3 Tips for Job Search Success

Posted by Patra Frame

Tip # 3:  Prepare your References!

Figure out your references and get them briefed early in your job search. You should ask those past bosses, project managers, clients or users whose knowledge of your achievements will help you soar past other applicants to become your references. And then you need to be sure that they are ready to do you proud! Give each of them your resume. Add links to any web portfolios, blogs, or other online content you have so they see what you have been up to recently. Talk to them about your goals.

Do you know that a recent survey showed over 1 in 5 people losing a job offer because of a poor reference check? Not all of those were because of negative information; a fair number were because the reference could not add relevant positive information that the hiring manager needed.

Your action: Once you have interviewed and are ready to give reference names to the hiring manager, be sure you contact each reference again. Tell each a little about the organization, the job, why it interests you, and any specifics you might like to have highlighted.

And do not forget – say thanks after each use. Most folks are happy to be a reference if they have a clue what you really want and how they can help. But it makes it easier for your future if you also remember to thank the person for the time and effort.

Tip #2.  Time Management Matters

Recent studies show people are successfully finding jobs online 7% of the time, via search agencies 4%,  and in print 5%. Adjust your time spent on various job activities accordingly.

The web is a wonderful research tool to help you find the right targets and learn about them. It can aid you in re-connecting with people. But it is not the best way to get into an organization or make a connection to someone who can hire you.

Jobs are found through human interaction more than in any other way. So you need to be attending professional and business meetings, connecting at social events, talking to the people you know already, and meeting new people.  And you need to ask people for specific help – not for a job. Ask for information about organizations which interest you, ask for ideas about your next job from those who know you well, ask for help with your resume or success stories or interviewing preparation, or ask for contacts at places you want to work. 

Your action: Plan your job search to use humans first and save less effective methods of job search to fit in around the evenings, weekends, and odd bits of your time.

Tip # 1: Presentation Matters

You are selling yourself – your abilities, skills and knowledge.  As with any sale how you present the product matters. Your ad (read: resume), your marketing materials (read: social media profiles, emails, cover letters), and your communications skills, are all demonstrations of the value you offer an employer. How well do you present yourself?

Your action:  Ask some previous supervisors and some close friends how well you are presenting yourself — get several to review your efforts and help.   

Few of us love to look for a new job.  Many of us do so rarely and thus are not current on what works now.  But you can stand out as a top candidate if you:

* focus on what you want,

* research the best places to achieve your goals successfully and

* manage your job search as if you were selling a top-quality product. 

Good hunting!


This entry was posted on Saturday, July 24, 2010 6:38 pm

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