Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Creative Networking Techniques

Did you enjoy reading yesterday's creative job search/networking tips? Great, because I've got more for you!

The Time is Money Technique

Want to make sure your mailed materials are reviewed ... even when it may be among a stack of hundreds of other resumes? Follow this simple technique: attach a crisp new $1 bill to your resume/cover letter and place a yellow post-it note on the bill with the following handwritten note:

    I know that time is money and I value your time. Would you please invest two minutes in reviewing my resume today, and in taking my phone call later this week? I appreciate your time.

    Sincerely,

    Your Name

The Video Resume Technique

Trying to get your foot in the door of an employer located at a distance from where you live? If you are able to create a master video of your responses to some standard interview questions, that video can be duplicated and utilized as support for your job search. A video interview tape can be utilized in two ways: first, as a door opener with a select few employers that you are targeting, and second, as an alternative method for moving forward a stalled phone interview process.

In preparing the video resume master for duplication, it is important to record an appropriate introduction and closing for the tape. Your introduction should be short and sweet, explaining who you are and the purpose and format for the tape. Your closing should provide a very specific next step for the employer to follow in making direct contact with you. Have copies made for you professionally to avoid any cheesy did-it-in-my-basement look. And label each tape with a printed label, including your name and contact information. Always include your written resume folded and attached to the videotape.

The Audio Resume Technique

If you have a strong voice and would like to make a unique impact on a company, send an accompanying audio tape or CD along with your resume. On this tape/CD, take no more than five to ten minutes to explain why you are the best person for the job. Most hiring managers have a commute and a car and a tape/CD player. Make sure you stick to a tight structure and script the dialogue only as much as you need to stay focused. This is not an opportunity for you to tell your life story. It is, like your resume, an opportunity to entice the hiring manager into a potential interview.

The Voicemail Resume Technique

If you have the Audio Resume Technique mastered, you may want to place the information on commercial voicemail for playback on demand. Simply rent a voicemail number which will allow you to have a lengthy outgoing message, and record your two or three or five minute introduction to you. Then publicize your voicemail via a simple postcard mailing to select companies (you can send it to as many as 40 companies for under $10) which provides them with a number to call to learn more about you and your background.

Be careful to avoid the appearance that you are selling any product other than you. Make it clear that you are providing the employer with your audio resume. Many will react positively, since they are able to hear your voice and learn more about you without making the commitment to talk to you directly. And it is unique!

Here are some more creative ideas for you:

2 comments:

irene said...

What do you think about www.audioresume.net for easy recording / access of an Audio Resume?

Cheryl Lynch Simpson said...

Great question, Irene! For those who aren't familiar with AudioResume.net, it's an automated service which enables you to record your responses to a set of 5 traditionl and behavioral interview questions. You are given a URL for posting your audio resume online as part of the package.

This is a relatively inexpensive service ($9.95), so it wouldn't cost much to experiment with. Online resumes are still emerging in the global labor market and not yet considered a "must" for many occupations. Pricing on many versions is high - though that usually gets you a really snazzy-looking online resume. Many online resume services will bundle audio and/or video into their offerings to make web resumes/portfolios more interactive and complete.

What I recommend to my clients is this:

~ If you use an online resume, be prepared to market it heavily offline via resumes, job search correspondence, your phone message, and your email signature file.
~ Don't rely on your web resume to substitute for other job search best practices. As with any online business, you must drive traffic to the resume website - whether it's audio only or some or combination of presentations - in order for it to market you.
~ While these technologies are still emerging, they can be used successfully by job seekers who are in IT fields, have multimedia components to their credentials, or who desire to stand out in a crowded labor market.

I recommend to most of my clients who ask that they consider a more complete web resume than one that relies solely on audio. For example, at ExecutiveResumeRescue.com, we offer an online flash resume which is extremely stylish. Such documents are more extensive than an audio or video resume alone and can often include one or both of these presentation modalities.

With that said though, I'd also like to point out that if your voice is an important part of your occupation, then having an audio resume might be well worth the minimal investment, so long as you use it wisely.

What about you, Irene - what are your thoughts about this type of service? What attracts you to it?

Cheryl