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The complete job search guide – how to land a job at a great company

When I graduated from college I sucked at job search and spent six miserable months unemployed. From the lessons I learned then and over the last 15 years in business, I’ll teach you to be better than 99% of all other job seekers and land a job at a great company. Below, you’ll find those lessons distilled down into a step-by-step job search guide complete with e-mail templates and telephone scripts.

Job search was the last thing on my mind when I graduated in 1992 – I went to the beach instead (Ocracoke island, NC) and spent six months ignoring all the talk about an approaching recession. Not too smart, but still, the memories are priceless and I’d do it again.

paying the bills during my job searchWhen winter came and my money ran out, I started searching for a job in Virginia Beach and it didn’t go well (foolish grasshopper). While I searched for the real estate job I really wanted, I worked a succession of crappy jobs which lasted about three weeks each and made me feel like a loser (working as a busboy, garden center helper, time-share sales rep, etc).

I became depressed.  This was the sort of depression where you stop talking to friends or family – I was in a black mood. My dream of becoming a real estate developer or builder was fading. Real estate was sinking all across the country, but that wasn’t my biggest problem. It was this:

How could I have known what mattered to a recruiter at a great company? Did it ever cross your mind that you could get whatever you want from people if you could hear their private thoughts? Well in job search, it would be true – you would breeze your way through the job search process if you knew what recruiters and hiring managers were thinking.

I sucked at job search because at 20 years old, I’d never run a company or managed people. Until you’ve recruited and managed people yourself, the whole business of recruiting will appear simple. You might think “I’m a hard worker with a good education and experience – what’s so complicated?” Keep reading and you’ll find out.

deeply depressed during unemploymentMercifully, after six long, humbling months, I landed a job as a bank analyst. It was a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute? that saved me. I pored through it, completing all the exercises and it worked. When a good opportunity came along, I was prepared and landed the job. Though it wasn’t the job I wanted, it was a great company and gave my career a good start.

If you haven’t studied and practiced job search skills, you should assume you suck at job search. Here’s why. At great companies:

  • bosses and recruiters like me will notice little mistakes that are totally off your radar.
  • we’ll assume those mistakes are signs that you’d suck at the job you’re applying for.
  • you won’t get good feedback and will assume the problem is any factor but you.

Sounds harsh… yes. And I know there are jobseekers so desperate they’ve considered suicide. Here’s why tough love is the right approach.

First, change is hard. Improvement is hard. I’m sharing from my personal experience, so if I’m passionate, think of it as reality coaching. A good coach is someone who tells you the plain truth with the intensity to grab your attention and hold it.

Second, the surest way to fail at job search, is to think about yourself and talk about what you want from an employer. I want you to forget yourself and get inside the mind of the hiring manager (that’s me). I want you to hear what it sounds like in our heads.

You’ve probably already guessed it’s not pretty… Competition in business is fierce and everything that can go wrong, will. We’ve made every kind of mistake, especially in hiring – we hire people who cannot perform the work, people who can, but are dishonest or have no interest in it, people who say all the right things but never do anything, and so on.

Nothing we do in business is so difficult as recruiting the right people. And yet recruiting problems are just the first layer. Natural disasters happen, too, equipment fails, hackers attack our websites, employees get sick, they divorce, they burn out, customers go out of business, business models fail, costs go up, competitors rise, etc. etc.

It’s a manager’s job to take on the turbulence, to tame it and out of the chaos deliver a reliable product or service. We recruit because we dream that all the problems are solvable. We recruit to lighten our load – because we need help. That’s why the most effective message you can send is this: “You’ve got problems I can solve — let me show you how!”

Third, we’re in a crisis of massive proportions – a perfect storm. It started with the baby boom parents who built up their kids’ egos creating the ‘entitlement generation‘. The kids came into the workforce just as the Internet and government policy enticed businesses to get work done cheaply overseas.

So, we outsource to China, India, Russia, Argentina, or take your pick, and we don’t find the entitlement there.  As if we needed more encouragement to hire overseas, our public education system has bottomed out. Fortunately for employers, they’re automating the intelligence out of many brick-and-mortar jobs just in time.

hiring "A players"As a result of all this, we have too many Americans without challenging jobs and with toxic resumes showing strings of jobs they worked in for less than 2 years. Ironically, business leaders are “desperate” to hire workers with skills and attitudes our job seekers don’t have.

Fourth, great companies aim to hire only top-tier talent today – we’ve entered a winner-take-all age. Harvard Business Review and all the brilliant management gurus advise us to recruit and employ “A Players” only. Throw everyone else overboard! This is what they say it takes to compete and win.

We only need a couple great companies in every market – one e-commerce company like Amazon who can send us any book on Earth or toothbrushes and Q-tips on a schedule every six months.  Amazon’s competitors are going out of business and this process is repeating itself across markets. Every year that goes by, it gets more profitable to win and more painful to lose. When companies win today, they (and their employees) earn millions and billions. Where do you want to ride out this wave?

company mission statementWhat is a great company?  If you put in the effort to learn what I’ll share here, you get to decide what ‘great company’ means to you in your life – your definition, your choice (profit-sharing, open book, telecommute, etc). If you can’t do it, get used to working for one crappy company after another and long hours, high stress, low satisfaction and few rewards.

Do you want to work in a great company with a great future? You’ll need to be great and show your greatness in a job search and on-the-job. Here’s what you need to learn and do to turn your work life into a source of pride and satisfaction:


How to land a job at a great company.

  1. forward
  2. prospecting
  3. cover letters
  4. resumes
  5. blogs
  6. interviewing
  7. references
  8. networking
  9. working smart

Forward

Job search sucks – you’re being evaluated! You’ve got to laugh about it and ask others for help. Mostly though, you need to do everything right to avoid wasting your time and burning yourself out. Here are five general principles that will take you there – apply these in every aspect of your job search. Finally, if you have questions not answered in this job search guide, please ask.

1. Know yourself. Know what you are good at and what you enjoy. Search out positions that will engage you fully – nothing will make job search easier for you.

2. Understand that cultural fit is an important factor in every hiring decision and you are being scrutinized for it. If you fit, you’ll be hired.

3. Get feedback from someone who will tell you the cold hard truth about your clothes, your grooming, your speech, your handshake, your blog/website and your writing. This needs to be someone who understands the culture you want to be hired into (not necessarily your best friend). Don’t know the right people? Meet them through informational interviews or get professional help.

4. Show up ready for battleupbeat and energetic.  This is make or break for your job search. It may not be easy, but it is doable.

5. Use checklistsunderstand the process and keep this checklist in front of you.

 Prospecting

Spend about a third of your time on job boards but no more. Remember that employers make roughly 33% of their hires using job boards (so 66% come from other sources).

1. Know what you want and go after it. We want passion. If you’re just looking for a place to park your rear so you can pay your bills, we’ll pick up on that and will take a pass on you.

2. Go to companies and cities that are thriving. There is always low hanging fruit somewhere in our $15 trillion economy. Hunt it down. Listen to Gisel:

. . . I left my job in June during the current recession. I tried applying for jobs online and nothing worked. . . . I grabbed my local newspaper and found an article that listed the top 100 employers to work for and the runners up. I created a spreadsheet that listed my top 4 characteristics that my future employer should have and then plugged in the companies that had these. . . . I used [LinkedIn] to find HR persons in the companies that I wanted to work for and sent them a request to connect.  The majority of the persons accepted my request and to make a long story short – I obtained 3 job interviews using this method and LinkedIn as a job search tool. . . . next week I will be starting my new job! –Gisel

too many resumes from posting jobs3. Use old-fashioned mail and the telephone. Start by sending a value proposition letter to the CEOs of companies you’d like to work for. Make cold calls. Most jobs are not advertised and the competition for those hidden jobs is much lower than the extreme competition you’ll face on job search engines.  You’ll never network your way into hundreds of companies in the same amount of time it takes to get off a letter campaign.

4. Do some free work to prove yourself if a company you really want to work for says they are not hiring. Or offer to work for a time as a contractor. Show your passion for that company.

5. Show that you won’t go away or give up if you really want to work somewhere. Don’t make yourself a pest (ask the recruiter how often), but continue to check-in periodically. Be like a dog with an old shoe – don’t let go. And don’t try to remember it all in your head either, use tools like JibberJobber and startwire.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the US

Cover letters

A good cover letter is like a sip of cold water in the desert to a recruiter sifting through his inbox. A good ‘cover letter’ is really what we call a ‘value proposition’ letter and can even stand alone with no resume and trigger an immediate phone call or e-mail. Here’s a detailed blueprint for writing one. Not a gifted writer? Consider asking someone to help you.

1. Talk about the needs of the employer. Don’t talk about what you want from the job. When I read your cover letter, I’m looking into your mind. Nine times out of ten, what I see is self-absorption and those applications go right in the trash.  If you’re self-absorbed, you don’t listen well, you’ll have weak people skills and trouble living by your boss’s priorities.

you must meet the strength requirements2. Keep it short. No more than three paragraphs with three or four sentences each. If it’s long, you look unfocused and self absorbed. Short and sweet piques my interest in you when you say the right things.

3. Keep it focused. How can you help me? Why would you want to? What’s special about my company? How do your skills and experiences fit with our needs? What’s the most similar work you’ve done in the past? Answer those and you’ve nailed the cover letter. Don’t ask questions like “Can you give me me more info about this position?”

4. Be authentic. Speak in your own words and you’ll catch my attention. Sound like everyone else and I’ll know you copied and pasted from someone else’s resume.

5. Follow instructions. RTFM.  If you are responding to a job posting that outlines a couple of steps for applying or requests you complete a task, follow the instructions carefully or don’t bother responding at all. We figure you’ll flat out suck at the job if you can’t or won’t follow some simple steps to apply.

Only about 2 out of 10 applicants will follow directions, so if you can and do follow the instructions, your chances of being contacted will skyrocket. If there is some test of your skills involved, 2 out of 100 may follow the directions.  Your odds go way up if you are one of those two!

One possible exception – if asked for your salary history, you may want to hold back. We will screen you out immediately if your history or expectations don’t match our opening.

Resumes

Your resume is a tool for connecting with a recruiter – not a list of work experience, not a puzzle for the recruiter to figure out. Here’s what you need to do it right, or, if you have a professional help you, this is how to evaluate their work:

1. Make it easy on my eyes and brain. Less is more. A clean uncluttered resume will stand out and show you put some thought into what’s most important, that you have an eye for detail, and have thought about the reader’s experience. Include a short objective statement which summarizes your cover letter. Sometimes the screener is not going to see the cover letter you spent an hour writing – so the objective is your chance to boil it down into a couple lines. It’s also a good opportunity to match keywords from the job description (see item 3 below).

2. Sell yourself by talking about your accomplishments. Don’t list responsibilities. In 5 or 10 seconds, I want to know what you’re good at and proud of. I want to know what impact you had in your previous jobs. Impact is about your skills and abilities, not a laundry list of your experience.

3. Sell yourself by showing what’s relevant. Your resume is not your work history – it’s a tool for connecting with the recruiter/hiring manager. To make that connection, your resume should include keywords from the job description. In 5 to 10 seconds I want to see you are a good fit because you’ve done similar work and can solve my business problems. Make it crystal clear. Make every single word earn its place on your resume. Leave your street address out.

Include important details. Give me numbers! How many people did you supervise? How many clients did you manage? How much did you sell? I can tease these things out of you, but will be very impressed if you deliver them before I ask.

4. Are you over the hill? ‘Overqualified’? Don’t call attention to it. Only go back 10 years in your work experience. Consider leaving the dates off your education and tone down your responsibility level as you can. Most recruiters will be wary of a candidate with 20+ years of experience or significantly greater level of responsibility in prior jobs.

Yes, you have to tell the truth and we’ll figure out your full story eventually, but your chances of having a conversation with the recruiter are better if your resume doesn’t scream that you are old and overqualified. I know, it’s unfair and it sucks – read the next section about blogs if you want to change your luck.

we do not have a bias against younger applicants5. No abbreviations or industry jargon. No typos. Abbreviations or acronyms that I don’t recognize are a red flag that you lack situational awareness and empathy and is a clear mark against you. Typos, misspellings and grammatical errors are a sure way to get your resume deleted. Why?

You put your best foot forward in your job search, right? So if you’re making easily avoidable mistakes, you’re going to be a pain in the ass when you’re working for me. So use spellchecker and read everything you write out loud. You’ll catch many more mistakes, if not all of them.

Networking

Most jobs are not advertised — so how are the ‘hidden jobs’ filled?

People like me always start by asking around informally: “Hey, we’re going to add another PHP developer, do you know anyone?”  You get recommended for these positions when you have a healthy professional network – lots of friends in good places.

But, there are many ways that networking can go wrong and it’s natural to fear it. We fear the awkwardness of approaching someone cold, we fear being rejected and fear we’ll sit at an event talking to someone we already know the entire time. We fear getting stuck with someone who talks too much. If you have fears about networking, this is for you:

1. Put yourself in the pole position – volunteer with a trade association or business network so that it’s your job to coordinate invitations to speakers. Smart, successful people will come to you and you’ll meet everyone you want to! You can also create a website and interview your heroes for it.

your job search fear2. Embrace your fearyou will be rejected a few times when you start growing your network. So what! Accept it and set a goal to meet three new people at the next event you attend. Embracing rejection and failure is the key to succeeding in anything. Think of a kid learning to ride a bike, he wails “I’ll NEVER learn” and you laugh. Right?

When you send 10 e-mails inviting people you want to meet to lunch, expect 8 or 9 to reject you. You only need the 10th to say yes to change the course of your life. Try not to take the rejections personally. I decline 99 of 100 invitations. I’m over-committed and have health limitations, but that’s about me, not you – so brush it off.

3. Start doing informational interviews. They work as Steve will tell you:

The informational interview works! 5 years ago I called my now current supervisor and started asking him questions about the company, the department I am now in, its roles, responsibilities, challenges, and other pertinent information. We talked for at least an hour. We exchanged contact information, and I spoke with him one other time afterwards when I inquired about specific software that is used. 5 months later I received a call inviting me to apply and interview for the job. I was hired in 2007. –Steve

A. Make a list of 10 people you’d like to meet. Start with:

  • people who have a job title that interests you (preferably with some connection to you, college alum are best)
  • people who work at companies where you’d want to work
  • people who are doing interesting things you want to learn about

LinkedIn is a good place to start your research as Gisel points out:

LinkedIn is a very useful tool . . .  I used this tool to find HR persons in the companies that I wanted to work for and sent them a request to connect.  The majority of the persons accepted my request and to make a long story short – I obtained 3 job interviews using this method and LinkedIn as a job search tool.  I began this new process in December and next week I will be starting my new job! –Gisel

B. Send an email like the example below (using your university email address if you have one) or choose a template here that fits you better:

Subject: Eric – request to chat from a UVA alum

Dear Eric,

My name is Jason Hall and I’m a recent UVA grad also living in Boulder, Colorado. I found you via LinkedIn and am writing to see if you have 15 min. to chat with me about internet business which I can see from your profile and website you know a lot about. I’d really value the opportunity to hear how you got where you are and ask you for advice.

If you are free, I’m available during the following times:

  • Fri 2/12 from 3 to 6 pm
  • Sat 2/13 from  noon to 4 pm
  • Mon 2/15 from 6 to 8 pm
  • Tue from  2 to 4 pm
  • Wed from  1 to 4 pm
  • Thur from  4 pm – 6pm

Thank you,
Jason
(303) 422-6762

C. Why this works:

  1. The subject line calls attention quickly with my name, it’s short and easily readable on a smart phone, makes a personal connection with my school, and has clarity (no tricks or confusion).
  2. In the body you make two connections – you are in the same tribe (University) & same city.
  3. This is easy to say ‘yes’ to, your request has a short limited scope, you took time to share your calendar with specific hours when you will really be available (and on your A game, not just waking up or eating lunch).
  4. You used a polite salutation and included your phone number (you may get a call right away, so send the e-mail when you have the next half-hour free).

D. What to talk about on the call:

  1. Ask if it’s still a good time to talk.
  2. Thank this person for his or her time.
  3. Give a short introduction of yourself and why you contacted this person.
  4. Be positive so you are associated with good feelings.
  5. Get the ball rolling with something like this: “So, I’m really interested to hear your story – how you got where you are and if you have any advice for someone like me…”. But, if this person writes a blog, make sure you’ve read it first and mention it! If it sounds like you want me to personally tell you on the phone what I’ve spent hours writing in my blog, I’ll think you’re a jerk.
  6. Shut up and listen, don’t interrupt.
  7. Ask: is there anything you wish you had known when you are starting out?
  8. Ask: is there anyone else you think I should talk to?
  9. End the call on time even if you know the person is enjoying the call. You want to be perceived as an efficient communicator and don’t want to leave the person feeling drained. If you asked for 15 min., end the call at 15 min.!

E. Keep in touch!

  1. Send a quick thank you e-mail after the call.
  2. Understand that you may not have much to offer a successful expert who’s willing to give you time he might otherwise bill at $200 an hour or higher.  What you do have to offer is good karma – show him how he made the world a better place.
  3. Send periodic updates letting the person know how you implemented his advice and how it worked out. Let him know his impact on you and the end of the story. That’s priceless.

 Blogs

Great companies all want to hire the same “talent”. We want to hire smart, high-energy, passionate workers with an edge, who execute well, care more, and energize themselves and people around them.

“Whoa! Is that all?” you ask. I’m sorry, but it’s true, that’s what we want and that’s what you are trying to communicate in your cover letter, your resume and interview – that you are the cat’s meow!

The problem with recruiting is that many job seekers (and now you) know exactly what I’m looking for and precisely what I want to hear. That’s why I do two-hour long interviews using Brad Smart’s TopGrading process. That’s what it takes to reliably screen out the pretenders.

If you are one of those with genuine smarts, energy, leadership, passion, caring and ability to get things done, the absolute surest way to demonstrate that is with a blog. When you’ve been writing regularly for six months, a year or longer, we know for a fact you aren’t faking anything.

A good blog is solid gold for your credibility and has the potential to push you to the top of the candidate list. But, be careful – your blog can also get you screened out. Here’s a blog checklist you’ll want to review.

Interviewing

Want to be first on the short-list after your interview? Do more preparation than any other candidate. But, that’s not always enough, because walking away with a job offer is all about driving the sales process. Just about everything you need to know is here, but if you aren’t a natural, consider getting help from a coach also.

was really hoping you1. Research the company, the position and the management. You can look great on paper, sound great on the phone and answer every question well, but if you have not bothered to research me and my company, I won’t hire you because I know you’re not really interested in the job. How could you be without knowing who we are and what we do?

Cultural fit is an important factor in every hiring decision and researching the company allows you to dress, look, and speak like the team. True, fit is in the eye of the beholder, but do what you can to fit in (if it’s comfortable for you). Do your research to discover if we’re a good fit for each other and try not to show off in the interview. If you’ve done the research, just relax and let it show naturally.

If you don’t do the research, you can’t ask intelligent questions, so you’ll also fail below in item 12.

2. Know clearly why you want to work for my company. It matters to me because I’m looking for someone who’s going to be with me for years through thick and thin. If you don’t know why or it is not a compelling reason, we’re not a good fit for each other.

3. Know what you are proud of in your life and career. Tell me about the impact you’ve had in your prior jobs. Think of a few stories you can tell that illustrate each key point you want to make about yourself. Tell me how your experience and skills relate to the position I’m recruiting for. Talk to me about the similarities between your previous experiences and my needs. Talk to me about your ideas for having an impact in my company. How will you save or make money for my company?

4. Know how you will answer the most common and most difficult questions you may be asked. Every interviewer is going to ask you about your weaknesses and failures. If you’re perfect or the best you can do is “I’m impatient”, I’m not going to hire you.  Never met a talented person without a few character flaws and who hasn’t made some interesting mistakes. Questions you should be able to answer without babbling include:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Tell me about yourself. How would you describe yourself?
  • What is your greatest strength? weakness?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Describe (for each position you’ve held) a low point/mistake/difficult situation and how you overcame it?
  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at work? Biggest disappointment?
  • What would you like to be doing 5 years from now?

5. Proofread your resume and any other materials you plan to offer the day before the interview. Read everything out loud to yourself – you’ll catch more errors that way, if not all of them. Wait a day or two and proofread it again. Ask at least one other person to review your resume.

6. Bring copies of your resume and a notepad. Take notes if appropriate.

7. Be likable with good hygiene.  Never smoke a cigarette before an interview and be aware that body odor or bad breath will ruin your interview before you even get started.

8. Be likable by making a connection: First, the basics – be on time, turn your phone off, shake hands firmly, make eye contact, smile and use the interviewer’s name (last name is safest unless asked to use first). Be confident and positive – don’t badmouth previous bosses because, as a hiring manager, I’m likely to identify with your ex boss.

Remember to smile genuinely at everyone, not just your interviewer. Everyone you meet counts — remember all their names.  If you treat me differently from my  team, that’s an important red flag.

Second, look for something you have in common that might build rapport, someone you know in the company (check Facebook and LinkedIn), favorite sports teams, hobbies, etc. Research the interviewer online before the interview and look around the office for clues when you arrive.

9. Read body language. Most interviewers don’t like to give bad news and will only tell you what you want to hear even when they’re trying to get rid of you as fast as possible.  Our body language gives us away, though. Our voice lies, but the body always tells the truth. We cross our arms, avoid making eye contact or fidget when we’re internally conflicted or just bored. Read the body language and if it tells you your interview is not going well, find out why!

When your interview is going well, your interviewer may be leaning forward,  arms and legs uncrossed,  hands open,  jacket unbuttoned, with good eye contact. This is the same good, open, engaged posture you want to display yourself.

10. Don’t babble. Stay focused on the answer to each question and be careful not to go off on tangents. Don’t give a lot of details initially – that’s babble. Trust me to ask you good follow-up questions. Don’t jump to fill silences unless asked to. Sometimes I want to think during an interview let me.

11. Avoid soundbites and buzzwords. If your answers sound scripted and I sense that you are dropping buzzwords to impress me, I’m going to associate you with all the candidates I hired that talked a good game but couldn’t deliver. Don’t do it! Speak from your experience about your experience – keep it honest and authentic. That will impress me.

12. Ask good questions that show you care. If you ask something you could’ve learned in 60 seconds on our website, you’re unlikely to get the job. If your questions are mostly about compensation, I’m unlikely to hire you. The questions you ask reveal your interest level in the position and the depth of your research. They also help me understand your previous work experience.

Ask me difficult questions – express your concerns about my company freely. Most likely, you’ll impress me with your critical thinking and authenticity.

Early in the interview, ask your interviewer to describe the qualifications of the ideal candidate. You want to confirm what you think you already know about the job before leading the interview in the wrong direction.

Good questions are open-ended and can’t be answered with a yes or no.

Ask your interviewer for feedback during the interview – “How do you see me fitting in at your company?” or “On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best), how do you think I’d do in this position?” The rating question sets up a good follow-up: “What could I do to score higher?”

Asking for feedback during the interview may be uncomfortable for you, but, ‘closing the sale‘ as it’s called, shows strength and maturity on your part. Best of all, you get information you need if not a job offer.

13. Send a thank you e-mail the same day you interview. If you interview with me and fail to send a quick thank you, it’s game over, no matter how perfect a candidate you are in every other aspect. It’s not about my ego, it’s just business.

We look for people with 1) high interest in working for us and 2) a sense of urgency who 3) will treat everyone inside and outside the company with care. The ‘thank you’ (or lack of it) is a perfect test of those characteristics for us. In your thank you note, take the opportunity to include any materials or references you think may be helpful.

Here’s a real-life example from an online chat I had today:

Keith: Hi Eric, I was wondering if you made any decisions regarding the Customer Support Position?
Eric:  hi Keith, did you send me an e-mail by any chance?

Keith: no, I thought you had my resume
Eric: Yes I did have your resume and would have loved to hire you, but needed more communication from you. Looking for somebody with a sense of urgency and who will take good care of customers. That means a lot of communication. After our second interview I sent you an e-mail asking for references also…

Keith: ok, I don’t think I got that email
Eric: I suppose not, anyhow thanks for your time and best wishes.

Keith: ok, same to you

14. Leave something for the employer to remember you by or be just another face in the crowd. Be fascinating or forgotten.

15. Contact your interviewer regularly for updates, until you are hired or rejected. Unless you are asked to do this less frequently, once a week will work nicely. Remember that contacting your interviewer is a display of your ability to manage a process and follow through. You’re showing skills you may be hired for.

References

When you apply for a job at a great company, your references become much more important in the hiring process. I’m not talking about letters of recommendation.

I’m talking about a key role for your references. If you want to be prepared for the toughest process you may encounter, this is what to expect. First, pretend your name is John and I’ve just interviewed you asking the same questions for each of your previous employments:

  • What was your boss’s name?
  • What was it like to work with him/her?
  • How do you think he/she will rate you on a scale of 1 to 10 when I ask?
  • What will your boss give as reasons for that rating?

At the end of the interview, I’ll ask for contact information for each of your previous bosses (and maybe some coworkers) discussed in the interview. I’ll ask you to give them each a heads-up and permission to contact them. When I reach them, these are the questions I’ll ask:

  • In what context did you work with John? (conversation starter, memory jog)
  • What were John’s biggest strengths?
  • What were John’s biggest areas for improvement back then?
  • How would you rate John’s overall performance in that job on a 1 to 10 scale? What about his performance causes you to give that rating?
  • John mentioned that he struggled with [something] in that job. Can you tell me more about that? (next I’ll ask for examples)
  • Is John one of the best people you’ve ever worked with?

I’m looking for people who consistently get ratings of 8, 9, and 10 across my reference calls. Anything lower is a warning flag I want to look at more closely. One 6 isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker but I will want to understand why it exists.

Recruiters know that people don’t like to give negative references. They want to help former colleagues, not hurt them and they want to avoid conflict. They want to feel good about themselves and try to avoid nailing anyone with a reference.

This is why a reference who hesitates (“if… then…” qualifiers or um’s and er’s) is probably trying hard not to say something that will harm you or put him or herself at legal risk. Faint praise in a reference interview is a nail in the coffin.

A good reference on the other hand will overflow with enthusiasm and clear admiration. There won’t be any hesitation or hedging about it. There is a spark that tells the recruiter, he’s found an ‘A player’.

Now that you know our tricks, the million-dollar question is – do you know what your references are saying about you? If you don’t, it’s time to find out!

Get the ebook

If you liked what you read here, and think you may want to refer back to this job search guide later, grab the e-book version for Kindle – the ebook also includes the WORK SMART guide you’ll read about next.

WORK  SMART

rules for success in job searchWhen you’ve followed this job search guide and landed a job with a great company, you’ve set high expectations. Your boss now thinks you’re an “A Player” so you want to deliver. Specifically, your boss expects you to work smart — don’t assume you know what that means! Find out how to avoid career-killing mistakes (and get promoted) with my detailed nuts and bolts guide to working smart.

DiversityJobs.com

1,317 comments

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  • I became depressed, Sometimes I feel as if I will never complete school. I am a single parent and at times I feel overwhelmed. I want to look for work so that I will be able to live better but I know that without a education I will not find the job I am looking for.

