From a Recruiter’s Viewpoint – Vol. 41

How to Find a Job in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps

1. Get Ready

  • Reconnect with family and friends.
  • Take time for the emotional and mental adjustment required.
  • Resolve any anger or frustration associated with your predicament.
  • Address transition issues with former employer.
  • Agree on a reason for your departure.
  • Agree on what your former boss will say as a reference.
  • Comply with your non-compete agreement.
  • Get legal advice on your severance agreement.
  • Line up your references and coach them on what to say.
  • Sign up for Cobra.
  • Start with a clear conscience and positive attitude.
  • Focus on your value proposition – you can’t be all things to all people.
  • Determine who would likely want to hire you.
  • Determine who you would like to work for.

2. Prepare Your Resume

  • The purpose of your resume is to get an interview.
  • Always list “what” you have done but not “how” you did it.
  • Use reverse chronological format with a 2 page limit.
  • Focus on the last 15 years or 2 positions.
  • Quantify your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Check carefully for grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Customize your objective when responding to a specific opening.
  • Send as a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document attachment.
  • Print it to make sure the page breaks look right.
  • Never lie about anything on your resume.

3. Prepare a Cover Letter

  • Needs to be in the body of the email, not an attachment.
  • The purpose of the cover letter is to motivate the reader to read your resume.
  • The first paragraph simply tells the reader why you are sending this to them.
  • The middle paragraph addresses why you are a match to their needs and answers the question of what’s in it for them.
  • Last paragraph thanks them for their consideration and lets them know you will follow-up
  • Check carefully for grammatical and spelling errors.

4. Prepare for an Interview

  • Wear your Sunday best, shut off your phone and don’t be late.
  • Rehearse your answers to typical questions but don’t be scripted.
  • Do your homework – research the company and the position.
  • Be confident of what you bring to the table.
  • Prepare for behavioral and situational questions.
  • Match your skills and experience to the job requirements
  • Telephone interviews are critical to moving the process forward, so be ready.
  • Be yourself not who you think they want you to be.

5. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

  • Most companies go to LinkedIn first to find candidates.
  • Complete your profile with a quality photo.
  • Have a strong well thought out summary.
  • You want to be “found” so, ensure your profile is visible.
  • Increase your connections to appear higher in search results.
  • Get recommendations and endorsements.
  • Join 50 groups.
  • Use keywords likely used in a search algorithm.
  • Make sure your profile is consistent with your resume.
  • Share your connections to build your network.
  • Be current, complete and concise.
  • Customize your headline specific to your career filed.

6. Post and Search Internet Sites

  • indeed,com
  • for retained search firms.
  • Focus on industry or function specific websites.
  • When applying for a position, try to find a network connection who can introduce you to the hiring manager.

7. Identify Recruiters in Your Niche

  • Use The Directory of Executive Recruiters by Kennedy Publications at It is segmented by industry, function and geography.
  • Recruiters have access to the hidden job market.

8. Target Companies

  • Use the on-line database available at the Greensboro Public Library, currently “Reference USA”.
  • Search by SIC code, geography, company size, etc.
  • Who would be interested in you?
  • Who are you interested in?
  • 50% of all openings are not posted, so this is how you find them.

9. Network, Network, Network

  • Talk to family, friends, neighbors, church members, club associates, volunteer organization members, and trade association members, alumni, and college career services, former bosses, former peers, subordinates, coworkers, customers, suppliers, competitors, your banker, lawyer, financial advisor and CPA.
  • Seek advice and opinion regarding your plan.
  • Offer to share your contacts and return the favor.

10. 90 Day Plan

  • Write it down with goals, measurements and strategies.
  • 1000 calls or connections results in 10 to 20 interviews which will result in 1 or 2 offers.
  • Plan to touch 50 people in order to connect with 15 each day and it will take 3 months to make 1000 calls.
  • Be proactive, patient and persevere.

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