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

  • Dear seekers, I would like to tell you about the amazing experience I had working with Scott Jacobson of Patrice and Associates.  In my twenty plus years working as an executive chef I have worked with many career advancement and placement specialists, but none who took the time and directed care that Scott provided me.  His primary goal was to understand exactly what I was looking for and to tirelessly work towards that end.   He focused on my objectives and opened many doors for me.  He gave me invaluable insights into the positions I was considering and guided me as a friend and confidant would.  He understood my strengths and presented me in my most favorable light.  Through his research and diligence he assembled the most pertinent references for me, highlighted my experiences and career achievements.   He found me the exact job that I was looking for.  He was instrumental in negotiating my contract and made sure I was satisfied with every aspect of that contract.  His work did not end there.  Scott has contacted me at various stages of my employment just to check in, and most importantly, to see how I was doing.   Thank you kindly Scott for going above and beyond your duties.  It was a pleasure getting to know you.  Any of you fortunate enough to work with Scott will quickly find all of this to be evident. Sincerely, Chef Jonathan Pflueger  Scott found me the exact job that I was looking for.
  • Just wanted to express my appreciation for FaLisa and your company for helping me find a great opportunity with Panera Bread. FaLisa was great with making sure we found the perfect fit and not just the perfect salary ! Keep up the great work FaLisa, thanks a lot to you and Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruiting - you make a difference!   Thanks, Brian Salliey Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruiting - you make a difference!
  • I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career.

    Sherri Balzer is an excellent job recruiter. I had been working with her for more than 3 months where I had multiple job interviews with different companies. She is always very detailed, caring, patient, and most of all very professional. I turned down multiple job offers because they were not a good fit for me and Sherri understood my reasons. Instead of losing hope in me she kept working hard looking for other companies that suited my skill set and knowledge. We found the perfect company and I got the best job offer available. I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career. Respectfully,

    Andrew Figueroa

    I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career.
  • I referred a friend to Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment

    Kim Marzett has been great! Alongside her professional demeanor, she answered all of my questions freely. She has a very welcoming personality, and helps you every step of the way! I referred a friend to her. I was impressed and appreciative! I referred a friend to Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment
  • Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency.

    I just wanted to say thank you to Corina for setting me up with Redstone American Grill. I appreciate all the time and research you and your team have done to make sure that I was prepared for my interviews. Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency I’ve worked with in my 25+ years of experience. I’ll be your client for as long as I’m in this field. Alexandre Vincent Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency