The purpose of the Enrollment section is to prepare you for a successful search.
In this section, we cover the basic strategies of time and contact management.

These are the subjects that you need to address to function effectively in your job search.  It does not matter if this is your first job search out of school or if you’ve been working for 20 years; you are beginning a new process and that requires some infrastructure.  You may no longer have the benefit of company resources and it can be easy to overlook the simple details as you begin your job search.

By taking care of these basics now, you allow yourself to move forward with confidence and position yourself to maximize meetings and interviews.  Completing this section alone has the potential to take months off the time it takes to find a job.

Establish Your Primary Contact Information
It is important to be clear and consistent with your contact information.

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to identify and contact you.  Decide what you want to be called and where you can be contacted.

  • If you have a name and a nickname, decide how you want to present yourself.  Be consistent in all of your communications.  For example, if your name is James and you go by Jim, decide if you want to go by either James or Jim.  There is no right answer, but be consistent in all of your signatures, communications, letters, notes, resumes, etc.
  • Choose one phone number and version of your name to use on all documents.
  • As you consider whether to use your home phone number or cell phone, consider connection issues and availability throughout the day.
To Do:

Establish your primary contact information- choose the form of your name and the phone number to use on all communications moving forward.

Setting Up Your Voicemail

First impressions are important, and your voicemail greeting may be the first time a contact or potential employer hears your voice.  Your greeting can influence the kind of message a caller may leave.  Don’t give them a reason not to leave a message.

Listen to your home phone and cell phone message and re-record them if necessary using the Voicemail Scripts, Item 1, in the back of the Career Handler© Workbook.

What To Do:
  • Make the greeting simple and professional (try using one of the scripts in the Tool Kit)
  • Project a positive attitude in your tone of voice
  • Listen to your greeting and re-record it until you are satisfied 
What NOT To Do:
  • Forget to include your name
  • Say too much or talk too fast
  • Sound monotone or in a bad mood
  • Reference a side business or consulting practice
  • Have your kids record the message
To Do:

Set up your voicemail using the Voicemail Scripts, Item 1, in the Tool Kit page.

Your Email Address

Remember, first impressions are critical, so your email address should be personal and professional.  This is not the time to be creative.  Avoid identifiers that represent a personal interest or hobby.  Keep it simple and try to use your name.  If your name is taken try:

  • Adding your middle initial
  • Adding a period between your first and last name
  • Adding an underscore (_) between your first and last name
  • Avoid adding years or numbers in your email

When choosing an email provider, once again, keep it simple.  Set up an account with one of the many free email services or use your existing home internet provider.

TIP

Once you have set up your new email address, send a test message to someone you know.  Ask them if your full name appears in the column marked “From.”  If not, edit that setting so that your full name is identified.

Creating an Email Signature

An email signature is a short identifier that appears at the end of an email and provides the recipient with the senders contact information.  Email signatures make it easy for recipients to respond to you, so be sure to include a signature on all outgoing job search related emails, even replies.

When creating your email signature make sure you:

  • Keep it professional
  • Keep it short and concise
  • Don’t add quotes, sayings, or the type of job you are looking for
Email Programs

Most email programs make it easy to create a custom signature.  Below is a list of where you can find the signature feature in the most popular email clients.  This information is subject to change, so use the “Help” feature and search for directions on setting up your email signature.

Microsoft Outlook

From the top navigation menu click Tools, then select Options.  The Options dialog box displays.  Click the Signature button to create your signature.

Gmail

Follow the Settings link in Gmail’s top right navigation menu.  Select General and scroll down to the Signature field and type the desired signature into the Text field.

Yahoo Mail

Select Options, near the top right corner of the Yahoo mail screen.  Go to the Signature category.  Be sure that Show signature on all outgoing messages is selected and enter your signature.

Hotmail

Click Options in the top right-hand corner of the Hotmail window.  Locate the Customize Your Mail menu and click Personal Email Signature.  Use the editor interface to create your signature.

To Do:
⬜ Create an email signature.
Use A Calendar

What is scheduled on the calendar is what gets done!  Therefore, we encourage the use of a calendar for all of your activities. 

It should be mobile and easy to access at a moment’s notice. The Week At-A-Glance planner lives up to its name allowing you to quickly scan your week for openings.

If you currently use a digital calendar efficiently, you may choose to continue using it instead of purchasing a new one.

The important thing is to use a calendar to schedule all of your activities!  Schedule everything.  This includes both personal and professional activities because these will most likely overlap during the course of your daily job search.

Getting serious about scheduling all of your activities on your calendar greatly increases your productivity and ultimately your chances for success.  In section 3, we go into greater detail about scheduling your time and the specific items that should be on your calendar.

Helpful Tips
  • Keep your calendar near you and easily accessible at all times.
  • Use a pencil so you can easily erase and move appointments.
  • Do not use a notepad for future appointments; always write appointments in your planner.
  • Keep a running To-Do List
To Do:
⬜ Commit to using your calendar to schedule all of your daily activities.
Your Job Search Directory
It is important as you begin your search to maintain a single place on your computer to store all the files related to the search.

As you create and receive large amounts of information, maintaining a simple filing system makes it easier to manage and retrieve items.  Once you have created a folder, establish a basic directory structure.  There is no one correct way to establish it.  Organize it so that it makes sense to you.  Just be sure that you do it, because it allows you to save information in one central location.

Example:

  • Resume
  • Cover letters
  • Target company research

Move, consolidate, and organize all of your files into this one directory.

