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Use a Pocket Resume to Get the Awesome Job You Want – Part 1

28 March 2010 Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz 3 Comments
Use a Pocket Resume to Get the Awesome Job You Want – Part 1

I wrote my Think Pocket Resume Mentality for a Better Resume and Pocket Resume: Who Would Have Thought articles about a year ago.  Since then I’ve given several presentations using the material and every time, job hunters tell me,

“I can put this to use.  This can make a real difference.”

So in this series, I’m writing a multi-step article on how to write yourself a pocket resume and get it trolling the waters (them’s saltwater fishing terms for you non-Miami folk) to get you back to work and fast.

Step 1- Taking Aim of Your Target

“Ready, Aim, Fire!”  Everyone knows the proper order…or do they.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people use the other approach “Ready, Fire, Aim.”  Heck, some people don’t even bother with the “Ready.”  They just “Fire” eyes closed and pray for a hit.  Good luck!

Getting the right information on your pocket resume is simple…assuming you know what you want.  Formatting and printing the card is easy too.  Again, assuming you know where you’re headed.

What I typically find when I’m talking to job hunters is they have dedicated little time, if any, to goal setting.  They are so panicked over pending financial doom or seething over the details of how they got fired that haven’t begun to consider:

  • What they want to do next?
  • Where they’d like to be working next?
  • What they can be doing systematically to look for that job?

So here’s my recommendation.  First of all, not everyone needs to do some goal setting.  I’ll give you an example.  I was coaching a journalism major shortly after her graduation.  She wanted a job at Miami’s Discovery Channel Latin American offices.  I’m not arguing if that was a good or bad objective for her.  I can tell you she had a clear target. That made her job search simple.  All she needed to do was to find a way into a job in their building near the airport.  Not surprisingly, after a few months, she was working there.

If you’re like her, then you’re done with this step.

However, if you even think you’re even the slightest bit unclear about your job search or career goals, STOP.  Spend the time now to  figure it out.  I mean it.  Don’t take another step until you’ve clarified your objectives.  Your next highest priority should be to:

  • reflect on what you want carefully,
  • do some person exploration,
  • consider doing some real soul searching, if necessary, and
  • write down your goals.

I cannot stress to you how valuable spending this time and effort will be for you.

So how do you best get this done?  I recommend getting yourself a book or resource with a questionnaire, a set of steps or exercises aimed at helping you discover and write down:

  • What you enjoy doing.
  • What skills you have and like to use.
  • What work environments are best suited for kind of work you want.
  • How and where will I find a job that meets my needs.

Now I’m not going to leave you to figure all this out on your own.  I’m going to recommend two resources to get your through this step.

My first option is using a book called “Breakthrough: The Hate My Job, Need a Life, Got Laid Off, Can’t Get No Satisfaction Solution.”  (I love this title.) The book’s written by one of Career Jockey’s frequent contributors Jeannette Kraar.  I’ve known this lady for years.  She’s a career coach and business consultant that runs South Florida’s chapter for Execunet.  In chapter 1 and 2 (only the first 30  of this 101 page book) she runs you through a set of questions and exercises.  She gets you to answer some questions and then helps you organize your answers for use in developing a resume.  (Maybe even a pocket resume in our case.) I know you’ll like her writing style.  It’s fun, entertaining and most importantly, rock solid for figuring out what you want to accomplish with your job hunt.

You can get yourself a hard copy of the book at Amazon.com and other book retailers.  I believe so much in the book, I’ve worked with Jeannette to make a discounted e-book version of Breakthrough available right here on Career Jockey.  Just click here to download and start reading it in about 2 minutes.

My second recommendation is  “Guerrilla Resumes.”  Kevin Donlin is the author and he’s also a Career Jockey frequent contributor.  His book starts with (oh what a surprise) a section on figuring out where you want to go with your job search and career.  In the first three chapters of his book, he provides a questionnaire for doing exactly that.  Chapter three is called “Before You Start Writing Your Resume.”   (I hope you are catching on that all the experts, myself included, recommend setting your goals first so the resume writing step goes smoothly and you get some really good results.)  The questions are very specific and then the book continues with the ingredients for creating what he calls the guerrilla resume.

This one is available by clicking right here to purchase it off his website site.  I have to be official and tell you I get a cut of the purchase price if you get yourself a copy.  I can also tell you I have reviewed the book, really like what Ken has to say about resume writing and ran myself through the exercises to update my own resume as part of my reviewing the product.

Wow!  That’s a lot to digest for now.  I’ll be following this up with Part 2 of this article next week.  That will be Step 2 – Writing Your Pocket Resume.

Jorge Lazaro Diaz

Jorge Lazaro Diaz is the "Original" Career Jockey who started this blog and now serves as the Managing Editor. You'll find he enjoys focusing on professional and personal development articles and frequently covers motivational and spiritual topics.

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.


  • Gloria said:

    I’m wondering if anyone else has the same reaction I felt when I read this entry – irresistible title, and then, you need another book. And I don’t even want to sound cynical because I don’t feel that way. I just feel burnt out, having done that process so many times over the years, and always hearing the same diagnosis – “Well, you probably should have been an actor” (I do B2B sales). I’m over 50, in need of a job yesterday, and was just looking for anything that would help speed up the process.

  • Jorge Lazaro Diaz (author) said:


    Sorry to disappoint you. I wish there was a there were a silver bullet I could share with you to get you back to work right away, but it doesn’t work that way. I can tell you must make networking your top priority. That’s the optimal way to find work. You cannot just send resumes to Internet job postings in hopes of snagging something. It just doesn’t work.

    The pocket resume mentality I’m proposing as part of this series for getting the most out of your networking. In this part, I want to make sure you have a clear and concise message. Otherwise, you won’t be able to take the steps that follow.

    If you read my About Us page, you’ll see that I’m not a professional coach or recruiter. I’m a job hunt alumni out to help those that came down the same path I went. It’s an offshoot of the nonprofit work I do with the unemployed. If there’s something else I can do, please reach out to me privately. The contact form off the website come right to my mailbox.

    Jorge Lazaro Diaz

  • Use a Pocket Resume to Get the Awesome Job You Want – Part 2 | CareerJockey said:

    […] week, I started Part 1 of this series stressing how important it is have your job hunt or career goals clearly written down.  If you […]

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