Houston (and Texas) IT Jobs Blog

Thursday, October 27, 2005

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4:42 PM     Four Job Search Lessons

FOUR JOB SEARCH LESSONS
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Below, I've reprinted for you (just because I couldn't find a link for the original) an article by Kevin Donlin, who is confusingly a Sales and Marketing guy for the Minneapolis / St. Paul Star Tribune.

Regardless of the confusion, he has some great advice for job seekers based on some failed job searches that he's seen.

Enjoy!

-Dan


By Kevin Donlin

Success is the best teacher, so if you haven't experienced success in
your job search, why not emulate someone who has?

Consider the case of Martha S., a client of mine from Syracuse, New
York, who got hired last week after a 48-day job search.

Here's the kicker.

Martha got hired in computer networking -- one of the hardest-hit
among IT jobs -- at a $6,000 higher salary.

What can you learn from her efforts?

Read on!

"To start, I sent out about 50 resumes per week by email and uploaded
my resume to career web sites. I also spent a lot of time networking.
I sent emails to friends, ex-coworkers, family, and others," says
Martha.

Her efforts paid off with three job interviews ­ two from networking
and one from an Internet job site.

Lesson: Networking works. Plus, the friends and family in your
network can act as a sounding board. "They can help you maintain your
sanity when times get tough," says Martha.

Martha applied and interviewed for what she described as her "dream
job," but after three weeks of telephone and email communications
back and forth, the job was given to someone else.

"All the while I really thought this job was going to go through. I
even went on vacation for 11 days. As a result my job search
suffered. I spent less time looking for jobs," says Martha.

Lessons: There are two here. 1) Don't put all your eggs in one
basket -- never slack off because you think any one job is a sure
thing. 2) Treat your job search as the most important work of your
life -- that means no long vacations until you're hired. Work first,
play later.

In her third interview, which came from an Internet job posting,
Martha did well and was called back.

"At the second interview I was in a conference room with four people.
It was fairly casual and conversational. They asked me questions and
I asked them questions. One of my favorite tactics was to identify
where the company was having problems and focus on that," says Martha.

By stressing how she could solve the employer's problems, Martha was
able to provide tangible answers during her interview that proved she
could do the work.

Results?

"They immediately offered me the job and for $6,000 more than I was
asking for. It's very close to home, too," says Martha.

Lesson: The best way to sell yourself may be to shut up and listen.
Employers will often tell you exactly what they're looking for. "The
interviewers talked a lot about their problems, what they do every
day, etc. That made it easier for me," says Martha.

To recap, one great shortcut to success in your job search (or
anything else in life) is to simply do what's working for others.

In this case, Martha found a great job in less than two months,
despite the current "job crisis" by doing four simple things:

Networking with everyone she knew: friends, family, former co-
workers, college counselors -- "I even contacted an ex-boyfriend I
hadn't spoken to in about six years," she says.


Not putting all her hopes on just one job. After one setback, she
resolved to keep looking at all available employers, even while
interviewing.


Treating her search for work as a full-time job.


Focusing her job interviews on how she could solve an employer's
problems. When you think about, that's the only reason jobs are
created -- to solve problems. If you can do that, you can get hired,
in any economy.

Now, go out and make your own luck!

Kevin Donlin is the author of "The Last Guide to Cover Letter &
Resume Writing You'll Ever Need," a do-it-yourself manual that will
help you find a job in 30 days .


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