Secrets of a Successful Job Search

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           Secrets of A Successful Job Search
                                           A Practical Guide

                                          P r e p a r e d b y t h e S u c c e s s H a w k . c o m Te a m
                                  Copyright © 2009 Career Management, LLC. All rights reserved.

A Career Management Publication
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 Introduction ............................................................................6   Interviews ............................................................................30
      Starting Your Job Search ....................................................3              Types of Interviews .......................................................... 31
      About SuccessHawk ...........................................................4              Preparing for Interviews .................................................. 31
 The SuccessHawk Job Search Roadmap ........................6                                     Interview Questions to Anticipate ................................... 33
 Get Organized ........................................................................6          At the Interview ................................................................35
      Set up a Dedicated Office ...................................................6              Questions for You to Ask ..................................................35
      Review Your Finances .........................................................7             Ending the Interview .........................................................36
      File for Unemployment........................................................7          Preparing for an Informational Interview ......................37
      Update Your Business Associates ......................................8                     Follow Up ..........................................................................38
      Define Your Value for Employers ........................................9
                                                                                              Using the Internet in Your Job Search ............................38
 A New Career Direction ......................................................9                   Information Resources ......................................................38
 Set Goals ..............................................................................10           Online Job Listings .......................................................38
      Why You Need to Set Goals .............................................10                       Company Websites .......................................................38
      Setting Effective Goals .....................................................11
                                                                                                      Insider Information........................................................38
      Write Your Goals Down ....................................................11
                                                                                                      The Blogosphere ...........................................................39
 Create Resumes and Letters ...............................................11
                                                                                                  Create an Online Presence ...............................................39
      Your Resume .....................................................................11
                                                                                                      LinkedIn .........................................................................39
      Write Your Own Resume or Hire a Professional ..............12
      Resume Structure .............................................................13
                                                                                                      Join the Blogosphere ....................................................40
      Accomplishments-Based Resumes...................................13
                                                                                                      Twitter ...........................................................................40
      Examples of Accomplishments .........................................14
                                                                                                  A Cautious Note on Using the Internet
      Writing Accomplishments Statements.............................15                           in Your Job Search ............................................................40
      One-Page Resume or Two-Page Resume? ........................16                          Attending Career Fairs .......................................................40
      Tailoring Your Resume to the Job Opportunity .................16                            Preparing for a Career Fair................................................40
      Video Resumes .................................................................16
                                                                                                  Plan the Day ......................................................................41
      Preparing a Resume for Scanning ....................................17
                                                                                                  At the Fair .........................................................................41
 How to Network Professionally.......................................20
                                                                                                  After the fair .....................................................................42
      Why is Networking Important?.........................................20
                                                                                              Reigniting a Stalled Job Search:
      10 Steps to Networking Your Way a Great Job ...............21                           10 Ways to Get Back on Track ..........................................42

      2 Final
      A G E Note on Networking .............................................30                Evaluating a Job Offer........................................................44

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                      Most people spend a third or more of their time at their job, so you owe it to yourself to land a job that is per-
                      sonally and financially rewarding.

                      Identifying and finding the right job is up to you. Landing it requires hard work, time, and perseverance. You
                      can, of course, write a resume, answer want ads, send out hundreds, even thousands, of resumes, or post your
                      resume on the Internet and wait for hiring managers to find you. This may work but the chances of finding a job
                      in this manner are extremely slim.

                      To greatly improve your chances, you need to take control of the job-hunting process. You need to conduct a
                      strategic and proactive search to land the job that you want. This guide will help you put together just such a
                      search by building and working with your own professional network. In today’s job search market, landing a
                      great job is as much about whom you know as what you know.

                      Note that you cannot just start networking. Before you begin the actual process of networking you must prepare
                      yourself for that first networking call. To do that, you need to:

                      	   •	 Define	the	type	of	work	you	want
                      	   •	 Be	ready	to	communicate	who	you	are	and	the	value	you	bring	a	potential	employer
                      	   •	 Organize	your	job	search						
                      	   •	 Prepare	for	interviews	by	knowing	what	to	say	and	what	to	ask

                      This guide provides you with a wide variety of ideas and suggestions to effectively do this, including:

                      	   •	 Tips	to	build	a	resume	that	stands	out	from	others	
                      	   •	 Organizing	your	contacts
                      	   •	 Scheduling	your	time	to	meet	job	search	goals
                      	   •	 Preparing	for	interviews

                      Starting Your Job Search
                      Before you begin your job search, you need to answer these questions:

                          1. What’s more important: where I live or what I want to do?
                          2. What do I want to do: stay in the same career or try something new?
                          3. Am I preparing resumes tailored to specific opportunities of interest?
                          4. Should I write my own resume or hire a professional?
                      	   5.	 Am	I	organized	and	ready	to	network?
                          6. Do I need help getting ready for interviews?

                      Answering these questions will help you determine the best jobs for you and how to conduct your search to get
      3   G E         one. SuccessHawk can help you answer these questions.

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                      About SuccessHawk
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                      SuccessHawk	is	a	suite	of	Web	productivity	tools	that	help	you	organize	and	manage	your	job	search	using	the	
                      power of networking to increase your chances of landing the job you want. SuccessHawk offers an inexpensive,
                      quick	and	organized	approach	to	planning	and	managing	your	job	search.	Everything	you	need	to	find	a	job	is	
                      included in this site. To access SuccessHawk, go to:

                      Basic Membership features free resources, including SimplyHired the biggest and smartest job search engine
                      on the web that searches thousands of job sites and companies so you don’t have to. Plus information on how to:

                      	   •	 Research	occupations	and	industries
                      	   •	 Write	a	resume
                      	   •	 Prepare	for	interviews
      4   G E         	   •	 Search	for	a	job	by	networking

A Career Management Publication
          Return to   Subscribing to the SuccessHawk Premium Membership provides you with the benefits of the Basic Membership
      Contents        and	the	essential	tools	you	need	to	organize	your	job	search	and	move	it	forward.	These	tools	include:

                          •	 Contact Manager	enables	you	to	organize	all	of	
                             your professional networking contact information
                             in one place. Easily downloads your contacts from
                             Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Plaxo, and most
                             other personal information managers.

                             Each entry in your Contacts Manager includes
                             suggestions on what to say and what to ask as you
                             move your job search forward.

                          •	 Scheduler helps you keep track of your job search
                             action plans. It works behind the scenes driving
                             a weekly to do list based on your input. You can
                             download your to do list to Outlook and your PDA.

                          •	 Resume Creator. Do you need to write a resume?
                             Use Resume Creator to build one that suits your

                          •	 Personal Statement Builder. Do you need to
                             improve how you market yourself? Use the Per-
                             sonal Statement Builder to create your “30 second
                             elevator pitch” describing who you are and what
                             you offer an employer. You will use your “30 second
                             elevator pitch” when talking to networking contacts
                             and potential employers and in responding to “Tell
                             me about yourself.”

                          •	 Perfect Interview. Overcome interview anxiety
                             with Perfect Interview, the interactive online interview practice program that puts you at the interview
                             to practice your interview skills. (Additional charges apply for this service.)

                          •	 Self-Directed Search. Considering a career change? Take a personal assessment with the world’s
                             most widely used career assessment to measure your interests and skills, and learn which occupations
                             may be right for you. (Additional charges apply for this service.)

      5   G E

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      Contents        The SuccessHawk Job Search Roadmap
                      Maintaining focus during your job search is essential. To help you maintain your focus, SuccessHawk created
                      the SuccessHawk Roadmap, a straightforward easy to use approach that you can use to keep your job search
                      organized	and	on	track.

          Get                    Know what               Set Goals              Create                 Network                Interview
          Organized              you Want                                       Resumes
                                                         Get focused:           and Letters            Build and work         Learn how to
                                 Learn about
          Set up a work          jobs industries         set goals and                                 a personal             prepare for
          space                                          milestones.            Prepare a              business               Interviews
                                 companies                                      personal
                                 that interest                                                         network to
          Review your            you                                                                   access the             Follow up
          finances                                                              Write your             “hidden job
                                 Don’t know?                                    resume and             market                 Evaluate job
          Review your            Complete a                                     cover letter                                  offers
                                 personal self-
          insurance                                                             Contact

             provides a complete set of digital tools and resources to support your efforts along the way.
             is not about reading. We don’t just tell you how to conduct a job search; rather, we provide
                      you	with	the	tools	you	need	to	take	action	in	organizing	and	moving	your	job	search	forward	to	its	successful	
                      conclusion: a new job or career.

                      Get Organized
                      The best way to approach a job search is to treat the job search process as a job. Whether you have been laid
                      off, outsourced, RIF’d, or looking for your first job after graduation, your job today is getting a job. To start that
                      new job, you need to attend to certain “operational issues” so that you don’t have to worry about them later.

                      Set up a Dedicated Office
                      1.	 Organize	an	office	space	at	home	you	can	go	to	each	day	to	conduct	your	job	search.	Your	home	office	
                          doesn’t need to be large. A simple well lit space big enough for a comfortable chair, your computer, a writing
                          surface, a telephone, your office supplies, and a spot where you can file materials that you want to keep will
                          be fine. However, it does need to be a dedicated space. Your kitchen table is not this space.