  • I can understand where you are coming from Shynelle as I am a single parent alsi. I also feel that I am stuck and will never complete school. It does become hard when you there is no or little help with certain things. However,
     I also feel that mothers like us must not give up , but keep trying because we really can do it if we try hard. Good Luck to you!!

  • Life has a fair share of easy-to-get and hard-to-achieve things.We just need to know how far and how much we want to work to get something and set that goal to follow until the end.It’s hard to find a job in this economy, especially if you don’t have a degree under your belt.However,we should not give up.With our perseverance and talents,we would be able to achieve something.Believe in what you can do and become.God bless!

  • I have yet to receive an interview, after multiple times of submitting applications. This article will definitely help in building the qualities needed during an interview process. As each application goes unnoticed, I can spend more time on learning new methods to boast the quality of an interview. 

  • In my short 18 years of life I had many experiences with job interviews, but have not had the chance of employment. I can definitely relate to Eric Shannon and about being depressed. I have been trying non stop to look for a job to help me with this upcoming school year as a freshman. It has been difficult staying positive and keep looking for a job, and this article has helped me gain knowledge on what to do next time and score a job and have a better chance of employment.

  • I agree with this article as I just went through a similar situation. I left my job in June during the current recession. I tried applying for jobs online and nothing worked.

    Then I decided to perform a targeted job search. I grabbed my local newspaper and found an article that listed the top 100 employers to work for and the runners up. I created a spreadsheet that listed my top 4 characteristics that my future employer should have and then plugged in the companies that had these. 

    The only item that this article is missing that I  think is key for today’s job search is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a very useful tool for both recruiters and for people looking for work.  I used this tool to find HR persons in the companies that I wanted to work for and sent them a request to connect.  The majority of the persons accepted my request and to make a long story short – I obtained 3 job interviews using this method and LinkedIn as a job search tool. 

    I began this new process in December and next week I will be starting my new job!

  • 4. Are you over the hill? ‘Overqualified’? I am 40, and have been in college since December of 2004, and am now a highly qualified individual with two degrees working on my third-my master degree program, and I related to the overqualified and over the hill section because of my level of education and my real world experience.

  • When you go on your interview, you need to hold your self confidence.  One stumble on answering a question could ruin it and there goes the rest of the interview.

  • I feel the same way. I am in college and I applied for an RA possition. That has been my goal since I entered school. I am unable to afford my living and the only way to support myself would be with this possition. Unfortunately, I ended up as an alternate and I became rapidly upset to the point of almost depression. I can not find another job due to my tight Music Performance Major and I keep applying for scholarships that do not come in view. It is hard but we must keep walking through the path and find other solutions.

  • The advice listed in this article is nothing more than a profound sense of humanity. As a recent college graduate, I’ve found it hard to begin to create a foundation for the career of my choice. I have a bachelors degree in psychology and am currently studying to obtain my masters degree in education.

    Though, while studying for my undergraduate degree the majority of my working experience has been in the banking industry. Despite having much experience in volunteer and community work, even research assistant experience, I am finding it hard to find a position within my field that pays WELL.

    I will not give up on my passion and continue to do volunteer work to prove to future companies that I am willing, but it is not an easy journey. I want to especially thank the author of this article because I have been given a new perspective on how to find a suitable position in my career field. All in all you MUST remain optimistic, and never give up.

  • Job search is hard, especially with the downfall of the economy. There is a place and time for everyone. Try your hardest and take charge, will always land you a good job

  • This article was actually very informative.  There are many tips that I would not of even thought about to aide in the job search such as sending a letter to the CEO of a company.  I know confidence is key during a job interview, but you don’t want to come off as cocky.  As a current unemployed undergrad, I am finding it hard to find a job in my field of study, and the only internships I can find are mostly unpaid, or paid but require some sort of experience in the field.  I am not going to lie, it does make me very depressed to strike out so many times, and to only find offers in a the field of sales which I do have experience in, but no longer want to work in.  I know with the way the economy is going I should take what I can get, but working in sales has made me so depressed, I actually went back to school to make a change in my life. I will definitely be taking some of this advice with me on my next job hunt.  

    • I am very fortunate I opted nursing profession, since I graduated in 2005 I never had trouble finding a job. I guess it’s time for me to move on do something new.

  • When I first graduated as a nurse, I had the hardest time finding a job. Basically every prospective employer wanted a nurse with previous experience. What I decided to do was to challenge one of the employers to hire me and will prove them that I was capable of performing the job.

    The director told me that she was so pleased with my performance that I could have the job full time. She said something that to this day I keep very close to my heart.  She said “I will rather hire someone with no skills but with a great attitude. Skills I can teach and attitude I can’t”. Wow… I thought that was powerful!

  • When I was looking to get out of working in retail pharmacy and transition into hospital, specialty or into benefits management I interview a bunch of times and never got any call backs and I was stumped.  I was applying for jobs that I had the necessary skills, training, education, etc. and I was getting very frustrated.  

    After talking to a former co-worker she pointed out that I sounded very negative lately and I got to thinking, did that come across in my interviews?  I realized that it had, I made a huge mistake in many of those interviews and complained about how horrible the job was I had now, no wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere.  

    On my next interview, which happened to be with an employer I wanted to work for for years, I stayed very positive and resisted the urge to rundown my current employer. Because the interview have me their email address (along with some homework) I made sure to also thank them for their time when I emailed them the homework back.  A week later I had a job offer and I am happily employed with the employer I sought after for years.

  • In 2011 I was laid-off from my job of five years. Getting back into the job-hunt grind was something I had not had to do for more than five years (I was lucky enough to skip the interview process entirely for this job as well as the job I had previously) and needless to say I was unsure of myself and a bit nervous about having to interview again.

    I completely blew my first three interviews. I did not do my research, I did not ask any questions, and I babbled. After each of these failing interviews I would list the things I thought I did wrong and started researching ways to improve on my interviewing skills. I began researching the companies I applied to as well as what each position entailed; I started asking questions about the company, the culture of the employees, and what the best thing about working for that company was; I started sending thank-you emails the same day of my interviews; I also did my best not to babble and stay on point in each interview.

    After I straightened myself out and improved my interviewing skills, the job offers started rolling in. They are right when they say “when it rains it pours”. I had three job offers in one month and was amazed at what a difference a little research and adjusting had done to my marketability in such a short amount of time. I accepted one of those three job offers and have been with that company for almost a year now and am quite happy with my choice.

    This article is very helpful and it would be in the best interest of any individual seeking a new employment opportunity to read and follow this article and the suggestions it lists. The suggestions worked wonders for me and I would hate to think of where I might be had I not followed any of these suggestions.

  • I liked the candid nature of this article.  It may seem a bit harsh to some but to me it fires me up to do an even better interview next time.  I get the interviews but nothing afterward.  I have been unemployed for almost a year and finding more than temporary work has not happened for me yet.  I will put some of these interview suggestions to the test.

  • I am 37 years old and I have decided to break into a new feild.  I currently hate the job that I am in now but I know with hard work and determination that I can do what ever I set my mind to.

  • I have been through many careers, but lately it’s been harder and harder to gear up for the Job Search. I love the career I am in, however I am at a stalemate. I do not have higher education which I believe has kept me down and out of the promotion circle. I would like to go outside the particular institution I am now in. I decided to up my ante and go back to school. I am hoping this will help. In the meantime after reading your article I will continue to search and follow the guides set forth.

  • Finding a new job has proven to be one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life thus far. I am 28 years old and have been continuously working since I was 16. In that 12 year span I have only been imployed with three different companies. My previous job I held for almost eight years until the compant itself went out of business. When I left there I thought I would have a realativly easy time finding new employment because I had been with my previous employer for so long and I was in a management position. I was wrong, just getting a call back for an interview took months and in a six month span I only had two interviews. The second interview seemed to be a good fit and I took a position in entry level retail for less than half of what I was previously making. I have now been with my current company for almost three years and am back in a management postion. I am now back in school for Healthcare Administration to hopefully gain a skill set that will allow me to have a career outside of retail. With the information I have learned from the Just Jobs website I hope my next job search will prove to be more successful and rewarding.

  • WOW, I thought that this was very informative to muy situation. I worked for a company for 9 years. I felt like I was stuck in a rut and started looking for something that paid more or maybe something different. I applied and then found my self on unemployment. I was depressed and thought what am I going to do to support my family, how will we pay our bills, what will I do all day? The first few days I
    pitty party and then woke up and decided to make this a new chapter in my life.

    I began to apply and found out my resume was outdated and in fact I really didn’t have any college education to back me up. Thats when I started online class and started to feel like someone again. I am now at the end of my BSB degree and I have a job to help with my daily bills. I have had lots of offers once I have totally completed my degree so I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • I am going to be 25 this year and will soon be graduating with my Psychology degree but since I started working in the food and beverage industry. Since then, seven long years ago, I cant manage to get a job out side if food and beverage, because of my lack of experience. Since I work full time and go to school full time networking and volunteering is impossible to support myself and manage to keep my GPA up.  This was very helpful and encouraging for me to keep my chin up and to keep on trying.

  • I recently went job hunting this past August. I already had a steady part time Job at a hotel near my local beach. So as i noticed I was in the need for another job (another source of income) I began the hunt for another part time job at the local mall. And as i looked and looked it was very hard to get a job. But luckily I was able to find a job in a women’s lingerie store working in the stock room. Its pretty flexible with the hours and days available. Just keep looking!

  • This article is spot-on. Despite having 10 years’
    experience in my industry, i was recently laid off when the company that i work
    for down sized. I used the points outlined in this article as was able to
    quickly land a new job with better benefits! The most important point which i
    took to heart was doing research on the company which you are applying with
    prior to the interview. The article is very accurate when it says that you
    should make sure there is a “culture match” before spending time
    applying for a job. The last thing you want to do is take a job where you won’t
    be happy!

  • I am currently recovering from kidney failure and am on disabilty and in school. I have always in the past never had trouble finding jobs. I would get out my list of contacts in the industry, in my case printing, I would ask for the president, talk a little about the business and then ask him or her if they had any openings. If they said no, then I would ask for a referal to anyone they thought might have an opening. Then I would call that president and say so and so refered me to you, he said you might need some help. Generally I would have a job within a couple of months. That is my most effective method, otherwise its going through personel, sending resumes all over the place and joining the millions of others. Once in a while that would result in an interview but generally it was the personal contact that got the job.

  • I think that if you are more confident in your answers and yourself during an interview you have a better chance at getting the job. I’ve had so many interviews over time to where i’m not very comfortable with them now. I used to be shy and nervous during interviews but once i started to speak with confidence i got every job after i started that. Interviewers like people who speak with confidence. If you are honest with your answers you will be calmer when answering the questions. Lesson learned.

  • The article gives great information and advice, I am a little scare to not finding a job after a graduate from college. The advice for interviews are really helpfull, I need to start looking for internships to at least have some kind of experience and prove employees what can I do.

  • This article was so full of helpful information I was literally excited!  I watched the video clip of interviewing advice and was left with jaw-dropping insight on gaining a competitive advantage in the interview process.  I’ve read countless articles and book after book on attaining these skill sets, and many are redundant.  This was a nice change of pace.  
    Thank you!

  • It’s amazing how many people believe that a degree from an institute of higher education is like a ticket to “career-land.” In reality, in job searching as well as everything else, the people who come out on top are the ones who show dedication and prove that they are willing to work hard. This guide to finding jobs is spot on, it is important for people to know their strengths and weaknesses and… appeal to what their prospective employer is looking for, not the other way around. In my own experience I couldn’t find a job I enjoyed in the state I was living in, so I picked up and moved to where there was work. I ended up in a construction apprenticeship in Hawaii making good money, apart from helping me survive financially for more than a year, that apprenticeship also inspired me to go back to school to study engineering. When I graduate I plan to go back to work in the construction field and hopefully my prior willingness to work long and hard with my additional education and experience that I have gained in school will further my career.

  • Like so many of my friends, after graduation I found myself confused and not knowing what the next step to take in life should be. While in college there is this false notion that immediately following graduation graduates will find themselves at a great job and happy.  But much to my and my friend’s surprise, happy was far from how we felt.  We were in the middle of a job search with many other new graduates and struggling to find jobs especially within this declining economy. I had been unfortunate and decided to major in economics while in school and realized not only did I have little interest in the profession but also that the profession had little interest in hiring as well.
                At this point I felt I wasted four years of my life and had little to say for graduating.  I was at least lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be able to work for uncle’s business.  It was a handout job and I had little responsibilities but nonetheless it was a job and it would help me to pay off the loans that I had acquired in college.  Although I wish I could have found better employment, I am grateful to have worked for my uncle’s company because it made me come to the realization that I am capable of doing more and that I have a passion for business. It was clear to me that I wanted to begin a career in business.
                With this in mind I began my quest for finding a business school that was right for me. I came across an accounting program that seemed perfect for me and when I received notice that I had been admitted I no longer felt confused about my life.  This program would not only prepare me for a job in business but it would assure me job security after leaving graduate school. This confirms a lesson that I have heard time and time again….It is never too late to go back to school and better yourself. Instead of finding a job to make me proud of myself, I found more schooling.         

    • I can relate to this.  I had been working towards becoming a financial advisor when I lost my job unexpectedly.  When I was searching for a new job – I almost turned down a position as an assistant to an FA because I ‘thought’ I wanted to have the FA position.  I reluctantly accepted the assistant position with the hopes to move up the ladder.  It ended up, after working as the assistant, I realized I preferred that and didn’t want the full responsibility of being the FA and really preferred just doing the service & paperwork.  I worked in that position for 10 years after that.  Sometimes a job may be much different than you think.  Don’t turn down an opportunity just because it doesn’t seem perfect at the time.

  • This is the most valuable tool I think I have read. I have bend I the business world for over 20 years and resume writing has changed drastically over the years. The way that you apply for jobs has changed. Many things are electronic and it is hard to stand out from a computer screen. I have been trying to transition out of the retail management job into another and having no luck! These tips and tool I will use to help me. I will also share this website with my 23 year old daughter to help her.

    This is a super article!

  • This article relates well to my experience of finding internship a year ago. After high school in Singapore, I came back Vietnam to spend time with family and friends before going to college in the USA.

    As a high school graduate, my internship choices were limited to simple administrative or clerical works. However, with a strong passion in marketing, I sent my resume to several companies in Hanoi, Vietnam for marketing intern position and appeal for an interview with them. Many of them rejected my application as a I was not a college student but unfortunately there were two companies which agreed to arrange an interview for me. After the interview at Knight Frank, a real estate firm with headquarter in London, I was asked to write a business plan and explain my expectation for the internship. Two weeks after the interview and the submission of the business plan, I was given a paid internship position.

    This experience motivates me further in aspects in life such as education and career. I believe that job search is about personal exploration, growth and passion. In order to land on a dream job, both expertise and EQ are needed.

  • Supporting my community and
    giving back to them is important to me since my community has done so much to
    support me with donations for track, football and the school newspaper. During
    the spring, I became involved in Relay for Life, an event that raises money to
    fight breast cancer. Our band performed a free concert at a Florida Relay for
    Life event and I helped raise money for our own local Relay for Life event by
    running laps all night long. I loved the experience and it was even more
    special to me since my aunt has experienced and overcome breast cancer twice. 

  • When applying for summer jobs, I got so excited when I found an opening that I wrote my cover letter in about ten minutes and sent the application. …I didn’t get the job. A good week later and after working with people who knew what they were doing when it came to writing a cover letter, I had an actual cover letter that landed me a job within a few days. While timing is important, I learned that a poorly written letter is almost worse than no letter. First impressions are everything.

  •   I am currently a student, but to make ends meet, I have been searching for job opportunities around my neighborhood.  My first move was to search online, and I was attracted to the job postings for openings at a nearby mall.  I made a list of those openings and the stores, and headed over to the mall to fill out applications.  I did this twice, and after a couple weeks of waiting for calls, and after reading this article, I think I know where I may have gone wrong.
      When applying for retail positions at stores such as Victoria’s Secret, Anthropologie or Forever 21, I can say now that I did not dress entirely for the store.  First impressions are key, and from the above article, I definitely learned that not taking a bit of time to look like I ‘fit’ was not a good choice.
    But the scarier parts, I think, were when managers there would ask to speak to me right away!           Thinking back, not dressing as chique as I should have was not helpful not only for the first impressions on workers already there, but given the possibility that you will be asked there and then why you want to work there and what you know about the store, I had set myself up to make a bad impression on the HIRING MANAGERS!
      These were not at all my only mistakes. As a matter of fact, I had not prepared a resume because I had only had one previous job.  Thinking that it would not be necessary because of all the teenagers I would see working at these stores, I went ahead as is. I do think this was a mistake because being more prepared with even trying to make a resume would have given me an opportunity to prepare more for meeting the hiring managers with their, what seemed to me to be, surprise interviews right after I had completed the application. Being more knowledgeable of some of the stores that I was not so familiar with would have made me a better candidate.
      I am still on a job search, and though it is proving to be hard, I am expanding my view to include different jobs around my community and around campus that I would enjoy (for the people, environment, or the work), and keeping in mind what I learned from my mall experiences.  I will be sure to come back to this article, though. I think the tips here could help someone that is still in college and looking for short-term work as well as students that have already graduated.

  • In 2010 I was layed off from my job after devoting myself to them for over 7 years. My job search has been rough. I have 2 seperate degrees that I have obtained to help me find a job in the field that I desired however without any experience in this economy where so many others like me lost their jobs around the same time it has made it very difficult to find a job. Due to this I have committed myself to going back to school full time.

  • After receiving the news that I was being laid off from my most recent position, I somehow thought that I would easily find another job. After my third interview, I started to wonder about my interviewing skills. I did a little research to see if there was something that I might be doing wrong.

    The first mistake I made was not researching any of the companies that I interviewed with. When asked by the interviewer if I had any questions about the company or what I knew about the company, I would usually just say no or nothing. I did not have any intelligent questions to ask the interviewer which probably stated to her that I did care too much about the company or the position.

    Another mistake that I made was not proofreading my resume. A skill of mine on my resume is that I am detail oriented. Right underneath that line, I misspelled a word. How could I be detailed oriented and misspell a word right next to that “skill”?

    I have also had to polish up on my answers to the typical interview questions, like where do you see yourself in five years, or tell me about yourself. Those questions are so common, yet, I have I always found myself at a loss for words.

    Since polishing up on my interviewing skills, I have been offered two positions. I am very happy that I decided to research and not rely solely on my experience to get the job. Who knows how long I would have been unemployed!

  • As a current college student, the biggest problem that I faced was finding the fine balance between work and school. I knew that I wanted a part-time job, but I also knew that I wanted to get my degree in Biochemistry finished within 2 more years. After applying to various places all over my area, I finally got an interview for a job at my school’s housing department. I ended up getting the job.

     At first I was unsure of what to expect, as this was the first job that I had ever had. The prospects of customer service and acting professionally in an office environment were tools that I’ve never had to use before. Now, several months later, I greatly value all of the skills I’ve learned while working in this job. I truly feel that having experience in the workforce is going to help me get a future internship/co-op within my major, which should help ease the transition either into graduate school or the bio-industry.

  • Right before last summer I’ve tried applying to many different jobs so that I could make a little extra cash for school and some to put in my pocket, because we all know cafeteria food isn’t all that great, especially eating in everyday. I’ve waited and waited weeks before getting any call backs, and in the end I didn’t get one at all.  I even went back to the stores and asked for updates from my applications, half of the places even made me re-apply. I was so upset because my plan to make a little bit of money went down the drain. The whole summer I tried countless of times to apply for a job and nevertheless I would get rejected from everywhere. 

    This summer, since I’m a year older, I will use the great guide above and try my best to find a job to make extra pocket money for books and necessities for the next school year. The advice in the guide is excellent for those who are new to the job field and those who’ve failed countless of times to get hired, like me. Hopefully I will succeed this summer. Wish me luck!

  • Even with a college degree, finding an emotionally and financially rewarding career an be challenging. My current career allows me to meet one on one with students at an amazing 4-year universit,y yet, I sut there everyday thinking how hypocritical I must sound considering I have absolutely no idea what my “dream career” is. I’m hoping that after finishing my MBA, that I will have a better idea of which career will be the “perfect fit” that I so long for.

  • This website has educated and helped me, hopefully now financially. Thank you just jobs. You are really touching many. =)

  •      I took a break from school and then it dawned on me what I was missing.  I should have continued with school and I would have a successful job now.  started a club called Stampin Up, they show you how to make all types of cards for all occassions.  This made me think that I would like to start my own business making cards.
         As I continued to make cards, I thought that in my business I would have a craft shop to help other to make cards, and to sell product for them to make the cards on their own.  I believe that with getting my Associates Degree in Business Management it will help me to establish the grounds I need to open my own business.
        As I have been completing these classes I came to find out that when I am done I want to continue my education and go for my Bachelors Degree, and after that my Masters Degree.  I want to have the best knowledge before opening up my card shop.
         My parents has always told me that schooling was very important, but that I needed to know what field I wanted to get into.  When my neighbor showed me this club on how to make greeting cards, I knew this is what I wanted to do.

  • This is a very informative website. I am getting ready to start college in the fall. I saw my dad get laid off last year and how difficult it was to get a job. My dad went back to college to finish up his bachelors degree to make himself more attractive in the job market.  He is graduating this spring and has been working on his resume and working towards getting a job interview. This article has some great information how to go about getting a job.  It isn’t as easy as it appears. Having a college degree doesn’t assure you  a job, but it does give you a head start over someone who hasn’t attended college.      

  • I really relate to the section about interviewing. The part that stood out the most to me was “Know Clearly Why You Want to Work for My Company.”

    I remember I had landed an interview for a position with an eyeglass store. I did everything right leading up to the interview: I read over my resume, made copies, dressed professionally, and arrived 15 minutes early to the interview. While I was sitting there waiting to be interviewed, I went over in my mind all my previous jobs, what I learned from them, and how that experience would help me with this job. When I got called in, I shook his hand firmly, looked him in the eye and flashed him the biggest, most enthusiastic smile I could. Then as we sat down for the interview, he asked me the one question I had completely forgotten about:”So, why do you want to work for [our company]?”I had no idea! I knew I needed a job, but beyond that, I didn’t have a clue! I had been so busy preparing to answer questions of why I would be good for the job and what I could offer, that I had missed out on the most important question of all. It was safe to say that I did not get that job.From that moment, I learned how important the lesson of knowing exactly why you want to work for a particular company really is. And know before I even consider applying for a company, I get a clear idea as to why I want to work for that company.

  • I love this article. It has many ideas I can incorporate in my job search. I lost my job of five years in 2010 due to the economy. My unemployment has run out and I am not getting any calls for interviews. I know that at my age finding a job is difficult to say the least. Sometimes it does not matter how much experience you have. It seems most employers want to hire young workers.

    I have gone back to college and have almost completed my Bachelors Degree. I am hoping that an employer will see that I am ambitious, even at my age, and always willing to learn and improve my skills.

    I have even used a professional resume company to revamp my resume. Hopefully this will at least get my phone ringing. I am sure once I get an interview I can prove my value to a prospective employer. Here’s hoping for the best!

  • Shanice B

    As a current college student, I understand the worries regarding obtaining a job after graduation. It is a scary road that very few get directions on how to reach the end.  Thankfully at my college, Northeastern University, every student is required to take an Experimental Education class. Here, we have one of our many Cooperative Education advisors teach the class. Before I continue, Northeastern University is a co-op school that allows students to obtain a job for 6 months in whatever field they are pursuing. This allows the student to gain experience, build their resume and see if the field they prefer is the one for them. You are still considered a full time student will you are on co-op and you do not pay tuition for these 6 months. Northeastern is one of a few colleges that provide this program. As I mentioned previously, every student takes this class. In this class, students are exposed to the job search and interviewing process. This is done through workshops that guide the students and then homework assignments that require us to search ourselves. Then students critique their peers’ resumes and go through mock interviews. This process has taught me a lot, as well as eased a few of my fears for the world after college. I have learned a few important things through this experience. First, you feel the way you look. If you do not dress to impress, you are more likely to feel like you are leaving the best impression you can. Not only does dressing professional make you look worthy for consideration, but it boosts your own confidence, thus allowing you to portray yourself the best you can. Even if you are conducting a phone interview or video call, dress for the occasion. A great resume is essential. Cater your resume towards the job you are applying to. Highlight skills that you know will be used in the field you are applying to. With that, a cover letter is the best way to plead your case and highlight the important things about yourself. This is the personal part of your resume that can really help.  One important thing to remember is that you are not the only one applying for the position so do not think that you are indispensable or that you do not need to give your 100%. This is a competition, as if life in general. Give your best because you will only have one chance.  No matter what, remember that you have something to offer that no one else can. There is only one you. You just need to sell yourself as best as you can.

  • I really can use this information i really need a job and this really helps. i know that this will and has already made an impact in my life.

  • There was a time when I could just walk in to a company explain what I knew how to do and gain a

    job. Those days are over and now I find myself fine tuning my resume on a regular basis.

    Even though this article was straight and to the point (almost too blunt) I found great value in it

    because there are far fewer of them (employers) than us (employees).   Recruiters may want to

    empathize with us (they have been on the other side of the desk), but business is business and there

    are only so many positions available.  

    What we would love to do (our dream job) and what we have to do (pay our way through life) are two

    different things.  It’s when we can combine these two ideas that the process of gaining employment

    becomes much easier, and once employed we are much happier.   I’ll end this potentially

    prolonged point with this, find out what you really want to do and then go do it.

  • Networking is not a tough task; networking correctly is what’s tough. We pretty much network every day with everyone around us. That kid in your calculus class that you did homework with is in your network; you get in contact with him whenever you need to get the homework done. We have all types of networks, but not all of them are helpful for job searching, which is what the tough part of networking is. 

    I haven’t had much experience with professional networking since I’ve barely decided what I’m going to do as a career (which is actuarial science, by the way). But I did join the actuary society in school, which is a good place to network in. It is important, though, to continue networking in order to expand your network so that it can become easier to get a job.

  • So many good points in this article. I will be adding this to favorites and revisiting it for sure as I get closer to graduation. One key point that can’t be emphasized enough is follow through and having impeccable documents. I’ve worked in HR before and with jobs as scarce as they are these days you can’t afford to have grammatical, spelling mistakes or even a sloppy layout or hard to read documents, resumes and cover letters. Of the hundreds of applicants HR sifts through, a VERY small percentage of them will make it to the next level (being forwarded to the person in charge of hiring for that department) based on simple mistakes, not to mention qualifications.

  • It took me a long time to find a job when I got to college. I just kept applying everywhere and eventually I got hired at the Student Rec Center as a custodian. It is not the job I really wanted but something is always better then nothing. It taught me to not give up when looking for a job and sometimes you have to take a job you did not think you could do.

  • As a business student graduating with my Bachelor’s degree this May, I believe this article resonates with me so well. I am currently in the midst of recruiting for a full-time job, and have had no luck so far. It is truly daunting to know that my time as a student is quickly coming to a close, and I must soon enter the real world and work full-time. 

    This article’s main idea I could be the reason that my job search is not doing so well was truly eye-opening since I wanted to blame other factors. However, I found the portion on “interviewing” to be extremely relevant because that is the part I usually falter when it comes to my job searching. The part about sending a ‘thank you’ email right away truly struck me by surprise. I had always assumed that if I sent it within 24 hours, then it should be alright. 

