Key Elements of the Job Search
by Lee McGaan, Monmouth College
Knowing Who You
interests, life-style needs, workplace preferences. Focus on
skills you want to use and workplace styles you will enjoy.
Do you value $, location, hours, benefits, kind of work, kind of
"Marketing Yourself" plan
Remember, in the
job search, "Getting a job"
IS your job
business. It's not personal. (So don't take it personnally)
The Internet ?
(Try ResumeRabbit.com or
CareerBuilder) but only 5% of jobs are found there.
(61% of jobs are found this way)
(at home and recent MC grads), family, family friends, etc.
internship supervisors about possibilities they may know of.
(And keep in touch!)
interviews" and try for referrals.
Check out the MC
Alumni office, professors, etc.
Keep in touch
with your network.
Job Fairs -
personal contact is always an advantage.
potential employers (if possible)
Check out the
company web site. Look for key words to use in your cover letter
search site research (see my links)
Think of smaller
companies these days.
Government Jobs -- esp. for PR and Media Relations positions and
staff assistants. General
Government Job Information (all levels).
(your advisor?) look over your application materials. Triple
check for errors
are sales letters -- They are One Quick Shot to get attention and differentiate
yourself from the pack!!!
- make references indicating how your skills match the job description and
indicate you know the company and/or industry and are interested in it.
[ a 71% advantage ]
directions in application materials or ads carefully.
Be positive and
promote yourself without exaggerating or ego-tripping.
individualize as best you can
The point of resume entries is to
show what you can/will do. Can the reader see that?
Will your resume show you can potentially create value exceeding
the cost of employing you?
the resume around what each employer is looking for. Use
multiple skill lists to do that.
majors should start with education and skills at the top, then
relevant / work
references on the web. Do list them on print copies with all contact information (ph., email, address, title,
Pick three to
five people who can speak authoritatively as to what you can do.
Several should have been in a position to rate your work.
Talk to your
references in advance and, if possible, let them know what to expect.
Give them a copy of your resume.
Contrary to reports, few firms will keep your resume "on file"
and contact you later as jobs open up.
employer and industry (for sure)!!
Check out the
company web site. Look for key concepts, strategies,
terminology, products, attitude. Research
the products, their features, sales, etc. Look at available
annual reports if you can. Know the company size, revenues,
product lines, number of employees, service regions/countries, mission
statement, previous five years record, rank in industry, etc.
job search sites for company research (see my links)
news and track some recent stories events to talk about.
Prep answers to
contact! Focus on one individual at a time in groups.
Be friendly and
show some humor (but not so much as to look unserious or too casual).
If they like you, they will often find a way to hire you.
stories (memorable) to make points about what you have done and can do
for the employer. Use as many concrete examples in your answers
as you can.
simple. Don't talk too much. Let them talk quite a
bit if they seem to want to.
questions you want to ask. You may well be evaluated on that.
that show you want to know how you can contribute.
looking too self-centered.
Do try to find
out if this is a place you will be comfortable.
Be sure you know
the arrangements, how expenses are paid, etc. Get an itinerary
and ask if you need to bring anything or prepare anything special.
impressions you want to make and information you want remembered
[ sound bites ].
conservative (buy an interview suit), professional (for the type
of job), well groomed, and on-time.
briefcase. Have extra resumes on hand.
Positive, motivated, thoughtful, confident.
They can only hire you if the value you add to the organization is
greater than the cost of your salary, benefits, training, etc.
Your task is to prove you are at least that valuable.
Thank you notes
Always send them
to all those you met after an interview within a day of the interview.
(Collect business cards for this purpose and later contact.)
Use them to
reinforce those things that make you most attractive to the employer.
to specifics of the interview and interviewer. It shouldn't look
most personal but legible is most important. Email is becoming
If you don't
hear back in a reasonable time, touch base with the firm.
What to Consider
- Understand what the offer is
salary and other
cash, stock participation
health care, dental, life, disability
type of plan, vestment
cars, day care, memberships, subscriptions, etc.
all the duties you will be expected to perform
- Find out during the interview
If you are in a
new city, check out the cost of living (esp. housing)
Chat about the
offer will people you trust and who know you.
What to ask for
when you receive a job offer
features above are most important to you and consider the WHOLE offer
not just money.
the Salary Calculator under Job Search Tools
at careerbuilder.com or some similar service for salary range ideas.
(by job title and city)
questions, at first say you are open and see if the company will
name a figure or range.
You can ask for
a salary range.
After you have
received a job offer, if you want to negotiate, try saying "I have
some hesitation over 'X' part of your offer." then wait to see
what they say and go from there.
companies and negotiators vary in their ability to be flexible.
Less so now than in past years. Use your judgment as to how much
negotiating you can do.
about your salary "requirements," be realistic (research again) and
state a range. Appear flexible. Salary history is not
likely an issue for you, but don't state it unless asked.
about the offer and appreciative.
Be honest and
indicate you are declining because of a better opportunity for you or
to seek a better fit for your talents.
Always keep the
door open for future relationships.
Ask for a "free"
Go part-time or
temp at places where you can build skills or get an inside track on a