Note: The following
is a compendium of information from Tom Purdy, a Professionals
in Transitions Colleague, based on his job search in 2001. Some
items are based on his personal experience, some are based on
items picked up at the PIT meetings some of these items, in turn,
came from other, unidentifiable sources.
- Treat this as your
full-time job with a schedule for networking, applications,
follow-up calls, and time out of the house/away from the phone/computer.
Set up an area to leave out reference materials for easy access.
- Use all available
job search methods. My best opportunities came from:
- Applying for jobs
posted by recruiter - 4
- Unadvertised job
from same recruiter - 1
- Networking thru
friend - 2
- Posting resume
on internet 3
- Newspaper ad-
1 (new job).
Note: I did not use the services that charge to forward/post
- Only apply for positions
that you are interested in & not ALL available jobs to save
time and improve the quality of your cover letters, research,
and interviews, as well as to make better use of your time.
- You dont have
to meet ALL of the ideal candidate requirements,
except for possibly the MUST HAVES.
- Send job specific
cover letter listing how your experience matches EACH job requirement.
Limit to one page.
- Send current resume
highlighting job requirements (e.g., bolding, underlining),
which can be job specific time permitting. I use 2-3 page resumes
with 15 years of employment, but some recruiters want your entire
background. The key is the top part of the resumes first
page, which SELLS you, your skills, & job desires for the
- Have REFERENCES
ready to forward or include them as the final page of your resume
(recommended). Include what types of relationship you have
with your references: supervisor, co-worker, customer, &/or
- Apply for positions
ASAP after they are posted (e.g., within 1-2 working days) to
ensure that you make the initial cut for consideration. Note:
This is critical for high volume postings: recruiters, large/well-known
- CALL contact/company
to verify resume & cover letter are readable & received
by correct person within 1-2 working days of sending. This
was very important when documents were emailed & for recruiter
positions to make sure that your input will be opened. It can
also help break you out of the pack (chance to sell yourself
& your skills).
- Research Company
& their Needs on the Internet for
- job specific
- follow-up phone
This will ensure that you sound like you are genuinely interested
in their company/job.
- Prepare questions
for follow-up call/phone interview that emphasizes:
- You have the
required knowledge/ experience
- You know about
- How you will
help your new employer immediately.
- Be positive and
express interest in position during interviews by asking if
they have questions:
- Do they feel
your skills match the job
- Are you a good
fit (company culture)
the next step in the hiring process.
- Be prepared for
phone interviews at any time. Organize application paperwork
in clearly labeled folders with:
- Original job
- How your experiences
match job requirements (e.g., highlight cover letter &/or
interview question outline)
- Dont forget
that the interview is a 2-way exchange of information. Prepare
questions to ask your employer to ensure that its a good
match for you, too (i.e., work you enjoy, good working climate,
- Dont hide
the reason why you left your previous job, since being laid
off is happening everywhere. Be prepared to BRIEFLY discuss
this issue since some prospective employers may not care, but
they can check with your former employer(s).
- Keep networking
after accepting a new position for others still looking and
future use by you, as required.
LOCAL NETWORKING / SUPPORT GROUPS
excellent support for unemployed and underemployed people
- ; see web site
for locationsand other
meetings ro with a minimal charge for
- in Greensboro ;see web site for locationGroup emphasizes networking contacts and
is very organized
The informational interview
is a powerful tool for developing contacts in your network. The
following sample email message request for informational interview
is based on guidance from PIT:
Re: John Smith suggested
I contact you regarding an informational appointment or networking
I'm writing today
to ask for your input at the suggestion of our mutual acquaintance
___________________. I am a(n) _____professional from the ____
industry in ___ (city) who has recently been downsized. I am
working very diligently to research _________ industry and to
network with individuals who can assist me with knowledge regarding
the industry (or profession). If you have 20 minutes in the
next week or two I would welcome the opportunity to meet with
you to discuss the ________ market and what you might suggest
about how I am positioning my strengths and experience in my
professional career. I believe I can gain a great deal from
My resume, which
I am including, will give you information about my background
that will assist you during our meeting. I am not going to ask
you for a job, but I would appreciate any suggestions that would
benefit my personal and professional development. Realizing
that your time is limited, I promise I won't take any more than
20 minutes. I will be calling you this week to see if we can
arrange an opportunity to meet if you can arrange the time.
I look forward to speaking with you this week.