    In addition, the topic on references was valuable because it puts your job prospects in somebody else’s hands; therefore, it is vital to choose the right individuals to serve as my reference. I do wonder how a negative reference can affect a job prospect though? There is the potential that the reference was a bitter employee, but this probably does not happen often.

    All in all, I found this article to be extremely helpful and I am bookmarking it for use during my current job searching endeavors. Thank you!

  • I have always been a very independent person, so as a 16 year old in high school I knew I needed to find a part time job so I could save and spend my own money. I did some odd jobs to start (i.e. cleaner at a pet store, waitress at a deli, etc.), but when my senior year rolled around, I knew I needed something more permanent.
    I started at a local boutique in my town when the owner suggested I try the salon across the street. It was my first job application and I filled it out, enthusiastically, in record time. I received a call that same afternoon from the owner and set up an interview for the following morning. She hired me that day.
    This was in 2008 and I have been with the same salon for nearly 4 years. I know with the skills I have, and new ones I continue to learn, my resume will be in good shape when the time comes to move onto to a job in my field. I am so thankful for the opportunities this position has given me and the flexibility to work the hours I do.

  • I have been all over the job market from fast food to factories and it seems to take more practice to get a job then maintaining one. You have to fail so many times just to learn what to and not to do in interviews and on applications and resumes.

  • I finally realized what it is that I’m doing wrong at work, and while looking for others jobs. It’s one think to hear you boss say that “you suck” at what you do (not because you’re not a good worker, but because they want someone better), and another to have someone list how to actually improve in great details. Thank you so much

  • My greatest mistake when I’m doing job search is to feel inadequate. I somehow think that I’m not good enough, and once that is stuck in my head it becomes a very hard obstacle to oversome. I have an accent from my years living with my family in Haiti. Once I get nervous, I feel like the person I’m talking to is not understanding what I’m trying to say. 

    Not too long ago, I applied at a volunteering position at the University Hospital of Colorado Denver. I had a strong resume, and good experience and quite frankly I thought I was just the right person for the position. However as soon as I started talking she complimented me on my accent, and with that I was goner. I couldn’t concentrate on answering the questions right because my mind was focus more on enunciating the words in a proper manner. Needless to say that I didn’t get the position. But I’m sure if I apply the advice given on the site the right way, next time I won’t be left eating the dust.

    • Hi Widney, I have the same feeling of inadequacy when it comes to interviewing, despite my strong academic and personal background. I am learning to overcome it , one failed interview at a time! Keeping my head up.
      As for your accent, learn to love it and embrace it. It is part of who you are, it is something that makes you very special. I am sure that if you think about one thing about your Haitian background that you would never want to give up on it could help.
      Stay strong!

    • I been through your situation. People always have a hard time understanding me because of my accent. Which cause me to be lack of confident in front of people. But there are people out there who love our accent. Like Kate said, we need to learn to overcome it. Be strong. We can do it.

  • After reading the
    section titled, Interviewing, I am beginning to understand where I went wrong
    in my last job interview. I recently had applied for the Technical Research
    Coordinator position at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. To my surprise, I was
    called in for an interview. Since I knew little about Brigham and Women’s
    Hospital and the Thoracic Surgery Department, where I potentially might be
    working, I did some research so I would be prepared for my interview. 

     

     

    When it was time for the
    interview, I made sure that I was dressed in proper business casual attire.
    When I first met my interviewer, I tried my best to seem polite and personable.
    However, when it came time to answer difficult questions such as why I would be
    a good fit for the job, I was stumped. I tried my best to answer the question
    by briefly addressing the main responsibilities of my previous jobs. Yet, now,
    as I analyze my answer, I clearly see that I did not prepare enough for that
    question, and as it turned out, I was not called back for a follow-up
    interview. 

     

     

     If I could go back in
    time then I would have supplemented my answer with stories about the impact
    that I made at each job and how my experiences at my previous jobs relate to my
    potential job. Although at the time, I thought that I made a great impression
    on my interviewer, after reading about what I should have done during my
    interview, I can understand how I might not have seemed interested and
    determined in getting the job. 

  • I became Depress
    This one is definitely one once you start going through always being broke. having no job. You just have to Strive through it.

  • I am not looking forward to looking for a job following graduation, it seems like a daunting task. It appears that while in college very little emphasis is placed on how to search for a job after graduation which is a shame. Our higher education should prepare us for life following graduation.

  • I am currently a college student. We have many campus jobs available, but until this year I had not been able to balance school work and a weekday job. I have worked part-time, on weekends and breaks, in my hometown since starting college. However, finding a job here on campus actually scared me a little. I had to learn how to manage my time. When I finally decided that I had adjusted to college life and was ready to look for a job. I decided to contact the head of our catering service that I had met my freshman year. The section on this guide about persistence and staying in touch with your potential employer cannot be more true. I talked to her in December and she said she would contact me in January about an interview. Towards the end of January I had heard nothing and started to get concerned that she had changed her mind about possibly hiring me. I contacted her again at the beginning of February stating that I just wanted to check and see if the position was still available since I had not heard from her. Turns out, our previous emails had been deleted on her account and she had been trying to find a way to get in touch with me all month! Thankfully, I was persistent about the job and contacted her once more. I did not want to look desperate, but I am glad I got over that fear and contacted her again! I am now starting the job when I return to school in August!

  • All of these are great suggestions on taking charge and seeking out my new career. I joined LinkedIn and still have not utilized it. Now is the time for me to make the moves I need in order for me to succeed.

  • I absolutely agree with this article. People need to realize how important doing the little things are. I actually just landed a job that i am way under qualified for and did not have enough experience for because I did little things like emailing and thanking them for taking the time to interview me. Employers want to see that you are really interested their company. Working with different business organizations, I have had an amazing opportunity to hear about what they want to see in possible candidates. What kept on coming up is confidence, confidence and more confidence. As much as I agree the coffee statement, employers want to know that you will confidently represent their company. Show them you got what it takes to be part of their team. 

  • I am 29 years old, and I am afraid of the job market because of my age. I have confidence issues going up against a 21 or 22 year old that has the same degree that I will have. I do think if I follow these tips that I will stand out. 

  • As a upcoming senior in college, the real world is getting closer and closer. One of the main reasons I attended college, besides getting an education is to land a great job that would satisfy my needs financially and be able to say I am working do something I love to do. The job search is one of the biggest parts of landing a job, but most people dont realize that the process starts way before graduation. My biggest mistake, even when I was looking for a summer job, was that I wait too long to start. I can relate to the article because when summer hits, just like the author, I sat around enjoying the time off and the summer fun. Then, when my money started to run low, that’s when I would look for a job. By then it was too late. This article does a great job at outlining the necessary tips to start and become successful at the job search. I know I will be using these tips over the next couple of years because like everyone else I want to land that great job doing something I  love and making a lot of money doing it, and the only way to do that is become successful at the job search process and set myself apart from everyone else.

  • I’m an international student in the United States, but I
    live in my native country Mexico. As I live in the border I cross every day to
    go to school and I do not have the opportunity to work, I’ve never worked. I’m
    close to graduation and I’m pretty scared of going into the job searching stage
    as I do not know anything about having a job and I feel everything is against me.

    This article has really helped in feeling more prepared for
    that time, there were many things I did not know that will be very helpful for
    me to get a job, especially in the resume and interview sections. I still have
    a lot to learn and to prepare for that time, but now I do not feel so lost in
    the process, and I feel more confident.

    • Wow! I agree that a great resume and great first impression interview is the best way to land that best first job.  It’s hard for people that have never been in the job force to go out and compete against those with interviewing backgrounds.  That’s why it’s so important to get in the practice and research guidelines to help you out. 

  • I totally agree with point number 5 on persistence. I had an experience when I applied for a job I really wanted and didn’t get hired. I felt disappointed but I did not give up, I tried again and again didn’t get hired so I decided to volunteer their after 1 month of volunteering the boss asked me personally to become an employee at their place.

  • I guess one of the most important skills that was mentioned in this article was to know who you want to work for, and know their manners or way of being. It is not only important to give a good impression, it is essential that you provide your potential employer with characteristics that make them obtain cues of how you will be of benefit to the company and perhaps your potential. Another thing of course is the way you address the employer and all the staff, including the way you communicate with them in an interview. All these skills are of important matter to determine your success in the interview  

  • This article brought me three things: a haunting memory of embarrassment, confidence in my improvement since then, and a greater comprehension of the key techniques I can use to land my future dream job. 

    The Humiliating Memory

    It was May of 2010, and I had just quit the job I worked at my entire high school career. I had obtained said job through a family friend, so I never had to interview. I was applying to be a receptionist at a local hair salon, and it was time for my first interview, ever. I think I broke every single rule you outlined in the ‘Interview’ portion of this post. I babbled on about my life time goals (which had nothing to do with being a receptionist). To the most simple of interview questions, I responded with painfully irrelevant answers.  Why did I want to work there? I was the last person who would know the answer to that question. Out of shear embarrassment and the stark realization of failure, there was no way I was following up. 

    An Improved Woman

    Whilst reading this article, I did have some confidence restored in myself. To think it has only been two years since that dreaded interview, and I have come a long way. Since then I’ve had two jobs and had to interview for various campus organizations. We really do learn from our failures.

    The Dream Job

    That title has to be abstract because I am still figuring out exactly what it is. Once I do figure that out, the article will have been very useful. To me, networking seems like the most daunting thing, but I can completely see how it will be an extremely useful tool for finding a great job. So Mr. Eric Shannon, the future me is thanking you!

  • I think that this has helped me a lot to understand the mind of the employer, which I had not thought to do before. I will definitely take a look at this guide again the next time I’m applying for a job!

  • I came to the US from South America, graduated from college, and got a job with a Fortune 500 company. It all seemed perfect, however, I was not happy with my job and industry. Therefore, I decided to change careers.
    This is very difficult as an experienced professional. I was about to give up when I got the idea from a career counsellor at my school to email people directly and offer myself for an unpaid internship in order to prove myself.
    As the guide says, you have to be resilient and be willing to go above and beyond in this competitive job market. As a matter of fact, I will be starting school again this Fall for an MBA. This guide will prove invaluable when I look for internships.

  • I volunteer at the elementary school I once attended.
    Helping the teacher with errands around the classroom, or with the student’s
    math homework, I realize that my job is not to teach. It is to inspire, these
    children just like I was inspired. I asked one of the children who was helping
    me work with special needs children at the time what he wanted to be when he
    went to high school. He responded that he wanted to be the ice cream truck
    driver. Not astonished as it is a low-income school and the students have far
    worse household issues then what the district could manage.

    I showed Albert the
    website Khan Academy and I begun to help him in the winter and summer sessions.
    This website lets him progress and I can “coach” him remotely. Thanks
    to the website, I am able to spend more time on why what he is learning
    important. Albert and I made an agreement that no matter how he earned an
    honest wage; he would keep spending his free time learning and try his hardest
    to influence his friends and family. 

  • I came to the US from a little country called Bosnia, and getting a job here for me is not the easiest. I applied to many different places and I get interviews sometimes, but I never get the Job. I think If I had read this article before applying for those jobs, I think I would of had a better chance of getting them. I believe this article could help out a lot of people by giving them a better chance of getting a job.

  • I really appreciate the information given on this website.  The way the economy is and how hard it is to find a job, anyone that is looking for a job should want this type of information.  Some of it may seem like common sense but like the saying goes practice makes perfect!  The knowledge on this page can be for anyone.  If you have never been on a interview or if you have been on countless interviews. 

  • Networking is the part of the job search that I struggle with the most. I am a quiet person by nature. When I am put in a situation where I have presure to make a good impression it scares me. The informaiton interview was a great idea. It really took the presure off–unlike a huge networking luncheon.

  • I have only had two jobs in my lifetime, seeing that I am only nineteen, and I have never truly had to encounter interviews with bosses or CEOs. I am happy that I’ve read this article because it helps me prepare for the future. I always thought if I called multiple times to check the status of my application that I would sound too pushy, but from reading this I know that they will see it as drive. I know now how to better my resume and how to act during an interview. With these helpful skills I know I will be able to succeed in the future. 

  • This lesson guide is certainly one I wish I cam across in my early years of job seeking experience.

    Prompt Communication; the failor to do so, for prospective employers cost me two potential hires in

    the past. Through time and experience I can testify to the sections in this lesson that speak of

    following up, networking, knowing what you want in a job, and persistance. I have worked since the

    age of 16, and school was also a priority for me which was also difficult to attain. Socioeconomical

    issues have brought me to the age of 26; where I have now been accepted to Graduate school for

    Occupational Therapy ( a life long goal). I researched the fields of profession, as this lesson says to

    research job roles; and realized that my attributes fit like a puzzle in order to transform and

    commit to the roles of an OT. It was refreshing to read the lesson and know that employers not only

     want a person that may be educated in the field; but that is also PASSSIONATE about what they do.

    The cartoon that depicts the employer stating “you must meet the strength requirement. How

    much can you life off my shoulders?” was an excellent demonstration of what employers are looking

    for. Many educated individuals focus on themselves and it may come across as “having a cup that’s

    too full,” or being overqualified. It is important, as the lesson teach us, to express what attributes you

     have that can benefit the employer and the force of work of that nature.

    Moreover, following up, networking, and persistance has aided my facilitation of reaching my current 

    goal (which was just reached 2 weeks ago) to get admittsnce into Graduate school. Collectively, 

    networking with professionals in the field of my desire helped me gain insight on what I may expect 

    and reinforced my angles on what it takes to get to where I eventually want to be. This is important,

    as this lesson teaches in the blogs section with someone who spent 10 years doing something that 

    they may have avoided if they weighed they’re options and networked with others in the current 

    he considered over his first choice (in regards to the advancement opportunities and probablity of 

    advancement). Futher, other work survival skills taught in this lesson such as persistance and 

    following; were ESSENTIAL to my admittance into Graduate school. I called, sent personal follow-up

    mail, and e-mail to the school of my choice. At first, my news was disapointing; I recieved word

    that I may be on a waiting list; this would mean a WHOLE YEAR degression. However, with the 

    persistance and follow-up measures taken to my recommendation letter donors and the school of

    Occupational Therapy; when the slot opened up, it was given to me. The director called and gave me 

    the news that I would start in the Fall term. I knew the lesson skills can be a testiment to success,

    because the name of one of the author’s of my letter was mentioned; I wondered if she made a 

    phone call to the graduate office to ask about me….

    In sum, this lesson is valuable, insightful, and truthful. Had I read this in my past; perhaps I would

    landed more of the jobs I wanted as a younger me. 
        

  • Every point
    in this article is necessary and related to each other. As a current college
    student, I tried many ways to find a job that helps me to pay for living
    expenses and build up my skills and experiences. I know even more about those
    companies than any other contestant, however, my efforts have not been paid
    off. All recruiters said, “Your resume is impressive. I can only hire American citizens
    so you have to provide me with some sort of federal form: birth certificate or
    passport.” I was disappointed, but I never give up. Nothing in the world can
    take the place of Persistence.

    Due to a
    healthy professional networking with old school, I ran to meet Gary Wallrapp,
    Director of Career Services and Workforce Development at Quincy College, and
    asked for an unpaid internship position.  I decided to work as an assistant helping
    Amity Insurance Company to promote and develop their project to local
    residents. After three months, the boss praised me for having been so efficient
    and he wanted me to be part of his team. 

  • When searching for a job the key components for success are a great resume, appearance, and first impressions. The resume is the first foot into the door so it needs to be complete, professional, and easy to undertand. Next, if called for an interview dress for success and look the part. Always remain professional and get a good night’s rest prior to the interview so you can arrive on time. Finally, answer all questions efficiently and always use proper grammer. Leave something for the employer to remember you by, if not you will just be another face in the crowd.

    •  Dominique, you are correct in your tips for a good job interview. A resume is definitely your first impression to get in the door, then once there you need to look and act the part like you said. Always be professional and optimistic. Great tips!

  • I think its all about connections and who you know than what you know. As college graduates we have to be conscious that life will not be perfect right after leaving college.  We are part of the real world, so expect hardships and challenges..when looking for a career. College is not a grantee ticket in the world, just a upper hand…nothing is…but by doing the correct things as stated above…one can be successful.  All things work together!

  • Interviewing for a job is a process that can be difficult for employers and usually makes the job seeker nervous.  Not asking appropriate questions, following up regularly, as well as not doing a background check on the company in which one works are all lessons that I learned.The employer may like you however; not following up shows that you may not be interested in the position or interested in another company.  I missed my window of opportunity once by not following up regularly this included checking my messages and returning the call to the respective person in a timely manner.

    With regards to not asking any questions, this may show a lack of confidence or interest. Furthermore, not or researching the company in which one is applying may show that one is only interviewing to get a “job anywhere”, as apposed to a career and not because the are interested in adding to the companies growth or believe in its Mission and Values.  I learned to do research about the company in which I was applying. This was due to the employer I was interviewed by asking me about their, history, missions, values and two million dollar questions. “Why should I hire you?” and “What can you bring to the company?”

     

  • This is a very helpful, funny, and understanding web page that helps newly grads deal with turn downs of job offers in that it shows viewers that they are not alone, and encourages them to keep on striving.  It also gives very useful techniques and skills to help attain employment.

  • Seeing that you have to think outside the box and basically see that you have to change how you were taught to do resumes and cover letters is a new concept. I think it lets me into the minds of employers and will help me get the jobs that I want.

  • After reading this article, I believe that all the points conveyed are all extremely important.  However, I have learned that it is not what you know, but who you know that benefits in the job market. So the key to success is connections, many of them! A college degree is a stepping stone in the right direction, but we as people have to emcompass all are expeiences to help us propel foward in the job market.

  • I really got a lot out of this information because I am currently looking for my next employment opportunity. I use honesty when looking at the job duties because I am unable to perform some function I don’t apply, even if I think I am qualified. I don’t want to waist an employer’s time as well as take an opportunity for someone else that may actually like the work. I want to practice looking at the interview as a two sided event. Just as I want the job they want someone to fill the job and if the work environment is terrible, I wouldn’t want to work there anyway.

  • I got a lot out of the information that i can use during my next job search. I will apply for jobs that I am intersted in as my work will have a significant portion of my time. Work is a big part of life so doing something I am interested in is imperative.

  • I realize that I have very little chance to secure a well paying job which I enjoy coming right out of high school that will provide for my future. In 2012, the job market for an 18 year old is very bleak. Not only are there few jobs available, but the ones that are, pay minimum wage and if I am not willing to accept minimum wage, someone else will. Therefore, I see no other choice but to focus may energy towards college where I hope to have a better opportunity to obtain a desirable job some day and make a living to provide for myself and my future family. 

  • This lesson reminds me of a few months ago, when I applied for the career coaching program at my school, in which students are paired with successful professionals as mentors. Although I was not applying for a job or internship, this was a similar situation because I had to show my qualification for the program and my interest in seriously pursuing a professional career.

    I achieved my goal and got into the program by editing my resume to make it very concise and achievement-based, carefully choosing my references, preparing well for the interview, being confident, and researching the program prior to applying.

    As described above, during my application and interview I showed many of the skills and qualities that the program looks to improve and refine. Therefore, my interviewers saw me as a candidate with potential, who took the program seriously, and they chose me to be a part of the program.

  • I love the illustrations, especially the ’50, 40, 30, 20 one’. Everything in this article is completely true and many people including myself can relate to it. Thank you! 

  • As an undergraduate student I may not be knowledgable about jobs and how their systems of hiring employes work but i have had experiences, even though they were little jobs I strongly believe that I did my best because of the remarks i received from my superiors, and some things that I did while working are some points that are listed above. Like, when searching for a job see that its fits with you and that you enjoy it; I believe that is the reason that i got excellent remarks at my previous jobs because I fully enjoyed my job and did my best in every little thing I did. In conclusion this guide made me more aware of the things I should do to land an excellent job, and I plan to use it in the future for helpful and successful reference.

  • The section on interviewing was so timely. I stumbled across
    it before applying to my nursing program, which is quite competitive, and while
    I know it’s a little different from interviewing for a job, this section was so
    helpful!
    I researched the school I was applying to and even some of the people I
    could possibly be interviewed by. I found a list of questions of about 20
    questions I could possibly be asked and prepared an answer for each of them, so
    that during the interview, I wasn’t stumbling for a response. I also made sure
    to ask important questions about the program and even asked questions about my
    two interviewers and their individual fields to show I was very interested in
    the program and even more interested and excited about the field of nursing.
    The interview lasted about 15 minutes, but I talked with my interviewers for at
    least 15 minutes more following the interview.
    Two weeks later I received my
    acceptance letter.
     

    • I have had a few go no where jobs in my life and got all of them through passing the interview process. When I was 16 I got my first job as a telemarketer and a friend got it for me and my sister got me my second job, and my bestfriend got me my third job so when it came time to actually go to job interview, I was terrified.
      Befor completing highschool, I was educated on the hireing process and what potiental employers were looking for and ecpected out of me. To my amazement, I had got the job and could not have been happier because I did it for my self.
      The information about interviews and the hireing proces have been a great review and reminder because I will be completing my degree soon and will need a reference when it comes time to apply in the job market again. I will deffinately keep this site handy when it comes time to get into the job market again.

  • i was hired as partime and worked as  a full time since i was promised to be changed over time. well it turned out when season was over i was lay off after been promised to stay year round. now i have no job because i had declined various offers sicne i thought i had a secure job

  • This is a wonderful tool to use when you are looking for a job… The author shoots straight from the hip and is easy to read. Its a breath of fresh air to hear the truth! Thank you!

  • It is always extremely important to proofread your resume/coverletter. I was once applying for a handful of jobs and sent out 3-4 resumes…. referencing the wrong business/position. FAIL! Needless to say I proofread proofread proofread now.

  • When I first tried to get a job, I applied to over ten places. When I did not hear anything back, I talked to the managers and they would all say: “we are not hiring.” Yes, that is why you have a “help wanted” sign on your door. Truth was, I have never had a job, and everyone most likely wanted someone with experience. 

    It was annoying to not hear anything about my applications. Finally one day, my current job called me back, five months later after applying. I went through three interviews, and was nervous as anything. I wish I would have seen this article years ago considering I could have been smarter when it came to handling talking to managers, or even handling my interviews itself. Fortunately, I am a really outgoing person, so my interviews went well because I talked everyone’s ears off. 

    This was a great article and I will definitely show this to others!

  • Don’t burn your bridges and keep in contact with former co-workers. You may need them as your reference one day.  If you really want a specific job, find a way to get into the company. You have to start at the very bottom with minimum wage but it may be worth it in the long run. Do some volunteer work for the company and introduce yourself to some key people. They are more likely to hire internal candidates than external. 

  • I really liked how this article said to research the company and management. I have experienced this kind of situation, only applying for a job because they easily worked with my school schedule, and it was a relatively easy job…great, huh? Because I did not know much about the business until I started working there, I started to realize that, yes they worked with my schedule, but the business was very unorganized and lacked employee discipline. There was one employee that was stealing from the business, and even though they were aware of the the theft, there was no action taken against the employee, and then it led to the employers not trusting ANY of the rest of us. It was a constant trust battle with our boss, just because of one person. The employers were also not interested in helping their employees when the business would get busy, either. I only worked weekends and I think this may have caused resentment towards me because I was always by myself, and this was a business that was extremely busy on the weekends. I ended up hating my job, became very stressed out because I am also a full-time student, and I ended up leaving. The added stress wasn’t worth it, but had I really looked into the business and the people who worked there, I would not have made the decision to apply. I think that researching a business is really important because an employee really does need to have the desire to work for the business. If an employee is unhappy, it will soon start to reflect on the clients of the business, which is definately not good; it would ultimately affect business as well.

  • I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and will be beginning graduate studies in the Fall. Since I still have about 2-3 years left in school, I have not looked much into career-path occupations. This has been really helpful. Thank you for posting!

  •  This article is a must for college students. Returning home for the summer and seeking a part time job has been quite difficult. With only 5 years as a math and science tutor many of the positions have been filled by displaced workers.  However, after networking at the library and showing my resume, I have been given several places to complete applications. The prospect looks good, unfortunately due to the economy and higher skills workers it may be difficult trying to get funds for college expenses. Sending emails.

  • I can very much relate to this article even prior to college. Right out of high school I thought I could immediately pick up a part time job and attend school at the same time. Much to my surprise, I was able to get into school but not obtain a job. For the next two years, I was constantly giving myself a hard time because I was a college student and that I was unable to get a job. Finally, I signed up to get assistance at a career center to receive assistance with my job search. Turns out my resume was TERRIBLE. Though the formatting was correct, the quality of my information and the arrangement of my qualifications and highlights were not the best. After working with me, I was able to get a job practically the first day I applied. I worked at the job for two years and still obtained a second job WHILE working my first job and I am still in school. I am at neither jobs anymore, however, my experience during that time period showed me that I did not present how I would benefit the company in the strongest manner.

    Remember, there is nothing wrong with selling yourself to your employer because they want you to add value to their company and be capable of upholding their mission and values. Today a job is harder to come by but as long as you excel above and beyond your competitors, you will always outshine.

  • This seemed to a regurgitation of everything every one of my advisers has ever told me but  in all honestly it basically a massing of everything useful i’ve ever learned in one convenient page of notes 

  • Job Search Guide:
    Overall I enjoyed reading this article, it has a lot of effective tips that will help me in the future when I do a job search.
    I am currently a highschool senior and will be graduating this 1st of June. I have had one job experience, it was during my Junior year. 
    This article has confirmed the fact that empioyers are looking for someone with skills and a energetic attitude. As well as, the fact that you are willing learn fast if not experienced, and give it your all.
    Most people get a job thru contacts, that’s what happened in my case. My
    mother new someone that was looking for a part-time employer at a
    green earth dry cleaner store. Obviously, I was not an experience “Dry Cleaner” and didn’t know much about the industry. The first day I met my boss, was literly my first day on the job. I remember when he walked into the store, I didn’t know who he was because it was my first time meeting him.
    I greeted him with excitement saying, “Welcome to OXXO Cleaners.” He gave me a big smile, and that was the moment that helped me seem like an energetic, determined, willing to learn employee.
    I was glad to hear right off the bat that I would be in training mode and depending on how I did it would determine if I would become part of the team. Overall, I made really good friends with my co-wokers, learn how to operate the machinery (i.e the dry cleaning machine) and how to proffesionally iron clothes.
    The way I look at it, is that, it doesn’t matter what you do. As long as you keep learning new things through out your life.

  • This guide touched on several points that illuminate why I did not get hired on after my 1.5 year internship.

    I started interning in community development at a nonprofit  the spring of my junior year in college. At the time the internship was unpaid, but I was looking for paid work and they liked me enough that they agreed to pay me. Two months after I came on, my division went through a great overhaul, and the 5-person department became just 3 employees and me. I started interning full-time over that summer, effectively doing the work of those other two employees that they never replaced.

    I had always been up front with my supervisor and HR about the fact that I wanted to stay on as a full-time employee after I graduated. They never gave me a full answer. In the meantime, I spearheaded several projects and even helped out in other departments.

    When I finally got them to interview me for some open positions the month before my graduation, I naively thought that this was just a formality. Surely with all the new positions opening up, they would want to keep me, a bright young intern with 1.5 years of institutional knowledge.

