10 ways to do your job search right

woman candidate

You couldn’t tell by looking at me that I was a pretty good soccer player and now an equally good coach. As a coach, there’s one thing I believe a soccer player needs to do in order to play the game the right way; it’s to be able to use both feet to pass, receive, and shoot.

During a recent game my son was on a breakaway and had time to switch the ball to his strong foot (left). Bearing down on the goalie, he shot with his weak foot. I’d like to say that he scored. But the goal keeper nabbed his shot on a nice dive.

What made this moment so special was that he listen to what I’ve been preaching since he was three-years-old…shoot with your weak foot when the ball is on it. I don’t care if you miss, as long as you try. He doesn’t always try, though. But he did in that game.

What does this have to do with the job search?

Just as my son executed that shot, you must conduct the job search properly. You may not succeed every time, but eventually you’ll come up big. It won’t always be easy, but doing it right will garner better results. Let’s look at some areas where you can do the job search right.

The intangibles

Attitude

I know I write about this a lot, but I figure the more I write about it, the more people will listen. I also know this is a tough one to manage, especially when unemployed. But here’s the thing, you’re more likely to get help by showing a positive attitude than looking like you hate the world.

One more thing; most people don’t want to hear a 10-minute story about how you were wrongfully terminated. In fact, saying you were wrongfully terminated makes people think you were rightfully terminated. Read this post on dropping a poor attitude.

Patience

Employers today are taking their sweet time pulling the trigger. Why? They don’t want to hire the wrong person. According to Dice.com, hiring the wrong person earning, “earning $100,000 per year could cost, on average, $250,000, and that expense comes right off the bottom line.”

So when you go through a battery of four interviews, that’s pretty much normal. It may take months before you hear the final word (if you hear the final word). Be patient and understand the employer’s concern.

Be organized

Far be it for me to preach about organization; I can’t keep my kids’ events straight. When is my daughter’s prom? When is her college visit? I can’t keep it all straight unless I record it on my phone.

That’s what you’ll need to do; find a way to keep appointments straight, remember where you’ve sent your resume or when your phone interview is scheduled for….Maybe a calendar is in order.

Call upon a spouse or friend to keep track of your appointments. Keep all your materials in a central location. Write down today’s list of activities. Create an Excel spreadsheet. If your memory sucks like mine, you’ll have to develop a coping system.

Written communications

Résumé

Some things you’ve read ad nauseam about résumés:

  • Include accomplishments (quantified), not merely duty statements. He who has the most duties does NOT win.
  • Toss the cliches and fluff.
  • Make your résumé’s paragraphs no longer than three lines and use bullets.
  • Tailor each résumé to particular jobs. Ensure you have the keywords mentioned in the job post. One great tool to use is Jobscan.

LinkedIn Profile

Another topic that is too long to go over in this post, so keep in mind:

  • It must—do I need to say it?—sport a photo.
  • Your profile is not your résumé, it is a networking document.
  • However, like your résumé, it must show value through accomplishments (quantified) and strong selling statements.
  • And like your résumé, keywords are what get you found.
  • A successful LinkedIn campaign consist of more than a stellar profile; you must also connect with others and engage with your connections.
  • Most importantly, it must brand you online.

Cover letters

Yes, employers still read cover letters. How many employers read them has not been determined. The ones who read them do so because they want more than what candidates can provide on a résumé. The ones who don’t read them say they have no time. I think they’re lazy.

The cover letter is an ideal document in which employers can learn about the candidates’ soft skills, their interest in the position, and a summary of the relevant accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be all that long, but it has to be well written.

Verbal communications

Networking

Any business person will tell you that this is how business gets done. Shouldn’t the same apply to the job search? At powerful résumé is great, but the best way to know someone is by speaking with them. Seeing their body language. Hearing the intonation of their voice.

You’ve already read that networking is the most successful way to find a job. Whether you accept it or not, connecting with someone and being willing to be of mutual assistance is the only way to get business done. Read this post on proper networking.

Telephone interviews

Let me tell you about one of my customers who landed a job after five telephone interviews. Let me further tell you that he never was interviewed face-to-face. In other words, he was hired based on the telephone interviews.

How important are telephone interviews to today’s companies? They are huge. So prepare for the telephone interview as though you’re going to the face-to-face interview.

The interview

Allow me to finish the thought I began in the previous topic–the telephone interview. Research will be your key in both types of interviews. Research the position, company, and even the competition.

If you ask anyone who’s interviewed others, including me, hearing someone struggle to find the answers they don’t have is painful. If not for yourself then for the interviewer. So be able to answer the difficult questions, and also able to prove whatever you assert.

More networking

No this is not a typo. I can’t stress the importance of networking. Time after time my former customers will taut the importance of networking. It’s how they landed their new position.

It’s also important to reiterate that networking IS a two-way street. If you’re in it only for yourself, your chances of receiving assistance is very slim. You’ll understand this better when you give other job seekers leads for jobs. It will feel good and create great karma.


After the game my son told me that he should have taken the shot with his strongest foot. I retorted with a strong no on that one. “You did the right thing,” I told him. I also said that eventually hisweaker foot will be the result of a goal; and I believe it will.

Job seekers, continue to do the right thing. If securing a job is as difficult as scoring a goal in soccer, you’ll have to follow the tenets of the proper job search.

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