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Ten More Job Search Tips

About a week ago I posted an entry on some job search tips relating to LinkedIn and other resources (See Double Entry: LinkedIn Groups and 10 Job Seach Tips)

The author of the job search tips that I referred to recently created another list of tips entitled 10 MORE quick job-search tips -- I bet you're still missing one...

Read on to learn what these tips are...

Everyone knows how to apply for a job; a week ago, i listed ten common sense "little good ideas" and I made a bet that you'd be missing at least three of them. Here are ten more, quick-fixers, and I'll bet you're missing one or two of these, as well. These are little things. which you can change quickly and they're EASY. They might help you in your job search. Or, they might at least help your attitude about a job search. Or both.

If you missed the last article, it's here: PART I

Here are the next ten tips....

1. Put you picture on your LinkedIN profile. There are conflicting reports about the effectiveness of this, but most surveys show that your profile is more apt to be overlooked if it has no picture.

2. If you have a cute greeting on your home telephone line, please change it until you get a job. If a hiring manager happens to call your home number and he gets the message where you're coaxing your three-year-old to do the greeting, he may hang up. Or, if you make the funny message of "we aren't here now; probably out drinking -- leave a message and we'll call you back when we sober up," you might get skipped. They may be cute to you, but...

3. Be gracious in rejection. There is a lot of rejection out there, and if you fight with the decision that you are not number ONE, you may not be a backup, in case number ONE falls through, or has a cute greeting on his home phone. Always thank people for their consideration of your qualifications, and ask for a follow up if another opportunity arises. It can pay dividends. I have a terrific example, but it's too long for here, so it may show up in a future article.

4. In an interview, don't be afraid of a pause in the conversation. If you feel you need to fill that pause, you could fill it with information that won't help your cause. If you don't have anything more to say, don't say anything. If the interviewer seems at a loss, then ask him a question, but don't just fill the pause because it's uncomfortable.

5. Still in the interview, if you are offered a drink of water, take it. If offered a chance to use the rest room, take it. There is no trick here. It does not make you look weak to accept a glass of water, but if you refuse, and 15 minutes later your throat is dry and you're now thinking about your thirst instead of the current question, you'll wish you had a drink. The same thought applies to the rest room; if offered, and you need it, don't feel it's a weakness to accept. It's better than the alternative.

6. Don't get cute on your cover letter. This is a fine line, because I do believe that if you can say something in your cover letter that makes it stand out, that's a positive. But, if you print it on pink stationary, or place poetry in your text, that may be overdoing it. You might try using a P.S., as recommended in the previous article on this topic.

7. Smile--that's it. Smile at networking events, smile at interviews, smile when you meet new people, just smile. Don't be goofy and bare your teeth like you're growling at someone, but practice being genuinely pleased to be involved in whatever you're involved in. When you smile, you put people at ease, you are perceived more positively, and you feel better. It's much easier to smile than to frown, and how bad can you feel when you're smiling?

8. Now that you're out of work, make the decision to improve something about you. Or pick a couple of things. Start going for a walk each evening, or volunteer for a charity, or lose weight or join a new club, play a sport, read more, or, or, or. If you improve something about yourself, you'll feel better, you'll be more positive, you'll smile more, and you'll have more of a transition statement for your next interview. It's a good time to do something that makes you feel good about YOU, and you now have the time to do it.

9. Renew old acquaintances. If you haven't kept in touch, do it now. Don't ask for a job referral on that first re-connect, but with re-opened communications lines, something good can happen. At the least, you've re-connected with a friend. At best, you've re-connected, and they have an idea or a reference that can help you land a job. There aren't many downsides.

10. Implement keywords into your resume. Many resumes get scanned, and you have to hit some key words in order to get noticed. Some of those industry specific keywords are: account manager, accounts payable, account executive, sales manager, human resources manager, executive trainer. You can get more of those on line (there are several sites -- here's one: http://www.resume-help.org/resume_action_words.htm). One keyword that won't count is "good with people." You get my drift.

11. OK, I did 11 last time, so here's one more. Be nice to everyone. I know, everyone thinks they are being nice to everyone, but were you really that nice to the receptionist when you interviewed? Did you say thank you to the waitress when she served you lunch with the hiring manager? Get in the habit of "please" and "thank you." Many of us have gotten out of that habit, and like many of these points, it cannot hurt you, but could help you. And, it's polite.

None of these "little good ideas" take long, or require much effort, but each can have a positive impact. There are a hundred things that can hurt you in the job application process. You might be fixing one, or two, or eleven more here.

Good luck to all of us in our job searches.

Posted by kkowatch at September 15, 2009 09:52 AM

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