    I did not prepare for my interviews; I walked in thinking I knew enough from just working with the company. This was a fatal mistake; I did not get either of the two I really wanted. I was offered the third because the head of that department had worked with me before and knew my work, but it was not a position that I was interested in (or, I thought, one that I would have been good at).

    I will definitely use the advice in this guide from now on; ESPECIALLY about properly preparing!

  • I found this article to be very helpful  being that I’ve never landed a job the “traditional” way. I’ve had three jobs since I was 15 and I am now 21. My first job was as a receptionist/assistant at my Godmother’s hair salon, my second job was at a local grocery store that my mom’s friend was a manager at, and my third job was a summer job at a daycare that was owned by my mother’s sorority sister. I guess I’m not really strong in the interviewing process but I will definitely keep theis article in mind. And also, I’m always looking for work in new fields that I have little to no experience in but I’m currently persuing more jobs related to my education major.

  • This article brings me so much relief! This is exactly what I am going through. I just finished my first year at Berkeley and have been looking for a summer internship and a summer job. I have spent countless hours searching online for both an internship related to my field and a job that interests me. I went to my school career center, tried our school database, and searched several job listing websites. I have been getting almost nowhere. I took up some of your advice and began prospecting. The smartest move I did was send out emails and my resume to prospective employers. I got much feedback and insight on specific jobs. This has helped guide me through the process. I am close to landing my first internship! Hopefully a job soon follows!

  • Hi, This post got me thinking on everything I have done so far in my career search. It was a very interesting read since I have been through much of the process during the last few months and looking for an internship has been an incredible journey. I agree with a lot of things posted here but there are a few things that I completely disagree about as well.

    Things I agree about
    1. The importance of references from colleagues and bosses is one thing that I wish I had included in my profile. Though linked in provides this, most of this information is not available in say a  resume drop that happens online. Maybe I should convert my resume into a  multipage pdf with recommendations and submit that online

    2. Informational Interviews and the format for the mail you have included above is extremely valuable. It’s short and to the point. Though I tried to do this, my strategy was more towards contacting as many people (sometimes random people from linked in) as possible. That was a huge mistake. I should have targeted just 10 firms at the max, contacted them and followed up in a regular basis in order land a job. Trying to reach as many people as possible does not work. You lose track, you get burned out, you cannot follow up with everyone on time. Instead, next time around, I plan to target just a few firms and give those firms everything I’ve got.
    Things I do not agree about
    1. While I agree that it’s important to stand out and make an impression on the recruiting manager, I do not thing that the slide that Kristen sent you (http://portal.sliderocket.com/BPBOP/GiveForward) is professional. The fact that you liked it is well and good but I doubt whether a large corporation like Microsoft would like it. You’ve got to make your impression. The managers who hire employees are looking for someone who can deliver results of quality, not for an employee who likes cats or likes eating burritos. My point is that a lot of what the hiring manager feels depends on the kind of person he or she is. Such a recommendation on a generic website could mislead applicants.

  • This article proved to be very practical and necessary for those of us who will soon be graduating college. Many of my good friends have just entered the job search freshly out of school and are extremely overwhelmed by the process.  This was helpful because it reaffirmed my suspicions that being educated and talented are not enough. As basketball idol Kevin Durant says, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard’. You must not only be smart and competent but you must know yourself, what you want, what your strengths are, and more importantly what your prospective employer wants. So many college grads enter the real world stumbling around looking for just any job not really caring whether its a good fit simply because they are more concerned with having a job. Thats okay because making mistakes will eventually teach you what you want but it is not however efficient. This article gives strong efficient tips that will not only show you how to survive but to thrive in the job market.

  • Though still an undergraduate student, I am familiar with the confusion and frustration with job searching. When my mother graduated college, I recall her having difficulty transitioning from the perspective that job seeking is about to her to it being about the company/hiring manager. 

    She also read “What Color is Your Parachute?” and I remember it helping her tremendously. My mother passed on to me helpful tips in job hunting, but this article is chock-full of them! Everything covered by Mr. Shannon is practical and useful. Specifically, I’m going to start implementing the advice to send quick thank-you emails after phone calls and interviews as well as start writing a professional blog tailored to employers. 

  • All of the idea’s present above are absolutely correct.  I have a great job now and I credit that to my interview and how I built my resume.  I was able to obtain excellent working references, making sure that each could provide a positive comment about my working abilities. I was sure to include supervisor’s and fellow employee’s because it is important that you have both.

  • Everything related in this article is key to getting the right kind of job. Job seekers need to be aware of all areas from the job searching process right down to the interview process.

    I have had a few jobs in my past but never has any of my references been contacted. I am pleased to understand more on how this process works and will be further prepared to offer good references and to make sure they (the reference) will be prepared when they are contacted.

    In my past experience, I have been successful in getting the job because I showed interest and I kept open communication with the employer about the job postings they had. They were impressed that I never gave up during their hiring process.       

  • One of the biggest problems I’ve had when it comes to interviews, is that it seems like most people put much effort into “selling” someone completely different from who they actually are. Before I had my first official interview with one of the Big4, I decided to do a ‘mock interview’ with a counselor at the career center at my school (we were very lucky to have this type of resources at my school). Basically you do an interview with someone who has worked for a Big4 before, and they give you advise based on how the interview goes. After we were done with the mock interview, he told me that I should think carefully about my answers and to respond based on what I believe they want to hear from me. In other words, he said, tell them that you are ready to make them lots of money (after all the interview was for one of the Big4). 

    The problem I had with that experience is that it seems like most people are not truly honest when they have an interview. Instead, many people try their hardest to fake their answers based on what they person asking the questions wants to hear. I love going to school, and I believe I have the skills and knowledge for certain jobs (and therefore I am actually applying to those jobs who are of my interested), so I don’t see the need to fake myself. I believe that, if I was the owner of a big corporation, I would like to hire people who are true to themselves, people who will stick to their passion, and not be corrupted by something else. 

    I understand, and I also agree, that people should prepare very well for an interview (i.e. polish resume/CV and cover letter for each specific job, practice before an interview, ask questions and know about the company you are applying for, etc), but I’ve decided to also sell myself for who I am, and not for who they would like me to be. As a result of that, I’ve come across many important companies who haven’t hired me (for many reasons, not necessarily because I don’t tell them what they want to hear), but I’ve also worked for companies that are exactly what I am looking for. I believe it is essential for everyone to truly know who they are, and what they are looking for in a company. 

  • I can totally understand the importance of having a resume. A couple of summers ago I was looking into different internships as a school requirement in addition to trying out new experiences. I sent out a lot of emails to prospective internship locations telling them who I was, what I do, etc. Only about 10% of those places responded, and most of them I did not have a huge interest in doing. The next time I tried mass emailing, I decided to attach a resume to my email. I couldn’t believe the night and day difference in terms of responses. Nearly all of potential internships responded with interest in me interning there. Resumes can be a life saver. 

  • I strongly believe that the most important factor to consider when applying for a job is adequate research. Research into the various openings and positions gives an insight as to what is available in the current job market. A strong resume and an impeccable first impression are also strong factors that influence the final decision of a potential employer.

  • What I have noticed in my past experience as a job seeker is that many people have the necessary qualifications and knowledge to perform the job duty but they don’t know how exactly to act on the job interview. There are particular words , attitude and appearance that the employer is looking for. I remember I had a response from an employer who told me that I wasn’t selected for an Administrative assistant’s position because I was overqualified because I speak four languages and I have two certificates in different fields as well. My advice: read very well what the employer is looking for in the job posting and make sure you represent yourself as that candidate. Good luck!

  • I think these are very helpfull tips when seeking a job. It is important to be prepare if one wants to get the deamed job and that is what this article provides. I read things that I have not thought about. For instance, it is true that one must think as if he was the manager. That way it is easier to see what they are looking for.
    Also, the references for how the resume should be presented are very helpful. A lot of time there are missunderstandings or the information is not what it should be because the resume is not properlly written. I like the way this ideas because they are designed to help us prepare and succeed at job seeking, which is a major problem this day. There are jobs abailable. However, sometimes we don’t know how to applly for it.

  • Very good and realistic action plan. I believe this plan get a bit more complicated when one try to change his career especially on mid 30’s.

  • Landing a great job takes some preparation. When I prepare to go to an interview I make sure I look impressive and not overdone. It is always good to leave a great first impression as well as not leaving the office with a trail of heavy scented perfume/cologne. The next thing employers are looking for is eye contact and straight foward answers with confidence in your speech. Yes it may be hard when you are super nervous but keep calm and keep your focus on the goal of landing that job.

    Okay here comes the hand shake. I know your probably feeling like the end is finally here and you just want to dash out of that office but make sure your hands aren’t covered in sweat for that last hand shake. Before getting up casually place your hand on your pants/skirt and give yourself a tiny pat to dry off. The last impression you want to leave is your wet hand in theirs.
     
    I would also suggest you read more about the company and their expectations before the interview.

    Good luck job hunting and let it be a fun way of getting to know people too.

  • Here I am having just completed my first year in college. My only work experience was an on-campus work study job. I didnt have to apply, nor did I have an interview. I simply went to the office to ask for an application and was immediately hired. It has been blissful success. However, I am limited in my experience to get another job. For two months now I have been trying to find a summer job in which I can earn money to return to school a second year. I am hoping to secure a job in which I can return to each summer. It has not been working out.

    Before I had just been filling out applications. I knew little to nothing about cover letters or resumes. This information will help in allowing me to find something suitable and give me more confidence in my journey as I search.

  • All these tips are really helpful. Finding a job needs a lot of work and preparation. One of the tips about researching the company before the interview remind me of my own experience. When I applied to work at Target I searched online to find some information about the company. I found a lot of information about Target jobs and the goals of the company. I even found people comments about their interviews. I was fully prepared in the interview and they found all my answers impressive. 

  • Don’t babble.  I have been on both side of an interview in which people I have interviewed babble and I myself babbled.  In both instances, the interviewee was not offered the job.  When you babble, you are seen as an ineffective communicator and an anxious person.  As the person babbling, I was very nervous because I wanted the job so bad.  In the end, I looked anxious and unprepared.  

  • Landing a great job in a great company requires a strategic
    process. My dream job is to become a registered nurse.  I started volunteer work at the age of 15. I
    volunteered at a local elementary school because I had a great interest in
    mentoring children. As I got older I realized my heart was in the medical field
    and I pursued a career in nursing. My next volunteer venture started at a local
    medical center, where I volunteered on numerous departments.  I realized at a young age that I must gain
    experience in the field I would like to work for in order to network. Building
    relations is key to acquiring a dream job. 
    My family constantly told me that I was wasting my time, but little did
    they know that I was building my resume. I have many years of experience
    working in retail because it was flexible with my school schedule, but I used
    this to my benefit because the focus of retail is customer service, which is
    basically the same as patient-centered care in the health field. For the past
    few years I’ve been working for one of my favorite hospitals.  I’ve acquired numerous references who helped
    me gain entry into very well known hospitals. I believe that most people must
    start at the bottom before they can progress to their dream career. Times are
    definitely hard and getting straight A’s in school does not necessarily mean I
    will get a job when I graduate from nursing school.  I can relate to the information provided in
    this article because it contains the techniques I’ve been using in order to
    build up to a career in nursing.   

  • This article is very similar to my current situation. Although i am still in school on the verge of graduation it is, and has been, very hard for me to find a job. this article is actually very helpful in my efforts to find one. there are some key components in this that are very useful. 

  • As a recent high school graduate, I never thought I could be capable of landing an internship in a big film and television production company. I had no experience, nothing on my resume, except for academic recognition and volunteer experience. It is true that I had to do a lot of research prior to my interview in order to be aware of company policy and such. When I interviewed, I understood exactly what I was being asked and I answered appropiately. It is no easy task to find a job in a great company, but with the right tools and commitement, it is definitely possible. 

  •      This information would have been helpful during my time of applying for my first job. Now, being older and finally graduated, I realized that no matter how much you know, trying to land a job can still be a struggle. My downfall is feeling as if I may be a slow learner. Most managers do not want someone who they will have to train for years. They like those who can catch on quickly and do their job efficiently. I also get really nervous and start talking fast during interviews, and it is not good to show nerves. After all, your suppose to know that you have the skills necessary and that you are right for the job.
         With that said, I finally got some of the same advice that was given above from a teacher in one of my classes. He made it an assignment to do a resume, list references, write cover letters, and to write a bibliography so that we could learn what we were and were not good at. This was one of the most helpful assignments I had ever had. To this day, I still have my same resume, references, and cover letter that I update when I need to. Because of his advice in confidence and learning my good qualities, I have landed a job in a hospital. Keeping his advice in mind, and learning about interviewing and working smart from the reading above, I know I can do better for myself!

  • Finding the right job is hard, but with dedication and motivation to work in the field you want, it will be well worth it. An old saying from my parents,” Do for those, as if those will do for you.” I realize that if you want to be apart an organization, you should provide your ideas to them in order to gain there trust. Trust is the basis of a good employee. Going into an interview not only lets you show your character, but also the ability to demonstrate your reliability as a person. 

  • I have found out that I’m not the best a job search but nobody is perfect. Right now I’m searching for a summer job and I find this article very helpful. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a summer job, entry-level, or you’re finding a new job. This material can help you in so many ways and I plan to use the advice and suggestions in the best way possible. I’m always looking for help regarding finding a job.

  • This article was very informational. I just finished my freshman year and I really did not know what to expect after graduating. After reading the article I have a better understanding on how to prepare for an interview and things I can do during my college career to get me in a better position for a job/career after graduation.

  • I have been having trouble finding a job this summer. I’ve applied to so many jobs and have been doing everything I’ve been taught, but still no luck. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. After reading this article, I have found a few tips and pointers that I think will help me score a job. So I’d like to say thank you to Eric Shannon for writing this article.

  • These are very helpful tips on how to get a job. For myself a student looking for a job I will more then likely use many of these tips.

  • I have had much experience doing interviews as I was in retail management for nine years before moving to Arizona and deciding to go to coleege. Now I am studying health administration and have not had any work experience in this field. I am going to use the step from this lesson and work on finding a position in this field even if it is an entry level one. I am currently working a production job that is easy for me to do based on the school assignments because I can work around scheduling problem easily. This may not be good for my resume though as it has nothing to do with the field that I am studying. I know that most positions require experience, so I am going to go and get some.

  • I have learned that the reward of landing the job that you want the most in a career is that you have to be passionate about what you want to accomplish for the company you will work for and while interviewing, you should project that energy and know as much as possible about the position and what goals and objectives you want to accomplish for the company and youself for the company.

  • I can relate to looking for a job and being humbled by the process. I was laid off in 2007 and it took me over 6 months to find a new job. There was really nothing out there. I didn’t know what to look for or what a recruiter would look for in a candidate. I finally figured it out and landed a great job. I hope I am able to do it again when I graduate.

  • At my job now during my interview the interviewer noted my resume and asked about my previous employer. She asked me if I knew someone and I did. That person was her mother so I enjoyed telling her how pleasant it was working with her mother and what a great person she was. It established a good relationship from the start.

  • I work with a professional career coach provided by my school to find a job and get my resume completed, and it looks great and I started working April of this year.

  • It is very hard these days to get a job and even harder to find one that you love to do. I am tired of just working. I want a career in something I love to do. I love to help others but right now i am burned out in what I currently do. I do thank God that I do have a job right now because there are so many people out there that dont have jobs wishing they could take my place. In this economy no matter how bad your job is you had better try to keep it until you can do better.

  • 1. Research the company, the position and the management. This is important homework that is always necessary before an interview. I had an interview for a Master’s program, and I researched all the faculty, research interests, and program requirements. This enabled me to ask meaningful questions at the end of my interview. It shows that you know what type of program (or job) you are applying for, and that you are interested in the position. In my case, I was able to see that the person interviewing me had done research in a particular area that was close to my research interests as well. This sparked a good conversation between us and I was able to discuss my research plans for the future and we discussed how the internships offered in this program could benefit my research goals. Always research the company/position before an interview!

  • It is very now a days to find a good decent job that is way it is very important that if you land a job with a company you keep until something better comes along. People are very picky these days when it comes to finding a job instead of just getting their foot in the door they whether decline the job because of the pay is to low. I mean some money is better then no money and sometimes you just have to take what you can get for right now who says that ruff times are going to last long.

  • This article was so wonderful I could not stop reading it And taking lots of notes so when I have my next interview or send my next resume I feel that all this information i have learned is going to help me succed at getting the job. Thank you so much for this article.

  • this is a great article to help one understand what it really takes to get where you want to be in life. I also was one who sucked at job hunting and i was at my low. I was willing to settle for any job that would help me become financially stable instead of using my experience and knowledge from jobs previous to help me land a great one. This article is very honesty and eye opening when you don’t think about the logic that comes with job hunting

  • I am currently still in college working on my degree, but this will definitely help me once I graduate
    and starting looking for a job. I have had summer jobs, but it was only to small companies such as sonic, Hardee’s, and ect. They were not really a challenge for me. As I thought about my future and career job I have often found myself nervous about that time. After reading this I have found some great tips to help me in my future. Thanks for this article.

  • Looking for a job can be daunting. I recommend networking with others to build relationships with colleagues and organizations, discover opportunities, display professional accomplishments, and build confidence.
    A great networking site is LinkedIn. This site allows you to connect with others to learn and share information, and to be discovered by organizations that are hiring. I am personally affiliated with three groups that assist one another with information on job opportunities, laws, non-profit organization information, etc.
    I currently have my resume uploaded, and am connecting with recruiters, and organizations.

  • NETWORKING! I’ve taken several business classes in college as well as high school and my teachers always stressed the importance of networking but I really did not believe them until I started looking for a job. When I got to college I was applying for jobs around campus the old fashioned way online or either in person by simply filling out an application and giving it back to the employer. I did not have much luck doing that. Than I started asking my friends if any of their employers were hiring and luckily a few of them asked and they were. They put in a good word for me and I was able to speak to the person completing the hiring procedure directly and received a job. The interview was very informal and it was a more “get to know me” and than I was hired.

  • This guide is a life saver for me. I have been on so many interviews you would think that I know what they are going to ask me but I’m never prepared. This guide doesn’t give you all of the questions an interviewer may ask but for the most part those are the main questions that they do ask. I have save this guide for future reference.

  • I really learned a great deal from this article. Next year, I will be finished with my Master’s degree and still did not know that one’s resume is not used simply to list past job experiences. I think that this entire article is well-written, informative, and a worthwhile read!

  • I have found that a great resume is the best way to get hired. The resume tips listed above have never failed me. When I compare myself to other job seekers, I tend to get more interviews, even for positions I’m under-qualified for. I’m very grateful that my high school taught me to put out a quality resume which uses many of the tips listed above.
    To me, the most important one has been tailoring each resume to the position I am applying for. When I “sell myself by showing what’s relevant” I make it clear that I understand the needs of the position and that I am committed to those goals. When I focus on accomplishments and experience related to those goals, such as talking about a sales award on a resume tailored to a marketing position, I demonstrate a desire to achieve for the company I’m applying to.

  • These lessons have been very helpfull in teaching the does and don’ts of taking an interview. This is a great tool which I reconment anyone looking to lend the next job of their dreams.

  • I have had plenty of jobs in my short lifetime. While many of them were odds and ends and still seem to be that way, I have discovered new ways for myself to succeed even after being a stay-at-home mother for three years and unsure of whether or not employers would want to hire me. A lot of it had to do with my own confidence. Whether or not I actually had experience in certain aspects of the job, I had to portray confidence to prove that even though I didn’t know every aspect of the job, I was at least willing to learn to the best of my abilities. Interviews certainly have a lot to do with first impressions so if you are going to give off an air that you are confident that you can learn, then I would suggest continuing to believe in yourself in that way. The more you believe in yourself the more you can achieve and the more you might be surprised to find out about yourself and what you can do about your life. Life is full of ups and downs, but if you can believe in yourself, you can believe in a lot of careers out there waiting for you.

  • I just lost my job a couple days ago. I have been going to church for the past year and I feel like my attitude and the way I perceive things has changed in a positive way. After getting fired I did not share a tear but took it as it was time to move on. Finding a job is very hard and after reading this lesson I feel more enthusiastic for a new approach in my search for tomorrown. Thank you.

  • I have been going to school and trying to look for a job. I am not having any luck. I believe that people are only happy and want to go to work if they are interested in their job. I want to be able to help animals, through law enforcement. It is very hard to do this though when you live in a small town.

    I have tried at our area shelters and they are looking for mostly teenagers. I do want to make a difference in the world it just seems like every time that I try to start I get knocked down or something does not go right. I would love to hear any type of advice that anyone has.

  • Ihave had a really hard time finding a job. Where I’m from is a little town called stanley and there is nothing here to do whatless find a job unless you want to travel hours out of the way.

  • Have a passion for what you’re going to do! I have had many of jobs that were just that, jobs. Nothing felt fufilling to me over the years. I finally decided to go back to school (graduated with my BAHA May 2012 & currently working on my MAHA and to obtain a job that made me feel “refreshed” at the end of the day. The refreshing feeling came over me because I was passionate about what I had accomplished that day. This accomplishment comes from helping others.

    I had to find out what made me smile about my career path. I live to help others, feed the hungry, house the homeless, and nurse the sick back to health. Helping others is my passion! Recently I have obtained a position for a nonprofit organization that does just those things listed above; feed the hungry, house the homeless, and nurse the sick back to health. I am on my way to success and to feel refreshed!

  • I haven’t worked since 2007 because my husband was over in Iraq and we didn’t want our children without both parents so I chose to quit my job. I have been actively searching and applying for every job you can think of even though I have a degree. After reading this lesson I have learned to not sell myself short. Something is out there and I will find the job I want. I have learned a lot of new techniques that I didn’t reallize before and I am looking forward to using these in my future endeavors. Thank you.

  • I have been a self-employed childcare provider for over 12 years now. The childcare business over the last few years has declined in my area. So many people are still out of work or they simply are finding alternate ways of caring for their children. I started searching for a job the end of 2010, early 2011. I was finding first that the job market was terrible and second being self-employed for the last 12 years and not having a college degree was hurting my chances of even being considered for a position. I applied to many places and was repeatedly turned down. I decided that it was time to go back to college and finish that degree I started so many years ago! I went back to school last April 2011 and will be finished with my Associates degree in Information Technology/Web Design in 9 weeks! I have applied to a couple of places with my updated resume and new education but I am still having a tough time finding work. I just need a company to take a chance with me. Just because I have been a self-employed childcare provider for 12 years doesn’t mean I don’t have any skills. I have more skills and maturity than your average twenty something year old college graduate. I have been considering continuing on to the Bachelor’s degree program, but there are some out of pocket expenses that I simply can not afford. I hope to get some help!!

  • The tips on interviewing and creating a great cover letter was very helpful. I am now currently looking for employment, and I appreciate all the advice. I think I just need that extra confident boost to help me stay motivated while job searching.

  • The information provided is great information that I will always take with me to an interview. Preparing myself before an interview is something that I have never done before. I guess I thought I didn’t need to prepare much. Now that I’ve read and understood why preparation is important I will prepare more than all the other candidates so I can be on the top.

    I also took away from this lesson to not boast about myself in my cover letter and resume. Knowing that employers don’t like when people boast but only put forth their experiences is a great tip.

    Thank you for giving me this opportunity and to take away great information on how to obtain a great job in this crazy market.

  • I loved this article because it helps those like me who have been struggling and having a hard time getting back into the work world. I have been unemployed since 2008, I have filled out hundreds of applications and been on numerous job interviews but nothing yet, it begins to get a little depressing and sometimes you just want to throw in the towel, In 2010 I decided to enroll into school so that maybe receiving a degree would give me a better chance of landing a job. I have high hopes and I know that something is out there for me and I will not give up. Thanks!

  • I can relate to the depression with not having a job. I didn’t even realize at the time. It wasn’t until afterwards when I diagnosed myself. At the time I was unemployed I really didn’t do much. I’m usually an active person and my inactivity caused me to gain weight, something I had unsuccessfully tried for a while.

    Seven months passed before I landed another job. It was just a stepping stone for me until I could find what I was looking for. I worked there for a year-and-a-half before I landed the job I really wanted, managing a photography studio. I learned a lot about the business which will be beneficial to me when I start my own photography business in the future.

  • I have been unemployed for 7 months now after being “downsized”. Applying for a job and interviewing skills require practice as I am finding out since I have not really had to do so for 8 years. You recommendations and insights are useful and will certainly help in my reentering the work force.

  • I have been woking since I was 13 and have worked in many different industries which given been lots of common sense and street smarts. I have now decided that I need to have my degree in order to continue and compete with the younger generation. I appreciate this new age of work related information and will be visiting this site frequently.

  • This article had some really insightful information that I never would have considered otherwise. I have always had steady employment since the age of 17. I’m now 24, between jobs, and struggling to land that “great” job. Having these tips and tricks at my disposal should aide me in my search and hopefully I will acheive what I am looking for!!

  • I discovered the importance of networking by being a part of a small business. The company had plenty of product, but no transactions. Our job was to meet the few people that bought our product, asking them to spread the word. After some time, the local radio station heard of our product and advertised it on the radio for free through word-of-mouth. Business begin to pick up by 150%. Networking helped our company thrive, whereas before we were headed to bankruptcy.

  • I am still working on my undergrad, however I do worry about not being able to find a job when I finally get my degree. I’ve met friends who have graduated with their Bachelor’s degree, yet haven’t found a job. My biggest concern is not finding something suitable and and job that will make me fill complete and happy.

  • I have been out of work since 2001 I am a single mother. Its hard to find a job in this economy and its been so long since I have worked I feel really rusty. I decided to go to college so that I can get a degree and inspire my children that everything is possible. I am the first person in my family to earn a degree I am really passionate about helping people and give back to the community I got into a lot of trouble in my youth I have come a long way.

  • I found a position on line that sounded interesting to me. The company was one that my faculty advisor worked for in the recent past, so I asked her for information on about the position. She did some digging around and provided me with some great information. A bonus was that my faculty advisor had supervised the hiring supervisor and gave me a great reference.
    Even though I had my faculty advisor in my corner, I still wanted to give a stellar interview. I noticed the Pittsburgh Steelers paraphernalia on the walls and began a conversation about football before the interview began. The conversation set a positive tone for the rest of the interview. I was told that a second interview would be required, but I was offered the job two days later without the second interview!

  • Job searching is hard, painful, and stressful. When I was out job searching I would walk in ask to talk to the hiring manager before I even put in the application. I did this to ensure that they were hiring before I sat down and filled out an application that took 30 minutes to fill out. I have since then become a supervisor at a company and I am really happy to say I will not have to be out there job searching until I complete my degree.

    Tips that I have is dress to impress when it is interview time, first impressions mean A LOT! Also do not get discouraged keep on going something will come up!

  • At first I use to feel like there was no problems with me becoming hired after an interview. I would go in and play the part and land the job, multiple jobs. The whole thing nowadays is to get that interview. I have been out of work for some months now due to legal matter that disrupted my life and put me in a place were I have to start from the bottom again. with this mishap on my name it has been very tough to find jobs with an understanding.

