Question: What exactly is a handbill and why do I need one if I have a resume?
Answer: I love this question, because I am a huge fan of Handbills. Let’s back up for a minute, remember, 80%-90% of job are found through networking. Because of this Handbills were born. A handbill is your own personal marketing piece. This is key in establishing the difference between your resume and your handbill: Your resume tells me where you have been, but your Handbill tells me where you want to go.
If you are meeting with someone in the hopes that they can connect you to your next job, or at least get you connected to someone who can keep your job search moving in a positive direction, your resume isn’t going to help them help you. Your handbill takes the best of who you are and what you have to offer and tells the people you are networking with that information, as well as what you are looking for in you next career move. Your handbill also needs to contain a list of target companies.
I have people tell me they could work anywhere. This is not true, people have restrictions on how long they are willing to commute, what industry they are interested in, etc. Having target companies on your handbill is crucial. The most important point about having target companies on your handbill is it gives the brain of the person you are networking with a place to start when they are trying to help you. If someone tells me they can work anywhere, I can’t even begin to start to think of people to connect them with; it’s too much. Essentially, they have just given me the job of figuring out where their next job should be. Another thing to think about is the person you are meeting with might not work in your industry, so some company names will help them connect you to people they might know. A good rule to follow is: write your handbill like you are giving it to someone who is not in your industry. This way you are forced to be specific.
I love when people tell me they would take any job, anywhere. This is simply not true. If you live in Chicago I doubt you are going to take a job I know about it Kalamazoo. Oh, and did I tell you the job is picking up dog …. Okay, I think you know where I’m going here.
Your handbill is your marketing piece, this is your chance to communicate what you are looking for to the people who are trying to help you get there.