JobGroup Career Management Curriculum

It’s often said that looking for a job is a full time job.  There’s a lot of truth in statement because looking for a job is very similar to the sales cycle:

  1. Prospecting/Initial contact
  2. Preapproach- planning the sale
  3. Approach
  4. Need assessment
  5. Presentation
  6. Meeting objections
  7. Gaining commitment
  8. Follow-up

One of the challenges many of us have when we are looking for a job is that job seeking is a sales process. Very few of us are classically trained as salespeople, especially when our experience and background is in other professions.  The Portland Job Group has attempted to break down the sales process into manageable chunks job seekers can improve upon incrementally, and we are calling the following modules the Job Group Curriculum.

The Job Group Curriculum is freely available for download in PowerPoint 2007 and Adobe Acrobat format for your personal use. Some users have reported compatibility issues with the PPTX files; in this case download the PDF version of the presentations. To report any problems with this page please send an email to

Module 1: Mastering Social Media

Social media has revolutionized the job search in the last few years. In this module we address the value in leveraging social media to become a key resource to market our our value proposition, skills, experience, and appeal to prospective employers and/or business partners. Some topics addressed include email domains, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms, as well as how best to use them to position yourself properly.

Module 2: Developing A Personal Marketing Plan

The process of career management involves a tremendous number of considerations. One must be able to effectively set definite goals, describe one’s skill set and value proposition, allocate available time, determine the best means to execute one’s plan, and establish metrics that will help measure one’s performance. In this module we discuss all of these topics with details on developing a marketing plan document that defines what we want from our career, when we want it, why we should have it, and how good a job we are doing in going after it. We also discuss the development of supporting documentation that can be used to backstop resumes, communications with recruiters, development of compensation plans, and other functions.

Module 3: Professional Networking

The ability to make professional connections with the right people is a critical skill for any careerist. Our professional social networks can help us find work, provide interesting information and opportunities, establish us firmly within our local business circles, and allow us to give and receive value to our colleagues. In this module we discuss the value in professional networking, as well as when, where, and how to find the right people and add them to our networks. We also cover the proper use of business cards and conversational strategies.

Module 4: Contact Management

In module 3 we discuss the means of making professional contacts. This module addresses the means by which we can maintain and leverage our professional networks. We discuss social network theory, how our contacts tend to be arranged in nodes, and means by which we can use the connections we already have in order to extend our network into new areas. We also cover contact database construction and maintenance, contact types, the relative strength of our contacts, and how our networks can expand geometrically. Finally we address the means by which we can maintain our professional relationships and keep them fresh.

Module 5: Resume Optimization

The resume is a time-tested and traditional means of introducing ourselves to a potential employer. Because of recent trends in recruiting and hiring the use of the resume has substantially evolved in the last decade. We discuss the modern ‘life cycle’ of the resume and its use by applicant tracking systems (ATS), HR representatives, and hiring managers in the candidate evaluation process. In addition this module covers search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for resumes and means by which resumes can be enhanced for all phases of the selection process.

Module 6: Assembling An Interview Packet

One of the novel concepts introduced by JobGroup is that of the Interview Packet. This is a document that extends upon the resume in order to provide a hiring manager with a more fully-fleshed out idea of a candidate’s background and value proposition using conventional (and unconventional) marketing tactics. We describe the function of this document, as well as addressing issues of layout and design, describing one’s professional skill set, incorporating professional references and recommendations, inclusion of work samples, and other elements. Finally we discuss the process and costs of assembling all of this information into a document that has the look and feel of a professional marketing publication.

Module 7: Interview Tactics

The interview is an integral component of several types of business communication and can be a useful skill throughout one’s career. In this module we discuss the interview primarily in the context of the hiring process, with a focus on the typical modern hiring process. We discuss the stages of the interview process, how to conduct research for interviews, managing the flow of the conversation during the interview itself, and follow up. In addition we discuss the value and process in conducting informational interviews.

Module 8: Negotiating Compensation

The importance of the ability to effectively negotiate cannot be overstated. A skilled negotiator has the potential to generate high return on time invested in terms of boosting the content of one’s compensation package. In this module we discuss the value in negotiating compensation, as well as where, when and how to engage in negotiations. We also cover the variety of elements that may be incorporated into one’s total compensation package, as well as tactics that can be used in negotiations in order to increase the likelihood of achieving success.


The Job Group Curriculum is presented module by module at weekly seminars hosted by JobGroup Instructors.  If you are interested in attending a weekly seminar, please check out our calendar and register for an event.  Registration to weekly seminars is always free.