Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Careers A-to-Z: 26 job search techniques

A: Accomplishments: What have you excelled at in life? When you figure it out, tailor your job search to the talents that help you achieve your greatest accomplishment. If you're looking for a job, you might as well search for something that matches up with your strengths.

B: Benefits: Not sure you should accept a job because of pay that's lower than you expected? Keep in mind that salary isn't the only form of compensation. Don't overlook unique benefits like onsite day care or tuition reimbursement.

 C: Coordination: The days of blanket resume mailings and multiple cold calls are long gone. You need to research, network, improve and educate. Finding a job isn't just about the perfect resume or a strong interview. It's about all aspects of your job search working well together. Make sure you pay attention to all facets of your quest for a new career.

D: Directions: Want to be on time for your interview? Map it out ahead of time. Sure, you can use your GPS but be sure it's right. Getting lost on the way doesn't make for casual pre-interview conversation. It only reflects on your lack of preparation and your minor-league professionalism. Once you check in 20 minutes late for an interview, you're in for an uphill battle.

E: Eye contact: If you're interviewing for a position, it's essential to maintain eye contact at all times. It shows you're paying attention and are actively engaged. Ask any recruiter: A job prospect who glances out the window expresses a lack of interest in the position.

F: Facts: Are you sure you want to list "Assistant manager" as your job at Al's Pizza when you were in college? After all, one phone call and your status as "in-need-of-shower pizza deliverer who drank Sprite directly out of the machine" could be revealed. Tell the truth on your resume and during your interview. Make something up — even the smallest detail — and it could come back to haunt you.

G: Goals: You can deny the touchy-feely aspects of goal-setting all you want, but it's important to have a blueprint for your life. Set short-term and long-term goals. Where do you want to be in one, two, five and 10 years in terms of salary, responsibilities and position? Use your answers as a roadmap for your current and future job searches.

H: Handshake: Don't underestimate the power of a good handshake. When you meet with prospective employers or interviews, offer a firm handshake. It may seem corny but you're showing confidence and initiative. Don't offer the limp hand when someone extends his or her hand to you. Be assertive and professional. People remember bad handshakes.

I: Individualized: It's important to change your resume for each type of job you're applying for. There's no excuse for using a boilerplate resume for all the jobs to which you're applying. State the accomplishments that are relevant to each job and throw in something that might catch a particular company's eye.

J: Join: Surround yourself with successful people in your field. Sign up for professional organizations. You'll meet mentors and peers who can help advise you on career strategies. You also may be able to take classes and seminars through the group, which will help strengthen your skills.

Tips K - Z and complete Chicago Tribune Article

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