If you want a makeover for your job search, you can create your own "makeover panel". In the world of entrepreneurship, this is frequently referred to as an Advisory Board.
As some of you reading this know, I sit on a panel with 4-5 colleagues and critique the job search strategies of a single job seeker once a month. The Democrat & Chronicle sends a reporter who covers our session. (This is a link to past stories.) Out of the 2,000 people a week who walk through the doors of RochesterWorks, we pick only one job seeker to "makeover".
Do you want to create your own? This is how to do it:
- Invite 3-5 people you respect and/or trust to provide you with advice on your search. These do not need to be career counselors, they simply need to be people with some common sense.
- You can invite them to your home or have them meet you in a coffee shop. Either way, feed them. They are doing you a huge favor and that is the least you can do.
- Set the expectations that this meeting will last just one hour. Either you will take notes or you can assign someone to take notes.
- You will remain almost silent. Do not get defensive. Listen closely.
- This can be fun for everyone if positioned as such. That is why food and drink are important. It keeps the meeting a bit lighter.
- Once the meeting is over, send thoughtful thank you LETTERS to each panelist explaining why you valued their feedback and advice. Hint: this is longer than a 2 sentence thank you note. Also promise that you will keep them updated on your progress.
You will want to provide them all with your resume and marketing plan in advance of the meeting so they have time to review those documents.
You may also want to have a specific question in mind or challenge you need help with. It is good to have some focus.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you are right, it is. And it may not be the best solution for everyone. However, each time you network, you are in essence asking for the individual's confirmation that your job search efforts are on track. You are asking for feedback and advice on their specific industry or occupation. The value of getting a panel together is that the ideas generated have fed off the discussion from other people's feedback.
Let me know if you try it and how it works.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.