Build Your Contact List
This is the first task in our system that requires some serious work.

Don’t get nervous - building your contact list is the most important step in the whole process and it is easy to do. 

This activity is about defining who you already know.  This group is referred to as your Circle of Influence or COI.  Defining and growing your COI is critically important because 75-80% of all hires come from a connection in your Circle of Influence.

Plan to spend a minimum of three to four hours working on the development of your contact list.  You may want to do this in different sessions to avoid burn out.  Set a goal of getting at least 250 names; however, don’t stop once you hit 250…keep going until you are completely tapped out. 

You never know, it could be that last name on the list that results in your next job!

Tool Kit Item:

A Memory Jogger to help you generate more names for your contact list greeting is included as Item 2 in the Career Handler© Tool Kit.

Helpful Tip

As you assemble your list don’t worry whether the names on the list can help you in your job search.  Just collect the names.  Later in the process, you will select names based on the needs of your job search. Use the Memory Jogger, Item 2, in the Tool Kit and the sources below to build your contact list:

Professional Contacts
  • Business address book
  • Business email inbox and outbox for the last 18 months
  • Association lists
  • Recent tradeshow or conference attendee listings
  • LinkedIn and other business social network connections
Personal Contacts
  • Christmas card lists
  • Personal and cell phone address books
  • Personal email inbox and address book online
  • Wedding, anniversary, friends of parents, party invitation lists
  • Facebook friends

The Contact Tracking Log

Conducting a job search where contacts reside in multiple places creates a lot of confusion and disorganization.  Even the most organized people find it challenging to keep track of all of the contacts in their network during a job search.  Having a system to manage your people reduces the stress level and provides an added level of confidence during your search.

We created the Contact Tracking Log to help you manage your contacts. Use it to:

  • Consolidate all of your personal and business contacts into one place
  • Categorize each contact as a General Contact, Insider, or Decision Maker
  • Check-off the people you have contacted and are currently in play by placing the date of your initial contact
  • Add new contacts as you network in your job search
Tool Kit Item:

The Contact Tracking Log is Item 3 in the Career Handler© Tool Kit.

Use the Contact Tracking Log as your master contact list.

Enter all the names you collect from your various lists into the Contact Tracking Log.  As you meet new people, add them to the Contact Tracking Log.

Select relevant people to contact based on the needs of your job search.  Once you have decided to contact a person, fill out a Contact Sheet for them and put them into play. We go into greater detail about this process when we cover the Contact Sheet.

Consolidate All Contacts into Contract Tracking Log

Enter as much information as you have available for each contact including:

  • name
  • title
  • company
  • phone
  • email

If you don’t have all the information on each person, don’t be concerned, do your best to collect what you have available.  Don’t do any detailed research yet or worry about entering the type of contact.  We will do this later in the process when you begin to reach out to your contacts.

To Do:

⬜ Make 10 blank copies of the Contact Tracking Log (Item 3 in the Tool Kit in the back of the Career Handler Workbook).

⬜ Generate a minimum of 250 names and write them on the Contact Tracking Log. Plan to spend about 3-4 hours on this task.

Now add those names to your list!

Helpful Tips:

Always think about building relationships and meeting new people. 

Referrals can and will be a key part of your job search success.  Always ask for 2-3 referrals at each meeting.

The Contact Sheet

We created the Contact Sheet to capture more detailed information about the people from your Contact Tracking Log, as well as the people that you meet during your job search.  Create a Contact Sheet for each person that requires some form of follow-up relating to your search.

Not every person you meet requires a contact sheet.  Only create a contact sheet for people you plan to follow up with.

Be sure to include:

  • Contact information
  • Notes about the contact that can help build the relationship
  • Schedule follow-up communications and actions

Once you have completed a Contact Sheet, place it in the 3-ring binder in the section tab for the day you are scheduled to follow-up.

Tool Kit Item:

The Contact Sheet is Item 4 in the Career Handler© Tool Kit.

To Do:
⬜ Make 50 blank copies of the Contact Sheet.
Now It's Time To Put All These Resources Together

Your 3-ring binder is primarily used to manage your contacts.  It provides a simple way to organize your search documents and daily activity.  It is now time to put to use the items that you have purchased.

Follow these steps to put together your binder.  Open the binder and place the items in the 3 rings from top to bottom.

  • Sheet Protectors - In these you will keep your resume, marketing plan, blank Contact Sheets and Contact Tracking logs, “elevator pitch”, and success stories
  • Completed Contact Tracking Logs for reference
  • 1-31 Tabs
Your Checklist:
Complete this list of action items before moving on to the next section

Establish your primary contact information- choose the form of your name and the phone number to use on all communications moving forward.

Set up your voicemail using the Voicemail Scripts, Item 1, in the Tool Kit in the back of the Career Handler© Workbook.

Establish your email address if necessary.

Create your email signature.

Commit to using your calendar to schedule all of your daily activities.

Create a Job Search directory on your computer and organize your files.

Make 10 Copies of the Contact Tracking Log (Item 3 in the Tool Kit in the back of the Career Handler Workbook).

Generate a minimum of 250 names and write them on the Contact Tracking Log.  Use the Memory Jogger to help, Item 2, in the Career Handler© Tool Kit.

Make 50 copies of the Contact Sheet, Item 4, in the Career Handler© Tool Kit.

Put together your 3-ring binder.

Well Done! You Made It To The End
You may proceed to the next step once you have completed all of the steps above.
Advance To Section 3