                      2. Purchase supplies that you will need during your job search. We recommend:
                          •	 200	sheets	of	bright	white	paper	with	quality	envelopes
                      	 •	 A	supply	of	first-class	stamps
                      	 •	 Extra	toner	or	ink	cartridges	for	your	printer
                      	 •	 Pens,	paper	clips,	and	other	basic	desk	supplies
                      	 •	 Two	notebooks	or	notepads	–	one	for	phone	messages,	one	for	general	notes
      6   G E         	 •	 250	copies	of	a	basic	business	card	for	networking	purposes

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      Contents        Review Your Finances
                      Without question, one of the most difficult aspects of losing your job is the financial uncertainty that suddenly
                      clouds	your	life.	While	you	can’t	change	the	fact	that	your	income	has	stopped,	you	can	minimize	the	impact	of	
                      the loss by making a conscious decision to actively manage your new economic reality. To do this, you need to:

                         •	 Determine available cash flow and assets
                            You can’t begin to plan for the future until you understand your current finances. Add up your cash on
                            hand, unemployment benefits, severance payments, and identify assets you are willing to liquidate.

                         •	 Cut expenses
                            Sit down and determine where you can trim or eliminate spending. Include your spouse or partner if
                            applicable. Look for opportunities to negotiate new payment terms with creditors. If feasible, implement
                            your cost-cutting in stages to avoid the sense that you are “punishing” yourself or your family members
                            for your job loss.

                         •	 Review your insurance
                            Don’t leave yourself open to a catastrophic loss due to insufficient health, life, or property insurance.
                            Shop around for cost-effective insurance solutions that will help protect you against major losses.

                                Tip: Check out for more information.

                         •	 Explore options for short-term work
                            If cash flow is an issue, you or your spouse may want to find temporary, part-time, or consulting work.
                            Freelance work is a good way to enhance your resume and lessen your anxiety during this transition. If
                            you are considering a new career, short-term work can also be a way of getting started in a new field.

                                Tip: Be aware that payment of your unemployment benefits is impacted by any earned income.

                         • Create a new budget
                            Construct a revised spending/income plan and share it with all family members. Use this plan to deter-
                            mine how quickly you’ll need to start earning income again.

                      File for Unemployment
                      If you lose your job, you may be eligible to collect temporary financial assistance, called unemployment com-
                      pensation, from your state unemployment services agency.

                      Check to see if you are eligible for unemployment benefits as soon as possible. It can take two to three weeks
      7   G E         before you receive your first unemployment check, so file for benefits within the first week of losing your job.

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      Contents        To begin the application process, go to the unemployment services website for your state. You can learn the
                      requirements for receiving unemployment compensation, the procedures you must follow to determine your eli-
                      gibility, and what you are required to do in order to maintain your eligibility. To find the site for your state, go to
             While you are checking on your state’s unemployment benefits,
                      find out what other benefits your state may offer. Many states offer job search assistance and some even offer
                      training to equip you with new skills you may need to compete in today’s job market.

                      Update Your Business Associates
                      One of the problems associated with losing your job is that you can quickly lose touch with business associates
                      who normally reach you through your work e-mail address and phone number(s). These contacts can be very
                      valuable during your job search. Send a brief e-mail to your former colleagues and business associates with
                      your new e-mail address and telephone number. At a later date, follow up with an new resume and a note to
                      maintain contact.

                      Define Your Value for Employers
                      Hiring managers trying to fill open positions want someone who will do the job effectively and fit well into the
                      organization.	You	need	to	be	ready	to	communicate	effectively	and	persuasively	to	a	hiring	manager	that	you	
                      are the best candidate to fill that opening.

                      Before you start your job search, review your most recent job and any jobs you have had over the last 10 to 15
                      years, describing:

                         •	 What	your	functions	were	in	these	positions
                         •	 The	skills	and	tools	that	you	used
                         •	 Your	most	important	accomplishments	

                      This review will help identify your strongest assets and clarify your personal objectives so you can more clearly
                      define your job search goals. The more you know about what you do well, the more powerfully you can commu-
                      nicate to a hiring manager why you are the candidate who should be hired.

                      Write down the answers to the following questions in your notebook. The information you record will not only
                      help you gain insight into yourself and the job you want, but also help you prepare your resume, answer ques-
                      tions in interviews, frame questions you want to ask in interviews, and even evaluate job offers.

                         •	 What companies have I worked for during my career?
                            Tip: List all of the companies you worked for, even those no longer in business.

                         •	 What jobs have I done for those companies?
      8   G E               Tip: Be sure to list not only your job titles but also your responsibilities.

A Career Management Publication
          Return to      •	 What skill sets did I bring to or develop in those jobs?
      Contents              Tip: If you don’t know, try using the US Government O*NET Database that contains detailed information
                            about most occupations. Go to:, and look under Find Occupations and type in
                            your job title.

                         • What were my accomplishments in each of those jobs?
                            Tip: What did you achieve that made you stand out from your peers?     What did you do or share in doing that re-
                            ceived positive feedback, commendations, letters of merit or other related awards? Review old performance reviews
                            for this information. (See the Resume section on how to write accomplishment statements.)

                         •	 What did I like and dislike about each of those jobs?
                            Tip: Thinking through your response to this question will help you identify specific work environments, and respon-
                            sibilities you want to pursue going forward. Do you want a job that is similar to your last one?

                         •	 Do I need to change my job focus?
                            Tip: If you work in an industry that is suffering from a downturn in the economy, consider broadening your job
                            search to other industries. Explore alternatives by reading industry journals, setting up news alerts, and conducting
                            informational interviews with industry insiders.

                            Tip: Keep current! The more you know about the job, the industry, and the organization you want to work for, the
                            stronger the impression you will make on interviewers. To keep current with your industry, read national and local
                            newspapers, industry magazines, and press releases on the Web site of companies that are of interest to you.

                      A New Career Direction
                      You may conclude after answering these questions that you want to change careers. A layoff provides an
                      opportunity to assess your career history and redirect your career goals in moving towards a new career.

                      If you don’t know where to start consider taking the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) Form R: Internet Version
                      (SDS® R) available through SDS is one of the most widely used career assessments in the
                      world. It assesses your skills and interests to help you identify occupations that you may find satisfying.

                      After taking the SDS, you can link to O*NET, the government database of occupational information at
             The O*NET database will help you learn about the tasks each occupation
                      involves, the skills and education they require, and the salary information and data on current demand for work-
                      ers in those areas.

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      Contents      Set Goals
                    “Knowing where you want to go is the first step in getting there.”

                    Your job search goal is the end state that you hope to accomplish in your search. Setting goals for your job
                    search gives you the focus necessary to guide job search activities to achieve your objective: getting a new job.

                    Why You Need to Set Goals
                    Goals help focus your attention on the objectives characteristics you want to achieve, the most important ac-
                    tions you need to take, and the time you need to allocate to land the job you want. A set of clear goals enables
                    you to better manage your activities and gives you an advantage when speaking with potential employers.
                    By setting and measuring your progress toward reaching your goals, you will be able to see what you have
                    accomplished and any additional steps you need to take to achieve your objective. In doing so, you are putting
                    yourself in charge of the process.

                    Setting Effective Goals
                    Effective job search goals share common they are specific, they are challenging but realistic, and they are time
                    sensitive. For example:

                    Noneffective goal:
                    “I am looking for a job in marketing.”

                    Effective goal:
                    “By November 1, I want a job as a market research analyst in the consumer electronics industry with an annual
                    salary in the high five figures.”

                    Be realistic about the jobs for which you are qualified and when you are likely to be hired.

                    Write Your Goals Down
                    Write down the answers to the following questions

                        •	 What	kind	of	work	do	I	want?		What	is	the	job	I	am	seeking?	
                        •	 Where	do	I	want	to	work?		Am	I	willing	to	relocate?	
                        •	 When	do	I	want	to	start	my	new	job?	
                        •	 What	is	the	minimum	salary	that	I	want	to	earn?	

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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   You can use the Goal Setting tool to create your goals

                    Create Resumes and Letters
                    Before you begin building your professional network and making contact with colleagues in it, spend time
                    preparing the following communication documents you will need:

                        •	 A	resume,	the	single	most	important	document	you	will	use	in	your	job	search.

                        •	 A	personal	statement	or	“30-second	elevator	pitch,”	the	brief	statement	about	who	you	are	and	what	
                           you have to offer an employer.

                        •	 Cover	letters	which	must accompany any resumes you send out.

                    Your Resume
                    An outstanding resume is the most important document you need for your job search. Your resume provides the
                    first and often only opportunity to impress prospective employers. Your resume won’t get you a job, but it is the
                    primary source of information a prospective employer has about you. An outstanding resume can persuade the
      11   G E      hiring manager or recruiter to call you in for an interview.

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Hiring managers often receive hundreds of resumes for a single position. Your resume needs to be the one that
      Contents      goes to the top of the stack. A mediocre resume is the fastest way to be dropped from contention for a position.
                    Spelling errors, formatting problems, lack of focus, and lack of accomplishments decrease your chances of be-
                    ing competitive. To compete, your resume must make a powerful statement about you and be impeccable.

                            Tip: The ideal resume is succinct, defines your strengths, and uses correct grammar and spelling.
                            Tip: Note the key terms that are used in the job description as a guide to language to use in your resume.

                    Write Your Own Resume or Hire a Professional
                    Crafting a first-rate resume takes skill. You may want to consider outsourcing this task to a professional resume
                    writer. A professionally written resume can be expensive (ranging in price from a few hundred dollars for a
                    junior-level person to over a thousand dollars for an executive-level package), but you may find that the time
                    and effort required to prepare your own makes hiring a professional a worthwhile investment that can directly
                    impact your ability to find a better job in a shorter period of time.

                    If you decide to write your own resume, offers as part of its Premium Membership the Re-
                    sume Creator, an easy-to-use tool that helps you write accomplishments-based resumes.

                    Tips: Polish, polish, polish! Great resumes are a combination of a business document, marketing piece, and personal
                    preference. Review and discuss your resume with people you respect. Ask them what stands out, what puts them to sleep,
                    what turns them off, and whether anything is missing. Conflicting opinions are to be expected so don’t get stuck on them;
      12   G E      the final decision is yours.

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      Contents      Resume Structure
                    The	most	widely	used	resume	style	is	the	chronological	resume	which	organizes	your	work	experience	by	date	
                    from your most recent job to your earliest.

                    Most	chronological	resumes	are	organized	as	follows:

                        •	 	In	the	header	of	the	document,	your	name	and	contact	information.

                        • Objective: the job for which you are applying.

                        •	 	Qualifications: a personal statement that describes your job related personal qualities such as team
                            player, strong communication skills, leadership ability, analytical, or problem solver.

                        •	 	Experience:	Organized	from	your	most	recent	job	and	to	your	earliest.	For	each	company	include	the	
                            company location, the dates of your employment, your job title with a brief statement of your responsi-
                            bility	and	a	bulleted	list	summarizing	three	or	four	major	accomplishments.

                        •	 	Education: Your highest educational level.

                        •	 	Relevant	certifications,	honors,	awards

                    Accomplishments-Based Resumes
                    Resumes that highlight your accomplishments stand out by letting the hiring manager see immediately that you
                    are well qualified to do the job.

                    Before drafting an accomplishment based resume, review each of your previous jobs, what you did in each one,
                    and what you accomplished. An accomplishment has three parts:

                    1. The problem that you helped solve

                    2. The actions you took to address the problem

                    3. The outcome

                    Build a list of as many of your accomplishments as you can. This will help you if you decide to tailor your re-
                    sume to a particular job that interests you. Identifying and writing out your accomplishments also helps you see
                    what an outstanding performer you are!

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      Contents      Examples of Accomplishments

                    If you are uncertain about your accomplishments, the following list will help you think about your own work
                    experience and accomplishments in each of the positions you have held.

                      Financial savings or gain:

                         •	 Did	you	save	your	organization	money	or	time	while	working	on	a	project?	
                            How much and how did you do that?

                    	 	 •	 How	much	have	you	generated	in	sales?	How	does	that	compare	to	your	co-workers?

                    	 	 •	 Have	you	worked	on	a	program	that	improved	results	by	a	certain	percentage?

                    	 	 •	 Did	you	complete	a	higher	percentage	of	your	assigned	tasks	or	work	more	productively	

                             than your peers?

                    	 	 •	 Did	profits,	revenues,	or	sales	increase	because	of	your	efforts?	If	so,	by	how	much?

                    	 	 •	 Did	you	save	time	with	a	process	you	created,	automated,	or	redesigned?

                      Points of difference:

                      	 •	 Was	there	something	exceptional	about	your	work	or	your	teams	work?

                      	 •	 Did	you	work	on	a	breakthrough	product	or	project?

                    	 	 •	 What	accomplishment	are	you	the	most	proud	of	at	each	job?

                    	 	 •	 How	do	you	hope	they	will	remember	you?

                    	 	 •	 Did	you	break	a	record,	set	a	new	standard,	or	outperform	a	prior	year	or	another	organization?

                    	 	 •	 What	did	you	do	that	was	different	from	others	who	held	the	same	position?

                    	 	 •	 Were	you	assigned	a	special	project?

                    	 	 •	 Did	you	work	on	events?	How	did	they	turn	out?	Did	they	come	in	under	budget?

                    	 	 •	 Did	you	do	something	beyond	the	normal	scope	of	your	responsibility?

                    	 	 •	 Was	your	location	or	department	better	or	different	from	a	similar	location	or	department	
                           elsewhere in the company?

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      Contents      Writing Accomplishment Statements
                    For each accomplishment, you have a story about a problem you solved that you can tell during an interview. An
                    accomplishment statement is structured to highlight the action you took and the outcome of that action.
                    The following examples describe how to structure accomplishment statements:

                          •	 Managed	newly	created	southeastern	sales	territory,	doubling	annual	revenues	in	first	full	year	to	$8	

                          •	 Organized	and	led	a	cross-functional	team	to	reduce	new	product	production	cycle	schedule,	shaving	
                             five	months	from	release	of	annual	product	line	and	generating	unplanned	$3	million	in	first	year	of	

                          •	 Managed	planning	and	integration	of	new	MIS	system,	reducing	annual	expenses	by	$5	million.

                             Tip: If possible, be sure to quantify. Numbers are important in resumes. Be sure to include $’s and %’s that sup-
                             port what you include in your resume. In writing accomplishment statements, use active verbs such as planned,
                             managed, and organized. A brief list of action verbs can be found below.

                    Action Verbs for Resumes and Accomplishment Statements
                    A brief list of action verbs is found below:

                             Administered                        Developed                          Maintained
                             Analyzed	                           Directed                           Motivated
                             Appraised                           Documented                         Negotiated
                             Audited                             Edited                             Organized	
                             Balanced                            Eliminated                         Planned
                             Budgeted                            Enhanced                           Presented
                             Communicated                        Established                        Prioritized	
                             Compiled                            Evaluated                          Produced
                             Completed                           Expedited                          Promoted
                             Conceived                           Facilitated                        Recommended
                             Conducted                           Financed                           Reduced
                             Consulted                           Generated                          Represented
                             Coordinated                         Implemented                        Researched
                             Created                             Improved                           Scheduled
                             Critiqued                           Initiated                          Structured
                             Decreased                           Introduced                         Supervised
                             Demonstrated                        Led                                Trained
      15   G E               Designed                            Managed                            Updated

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      Contents      One-Page Resume or Two-Page Resume?
                    Many job search professionals recommend a one-page resume but you may find that you need two pages if you
                    have extensive work experience. Avoid a 1¼ page resume; it can look awkward. If your resume is 1¼ page in
                    length, add more white space (for example, adding blank lines between sections). Conversely, you can shorten
                    a resume by condensing information or decreasing white space so it fits on one page.

                              Tip: Use a readable font! You have approximately 30 seconds to make an impact on the person
                              reading your resume, and nothing turns off a reader faster than a resume that is difficult to read.
                              Times New Roman font should be no smaller than 11 point, and Arial no smaller than 10. Try to keep
                              margins at one inch all the way around. Print your resume on a high-grade white or off-white paper.

                    Tailoring Your Resume to the Job Opportunity
                    One	size	does	not	fit	all	when	it	comes	to	resumes.	Tailoring	your	resume	to	specific	job	requirements	sets	you	
                    apart from other job seekers relying on a single resume. A powerful resume clearly shows the recruiter and hir-
                    ing manager that you can successfully take on the job they are seeking to fill.

                              Tip: Be honest. Be sure you can support every point you make on your resume during an interview.

                    When preparing your resume for a specific job, review on the requirements described in the job posting or
                    job description carefully to learn what the employer is looking for, what skills are required, and what the job
                    involves. Review your accomplishments and only include in your resume those accomplishments indicating that
                    you can take on the job on day one. Note the key terms that are used as a clue to language you can use in your

                    Video Resumes
                    Video resumes are gaining popularity in some sectors. Though they can set you apart from other job seekers
                    and may help you land an interview, don’t expect a video resume to replace the traditional resume. Not all
                    employers want to see a video resume because of their concern that video resumes may raise discrimination
                    issues. Be sure to ask if a video resume will be accepted before you send it.
                    If you decide to prepare a video resume, consider the following tips:

                          •	Do	not	simply	read	your	written	resume.
                          •	Focus	on	what	you	can	do	for	the	organization	and	how	your	experiences	will	help	you	
                            accomplish that.
                          •	Hiring	managers	will	take	notice	of	you	if	you	come	across	as	articulate,	positive,	
                            energetic, and smart.
                          •	Look	professional.	Your	grooming	and	attire	should	match	what	you	would	wear	to	an	
                            in-person interview.
                          •	Smile!	Look	into	the	camera.	Speak	to	the	audience	directly.
      16   G E            •	Be	concise.	A	video	resume	should	be	no	more	than	three	minutes	long

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to
      Contents      Preparing a Resume for Scanning
                    Many employers are now asking job seekers to submit their resume using the company’s online tool for easy
                    scanning. Preparing a resume for online submission requires a few additional steps. The following steps are an
                    what you need to do:

                         1. Open your resume in your word processing software, such as Microsoft Word.

                         2. Click “Save As…” from the File menu and name your resume something like VictorSmith-
                            MktgCoord-txt. Click “save as type” and choose plain text. Close the document.

                         3. Now open the plain text version of your resume in WordPad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac OS X)
                            and	see	how	it	looks.	You	will	probably	need	to	reorganize	your	name	and	address	and	place	
                            every item on its own line.

                            Tip: What you see on-screen in WordPad or TextEdit may not look the same in hardcopy so print it out
                            to check line breaks and make necessary corrections.

                         4. Avoid bold and italic text, rules, and symbols such as bullets. If everything looks correct, save
                            your text resume again, and you’re ready to go.

                            Tip: Give your resume a unique name. When emailing your resume, label it clearly. Don’t label your
                            resume file, “resume,” or “my resume.” Include your name, the abbreviated job title, and the name of
                            the company in the file name. For example, if Victor Smith applies for a Marketing Project Manager job
                            at XYZ Company, his resume file name might be VictorSmith-MktgPM-XYZ.doc.

                    Always Follow Up
                    A final word on resumes: Always make a follow up contact with people to whom you have sent your resume to
                    ensure that the hiring manager received the document, to restate your interest in the position, and to ask about
                    next steps.

                    Your Personal Statement
                    The personal statement, also known as your “elevator pitch,” is a brief description of yourself, what you offer a
                    potential employer, and your job search goal that can be delivered in 30 seconds.

                    During	your	job	search,	you	will	use	your	personal	statement	repeatedly	for	networking,	socializing,	and	
                    responding to that perennial job interview icebreaker, “So, tell me about yourself.”
      17   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Developing a powerful pitch takes practice. Write it out, rehearse it, and then try it out on your friends and
      Contents      support team. Ask for suggestions on ways to improve it. Remember, the key to an effective pitch is to make it
                    crisp, succinct, and pertinent, providing enough information to give the listener a good sense of your experience
                    and objectives in a quick sound bite.