    I have recently stopped applying for positions because the last place I went to apply for was an McDonald position and you know I couldn’t even land that job , they say my skill level is beyond what they need. I feel really below myself right now because I know that my resume is not up-to-date and employers will look at the dates first. Although I am continuing my education I will like to gain more experience in the field of my degree. This article has helped me reevaluate my professional skills, communication and even the right position and company to look for I am going to get back in my job search mode practice these skills.

  • There is so much competition, that you literally have to be remarkable and leave an impression, or else your just another resume! Not having a job is depressing, but having one that barely pays the bills is disturbing also. Being a woman in the marketplace seems to make the competition even more tough, especially for the higher paying positions. I am also a mother, which for some sad reason automatically makes me appear as though I cannot be counted on. Shouldn’t it appear as just the opposite? This is exactly why leaving an impression, showing a sense of urgency, and standing out in a crowd is a must for me! As of now I have the pleasure of being a stay at home mother, and full-time student. I have worried that getting back into the working community after four long years will take a bit of patience. Thank you for all the great advice!

  • I started at Target in Jacksonville Florida shortly after my son was born. My position was team member and I only worked part-time so I could care for my infant. My main focus, working as a team member, was Housewares. I loved my job, but I desired more. I began talking to my manager’s about what I could do to advance in the company. My team leader offered me a non pay increase job. Despite the lack of pay increace, I took the position. I wanted to show my inititive. I became the stores Make-up Sales Advocate. I worked this position for three months. I however, was going for more. I needed more responsiblility. My area manager was impressed with my work and suggested I applied to become a team leader. This was exactly what I was looking for: more responsibility. If I got the position, I would have been the first employee at this Target to get Team Leader status within such a short period of time. My manager worked with me everyday to practice interviewing for this position. I worked hard to learn what was expected at this interview. Although I was nervous, I went to this interview with my head held high. I walked into my interview knowing what I was going to say, what questions I was going to ask, and I nailed it. Within two weeks the people who were being moved up in the company was posted. As I scanned through the list, I knew my name had to be there. It was. My manager was so proud. He was able to claim that his team memeber was the first to obtain Team Lead in such a short period of time. I got exactly what I desired and needed.

  • I had been applying for jobs online for Sutter Solano and I finally got a positive email reply stating my resume was being forwarded to the hiring manager. The email also stated that if the manager was interested in hiring me, I would here a reply within the next 2-3 weeks. When I didn’t get a reply, I called the recruitement office. I explained I recieved an email and was following up because I was interested in the position. She connected me to a recruiter who stated the position was still open and that she would find more about this position and would call me back.

  • I was working as a contractor in a state different than where my family and home were. After being homesick for a long stretch of two years, I decided to start hunting for a job. I used a social networking site geared towards careers, and sure enough a recruiter found me and got my foot in the door. During my first interview, I noticed that the person who I would be reporting to had on a military ring. I brought up the fact that I loved my time in the service, and it instantly broke the ice. I was able to feel more relaxed, and went on to earn a second interview and eventually the job.
    When looking for a job, I’ve learned that networking can open many doors. Also, building a rapport with the interviewer is extremely important.

  • I
    definitively agree with “Embrace your fear” because when I was in the hunt for
    a job I had more than five interviews in witch only one sends me to the second
    step. It was a very frustrating waiting for the call go to the next step. Wondering
    what went wrong, hours, days and weeks waiting; also thinking in what they saw
    on me that makes them not giving me a next step opportunity. What went wrong
    that they disqualify me from continuing to the next step? Until one day I step forward
    and accept it. There could be so many things involve that does not worth the
    time and effort to be thinking about it. I turned it in advantage to be focus
    in my next interview and it function, I had the first, second and third
    interview and finally I have a job.

  • I couldn’t agree more with this article! It is very important to have a well written resume and to research a company. Often in an interview you get asked what you could bring to the company, if you know nothing about the company you can’t answer that question. I know with my current job I went in before my interview to see what the company had to offer. That way I knew not only what they had, but how they represented themselves. I knew before the interview if I’d want to even work there!

  • One of the biggest pieces of advice is to proofread. I can not tell you how many times I have read resumes that have errors. It makes the writer look uneducated and unprofessional. I learned the hard way. In my first resume I wrote I was qualified to asses instead of assess. Needless to say I didn’t get that job.

  • I have not interviewed for a very long time and I have anxiety about answering the questions properly. Thank you for providing information on how to increase visibility and stand out against others. I think being prepared is the most important message and understanding who you are and what the job is you are applying for. I have interviewed people and have selected the candidate based on his or her capacity to understand the needs of the business and has the desire to work for the organization.

  • Several years ago, I was working at a gas station, overnight. Every morning, my roommate would come in before she had to be at work and she would help me finish making the coffee or just relieve me for a few minutes so I could use the bathroom. On the weekends, she started showing up and sitting with me. She would help me do all of the things I needed to get done but couldn’t always do because of the continuous flow of customers. I kept telling my boss that the third shift employee needed help during certain hours of the night. After several weeks, she realized that Jessie had been helping me and she hired her to work on the nights that she was available. Eventually my manager asked Jessie to work during the day when she was not working her other job. In the end, everyone was happy, and it was all due to the fact that Jessie had worked for free for a few weeks.

  • I can not stress to you how important it is when you are job hunting, know what your references are going to speak about you. That goes for personal or work related references. It is best to be prepared to explain to the employer your downfalls on the interview, rather than let it being a surprise or trying to hide any previous downfalls with an employer or the personal references. As well, you want to make sure your references all have updated phone numbers. Once I put a bad phone number down on my personal reference and did not know it till three weeks later when I called the employer to ask and the reason she/he said I did not get picked is because of the one personal reference did not have good contact information. Granted she/he was nice to let me know that is what made her decision, but it is funny to see how quickly something so small can change the opportunity.

  • Having to live through a recession is the hardest thing that I’ve had to deal with these past two years or so. I’m 20 years old stressing over a job and trying to help my parents get by with rent, bills, and school. Loans and financial aid hasn’t been enough to cover my tuition so I have to deal with out of pocket expenses as well. I was recently working in a little girl’s clothing store called, Justice. This job was awesome and I really enjoyed it. It was a couple of miles away from my house. I had to leave this job because the manager wasn’t being fair with the hours and was only giving me work once a week for three hours! So now I’m back searching for another job, but there is an awful lot of competition out there and having a limit on how many jobs are out there doesn’t help one bit!

  • I enjoy my career but am always looking for other opportunities. You never know what could be out there for you if you never look. I like to keep my resume updated as well just in case an opportunity arises and you have the chance to give the resume to someone. You never really want to be caught with your hands in your pockets.

  • I honestly feel like the resume is the most important part of landing a job or even getting into a higher level school. When it comes to getting a job and there are many candiates they may honestly take about 30 seconds to a minute to look at our resume so if it does’t pop out to them then automatically you have no chance. You need to make sure your resume is attractive and only one page long so be sure to put your most important facts on there. Facts is also very important you should not exaggerate your resume because if you get the interview and they ask you about something on your resume and you exaggerated it then you also won’t have a chance of getting the job.

  • The information is very useful in regards to getting employment during school and after graduation. It will be very beneficial knowing these strategies before graduation in order to prepare for my future.

  • I was very unaware of the details in looking for the perfect job. I am currently a college student with little work history striving for my Master’s. I hope to get into a great internship program to help in that area. I want to better my life in many ways. I am reaching for my dream job with a hesitant hand because if I fail it won’t be just me that drowns but my children and husband as well. This has put an extreme amount of stress on me. However this article has made some of the unknown a bit less intimidating.

  • References are an important part to have when you are doing a job search. Most importantly make sure you still speak to those references and they are aware that you are using them. Nothings worse when a future employer calls and they say “Who” or “oh ya” I remember him.

  • I have never been unmotivated to work, and taking time off from it has never been an option for me. I think that having the great work ethic is one thing that keeps me on track, and can make a valuable employee.

  • I can say that I have had several jobs throughout my life and never fealt satisfied. I love working in direct contact with people and once I found a job to do exactly that I have been there ever since. I have been at my job for 2 years now and decided to go back to school at 28 years old and single mom. I knew that I wanted to grow at my job and that education would allow me to do so but befire this opportunity I felat lost and very down about my life.

  • Knowing yourself: It is important to have great knowledge of one’s likes and dislikes, hobbies, and great skills that you possess. Knowing what you like as an individual will help you know what enjoyable and can help you find a job that interests you. A person that takes the time to know herself better will learn that it is easy to take risk in finding the job that will bring enjoy to self and the one’s that are served and it will be more fun know that you are doing what interests your mind. Learning and being self aware will also enhance a person’s creativity. Always strive to learn more and keep an open mind to become a better you. Good read.

  • Throughout my employment seeking experiences I have learned that employers want to see detailed descriptions explaining the applicant’s capabilities and tasks with prior employment. Many people assume broad statements or generalising their duties is more attractive to an employer. I extremely disagree, in fact, I had employers advise me to elaborate more on my resume and cover letter. They want to see length. Cut the cliche about a resume need not to extend a page. In my opinion, if your resume is only one page you do not have enough experience or skills.
    References are of extreme importance as well. Another professional validating an applicant’s creditionals reassures the employer that his or her hiring decision will be beneficial to their organization.

  • This site has a ton of information. I thought it was quite funny reading “Don’t Babble”. As I get nervous, especially in an interview, I tend to offer way too much information. The other lessons, such as talking about former bosses, is also probably just babble. We all talk when we are nervous and someone is staring at us expectently; that is where employment and criminal justice blend, interviewing and looking for the truth.

  • Finding the right job that matches your skills and abilities is an essential part of the job search process. The job description can provide a glimpse into the expectations the employer has for the potential candidate.
    The interview is the applicants one, and possibly only, opprtunity to sell themselves as the best qualified candidate for the position. Unfortunatley, an interview is like a snap-shot in time. The interviewer, or interview committee, only has the information the candidate has supplied in the application and a possible resume. The interviewer does not have the privledge of knowing the candidates work ethic, attendance, or dedication that a current supervisor may have. For this very reason, the candidate must find ways to connect his or her skills, abilities, and current job functions to those of the interviewing position. Researching the organization, asking questions, making a connection, and being prepared for difficult questions helps an employer to realize the skills, abilities, and dedication you possess.
    I recently applied for a position that “preferred” a Bachelor’s degree. Although I am in the process of obtaining my Bachelor’s degree, I took the opportunity during the interview to explain how my work experiences provide valuable hands-on learning and involvment that make me just as qualified as a candidate with the “preferred” degree. Fortunatley, I landed a second interview and eventually got the job.

  • I recognized some of the points in the article relevant to my current situation. I am a college student who went out on a limb looking for a job in the city of Seattle (somewhere I’ve never lived before) and was shut down. I’ve spent about a month, certainly minimal to the average time people spend unemployed, but it has definitely been costly. The cost of attendance at my college is quite pricey and I am feeling the stress of lacking a prime month’s wages. I did have a prospective job but the mother of the girls I was going to nanny decided she wanted someone full-term and that I didn’t meet the criteria, solely in that aspect. Wow, ouch! Great to know now, even though it was clear all along I was a summer employee.

    With that, I realized cultural fit is key. After spending a week sulking, I had come to realize that maybe it wasn’t the right fit! I thought, at the time, it was a perfect match made in nanny-heaven but I have since realized that I wasn’t necessarily focusing on what was right for me. The family was a little more unorganized than I am and I was just trying to make something work that wouldn’t. I have since built the courage to put myself out there and really network to the best of my ability. If I never step forward, I will always be in the same place! Rejection sure doesn’t feel good, but it taught me to really focus on what I want out of a job, what I have to offer an employer, and how we can collectively create success.

  • In my experience networking and keeping in touch with potential employers is key to getting the job you want. I landed an internship this summer with my top choice company because I was was smart about my interactions. I was genuinely interested in the company which made it 100x easier to talk about what they did and how I could contribute. When I interviewed for this job I found out at least half a dozen of my friends had also had interviews there and were competing for the same job as me. I got a little discouraged about what my odds had become with so many other people being considered for the job but I did not let this stop me from trying my hardest. I kept in contact with one girl at the company after my interview and was smart about what I emailed her about. I made a point to ask important questions that would lead to an intelligent conversation while showing my interest in the company. I asked her advice and told her when I succeeded because of it. I also provided updates about what I was learning in school showing how I could use this information to my benefit on the job and how it would apply to what her company did. I know that there is a fine line between staying on their radar so they recognize your name and starting to annoy them and seeming desperate. It can often be difficult to distinguish which you are from this side of the conversation. The key to success is patience. Keep in contact but avoid pointless emails. That is how I landed the job I am at now, by being persistent and patient. This goes right along with what this article says about keeping in touch after networking. They know you do not know everything but showing that you are learning and understand how to apply your knowledge really pays off.

  • When I read this it really hit me how unprepared I am in this job market. I need to step up my game. I have been out of the professional working world so long that I forgot some important things. Not babbling during and interview is one of my downfalls. I tend to talk fast and get really nervous. Somtimes I have to stop and take a deep breath to calm myself down.

  • I believe I should dress appropriately and try to be relaxed
    as possible. I never talk about my needs
    when I am in an interview, only the needs of the company. I think before answering questions but answer
    swiftly. Making eye contact is important
    when answering questions because it shows inner confidence.

    I am currently looking for new employment and need to type a
    new resume. I have a lot of work to do
    on it because my resume is short-and-sweet.
    This information will help me with the resume and good requirement to go
    by when typing my resume.

    I am seeking employment in the banking business while going
    to college for bachelors in health administration. Thank you for the great
    information.

  • I like the article on networking and how much this will actual help in meeting those people in the same field who are successful. I am working on my list o ten people right after I submit this.

  • I found that the guide gave pointers that will help me with just getting in the door.. I also enjoyed reading the blog section. Blogs are a great networking tool to use. I will be working on My to 10 list of people tonight! Great idea

  • When reading these articles, I can relate to some of them. Such as the last one with coffee. Many people in the work force are drinking coffee to get their work load done on time. This could mean they are spending too much time at work and not enough time at home. I know in this economy it is hard but I just hope that this changes soon.

  • Upon graduation from high school I
    became pregnant and decided that I would not enter the work field right away, instead
    I would take time and raise my daughter. I didn’t think about how being absent
    from the working world would affect me when applying for any job. I didn’t
    attend college right away so by the time I started applying for jobs (Four
    years later) I didn’t have anything to put on my resume. I also didn’t qualify
    for many jobs. When I felt it was time
    for me to get a job I found that it was extremely hard and many times I felt
    like giving up. I was out of work for 9 long hard months before I finely got a
    call back for a job. With the lack of work experience I had no idea what to say
    during an interview and the thought of it became very overwhelming. I asked a
    few friends for some tips and with their help, and a little research online, I was
    able to pass the interview and get my first job.

  • I appreciate all of the tips in the article, but the interview tips are especially helpful. Interviews can be the most difficult part of the application process because they are so spur-of-the-moment. However, as long as you are prepared, you have a much better chance of doing well in that situation. One thing that I make sure I do is send a hand written thank you card after all of my interviews. This tackles the tip of sending a thank you note, as well as being different. Many applicants forget to send thank you email, let alone take the time to write and send a letter. I find that this has helped me a lot in the job and law school application process, and I intend to keep using this strategy!

    • I agree. Interviews can be difficult and many people tense up and lose their natural essence, which is specifically what a future employer wants to see. Having a better ideas of what to expect and offering tips to better prepare for this process can help interviewees develop confidence in their abilities and ease any fears that will undoubtedly develop.

  • It’s amazing how much I thought I knew in the job market. Being open to hearing what I need to change in my lack of job skills, will help me in my future. I know the same questions pretty much come up everytime I interview, but I dont put much thought into them, this helped me really think about them and answer them the way I should. There is nothing worse then feeling stumped in the interview and not knowing what to really say. I need to not only focus on the time of the interview, but the follow up too. I have a bad habit of not sending a thank you via email afterwards. I do shake their hand and thank them, but I guess sending the email helps with them remembering you. I have always found, knowing the background and history of the company is helpful. If you walk into an interview and know something, it helps build the trust that you care about where the companies future is going to go. I feel networking has always been a key role in applying for jobs. There may be someone in a job that knows someone you may have worked with before. Building a strong foundation and putting your best foot forward in any job, will help in having the networking open up for you. I always feel like an employee is going to respect you alot more if you say something and have a foundation to back it up with. If you just babble with no reasing behind your thought process, you loose your creditability.

  • I recently graduated from Everest College with a degree in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding. I graduated with a 4.0 G.P.A.

    After graduating, I discovered that finding my “dream” job was not going to be as easy as I thought it was going to be after getting the degree. I searched for a job for over a year and a half before finding a great job as a Chiropractic Assistant for a local Chiropractor. I am so thankful for that opportunity but it lead me to where I am now.

    I am now returning to school to become a Chiropractor myself. I want to specialize in children with
    special needs. I want to help other people live better healthier
    lives with a natural, drug-less and nonsurgical treatment.

    Future
    is something which can not be defined and bound in any boundaries. It
    certainly can not be decided either. Life has taught me that. Life
    has a way of changing the plans you make for the future, either by
    getting (and surviving) Cancer, living with an “invisible”
    disability, losing a loved one or finding out what you desire to do
    with your life.

    I
    am excited to see where life takes me. No matter what the future
    holds for me I guarantee that I will live it full of passion and
    dedication.

  • I enjoyed reading this article. I have worked for a very long time and have not had many interviews, so this is excellent information to incorporate what I have learned into my resume and future interviews. When I started working and for many years after that, the agency I work for only required us to submit regular applications, we were not taught to use resume’s until recently. I feel that this article has given me valuable information, and plan to incorporate it in my future career endeavors.

  • This past semester I worked as a part-time nanny for about four different families. Because I found these families through an online nanny website, I had to interview for each job. I knew that my references would be important for these parents and I wanted them to think I was the best for the job. I had spent my previous summer at a summer camp where I had gotten to know the Executive Director. I knew that he thought I was a phenomenal counselor so I would always put him as my first reference. I am sure that I got at least two of those four part-time jobs because of his recommendation. I know how important references are and I always keep a list of who I know will give me the best reviews.

  • I currently do not like my job I am working at, but I stick with it because I need to pay bills. I can’t wait to graduate college and find a job I really like. If it takes me a little longer I know I can stay at my current job til needed.

  • Great lesson learned. I never knew what was going on inside of the hiring managers minds and the things they look for. I knew to call back but I never thought of a thank you letter for an interview. I guess in this world it is the small things that will help me to stand out and not just another face in the crowd.

  • I learned so much in this lesson. As I look back on my interviewing experience so much of it is true and useful. I feel like as we are still coming out of this recession a lot of people are desperate for work and a pay check. When you get desperate you don’t think the same and you lose some of that entitlement attitude, but desperation brings on others problems such lack of self worth and self pity.

    It is so important that you do your research about the company you want to work for both for them and for you. I do not like to waste time certainly not mine and therefore not anyone else. If you research the company properly you should know if you are a good fit for that company. This happened to me. I was looking at working in a residential home for abused teen. There are many out there, but of all of them I looked at there was only one I could see myself working at. Being aware of their mission statement, vision, and core belief’s made the interview a breeze. It also gave me some good talking points when I was asked by the company what could we be doing better because I actually had a few things that I thought would make their already amazing program shine that much more. The hard part was not coming up with the idea’s the hard part was being brave enough to say hey while you have a great program you could be doing this and this better. It was one of the scariest things I ever done.

  • I found this article to be extremely helpful in regards to a job search. I have been removed from the work force for many years. I spent many years raising my children. I have recently decided to return to school and finish my degree. I am eagerly looking to forward to beginning my career. The article has shown me what to look for and what not to do. Thank you. I have book marked this article to refer back to.

  • Networking is very important in this job industry and is something i have experienced first had. My friend and I were looking for summer jobs and both applied at all the same places.
    I had previously met a worker there and i believe this gave me the upper hand or advantage in getting the job as my friend didn’t. Personally I don’t think networking is fair as a person who is well qualified for a job may not get it because the employer chose his friend or someone he knows over you.

  • Everything about this article and the comments people are posting are really helpful. Thanks for the tips.

  • Reading this article has made me realize that I do many things right, and many things wrong. It was really helpful. Especially with the details of “How to land a job at a great company,” and it’s nine categories. I’m hoping that with learning this information, and all that I’m doing right, I will be ahead of the game by ten steps.

    This lesson relates to my past because I had an interview for my first job about a month ago. I was asked very straight forward questions about my qualifications, and I gave confident and humble answers of my credentials. I politely emailed before and after about how thankful I was for their time and in reference to when I will find out if I was chosen for the job.

    Soon enough, I got the job! I was chosen to be apart of the non-profit organization, “Where Every Child is a Star.” It was probably one of the best experiences I have ever experienced.

    A group of the employees had dinner one night, and I had asked my boss why I was chosen above everyone else that applied. He had said not only were my qualifications above many other applicants, but my interview was the best he’s ever had.

    That is why I find this lesson so helpful. Because now, not only can I perfect myself in all the ways I can in the next interview I have, but I know all the tricks and rules to landing any job I wish to have, as far as the interview goes.

  • This article has been helpful in giving pointers on how to present myself in an interview and what employers are looking for in candidates. I had been out of the job market circuit for quite a while. The job I previously worked I was employed with the company for over nine years. I came in the door as a customer service representative and basically the interview was can I answer the phone with a pleasant voice.

    I understand that an interview now is much more than a couple questions, it’s about how you answer the questions and sell yourself to the employers. This article gives you important steps such as doing research on the company you are interviewing for. I have learned that speaking honestly about experiences are more impressive and makes you stand out from those who sound scripted. After reading this article anyone should feel confident enough to walk into an interview and walk away feeling like they made a huge impression on the employer.

  • I have been searching for a job for several months, and I believe the tips given will definitely help with the process. I have bookmarked this page o that I can refer back to it.

  • I loved the area of interviewing. I am HORRIBLE at interviewing. I go in and feel like a complete idiot. I play it over in my head on the way there and all the witty things I would say when asked those ever non changing questions of why I should be hired and I end up sounding like a blubbering idiot. I do not know how I got my current job because I was like a peppy cheerleader who drank six pack before I walked in to the interview I was so nervous. LOL Thanks!!

  • Thank you for sharing this great information. Job boards have never proven successful for me. Every job I have ever had has been through networking, or simply going in and inquiring. Until recently I was not aware how important a thank you letter is. I always send one now, and even though I am currently still looking for a job, the employers I have interviewed with have genuinely appreciated that I find their time valuable. Insted of having to wonder if I got the job, they have been more inclined to let me know if or when they decide to hire another canidate. They are also willing to give feedback on my interview skills and resume.

  • I loved this information! It was very beneficial and educational. Reading this has showed me many areas that I need to improve on and showed me a few ideas that I would never even have thought of. I am printing this material out for a quick reference.

  • Bless you all for posting this! I just recently transferred into my university after graduating from community college and just today got a rude awakening. Although I never took it for granted and always managed to pull good grades, study hard, and keep a stable GPA, I suppose I got too comfortable with the “everything is paid for me” system in community college and got extremely depressed and caught off guard when my university told me that I would not have enough
    money to cover all my finances for school and that financial aid would not be holding the weight as it once did before.

    I was crushed. With what money would I use to pay for all this tuition? I have been trying feverishly to find a job since graduation from high school back in 2009. Still no luck. This frustrates me because I do want to go to school as well as become financially stable.

    After receiving this news and having time to think I will stay positive, take everything one day and one step at a time, and continue to seek employment to fund my much desired education.
    I find the information in this post to be very helpful and beneficial especially
    to a person who has had hard times when it comes to seeking a job such as myself. I will definitely be bookmarking this page for future reference. Thanks a lot!

  • Bless you all for posting this! I just recently transferred into
    my university after graduating from community college and just today got a rude
    awakening. Although I never took it for granted and always managed to pull good
    grades, study hard, and keep a stable GPA, I suppose I got too comfortable with
    the “everything is paid for me” system in community college and got extremely depressed
    and caught off guard when my university told me that I would not have enough
    money to cover all my finances for school and that financial aid would not be
    holding the weight as it once did before.

    I was crushed. With what money would I use to pay for all this
    tuition? I have been trying feverishly to find a job since graduation from high
    school back in 2009. Still no luck. This frustrates me because I do want to go
    to school as well as become financially stable. After receiving this news and
    having time to think I will stay positive, take everything one day and one step
    at a time, and continue to seek employment to fund my much desired education.

    I find the information in this post to be very helpful and beneficial especially
    to a person who has had hard times when it comes to seeking a job such as
    myself. I think the break down of it is very helpful because it has tips for every stage of trying to find employment. I will definitely be bookmarking this page for future reference. Thanks
    a lot!

  • Thank you for sharing. The information that you have shared makes me stop and think about how to best apply and obtain a job. I especially enjoyed the section on “interviewing”. I am so terrible when it comes to being interviewed. I feel confident when I am getting ready to go to the interview, but once there I get nervous and I almost fumble with my words.
    I do tell the hiring manager that I am thankful for his/her time. It is important that they know you do realize that they have taken time out of their busy day to provide you with an interview.
    I also make sure that I call and check up on the interview that I have had. I want them to know that I am still interested in the job.
    Currently I am a full-time student and I need to find a job to help support our family, so this information you’ve shared will help a great deal. Thank you!

  • So many great references for finding a good career! I am currently employed and have landed pretty much any job that I wanted, luckily because I interview well. But there are so many other resources out there that i had never thought of. Thanks to this post my perspective has opened more and i will try these new resources to land a better job. Sadly, I will not have enough funds to complete school, so I need to find new ways and possibly a new job with better pay to pay for it. Believe me I am driven by my goals and I plan to succeed.

  • I liked the information and found it very informative, also I loved the comedic quotes on the pictures!!

  • WOW, what a great article. I always think about an interview I did at a hospital several years ago. The interview was for a desktop support role and was going very well, I had never been in a team interview before and although it was intimidating I was really enjoying it. Near the end of the interview I was asked by one of the interviewers about some particular skill and my immediate response was “DUH”, this is not a word in my vocabulary and I knew right then that I had bombed the interview. However my flubbed response to the question demonstrated to the interview team that I was very confident in my particular skill set and I was later offered the position.

    Although I would never suggest guttural responses in an interview it does show how being confident in your skills can make a difference in an interview. As the subject of an interview it should always be about what you can provide to the company that has the position you want, not what the company can provide for you.

  • I have been working since I was 18, and until today, I never had a good grip on the “job search process”. My biggest downfall (before I caught on to the ‘less is more’ idea) was making my resume a whole biography that depicted my entire work life. I would send them out and would never get a call back and then I’d sit at home and sulk, wondering why I was so undesirable. I had the experience, the drive, and I was willing to learn anything, but why wasn’t it enough?
    After about 2 months, I finally got a response from an employer requesting an interview for a debt management organization. I had applied for this job 2 months prior and found it odd that they would actually interested in me. The interview went extreamly well and I was hired on the spot. Within my first week, I finally had the nerve to ask why it took so long to actually get a response for an interview. My interviewer said it was because every time my resume made it to the top of the pile, she would place it back at the bottom because she dreaded having to read it, it was way to long. Lesson learned! 🙂

  • A MAJOR RULE FOR SUCCESS IS TO BE DETERMINED. IF ONE IS NOT DETERMINED, THEN HOW CAN THEY BE SUCCESSFUL? JOB SEARCHES CAN BE DIFFICULT AT TIME, ESPECIALLY WHEN TRYING TO FIND A JOB THAT MEET YOUR DEMANDS. SOME PEOPLE ATTEND COLLEGE BEFORE EVENING RESEARCHING THE FACT THAT THERE MAY NOT EVEN BE ANY JOB OPPOPRTUNITIES AVAILABLE IN THEIR AREA. BUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT WE ARE DETERMINED TO FIND A JOB THAT WOULD SUITE US BEST. WITH HARD WORK AND DEDICATION, THIS CAN BE FULFILLED. ALL I CAN SAY IS TO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR JOB SEARCH, IT MAY TAKE YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.

