The Top Seven Things To Do To Get A Job

Helen Coster,

Figure out what you might be doing wrong, and fix it. Here’s how.

If you’ve been out of work for several months and aren’t getting any interviews–or you’re going on interviews but not getting any offers–you should adjust your approach to job-hunting.

First, reevaluate your résumé. Replace hackneyed expressions like “strong team player” and “possess organizational skills” with strong, active verbs that demonstrate results. Whenever possible, use numbers to indicate performance. Instead of saying “Managed a team of three” say “Managed a team of three employees who interacted with clients and had a 100% client retention rate over two years.”

Include keywords related to your skill set and background, since many big companies use computers to screen résumés for phrases like “analyst” or “financial modeling.” Have a friend double-check your résumé for spelling and grammatical errors, and always be honest. “You cannot succeed in this competitive market if your résumé isn’t 100% accurate,” says Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, a career coach and former chief operating officer for Merrill Lynch Campus Recruiting.

Write a one-page cover letter that makes a compelling case for why you should be hired. It shouldn’t be a regurgitation of your résumé. The introductory paragraph should state the position you’re applying for. The middle few paragraphs should highlight the critical three elements of the job description, explaining why you’re a good fit for the job. Use the hirer’s language. If the job ad says the candidate needs 10 years of experience using communication skills, describe how your communication skills brought in new business at a previous job.

Conduct a targeted job search, applying only for positions that you truly want and are truly qualified for. Make a list of the companies where you’d most like to work, and use your personal network and sites like LinkedIn to find connections at each one.

First, make sure that your online reputation is clean. Either set your Facebook settings so prospective employers can’t see your updates and photos, or choose to post information that presents you in a positive, professional light. Post your résumé and a good photo on LinkedIn.

Start a Twitter account that you use professionally, and follow human resources people at companies that interest you. Retweet what they write when it’s good, and comment on any interesting posts. After a few weeks of following them, send them a message directly, saying, “I’d love to talk about your company. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to work, and I’d love to hear about your experience there,” suggests Dan Schawbel, author Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.

Learn as much as you can about the company and the position before you go in for an interview. Always prepare at least three smart questions in advance. In the actual interview, don’t be afraid to look eager. Be enthusiastic, and convince the hiring manager that you truly want the job. Don’t boast, but boldly state your accomplishments, and tell stories that illustrate your best qualities. Never badmouth a former boss, co-worker or company. Try to mirror the interviewer’s tone; if he or she is casual and friendly, try to loosen up.

Page Two and Original Article

Job Search Networking – Two Essentials and Neither is Your Resume

The hidden job market really isn’t all that hidden.
It’s actually right in front of you, and all you need to do is network your way in. You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to assist. You can accelerate getting into the hidden job market when you are prepared for networking.

So if you’re going to a networking meeting-coffee with someone, an association meeting or conference where you will meet people who can hire you, an informational interview phone call-please have these things in place first.

First create your search strategy.
I’m amazed at how many people ask to talk to me about their job search without having defined who they want to meet, companies they would like to work in, etc.

I was talking to one job seeker and told her that I was really unfamiliar with her job function. But I might know people in her target companies so could perhaps help by introducing her. I asked if she had a list of companies where she wanted to work. What was her strategy?

Her response was that she was hoping she could just network and not have to create a strategy. When you have a strategy defined, you know exactly what to ask for. One way to guarantee they won’t be able to help you is to say, “Well if you hear of anything I might be interested in, let me know.”

Creating a strategy takes some time and perhaps some introspection and honesty. It’s time well spent.

The second essential is your career brand.
This is how you become memorable. By having your brand statement, you help people talk about you! You stand out and capture their attention.

Sadly and surprisingly, most job seekers today cannot tell a recruiter, hiring manager or networking connection what is compelling about them-what makes them the candidate to hire. In today’s economic climate, it may feel as though experience and skills are just commodities. What can put you in the lead, make you memorable to your networking contacts and irresistible to the hiring manager is all built around your brand.

With these two essentials in place, you’re ready to make a big impact with your networking. Enjoy!

Admitting to being the original reluctant networker, Katherine Moody would do almost anything, including hiding out in the ladies room, to avoid a networking event. So she interviewed some networking masters to learn their simple and rarely discussed secrets. Then she went on to get her last 4 jobs by networking her way into the hidden job market with those simple secrets. Katherine shares those insider techniques on her job secrets blog. While there, get her free report: How to create a memorable brand for your networking. You’ll love what it does for your networking!

Own Your Brand: Be The CEO Of Your Job Search

As a job seeker, your brand distinguishes you in whatever way you choose. How you cultivate your profile will directly speak to your next employer.

By Kate Madonna Hindes, Star Tribune Sales and Marketing

It’s often said that to be successful in the career world, those who are job searching need to be able to showcase their experience on multiple plains and platforms to capture the attention of those hiring. To de-mystify the process, think of your skills and accomplishments as a product; a valuable service to a company that is looking to solve a problem. Essentially, online profiles on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are a way to personalize your brand and secure your future career. A few rules apply for all:

Your picture speaks volumes. In fact, it probably gives the recruiter or H.R. manager a much deeper glimpse into who you are than one might originally think. Your picture should be professional. If ageism is a concern, consider taking a picture of your networking or business card.