                    To begin creating your personal statement, write down brief responses to the following:

                         •	 Your	name
                         •	 Your	professional	background
                         •	 Your	most	recent	job	responsibility
                         •	 What	did	you	like	most	about	that	job?
                         •	 What	are	your	three	greatest	strengths?
                         •	 What	job	are	you	seeking?

                    The FIRST draft of your personal statement might look like the following:

                            My Name is Jane Smith. My professional background is educational software sales. Most recently, I
                            managed a sales territory for XYZ Corporation, consistently exceded my annual sales goals and was
                            named sales rep of the year last year. I liked working in the education market and the independence
                            the Company gave me to manage my territory. I’m good at thinking on my feet and organizing my
                            efforts and I’m tenacious. I’m currently looking for a position with a software company like yours in
                            either education or enterprise sales.

                    Once you have drafted your personal statement, polish the language and practice it until you can say it in a
                    conversational, unscripted way.

                    A Personal Statement Builder is included in your SuccessHawk Premium Membership.

      18   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to
      Contents      Cover Letters
                    Always	send	a	personalized	cover	letter	with	your	resume.	A	cover	letter	is	your	opportunity	to	emphasize	how	
                    your knowledge, skills, or experiences make you the ideal candidate. No matter how good your resume is, the
                    employer may never take the time to read it unless it is introduced by a persuasive cover letter.If you are email-
                    ing the resume, your cover letter becomes the body of the email message.

                    A cover letter is a brief, three- or four-paragraph letter that states:
                    	   •	 Why	you	are	writing	
                    	   •	 Why	you	are	best	qualified	for	the	position
                    	   •	 How	you	plan	to	follow	up

                    A cover letter, just like a resume, must be free of grammatical and spelling errors. Because it is a brief note, it
                    is important to convey your message using powerful and succinct language that captures the reader’s atten-
                    tion and makes him or her want to read your resume. The cover letter also provides you with an opportunity to
                    personalize	your	resume	to	the	employer’s	needs	without	having	to	rewrite	it.	You	can	highlight	or	add	relevant	
                    information in a cover letter that might not be obvious in your resume.

                    Thank-You Notes
                    Whether	you	have	just	concluded	an	informational	interview	or	a	job	interview,	you	must	send	a	personalized	
                    thank-you	note	immediately	afterward.	Though	a	personalized	handwritten	note	is	preferred,	emailed	notes	are	
                    acceptable to more companies today. Use your own judgment. If the employer set up the interview via email, an
                    emailed note is probably just fine. Always send a thank-you note within 24 hours of your interview.

                    During an interview, do your best to obtain business cards from each interviewer. When this is not possible, ask
                    for the spelling of each interviewer’s name and be sure to get each one’s job title. If you are planning to email
                    the thank-you note, notice the email account naming convention used at the company.

                             Tip:   Be concise. Focus on what you can offer the employer. Great with people? Remind the employer!
                             Love numbers? Let the employer know.

                    Before you begin to interview for a new job, line up people who are willing to provide positive personal refer-
                    ences to potential employers. Choose your references carefully and be sure to ask them if they will speak on
                    your behalf before you include them.

                    Start by making a list of all of your prospective references. Try to choose people who have worked with you in
                    a business setting. If needed, you can also include personal references from people you have worked with in a
                    volunteer capacity. Recent graduates with limited experience can include professors, advisors or other aca-
      19   G E      demic references who can speak on your behalf.

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        Return to   When you ask your references for permission to use them, verify you have their current, correct contact infor-
      Contents      mation. Be sure to alert and update your references before they are called by potential employers.

                    Always thank your references and offer to return the favor in the future.

                    How to Network Professionally
                    Professional networking is the process of identifying, building, and maintaining relationships with people will-
                    ing to help you during your career. This section describes10 simple steps you can take to build, develop, and
                    successfully interact with your professional network.

                    Networking	means	taking	a	proactive	and	organized	approach	to	your	job	search	based	on	referrals	and	leads	
                    you get from people you know. You already have the makings of a professional network with your family mem-
                    bers, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, alumni from your alma mater, fellow association members, members
                    of online communities, or people with whom you share a similar background, interests, or education.

                    When working with a professional network, remember that networking is a two-way process. One part involves
                    asking for favors; the other part involves giving back to those who are helping you. Both are equally important.
                    Professional networking only works when it is mutually beneficial to both parties. Always think about what
                    you can do to help others at the same time you ask their help with your career. The help can be as simple as a
                    “thank you” … or you might provide information or recommendations that help the other person with their own

                    Why is Networking Important?
                    Job search experts agree that business networking is the most effective method of finding and landing a great
                    job. Networking helps you access the “hidden job market.” Experts estimate that as many as 80% of jobs are
                    never advertised to the public but are found through leads and referrals from personal connections. Why is this
                    the case? Most people—even hiring managers—are more comfortable working with someone who is referred
                    by a trusted source.

                    Effective networking brings you to the attention of hiring managers directly and puts you way ahead of other
                    potential candidates who might also want that job. The more people you connect with, the greater the chances
                    of hearing about opportunities. Besides helping you find a great job now, a good business network gener-
                    ates connections that will benefit you for the rest of your career. Sooner or later, almost every person who is
                    employed will change jobs or careers. The changes can be voluntary or involuntary, planned, or sudden and
                    unplanned. Regardless of the circumstances, networking and staying connected will help you.
      20   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   In a tight job market, when competition for jobs is intense and hundreds of resumes are submitted for most
      Contents      openly	advertised	jobs,	having	a	plan,	keeping	organized	and	connecting	with	as	many	people	who	can	help	you	
                    as possible is essential. As business guru Mark McCormack says, “All things being equal, people will do busi-
                    ness with a friend. All things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.”

                    Remember: Successful professional networking requires planning, focus, a structured process to manage your
                    efforts, polite persistence and a lot of follow-up.

                    10 Steps to Networking Your Way a Great Job

                           1. Identify the job you want and your job search goals
                               Before you make your first networking contact, you need to know what job you are seek-
                               ing. See the previous sections on Define Your Value for Employers and Set Goals for more

                               If you are thinking about changing careers, you may want to complete a self assessment to
                               learn more about your interests, skills and jobs you are likely to find satisfying. There are
                               many assessments available to you. members can access the online ver-
                               sion of the world’s most widely used assessment, the Self-Directed Search ® (SDS®).

                           2. Create a personal statement
                           	 A	personal	statement,	also	known	as	a	30-second	elevator	pitch,	summarizes	your	strongest	
                               attributes, your achievements and ways you can benefit a potential employer. It sets the
                               context for all conversations you have about your job search. It is brief and to the point. A
                               well-crafted personal statement helps you respond easily and quickly when someone says,
                               “Tell me about yourself.”

                               You will find suggestions for creating a personal statement on page 18. SuccessHawk
                               Premium Members can use the Personal Statement Builder to create a working draft of a
                               personal statement.

                           3. Determine who you know and who can help you
                               Specifically, who do you know that can help you find a job doing what you want to do? Who
                               are the people that have an interest in seeing you succeed? Who are the people that can
                               help you launch, advance, or restart your career?

                               Creating a list of these people is the starting point in building your professional network. Be
                               sure to include in your professional network anyone and everyone who can help you.
      21   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to      Almost everyone currently has an existing network but may not be aware of it. Here are
      Contents         some ideas for identifying people who can help you and expanding your network.

                    •	 Family	members
                    •	 Friends
                    •	 Neighbors
                    •	 Friends	of	your	family	and	families	of	your	friends
                    •	 Former	colleagues,	coworkers	and	employers
                    •	 Connections	on	LinkedIn,	Plaxo,	Facebook,	and	other	social	networking	sites
                    •	 Fellow	alumni	are	usually	predisposed	to	help	other	alumni
                    •	 Members	of	your	professional	associations,	clubs,	teams,	and	religious	organization
                    •	 Job	search	support	organizations
                    •	 Networking	events	and	career	fair	contacts
                    •	 Industry	trade	shows—meet	fellow	attendees	and	influential	speakers	before	and	after	
                       sessions, and meet exhibitors during sessions when most attendees are in sessions

                       When you start networking it is important to start with people you know. It is easier to
                       talk with friends and family when you begin the process. With them, you can practice and
                       perfect your networking skills without anxiety.

                       Even when contacting friends, you need to prepare before you start. Be clear about what
                       you want and what you have to offer so they can understand specifically how to help you.

                    4. Create a record of your contacts
                       Keeping track of your contacts and their contact information, notes on your interactions with
                       them and when you plan to contact them again is complicated.

                       You can maintain your contact information in a notebook, populate a spreadsheet, or create
                       your own method to track your information.

                       SuccessHawk Premium Members can use SuccessHawk’s Contact Manager and Scheduler.

      22   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to     With you can automatically import contacts from Outlook, Gmail,
      Contents        LinkedIn and other commonly used personal information managers, you can store
                      background information on your contacts, get help in knowing what to say and ask your
                      contacts, and schedule follow-up actions that you can download into Outlook, iCal, and
                      other calendar applications, as well as your PDA.

                      Whatever you choose to do, keep a record. Trying to keep all this information in your head is
                      very difficult and may cause you to lose valuable contact data.

                    5. Start connecting
                      Now it’s time to start reaching out
                      to people in your network to aid you
                      in your job search. Though your first
                      networking emails or calls can be
                      awkward, keep in mind that they will
                      be easier as you make more of them.
                      That’s why it is best to ease into net-
                      working by starting with calls to family
                      and friends.

                      During these initial calls you are
                      reaching out to learn all you can about
                      potential employment possibilities and
                      letting people know that you are avail-

                      For your first calls, you may find it help-
                      ful to write and practice a brief script
                      on what to say after you say hello. Use
                      your personal statement to introduce
                      yourself and what you can offer a
                      potential employer.

                      If you are a SuccessHawk Premium
                      Member, SuccessHawk will help you
                      with this. The
                      networking system provides icebreak-
                      ers and questions to get you started.
                      As you progress through your job
                      search with a contact, you will find
                      these suggestions adjust to offer new
                      suggestions that reflect changes in your
      23   G E        relationships with your contacts.

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Interviews
      Contents      Planning your networking email and telephone calls is essential. Answer the following
                    questions for yourself before contacting anyone:

                    •	 How	are	you	going	to	introduce	yourself?
                    •	 Why	are	you	making	contact?
                    •	 What	is	your	strategy	for	creating	interest	in	you?
                    •	 What	benefits	do	you	bring?
                    •	 What	are	your	common	interests	or	affiliations	with	this	person?
                    •	 If	the	person	agrees	to	help	you,	what	specific	questions	will	you	ask?

                    Practice your personal statement over and over until you can introduce yourself in a
                    conversational way.

                    Make appointments for either an in-person meeting or a telephone interview with your
                    contact so that you can ask questions, listen, and learn. Networking via email will not work

                    At this stage, make it very clear that you are you are not asking your contact for a job; rather,
                    you are looking for information about what might be available and where you need to focus
                    your attention. Be sure you tell the contact what you want to take away from the call. Finally,
                    ask how you, in turn, can help them. Every time you connect with someone you should be
                    listening for ways you can help them. Giving back is the “grease” that makes networking
                    work and the reason to reconnect.

                    Keep in mind that your contacts are busy with their own work; be respectful of that and ask
                    for only 20 minutes of their time. Hint: once they begin talking, they will likely give you a lot
                    more than that!

                    If someone won’t talk with you, doesn’t have time, or takes too long to respond, move on.
                    Don’t waste your time or theirs. More people will help than not. Focus on finding people
                    willing to help.

                    At first, networking interviews can be difficult. Nevertheless, they do work. Set a personal
                    goal to make five or six calls or send five or six emails each day. Your persistence will pay off
                    as your network expands. If five or six calls or emails feel like too many at the outset, start
                    with two or three and build from there.

                    If you initiate contact with a referral by email, make sure your subject line is informative and
                    compelling. For example, “Brian Jones suggested I contact you,” or “Fellow Maryland Terp
      24   G E      interested in your company.”

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Be	sure	to	send	a	personalized	thank	you	note	within	24	hours	of	finishing	an	informational	
      Contents      interview. It is fine to send the thank you by email but a handwritten note may help you stand
                    out. Be sure to get their address when you talk to them.

                    Tip: Networking is not just about you.
                    When you talk with your contacts, learn about them, their family, their interests, their job, and
                    their career. Make notes. When you reconnect to thank them and follow-up, be sure to mention
                    something about what you learned and also give them something helpful. This could be new industry
                    information, an interesting article, a book you’ve read, or a connection with another person you think
                    they should meet.

                    Informational Interviews
                    If you are just starting your job search, planning to change careers, or re-entering the job
                    market, your first interviews are likely to be informational interviews intended to help you
                    gather information and make decisions about what direction to pursue, not to ask for a job.
                    Informational interviews will help you build confidence in describing who you are and what
                    you have to offer. Most important, they are a primary source of referrals to build and expand
                    your professional network and lead quickly and efficiently to real job opportunities.

                    As with any interview, do your homework beforehand so you can speak about your contact’s
                    organization	and	industry	knowledgeably.	The	more	you	know	upfront,	the	more	meaningful	
                    the conversation will be and the stronger the impression you will make. To learn more about
                    the	organization,	visit	the	website,	search	for	articles	written	about	it,	read	professional	
                    journals	related	to	the	organization’s	business,	and	attend	trade	shows	where	they	exhibit	
                    products.	Remember,	too,	to	check	out	competing	organizations	not	only	as	a	source	of	
                    information to discuss but also for potential employment.

                    During an informational interview:

                    •	 Listen	closely	to	the	answers	to	your	questions	and	jot	down	extensive	notes.

                    •	 Always	ask	for	two	or	three	referrals	to	other	contacts,	a	few	details	about	the	referrals	
                       to	help	you	personalize	your	call	when	you	reach	out	to	those	people,	and	permission	to	
                       mention that your current contact referred you to them.

                    •	 If	your	contact	mentions	an	available	job	opportunity	that	sounds	interesting	jump	at	the	
                       opportunity to learn more!

                    As you become more skilled in networking conversations, you will find that your interview
                    objectives evolve from strictly gathering information to discussing specific job opportunities in
                    organizations	that	interest	you.	Opportunities	will	emerge	as	you	work	through	your	contacts	
      25   G E      and make new connections.

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   If you are a SuccessHawk Premium Member, SuccessHawk will ask you to note opportunities
      Contents      in every interview. If you respond positively, the contact’s color-coding will change to alert
                    you that they represent actual opportunities worth pursuing. Job opportunity interviews are
                    discussed in Step 7.

                    6. Follow Up
                    Following up is an essential ingredient of successful networking. After a networking conver-
                    sation,	you	will	have	to	make	specific	follow-up	actions.	At	a	minimum,	write	a	personalized	
                    thank you note or email.

      26   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Other follow-up actions will depend on what you discussed or promised during the
      Contents      informational interview. After each networking conversation or informational interview, be
                    sure to follow through on commitments you made during the interview. Did you agree to:

                    •	 Provide	more	information?
                    •	 Send	a	resume?
                    •	 Contact	someone	else?
                    •	 Get	back	in	touch	with	the	contact?
                    •	 Take	a	particular	action,	such	as	signing	up	for	a	class	or	joining	a	professional	association		
                       the person recommended?

                    Why is follow-up so important? Most people you’ve asked to help you have busy lives with
                    their own agendas, schedules, and priorities. Besides being a matter of courtesy, following up
                    diligently puts you back on that person’s to-do list. For example:

                    Effective follow-up can be a simple reminder, such as: “We talked last week. I’m just
                    checking to see whether you can send me the information about Mr. X or Ms. Y whom you
                    recommended I contact.”


                    “You mentioned in our conversation that XYZ Corporation might have a job
                    where I’d be a good fit. I am checking back with you to be sure you received the resume I sent
                    and to learn more about the opportunity. I’ve been researching the company online and have a
                    few questions.”

      27   G E

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Above all, don‘t be discouraged if people don’t get back to you immediately or at all. Remem-
      Contents      ber, everyone is busy. Some will forget—even your friends. Don’t assume a lack of immediate
                    means is a sign they don’t care or won’t help in the future when they have more time.

                    Promising leads often disappear. That’s okay. Other people may provide a wealth of helpful
                    information, recommendations, leads and referrals. The good thing about networking is that
                    most people do want to help. A gentle reminder about the help that was offered may be all
                    takes to get the responses you wanted.

                    A job search can stall. If this happens, try circling back and reconnecting with contacts who
                    might not have been able to help you earlier. Often when you reach out a second time with
                    something new to say you wil be able to grab their attention.

                    7. Prioritize and target potential job opportunities
                    During your first round of initial conversations and informational interviews, you are likely
                    to uncover a number of job opportunities. If so, focus your attention on the ones that sound
                    promising	and	appealing	so	you	can	prioritize	effective	follow-up	calls	or	emails	that	may	
                    eventually lead to job interviews.

                    If you learn of a job opening during an informational interview that interests you, shift the
                    interview from gathering information to addressing the specific opportunity. Learn as much as
                    you can about the job and explain briefly how your background, skills, interests, and knowl-
                    edge make you suitable for it. Ask for a job description—it will help you understand what the
                    job entails so that you better prepare yourself for further interviews.

                    If your contact suggests that you need to speak with someone else, make sure to request the
                    name and contact information of that person and ask your contact to recommend you directly
                    to that person. Then add this new contact to your network as an Opportunity and follow up to
                    request an interview.

                    When you identify a job opportunity, continue conducting informational interviews but put job
                    opportunities at the top of your priority list.

                    Follow up regularly. Be politely persistent. When you follow up with a contact regarding a job
                    opportunity, be enthusiastic about the position and explain what particularly interests you
                    about	the	job	and	offer	specific	ideas	for	ways	you	can	benefit	the	organization.

                    Tip: When you follow up, send your contact new information about yourself, additional information
                    about something you discussed or news about a common interest. For example, mention or send a
      28   G E      recent news article, book, or video on a topic of shared interest.

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        Return to   8. Ace your interviews
      Contents      Learning about an actual job opportunity is the payoff of effective interviewing. When you
                    learn of a potential job opening, act promptly to contact the referral or the potential employer.
                    Every contact you have with potential employers puts you closer to landing the position you
                    want. If the contact you made during an interview will personally refer you (through an email
                    or phone call) to a hiring manager, that referral alone will help you access the hiring manager.

                    Tip: There are times when a face-to-face meeting with a potential employer can uncover jobs that
                    are not yet posted. Be alert for this. Often, after an employer meets a highly skilled candidate and
                    evaluates his or her abilities and potential value to the company, a way is found to hire that person.

                    Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
                    The importance of being well prepared for a job interview cannot be overstated. Review the
                    SuccessHawk Interviewing section to help you anticipate common questions asked by inter-
                    viewers—and some uncommon questions.

                    Review the job description. This will help you understand what the job entails and the most
                    important requirements that the employer is looking for in a candidate. It will enable you
                    to think about your own experience, knowledge and skills that you want to highlight during
                    the interview. You may decide to rework parts of your resume to further accentuate those

                    Find out whether individuals or a team of people will interview you at the same time.

