Job Search Tools: What Each Does and When to Use Them

What’s the difference between a Marketing Plan, Professional Spotlight©, Branding Slide, Business Card, and Resume?

As someone who works with job seekers in my classes and as clients, I often hear this question. So, I’ve whipped up quick descriptions for each and some nifty usage ideas to help you navigate this jungle of job search tools.

Marketing Plan: Always start here! If you’ve already begun your search, pause it and create this document first.  It’s your self-discovery guide that will direct your job search. It should define your positioning statement, personal attributes, skills, must-haves and deal-breakers, identify target companies, and outline networking goals.

When to use it: Review before every networking event, lunch, coffee, or Zoom meeting. Share it with the network contacts offering help in your job search.

Professional Spotlight©: Your one-page marketing masterpiece. Clear, concise content with an eye-catching design. The goal is to stand out among the crowd and get them interested in talking to you.

When to use it: Hand it out at networking events, post it on LinkedIn, send it before/after interviews, use it as a cover letter, or attach it to ATS applications.

Brand Slide: A simplified version of the Professional Spotlight©. Light design, reduced content for those less design-savvy.

When to use it: Same as Professional Spotlight©.

Business Card: Yep, it sounds straightforward. But some tend to forget that it’s another piece of your personal brand. Ensure it’s well-designed, informative, and in line with all your other documents.

When to use it: Use it selectively after making a connection during networking. Commit to reaching out afterward.

Resume: You know what it is and when to use it. 😊

The common thread in all these tools is your personal brand, the essence of your professional identity. When done right, they reflect a cohesive image of who you are, what you offer, and what makes you stand out in the competitive job market.

This is just a glimpse into the world of these crucial job search documents. If you’re curious to dive deeper into them, let’s chat. If you’re just starting out your job search, feeling overwhelmed, or just seem to be stuck in a rut, it might be time to consider career coaching – I’m just a message away!