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Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

Posted June 14, 2009 4:45 PM by DrDoug

Are you looking for work or thinking about changing jobs? If so, what's your plan? Do you have a strategy? What about tactics? Is what you're doing now working?

Here are eight things to consider when you're looking for a job.

1) Have a Game Plan

a. Be specific about what type of job you want. Avoid sounding like you just want any job - even if you do.

b. Map out your strategy. What will you do, and by when?

2) Create a Video Resume (put on YouTube and burn to DVD)

a. Keep it to 60 - 90 seconds.

b. Get video endorsements, if you can (2 business, 2 personal, 15 - 20 seconds each)

3) Know your Competitive Advantage

a. What makes you unique relative to other qualified applicants for the job?

i. Your answer must be more substantial than "my personality".

ii. Is there anything from your job or personal history that makes you an interesting candidate?

4) Do your Research

a. Before you show up, learn as much as you can about the following:

i. The company

ii. The job

iii. The people you are interviewing with

5) Knock on the Door

a. Avoid blasting resumes out and hoping to get a response.

b. Pick 3-5 jobs/places you want to work.

c. Call to find out who the point person is for hiring.

d. Go knock on the door – let them see and meet you.

e. Getting a job in this market is a lot more about selling yourself and a lot less about qualifications/experience.

i. Why? Because everyone is "qualified and has experience".

6) Keep a Journal

a. Keep track of your experiences.

i. What companies you met

ii. Contact information (emails, phone, mailing address, locations)

iii. Who you met, what their job is

iv. What questions you were asked

v. How you answered

vi. What you did well

vii. What you did poorly

viii. What you would do different next time

ix. At the end of the meeting, always ask what the next steps are. Are you supposed to call them? Are they supposed to contact you? If so, by when?

7) Try before you Buy

a. Consider doing a non-paid internship for a 2 - 4 weeks.

b. This let's them see your value-add. This let you decide if you want to work there.

8) Be Resilient

a. "No thank you" is one step closer to "We would love to hire you".

Thanks

Dr. Doug

Editor's Note: You can visit Dr. Doug online at www.DrDoug.com or by email: DrDoug@DrDoug.com. His next CR4 blog entry will run on Monday, 06/29.

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#1

Re: Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

06/14/2009 6:43 PM

I'm certainly no expert, but my take:

1. very solid

2. Make your own call, I'm way less comfortable with this - and strongly suspect that discomfort would carry over on camera.

3. You should know/hone this constantly anyway - all the time

4. i. yes, ii. yes, iii - be really careful with this, show up for an interview obviously having researched me and I'm getting creeped out. Use something like LinkedIn to research what *I* put out there - fine. Touch base with a contact we have in common - fine. Show up knowing my fave ice cream - not fine.

5. This sounds like goofy high school advice for experienced professionals, BUT - a job only becomes "visible" after the guy doing the hiring has polled for "someone" who might do. He'll ask his subordinates and HIS co-workers. So the manager next door you interviewed with yesterday? Make a good impression. Some estimates say up to 50% of jobs for professionals are never advertised. They are filled word of mouth.

6. YES! Keep it handy, your cell goes to the market with you. So should your notes. Always have them handy, know who you talked to about what and when - especially if using Monster or such and recruiters are talking to you. Submitting twice through different recruiters for the same job is a huge no no. You will have cut yourself off from the job, the company, both recruiters, and any friends the recruiters have.

8. This one is tough - but there is nothing as impersonal as being refused. You may get the call tomorrow, but not if you didn't part friendly yesterday.

And in general - never let them see you bleed.

Not bad Doug.

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

06/16/2009 3:11 PM

I agree with you Edigan about making the video. This is an engineering forum, not an entertainment forum. Unless the job position specifically focuses on something like "sales presentations of this company's engineering practices" or something that would involve on camera presentations, this sounds like demonstrating an at best cross purpose skill set. Being personable in person while simultaneously knowing and nailing the aspects of the prospective job will make you a candidate for the position. Theater or parlor tricks seems to me to be at best benign and potentially harmful.

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#2

Re: Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

06/14/2009 10:50 PM

Dr. Doug -

Enjoyed the post, I have a quick question:

You don't mention a follow-up thank you email or note which is something that I would do as a default and I think someone on this board (Anonymous Hero maybe?) mentioned it in a previous post as well as something that he says makes a good impression. What is your thought on a quick post-interview thank you?

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#3
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Re: Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

06/15/2009 5:45 AM

I do believe in a follow up note. I prefer to do it via email. Yes, I know many other say handwritten note is the way to go – but something about that doesn't sit right with me…feels like giving a thank you note for a gift you received. Plus if your handwriting stinks…then it sends a bad impression instead of a good one.

So, I am all for the electronic version…

In the subject line you can put something like "Your Name – follow up"

Hi Mr. Jones,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for meeting with me yesterday. I am extremely interested in this opportunity and I look forward to hearing back from you."

Thanks,

Ed Chambers

555-555-1212

also, I reviewed a book a few months ago that I found to be a very helpful resource.

It has a funny title but is filled with great info on how to do things like: resumes, cover letters, emails, etc.

Name of the book is: Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview by Ellen Gordon Reeves.

Dr Doug

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

06/16/2009 8:43 AM

The name of the book also reminds me of another tip, don't go to the interview looking like you don't care (ie, wear some appropriate clothing). I'll make a better impression as a sharp-dressed idiot than a slovenly-dressed idiot.

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#6

Re: Eight Tips When Looking for a Job

06/24/2009 10:45 PM

9) Follow up. FOLL-ow up. FolLOW UP. Follow UP. Then reconnect.

I remember a guy who was the only person hired at our 10,000 plus person steel plant one year. I asked him, "How the hell did they decide on you? Only one guy from thousands of applicants for one job, and they picked You? What made you the one?"

He said.

"After I got laid off from the crane company in february, I would be waiting at the steel plant's employment office first thing monday morning when they opened. Every monday morning. They hired me in second monday in May."

Persistence Pays.

Focus and follow up on your preferred companies and make it happen.

Follow up.

milo

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