AFPAAA - So You're Looking For Another Job ...
B. Get Ready, ...

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5. Your Job Search Campaign 

Before You Start 

Now that you have done the financial analysis, you are almost ready to start your campaign. But, before you start planning an airdrop of your resume, you need to step back and look a the product you will be marketing -- you. 

In this section, take a good hard look at yourself, your skills, your desires, and your background. After all, you are selling yourself; you'd better know your product and all of its advantages. After this exercise, you'll put yourself down on paper in a way that is most appealing to prospective buyers, and compatible with most data entry systems, too. 

When you start writing, remember this. We are all writers or we would not be in the business we are. However, writing a good, selling resume is really an art form, more like writing an advertisement that an news release or backgrounder. Here are a few general hints I've picked up that work. 

As an old friend said when I was trying to sell an idea in the Pentagon, "You've gotta put your best apples on the top of the basket". Don't clutter the resume with detail, give 'em the best things you've done. 

Forget what you have read about leading with an Objective. A Career Objective in your resume will cut you out of more jobs than it will get you. Consider this, the first person who is likely to see your resume is a low-pay clerk who is trying to screen people out. Anything in your resume that helps her/him do that will hurt you, unless your Objective exactly matches what they are looking for. 

Think soundbite. After your name, address and phone/fax/e-mail, give them a crisp two or three sentence word picture of the wonderful asset you are. You have five seconds, or three inches of paper, to get and keep their attention ... make it count! 

Think news story. Who? Name, address, contact info. What? Summary of you, followed by Special Skills and Accomplishments. Where/When? Quick list of work history, including dates and job titles. 

Save education for last. Forget hobbies, family, interests, and the other things that the 1970's books tell you. Save them for the interview. 

With that, go on to the next section, and get to know yourself. 


People have many different ideas about what is most important in a job. First, look over the list below - print it out or draw a similar copy - and check the column which best describes your opinion about each item. 

Then look over your list. In the last column, prioritize each item from 1 (high priority) to 16 (low priority). 
A high salary 0 0 0 0 0
Enjoy kind of work 0 0 0 0 0
Plenty of vacation 0 0 0 0
A chance to help other people 0 0 0 0 0
Regular working hours 0 0 0 0 0
A chance to be promoted 0 0 0 0 0
Job security 0 0 0 0 0
Job duties spelled out clearly 0 0 0 0 0
Friendly co-workers 0 0 0 0 0
Pleasant surroundings 0 0 0 0 0
A good boss 0 0 0 0 0
A chance to supervise others 0 0 0 0 0
Good health insurance/benefits 0 0 0 0 0
A chance to continue education 0 0 0 0 0
A variety of responsibilities 0 0 0 0 0
A chance to be creative 0 0 0 0 0
Finally, would you say you have a clear idea of what's important to you? Why/why not? 



Generally speaking, all skills divide into six clusters or families. To see which ones you are attracted to, try this exercise: 

Below is an aerial view of a room in which a party is taking place. At this party, people with the same or similar interests have all gathered in the same area of the room as described below: 

Group A
People who have athletic or mechanical ability; who prefer to work with objects, machines, tolls, plants, animals, or to be outdoors.
Group D
People who like to observe, learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate or solve problems.
Group B
People who like to work with data; who have clerical or numerical ability; who carry things out in detail, or follow through on other's instructions.
Group E
People who have artistic, innovative or intuitional abilities, and who like to work in unstructured situations using their imagination or creativity.
Group C
People who like to work with people -- influencing, persuading; or who like to perform, or lead or manage for organizational goals or for economic gain.
Group F
People who like to work with people -- to inform, enlighten, help, train, devlop; or cure them or are skilled with words.
1. Which area of the room would you instinctively be drawn to the group of people you would most enjoy being with for the longest time? (Put aside any question of shyness or whether you would have to talk with them.) Write the letter for that area on your note pad. 

2. After fifteen minutes, everyone in the area you have chosen leaves for another party across town, except you. Of the groups that still remain, which area or group would you be drawn to the most the people you would most enjoy being with for the longest time? Write the letter for that area on your note pad. 

3. After fifteen minutes, this group, too, leaves for another party, except you. Of the areas and groups which remain now, which one would you most enjoy being with for the longest time? Write the letter for that area on your note pad. 

4. Now, underline the skills in each area that you like best. The underlined skills in the group(s) you have selected will indicate both the key skill sets you have, enjoy using and will probably want to "sell" to prospective employers. 



Answer the following questions about your current or last job: 

  1. What was my job title? 
  2. What were my job duties? 
  3. Why was I hired for the job? 
  4. What did I like about the job? 
  5. What did I dislike about the job? 
  6. What part of the job did I do best? Why? 
  7. What part of the job did I do least well? Why? 
  8. What experience did I gain that I can apply to another job? 
  9. What special skills or talents did I develop on the job? 
  10. How long did I work on the job? 
  11. What references can I obtain, if needed? 
  12. What personality factors helped make me successful on the job? 

Do you use your age as an excuse for: 

  • Why you haven't 
  • Why you don't 
  • Why you can't, or 
  • Why you won't? 
Cosider this: 
  • Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of Great Britain at age 81. 
  • Mozart composed his first symphony at age 8. 
  • Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York at age 88. 
  • Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone at age 29. 
Still think you are too old 
-- or too young -- 
to achieve greatness? 

There are organizations that still do discriminate despite literally thousands of State, Federal and local laws and regulations. Even some of those employers who routinely espouse "EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT" practice discrimination. 

The fact of the matter is, you cannot prevent subtle discrimination. But, would you want to work for an organization that ignores your skills and qualifications simply because you are a certain age ... or color ... or faith ... or because you were born in another geographic area? 

When you are confronted with these situations, or feel that you may be, concentrate on selling yourself. Sell what you have to offer and don't worry about that which you cannot change. 

Also, keep in mind that many employers value the maturity, experience, and skill level that only time can develop and age can provide. 

INDEXBACK NEXT   6. Preparing Your  Resume

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