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Job Search Lessons
copyright © by Kevin Donlin
Success is the best teacher, so if you haven't experienced success in your job search, why not emulate someone who has?
Consider the case of Martha S., a client of mine from Syracuse, New York, who got hired last week after a 48-day job search.
Here's the kicker.
Martha got hired in computer networking -- one of the hardest-hit among IT jobs -- at a $6,000 higher salary.
What can you learn from her efforts?
"To start, I sent out about 50 resumes per week by email and uploaded my resume to Web sites like Monster.com. I also spent a lot of time networking. I sent emails to friends, ex-coworkers, family, and others," says Martha.
Her efforts paid off with three job interviews two from networking and one from an Internet job site.
LESSON: Networking works. Plus, the friends and family in your network can act as a sounding board. "They can help you maintain your sanity when times get tough," says Martha.
"All the while I really thought this job was going to go through. I even went on vacation for 11 days. As a result my job search suffered. I spent less time looking for jobs," says Martha.
LESSONS: There are two here. 1) Don't put all your eggs in one basket -- never slack off because you think any one job is a sure thing. 2) Treat your job search as the most important work of your life -- that means no long vacations until you're hired. Work first, play later.
"At the second interview I was in a conference room with four people. It was fairly casual and conversational. They asked me questions and I asked them questions. One of my favorite tactics was to identify where the company was having problems and focus on that," says Martha.
By stressing how she could solve the employer's problems, Martha was able to provide tangible answers during her interview that proved she could do the work.
"They immediately offered me the job and for $6,000 more than I was asking for. It's very close to home, too," says Martha.
LESSON: The best way to sell yourself may be to shut up and listen. Employers will often tell you exactly what they're looking for. "The interviewers talked a lot about their problems, what they do every day, etc. That made it easier for me," says Martha.
To recap, one great shortcut to success in your job search (or anything else in life) is to simply do what's working for others.
In this case, Martha found a great job in less than two months, despite the current "job crisis" by doing four simple things:
1) Networking with
everyone she knew: friends, family, former co-workers, college counselors
-- "I even contacted an ex-boyfriend I hadn't spoken to in about
six years," she says.
Now, go out and make your own luck!
Kevin Donlin owns and operates Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1995, he has provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients on five continents.
Kevin has been interviewed by WCCO and WLTE radio, and KMSP TV, among others. His articles have appeared in the National Business Employment Weekly, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Twin Cities Employment Weekly and others.