph that tells the story of your positioning statement. It can prove your position by providing credible evidence along with a solid reason why (or two).
This statement is one that I added. It tells how I approach my work to achieve the desired results. If you have built up a structured thought process or methodology to achieve success, introduce it here. What is your work philosophy?
Unlike your professional resume where the details of each position provide more granular evidence of your skill and experience, here you are simply providing a chronological history. One that tracks company (industry), title (promotions), and dates (loyal vs. opportunistic).
Here’s another difference from the professional resume (at least mine). The SoloSheet™ includes a career objective because it is critical that your network know what you are looking for in your next role. It should include title, industry, geography, company size and any other data that would help people assist you. The more specific the better on a networking biography.
These are critical. Think of the top 4 or 5 accomplishments from your professional resume for your past 2-3 jobs. The ones that, when combined, show the breadth and impact that you have on an organization. Here you can learn how to write a great accomplishment statement.
This can be a bulleted list or a written list separated by commas. These are 8-10 specific skills that allow someone to line you up with specific job descriptions. Also called key strengths.
TARGET COMPANIES AND GEOGRAPHY
This is perhaps the most important aspect of the SoloSheet networking biography when used at a career networking event. When fellow job seekers know target companies , it is much easier for them to help. You may be remembered as “the marketing person looking at Pepsi and Heinz”. Here’s how to choose your target companies and how to penetrate your target companies.
So . . .
In an ideal world, there are 10 people walking out of a career networking event with your SoloSheet. It is marked up, key words are circled and a few stars are drawn next to a few of your target companies.
So with this networking biography, your career network now has a solid method to keep track of you, a tangible way to remember who you are and, importantly, has an actionable list of organizations where you’d like to work.
Easy for your career network = results for you.
If you’d like to see a finished example, write a comment below and I’ll send you mine in word format. Be sure to leave your e-mail address in the form!
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: bio | career networks | employment | job hunting | job search tool | jobs seeker | networking biography | networking events | professional resume | recruitment | resume | solosheet
Categories: Marketing Materials