                    Redouble your efforts to learn as much as you can about the company and how the job or
                    the department can contribute to the company’s success. Review what you learned about
                    the	organization,	their	competition,	and	their	business	environment.	Are	there	news	articles	
                    or press releases about recent developments that might positively or negatively affect their
                    willingness to hire?

                    Tip: Interviews are less about you and more about what you can do for the employer. Be specific.
                    What strengths will you bring to the company? When they hire you, what can you contribute and
                    how will they benefit?

                    Whatever you do, stay positive! Be enthusiastic!

                    If you want more help with interviewing, consider purchasing Perfect Interview, a dynamic
                    interviewing practice application available to all SuccessHawk Members that lets you
                    sharpen your interviewing skills online.
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        Return to            9. Close the deal!
      Contents               Receiving a job offer feels absolutely fantastic. Let the hiring manager know how excited you
                             feel and how confident you are that he or she has made an excellent decision.

                             However, even if you’re sure you want the job, ask the manager for 24 hours to consider the
                             offer. Factors to weigh include: is the salary what you are looking for, what are the benefits,
                             how	do	you	feel	about	the	organizational	culture,	and	did	you	like	the	people	you	met.

                             SuccessHawk Premium Members can access Job Offer Evaluation, which gives you a number
                             of important elements to consider in a job offer that you should feel comfortable with.

                             10. Thank everyone who helped you
                             When you do accept a job offer, be sure to let everyone who helped you along the way know.
                             Say thank you to everyone who helped you get this far. Everyone in your professional network
                             will enjoy feeling that they contributed to your success.

                    A Final Note on Networking
                    Always remember that networking doesn’t end when you land your job. Networking is an ongoing, career-long
                    activity. Update your SuccessHawk Workspace periodically with new information about yourself (for example,
                    new skills, job search success, new relevant experiences, something you’ve recently read or seen that may
                    interest other people.) Your networking contacts have an interest in you.

                    Above all, remember that networking must be mutually beneficial: Be willing to help other people as they have
                    helped you.

                    For many people, interviewing is the most difficult part of the job search. We can’t make interviewing easy, but
                    you can reduce the anxiety of interviewing if you have an understanding of what to expect.

                    If you need further help, all SuccessHawk Members can access Perfect Interview, a dynamic interactive learn-
                    ing tool, to practice your interviewing skills in lifelike simulations of real interviews. (Additional charges apply)

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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Employers conduct interviews to help them decide if you are qualified to do the job, and to determine whether
      Contents      you	will	fit	in	the	organization.	Interviews	also	give	you	an	opportunity	to	learn	more	about	the	company	and	if	
                    it is a fit for you, too.

                    Types of Interviews
                    During your job search you will likely encounter one or more of the following types of interviews.

                    Screening Interviews
                    Screening interviews are generally conducted by a representative of the company’s human resources
                    department or a recruiter. These interviews are used to determine whether you are qualified or overqualified to
                    do the job. These initial interviews may be conducted on the telephone.

                    One-on-One Interviews
                    In a one-on-one interview, the interviewer will ask you a set of questions to learn if you have the knowledge
                    and skills necessary to handle the job for which you have applied. Hiring managers conducting one-on-one
                    interviews also want to get a sense of what you would be like to work with and how you would fit in the

                    Behavioral Interviews
                    In behavioral interviews, the interviewer is trying to learn how you behaved in past situations as a predictor
                    of how you are likely to behave in the future. Expect to be asked questions similar in style to: “Tell me about a
                    time when…” or “Give me an example of…”

                    Panel Interviews
                    Panel interviews are interviews with a panel of two or more people asking you questions.

                    Informational Interviews
                    This is an interview that you requested to learn about a particular job, company, or industry and how best to
                    present yourself to potential hiring managers. An informational interview also gives you an opportunity to cre-
                    ate a positive impression. Be sure to get referrals, leads, and recommendations for other networking contacts.

                    Preparing for Interviews
                    Presenting yourself well for an interview requires preparation and thinking through what you want to say during
                    the interview. Being well prepared will help you stand out from other candidates. Consider these points when
                    preparing for an interview:

                           •	 Learn	as	much	as	you	can	about	the	organization.
                              In almost every interview situation, you’ll be asked, “What can you do for this company?”
                              Practice your answer. Research press releases, The Wall Street Journal, annual reports, blogs,
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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to      websites,	the	news,	and	so	on	to	learn	about	the	organization.	Know	the	company’s	philoso-
      Contents         phy, goals, plans, new products, target customers, new executives, and major competitors.

                    •	 Use	your	network.
                    	 Do	you	know	anyone	who	works	or	has	worked	for	this	company	or	organization?	Call	or	have	
                       lunch with them before your interview. Your competition likely won’t have done their home-
                       work as well as you have. Your prospective employer will notice.

                    •	 Review	the	job	description.
                       Be prepared to explain how your background qualifies you for the job. Did you find the job
                       posting online? Save a copy and bring it with you to the interview. Some companies take
                       weeks to start calling people in for interviews, and by then the job description may have been
                       pulled from wherever you saw it.

                    •	 Dress	to	impress.
                       Research indicates that many job applicants have unsuccessful interviews because they
                       didn’t dress professionally. A jacket, dress slacks, dress shirt, and a tie are fine for men. Suits,
                       blouses, skirts, or slacks are fine for women. The rule of thumb is to dress one notch above
                       that group’s normal attire. If in doubt, a suit is never inappropriate for men or women. Remem-
                       ber, you’re going to a job interview, not a casual event.

                    •	 Review	your	resume.
                       Think of examples that describe or illustrate your accomplishments.

                    •	 Be	prepared	for	the	interview:
                    ◦	 –	 Confirm	the	date	and	time	of	the	interview.
                    ◦	 –	 Make	sure	you	know	how	to	get	to	the	interview	and	how	long	it	takes	to	get	there.
                    ◦	 –	 Confirm	the	spelling	of	the	first	and	last	name	of	all	interviewers.
                    ◦	 –	 Arrive	at	least	10-15	minutes	before	your	interview.	You	may	be	asked	to	complete	an	
                          application when you arrive.
                    ◦	 –	 Bring	three	copies	of	your	resume.
                    	 –	 If	you	have	them,	bring	letters	of	recommendation,	professional	certificates,	and	
                          references in a portfolio binder.

                    For	design,	art-related,	or	writing	positions,	bring	5–10	examples	of	your	best	work	in	a	portfolio.	
                    If employers spend all their time looking through your portfolio, they won’t have as much time to
                    connect with you. Student projects and personal work are fine; just make sure that the content is
                    suitable for the employer’s customers. Email a link to your online portfolio in advance.

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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to        Tips:
      Contents           •	 Turn	off	your	cell	phone	before	you	enter	the	building.
                         •	 When	answering	questions,	keep	your	answers	focused	on	your	skills	and	knowledge.
                         •	 Make	eye	contact	but	don’t	stare.
                         •	 Be	succinct	and	direct,	don’t	ramble.
                         •	 Be	truthful.
                         •	 Be	sure	to	write	a	thank	you	note	afterwards.

                    Interview Questions to Anticipate
                    In addition to specific questions about the information included in your resume, you can expect to be asked a
                    wide range of questions for which there is no right or wrong answer. The interviewer is trying to get a sense of
                    who	you	are	and	how	you	will	fit	into	the	organization.

                    The following questions are frequently asked of candidates. You’ll find them easier to answer during an inter-
                    view if you think beforehand about how you would answer them and jot down your answers.

                         •	 Tell	me	about	yourself.
                            Remember that 30 second elevator speech you worked on? Here’s where to use it.

                         •	 What	can	you	offer	us?	Why	should	we	hire	you?
                            Make a list of your qualifications for the job. Include years of experience, education, special
                            training, technical skills, inside knowledge of a product or market, and so on. Are you a cus-
                            tomer of this product or service? List your transferable skills like communication, leadership,
                            organization,	attention	to	detail,	and	work	ethic.

                            Review the list objectively. Which items are most valuable to the employer? Use this informa-
                            tion to write a brief “sales pitch” that describes your qualifications for the job. Structure the
                            information in a logical fashion and then practice saying it aloud until you are confident in
                            your delivery.

                         •	 What	are	your	strengths?
                            Think about your noteworthy achievements or experiences (for example, a paper, report, proj-
                            ect, research study, or special project). What did you do to accomplish them?

                            Think about performance reviews. Did you ever win an award or receive positive feedback
                            from a happy customer? What were the reasons for the positive attention? Provide context
                            and scope when answering this question. By elaborating on your strengths, it’s easier for the
                            employer to see where you shine.
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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   •	 What	are	your	weaknesses?
      Contents        Remember that employers are human and would appreciate a little honesty. It’s okay to
                      acknowledge your weaknesses and explain steps you’ve taken to address them. It’s also fair
                      to point out how you’ve turned a genuine weakness into a strength but avoid clichéd non-
                      weaknesses	like	“I’m	too	organized.”

                    •	 Where	do	you	see	yourself	in	three	to	five	years	from	now?
                      Think about your personal goals and answer as genuinely as possible. This is a good opportunity
                      to ask the interviewer about the opportunities available to a person who succeeds in this job.

                    •	 What	attracted	you	to	our	organization?
                      Draw from your research and personal knowledge of the company to answer this question.
                      Keep in mind that this interview is about what you can do for them. Answering that you’re
                      attracted to the free snacks in the break room won’t score any points.

                    •	 Tell	me	about	a	time	you	were	under	pressure	to	meet	a	deadline	and	what	you	did.
                      When did you feel pressure at your last job because something was due? Describe the prob-
                      lem, the actions you took, and the outcome. Choose examples in which you received positive

                    •	 What	will	former	employer(s)	say	about	you?
                      Be honest. Think about the positive things they will say about you.

