Leaving the security of an online education for a full-time career can be a daunting task, especially in today’s changing landscape. It’s a vapid approach to attempt to apply solely to online postings without a comprehensive strategy and an overwhelming time commitment.
Jay A. Block, in his book titled 5 Steps to Rapid Employment, helps to mitigate the conundrum of too many people applying for the same job at the same time.
[b[The New Era Key: Multiple Sources of Income
Accessing multiple streams of income is the new impetus for staying employed when jobs typically change hands every two or so years. Block (2014) suggests the entrepreneurial route as one source of income. Other sources include the taking up of more than one part-time/full-time jobs, working evenings, and weekends. Taking up schooling while working is another wise strategy for ensuring employability over time. Securing multiple streams of income is a strategy especially recommended to foster security of income for a family unit.
Adding a Reference Portfolio to the Resume
The traditional resume lacks the clout to stand out in the vast sea of resume submissions. An emerging trend is to include a reference portfolio that contains direct quotes from people who have ample praise to speak about your employability. Block (2014) recommends that you type up the quotes yourself and have people sign off on them. With four or six testimonials dedicated to a single page, you can attach this document to the end of your resume. Such an approach adds ample credibility to your credentials.
Preparing the Elevator Pitch
In creating a 20 second elevator pitch that you could include on your resume, you want to ask yourself what would a performance review for that position measure, and then put that feature on your resume (Block, 2014). Your elevator pitch should articulate what core strengths you have that not only indicate how you will create results but also outline what differentiates you from the competition (Block, 2014).
Block highlights typical results messaging for your elevator pitch for industries such as teaching and sales. For example for a teacher, part of the elevator pitch is the aim “to significantly enhance the educational experience leading to an enriched and rewarding life for all students” (p. 84). Following such a claim, Block (2014) urges you to identify six to eight core strengths that you would possibly find in a hypothetical book titled “The Eight Core Strengths for A Career in Such-and-Such Field”. One you have the strengths established, you should go on to delineate what sets you apart from the competition. For example a teacher might have a master’s degree in library sciences, which differentiates this individual from teachers without this specialization (Block, 2014).
The 20 second elevator pitch should be at the top of your resume, showcased immediately under the name and address fields (Block, 2014).
Committing 50 Hours Plus A Week to Job Search
In an effort to teach his readership how to swiftly land an employment position, Jay Block (2014) stresses how a job search campaign should take a minimum of 60 hours per week. For those job seekers who are currently employed, Block (2014) exhorts that a minimum of ten hours is required. After each week, an assessment of the time allotted, tasks accomplished, and goals met needs to be undertaken (Block, 2014). Block (2014) allocated a weekly schedule of nine or more hours on job campaign per day, with the exception of Sunday (designated with four hours) and Saturday (designated as a day off).
Choosing Multiple Strategies for Job Searching
In order to establish a schedule of 60 hours plus per week on job campaign, Block (2014) underlines how important it is to break the time into various chunks, each one denoting a particular task. He recommends 12 tasks from which the reader can choose approximately four to six that best fits with his or her personality, preferences, and lifestyle.
The 12 tasks include the following: (1) networking, either through social media, job clubs, personal contacts, or via door knocking at actual companies; (2) target marketing through listing 50 to a 100 firms you are interested in, researching the name of the hiring manager, and sending by overnight mail a hard copy of your cover resume, cover letter, and reference portfolio; (3) seeking out head hunters to help facilitate your job search; (4) applying to internet posts; (5) looking at classified ads for either direct response or for inspiration; (6) going to governmental career centers for access to resources; (7) applying for federal jobs; (8) seeking out blogs with job listings; (9) accessing career or alumni services at your university; (10) attending job fairs; (11) volunteering to make contacts; and (12) engaging in creative self- marketing such as buying a billboard ad to post your job request.
Prep for the Interview
When engaged in an interview, try to answer the questions asked as quickly as possible, following each one up with your own completely different and unrelated subject matter that better highlights your skill-set. Come prepared in advance with “stories, examples, and case studies to offer evidence that you are well qualified for the job”. Prepare a number of work-related stories, along with the challenges you had to overcome on the route to each of your victories, and rehearse. Videotaping your interview responses is a viable means for rehearsal practice. (Block, 2014)
Creating an Employment Proposal
Block states that “an employment proposal is a proactive, formal, written document submitted to a prospective employer offering your services and outlining a proposed employment arrangement” (p. 197). If the interview seemed successful at all, you likely wouldn’t require an employment proposal. However, if there was some question as to whether your candidacy would be considered, if there was a delay, or if there was a job not yet created that you would like to fill, then an employment proposal might be the ideal backup plan (Block, 2014). The employment proposal could, for example, contain a recommended probationary period in which you aim to fulfill several tasks, while working at a potentially reduced salary level (Block, 2014). It could be written like a letter with an introduction followed by the title “Proposal” and an overlay of the terms (Block, 2014).
Block, Jay A. (2014) 5 Steps to Rapid Employment: The Job You Want at the Pay You Deserve. McGraw-Hill Education.