Posted on

Why You Need Scripts In Your Job Search

why you need scripts in your job search

job search scripts guide

Have you ever chatted with a chatbot – the artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant that helps you find information on a website? You can select from pre-loaded answers to questions and it directs you to help pages or contact info for the company.

Whether you like them or not, these bots showcase a secret weapon for jobseekers or project-based professionals – pre-written scripts. 

Scripts: The Secret to Great Marketing

I’ve been a professional writer for the past fifteen years, and a big part of my corporate work was developing a few key pieces for sales and marketing teams. With each product or campaign launch, I received a request for the following items:

  • Project/Promotion Overview – This was the who, what, when, why, and where for the sales/marketing team to understand the audience and how the promo/project would work.
  • FAQs – Every product launch included a series of frequently asked questions. This was useful for not only the customer, but it also helped the team selling the product familiarize themselves with how a product could improve productivity or benefit a potential client.
  • Email, Social & Phone Scripts – This series of scripts helped the sales and marketing teams develop cohesive and clear communications about the new product, the press release, or whatever we were launching. When you have a script, it helps you start conversations quickly and keeps you on message.
  • Testimonials – Before we launched a product, we asked our best customers to test the product for us and give us feedback. This builds credibility and helps your team say “Look who else is getting similar results.”
  • Case Studies – As soon as we could, we released a case study on new functionality and how companies were getting results with our products. This is another credibility booster. The problem, solution, results method were often the deciding factor in a sale or project.

How Scripts Apply to Your Project or Job Search

Let’s take the product launch list and apply it to your job or project search. Here’s where scripts can help you stand out from the crowd and apply to more jobs or send out more project proposals.

Script No. 1: Your “What You Do” Statement

This is basically your elevator pitch. Use this formula to develop your overview script of what you do.

I help (who you help) with (XYZ problems) to (how you solve problems).

My what you do statement for jobseekers:

I help job seekers who need help formulating their accomplishments to polish their professional profiles – resumes, LinkedIn, cover letters, introduction letters, and thank you letter – so that they can put their best foot forward in their job search.

See how this is about you and not about me? This is an effective script because it shows how I can help solve YOUR problem. That’s what your target is looking for – how you can help. I have several of these already saved in a Word file for my different types of projects. You should too.

Script No. 2: Your Resume

Your resume is a living, breathing document that you should update at least once a month. But the reality is that most people wait until they need to find a new job, seek a new project, or are asked for it before they update it. And then, it’s a monumental project. 

I highly recommend you take a few minutes a month and review your current accomplishments and update them on your resume. That way, you’re ready when you need it.

Need help with your resume? Let’s chat.

It’s also a good idea to have different versions of your core resume, especially if you’re a project-based professional. I have a different resume for my book editing, job seeker writing, and marketing writing. Why? When I customize my resume, I get more responses and you will too!

Pro Tip: Recruiters and hiring managers can tell when you take the time to respond to their direct needs. Scripts help you do that. When you have good bones, you can customize the keywords and responsibilities to match your target job. If you aren’t customizing your resume/cover letter when applying for jobs or projects, then you may not be getting optimal results.

Script No. 3: Your Cover Letter

What’s the most neglected part of a job search? The cover letter! It’s neglected because it’s often seen as difficult to craft and I’d bargain most of us aren’t ever taught how to write an effective cover letter.

When I decided to start my own business, I wrote hundreds of cover letters for projects, part-time gigs, and remote positions. I realized very quickly that this was the secret to getting a response. When I matched my contributions to the potential hiring company, I almost always got an email back or some sort of response. I started tracking it and realized that my cover letters received a reply 60% of the time. That’s an excellent response rate in marketing terms.

Here’s a brief description of how to craft a winning cover letter:

Contact information is important. Don’t skip this part. Try to find a contact name. If you can’t find it, use “Dear Hiring Manager.” “To Whom It May Concern” is so impersonal.

Paragraph 1: Tell why you’re writing and specifically what position/opportunity you’re interested in and where you found the opportunity (this part is very effective in standing out).

Paragraph 2: Give your “what you do” statement as it relates to the position description. Be sure to use keywords from the job description. (This is where your contact will spend their first 3-5 seconds. Make it compelling, so the screener will forward your application!)

Paragraph 3-5: Relate your experience to their needs. Use numbers, technical expertise, and accomplishments to give a broad picture of why you match the companies needs. (This will be the part the hiring manager will highlight and revisit.)

