You do have a kit, don’t you? I do.
What’s a kit?
Your kit is a digital folder of documents, media and information you keep on a computer with a second copy on line in a service like Google Docs, which offers 1 GB of free disk space. Documents and files you might need quickly in case Job search, connection, media. It contains the things you might want handy if or His Highness the Duke of Windsor calls to see if you’d like to open a restaurant for him, or the Cuisine Channel calls and asks you to be their next star.
What’s in it?
- Your resume, which you update every time you change jobs or mobile phone numbers.
- Two bios. One should be short – highlights of your education, history, awards, etc. The other can be a bit more extravagant, but should be a short page. If you are called for a media quote, if you are interviewed for anything other than a job, you may be asked for it.
- PDF copies of any certification and degrees you have earned. If you don’t have a scanner to convert them, ask a friend or try a service like Kinkos.
- Copies of menus from various places you have worked. Seasonal menus, banquet menus, etc. These, too, can be scanned, if you don’t have them on disk.
- Favorite recipes with photos of the dish. Not too many, but if you are called and asked for one, it’s nice to have them ready.
- Head shots in your whites or whatever uniform you wear.
- A few pictures of you in action. (Note: If you have huge digital files, you should reduce them out of courtesy to anyone who receives them and to save a little disk space, although 1GB should be plenty.)
- Copies of any press, awards, media about your restaurants, you, anything that relates to you. (Before you leave a job you can copy the web site as a picture by opening it on your computer and pressing alt + PrtScrn. Open Paint or any graphics program and paste the image into a new file, then save it as a jpg. )
- A list of references
- It’s not a bad idea to keep a short list of people to call for references, etc.
- Anything else you could need to produce quickly at some time.
You never know when an opportunity might come your way, whether it’s a new job offer, a request for a media interview, or a nomination for something or other. Opportunity unfortunately has a nasty habit of knocking when you have no time for it. If you have a job and media kit, you can just pull out your Iphone or netbook or sit down at your computer and send information about you quickly, appearing to be much more organized and on top of things than most people actually are.
Windows Skydrive (Hotmail) also offers online storage with free online Word and other Microsoft Office programs. For either you create an account with a dedicated email address, which you use for career only. You’ll want to forward email from that account to your main address, so you know when you get mail. For either one you will need to sign up for a free account.