Profanity is out. Remember, you are speaking to your future boss and company. By using cursing, or otherwise questionable phrases, or even linking to questionable pictures or articles, it will make those looking question your integrity.

What happens on social media, stays on social media. There’s one question to ask yourself once your profile is complete: “Are you being authentic?” What you post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter and proclaim on LinkedIn will remain in search engines for months to come. Personal integrity is vital to your brand.

Jason Douglas, online marketing manager for Spyder Trap Online Marketing, has often spoke the phrase, “Be who you are, with a filter.” When questioning what to say and where, consider this easy guide:

LinkedIn is the office: Be professional and courteous in every way, never using slang or adopting lax speech.

Twitter is the water cooler: It’s the perfect place to discuss your next opportunity, last night’s game, challenges and display what you bring to a potential employer.

Facebook is the bar: It’s a much needed rest from the suit and tie, however, profiles should be privatized except for your name and network.

Douglas sums it all up perfectly, “People care about what you achieved, but want to know how you did it. The ability to answer the what, how and why is essential.” With authenticity and the correct marketing, you can shorten the job search period and heighten the passion behind a career transition.

Original Article

5 Ways to Optimize Your Resume For Database Search

1.) The first thing you should not overlook when submitting your resume is to include a keyword summary. This lets you add keywords that may be used by the searcher even if those same words are not found specifically in your resume. Be sure to separate each keyword with a comma.

2.) Just providing a keyword summary is not enough. Having a keyword loaded “Qualification Summary” at the beginning of your resume creates a visually stunning document in addition to making your resume database search friendly.

3.) Use your industry’s most preferable search terms. Get keyword hints from the job itself. You will find that each employer may use certain keywords to explain the position that they are hiring for in the job description. Use those words to your advantage when compiling keywords for your resume.

4.) Fill your resume with top keyword titles. These titles should also expose valuable keywords to search engines.

5.) Lastly, spell out exactly what you are looking for from your future employer. If you plan on working in Colorado, type the entire word: Colorado. Don’t use abbreviations in your resume.

If you aren’t getting a call to interview with a recruiter or hiring manager, use these basic tips to optimize your resume for database searches.

By Cass Fisher. Remember to specifically gear your resume towards the features of your next position. See Unemployment Effect 2010 for more ways to find out what hiring managers are really looking for.

Original Article

Tuning Your Resume to the Right Keywords

At large companies, recruiters rely on a computer program called an applicant tracking system that stores and filters resumes to find the best candidates for a job. To make the match, ATS software relies on keywords – words and phrases that tell the program a candidate is a good match for a specific job description. Just as search engines like Google use keywords to find the right Web pages, ATS software uses keywords to find the right resumes.

How Employers Use Keywords

While they can’t guess the exact keywords recruiters are using, resume writers try to find the likeliest possibilities for your industry and function.

Where do you find the right keywords to include in your resume? Professional resume writers recommend you start with the job posting, which will contain a description of duties and qualifications. The ATS will try to match as many of the words in the job posting to the words on your resume. The more matches, the better the fit and the better the chances you will get an interview.

Repeated words, section headings and specific terms comprise good candidates for keyword selection. Also look at similar job postings as a cross-reference to find the most likely candidates for keywords. Recruiters and headhunters can often guide you. Online and print publications also include guides for keyword research.

Other sources of keyword research:

1. Go to Web sites that represent companies and associations related to the candidate’s target industry in search of other buzzwords.

2. Search LinkedIn profiles of users who have similar jobs to see what keywords they’re using.

3. Go to association Web sites to see what keywords other industry professionals have used.

While you’re researching keywords, keep a master list to make sure the important words are represented in your resume when you apply for specific jobs.

The specific words employers seek relate to the skills and experiences that demonstrate your experience with the skills necessary to do the job. Both hard and soft skills will fall in this category. Industry- and job-specific skills are almost always included in keyword lists. Highly technical fields can also include specific jargon or terms that demonstrate subject expertise. Job titles, certifications, types of degrees, college names and company names also demonstrate an applicant’s qualifications. Awards and professional organizations can also be considered strong keywords.

Ultimately, job hunters should ask themselves, “What keywords would I use if I were writing this job description?”

Matthew Rothenberg is editor-in-chief of, the premier Web site for online job listings for $100K+ jobs, resume writing tips and resume advice.

Getting Your First Teaching Job: The Job Search

So, you’re about to graduate from college. Where do you start looking for a job? Newly-elected MENC Collegiate National Chair-Elect, Diana Hollinger, has some tips for you.

