Second in a Series...
OUT OF WORK ???
Job Hunting is simple ... IF you know the "Right Techniques"
So, you've just been downsized, re-engineered, laid off, or terminated, or unhappy and seeking another position. Like anything else, you must prepare for your Job Search. It can be a tedious exercise, but, when accomplished correctly, can not only be interesting, but actually fun. The Preparation
A package of index cards
A ball point pen (not a felt tip)
A set of dividers
An area in your home, where it is quiet, for you to work
A fax machine (ideal)
A Pair of Scissors
Roll of clear Scotch Tape
Pre-packaged "Thank You" notes
Set up your dividers to read:
Resume & Cover Letter mailed (RM)
1st week follow up (1W)
2nd week follow up (2W)
Interview scheduled (IS)
Clothes Preparation (CP)
Thank You note sent (TY)
Follow up call (FUC)
Having the Proper Corporate Wardrobe & Accessories:
Men (in Corporate America): there are ONLYfour (4) suits which are
acceptable -single breasted preferred:
* Navy pinstripe
* Charcoal gray
* Charcoal gray pinstripe
Note: An acceptable casual interview wardrobe, only if a suit is
unavailable: navy sports jacket, white shirt (long sleeves only),
charcoal gray slacks, black shoes only.
Ties - always select the best conservative pattern for your first
Shirts - white (always use as your preference) long sleeves ONLY Socks (hose) - charcoal gray or navy ONLY
Jewelry - watch and one (1) ring are acceptable, don't mix gold and silver
Hair - always well groomed, facial hair should also be groomed or clean-shaven
Women (in Corporate America): suits are always best for the for
(suit means, skirt, blouse, and jacket - skirt and jacket match
preferred, coordinates acceptable)
Hair - professionally coifed and styled
Hosiery - nude, tan or beige pantyhose ONLY - no colors
Shoes - low to mid-heel pumps in coordinating color
Accessories - coordinating scarf
Jewelry - tasteful, not flashy, good costume jewelry acceptable - remember "less is more"
Perfume - "easy does it"
1. Tone it Down (conservative)
2. Eye shadow should be neutral and pale - this is not a social function
3. Eyeliner subtle (brown, black, light or reddish brown color to match your hair & eyebrows. Avoid high-fashion colors.
4. Eyebrow coloring should match your hair color, applied lightly.
5. Blusher used sparingly - no red clown cheeks, please.
6. Lipstick - Select shade best for your skin, not the latest "in" color (always have a mirror with you and re-apply, if required, before you walk in for the Interview.
7. Nails - well manicured, clear polish or subtle tones, not "in" colors.
Note: Make sure your wardrobe is cleaned, pressed, and ready to go.
a. Purchase your local Sunday Newspaper, i.e.: New York Times, etc.
b. On Sunday start with Classified Section under "T" for Travel. Read every advertisement, even if you don't think the specific job is for you, they (the company) may have additional openings within their firm.
c. Circle all ads with ball-point pen (do not use felt tip).
d. Proceed to other Sections, i.e.: A = Airline or Accounting or
Administrative, H = Hotel, S = Sales Opportunities or Secretarial, M = Management & Marketing, etc.
Note: many advertising companies do not necessarily know where to place their ad, that is why you must look in many sections.
e. If you have access to the Internet, search for Job Banks, Newspapers (in state & out of state), Job Opportunity Columns, Career Opportunity Columns.
Answering the Ad
1. If Ad requests you send a Fax, do so
2. If Ad requests you send a Letter, do so.
3. If Ad requests you to call, do so.
4. If Ad requests you do not call, DO NOT CALL
Many mistakes occur when you do not follow the directions of the Advertiser. Just because you may know the company, does not give you the "OK" to call versus answer their request for a fax.
The 4 Main Sources for your Search:
2. Trade Magazines
3. Personnel/Employment Agencies and Executive Search Firms
Before deciding to see every firm available, check them out. This
can be accomplished by checking with your local BBB office. See if
any complaints have been brought against them. Make sure the "agency"
has a "Fee Paid" Policy. This means You pay nothing, all fees are
paid by the company doing the hiring. Ask your friends who they
recommend. Ask industry friends who their company utilizes. Check
References. Be careful, many agencies use ficticious ads to lure
prospective candidates in, only to try to talk them into the jobs
they really have.
Résumé(s) - Last month we provided our series called "Out of Work". It covered the creation of a Résumé. Here are some additional tips.
MYTH: Do not believe the one (1) page résumé is the only acceptable length ... that was the criteria - no longer. If you have a good deal of experience, you cannot be expected to "force" it onto one (1) page.
TYPE SIZE: Résumés should, however, always be created in a simple type face or font, i.e.: helvetica. The fancier you get, the harder it is to read. Size of type preferred 12 Pt., 10 Pt. is also acceptable, Larger than 12 or smaller than 10 is Totally Unacceptable.
