What are you Job Search tools?

Career-Resumes writes resumes.  That’s obvious.  So you got your resume, and it’s great!  What are the rest of your job search tools?  Here are some that I try and keep on-hand:

Your resume is the industry standard document which everyone knows and accepts.    You may make progress in your job search and networking without one, but there will eventually come a time when someone asks for your resume.

Business cards are what professionals share between themselves, isn’t it?  It isn’t common to go to a business networking function and see a bunch of employed professionals passing out resumes, but it is common to see them passing out business cards.  Aren’t you a professional?  Yes, you are… and you should have business cards.  I get mine from VistaPrint, but you can get yours from a ton of different places.

A professional email address. If you can’t spare the $10/year to get your own domain name, and have an email address like me@myname.com, you should make sure you have an email address that looks professional.  Something like Jason@gmail.com is much better than basketball77@gmail.com.  When

A pen. If you are in a job interview, or at a networking event, you shouldn’t have to ask someone else for a pen to write down an email address, phone number, date for an appointment, etc.  You should be prepared with your own pen.  You can ask, of course, and you should if you don’t have one, but having your own tools (pen, in this case) makes it look like you are there on-purpose.

A professional-looking binder that zips. Something you can put documents in, keep a notepad for notes, or just keep your miscellanous stuff.  Walking around a room with a bunch of loose papers just doesn’t look good… keep it all nice and neat.

Gum (or some kind of bad-breath-killer). I like to keep gum on hand (which is hard when my kids figure out where my stash is), but once saw a professional speaker pull out a listerine strip.  You can also get just minty hard candies… anything to help keep bad breath under control. If it’s gum, I usually spit it out before the event (job interview, informational interview, networking event, etc.)

These are some of my tools… what are yours?


  1. Rita Ashley on October 28, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Make sure that business card has a blank back side so folks can make notes about you and what they promised.

    And a truly useful “Tool” is a job search buddy. Connect with someone who is looking for a similar but not the same job for leads sharing, motivation and support. Keep in touch and share your ups, downs and commical messups.
    A job search buddy may be able to keep you from hitting the “wall.”
    The Job Coach

  2. Sharon Barker on October 29, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I am a novice at using email to send my resume to a prospective employers. I would like to know how I can tell if an employers has received by email? If there is a phone number listed, can I call the number and see if they received it or should I just assume they have

  3. Jason Alba on October 30, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Rita, great points. Another business card tip is to not get the glossy cover, as that might prevent people from making notes on your card. And the job search buddy… this is critical!

    Sharon, I’m not a coach, but in my experience I would caution you away from using the “read receipt” that is somewhat common on email systems… you don’t mention it but I want to make sure I speak to that point :) Regarding following up, I would definitely follow-up, whether it’s a phone call or an email… hopefully you can network your way into that company so you can ask an insider if they can see if it was received… otherwise, when you follow-up, think of it as an opportunity to put your brand and name in front of them one more time.

    Jason Alba
    CEO – JibberJobber.com

  4. […] it is a critical tool for your job search.  It’s not the only tool, but it’s a critical tool.  In his article, Peter Weddle says: Your resume is a ticket to […]

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