  • I find this information very useful. I can refer back to this when needed in the future. Getting and keeping a job is tough for many individuals but for those who do have stable jobs become very successful in life. When I was employed it was tough for many to find jobs as well as today. I am not currently employed and hope to finish my education before finding a good steady job.

    Thank you so much for this information I will definitely refer back to it.

  • I believe that I am pretty good at
    interviewing. I am upbeat and personable. I agree with the article because you
    have to network, think outside the box, be persistent, and sell your best
    qualities. I was once in an interview and was potentially getting two job
    offers. I let the interviewer know this so that she would know how serious I am
    about the job and that i had other options. She asked me how I felt about
    getting two job offers and some people were not getting one job offer in this
    economy. I told her felt good because I knew that I really wanted the jobs and
    I showed that. I also showed I was confident about my skills and abilities.

  • This is very helpful. I have interviewed, managed and fired employees and I agree with the tips given above. I appreciate this information, it will surely help me polish things up and nail the next interview.

  • I have been working since the age of 16, and this has amazed me. I have a new look on the job search experience as a whole. There was actually an experience were the person that interviewed me wrote a blog, and I failed to mention the blog. He then look at me and said “why don’t you try reading my blog and then call me back.” After reading this I realize I made a huge mistake!

  • I have been working since I was 16 years old. I attempted college right out of High School and it did not go so well. I am now in college and half way to a degree in Communications. What I found interesting about this article is how accurate a lot of it is..especially with the cartoons. I have been on many many job interviews over the years. I was always told I need a college degree. Now that I have an Associates in Business I am told I am to over qualified. Which to me just sounds crazy. I will continue with school and hope the job market is better in 2 years when I get my Bachelor’s.

    I liked this article because it does have some great tips when looking for work. I just hope that when I am able to use them that they pay off. Will be bookmarking this site for sure for future reference.

  • This is so crazy, I never really knew how to spot the lies and deception but now I know what to expect and what I’m looking for.

  • Overall, this was one of the best piece of information that I’ve read in a long time. Reading this made me want to double check my resume and what do you know I missed spelled field, filed. There is nothing like proofreading.

  • I have had numerous jobs all over the world, with hundreds of interviews throughout my life time and I never thought to send a thank-you to the interviewer. Thanks for some vital information that I will pass on to all my friends and employee’s. Thanks for the vital information.

  • I have wondered even thought it hard to find great career jobs for college students that they e njoy . Why is that?

  • This information can be very helpful when it comes to the job search, because it promotes thinking outside of the box. A lot of the information provided covers areas and topics that the average job seeker may not have thought of.

  • This piece of information given is very helpful. When it comes to interviewing sometimes I get real shy and may overlook the question that is been asked. I will definitely use some of the tips provide during my next interview with a company.

  • This is helpful and I intend to print it and live by it in my employment search. I am scheduled to graduate business management this year and have sent resumes with no response now I know I need to polish my resume to meet company needs and be less about me and more about my abilities as an employee.Updating my references and finding out what each are saying is important in my employment search. I need to discover what former bosses are saying also. Thank you for the helpful information.

  • Hi I never knew this type of information was out there. I am so glad that someone thought enough of others to post this to help those that do not know out. Most jobs can be intimidating even when you have a degree or study in the field.
    I have always in some form or another worked in the health care industry and found it very rewarding to invest some education into my field of study. The tips noted above can be the difference in getting, keeping and moving up to a better position within any job or business. I will be more than happy to past on this vital information to friends, classmates and anyone that asks for it!!

  • I have been on a lot of interviews in my time and I have always sent them all Thank you letters. I have always been a by the book kind of lady. This is great information for people because it is important to know the concept, all you have to do is apply it and you will get the job you are after. It works for me everytime.

  • I have not been working very long, but this information does make me feel the need to revise and edit my resume. I never thought to send any interviewer a thank you letter, or card for that matter. It does make sense to me being that they do take the time out of their schedule to sit with me for however long, and see if I am a great match for their company. Thank you all for the information that you have left for us to learn from and apply to our lives.

  • I have been working since I was 16 years old when I went to work for my Aunt at her grocery store. Because it was a family business, I never had to go through the interview process or even turn in a resume. It wasn’t until I was 24 years old that I actually had to interview for a position at a fortune 500 company, Hewlett Packard. That was the scariest thing I ever had to do professionally, but I got through it and landed the job.
    Although I had landed the job, I still felt I should brush up on my interview skills so I did.

  • This website was very resourceful and it will come in handy when dealing with future resumes that I will fill out. Honestly, I’ve never filled out a job application and I’ve never needed a resume. I worked at the same business for four years and the job was given to me when I was fifteen through the reccomendation of a friend. Since I have no experience at all with the hiring process I know that this will help me a great deal in the future.

  • I never knew this kind of information is out there. This is very helpful information for anyone to learn from. I have been on plenty of interviews in my life, and I never once thought about sending a thank you letter to the interviewer. I have heard about it before, but never thought that was a good idea. Now, I see how that would make some sense. Thinking back on all the intervies I have been on, the interviewer take s time out of their day to sit down with me, so a thank you letter would be a good gesture, and it shows a persons character as well. This was some great information I read, and I can use it to my advantage for future endeavors.

  • This was a very insightful article I never understood why I did not recieve a job in the past or what I was doing wrong on the job that caused me to qualify for promotions, it was me. When I recieved my Associates Degree in Fashion Merchandising I was working in a store called Torrid. I completed my internship there and even got hired in as a part-time associate. I worked there for one year and my boss asked me if I would be interested in an assistant manager or key holder position and I happily accepted the offer, so I began my training. Just as I began my second week of training another young lady applied for the sales associates position but got offered the key holder position that I was up for. I was devastated, why was she more qualified than I was? what made her so special? Apparently she had a lot more work experience than I did and she also had some manager experience under her belt. This was only my third job and I had never managed anyone but myself, so of course she was the better candidate for the the job. After reading this article I know that I could have shown more initiative towards the position, I could’ve even come in on my days off to watch and learn more from my boss about the position instead of waiting for her to show me things. This is an article that I believe every college student who is getting ready to start their career should read before jumping into the business world.

  • This information was very resourceful and it shows you that you really have to go out and get the job you want. Everyone need to know about this when ypu are doing job searches.

  • This was definately an informative article. I have had many jobs and none were what i wanted to do but I always just accepted what was offered after all I had to work . But this now gives me some information on how to apply for a job I truly want.

  • The delivery of this article hits the proverbial nail on the head, I have found that the ability for one to understand the difficulties associated with conducting an effective job search is not just limited to ones own abilities, knowledge, experience, and education but also their ability to get out and get seen. The perspective employee has a series of challenges to traverse just to get into the door for an interview, and once the individual is engaging in the interview there is a set of variables that turn into a active evaluation of ones abilities, creditability and efficiency in communication and delivery of their own best asset. this article identifies key elements associated with not only college graduates but also those that have been displaced and are seeking employment.

  • This article was extremely helpful and detailed. I have not found a job that will provide me with experience for my career goal as an educator once I graduate. This article has laid out information step-by-step that I am sure will assist me in landing my dream job once I graduate college. I think I will start practicing these skills and begin to look for opportunities in my career field.

  • This article was exactly what I needed. I have struggled for some time now in finding more suitable employment, but always ended up with nothing. I came to realize that it had to be my resume and that I wasn’t selling myself good enough or had the proper keywords that the databases looked for. Also, I am not realizing I never followed through. Meaning, if the company didn’t call me I just left it at that and didn’t try to reach out to them at all. Thank you for this article as I see a change coming.

  • These tips are really useful not only for emplyment but in school application. After all, the experience of job hunting is somewhat similar to applying for school.

    In my studying and working experience, the important concepts are as following: to scheme well and to prepare a check-list before projects, and to maintain a good communication among co-workers and boss and our own. The most critical of all, we need to stand in managers’ shoes to discern the pros and cons at certain situation.

    By doing those, one can determine the optimal measure at that condition, not only for the team but also for personal issue. Hence, when I read through this webpage, your tips stroke my cords so much. Thank you for your gratuitous share.

  • I myself always wondered why I never got a job that I felt and knew I was qualified for. This also helps me in terms of management and what I think I need to look for towards in terms of hiring.

  • It is very important to ensure you know what degree program that you want to study because it will be something that you will have for the rest of your life. Where you can go back and receive another degree in something else at a later time is is still important to focus. Furthermore it is important to make sure that when you are applying for a job that you meet the credentials for the job and that your Resume is actually tailored to what the job posting is looking for to fill the position that they need at that time. If you do that it will help you in succeeding to attain a job that you want that you are applying for and you just may land that dream job that you have been looking for.

  • When I finished high school I started working at a local casino as a waitress. I ended up working there for 12 years and felt like I was at a dead end job. I ended up moving away to be close to my sister just recently and have noticed that every job that I was applying for I needed a resume. It has been a process for me since I had the same job for so long. This article has been very helpful. I’m so glad I decided to go back to school for a degree in psychology because it’s something I have always wanted to do.

  • I would just like to thank you for sharing such useful information. In an economy where it’s so difficult to find a job, every source of help is greatly appreciated. I happened to stumble upon this article at the perfect time. I have a job interview tomorrow and I can guarantee that I will be using a lot of the tips that I found here. After reading this, I can already tell that I feel much more confident about tomorrow. I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game. Thank you for giving me so much insight.

  • I had very little work experience when I was forced to enter the job market in 2004 after my husband became disabled. I live in a small area and I spent a year trying to find a job. I was 49 years old with no education and limited work experience. I spent many evenings ready to give up after failed interviews. A friend recommended I apply at the company she worked for, so I did. The manager was awesome and I got the job. A year later I was managing a store of my own.

  • Although I myself have never been turned down for a job, I have watched my more than qualified husband be rejected over and over again. He would come home and tell me how well he thought the interview went and how he thought he would get the job, only to get a rejection letter in 2-3 weeks. Part of it I am sure was because of the economy(some of those positions completely closed with no new hirees at all) but a lot of it, I am sure, was his approach. He is a brilliant man and has a Business degree in Computer Information Systems, but he has always worried his resume was not going to be good enough. He would try to convince himself that it wasn’t that big of a deal and they hardly look at them anymore instead of researching what companies want and revising to fit. He also spends too much time talking about what he wants out of the company. He thinks he is getting along with these recruiters but in reality he may be scaring them off. I am going to make him read this and work on his approach, so maybe in the future he can get the job he really wants.

  • This article summarized a lot of the things I’ve learned the hard way, it would’ve been nice to learn these things in a setting where I was being taught them by word of mouth rather than by harsh lessons. Nonetheless, it’s a great article and useful to anyone who is job searching, hasn’t had a first job, or needs tips. Great writeup!

  • There are a lot of comments I hear on a daily basis about the job market and how many people are losing their jobs. Honestly, if you had an in depth discussion with the majority of those people, you would understand why they were chosen for terminated employment.
    There are many situations in which you may have just been unlucky, however more often then not, there was room for improvment in the job. When employers are forced to make these difficult decisions in a failing economy, we must stay motivated in our positions as employees.
    I worked at a veterinarian office for almost three years and watched a countless number of people in my position come and go because they just were not motivated enough to keep the job. I only know how to give one hundred percent in all that I do, so I worked weekends, holidays, picked up special projects, etc. Was it hard? Absolutely. But guess what; the company was loyal to me until the day I switched careers.
    In these tough times, I believe we need to be more motivated and committed to our jobs, because when it comes time for employers to make the big cuts, odds are it will not be you. Also, don’t turn down opportunities if possible, because the extra work you did may very well save your job one day.

  • Indeed, I have found some good pointers in this article. It is very difficult to land a job these days. The truth is, I have no work experience and I think that is the major reason why I don’t get any call after I applied for a job. I tried to start my own business, to be my own boss but I am still a long way behind but after reading this great piece, I realize that I don’t want to give up so easily, I will keep trying to get a job of my dreams even if I can take an internship job without pay. Thank you for this wonderful article.

      • Being an older degree graduate and entering a whole new career and marketplace I have found the world according to job hunting has much changed, I soak up all the information that I can on how to beat the odds in landing that one job that makes the difference between a career and just another job, the information was very helpful and I will put it to good use, thank you.

  • (I am logged in from my son’s account). I have been employed since I was 15 years old and currently decided to reenter the world of education. I have been with companies that do not seem to have much room for advancement from within, or companies that sell off to buyers that are not interested in keeping the present staff. I am trying to better myself, not only for myself, but for my children. I want to show them the importance of obtaining a college degree, as it is required for so many positions anymore.

  • THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A ROUGH TIME, BUT YOU HAVE LEARNED A LOT OF IT. NOT ONLY HAVE YOU HELPED YOURSELF, BUT LOOK AT ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO YOU ARE REACHING OUT TO HELPING THEM OUT AS WELL. WHEN IT COMES TIME TO JOB SERACH I KNOW WHAT INFORMATION I WILL BE USING AS MY REFERENCE.

  • This is really a great article, with very useful tips. I have been in the same profession for many years and am basically new to what’s expected today during the job search routine. From writing cover letters and resumes to emails and networking are new techniques that I find myself learning from step one.

    I just received my Associates Degree in Psychology and am almost finished with my Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Management, so I need all the tips that I can get. Private industry is extremely different than civil service, but having a good work ethic and being prepared is essential to both. I have never experienced being interviewed by a Human Resources Manager before, but now I feel that I will be better prepared when the time comes.

    I now know what direction I have to take in order to prepare my resume and my cover letter, in addition to my value proposition letter. Another insightful thing that I learned from this article was is not to include more than 10 years on your employment history. I always believed that the more experience the better, but I guess the more experience in the mind of a hiring manager equals the more years alive you have been!

  • To be honest I thought I knew most of what there is to know about job search. Boy was I wrong. I’ve had my share of awkward interviews that led nowhere and now I can see why. I had heard about giving out thank you cards but for some reason I didn’t think that was a good idea for all interviews. I was actually surprised to read about the “free work” to show how committed you are. That’s definitely something I will try in the future. After reading this I have to go edit my resume and cover letter as well! I’m graduating from college this year so I’m glad I found this article at the right time. Thank you.

  • I completely understand now after many years of not having a job, why I cannot get hired to save my life. I literally suck when it comes to interviews. And not having any experience on anything except raising kids doesn’t help either. Hopefully when I get my degree I can find an internship, that will give me the experience I need and the knowledge to go for a job where I can tell them why It would benefit them to hire me. This will be my go to guide when I’m ready to job search. Thank you!

  • It’s amazing how some of this information is true. Just the other day I had to redo my resume because I had a job counselor look it over and she stated that it was too informational and I need to tone it done because it sounded like I knew it all which can come off to future employers that I will be hard to manage. So Im extremely glad I got the opportunity to read this story and get all the information that I need to land the right job for me. Thank you

  • Thanks for the to-the-point, readily applicable advise! When I first got into looking for a job, I really benefited from attending a workshop on interviewing, resumes and cover letters. The points you made are head-on with what I learned in that workshop. Honestly, I think the most important thing to remember is that when applying for a job, I am one in hundreds and I have to do something that will make me stand out in a short and concise way. As far as interviews, I think the best thing you can do is no the company, make a few comments to show you’ve done your research, and be prepared with the answers to the typically questions. For the three major jobs I’ve had since graduating, I think what set me apart the most in interviews was a) giving genuine answers and b) knowing the company and tailoring my answers to fit their needs (while still being me!).

  • Great article! “I felt like I was alone of a while”. I have spent the last few months trying to find a job preferably in my field of study (Psychology) and I have been let down. I have been offered a job as a youth consular which was great until they told me that it paid only 8 dollars an hour. That would have been okay if I wasn’t a single mother in college. Other jobs told me I was overly qualified or lack of education. The job market is so tough in California that I decided to move to Chicago and try out there in august this year before I lose everything. This article provided great tips on resumes and cover sheets and I think that as long as an individual follow theses steps they will eventually find a job. The number advice that I can give to anyone in this situation is to stay positive as much a possible. This is coming from someone that is haven’t found a job yet and decided to make a huge move leaving California which I was born and raised and move to another state because there are more job opportunities in Chicago then California right now.

  • This explains who I am to the tee. i may have not graduated yet but it feels as if i am doing all the wrong things and cant find a way around it because I keep doing it over and over again. I need to get out of my comfort zone and see things differently then maybe there is hope for me to change my life around as well as being successful at what I do.

  • This article gave me a lot of information to think about. I have not had a whole lot of experience in the work field. I am about to complete my associate degree and plan on getting my bachelor degree next. It is hard finding jobs when you do not have the experience that they are looking for. This article gave me the boost that I need so that I am well prepared in my search for a career in the field that I am studying. I think that it will give me confidence going into a job interview to know more or less what they expect from me.

  • coming from Hawaii, we deal with the labels of not being able to learn up to par with everyone else. I have come to a realiziation it is not the school or location but it boils down to the person. I was just like everyone else stuck in the same pattern and realize I am not getting anywhere if I dont try something different. I have started going back to school later than the usual age and it was not until I read this that it all made sense. It was very insightful.

  • After working as an EMT for 17 years I lost my job as a security officer I learned that when you cant find another job after 6 months go back to what you know. I like EMS but wanted to do something I was getting my degree in. But when theres no jobs in law enforcement you go with what your good at if that EMS or a cashier you do it!

  • I know now why I did not receive a job offer in the past I went to a school that closed down just recently and I was trained to succeed in job interviews and submit my cover letters and resume properly but there were times that I would not receive phone calls due to my lack of education, but I have experience. With dedication and determination I worked hard and finally got a job as an Office manager and overseeing the accounting department.

  • Know myself! I want to enjoy my job and be good at it. Do what makes me confortable, what I’m strong at and most importantly what makes me happy. Achieving greatness comes from within. If I believe in myself, I’ll succeed.

  • hey all,
    i looked at this guide and was able to use it to fix some of my issues with resumes and the job search.
    my job search is always hard because of the fact my resume is always made wrong. Then going to the interview is scary. Well, when i have to go search for the job when i leave i will be able to
    work on getting the job i always wanted.
    when looking for a job, i continually do research and check when they are hiring and if i meet the criteria. this is not as easy. but hey i will.

  • I’ve currently been
    working in the same position for almost eight years now in the same department.
    I’ve been founding it extremely hard to grow with the company. With years of
    experience I seem to suck at moving on, for whatever reason I was always second
    or their third chose. Taking a workshop on interviewing, resumes and cover
    letters renewed my faith, now I can believe I can do this.

  • Wow, straight and to the point. I was picking my dad’s head when he was visiting my wife and I a few weeks ago about getting back into the tech market as I get my associates degree and am moving into my bachelor’s degree but this article really takes it home.Honestly I was not sure how to approach networking and the part regarding contacting alumni in similar positions that we wish to obtain for advice is great.There is so much really good advice in this article and I am going to start taking a different approach to how I use linkedIn. That you so much for posting this!!!

  • Wow, thank you for the advice! My husband is currently looking for a job right now and this is a great website I would like him to look at. He needs motivation to get out there and look for jobs and be persistent; no job is going to come looking for you, you have to do the looking!

  • I believe the main things employers are looking for are honesty, reliability and self-motivation. In every job I have had, I strive to be reliable and motivated not only to do my job well, but to learn as many new procedures as I can. When you possess a knowlege of the inner workings of a company and remain flexible in your work load, you increase your value to your employer. The attitude of “thats not my job” does not convey that you are a team player. It may not seem important to worry about this when going on an interview for a new job, but having a good reputation with past employers can serve you well in future endeavors.
    Before I go on an interview I like to have some background information on the company and the position I am applying for. This shows my perspective employer that I took the initiative to adequately prepare myself instead of showing up completely clueless. I am always on-time (which in my book is 10-15 minutes early), and I dress professionally. Additionally, many employers are now checking the social media sites of potential employees so it is imperative to maintain a certain level of maturity and professionalism on these sites as well.

  • This was so helpful. I do want to work for a top company and get a good job. These ideas are great ways to try and get your foot in the door and get the job you want. That is great advice for me, go into a job and know what you want, know what you are looking for. Another good idea was not letting the job know that you are just there for a paycheck, be interested in the job and show some excitement.

  • Thanks to the creator of the URL. This site as truly opens my eyes on job searching. I believe an internship will show a foundation and experience when applying for a job. I also believe in not looking at the job title but the job responsibilities it has.

  • To be honest, I’ve never had a candid interview because I am young. I graduated from an early college high school with my Associates Degree in Pre-Science and had many great opportunities to learn about the professional work field. We had specialized workshop classes to teach us about the importance of resumes and interviews. The most important information I obtained from these workshops were the vital communication skills.

    Without a proper way to communicate my skills that can help me set myself apart from the others, I would never look outstanding or great compared to the others. Someone who is confident of their skills and hardworking, intelligent, honest, and strong will have a better chance of landing a job than someone who is not confident in their own ability. I will without a doubt refer to this article as a stepping stone for my future work goals.

  • Although searching for jobs can be very stressful. One must always be in a positive mode knowing that the right career is waiting for him/her.

  • Being as confident as you can in your interview skills and as a hardworking employee can set you apart from any other person. I do believe in the principle that experience is crucial to obtain a job. Without experience you won’t have the same qualifications as someone else who has had multiple jobs and the knowledge of the professional workplace. This article is fantastic for those who do not yet understand the field.

  • As a resume and cover letter should be, this article was direct and succinct. This is the first job search advice article I have every bookmarked. Thank you for the advice regarding a ‘value proposition’ letter. I have begun to rework my own cover letter.
    P.S. May I add that I think it is quite clever to have scholarship applicants read this article before submitting their application.

  • This was a valuable lesson for me because I will be graduating soon and I need the know-how to find a good job or career. I comics are so funny but the meaning behind them is important. The expectations are high and the demand for jobs are great and I will be a part of the process and having the right tools will help me to land the perfect job.

  • I have not had to look for a job in 11 years. This article is very helpful in reminding what employers look for before, during, and after an interview. This information will help me make an impression during the application process which will pave the way to an interview. Take it one step at a time and make each step count.

  • This article was very helpful. My oldest sister is looking for a job now and she was having the same exact problem. Reading this article I can help her better understand what jobs are looking for as far as experience. I plan on looking back at this article to help me in the future when I graduate from college. I just hope my job search is not as hard but I will already be well prepared for interviews and hob searching.

  • This article was very helpul considering the fact I am at a point in college career that I am applying for internships. Now I know all the do’s and dont’s and hopefully this process should be easier. The most important point for me was doing informational interviews. I see how this can be a stepping stone to greater things in my future rather than waiting around for things to just happen. This really took some stress off my shoulders.

  • This was a great lesson; it gave many helpful tips and to do’s for anyone looking for a job. Having been in the workforce for 10+ years at both the service and managerial levels, I have had to do many of the things listed and I will have to do them again when I complete my degree.

  • I’m so glad I read this. Most of this stuff, the important stuff, we don’t learn in high school. Its nice to have all of this information in one place. And you can bet that I will be returning to this page whenever I have a job interview coming up. Reading this made me realize what I have been doing wrong in interviews and also on my resume and cover letters. Thanks for the help and advice!

  • Everything on the page makes sense. During my freshman summer break, I finally decided I needed to get a job. Not knowing much about a company and lacking a job history hasn’t helped with this process. I didn’t really know that by having simple info such as a resume, a cover letter, or good refernces could up my chances at any job. But this article has giving me the proper tools to obtain that much needed job next summer. Thanks!

  • I think this website is very informative as far as the lesson plans on resumes and interviewing goes esspecially. I used my resume that I have been working on for the first time last year in trying to find a summer job. As the years of my college career go by I am adding more and more all the time as well as editing and some polishing work here and there.

  • I went through career exploration classes this year in college and thought I was ready for the interviewing process..I was wrong! I recently went to my first job interview and bombed it. I was nervous, stuttered like crazy (I don’t have a stutter), kept repeating myself, and didn’t even really know what the job entailed! Although it was a disaster, it was a good lesson, and in the future I WILL be interviewing differently!

    This article was helpful because it talked about all the things people do wrong, and what a company really expects/wants. It also made me laugh:)

  • I totally agree with the “No abbreviations or industry jargon. No typos”. Industry jargon is an easy mistake because it is commonly used in-house, but when applying you are applying for a new job, it is better to be safe than sorry. The choice of words can make or break your candidacy with employers.

  • After graduating highschool I began looking for a summer job to help with college expenses. I filled out one application online and I didn’t hear back. I then realized the job market decline was more severe than I thought. I then filled out several maybe 5 more applications and added resumes, and cover letters to each of them. I also adjusted my application to be more attractive to job recruiter and with these changes I was granted several interviews. The key is to not give up

  • This page has a great deal of information that is helpful for job hunters on every level. I worked in industry for over 10 yrs and found myself getting up every morning going to a job that I hated. I made the decision to return to school and pursue a degree so that I can enjoy my career. Good luck to everyone job hunting and remember – without passion, life can be dull!

  • This was clear, important information. It was nice to see it all laid out in one place. I can totally see myself using this resource and checklists when I’m looking for the perfect post-college job.

  • This article really is a very impressive collection of priceless information when it comes to landing the job/career you’ve always wanted! Now more than ever, it is very tough to find a job that will allow you to both sustain a comfortable lifestyle and find happiness in your work. This article will help anyone achieve their dream job. I plan on attending medical school after I graduate from Colorado State University, and I will definitely be using this article as one of my resources to help me build a strong package and have an exceptional interview! Thank you very much Mr. Shannon; you’re helping a lot more people than you think.

  • I have had various job interviews and this article guided me through an interview and saved myself to committing a couple mistakes. For example, I would have never thought of sending a thank you e-mail on the same day of the interview. However, most of these suggestions are really common sense, yet, many of us ignore them and it makes the difference between being employed or not. The Resume tips given above are also very helpful, before I used to believe that the more in the resume the better. However, it is obvious that here less is more and quality is way more significant than quantity. I also did not realize how important numbers are and that it is of great importance to make sure you are direct and focused. Great aid for help in finding and getting a job !

