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Job Search Tips From a Recruiter
copyright © by Kevin Donlin
Want to know the three best ways to get hired in today's tough job market?
I recently interviewed Larry Harris, a recruiter with more than 20 years of hiring experience. He's President of Minneapolis-based American Consulting, and his top three tips can help you get hired faster.
Here they are:
1) Networking works
In other words, tell everyone you know about your job search. And know this: there's no shame in being between jobs. People want to help you. But they can't help if you keep your job search a secret!
"You never know who might have a lead on a job opening, or might know someone who is hiring. And, when you're networking, don't overlook your past professional associates," advises Harris.
That means you should go through your Rolodex, your email address book, the desk drawer where you keep business cards, etc. Write down the name of everyone you've done business with in the last 10-15 years.
You should have no trouble coming up with 200-300 contacts this way.
"The biggest error people make is not keeping business cards. One of the first things you should do is call up past or current vendors, sales reps who've called on you, competitors and associates from past jobs. This information is a gold mine," says Harris.
But how do you approach people to ask for job leads? What should you say?
According to Harris, you could say "Hi, this is Joe. It's been about 9 months since we last spoke and I hop you're well. I'm calling today because I need your help. I'm looking for a position in IT management and I thought of you right away."
If the person you
call can't provide any job leads, ask the magic question:
Everyone loves to help . but you have to ask. Far too many folks are ashamed to be out of work. Don't be -- you have lots of company! Thousands of people just like you searching for a new job today.
unless you get face to face with the hiring manager, you will not get
the job. After creating a top-notch resume and cover letter, your next
major goal should be to meet hiring managers at companies you want to
If you're searching for a job locally, a powerful way to increase your odds of meeting a hiring manager is to pick up the phone and call.
Here's what Harris suggests.
"Never just send your resume and leave it at that. Call and ask for the hiring manager. If he/she answers, explain why you are calling. Tell them why you are perfect for the job and ask for meeting. Typically they will ask you to just send your resume."
But don't let that stop you.
According to Harris,
an excellent response is this: "I could send you my resume, but I'm
going to be about five minutes from your office tomorrow around noon.
If you don't mind, I'd like to stop by and drop it off. When I
This strategy will produce more face-to-face meetings with hiring managers. Which can dramatically reduce your time out of work.
Think about it.
The last time you were employed, you worked 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. If you continue to work the same number of hours searching for a better job -- and I would argue that you should work even harder -- you would have spent 160 hours last month in your job search.
Did you? Probably not.
So treat your job search like the full-time job it is. Devote at least 40 hours a week and 160 hours a month to your job search. Nothing less.
"Most of us only look for a job a few times in our life. So writing a resume, networking and meeting with hiring managers will take time, but it will pay off," agrees Harris.
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.