10 Smart Tips For Savvy Job Seekers

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Yesterday, SayCampusLife shared tips on how using LinkedIn—the professional networking site—can be beneficial in helping you find work, particularly if you are a college senior.

Top TenToday, we’re going to share with you some advice from Andy Chan, vice president for career development at Wake Forest University, who identifies three major roadblocks to the job seeker’s success: poor marketing, poor networking, and poor mind-set. To that end, let’s review what Mr. Chan identifies as ten resolutions to help people overcome these obstacles:

Roadblock #1 – Poor marketing

“Many people don’t realize that the way they are marketing themselves just isn’t working, and they never get any feedback,” Chan said. “The best way to get feedback is to ask for it from people who do a lot of hiring.”

1. I will ask friends or acquaintances who manage and hire people to evaluate my cover letter and resume and give me real feedback – even if it hurts to hear it.

2. I will ask these same friends to conduct a practice interview with me and give me “tough love” feedback.

3. When I find an attractive job on the Web, I will apply immediately (with a tailored cover letter and resume) and search for friends and colleagues who could act as referrals to help me network into the organization.

Roadblock #2 – Poor networking

“We make the assumption that if we apply on the Web, it will get us in the door. But the truth is, if your experience doesn’t line up perfectly with the job, the likelihood of getting seen is low,” Chan says. “That’s why networking is important. People hire people; they don’t hire paper.”

4. I will be thoughtful about when to send my resume, and I will not send my resume to everyone I know.

5. I will be specific about the type of work and organizations, including names of target organizations that I find most interesting.

6. I will network 80 percent of the time and use the Web 20 percent of the time.

Roadblock #3 – Poor mind-set

“A lot of people are looking at jobs through a narrow lens. But as the old Rolling Stones song says, ‘you can’t always get what you want,'” Chan says. “You may need to focus first on what you need and get the ideal job later.”

7. I will be open to exploring many options because an interesting opportunity may exist beyond what I can see on the surface.

8. I will re-examine what my real financial NEEDS are so that I can be more open to opportunities that may pay me less than what I WANT.

9. I will evaluate opportunities by recognizing that this job can be a stepping stone to another job (inside or outside the company) – especially as the market improves.

10. Although I might want to quit and do a job search full-time, I am more attractive to employers when I am employed (and I have income which buys me more time to find a job that I am excited about).

Chan concluded his tips by saying that adopting these 10 resolutions can help refresh and rejuvenate your job search, and get your new year off to the best start possible. One thing we will add to what he said is this: you can network via the web by using LinkedIn, graying the 80/20 separation outlined by Chan.

Source: Wake Forest University

Adv. — Get your career off to a good start by bookmarking SayMyCareer.com, your career planning site. Find resume ideas, interview tips, and salary negotiation information. Free downloads too!

Photo Credit: Yaroslav Bragin

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Categories: Career Planning