  • The largest part of this article that I can relate to is Shannon’s struggle of keeping faith that things will get better. I’ve always had something planned as to what I would like to do careerwise, my biggest problem was staying positive.
    After graduating highschool, I moved eight hours south of my hometown to experience life in another part of the U.S. At first, the change was all fine and dandy. I loved having independence and no rule to follow. What I didn’t realize is how lonely the road gets when the view ahead isn’t so bright.
    With the drive instilled in my head to not settle for the average “college-kid” job, I had quite a time obtaining something that related to my field of study. After about five months of a grueling search to find a job in a small town, where who you know overrides experience – and I knew no one – I finally stumbled upon a teller job at a local community bank.
    What blew my mind, and what I came to realize soon after getting hired at the bank was how important networking and first impressions are. Yes, it is important to have a clear, detailed, and concise resume but what is even more important than that is have developed communication skills.
    After getting the job at the bank, finding resources for things was a breeze – because I had made good impressions on the “big-wigs”/ “top dogs”/ “head honchos” of the town. But the largest lesson that I learned was to make a good impression on EVERYONE, not just persons you think have an important role. Soon after working at the bank I found some part-time work at the local liquor store in town as a cashier/ sales associate. It is because of that job that I am now able to intern in the finance separtment of a major corporation. How? Simply because the owner of the liquor store is who I am interning under at the corporation. I never would have guessed that the owner/ my mentor had been watching my work skills while I was,
    1) assisting them with their transactions at the bank (how I treated them, other people, and acted towards my supervisor and co-workers)
    2) running the cash register, stocking shelves, and helping customers at the liquor store.
    I’m glad that I listened to my mother, who always reiterated to me to keep a positive attitude because you never know who you may be talking to and my dad who constantly told me that networking is huge in the corporate world.
    Lastly, I don’t think I would have been able to do any of this without the help/ knowledge of my teachers, professors, and faculty assistance of revising my resume. If I didn’t know how to sell my skills and working ability on paper, I would have never gotten that job at the bank and probably would not been fortunate enough to have this internship.

  • It has been many years since I interviewed for a job, but I will be doing so after I graduate and this was very helpful for me. I recently learned in an English class how to put together an effective cover letter and resume. I was pleased to see that many of the things I learned were supported by this article. I feel very confident in what I have on paper. I am a confident person with other people so I am not worried about the time when I have to interview with someone, but this article gave me several pointers I had not thought about that will be crucial to the interviewing process when the time comes. Ideas such as not using soundbites or babbling. I will need to work on articulating my strengths and weaknesses. Thank you for this great source of information!

  • I was laid off from my job of 11 months recently. I have been constantly looking for jobs and filing out applications, but that can get very tiring and I often could not find the motivation to continue. However, after reading this guide, I have gotten the motivation back and am determined to find another job within the end of the month! Thank you.

    • I have recently been on my job at MC Donald’s for 7 years and it has been very overwhelming. Working around rude employee’s and managers as well as lack of motivation has gave me the que that it is time to go. After giving another chance in educating myself and having hope that i will make it i have become successful. Especially after reading this lesson, i was on my way to starting a cover letter and a resume. I did not know how to start or where to begin i started my cover letter off with maybe the company can give me some insight. Which i thought about now that is not saying i need a job or saying what type of sucess i can be or bring to that company. I have a lot of thinking and more reading of this lesson to come up with the best cover letter and resume. it as well motivated me to be able to look for a great job with the help i have recieved. thank you

  • I think if you have a good resume put together then you should be able to locate a job with your resume. Every one likes to see a good resume come around and love the ones that have a college degree attached.

  • I loved this article. This is one of the only articles I have come across that give great job search advice in every category. As a college student I will need this advice after graduation when I start my job search. I have definitely bookmarked this article and I cannot wait to refer back to it, so that I am prepared when I start my job search.

  • Job searching is very difficult the best advice that I have is to make sure your resume has been updated at much as possible! you can find very helpful advice on the internet on how to create a resume. Lastly is to make sure that you stay looking for jobs daily!

  • This is a fantastic story followed by great tips! It is comforting to see someone who has been through many things and has managed to make great opportunities from challenges. I relocated five months ago and sometimes feel overwhelmed to be back on the job market. I had not been unemployed in ten years so it is a very uncomfortable feeling but this is a great story about making the best of situations. These tips will also help me in the search for a new job. Thank you!

  • I have never had a problem finding a job, I got my first one at 14. Working in the restaurant business ensures work somewhere. Now that I am a college student, I need to start thinking about what steps I need to take to get into my field once I have graduated which may be a bit different for me.

    It is east to just walk into a restaurant, talk to the boss, and start work, but I have a feeling the psychology field is going to be a little bit different. I am in my first year of school so at least I have time to research the field and get a better understanding of how to put myself out there.

  • i have recently been on my job at MC Donald’s for 7 years and it has been very overwhelming. Working around rude employee’s and managers as well as lack of motivation has gave me the que that it is time to go. After giving another chance in educating myself and having hope that i will make it i have become successful. Especially after reading this lesson, i was on my way to starting a cover letter and a resume. I did not know how to start or where to begin i started my cover letter off with maybe the company can give me some insight. Which i thought about now that is not saying i need a job or saying what type of sucess i can be or bring to that company. I have a lot of thinking and more reading of this lesson to come up with the best cover letter and resume. it as well motivated me to be able to look for a great job with the help i have recieved. thank you

  • I am currently looking for a better job in which I use my degree. I have motivation but the tips here will improve my chances when looking. I am currently working full time but looking to use my degree so professionalism and knowing what to look for is everything!

  • This was great pointers. I think this story helps us remember that in all situations there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is amazing to know that their is hope. Life may seem to get us down, but we can always remember to stay positive in all situations.

  • WOW this is amazing, I am still a student working to get by and taking vigorous courses. I knew thank yous, resumes, and cover letters were essentials. However, I never knew so much or let alone anything about the nitty grittys. This is fabulous, I hope you keep this site running so when it is my turn to step up and out I can refer to your site!

    How soon/late is it to begin networking? Who should I be networking with? Is it wrong to network outside of your field?

    Thanks!

    Sarah A Nguyen
    Baylor University

    • It’s never too soon to begin networking. You can look at it as a lifelong effort to develop curiosity about your environment. Try to find out who’s doing what and why in areas that interest you. Definitely not wrong to network outside your field, just look for other areas that interest you. Most people change careers and fields at least several times over a lifetime. The broader your view, the more likely you are to find work that you are good at and find meaningful!

  • Job searching is never fun. For 2 years I was job searching for the summer so I would not be bored at home. I finally found a job that I know I will stick with every time I need to work for the holidays or for the summer. It’s not always about what you know, sometimes it’s about who you know.

  • I have not had to interview for a job in over 15 years but I can only imagine with the degree I get and in another year and half have that diploma in my hand and eager to get a job that pays well and is in the field I am wanting with my degree.

    This article helped me overcome the wondering mind of thinking O have not done this since I was in my twenties. How will this work now? Good article and thank you for your experiences,

  • The working world embraced me as I entered my first job in high school. This job wasn’t as traditional as most would think, and it wasn’t a position that I had no experience in. In fact, I had trained twelve years for this job.

    The year I got my license, I was a member of a great dance studio in my hometown. I had begun my dancing profession at the age of two at a separate studio, and had experienced a second dancing studio before I enrolled at the one that landed me the job. Once I could drive, my instructor offered me a position as an assistant instructor at the studio. The job description required attending every dance class after school hours, being a professional instructor in helping the student dancers master the art of dancing, participating in parades, supporting the traveling competition team while being a part of the team, choreographing one or two dance numbers for the end-of-the-year recital, and keeping my sanity.

    This experience required my day to go as follows: wake up for regular school (8 am-3 pm), head straight to the dance studio after school (3:30 pm) and stay through all of the classes assigned on a particular day. This often led to leaving the studio at 9 pm. This may sound alarming, but my instructor did give me time during advanced classes to do my schoolwork and eat dinner. Also, I loved being at that studio more than anything. What I learned from three years of employment there was the importance and rewarding nature of dedication, perseverance, self-improvement by individual practice as well as working with and helping others, leadership, responsibility, and pursuing the occupation that ultimately made me happy.

  • This article is a very true story and I have seen the entitlements that you are talking about in my work place. You have to understand that you are not owed a job. I enjoyed reading about the part where you, as a job seeker, should show your recruiter what it is you can do to help them out. Just what kind of skills will enable you to help the company.

  • These are great tips for finding a good job. I am 18 and still haven’t had my first job yet. I’m about to head off to college and i really need a job to help pay for everything. All of these tips are going to really help me out.

  • GASP!! What do you mean I am not entitled to the job of my dreams? But I’m educated, and talented, and oh so a wonderful human being! Me Me ME! …Me me.

    After major revelation, a minor depression, some self evaluation, and happy hour at Friday’s I have come to terms with why I have been unable to attain employment. It all seems so simple now; it is real life application of grade school psychology and English lessons.

    I think it especially important to bump the “I” down a couple notches. Ego will destroy you; the best way to sell yourself is to not sell yourself. If companies are asking, What’s in it for me? the first thing we do and the last thing we should do is begin to ramble on about our superstar qualities. Instead of listing what you might bring to the table, just bring something to the table. It makes a stronger statement.

    Also, don’t shy away from having a voice. It’s what sets you apart in every venture in life. So many times I find myself in “to whom it may concern” mode when searching employment, where everything is presented with an air of dissociation I just as well assume is customary of professionalism. I’m taking the opposite approach next time. Wish me luck!

  • This complete guide to landing a job was interesting to read. As a college grad who have been out of work for over three years, I finally receive call-backs from four companies. Each interview went well and I knew I had the job because of my qualifications and academic achievements. However, neither called me back.
    The ’embrace your fear’ section relates to me. I guess because I do not like rejection and I sometimes get nervous before and interview. During face-to-face conversations with the employer I keep eye contact and make sure my posture is up. In addition, following up after an interview was something I lacked but realize it is a good thing to do.
    Very good advice that I will keep with me.

    • Embracing your fear takes practice… Sometimes it might be helpful to acknowledge it also – Say it out loud: you can tell an interviewer that you’re nervous because you really like the company, and that may break the ice for you.

  • I applied three times to the same place, but never got a call. I applied twice to another place, and never got a call. I ask myself, what’s wrong? Employers expect you to have perfect grammar, diligent handwriting skills, communication skills, and the list goes on and on. But, no one is perfect. I don’t have a resume because there is nothing worth putting on a piece paper that says I worked at Walmart as a seasonal associate for three weeks, no point in asking for a reference because the boss didn’t know me well. What else is pointless putting on a piece of paper? Detailing how you know Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc.

    I don’t have any experience which makes it hard for me to get an appropriate job for someone my age. Another thing that bugs me, is employers are always looking for people who are flexible, even if its just a temp job. I have other obligations to besides this job, I feel that its discrimination because we can’t meet their schedules. I could be the best worker for this company, but you won’t hire me because my availability isn’t good enough for this specific position.

    One thing I appreciated about this article that taught me a dependable lesson is that you can network, but it also explains how networking can go wrong. Networking I think is the only way to get a job in this economy. Its not easy getting a job unless it says on a resume 10 years of experience and a high school diploma, and bilingual. Overall, I think networking is going to be my key to getting a starter job.

    • I don’t think it’s pointless putting those things on paper even if they are minimal. Think of it as an opportunity to show that you can prepare a nice-looking document, that you took the time to do it and bring a copy. It also gives you an opportunity to say In your objective that you’re hungry for experience.. Without the resume, you might appear clueless and unprepared.

    • I think that maybe your mistake is your assumption of employers expectations. They know that no one is perfect and they know they won’t have every employee do exactly what they want all the time. Although, they do expect their employees to be diligent enough to want to work hard and see their company grow. Be open to trying again and challenge yourself in looking for harder jobs, it will help you grow. Be hungry for experience in new work fields and make your resume stand out out of all of the others. Do not give up on putting your qualities on paper. I have been through your situation, kep your head up.

  • I found the information in this article very helpful. I worked for an insurance company for eight years and then, due to a military move, I had to leave that job. Currently I’ve been out of work for over a year now and going to school full-time. Now I’m ready to work and continue school full-time so this information will certainly be helpful in updating my resume and cover letters, as well as great interviewing tips among other information.

  • This story is so inspirational. I learned so much by reading through it and taking notes. These topics are so important and I plan to take these suggestions and put them into action. What a great story!

  • The Article is very helpful. I work for Wendy’s right now, it’s going to be a year. However, I am very interesting on looking for a medical office job because I have an associate degree in medical assistant. I am currently in school full time at University of Phoenix. The information from the article will certainly helpful for me by updating my resume and cover letters. I will definitely use great interviewing tips so I could get the position I am looking for.

  • Whatever your chosen career path is, you must be passionate about it—so it doesn’t feel like work but an exciting adventure. Most importantly, whatever you do, have a sense of humor!

  • I really enjoyed this story. It is so true in the world we live today. These stories are important and can help even myself. I plan on remembering this.

  • I wish I had this information before I applied for jobs last summer. I applied to three and did not get any calls back. I feel like I knew I did not have the strongest applications but I did not put the extra effort into figuring out why. The most helpful of all was the comment about not sounding self-absorbed. Writing a resume or cover letter was always where “I sold myself” but it makes sense to always keep in mind the employer rather than just rambling about how awesome I am trying to make myself sound. Fortunately I have been referred to the job that I have now which emphasizes how important it is to have a strong network with people all over.

  • I like the information on this page. It makes me think more about what is out in the job market today. I am fortunate to be working for the same company for the last 18 years, and had never looked at articles like this. I think this is something that I will share with my son who is only 2 years from graduating from High School

  • This was great and informative. The writer seems to speak as if he was telling my life story minus the sucessful ending. I have an extensive work history and interview well, i just really hate the application process, its monotinous. I am going to copy key points from here to keep on my desktop to remind me how to sell myself.

  • I particularly resonated with #3 under “Interviewing.” As an incoming college
    freshman, I hit up the job market early this summer to save for the many
    educational expenses I will soon be facing. Because I was interviewing for my
    first non-entrepreneurial job, I hesitated filling out applications which asked
    for previous work experience. I realized I had to get creative by focusing on my
    experience as a volunteer babysitter for the faculty at my school, my interships
    for Congressmen in previous summers, or the summer babysitting camps for local
    neighborhood girls I had started myself. In job interviews, I would elaborate on
    these experiences and discuss the skills I’d learned with them. My talents in
    event-planning, my understanding of customer-service, or the ability to file
    paperwork I had learned from my internships were marketable and valuable job
    skills I made sure to emphasize. Despite my lack of experience as a restaurant
    hostess or clothing sales associate that olderapplicantshad, I learned to
    highlight the desirable qualities I already had under my belt, and I went from
    there.

    Furthermore, I’d tell whoever was interviewing me sincerely andspecifically why
    I wanted to work there. I’dlet them know what I enjoyed about their restaurant
    or clothing store, and why I wouldprovide stellar customer service, and even how
    much I enjoy talking to and serving people in general. To show the company I
    wanted to work for just how serious I was, I dressed and prepared for my
    interviews like I was interviewing for a CEO position, and held myself to a high
    level of professionalism. In my interviews, I’d describe how my love of children
    and ability to interact with them correlated to socializing with grown people in
    everyday life, particularly future customers who would need a friendly sales
    associate to assist them. I also focused on my own memories of helpful employees
    to prove I knew exactly what customer service is all about.

    It wasn’t long after interviews that I started receiving calls back and landed a
    job. By proving to my company that I am a confident person and am ‘proud of my
    life and career’, I was hired in an extremely competitive market. To get a job,
    it certainly is critical to follow the interview advice on this page!

  • I’ve never applied for a job or ever had a boss, but from all the years I’ve gone to school I’ve learned what the teaches want and don’t want. Most of them want you to do your best, or at least that’s what they say, but others want you to do it their way or no way at all. Personally I find this as very good practice for the real world, it allows you to prepare yourself for whatever kind of boss you will have when you are finally at that particular point in your life and lets you know what every boss wants from you, as best you can without actually meeting them.

  • I loved reading this story. I have been struggling for months to find a job in education. The tips given in this story were very helpful. I will make sure to use them in my futures job searches!

  • This information is incredibly vital for the modern-day workforce. As an upcoming sophomore in college, I know this information will be applied as I venture to finding a good job in the near future.

    What shocked me the most? I have always been convinced that my job searching, my interviews, etc. should be about enhancing myself and making me look good for the job. I am glad that this information showed me how important it is to focus the attention on the company and the needs of the managers; we are there to serve them. With this information, I will know more of what to say when conversing with my future interviewers. In asking about their needs and desires for the company, I will be able to highlight my individual abilities and display what I have to offer to the company.

    I have not yet had a professional interview for a big-time job, as I am still enrolled as a full-time college student and journeying towards a Masters Degree. However, I know my future area of work, Speech Pathology, is a competitive field, but also one that holds great worth and great opportunity. Because of this article, I will be networking and perfecting my cover letter and resume’ frequently! I can truthfully say that this website has given me valuable information to apply into my endeavors of landing a great career. I will revisit this site numerous times as a reference of excellence. Thank you!

  • Knowing and understanding what people are looking for is so difficult at times. There are times when I have thought I was going to nail something because of my knowledge but for some reason it did not fall through and I have the slightest clue as to why. After reading this I have noticed my faults in what I was doing. Taking what someone else says and using it to your advantage should be a way of life but many choose to refuse and taking their advantage can make anyone go further hten they anticipated in life. I myself would go into something and think there was nothing I could do wrong, but in reality the slightest wrong hand gesture can take a turn for the worst. This article has taught me alot that I will be able to use in my job hunts.

  • I really enjoyed reading this learning experience. This lesson has provided and will provide so many extra keys to successful advice and tools to use in the future. It is especially important for college students because there is a good percentage of them who doesn’t land a job with they graduate and one of the reasons is due to their lack of skills of a job search and going through the process of applying and receiving the job. Thank you Eric.

  • I have only worked in the food industry, but I can see how difficult it is to find good, reliable people to perform a job. I am a manager and I find myself getting frustrated with people who either do not know how to perform their job well or who do not care to. I agree that if you do not like your job then it is harder to perform well.

  • The interviewing process has always been stressful to me, after all in this economy you want every interview to count. I remember my first interview, I had spent days before researching proper interview etiquette, I needed to nail it; not only would it be my first interview, but it was also my first call back from an employer. At this point I had already graduated high school one month prior and I was shotgunning places with applications.

    After around 100 applications I finally got that first call back from a Kroger grocery store. As I said above I did everything I could to prepare; from reciting interview questions to even polishing my dress shoes and dry cleaning my suit. I realized that yes it was a simple bagging position that I would be interviewing for but I absolutely had to have it. The day of reckoning finally arrived and I showed up around 10 minutes early. Nervously I approached the customer service desk and introduced myself and purpose as to why I was there. The representative gave me a once over and informed me that the manager would be coming back from break shortly and suggested that I just walk around until then.

    I casually burned 10 minutes walking around outside and again reentered the store and approached the desk. This time the manager greeted me and we exchanged pleasantries. I choked back my nervous urges to stammer and constantly adjust my glasses. She then asked me to follow her upstairs to conduct the interview. I sheepishly follow, my legs wobbling and feeling like jello as I ascended the stairs. Suddenly I had a burst of confidence, I realized that so far I was doing great and remembered how well I prepared myself. Gaining some fortitude I sit down in the chair being offered to me.

    The interview started with very basic questions ranging from what my college plans were, all the way to if I enjoyed my high school. In the back of my mind I noticed that she was asking me more youth related questions because the target employee she was looking for was a responsible, mature, freshly graduated young adult. This realization sent a burst of confidence because I knew I was especially qualified for the duties the job entailed. We finished the interview with a few simple questions and she immediately asked if I were comfortable with taking a mouth swab drug test on the spot; to which I replied, “Yes ma’am!” carrying a sense of enthusiasm.

    Needless to say the interview went wonderfully and within a week I received a phone call back telling me I would begin my first job the following Monday. I absolutely was ecstatic about it and learned a lot about the interview process; when it comes down to it, if you’re prepared and remain calm it is as simple as casually talking to someone.

  • This was a nice information for individuals looking for a job. The guide assists in questions that are frequnetly asked in an interview. It provides information on how to set uo your resume.

  • At the age of 17 I was living on my own and needed a job to support myself. I applied at just about any job that would take my application, not really putting thought into where I would be working. All that mattered was finding a job that would provide money to take care of myself. The majority of the time I would apply online, and never go into a business to apply in person. After receiving no call backs I realized that I need to start showing my face, as the first impression is the most important.
    After doing research online about how to build my resume into a respectable one, I looked at information on ways to apply for jobs. In person seemed to be the best route, so I walked into Chick-fil-A, dressed in business casual wear and asked to speak to a manager. I introduced myself with a confident smile and handshake and told him i’d love to speak to him about a position with the company. I gave him my resume, and after a short chat asked him to call me if he had any questions.
    Shortly after I left the business, I received a call and was asked to come in for a resume the following day. I showed up on time, and the interview went smoothly, and I was offered a position as a cashier. The owner also told me that because I showed such confidence and had a well put together resume, he felt that I would be a good candidate to work with the company. This feedback made me realize that with just a little more effort, you can get what you want.
    Throughout the years of job searching, I have used this experience that I gained from applying with Chick-fil-A to excel in meeting new people, and applying for new jobs. I have become more confident and realize that the same firm handshake and friendly smile I have, will get me far in life.

  • The story motivates me, reminding me why I am working so hard. It also shows me why I should never stop working hard. Staying focus will get me where I need to be. The most interesting part was the job interview is not about you.

  • This is all great information for real world application, I wish that I had seen this last year. It seems like a great tool for college advisers to share with soon to be graduates. I was also happy to see “What Color is Your Parachute” mentioned, it is a invaluable tool for understanding working environments and personal happiness. I will be happy to share this website. Thank you!

  • This summer, I tried to find my first job, with no such luck. I applied everywhere, online and in person, with only one call back for an interview. I thought I had such a hard time because no one wanted to hire a seasonal worker with no work experience, and never thought that I was the problem. But, this article showed me that I can not just expect my volunteer work and references to sell me, but I have to sell myself. The most important lesson I’ve taken away from this article is that I have to be determined and persistent in my efforts to find a job. It is not okay to apply for the job and cross my fingers, hoping for a call back. If they have not called me in a week, I should call them to check up. If I have applied to many places online with no response, walking in should be my next choice of action. I now know that my fear of rejection will only keep me jobless and forever unqualified. Thank you.

  • Every summer I would get an internship with my family’s business because it was a pretty easy breezy job and it paid well. When summer came around this year, I told myself that this would be the year that I would break out and find a job on my own standings. Well I sent my resumes and applications to 6 different places, assuming I would get an offer. But nothing came out of my attempt. It made me realize I needed to appreciate the connections I had and in turn look for internships connected with my major so my resume would look stronger when I was out of college and looking for a starting career.

  • This article was so informational. I love the tips for the interview. I have always seemed to struggle with interviews, I never know how to sell myself without over selling myself or I seem to nervous. I will definitely be using this tips at my next job interview!

  • I found this to be extremely insightful and helpful. Oftentimes the world of a post-graduation job hunt seems overwhelming and daunting but this was real and easy to relate to. Will definitely keep these tips in mind!

  • Thankfully I’ve been able to be employed at 4 different locations so far.
    My first job, after over a year of persistence and anguish, occurred at Pat and Toni’s Sweet Shop in January 2011. It was one of those foot-in-the-door techniques, my good friend managed to find a job there after trying to get and advertisement from them for our local high school newspaper, The Growler. I loved my job, it might have just been the honeymoon stage, but my boss was very up-front about the situation, if he liked me then after two weeks he would keep me, if our personalities did not work out, he would let me know. He was from New Jersey, now locally in central Florida, and he meant business. Those two weeks flew by and we got along great. After about a month I knew the pattern of things, I began to understand the flow of work and I felt pretty comfortable there. Three months after hiring, we faced the big rush of Biketober Fest in DeLand, Florida. This was the last day I worked. I felt confident, managed customers well, kept our goodies in stock and helped the newer hires. I did not foresee the end of this career, but week after week (as my manager did not create a schedule for more than a couple of days ) I would call back seeing if I had any hours and the responses slowly decreased from, “Yeah, you have 4 this week,” to “Not this week, call again on Sunday,” to “When I have hours for you, I’ll call you.” That last one put me in shock. I felt so capable there, I knew what I was doing and he just let me go without even a reason for my firing!
    After another school year and part of the summer, persistence paid off just around late July 2011. TJ Maxx was remodeling and had room for some temporary workers. I started in July, loved the employee discount, the work, the clothes, the merchandise and keeping up with such a great store! Little did I know, life had a little more in store. My dad was suffering more from cancer symptoms. He was diagnosed in 2009 and it bounced from treatments to remission to free from cancer to more treatments annually. Eventually I needed to take time off work to care for my father and help my mother take care of him, which greatly conflicted with TJ Maxx’s busy holiday schedule. I put in my two weeks notice early December and was able to spend some time home over the holidays.
    My next job was a school connection. Work study. Not the most profitable because of the restricted hours, but a job is a job and at that point I needed income. I worked in the Hand Art Center Museum at Stetson University and it was a fabulous job. I helped set up the artwork for display, supervised guests, answered the telephone, and kept the museum clean. Unfortunately as the school year ended, the Museum closed and I needed work over the summer to pay for the coming academic year.
    My latest and current job is at the Department of International Learning at Stetson University. I thankfully have been able to be employed full-time and although the interview process was intimidating, with tips I was able to pass it with flying colors. I have landed a fantastic job with a wonderful work atmosphere and great encouragement and support. I have learned from this job that with patience and persistence things will work out over time. Having a lengthy list of past jobs isn’t always a bad thing and it can be very useful in obtaining a career to carry your further towards your goals.

  • I am studying to be an actress. I’ve found that it is a slightly different ball game than when trying to acquire most other jobs; for example, I could walk into an audition and get cut because I am not tall enough. So when I read articles about finding jobs, I tend to find that a lot of the information doesn’t apply. However, I found a great deal of helpful advice in this piece. Also, anyone familiar with the business knows that particularly when you are just starting out you will need a “real” job to pay for bills. I’ve been through a couple big/long job searches where I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting hired. I’d gotten some interviews, but I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting the job. I feel this article offered some angles of things I didn’t think about before. E.g. going into an interview or cover letter with why you’d want to hire me, instead of what I am looking for in the company. I hadn’t realized before how egotistical these things could turn out. It filled in a few gaps, Thank you.

  • These are good and funny tips that I think ease the pain the finding jobs! Especially in this economy it can be very tough so any kind of advice is helpful! I remember applying for my first job was the most stressful and the interview process was the scariest part. The tips for an interview create a lot more confidence and stop the thoughts of being rejected. Going into an interview with low self esteem can even cause the rejection to occur, so this article is very helpful in stating what needs to be done and builds the confidence when its time to do it!

  • When i applied for my first job it was the most exhilarating feeling in the world. Although I was filled with excitement of independence and earning money, I realized that I didn’t know the first step of getting a job. I wasn’t sure of what to include in a resume, what to say in an interview, and it all accumulated as stress that eventually showed through in my interview. Now that I am on my way to finding more than just a summer job, the advice that I gained by reading this article has helped me realize what I need to do to potentially receive a job in this economy. These tips will help boost my self confidence, which will be very helpful once that confidence is reflected towards my future employers. Any advice can be helpful, especially in these times, and I hope to apply and successfully carry out the information I have learned here.

  • This would have been a great help if I had learned these things during the year I took off from school.Even though my wish was to attend Marist College in Poughkeepsie, my parents felt I was too young to be far away, so I adapted. I planned to attend Philadelphia University and later transfer. I was accepted, I had applied for scholarships, and resolved in myself to go this
    route, but it did not work out that way. Notice after notice came that I was
    not awarded the scholarships.