Tips When Job Searching

  • Start early, even before you finish school
  • Observe deadlines
  • Define what you want and what you offer
  • Be flexible, expect a less than perfect job, and set realistic salary expectations
  • Update resume/portfolio, manage your letters of recommendation and contact information, and maintain your files
  • Use letters of inquiry, and follow up on those inquiries
  • Network constantly, create a website, and think outside the box
  • Make a good impression early and with everyone
  • Be willing to take on extra duties
  • Focus your search—create a list of possibilities
  • Target your letter/resume to the job listing
  • Get experience, substitute teach in your desired districts, and look in urban and rural areas where there are shortages

Where to Start


  • College ensemble conductors
  • Music education professors
  • Music store staff
  • Other music teachers, former teachers, master teachers
  • Other students, recent graduates, friends
  • Administrators from student teaching
  • Relatives, friends, and colleagues in other cities
  • Studio teachers
  • Substitute teach
  • Conferences – MENC National and State, local workshops, etc.
  • LinkedIn/Social networks

Out of State Job Considerations

  • Must have state certification
  • Each state has different standards
  • Some states have “reciprocal licensure”
  • You may need to take exams or coursework to be re-certified in a different state

These ideas and tips were used in the “Job Search and Interview Strategies” session given by Diana Hollinger and Jill Sullivan during the 2010 Biennial Music Educators National Conference, March 26, 2010, in Anaheim, CA.

3 Guerrilla Job Search Case Studies

If you’re job hunting in this tough economy, take heart from the following three stories of people who found work in three to four months — about half as long as the average job search, which takes nearly 8 months (31.2 weeks) as of March 2010.

By Kevin Donlin, Star Tribune Sales and Marketing

If you’re job hunting in this tough economy, take heart from the following three stories of people who found work in three to four months — about half as long as the average job search, which takes nearly 8 months (31.2 weeks) as of March 2010.

How did they do it?
By using Guerrilla Resumes (explained below), LinkedIn, and smart networking, among other tactics.
Read on to learn more from the Q&A I did with each of them …
Case Study #1: Brad Viles, from suburban Madison, WI.
Time to hire: about four months (hired on March 8, 2010)
Tactics used: LinkedIn and Guerrilla Resume
Kevin: How did you find the production supervisor job you just accepted?
Brad: I made contact on LinkedIn with an HR person at the company. I used Linkedin to forward my resume to them because three weeks earlier they had advertised the position.
I figured I might as well apply. I really had nothing to lose. And I got a response within about three days. The interview and everything went fine after that.
Kevin: What did employers say about your Guerrilla Resume?
Brad: I can’t begin to tell you how many times they complimented the form and the info on it. The quotes [from past managers] — you’re showing the people comments about what you do and how they relate to you and what you can offer to a company.
Case Study #2: Patty L, from suburban Detroit, MI
Time to hire: about three months (hired on April 5, 2010)
Tactics used: Guerrilla Resume, list of target employers, smart networking, and preparation
Kevin: What was the most-important tactic that helped you find the Director of Customer Service job you just accepted?
Patty: Probably making sure that people in my network — especially those who are at my target companies — had my short, one-page Guerrilla Resume.
Kevin: By targets, this was a list of employers you wanted to work for, regardless of whether or not they were hiring. How many companies did you target during your three-month search?
Patty: Probably six to ten companies.
Kevin: What was the general reaction of employers to your Guerrilla Resume?
Patty: They liked it because it was different from the other 100 resumes they got in the mail.
Kevin: What else helped in your search?
Patty: Preparing. The morning of my phone interview, I stood while speaking and stuck my resume on the wall.
Kevin: Yes. Here’s why that’s important …
Stand and deliver: When you’re on your feet or walking around, your voice has more energy and enthusiasm, which employers can sense over the phone.
And taping your resume on the wall eliminates the sound of paper shuffling, which makes it appear as if you’ve memorized the whole document. You can’t help but sound smarter this way.
Obviously, Patty’s new employer agreed.
Case Study #3: Scott Melrose, from Mokena, IL
Time to hire: about four months (hired on April 2, 2010)
Tactics used: Guerrilla Resume and Linkedin
Kevin: How did you find the Account Executive you just accepted?
Scott: It found me! I got contacted via one of the people who will be my counterpart saying, “Hey, you look like someone we would like to have on our team.”
Kevin: So they found you on LinkedIn?
Scott: Yes. When I started using the Guerilla Resume and building it into my LinkedIn profile, people started finding me. They started coming out of the woodwork. I actually ended up with a position that is a better fit for me than anything I was able to find through research.
Kevin: What was the reaction employers had to your resume?
Scott: It was killer. Everybody that I showed it to was really impressed.
Kevin: Do you think that helped you interview more confidently?
Scott: Absolutely!
The astute reader will note that each of these job seekers used a Guerrilla Resume to find work about 50% faster than the national average of 31.2 weeks.
Google “Guerrilla Resumes” for my past columns on this topic, but for now, know that this resume format has two essential elements:

  1. logos and/or graphics (from past employers, clients or schools) and
  2. quotes (glowing recommendations from past managers or clients).
In addition, these job seekers used “smart” networking and/or Linkedin to connect with the companies that hired them. The common element in both tactics? Meeting people.
Whether you’re networking smartly (by telling people exactly what job you seek and the 10-20 companies you want to work for) or using LinkedIn correctly (by making connections at target employers), it all comes down to meeting more people. That’s the only way to find a job fast — in this economy, or any other.
Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0.” Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit