The Infographic Resume Part II

Now reading Chapter 5, I have some catching up to do! Chapter 1 did a fine job of establishing "how we got to where we are today," and it's clear that job search changes have been fueled by the internet, of course.

Chapter 2, Your Online Portfolio, makes a case for how you should harness some of that internet power in your favour! Creating your online portfolio will "get you on someone's radar." Celebrities prove this all the time: they stay on our radar with antics and theatrics typical of celebrities. A job hunter's goal is also to get noticed, if for different reasons!

The book has excellent ideas for creating "work examples that clearly call out and QUANTIFY your experience and accomplishments that relate to the job you're applying for." (page 14) And that's the key to attraction-generating info - quantifying - and I'll add "or qualifying" - the accomplishments and experience you have. The info must be relevant as well, a fact that many self-written resumes tend to either forget or not consider (perhaps most people don't know how to make it relevant?).

The list of possible portfolio content includes a bio or summary, text and infographic resumes, testimonials, awards, special recognition, and samples of work. The samples could be flowcharts, phtos, metrics, presentations, Gantt chart, spreadsheets, reports or training that you created - relevant examples of what you have done and will do. And there are more ideas suggested; do check these out!

(I would add a reading list of favourite books, and of those books that perhaps shaped the work you do today.)

The author, Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa.net, suggests that you create your own website, and provides links to a few of these online portfolio-style websites. They are eye-catching and ultra professional.

Herein lies the challenge of today's job search, according to Ms. Morgan: you must think like you are a business and wear PR, marketing, graphic designer, and copywriter hats. "Your challenge is to think like the marketing department at a big corporation like Coke, Ford, or the New York Times." (page 15)

Yikes! That's a major statement and audacious undertaking.

Having served job hunters for several years now, I'll say with confidence that no, you don't need to go to this degree to land a job today. Superb foundational documents - resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn presence - are doing the trick for my clients. But I'll keep reading and reviewing the contents of this book ... perhaps I'll be persuaded?

Improve Your Odds of Landing the Job Offer

There are many ways to improve your odds: a better resume, a great elevator pitch, a knock-out cover letter ... but this one is about working the referral. According to Gerry Crispin of CareerXroad, referrals have a 1 in 5 chance of getting the job. This is a whopping 14 times more likely than a non-referred candidate. You must work those referrals!

To find referrals is not easy for those not connected, but there are ways to generate referrals. For example, let's say you love IKEA (or insert your fave employer here) but you don't think you know anyone who works there. You could use LinkedIn (I am assuming you're on LinkedIn as it's THE place to be if you're looking for a job or hungry to advance your career) to see if anyone you know knows someone who works there. If you have a 2-degree contact, or even 3-degree, you could work an introduction.

Now, you can't just say "hi" and expect a referral. The way to prepare for more success is to use LinkedIn to your advantage. Reply to questions posed, both professional and personal. And post good comments that give the reader insight into who you are, how you work, and your area of interest. I answer questions to do with career management, and in the past have replied to questions or offered my take on holistic health as well, as that's an interest I pursue with some enthusiasm. This ensures that when the potential referree looks at your profile, he or she will read good entries that build trust and a level of comfort in referring you.

Many companies have formal referral programs, where the person who refers a great candidate gets a bonus.It's one of those "win-win" situations.