Job Search Tips
Advice from the Experts
Even though we usually focus on resolutions at the
start of a New Year, it's always an appropriate time to consider
resolutions that can be integrated into your job search. Some
of the top experts in job searching and career development techniques
have graciously offered their suggestions on how to maximize your
potential to land that "special job."
You may have the wrong mix of skills for the
available position. The employer may have other applicants with
more experience in the areas most important to the job. The
potential employer is balancing your strengths and skills with
those of all of the other employees in the work unit. The
employer is also looking forward to the future direction of the
unit and your strengths may not be congruent with that
direction. So, resolve to remind yourself daily that you are not
being rejected when an employer fails to hire you.
About Guide to Human Resources
One of the most insidious experiences
of job seekers, or anyone who sells their services as an
independent contractor, for that matter, is the cumulative
effect of rejection. The most important tip I offer job seekers
is to consciously recognize that employers who fail to hire you
are not rejecting you as a fundamentally capable and valuable
A second resolution is to recognize that you
are not your work. Your work is one thing that you do. Use times
of unemployment to explore other aspects of your life and world.
Have you always wanted to try writing for a magazine? Now is the
time to send a query. Have you decided to make exercise and
fitness a regular portion of your daily plan? Now is the time to
establish good habits that you can keep when you are employed
again. Do you close the door to your home office because you
can't stand the mess? You won't find a better time to do some
fundamental organizing that will support your new employment.
Women for Hire
Be able to identify 3 to 5 of your greatest
accomplishments. Make sure you can articulate them in a smart,
succinct manner. Go through each line of your resume to
determine where you can translate previous "responsibilities"
into previous "achievements." Quantify or qualify whenever
possible. Successes are more impressive to decision makers than
merely rehashing your job description.
Instead of relying solely on job postings and
help wanted ads as your source for openings, try a more
proactive approach by making a list of 50 employers that you'd
like to work for. Research them online, read their annual
reports (if available) and try their products and/or services,
if applicable. Aim to identify a need and pitch yourself to the
hiring manager as the ideal candidate to lead the effort. Do you
have a plan to save the company money, increase sales or execute
a dynamic marketing campaign? Focus on matching their needs with
your strengths to form a winning combination. In most cases if
your idea is strong, you'll at least get a hearing.
Back Door Guide to Short-Term
- Create a life's list. I want to... work
on an organic farm, lead an adventure trip in Nepal, climb
Mt. Fuji, write a book, live on a boat... got the picture?
See how many you can check off your list in 2003 (and see
how many more you can add to it!)
- Indulge in three books to start your year
off right. That's right, for every idea you have about
landing a cool job, there's a book to help you with your
pursuits. See what changes happen because of it
- Connect with the right person. Whether
your dream is to work at a National Park or to volunteer in
Africa, there is someone who has "been there, done that."
Make it a goal to find that person and pick their brain.
Offering to buy them lunch is a good starting point.
- Listen to the Zen inside. Sound silly?
Not really. Your inner light will always guide you on the
right path if you stop and listen. Journalize these
- Thank everyone who helps you in your
pursuits. Not only does humanity need more acts of kindness,
you never know how this "helping hand" will help to change
- Update your resume.
- Register for three new e-mail agents at
job web sites.
- Search the web to find 3 headhunters who
specialize in the type of area you're interested in and call
to speak to all 3 (don't just send your resume!).
- Call 3 colleagues in your industry and
ask them to keep an out for openings or you (make sure you
can trust them!).
Here are some suggestions from career counselors
for resolutions that will help make your job search a success.
- Spend some free time while in between
jobs volunteering at a local charity.
- Go interviews, prepared, enthusiastic and
- Be persistent and positive in this tough
- Register and post a resume on Monster.com
Assistant Director, Career Development Center
- Write a thank you note to each member of
my job search network thanking them for their past
assistance and updating them on my current job search
- I will be forgiving of and positive about
myself throughout my job search, even when I experience
Director, Career Services
Briar Cliff University
- Talk to three people every day about your
job search (whatever stage it's in) and TAKE NOTES.