                    •	 What	salary	are	you	expecting?
                      This is a landmine question, and one you’ll almost certainly face. A general rule for salary is:
                      He or she who says the first number loses. Typically, a company has budgeted a certain salary
                      range for a position and will do their best to stay within it. Ask what that salary range is and
                      where the interviewer sees you fitting into that range.

                      To prepare, you owe it to yourself to find out what the salary range is for a comparable
                      position in the geographical region. You can learn this through your network or check out a
                      website like

                    •	 “Trick”	questions
                      These happen to the best of interviewees. The only wrong answer to an impossible question
                      is “I don’t know.”

                      Hiring managers are looking for employees who think through tough challenges. They want
                      to know if you keep your cool under pressure, if you can think on your feet, whether you BS or
      34   G E        maintain your credibility, and how you respond to the unfamiliar. So show them: think aloud.

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to            Talk about what you know about the problem; work out the process in front of them. You are
      Contents               being judged not only on your ability to solve problems, but also on your intelligence and
                             potential. There is no potential in “I don’t know.”

                             When faced with this type of question, it is fine to ask questions of the interviewer. If you are
                             truly stumped, make a note of the question and follow up with an emailed solution the next
                             day. Interviewers are always impressed by candidates who not only care about learning and
                             developing, but also follow through.

                    At the Interview
                    You’re there; it’s time for the interview! Greet the receptionist warmly and remember his or her name. As a
                    well-respected member of the team, receptionists have quite a bit of pull when it comes to hiring. If candidates
                    are rude, or odd, they’ll notice and probably remark upon it to a member of the hiring team.

                    While waiting for your interviewer, observe the office. Is it clean and comfortable? Do the people walking by
                    smile at you? Are they engaged in conversation with each other? Do they seem to enjoy working there? Do you
                    overhear them talking to or about customers? Is there a respectful, energetic tone to their conversations? This
                    is great information to consider when you are considering a job offer.

                    When your interviewer comes to meet you, look him or her in the eye, give a firm handshake, remember the
                    interviewer’s name, and smile! Thank the receptionist (if practicable) as you leave the lobby. Do your best to get
                    each interviewer’s card.

                    Questions for You to Ask
                    Keep in mind that interviews are not only the interviewers’ way of getting to know you; they are your
                    opportunity to evaluate the company and the people with whom you might work. You are likely to be asked,
                    “Do you have any questions?” The answer is always YES!

                    Here’s another instance where your research comes in handy. For example, “I know from my research that
                    ABC Company is planning to expand into the international market. How might that affect the department’s

                    If you are replacing an existing employee, you might consider asking what your predecessor’s biggest
                    challenges were.

                    You can also ask about opportunities for advancement, availability of corporate training programs, plans for
                    expansion, and so on.
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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Ask questions that matter to you. You need to make sure that the position is a good fit for you. In a big
      Contents      company, different departments have different cultures. Find out about the particular department in which you
                    would be working.

                    Is teamwork important to you? Try, “Would you tell me about the last big project that the team worked on

                    If you are interviewing in the person’s office, notice the environment. See a picture of something you can relate
                    to like golfers, sailboats, or sunny beaches? Make a mild comment about it and observe their response. Does
                    their reaction look positive? If so, start a brief conversation about your mutual interest in the subject matter.
                    The more you learn about the interviewer’s personal interests the better your interview is going!

                    Other	possible	interview	questions	to	ask	include:

                             •	 What	problem	is	this	job	going	to	solve?	

                             •	 What	steps	need	to	be	taken	by	the	new	hire	to	tackle	that	problem?

                             •	 What	was	your	first	job	with	this	company?

                             •	 What	do	you	like	most	about	working	here?

                             •	 What	are	you	looking	for	in	the	ideal	candidate	for	this	position?

                             •	 How	will	you	know	that	the	person	you	select	was	the	right	choice?

                             •	 What	tools	are	available	to	achieve	those	goals?

                             •	 How	will	the	work	that	is	done	contribute	to	the	company’s	profits?	
                                 (How will it lower costs or increase revenues?)

                             Tips: Be passionate! Show enthusiasm for the position, the industry, and the company. Love filing,
                             coding, marketing, or interacting with customers? Talk about it! Don’t apply for positions you don’t care
                             about. Throughout the interview, find connections between your personal interests, your love for the
                             industry, and the opportunity at hand.

                             Note: Do not ask about the benefits program in your first interview! If someone from Human Resourc-
                             es meets with you and explains the benefits then it is okay to ask the HR person questions about them
                             but you should not bring up the subject.

                    Ending the Interview
                    Be as cordial and energetic on the way out as on the way in. If you are interested in the position, tell the
                    interviewers! Express your enthusiasm. Not so thrilled? Don’t let on. You may change your mind, or the
      36   G E      opportunity might change, or who knows what might happen.

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        Return to   Say thank you! Say good-bye to anyone else you met. Remembering their names helps score points.
                    Follow up with a thank-you note to each interviewer, mailed or e-mailed that afternoon or the next day. Many
                    positive traits are attributed to candidates who send thank-you notes; they are thought to be polite, positive,
                    attentive to detail, and great to work with.

                    Preparing for an Informational Interview
                    If you are a career changer or a recent college graduate looking for a first job, you will find that most people you
                    ask for an informational interview will be very responsive to your request for help. It’s human nature; people
                    like to talk about themselves and what they do.

                    Informational interviews are not job interviews. Make it clear that you are not asking your contact for a job.
                    You are there to gain a deeper understanding of the company and its industry, enhance your awareness of
                    the company’s culture, and network with professionals in a relatively low-stress setting. Equally important,
                    informational interviews are opportunities to get leads for positions in other divisions or companies that may
                    have job openings and career potential.

                    Goals for an Informational Interview

                    Your primary goals for an informational interview are:

                    	        •	 To	let	the	person	know	that	you	are	learning	about	a	career	that	is	of	interest	to	you
                    	        •	 To	leave	a	positive	impression	
                    	        •	 To	gather	useful	information	about	the	company	and,	more	broadly,	the	field
                    	        •	 To	gather	at	least	two	new	contacts	to	add	to	your	network

                    Questions to Get You Started

                    	        •	 How	did	you	get	into	this	field?
                    	        •	 What	do	you	like	about	working	in	this	field?
                    	        •	 What	is	a	typical	day	like	for	you?
                    	        •	 What	sets	your	company	apart	from	competing	companies?
                    	        •	 How	would	you	describe	the	career	paths?
                    	        •	 What	advice	would	you	offer	for	someone	wanting	to	get	into	this	field?
                    	        •	 What	do	hiring	managers	look	for	at	this	company?
                    	        •	 Whom	would	you	recommend	that	I	contact	to	learn	about	another	person’s	experience?
                    	        •	 May	I	say	that	you	recommended	I	call?	Or	would	you	be	able	to	contact	that	person	and		
      37   G E
                                suggest that he or she speaks to me?

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        Return to            Tips:
                    	        	 •	 Be	respectful	of	the	person’s	time	and	stay	within	your	allocated	time	guidelines.	
                                     Do not ask for a job, or be too aggressive in your questioning/approach.
                    	        	 •	 Active	listening	is	essential	during	an	interview.	If	something	isn’t	clear,	don’t	hesitate		
                                     to ask for a clarification. Hiring managers like people who get their facts straight!
                    	        	 •	 Take	a	notebook	to	record	notes	and	recommendations	for	other	people	to	contact.	
                                     You can also include questions to ask during the interview.

                    Follow Up
                    After an interview, follow up promptly with any further information you have been asked to submit such as
                    references, recommendations, portfolios, or transcripts.

                    Write a thank-you note within 24 hours of each interview.

                    Using the Internet in Your Job Search
                    The Internet provides an astounding wealth of information that can be extremely useful in your job search. Here
                    are a few tips on using the Internet to help you.

                    Information Resources
                    Online	Job	Listings
                    There are hundreds of sites posting job openings, including: Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice,, and
                    Craig’s List, or you can use SuccessHawk’s job postings powered by Simply Hired. SuccessHawk job postings
                    are aggregated from all of the well-known job sites so you don’t need to move from one site to another.

                    Company Websites
                    Want to learn more about a company that interests you? Visit the company’s website and spend some time
                    browsing its pages. Get to know as much as you can about their product or services. Be sure to read the press
                    section to learn about recent noteworthy announcements. Don’t forget to check out the company’s jobs or
                    careers pages to see what positions the company is seeking to fill. You might also do an internet search on the
                    company name to see if there is any late breaking news that you should be aware of before you go in for an

                    Insider Information
                    Want to get the inside scoop on companies that interest you? Check out or
           for company reviews and information on salaries, interviewing, and other
                    related information.
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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   Want to learn about people who are going to interview you? Look them up on LinkedIn or other networking
      Contents      sites. You can also check out companies on these sites, too.

                    The Blogosphere
                    There	are	dozens	of	job	search	blogs	where	you	can	pick	interesting	tips	about	managing	your	job	search.		
                    Blogs come and go and many are not kept up to date.

                    Blogs	are	often	specialized.	For	example,	if	you	are	just	graduating	from	college,	check	out	
           for great tips on making the transition from college to career. You can also visit
           where career counselors share their ideas on a wide
                    range of job search topics. For a comprehensive listing of blogs in the job search/career field, check out

                    Create an Online Presence
                    Today’s hiring managers are relying more on the Internet to check out the credentials of potential candidates.
                    The first thing to do is find out what a hiring manager may learn about you. Do an Internet search on yourself
                    and see what comes up. You may find out that you need to do some work to clean up your image or to create
                    one. You want to present a positive image so you may want to revise any sites, blogs, forums, or other sites
                    that you appear on.

