10 Smart Things Job Seekers Do

CareerBuilder recently asked me to participate in an article they wrote to give some tips to people looking for jobs.  As a recruiters in the hospiality industry, we coach candidates daily on the “best practices” of finding a job.  The article below, written by Beth Braccio Hering, gives great advice to which transcends industries.  I was pleased she found my input helpful.

What separates the smart job seeker from others looking for employment? Oftentimes, it is one of these 10 things:

1. They realize a potential job lead could be anywhere.

Smart job seekers aren’t afraid to mention occupational aspirations to their book club, their parents’ friends or their dentist. (One never knows whose golf partner might be the ticket to getting a foot in the door.) Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a partner at SixFigureStart — a career coaching firm in New York City comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters — recommends putting your LinkedIn public profile hyperlink in your automatic e-mail signature. “This is an elegant way to attach your résumé to every correspondence you send. Even friends who think they know you may click through to your profile, learn more about you and perhaps think of you for a job or lead that they might have overlooked.”

2. They surf job boards for more than just open positions.

Ceniza-Levine calls job boards “goldmines” for research. “You might see companies you didn’t know before — add these to your list of targets. You might see the same requirements again and again — this indicates a standard for the job you want, so incorporate these items into your pitch and cover letters.”

3. They put adequate time and effort into their applications.

“Spend time to make your résumé the best possible written advertisement of you,” says Lisa Quast, author of “Your Career, Your Way!” and founder of Career Woman Inc., a Seattle-based career development consulting company. “Analyze the job requirements against your own skills and abilities, and customize your cover letter.”

Obviously, all correspondence should be free of errors and typos. And before sending off the application packet, look at the job posting one last time to ensure all desired material is included.

4. They do their homework.

It seems logical to smart applicants to know something about potential employers. From Googling a company to checking out its financial statements, they learn what they can — and use the info to enhance their correspondence.

5. They know employers do their homework, too.

“According to [a 2010] Coremetrics [study], 75 percent of companies require recruiters to research job applicants online, so you’ll want to be sure you know what they’ll find,” states Sherrie Madia, co-author of “The Online Job Search Survival Guide.” Besides thinking twice about what you choose to post, she suggests doing a Google search on your name. If you find something undesirable, try to have it removed.

6. They make their value known quickly.

“An employer gives each résumé about a three-second window of time before he decides to either ‘delete’ or read further,” says Patrice Rice, author of “How to Interview” and president of the recruiting firm Patrice & Associates in Dunkirk, Md. A smart applicant answers the “What can you do for me?” question right off the bat with a summary of strongest accomplishments at the résumé’s top.

7. They look and act like a professional.

Simple but effective: A smart applicant arrives on time, dresses appropriately, both talks and listens, displays confidence and minds his manners.

8. They show that they want this job.

Smart job seekers are not “tire kickers.” They focus on the needs of the employer and demonstrate how they are perfect for this particular position.

“Show enthusiasm during the job interview,” says Rice. “Always make certain that the company you’re interviewing with feels as if it is your first choice, no matter what other companies are involved in your job search.”

9. They don’t get ahead of themselves.

As much as she may be dying to know about promotions, raises and vacation time, a smart candidate doesn’t jump the gun and tackle these issues during the first interview. She focuses on landing the position, then on whether the package is suitable.

10. They ask for the position, follow up and thank.

“As strange as it sounds, you need to ask for the job,” says Catherine Jewell, author of “New Résumé New Career: Get the Job You Want with the Skills and Experience You Already Have.” “At the end of the interview, sum up your strengths, tell the interviewer that you are excited about the position and say, ‘I would really like to contribute to this company. I am hoping you select me.'”

Then, a smart interviewee keeps his name in the game with a follow-up note reiterating interest and offering thanks — knowing that a great last impression can seal the deal!

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I am very grateful to Michael Bickle

    Michael Bickle, from the start gave me the confidence I needed to make the right choice on the next direction in my career path. Life is already stressful, and adding the challenges in finding a new job can be overwhelming with anxiety. Michael Bickle never pressured me into doing anything I was not certain about. He was with me every step of the way. In doing so, I wasn't left with uncertainty.
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    I am very grateful to Michael Bickle
  • I appreciate the support and genuine care I received from Rae Ann Lopardo

    With so many employment opportunities, searching for a new career is a daunting task. She understands the niche work I do and recognized both the stability and work/life balance that I craved. Rae Ann was instrumental in connecting me with an amazing career opportunity! Also she was wonderful in providing updates throughout the interview process.
    Thanks!
    Becky Diaz
    I appreciate the support and genuine care I received from Rae Ann Lopardo
  • Carol Bullock is a lifesaver!

    She is attentive, positive and thorough.  Without her help and guidance I would not be on the wonderful path I am currently. She helped me find a fantastic opportunity and facilitated every aspect from helping me understand my role and the culture of the company to ensuring that correspondence between myself and the company was seamless. I just wish everyone could be as lucky as I was to experience her guidance, candor and overall caring demeanor.         Thank you Carol! J Blake Carol Bullock is a lifesaver!
  • Liz Costa is the BEST!

    Liz Costa is the most knowledgeable, organized, warm and amazing human I have ever encountered.  She brings you the confidence that you need to feel strong and to feel good about yourself.  She has taught me to look at things in a different light that I would of never thought of doing.  I am very grateful for all of her knowledge and help!               Thank You Liz! Ashley Brewley Liz Costa is the BEST!
  • I am grateful to have met Corina and will surely have a professional working relationship with her for years to come!

    Corina Mack was extremely thorough and quick to respond to all of the needs of myself as well as her business client. Her ability to communicate between the 2 of us made the process so quick. Corina was very knowledgeable about the company she was representing and their current team that was in place. Sometimes companies receive an overwhelming amount of applications for positions and Corina’s ability to pre-screen potential candidates surely expedited this businesses needs to fill their role.           Regards, John R. Guyon III I am grateful to have met Corina Mack and will surely have a professional working relationship with her for years to come!