But, does it have to be? What if we approach this process as we would write a book or a script? It would definitely make it more enjoyable, and would offer more value to the process.
The good news is, the easy part is already done. You have your starting storyline and protagonist-YOU! If you’re familiar with The Hero’s Journey (let’s face it, if you’ve seen any Disney movie, you are), you can rest assured that even if you’re going through downtime in your search, it won’t last forever. All heroes hit that downtime right before they get their big break.
Even the best storytellers have preparation to do. Take this down time in your job search to be productive and map out your story. You already have your beginning and you’re living Act II, so how do you see the ending? Make sure your ending is as detailed as possible, with your required salary, job position, and corporate culture. If you know there’s one particular employer that you want to be a part of- include that too.
Now that you have your ending, does your beginning line up with what your ending needs? As with most great stories, editing is where the most poignant writing comes from, so get your resume out and go back through it piece by piece. Review your end goal, your “hero’s beginning,” and look at your resume in comparison. Is anything listed on your resume that doesn’t directly support your ending, get rid of it, or maybe just edit it, creating targeted support. Change the language, strategically choose keywords and responsibilities that show you’re the right hero for the end goal.
With your hero’s beginning written down flawlessly, and your journey perfectly mapped out, it’s time to connect your beginning and end, and present your journey for others to read.Your LinkedIn profile is your best writer’s tool to show where you’re going. This is where the hero keeps their past, but plans for their journey. How you’re going to reach your goal should be seen on LinkedIn. Make sure your protagonist is best portrayed with the right headshot, biography, experience listed, and with the appropriate content shared. The connections you make on LinkedIn are all stepping stones toward your ending.
There is one final step in this writing process, “character analysis, or character profile,” and while it can be done at any stage of the process, it is imperative that it gets done. Writers will often develop their characters with flaws and character traits in mind, but in the journey of your job search, this is all about your strengths. You should consider all of your social media platforms your character profile. Even though social media is a personal platform, it’s no secret that potential employers use them to their advantage to get a preview into what type of character applicants are. Does your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter support the story your LinkedIn and Resume are telling?
To perform an in depth analysis on your protagonist, check to make sure the posts that are visible are respectful. It’s a good rule of thumb to stay away from controversial topics, but as passionate as you may be, if you share, make sure you remain respectful. Excessive colorful language doesn’t show you as being a professional, and remember pictures are how you will be seen, so those hilarious party pictures are best left in Vegas and off your character profile. While Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all rather relaxed platforms, LinkedIn is meant to be a professional platform and should remain free of personal beliefs, drama, and videos of your cat playing the keyboard.
Written by: Zaneta Padilla, Marketing Content Coordinator