    After being denied financial aid, I had no hopes
    of attending school; even community college was not an option. I felt at a
    loss. I decided to take a year off and reevaluate what I truly wanted out of
    life. I started learning conversational Korean, wrote a novel, and studied the
    Bible. I realized there are many alternate routes to achieving one goal. Again,
    I adapted. Motivated to pursue a degree in fashion merchandising, I decided to
    take one more year off and work to invest in my education. Unfortunately, in an
    overrun job market, no one wants to employ a nineteen year old with no job
    experience. Many applications were filled out and denied. Unmoved, I volunteered
    at a few retail stores and purchased an Intro to Fashion textbook to start
    learning about the industry.

    I thought the small amount of experience I had collected would be enought to land me a job this summer, but for some reason, I still wound up sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring, or receiving the “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” speech. The tips in this article has showed me that the problem may have just been in the way I presented myself in my resume. I am great face-to-face, but on paper seems to be a completely different story. I will definitely reevaluate my resume to make sure I show myself in the best positive light.

  • “Impact is about your skills and abilities, not a laundry list of your experience.”

    This sentence from your resume section speaks volumes about job search. No matter what kind of position you are looking for (research, internship, part time, full time, paid, or unpaid), you will be asked about your experience. But when you write a resume, you can’t just expect your titles to carry you through.

    In my life, the most proud position I’ve ever had is “volunteer”. What? Sounds like nothing, right? Wrong. I’ve found that I had much more impact on others through this position than any other in my experience. I put on a city-wide toy drive and volunteered in a children’s hospital – what makes me different from other applicants is that I made a positive impact in the lives of others, which is something that most people strive for in any field. Impact is how I used my unique skills and abilities to create that change. That is *so* much more important than the official title.

    This article showed me that I have to focus on the impact. Your position is not what’s important. What’s important is that you’re making a difference, you’re leading, you are doing the absolute most with your skills that you can in that position. Employers don’t want to see a list of your experiences, they want to know what you can do for them. So when you talk about your impact, you are actually showing the company that you know what they want from their employees, and that you can provide that for them.

    Thanks for the lesson!

  • This is really a great article for people looking for work. When I graduated high school and started working I never had an interview. I was just hired off of my resume but these days it isn’t that easy. You have to fight for any position that is avaliable. I have saved this article in my favorites so that I can use it to redo my resume and cover letter. I think it is important to use every advantage you can to get a great job.

  • Like most of today’s generation, I spent every summer starting in high school looking for a summer job. Nothing fancy, just something to pass the time, gain some experience, make friends, and put a few bucks in my pocket. Unfortunately because of the 2008 crash, not many places were hiring. The only places that were even remotely interested in taking in new employees only wanted those who had experience under their belts. Imagine being sixteen and trying to figure out what kind of training and experience is required for answering phones for a month or two. It didn’t make sense to me. But, I didn’t stop trying. I walked miles and miles from home, store to store, dropping my name and applying when I could. I was lucky enough to have landed the job I have now: after five years of applying online and walking into every business with an open door, my persistence paid off. I was fortunate to have gotten myself an internship. I knew exactly how to present myself, maintain confidence, and follow the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) when conducting introductions. I have learned that nothing says “You’re hired” more than a smile, a firm grip, focus, and persistence. I only wish I had seen this article in high school. It is most definitely the epitome of today’s job searching methods.

  • Reading this paper is like a breath of fresh air, throughout this article I have received so much clarity in regards to why I had a hard time landing jobs for a while. What stood out to me the most was the portion of the article that the HR Manager expresses about seeking employers and why businesses hire people.

    I have never done a cover letter before only a resume so now I know how to properly explain myself without coming off as self absorbed since I am far from that. We let the standards of others cloud our judgment when it comes to seeking job employment for ourselves.

    Each job that I have had previously I have learned a particular skill that is beneficial to me that I am able to use on a day to day basis. After reading this informative article I am able to use these tools and have confidence in my future job searches.

  • great advice! I see now the first step in improving my job search is to revisit my resume objective. Currently it talks about what I want but after reading this I see now it has never been about what I want but what the employer needs.

    Currently I too, as the writer was in a slump with job hunting. I’ve hit that depression phase of not really wanting to talk with friends or family. I just wanted to give up, but I know that I can’t because for one, I’m way to smart for that, and my strong-minded self won’t allow depression to win this battle. So in expectation I will continue to apply for jobs, but now with a new outlook and with the application of the above mentioned advice, I suspect I won’t be unemployed much longer. Thanks a bunch!

    • Its an ironic thing, we tend to withdraw from people when things are not going well, exactly at the moment when we can use encouragement, motivation, guidance and help. In moments like these, I force myself to dial my friends and schedule an outdoor meeting where we can enjoy the fresh air and chat about whats happening in our lives. Many times I came home with few more ideas and renewed motivation.

  • What I wouldn’t have done to have had this four years ago. I learned some great tips from educators in high school but it’s great to come from someone who is on the other side of the interview process. I do have a couple of questions for you. This first question has to do with interview questions. I’m sure you get asked all the time what the best answer is to the whole list of example questions you provided, and I get that part of the nature of this piece was to emphasize the importance of answering genuinely and not quoting. I’ve always heard that the best response to the question, “What is your greatest weakness?” is to say, “I’ve struggled with a short temper in the past, but I’ve been working on breathing and mental exercises to calm myself down and I think they’ve helped me quite a lot.” Of course this is just an example, but I’d like to know what you would think in getting a response like this. In the spirit of keeping things truthful, is it better to state your weaknesses, or frame them in the light of ‘good comes from bad’? My second question has to do with reference interviews. I know that your said you look for very natural praise with little skirting to save face. If someone fears that they might have a past position that was not a good reflection of their professional capabilities is it a better idea to find a different reference or keep the reference and explain the possible negative feedback while answering the weaknesses question? Is it better to come out with your past mistakes on your own or not list them if you have better references? Thank you for your time both in reading this comment and writing such an informative guide.

    • regarding your short temper answer – I hate to say it, but this answer doesn’t do much for me. I don’t want to hire anyone with a short temper and if you must admit to having a temper, I’d rather hear that you overcame it with humor or by carrying a picture of your grave around to remind yourself of the fleeting nature of life or a picture of the planet Earth to remind yourself about our insignificance in the grand scheme…

      regarding possible bad reference – I’d probably find another or find out for sure exactly what your reference sounds like before deciding.

      generally speaking, I’d say it is good to be truthful and explain past mistakes. but be prepared to show how you’ve changed and back it up:)

      Hope this helps!

      • This was very helpful. Although I’ve implemented a lot of these tips and techniques throughout my job search, I feel like every time I needed a different approach. I mean, besides being good at what you are, you also have to be good at solving the recruiter’s mind puzzle, and everyone has its own. What the article doesn’t mention is that recruiters are people too and their decisions are widely based on personal preferences, they can be very subjective. It’s not all done at top notch professional level as we expect it to be. I feel like I can never please the interviewer, everyone has a different approach. My past experience is in a foreign country and even though I find it similar to the job that I am applying for, it’s hard to convince the recruiter that my skills and experience match this position. All they throw at me is that “but you never worked for a US employer, right?” I see how that can be an important factor in hiring somebody. Just like you mentioned references play a big role. But I am sorry, I don’t have US references, I’m trying to find my first job here and need to start somewhere. Just because I don’t have a work experience here, doesn’t mean I can’t be a fast learner and motivated for the job. I guess that doesn’t count as much… I just need someone to give me a CHANCE and I will prove that I can do my best and succeed… I would appreciate if you could give me a piece of advice on how to approach this dilemma.

      • “I’d rather hear that you overcame it with humor or by carrying a picture of your grave around to remind yourself of the fleeting nature of life or a picture of the planet Earth to remind yourself about our insignificance in the grand scheme.” I’d love to interview someone that does something like this! :)) Very nice reply, though I think you have a different level of awareness, one that most people don’t have.
        Contributing Author,
        http://www.templatesassistant.com

    • When I left the military, I had zero translatable skills to the civilian job market; however, I had confidence and the foresight to imagine what the hiring manager is looking for. At my group interview, everyone was required to pick an item from the company’s product catalog and tell the group about what we like about it. I didn’t tell the group what I liked; I sold the product to them. I had a call back later that day.

  • I found this article very insightful! I’m grateful that you took the time to focus on each individual “stage” of the applying/interview process.
    Writing a strong cover letter has always been my weak point. I always thought that the cover letter should be about me and what I am looking for, so thank you so much for making it clear that I sould focus on the employers needs as oppose to my own. After reading this article, I feel like I can write an effective cover letter that will not only catch the recruiters attention, but will also help me stand out from other addlicants.
    When I was in my twenties, I never had a problem getting a job. Any time I interviewed for a position, I was either offeref the position on the spot or called the next day with an offer. I am currently persuing my degree and have not applied for nor interviewed for a job in quite some time, but I feel like this article has prepared me for when I do finally start the job hunting process.
    Thank You,
    Kristi Munis

  • I have not personally experienced bad things with job searching. I have been a stay at home mom since I got out of the Navy in 2004. However, I watched my husband struggle for two years when the recession hit here and the copper mine he works for shut down. There simply weren’t jobs around here for him.

    I also see now that his resume could have used a major makeover before putting it on Monster. It is filled with a lot about what he wants and not necessarily about what the employer needs. I plan to take the writer’s advice and go through his resume with a fine tooth comb. It pays to keep it updated and fresh. We never know when the price of copper will fall again and he will be on the unemployment line once again.

    I also will bookmark this page and take lots of notes and when I finish my degree, I will apply the principles I have learned here when I, too, am a job searcher.

  • I have never read anything this long but shockingly, it was very interesting. I have learned how to get a job but this have helped me way better. One thing I do have to work on is revising my resume and also checking up on my application. I guess I assume that they will contact me if I got the job but in actuality, Im the one seeking the job so I need to put in a better effort. Great article!

  • I really found this article beneficial to my understanding of what an
    employer is looking for. Although as applicants we tend to search for
    what we need and apply by giving a work history of ourselves, it is
    important to understand that emp
    loyers
    are actually more interested in what we can do for them and what we have
    accomplished. It is true that sometimes we may feel hopeless and think
    of giving up on our search for better job opportunities but once we
    learn to analyze ourselves from an outside perspective, we begin the
    process of changing ourselves for the better and therefore improving our
    chances of finding what we need and want.

  • There are a lot of great points made here! I have learned so much and now it is time for me to try them and apply them to my strategy of getting a job. Thanks so much for sharing your personal experiences so that others can learn from them.

  • Like most college students I always
    looked for jobs that would fit my school schedule but never found one that would
    fit my standards. Until I was awarded work study, I worked at places that were
    not ideal but I always thought I could not find good jobs because of my
    scheduled. After reading this Article I realized the reason why I was not successes-full
    in my job search. A lot of the time I would talk about my goals, inside and
    outside of the company and say very little about what I can offer the company.
    This is one of the greatest advice I have gotten. Great Article!

  • It has been a good wake up call for me in my job search. I have been job hunting for a long time, which I have become frustrated and worried if I will ever find a job. I have tried everything I thought would work, but after reading your page I believe that I can go the extra mile and do better in my job search. I guess my attitude was that I had all the right answers, but I really did not and so I did not get the job. I am hopeful for my next job interview and I am better prepared. Thanks for all your help.

  • Thanks for the advice! I was in the same boat looking for a job over six months, my problems was I didn’t have enough experience so I went back to school and continue to look for work.

  • Thank you so much for the great advice. As an older student, we commonly need to be updated on how things work and change every year. I find myself having a hard time finding a job close to my area of study and also with such demand for work, finding a job that is flexible with my school schedule.

  • Thanks for the information. I now understand that me not landing certain jobs that I wanted was not due to my lack of aptitude. Instead, I failed to present myself in the proper manner. With the information that I just obtained I feel motivated to pursue jobs in a different manner. I believe that a properly constructed resume in combination with networking will go along way in helping me obtain the job that I desire. Thanks again for your help.

  • Great Advise to people in need of a job!!! You see in two years I have been trying to find a job, but things like that take time. Especially since im only a high school student, not many things are open for me right now. But now I know exactly how to start when looking for a job. The correcte way. Because a person will have to know what they have to do to get the job in the first place then keep it.

    I am a current Wayne early middle college high school student, who’ mom is a single parent, and I have a rare spinal disease called syringomyelia. Because of all this its hard to find a job people don’t want someone who may have issues with there health. That’s why I want to become a psychologist. To help people and not do heavy lifting. Thank you for all the help!

  • So very informative! Yet the sight is somewhat bland. There needs to be a tad bit more color added to keep the attention of some people.

  • I think this has really good advice. I work in retail and truthfully I don’t see myself doing that kind of work for the next 20 years. I’ve already put in 9 years. I do like the work that I do, but just need something else, that is why I went back to school. My children need to know that I am not a failure.

  • I will say this article is VERY helpful to people trying to find jobs. As an 18 year old I know that it is especially hard for people of my age to find jobs during this time. This article has amazing advice and breaks down everything there is know. Many pople my age get discouraged when they aren’t able to find a job but I believe that by reading this article it will give them a further understanding of why things are so difficult. Articles like this are greatly needed. Thank you so much!!!!

  • Networking is such an important part of your job search, because it does open up and give you the connections necessary to get that dream job that you desire. I feel that the information was very positive and helpful to many college students, including myself.

    Getting involved on campus is a way to make connections. If you just go to class and go home people will never get to know you. You have to go out of your way to get involved whether it be through research or leadership activities on campus. It is important to gain leadership and public speaking skills so that you are able to put yourself out on the employment map.

  • I think one of the key points is it is not about what the employee wants from the job or the employer; that is up to them. When YOU apply for a job YOU chose to do what that employer wants you to do.

  • Reading this was definitely an eye opener. I have made plenty of these mistakes when job hunting, and it may be the reason why I am still unemployed! It’s true, this era is a winner-takes-all, it seems that only the top and “perfect” job seekers get hired. I don’t consider myself to be anywhere near flawless, I am a human being, but after reading this and learning some useful tips in a humorous way, which by the way made it more entertaining and easier to remember, I hope to appear like the best employee the manager can hire on my next job hunting mission. Thanks!

  • Wow,
    this is fabulous advice! As a career development professional, I too
    consider the book “What Color is Your Parachute” an invaluable
    resource. The book contains advice on networking that is timeless!
    This book was the first introduction to the career development
    profession, and it was an inspiration for me to study career
    counseling. In addition, the author of the article offered creative
    networking advice that includes the use of blogs. Great point! I
    will definitely share this website with others.

  • This article speaks so many truths! I have a job as a cashier at a grocery store.Now this job was great for picking up a few extra dollars so that i could enjoy highschool even more, but after about a year and a half i was ready to move on. I applied for a job to work for the city. I went into that interview dressed entirely too casual( I WORE JEANS!) and you could smell my big ego a mile away. Instead of coming into the interview and telling the manager why i wanted the job and what the company ment to me, i kept babbling on about myself and trying to flirt. I never got a call back for about a month and when his secretary did call it was to tell me i didnt get the position. That call was a reality check! I never stepped foot into another interview without a humble attitude and dressed business professional. I currently never forget to have a copy of my resume on hand as well. I refuse to make a fool out of myself ever again.

  • As a college student, this guide makes me nervous. It seems like so much to put all together to get a start in the world outside of my university, and quite frankly, it’s all a bit overwhelming.

    That being said, I’m glad I know what’s coming now. It’s really great to get this heads up on how employers think when hiring someone. I was lucky enough to have a very helpful business class that covered a few of these topics, like how to effectively write a cover letter or a resume, and I’m glad the information can be shared with others too.

    What that class didn’t cover though, was networking. As students, we’ve essentially been handed connections all our lives, and I, as well as many others, have very little experience making intentional connections at this early point in our careers. I have held three jobs. Two of those jobs came about through personal friends who already worked there and gave me a good work from within.

    After reading this guide, I’ve realized just how much I take my current connections for granted; it’s opened my eyes to a job hunt where I don’t automatically have a close friend on the inside. I’m certainly taking the networking advice from this guide to heart, since I know I won’t always be in a position with the lucky leverage I’ve had so far.

    • A certain amount of nerves is helpful! when interviewing a nervous candidate, I’ll always interpret some nervousness as desire for the position which is a good thing.

  • I have both been blessed and cursed with a boarding high school experience. The many blessings I experienced over my three years on the small, close knit campus included a Work Study program in which students were not only guaranteed a job on campus, but also required to log a certain amount of work hours to graduate. Our work skills were even graded and went on to affect our Grade Point Average. Sure, during this time I did a little job searching while attempting to move up from working in the cafeteria to become a teacher’s assistant for my AP English professor, but I never really had to struggle with a real life job market.

    Then came summer. Having just graduated high school and looking forward to my college experience I spent my first few weeks of summer just ‘relaxing and celebrating’. I ignored my parents pleas and persuasions to search for a job and soon a few weeks turned into a month, then two. When I realized that the summer was quickly approaching an end I began to panic. It was clear I wasn’t going to be getting a job this summer, but then an even greater fear set in. What about during college? Would I ever have the skill set needed to actually get a job?

    You see, having never needed to actually search for a job and convince someone to take me on as their employee I missed out on developing the very crucial skill of job searching. Sitting back and thinking over this past summer I realized my biggest obstacle was myself. I was scared of rejection, uncertain what to do, and completely unmotivated. I spent most of my time filling out job search website forms with half-hearted determination, too scared to move onto subsequent steps. I read this article with the intention of filling out an application for a scholarship that I may or may not win, but I came out with a prize regardless of the outcome – knowledge. You didn’t hand me a fish, but without me even realizing this article handed me the pole and taught me how to fish. I will be applying this new knowledge to my job search throughout college and beyond. And finally, whatever the outcome of the scholarship, I want to thank you Mr. Shannon, for giving me crucial life advice that will help me on my path to a fantastic career.

  • This story gave me great inspiration to go look for a job. I’ve always had trouble looking for a job and could never figure out why because I thought I was always doing everything right. But now I want to use some if these tips and suggestions and maybe it will help me finally get a job.

  • Don’t call attention to it. Only go back 10 years in your work experience. Consider leaving the dates off your education and tone down your responsibility level as you can. Most recruiters will be wary of a candidate with 20+ years of experience or significantly greater level of responsibility in prior jobs.
    Yes, you have to tell the truth and we’ll figure out your full story eventually, but your chances of having a conversation with the recruiter are better if your resume doesn’t scream that you are old and overqualified. I know, it’s unfair and it sucks – read the next section about blogs if you want to change your luck.

  • Every job I’ve ever had has been because a friend or relative recommended me, so it is nice to read of ways I can work to get one on my own! These tips are so helpful, especially for a future college grad like myself.

    My biggest weakness in getting jobs has always been the follow up. I have so much trouble with getting myself to continue communication between myself and my hopeful employer, mostly because I’m afraid my contant phone calls and emails will make me seem annoying, or someone the current employees do not want to work with. However, I eventually discovered that constant follow up is the way to go. My continuously asking about my standing in the job search, I am the one constantly on the recruiters mind. I discovered this after getting hired for my current summer job as a camp counselor. Although it was not the most formal of interviews, I still called the camp headquarters after my interview to ask how the process was going. They were very friendly and told me they would call me as soon as they had more information. I sent them an email in the next couple of days asking the same questions, and they got back to me almost immediately telling me that the hiring process was still underway, but I would know if I got the job within the week. The very next day I got a phone call saying I was hired. I plan on using this newfound skill as well as these tips in my next job venture, hopefully something more extended than just a summer job.

  • I have found this article to be really helpful and understand how my previous attempt for applying for a research position did not go so well. I have written a long list of experiences I have had in my resume and not shared the ones that are relevant to the research. Plus the fact that I did not have any work experience but did not use other methods to grab the readers attention was a big problem. I never even got a call back from them ! I would use this article as an important way of making my job search and my interviews better.
    Thank you for your insight on this matter- I really needed the tough love here.

  • This is a great article!! I think if you’ll looking for a job that is a great article to read. I do interviews all the time and sometimes I get nervous. Some people don’t know what to expect and this is a very informative article that will give alot of insight to those that need help.

  • VERY informative and helpful. I’m so glad I read this because sometimes finding jobs and interviews are intimidating and this shows someways to know more about how to overcome that.

  • I really enjoyed reading the part about networking. The
    informational interview is a great idea. I work in the field of education where
    a school or district really only hires people that they know or people whom
    come with the highest recommendations. I understand the reasons for this, especially in my field. People can look amazing on paper and even amazing in
    the interview but may be subpar when it comes to the job – working with
    students. Networking between schools or between districts is a great idea even
    if it really is just to share ideas. Getting asked to an interview with a
    possible promotion is just a bonus.

  • I love the honest and no- nonsense tone of this article. I really identified with the advice of knowing what you are good at and showing passion for the job. During high school, I never experienced any sort of serious interviewing being that all of my jobs were offered to me through family and friends. After starting college, I knew that I wanted to become an Orientation Leader for my university’s incoming freshmen. The first time I had ever become truly nervous about interviewing was when I began the application process to be an Orientation Leader. I knew I could do a great job and I had wanted the job since my very own orientation. Throughout the entire application and interview process I really let my passion and excitement for the job show. My boss recognized that within me and hired me! Working as an Orientation Leader has truly been the best experience of my life. I am glad I made sure my interviewers knew exactly how much I cared about the job.

  • This article is very well written and informative! I’m halfway through college and I’ll be looking and applying for a Co-op position soon. I could not have read this article at a better time! The advice isn’t standard and that’s what makes it so great. I’m used to hearing things like “dress the part” and “make a resume,” but no one really gives advice that can take you above the rest. Now I’m going to re-work my resume and cover letter, save this to brush up on from time to time, and I’m MUCH more confident about being able to land a co-op and job after graduation. Thank you!

  • I couldn’t agree more with this article. As a freshman in college in a new, unfamiliar town, I was unsure where to begin my job hunt. This article gave me the information I needed to go the extra mile to secure a part-time job that I liked. Moreover, it will come in handy after I receive my Bachelors Degree and am looking for a job in my field of Radio/Television.

  • With the current economy and unemployment rate, it’s rather hard for someone to find a job, and being a student just out of high school and beginning college it’s even harder. When I read this article, it gave me very good tips and hints for the hunt, the interview, resumes, and publicity. Each above section broke down the topics into understandable and simple stages that actually walks you through the best ways to perfect your job search.

    I came from a small town where everyone knew everyone and it’s plenty easy to find a job. People automatically knew who you were and there was really no need for resumes, references, or searches even. However, when I moved to Orlando where you had to sell yourself to the employer and get them to see who you are, I had more trouble. I still hadn’t been accepted to any jobs i had applied for, or even been accepted for any interviews. This article showed me all the things that I probably did wrong and what i could do to improve my job searching experiences to raise my chances of getting a job.

  • I grew up in a small town in Florida, where everyone knew someone who knew someone else, which made job searching pretty simple. I asked around with the people I knew for openings in the field I wanted, and my request got passed down the line until I had an interview set up. Over the course of two years, I held three different jobs without a missed day between them searching for new employment.

    Upon moving to Orlando however, I came to realize just how important it is to be able to stand on your own two feet in regards to job searching. I went months without even managing to land an interview, and when I did, I was on my own without the benefits of name-dropping of mutual acquaintances to bolster my apparent worth. At the time I thought I was acing the interviews, but as more and more interviews passed without receiving a call, I began to realize I was in trouble.

    I began talking to people about how they handled themselves in interviews, and even managed to sit down with a few managers of places I had no interest in applying to, in order to discuss with them what they looked for in potential candidates. One manager shared her biggest interview secret with me:
    “A lot of people come in completely jaded to the interview process. They’ve heard it all before, and they know every answer they’re going to give before they walk through the door, so they tune most of what I say out. So I always find one or two questions to subtly reword, so that it sounds like I’m asking one thing to a casual listener, but someone who is actively engaged in the interview will understand that I’m asking a completely different question. I also like to throw in random questions utterly unrelated to the interview, so I can compare how they respond to the standard questions versus one that they actually think about before answering.”

    I took her advice, and the advice of the others, to heart, and set back out into the job search world. At present, I am waiting for a call to schedule my orientation at a local restaurant and enjoying the benefits of my recently acquired position at Universal Studios Orlando. And neither of these would have been possible without all the information I picked up from just talking to other people and figuring out a rough list of Do’s and Don’t’s for an interview.

  • I can relate to this very well. When I turned 16 I went everywhere trying to find a job. However I came back with nothing. Then I asked around and found out how many jobs there are that are not advertised and are kept within the industry. So once I was able to get a good word in for me I got an interview the next day.

  • I can completely relate to this! As a struggling sophmore in college I began job searching in the spring of 2011. I needed a flexible job because I was going to class five days a week. I’d never had any real job experience because in high school I did mostly volunteer work. I applied to over fifty jobs, easily in that single year. I finally got hired at Macy’s in February of 2012. Since then I’ve had two other jobs (as a summer counselor and Subway) and have learned from that tough time. When scheduling for this upcoming fall semester I only scheduled classes two days out of the week.

  • I am still a college student and am having a tough time finding a part-time job, so reading this in a way makes me feel relieved that I’m not the only one who’s struggled with this issue. I am hoping to be able to find a job as soon as I graduate, and reading this article has opened my eyes and knowledge more to help me with the search 🙂 Wish me luck!

  • This article has been one of the most helpful articles I
    have come upon on. I relate extremely well to it because I am currently
    searching for a job. I realized I have done some mistakes as I have been job
    hunting, but thanks to this article I learned what not to do. After a month of
    trying to get hired, I am finally confident that I will take the right steps to
    finally find a job.

    This lesson has not only helped me in my current situation,
    but it has also taught me valuable techniques that I will definitely use in my
    future.

    I appreciate the time Mr. Eric Shannon
    took to write this article, it has certainly made a difference in many people’s
    lives.

  • WOW! I am so glad that I have stumbled upon this wealth of information. I have printed this out and it will truly help me for a lifetime, funny how they try and educate you on everything in college but they don’t include how to find yourself job in the real world. I will reference this for the rest of my life and can only imagine how I would have gone about this process without these helpful tips.

  • My first job experiance when I was 19 I applied to an electronics store and after weeks of not hearing back from them I decided to be proactive and call the hiring manager. I had to call multiple times and even wait for hours on hold. My persistance got me an interview with an impressed manager and I eventually got the job.
    I do have more experiance now and think the great resume and cover letter suggestions can help me stand out in a crowded landscape that is todays hiring pool.

  • This article is very interesting as well as informative. I have recently been applying for research assistant positions, internships, and jobs. I realize that what I am applying for now, compared to what I applied for back in high school, is very different. I realize now that I need cover letters and resumes, which was not a huge part of the jobs that I worked back when I was sixteen, and they have to be up to par. I now realize that there is a slightly different process for the type of jobs/opportunities that you apply for. I know that I will be taking the information that I read from this article and utilizing it in the future; I already bookmarked the page.

  • I can relate to this in a number of ways. Through high school trying to find a job was tough. i went to countless businesses in search for a job. When I didnt get calls back from anywhere, I kept going back and applying to show my dedication to finding a job, and display the kind of loyalty i would have for a company. Finally i received a job offer and have been working there ever since. Whenever I leave for school Im able to come back anytime for work.