Whether you are happily employed, unhappily working, or out-on-the-market ready for an exciting engagement, smart job search isn’t a matter of ready, set, go anymore.
Since the first of the year, I have had more than a handful of inquiries that included comments along the lines of “I just need to get a resume ‘thrown together,’ I don’t need a cover letter, and I’m not going to worry about using LinkedIn, that doesn’t work anyway…” These are from accomplished, senior-level folks (both gainfully employed and a few who have been looking for some time). Big mistake. Big. Huge.
Without preaching, suffice it to say that a well-developed, concise, highly targeted, accomplishment-rich, branded resume is the cornerstone of successful career management and job search. An equally well-written, laser-focused cover letter *can* be the portal for introduction when *your* contact passes along your resume to the decision maker (YOUR contact may know exactly what you are proposing/wanting–but will THEIR critical contact inherently know your value proposition? how you can immediately contribute?). And anyone who dismisses the incredible networking power of LinkedIn today in passive or active job search truly is going to miss the boat on so many opportunities for engagement, visibility, thought leadership, and connection.
Whether you’ve just learned you’ll be idled in a week, a month, or the end of Q2… or you are already out there on the market… or you are thinking of exploring new opportunities in 2013, please-please take a few extra weeks to properly build the right tools to advance your candidacy. Resume+letter+LI are the foundational documents in your career toolkit–and they must be exceptional and 100% authentically you to do the job for you!