Ever wondered how to get the internal documents you've written— or the thumbs-up emails you've received — to translate to your job application?
Jennifer Dziura, founder of Get Bullish, answered one reader's question about sharing internal work on the Get Bullish blog. Here's her thorough answer to the question most of us have asked before.
Q: I’ve worked at the same company for 9 years now, it’s not quite my first job after university but it’s close. Now I’m ready to move on and starting to look for a new job, it’s very exciting!
While I’ve been working here I’ve built up a portfolio of written pieces which are used internally, mostly training and product documentation. I’ve also received written praise on several occasions, both from within the organization and from external people I work with, and I’ve been diligently saving those emails.
How can I use that to my advantage when applying for new jobs? This is also complicated by the fact that the training guides and documents that I created are for internal use only, so I probably shouldn’t be saving or sharing it at all. I’m out of practice, so maybe I’m just missing something that’s common knowledge now, but usually when applying for a position they ask for a resume and cover letter. How can I get examples of my work and feedback in front of people who might be considering hiring me? A:
Good questions! Since the documents you created are for internal use only, you could do something like list them on your website or on a “publications” page at the back of your resume (like in an academic CV
). For each one, list the purpose, the page count, a table of contents or summary of sections, and something about how the document was used and by whom. (This could also possibly go on your LinkedIn
Sometimes sending a super-long resume looks arrogant, though, or like you don’t know the rules of resumes, so my preference is to include it as a link in the cover letter. You could also create a section on your website about your content creation work, writing up little case studies about each one, without actually including the documents that I’m sure your employer now legally owns.
And as for the feedback, this is exactly what LinkedIn is for (because it’s certainly not for having fun or finding a hot date). Please visit each old email and hit reply, including the person’s email in your message. Thank them so much for their support over the years, and ask if they would be willing to post something like their old email as a public recommendation on LinkedIn. Then include a direct link and simple instructions to do so.
In general, if you want to get some supplementary material in front of someone you want to hire you, it’s better that they feel that they’re digging around and checking you out than to feel that you dumped a bunch of information in their lap. The link, and perhaps a suggestion to look at your LinkedIn, does that nicely. And don’t forget to Google yourself and make sure all the most apropos and impressive information comes up.