                    Be sure to clean up your image on Facebook and MySpace. What seemed hip in college or spring break could
                    turn off a hiring manager. Do the same with your voice mail message and your email address.

                    You can build your own personal branding by planning how you present yourself to the world via your online
                    presence. Keep your “messaging” consistent from one site to another. If you have set up a presence on multiple
                    sites, be sure to link all your sites.

                    If you already have a profile on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites, be sure to keep it current. If you
                    haven’t posted a profile on this popular site or others, put one up. You never know who might find you here. Be
                    sure to ask your colleagues and, in particular, your former managers if they would post a recommendation for
                    you. Recruiters do look at LinkedIn profiles for information about you. If you do post your profile on LinkedIn and
                    decide you want to do the same on Plaxo or Monster, be sure that the information is consistent. You can also
                    check your page on LinkedIn to see who’s been checking your profile.

                    Search the groups that you can access on LinkedIn. These groups will provide a great source of networking
                    contacts. Check to see if your college alumni have a group on LinkedIn.
                    To join LinkedIn, go to

                              Tip: Check out LinkedIn’s Job Insider to open Job Boards and find people in your network who   work at

      39   G E
                              the hiring company.

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        Return to   Plaxo
      Contents      Consider joining Plaxo, the “smart address book” for family, friends and business associates. On Plaxo, contacts
                    share	what	they	are	creating	online	–	their	blogs,	photo’s	they	have	uploaded,	restaurant	reviews	and	more.	To	
                    join Plaxo, go to

                    Join the Blogosphere
                    Create your own blog. If you have the expertise why not show it off? Go to for help in
                    setting up your blog. Don’t forget to respond to blogs to become a part of the community.

                    Join the newest microblog, Twitter. More and more jobs are cropping up in tweets that are posted on Twitter,
                    and you can also use Twitter to let people know that you are looking for work. For information on how to join
                    Twitter, go to

                    A Cautious Note on Using the Internet in Your Job Search
                    Be very careful about posting your private information on the Web. There are inherent risks in posting your
                    resume and other personal data. Never post confidential information like your Social Security number on the

                    Attending Career Fairs
                    Career fairs are a great opportunity to make face to face connections with company recruiters. Attending career
                    fairs can be extremely valuable or a real waste of time. It all depends on you and how you approach them.
                    Attending a career fair simply to browse the floor is unlikely to get you anywhere. Approaching career fairs
                    strategically, however, can get you interviews with companies that interest you.

                    Career fairs are busy places with hundreds if not thousands of candidates vying for the attention of company
                    recruiters. Consequently, recruiters make snap decisions about you based upon how you look, what you say
                    and their first impressions of you. To ensure that you get the most out of a career fair requires preparation and
                    planning, making positive first impressions, and follow up.

                    Preparing for a Career Fair
                    Find out from the company hosting the career fair what companies will attend and create a priority list of the
                    ones that are of particular interest to you. Learn as much as you can about them from the company website:
                    their product lines, competition, and future plans at a minimum. The more you know, the better the impression
                    you will create with recruiters and the more you will distinguish yourself from other candidates.

                    Practice your 30 second elevator pitch. This is your response when you are asked
      40   G E      “Tell me about yourself.”

 A Career Management Publication
        Return to        Questions to anticipate
                         •	   Tell	me	about	yourself.
                         •	   What	attracted	you	to	our	company?
                         •	   Where	do	you	see	yourself	in	3-5	years?
                         •	   What	do	you	offer	us?

                         Questions for you to ask
                         •	 What	are	you	looking	for	in	candidates	for	this	position?
                         •	 How	long	have	you	been	with	the	company	and	what	do	you	like	about	it?

                         What to take to a career fair
                         •	 Multiple	copies	of	your	resume:	at	least	two	copies	for	each	company	you	
                            want to meet plus several more
                         •	 Bring	business	cards
                         •	 A	notebook	and	a	portfolio	folder	to	hold	your	resumes

                    Plan the Day
                    Dress professionally.

                    Plan to get there early.

                    If available, consider taking a workshop preceding the opening. Often, participants in these workshops
                    are given priority entrance into the exhibition hall.

                    Organize	your	activities.	Review	the	floor	plan	and	identify	the	locations	of	the	companies	you	want	to	
                    see. Go to your top priority companies first.

                    At the Fair
                    Do	a	quick	walk	around	the	floor	to	familiarize	yourself	with	the	layout.

                    Interview	everyone	you	can	but	prioritize	the	companies	you	want	to	meet	and	be	sure	to	meet	with	
                    them first.

                    Use down time to network with other candidates or take advantage of any career search seminars.
                    If you are waiting to speak with a recruiter, listen to the questions the recruiters are asking candidates
                    ahead of you.

                    Smile, show enthusiasm, and shake hands firmly.

                    Tell the recruiter how pleased you are to have had an opportunity to meet him/her because you are
                    very interested in the company.

      41   G E      Pick up company literature and ask the recruiter for a business card.

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        Return to
      Contents      After the fair
                    Follow up immediately with any additional materials that you may have promised a recruiter.

                    Write a thank you note to all the recruiters you met. Be sure to tell them why they should follow up with you.

                    Reigniting a Stalled Job Search
                    10 Ways to Get Back on Track
                    Hopefully your job search is proceeding along nicely. But if you’re feeling a bit discouraged, particularly after
                    working this process hard for a month or two, don’t despair. Just as dieters can speed up weight loss by varying
                    their exercise regimen, job seekers can enjoy better results by periodically incorporating new strategies into
                    their job search routine. Here are 10 proven strategies to help get your search back on track.

                           1. Evaluate and expand your target list
                              If you’re not getting the results you want, it might be time to expand your list of possible
                               employers. Think beyond the obvious corporate targets and include small businesses, non-
                               profits,	and	organizations	in	high-growth	fields	(for	example,	healthcare,	government,	and	
                               education). Set up Google Alerts to track industry news and companies with hiring potential.
                               An excellent tutorial to help you research and identify companies is offered online by the
                               New York Public Library at

                           2. Revisit your initial list of employers
                              Employers’ needs and budgets change over time, so periodically circle back with companies
                               to express your continued interest in them. Be persistent but polite in your follow-up

                           3. Focus on your inner circle of influential contacts
                              As your search continues, you’ll find certain people to be incredibly helpful, while others will
                               be of limited value. Identify your inner circle of “power supporters” and nurture those core
                               relationships to ensure their continued assistance over the long-haul. Also, circle back with
                               friends and former business colleagues.

                           4. Consider project-based employment
                              Taking on project work can help you build new skills, expand your network of professional
                               contacts, and potentially lead to an offer of full-time employment. At a minimum, being
                               involved with a project can help you feel more productive and valued.

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 A Career Management Publication
        Return to   5. Join a job search support group
                      The benefits of joining a job search group are many: you make valuable contacts, gain
                       access to job leads, and enjoy the emotional support offered by your fellow job seekers.
                       Most importantly, people involved with support groups report higher success rates and less
                       depression than those who try to go it alone.

                    6. Start your own job club
                      If you can’t find a job group that you like, consider creating your own job club of like-minded
                       individuals (for example, moms returning to work, laid-off executives from the same com-
                       pany, recent college graduates, and others currently seeking work.). The structure of the
                       group can be as loose or as formal as the group desires, but for optimal results, aim to have
                       the group convene at least once a week.

                    7. Create a blog
                      Recruiters and employers are increasingly turning to the Internet to recruit and vet job candi-
                       dates. Writing a blog is an inexpensive way to establish an online presence, showcase your
                       credentials, and promote yourself as an expert in your industry.

                    8. Contact a career professional
                      If you haven’t done so already, now may be the time to schedule a few sessions with a
                       trained career advisor. If you can’t afford a counselor in private practice, contact your alma
                       mater, local community college, or state unemployment office to arrange a session with a
                       counselor in their career services department.

                    9. Read a good career book or online newsletter
                      There are hundreds of useful books and e-newsletters about the job search process. Take
                       out a few books from the library and sign up for some free e-newsletters online. Make it a
                       point to read about this subject for at least 10 minutes each morning. Even if you only pick
                       up a few new ideas each week, you never know which nugget of information might prove to
                       be the golden ticket.

                    10. Take a break
                      While this might sound counter-intuitive, giving yourself a few days away from the search
                       can help clear your mind, refresh your spirit, and enable you to approach this challenge with
                       renewed focus. If you can’t afford the luxury of a few days away, schedule small breaks into
                       your day to help maintain the energy and focus needed for a protracted job search.

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        Return to
      Contents      Evaluating a Job Offer
                    Getting a call from a hiring manager offering you the job you want is exhilarating.

                    But before you jump at the offer, spend some time evaluating it. Telling the hiring manager that you are
                    genuinely excited to get the offer but would like to “sleep on it” before you formally accept the offer is a
                    generally accepted practice.

                    As a starting point after being offered the job, consider the following points:

                    	    •	 Does	the	job	align	with	your	goals	in	terms	of	what	the	job	entails?
                    	    •	 How	do	you	feel	about	the	company	and	its	culture?
                    	    •	 How	do	you	feel	about	the	person	you	will	report	to	and	the	people	you	will	be	working	with?
                    	    •	 Are	you	pleased	with	the	financial	offer?
                    	    •	 Will	you	receive	stock	options,	a	401K,	or	an	employee	stock	purchase	plan?
                    	    •	 What	is	the	health	benefits	package?
                    	    •	 What	is	the	vacation	policy?
                    	    •	 If	relocation	is	required,	what	is	the	company’s	relocation	policy?

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 A Career Management Publication
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      Career Management LLC
      9520 Berger Road, Columbia, MD 21046

      For further information:
      Telephone: 1-800-610-4295

A Career Management Publication

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