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Job Hunting 101

Job Hunting 101

By Matt Lowney

You’ve made the decision to finally move on from your current employment situation. Whether you’ve been laid off, quit, or are currently employed, here are a few basics steps that will improve your chances of landing the job of your dreams.

Create a Resume with Impact

Make sure you have taken care of the basics. Ensure your resume is easy to read and provides concise information that highlights your skills and abilities. Potential employers will not read an overly detailed resume. Limit your resume to two pages and make absolutely sure you don’t have any misspellings. It will be difficult to convince a potential employer that you show attention to detail, when you have misspelled words on your resume. Unless you are interviewing for the president of a corporation, keep your resume brief and to the point. The goal here is to get an interview, not get the job. Your resume is your number one marketing tool, so put the effort into it that it deserves.

Where to Look

The short answer here is everywhere! Of course, you should scour the newspaper classifieds and online job boards, but your best bet is to network. Contact as many as possible and update them about your current employment situation. Let them know what type of position you are looking for and be appreciative of any help they provide. This is where most (and usually the best) jobs are found. If you really want to be aggressive about things, you should make a list of all the companies you are interested in working for. This list does not necessarily have to be limited to companies in your industry or to your specific skills. You will be amazed at the number of companies that hire candidates primarily based on attitude. Don’t just call human resources, but call the hiring managers of departments and ask to meet with them. Being proactive is your number one advantage over other candidates!

The Interview

Here’s your opportunity to shine. Preparedness and confidence are the rules of the game. Know that the “tell me about yourself” question is coming and have a positive, concise answer. This isn’t the time to tell the hiring manager about your last fishing trip or your child’s ballet recital last night. This is your opportunity to tell your future boss about your skills and accomplishments. A word of caution, don’t be boastful or arrogant. Remember, the interview is your opportunity to impress a potential employer, but it can also be your downfall.

Follow up

You will be amazed at how few candidates don’t follow up with hand written thank you letters. Some recruiters will tell you that e-mail is sufficient, but in my experience hiring managers really like the personal touch of a hand written note. Besides, it’s a great opportunity to stand out from other candidates. If you haven’t heard anything back within a week, it is appropriate to give a follow up phone call.

The Wait

If you are like most people, you hate to wait to hear back about an interview. Truthfully, the situation is no longer in your hands. If you don’t get the job, don’t beat yourself up. If you have done everything listed above, you should have several options in front of you. Your hard work will create the right opportunity!

Nashville, TN Recruiter

Matt Lowney is a Nashville, Tennessee based recruiter, career consultant, and co-host of Career Talk, a weekly one-hour career advice radio talk show that airs from 5 to 6 pm each Friday on WAKM 950.

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