Monday, August 8, 2011

Job Seekers: Stop Working So Hard!

 Job-hunting is a numbers game.  It takes more that one application to secure an interview.  Whether you choose to work with a recruiter or go the route of scouring the job boards for suitable employment all by yourself, there are some things that you should be doing to remain productive:

·       Read each job description

·       Make an assessment with regard to how your qualifications and skill set meet the requirements outlined in the published job description

·       Follow the instructions listed in the ad - If the receiver of the application wants both the cover letter and résumé embedded in the body of the e-mail, do so.  The rationale for special requests could be related to the company’s Applicant Tracking System [ATS] or simply to assess if the potential employee is capable of following simple directions.

·       Don’t waste your time applying for opportunities when you are not qualified  

·       Take the time to customize both your cover letter and your résumé to the job description

·       Rediscover the telephone - Make a call to the company to find out the name of the person that will be receiving your documents. [My pet peeve: Nix “To Whom it May Concern” and replace it with a name and/or, “Dear Search Committee”.

·       Find and use a résumé application tracking system and take the time to follow-up on the applications you have sent out

·       Check and respond to messages in your e-mail inbox only at specific times of the day

·       Clean out your e-mail inbox at the end of each day

·       Accept and prepare for all interview requests - Hiring manager may not have a position available at the moment, but they may know of upcoming opportunities and projects.  Interviews, regardless of whether you get a job offer or not, it will give you the opportunity to hone your interview skills.

·       Consider taking a position as a volunteer - This action will get you out of the house, give you the opportunity to meet members of your community and help you fill your soul

As a job seeker, you should treat your job search like any other job.  Take breaks at scheduled times and avoid burnout by taking 2 days off [away from your job searching tasks] per week and turn your computer off completely on all statutory holidays.  You will be doing yourself and your new boss great disservice when you start your new job exhausted.

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at