There’s an old adage in communication: “Tell the audience what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, and then tell them what you told them.” In other words, preview, present, and review. The objective of this communication strategy is to make sure your message gets across. While saying something five times may seem redundant to you, you can be sure that it will stick in the mind of your listener.
The Preview: Your Resume
During your job search, your resume serves as the preview of who you are as an employee and what you have to offer a company. Your resume should include a summary of your accomplishments and a branding statement that sets you apart. Regardless of the specific focus of your resume, you want to be sure that you’re presenting the same image at other times during your job search as well.
The Presentation: Your Interview
An effective resume induces an employer to call you in for an interview. It can be helpful to review the resume you submitted to an employer prior to your face-to-face meeting or phone call with them. This way, the information you’ve already presented will be fresh in your mind. You can use the information summarized on your resume to relate to specific qualifications for the job and to discuss your previous accomplishments in more detail. However, you don’t want to just repeat the existing summary on your resume—the employer is interviewing you because he wants to know more.
The Review: Your Thank You Note
After meeting with or talking by telephone to an employer, a professional thank you note can serve to remind the employer of why you’re a particularly outstanding candidate. You want to use language consistent with that of your resume and the accomplishments you discussed during your interview. You may choose to actually include your branding statement at the top of the letter, or you can incorporate the language from the statement throughout the body of the note. Usually, the interviewer will have spoken with multiple other candidates by the time he receives your thank you letter, so the letter serves to remind him of your resume and interview conversation.
Your online presence
One final consideration is whether any information you have online, such as a LinkedIn profile, is consistent with the information presented throughout your job search. An employer may look you up online during the “preview” stage, before he ever meets you, or he might look you up in the “review” stage when he’s trying to decide between several candidates. Since you don’t have control over this part of your job search, it’s important that your message be consistent throughout all the phases of finding your new job.
Remember: preview, present, and review. Presenting a consistent message will help you stick out in the minds of employers who meet you!