Paragraph 6: Recap why you and this company should start a conversation. Tell the contact next steps and how to reach you (even if it’s in your header) because you want to make it easy for them to find you. (Make this short and sweet. Write it like you’re in a coffee line and you can’t wait to continue the conversation next week.)

Here’s a quick script:
“I’m interested in helping you achieve X, Y, Z, and would love to continue this conversation via telephone or Zoom. You can reach me at Phone and email.”

Paragraph 7: Thank the contact for their time and consideration. I believe this is a huge differentiator.

This is my closing for nearly every letter:
“Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

Be cordial, confident, and direct in your closing.

Script No. 4: Your LinkedIn Profile

Do you have one of these yet? If not, stop what you’re doing and go set it up. It’s free, and it’s considered a major tool in your professional job search. Some industries request the LinkedIn profile in lieu of a resume and cover letter.

I’ll write a more formal guide to LinkedIn soon, but this is your chance to be casual and confident in your work experience. Use personal pronouns. List accomplishments. Take skills test. Ask for recommendations. Make connections.

Some keys for LinkedIn success:

  • Use a professional photo. This is so important. Don’t include your dog or kids. Don’t crop yourself out of another photo. Find a photographer friend to take a photo for you. Pay for it because it’s worth it.
  • Use the 120 character headline to your advantage. You have two options – keyword it or make it compelling.My headline:

Pro freelance writer & editor specializing in developmental editing and jobseeker marketing

Another option:

Content Strategist | Remote Work Expert | Content Marketing Specialist | Email Specialist | Data Obsessed

I really like the second option for tech professionals or industries where software and technical skills are in high demand.

  • Make your summary rock. This is where you highlight your accomplishments and plug those keywords, but don’t just stuff it. Use them in a narrative style so that it looks like you took the time to write a brief bio. Highlight tangible accomplishments and use active voice.

I personally use my summary to describe the kinds of writing and editing I do:

Experienced freelance writer and developmental editor who specializes in polishing content to help clients meet their goals. Resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, bios, elevator pitches, bios, marketing scripts for email, video scripts, case studies, articles, thought leadership pieces, non-profit fundraising letters, annual reports, blogs, and other professional communications.

Ghostwriter and development editor services too. My work includes more than 30 books and courses.

  • Get a custom URL. I write dozens of resumes a month, and so many jobseekers are using the assigned LinkedIn address. You can easily customize it in three simple steps:
    • Make sure you’re logged in and click “Me” at the top.
    • Click View Profile > Edit Public Profile & URL.
    • Customize the link with your first and last name. If you have a common name, use your middle initial.

How Often Should You Update Your LinkedIn Profile?

I update my profile at least once a week. I’d add this to your weekly marketing checklist, especially if you’re actively seeking employment or projects. You need this tool in your arsenal more and more, so don’t neglect it. And be sure to network on the site several times a week. Like posts, make comments, and share about your work. These factors all increase your visibility to potential collaborators or employers.

Script No. 5: Your Letter of Introduction

As you have probably learned, it’s easier to get a job or project when you know someone. Networking is the number one way to get on someone’s radar when you’re looking for a new gig or career.

That’s why a letter of introduction is key to your job or project success. You need to be ready to send a greeting to a potential client or employer – even when there’s not a job posting.

Here are few tips on how to craft this script:

  1. Tell them how you got their contact info. Don’t be creepy!
    • “I saw your blog post on XYZ, and I had a few questions for you.”
    • “You and I have a mutual connection…”
    • “My colleague told me that you may have a position opening up, and I wanted to see who the hiring manager is…”
    • “You and I have similar services. I’d like to see about setting up a referral network.”
    • “I have a client looking for XYZ. I wanted to see what your expertise and pricing were on this part…”
  2. Explain what you’re looking to do in more detail (3-5 sentences).
  3. Give your contact info and close it out. 
    You can reach me at email and phone. Thank you for your time. I look forward to working together soon.
  4. Sign and proof.  

Where to Keep Your Scripts

Now that you have a list of scripts to create, keep them all in one place. I have a folder on my desktop AND in my iCloud Drive AND in my Google Drive, so that I can access these files from any device at any time. You never know when you’ll need to send a quick intro.

Questions?

If you need help with developing your scripts, I’m available. Contact me for a free quote today.