Interviewing - 8 Mistakes
following are tips from Nathan Newberger,Managing Editor http://www.WorkTree.com
The interview is a
critical part of the job search process and also the one where
most job seekers have trouble. There is plenty of advice around
on how to navigate through an interview successfully. This article
has put together some simple, but crucial items that job seekers
should definitely plan on NOT doing!
1. DON'T SHOW UP
There is no easier way to lose points with a prospective
employer than to show up late. First impressions do last. And
unfortunately, showing up late screams things like I am
unreliable or your time is not important to me.
Is this what you want a prospective employer to think before you
even have a chance to utter a word? Make it a point to try to
be early to every interview. That way, bad weather, traffic and
that last minute phone call stand less chance of ruining your
entrance. If the unforeseen 18‑wheeler does happen to dump
10 tons of tomatoes across the interstate, upon arrival, apologize
first thing, offer a quick explanation and move on. (Ideally
you would have called from your cell phone as soon as you caught
sight of the delay.)
2. DON'T ACT DISINTERESTED.
No matter what the circumstance never act disinterested
during an interview. If 10 minutes into the meeting you become
certain that nothing on the planet could convince you to take
a job with the company continue to pay attention and act like
you care about the conversation. Remember that the interviewer
does not exist in a vacuum. He or she has friends, relatives,
and associates who may influence future job opportunities. If
you behave poorly, the interviewer will remember and will share
the story of you and your unprofessional behavior with others.
Havent you shared bad job search experiences with people
close to you? The interviewer is probably no different.
3. DON'T BE UNPREPARED.
Being prepared has many facets. Interviewers expect you to
know something about the company and the position you are seeking.
Having this knowledge makes you appear both motivated and truly
interested. So make sure you do your research! Excellent sources
of information include, the Internet, periodicals and people already
in the field. Another facet of being prepared is being ready for
the types of questions that may be asked. There are numerous
articles on the web and in bookstores with practice interview
questions and answers. Make sure to utilize all such resources
available to you. And finally, dont forget to have extra
copies of your resume and references on hand should they be requested.
4. DON'T FORGET
YOUR MANNERS. No matter how old fashioned it
appears to use word like please, sir,
maam and thank you, do not delete
these words from your vocabulary. These simple words can work
wonders towards making a positive impression. Always use a respectful
tone of voice. Do not unnecessarily interrupt the interviewer.
Maintain eye contact and a pleasant expression. Leave the slang,
slouching and gum chewing at home. Good manners signals respect
for yourself and the people around you; never underestimate their
5. DON'T DRESS INAPPROPRIATELY.
Whether you like it or not, the job interview is not the time
to express your individuality. Always remember that your goal
is to gain employment, not to make a fashion statement. Accordingly,
you should not dress in any way that will distract attention from
you and your qualifications. Things to avoid include unconventional
hair colors, excessive jewelry and makeup and any clothes that
you would wear to a nightclub. Prior to the interview, contact
the companies HR department and inquire about the company dress
code. Do your best to dress accordingly. If there is any doubt,
err on the side of being overdressed.
6. DON'T BE UNTRUTHFUL.
Never, ever lie during an interview. Mistruths have an
uncanny habit of catching up to people. If the interviewer catches
you in a lie during the interview, you have seriously damaged
your chances of being hired. After all, would you hire someone
that you couldnt trust? If your employer finds out you
lied after you have been hired, it could be grounds for dismissal.
Even if they do not dismiss you, you are still in serious trouble
as you have damaged your integrity in the eyes of your boss.
The bottom line is that you should always be truthful when interviewing.
7. DON'T BE MODEST.
When searching for the right job, put your modesty aside. Dont
be afraid to confidently describe your skills and accomplishments.
After all, if you dont sing your praises to your potential
boss, then who will? Dont count on your resume to do all
the work; it is only a tool to help you land the interview. Once
you get your foot in the door, it is up to you to convince the
interviewer that you are the ideal person for the job. Worried
that you will come across as conceited instead of self‑confident?
Then practice how and what you will say with a friend or family
member who can provide honest feedback
.8. DON'T FORGET
THE "THANK YOU" NOTE. Once the interview has concluded,
take a few moments to jot down your impressions of the interviewer,
what you talked about and any interesting points that were brought
up during the meeting. The ideal time and place to do this is
in your car a soon as you have exited the building, as your thoughts
will be most fresh at this time. Use this information as you
compose a well thought out thank you note to the interviewer.
Mail this note no later than the day following the interview.
Remember promptness signals interest. By avoiding these 8 simple
mistakes, you can improve your chances of having a successful
interview and landing the job of your dreams.