JIST Cards

We are talking here about the best ways to search for and land a job. Well, there is a modest tool that can get you what you want in less than 30 seconds. Do you want to know about it? It is called the JIST Card!

By description, this is a 3 inch x 5 inch card, where you can write the most vital information that explains what a 'valuable human resource' you could be for any organization. The card would contain information in the following format:

  • Name
  • Contact number and email; you can also give your web domain (if you have one) for further reference
  • Position you are applying for / objective of your career
  • Skills and experience ? either in short and crisp bullet points or in one paragraph not larger that 7 lines
  • Summation - one line describing you as a professional

How to use it

The best way to use it is by giving it to anyone whom you find that would and could help you land a job. These people could be your relatives, your friends, your peers, ex-colleagues, prospective employers (CEOs, HR Managers, In-Company Recruiters, or just an executive). The more people you give the better chances you would have that the right person would see it.

This is, in other words, another type of networking ? 'cold networking' where in order to score, you need to present yourself correctly and fast. This JIST Card acts as a medium of introduction and presentation rolled into one. The person whom you give it can scan through it in about 5-10 seconds and learn at a glance all that there is to learn about you.

Often the JIST card intrigues the person well enough to want to speak with or interview their owner ? and many got their interview and their jobs this way.

In order to make these JIST cards optimally effective, you will need to employ the following methods:

  • Have it typed/printed in a reader-friendly font ? use Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Do not cram it with information; put there only what is the utmost vital information.
  • Use colored (only pastel ? extremely light green, blue, pink, violet, yellow, etc) cards if you can ? these will stand out wherever they would be kept and attract the attention of the person to read it.
  • Have the last sentence (the summation) a punch line ? which would compel a person get back to you.
  • Try the cards out on your friends and get their feedback before you circulate it; be extremely painstaking about this.
  • Have the cards drawn up in a three or four different ways; experiment with the arrangement of the matter on the card, wording, colors, etc. Variety would help you crystallize and present the matter better.

Now that you have your cards ready, let us see where and how you can make the best use of them. Besides the fact that you can offer them to all the people you come in contact with - just the way you would give a business card, you could also:

  • have them attached to your CV or cover letter when you send your application for a job
  • have them attached to follow-up and/or thank you notes after the interview took place
  • post them online with active links to your 'contact' and website (if you have one)
  • have them attached through a link in your emails
  • have them attached to the newsletter you send during seasonal festivities (or in the greeting cards ? use them as you would use a business card)

The Telephone Is a Great Tool For Job Search

The telephone is indeed one great way to make a 'cold call' and land you some great leads ? if not a call for an interview. The point here is how you do it. This method is actually less intimidating than the direct walk-in approach; it also allows you to refer to notes ? if you feel a little nervous (which is very common and expected initially) ? and hence help come across better.

These notes could be your JIST card or just a plain paper where you have bulleted you best points, such as qualifications, experience, best skills, best achievements, etc.

There is a different protocol that you need to use when you are on the phone than that when you talk in person. The following tips would be helpful:

  • Talk to the right person: Find out who is the relevant person to talk to and ask to be connected to that person; do not blurt out that you are looking for an interview/opening to anybody who lifts the phone ? often they will say, that they were not the right people and that you should speak to someone else. That would make you feel foolish; not to mention that you will have to repeat all that you had to say.
  • Be assertive and polite at the same time: When you are connected to the right person, introduce yourself by your name first, and then within 30 seconds you should finish what you have to say. Timing is very important, as the person would have a very short attention span to something like a self-sale. That 30 seconds that the person would give you, should be enough to make an impression so the conversation would move forward in a positive direction.
  • Close the sale: If you find you got the person's attention, request an appointment for an interview. Ensure that you get a date and a next step of action concretely finalized. This could be:
    • calling the person back for an appointment (find out the date and time when you should to this), or
    • whether you should revert at another time (again find out when ? date and time to get in touch again) on this topic, or
    • you should get in touch with another person (ask the name, whether you could inform them that you were referred to them, and best time to call on them) and lastly,
    • if you got an interview ? the date, time and venue