12 Most Dynamite Tips for Job Seekers

12 Most Dynamite Tips for Job Seekers

Employ these powerful pointers and ignite the fuse on your own job search. Or, pass them to a friend, colleague or contact and help them spark promising prospects.

1. Tend

Tend, as in: to look after, watch over and care for. Also as in: to tend a career. It requires redefining the very concept of “job search.” It’s no longer a task with a start and a stop. Because jobs are predominately now discovered through networks, stay alert to possibilities that can pop up, unexpectedly. If you look for professional opportunities only when you’re out of work, you’re going to have the same kind of challenge that a gardener does when he waters or weeds only when it’s time to harvest.

2. Cooperate

When you come across a fabulous opportunity that you’re not suited for, do you just delete the email? Or click on a different link? Next time, if it sounds like a role someone in your network is seeking, consider passing it on to the likely prospect. Such a gesture shouldn’t be offered with conditions or demands of reciprocity. Not necessary. Leads will come back to you, anyway. Promise.

3. Tell

Don’t be shy about telling your friends, professional contacts or others in your network that you are looking…

4. Discern

…but don’t broadcast it in a way that looks desperate. Discriminate how, where and when to let people know you are on the market for a job. This is what I mean: Don’t email your whole contact list with a generic note that you are looking for a new position. Instead, go through your contacts and send a more customized note, targeted to each person, that relays more insight into your search. That is far more likely to spark a response. Plus it’s more professional. When I see a LinkedIn profile headline that says: “Job searching” or “Looking for opportunities,” it seems like a digital version of standing at an intersection with a sign that says: “Hire me.”

5. Present

Treat interviews as if they are presentations. Leave the audience (your interviewer) with three key messages about the presentation topic: you. Make your case through the interview about the three messages. It will distinguish you and give the interviewer strong impressions about your skills.

6. Fulfill

When you get introduced at a conference or professional event to someone you think you want to follow up with, do so! This is particularly crucial if you tell the person you will call or send an email. Plus, this technique can be very effective. You never know from where the next prospect might come.

7. Impress

No, this tip doesn’t refer to your interaction with the hiring manager and the human resources person (although it’s important to impress them, of course.) This tip is a reminder to be considerate as well to anyone whose path you cross before, during or after an interview. It’s a seemingly small gesture that people notice and that speaks very well of your approach to people.

8. Supplement

If you’ve identified a weakness that might be holding you back from some of the jobs you didn’t get a call back on, help strengthen those areas or skills through volunteering. It is suitable to reflect on a resume and helps show your skills — even if you didn’t hone them during the hours of 9 to 5 on weekdays.

9. Mentor

This shows leadership and can lead to job tips or referrals. Plus, mentoring is a great example of putting #8 into practice.

10. Blog

Blogging lets you show your expertise and skills to an incredibly broad audience. Depending on how good and regular you are, your posts can lead directly to new clients, new business or other opportunities.

11. Study

Don’t just research the company and know about the industry by the time you head into an interview. Read up on the background of the interviewer on LinkedIn. You’ll very likely find an opportunity to include a comment or reference in the interview to something that had been included or mentioned on the profile, and it is impressive when candidates show that much initiative. Just don’t overdo it. More than one or two references back to something you gleaned about the interviewer’s professional background is not researching, it’s stalking.

12. Close

Ask for the job! Landing a job is like making a sale. You’re selling yourself. So make sure you close the deal.

What tips would you add? And if you’ve used any of these, I’d love to hear about it.

Featured image courtesy of asmundur licensed via Creative Commons.

Becky Gaylord


Becky worked as a reporter for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Cleveland, Ohio for major publications including the New York Times, Salon.com, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and was Associate Editor of the Plain Dealer's Editorial Page before she launched the consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. The company helps clients improve their external relations and communication and increase their influence and impact. Becky blogs about that (a few other things) at Framing What Works.

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Ask for the job! Landing a job is like making a sale. You’re selling yourself. So make sure you close the deal.