You’ve researched your dream job. You’ve acquired the skills to get the job done. You’ve written the ideal resumé.
But now you’re at a BBQ and an old family friend mentions a potential opening at their company which you would be perfect for, but your perfectly crafted resumé is sitting at home in your printer.
Networking is a crucial part of landing your dream job, but meeting and building contacts happens everywhere and anywhere, and usually when you’re caught without your job seeker’s survival kit. Carrying around your full resumé 24/7 is unrealistic and, in many cases, handing it over to contacts would be inappropriate.
So what’s the alternative?
A pocket resumé.
The pocket resumé is a business card-sized resumé that highlights your past work experience and essential skills so that employers and recruiters can identify your area of expertise in an instant—it’s not supposed to contain every last bit of information that your resumé does in microscopic 4pt font.
The pocket resumé gives contacts a concise synopsis of your talents and experience, so that they have a crystal clear picture of just who you are and what you can do.
Your pocket resumé would read a lot like this and would include your contact information and links to your website (if applicable), or more appropriately, your online CV. Recruiters and employers are always looking for team members who are creative and dynamic, and showing that you are on the cutting edge of the job search market is sure to leave an impression.
The key to developing a good pocket resumé is editing
Your pocket resumé should not tell your life story (but, then again, your full resumé shouldn’t do that either!) so take a good hard look at your resumé to see what is redundant and non-essential.
Break it down to the bare bones and summarize who you are: a sports journalist who specializes in varsity level coverage; an IT tech who’s handled several large accounts in the financial sector; an inexpensive aesthetician who comes to you. A brief, concise description that sets out exactly who you are, and what makes you different from competitors is sure to have an impact on employers, if for nothing else, your innovative approach.
Pocket resumés can be one, two or three-sided, and include graphics and photos, which are useful for sales and recognition based work, such as actors, artists or designers. You can create your pocket resumé online starting from around $42 for 500 cards, but Avery offers a template that you can use to print at home.
So go forth and network with the confidence of being well-prepared in all situations; you never know who you’ll meet in the check-out line.