The ABC’s for Job Seekers

Like many aspects in life, a job search can certainly become boring and mundane if you allow it and if you don’t see any progress being made.  It doesn’t take long for many of us to fall into a routine and before you know it monotony takes place.  At this stage in your search you need to mix it up and start trying new and creative things.  The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Career Services Department has some suggestions in an A, B, C format:

Always assume a job hunt will take months, not days or weeks and plan accordingly.

Be punctual for all appointments – but arrive no earlier than five minutes before the scheduled time.

Career counselors can be very helpful-but don’t necessarily limit yourself to using only one.

Don’t relax just because you have just learned of a dream job.  Keep researching, you might find one even better.

Expect far more rejections than acceptances-one job expert says you are lucky if you get one “maybe” after following up your first 20 leads.

Follow up every interview with a thank you letter, expressing interest in the job and highlighting one or two of your best qualifications.

Give feedback from your job contacts to people in your network so they know about your status-and will think of you often.

Handshakes are important.  Act like you have a high level of energy and look the interviewer in the eye.

Information interviews are a great way of making contacts and learning more about your chosen field, and possibly discovering new job leads.

Job hunting is a 40-plus hour a week process.  Start early, work late, and intelligently.

Know exactly how to reach interview sites, to avoid any risk of getting lost and arriving late.

Listen carefully to interview questions and respond as clearly as possible.

Memorize the name of the interviewer and use it once or twice in the course of the conversation.

Network using your best contacts-and also be prepared to share leads with others, just as they may share with you.

Observe the way employees dress and appear for an interview in slightly more formal attire.

Positive reactions you express about former employers will help create a more positive impression of you.

Quit worrying every time you receive a rejection.  Use this as an oportunity to develop more leads.

Resumes should be slanted to the job in question.  You may need to create several versions.

Sit alertly during the interview.  It is recommended that you lean slightly forward toward the interviewer.

Taking a temporary job may help pay the bills and keep your moral during a long job search.

Use all possible sources of job leads:  employment services, classified want ads, family, friends, etc.

Vary your job approach, if what you have done has not worked.  If your cover letters and resumes are not getting results, try new formats.

Write down notes on all contacts and follow up required as soon as you leave an interview.

Xamine your job progress each week.  Sit down and think over what you accomplished.  What worked and what did not work for you?

Your family and friends can be of the best sources of job leads.  You may be surprised at their contacts.

Zero in on potential employers by doing research so you can demonstrate your knowledge of them.

There are numerous sources for assistance in your job search and it behooves you to take advantage of all of them.  All too often it seems like your contacts and networking dries up and the last thing you want to do is contact the same people and become an annoyance.  It is at this stage that you must take your search to another level and start approaching friends of friends and contacts of contacts for possible assistance. 

Get away from your computer and telephone and start making appearances at conferences and educational meetings.  It is vital for you to be seen as an active and viable candidate.  Create your own networking tour and get out there and though it might be difficult – meet new people.  Talk to strangers if you have to but make sure that you are out and about with business cards.

Like any successful sales person, you’re only as good as who you know – so it is now time to start anew in getting your name out in front of individuals who can do you some good.  It certainly is easy to fall back in despair once you hit the wall (rejection), so make sure your attitude is positive and keep that ultimate goal of your next job in mind as you continue your job search.


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