PAPER/STOCK: White is best, ivory or creme is acceptable, no other colors will do. In addition, do not use any type of patterned paper. This can be impossible to read especially when faxed.
DIMENSIONS: Always use 8 1/2 x 11, legal size and others are not
Also, forget those fancy jackets, and do not print on both sides of the paper, this is not acceptable.
DATES: Always use Months & Years. If you type on your résumé 1996 - 1997, does this mean 1 year or 2 months? If you worked from November 1996 - January 1997, put it down. If you try the "old faking" routine companies will think you are faking a lot of other things, as well.
REFERENCES: Always have a typed Reference List available. Do not
attach this list to your résumé. The last words on your
resume should be References Upon Request. When they are requested,
you'd better have them available. The ONLY References that anyone
cares about are your former Supervisors, Managers, etc. People YOU
reported to. DO NOT WASTE TIME putting your Congressman, Rabbi,
Priest, or Uncle on your reference list. References should read the
Mr. Joseph Low
XYZ Company, Inc.
or, if Mr. Low is no longer the president of the firm, then the following should appear:
Mr. Joseph Low
(former President XYZ Company, Inc)
currently Executive Vice President
A minimum of three References, but not more than five, should appear. Make sure those phone numbers are correct, not disconnected or changed. If you are providing a Home phone number, you may wish to check with that individual before putting his/her number on your reference sheet. MAILING OR FAXING Résumés
YOU MUST ALWAYS INCLUDE A COVER LETTER
THE COVER LETTER
The Cover Letter serves two purposes:
1. It provides the reader with the opportunity to see that you know how to write a business letter ... that you understand grammar, punctuation, and verbiage.
2. It summarizes why you have sent your Résumé.
NOTE: If an Ad states that you put your salary in the cover, they
are requesting your BASE SALARY ONLY. DO NOT AD your medical benefits
to "pump" up the numbers. This is stupid and can be detrimental should a prospective employer verify your information with your former employer. Needless to say, the salary they quote will be different, and you'll be labeled as lying.
A Cover letter should always have your Name, Address, City, State,
Zip, and Home Phone Number. NEVER PUT YOUR BUSINESS NUMBER on a
See if you like a company calling you at work and leaving a message with a friend of the President, that you should call Mr. Gone, because he is interested in setting up an interview with you. You will be GONE, after that.
Although e-mail has caught on, we suggest that you not put this on your résumé. It is still not considered Professional to do so.
The Cover Letter should address the Advertiser. If no name appears
in the Ad, then Dear Sir or Madam, or To whom it may concern , or
Attention: Human Resources, etc.
ALWAYS have a Subject or "RE", and the Job you are applying for, in BOLD on the Cover Letter. ALWAYS REFLECT THE DATE, and it should be no later
than one (1) day after you viewed their Ad.
State clearly, with the proper business grammar and punctuation,
your "Best Line" or best "Attributes". DO NOT SAY SOMETHING LIKE "I
am a people person" - UGH!!!
Do not create a narrative. Do not use Pronouns. Do not overkill. Thank the reader, let them know a good time to reach you, and how interested you are in the job.
Samples may be supplied in future articles.
The Checklist (for the Interview)
* Wardrobe cleaned and pressed
* Hair properly styled
* Nails manicured
* Shoes shined (we have actually known candidates who lost out on a job oppprtunity because this wasn't done)
* Pens (two minimum) in working order
* 5 Copies of your Résumé
* 5 Copies of your References
* Directions for Interview
* Notes on Company
* Note Book or similar to take notes if applicable (or to make notes after interview)
* Money (for transportation, lunch, etc)
* Look into a mirror before you leave your home.
So, Congratulations - You got an Interview - Now what?
When the company calls and sets up the appointment time, you'd
better leave extra time if commuting is necessary to get there. This
Interviewer will not see an Appointment if they are late. Stubborn?
Not really ... The appointment time reflects many things to the
* Can the candidate follow directions? * Is the candidate a good time scheduler? * Does the Candidate care? * Is the Candidate a responsible individual? and so on...
Always try to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes early. Most companies will have an application form for you to fill out. Make sure in advance.
Okay you walk in, greet the "Greeter", or Receptionist, with a "Good Morning", "Good Afternoon", don't be nervous? Wrong, everybody is nervous. The key is to not look nervous. "I have an appointment with Mr Smith for 2:00 pm".
You are given an application, it asks you silly questions, you have all the information on your résumé. "Why do I have to fill out this stupid thing"... Because the company wants you to do it. NOTE: If you write "See Résumé" on that application, you have lost the job immediately, even before the Interview. You must fill out the entire form and MUST do it right the first time. Make an error? Cross it out, you're dead. Ask for another application, you're dead. Read ahead, prepare yourself, ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS TRUTHFULLY. NOTE: It is a good idea to take your résumé out to ensure the application and your résumé coincide, otherwise you're dead.
Application done. If your appointment is running late, and you've built a nice rapport with the Receptionist, if she isn't busy, you can ask her about the person you are meeting with. This must be done subtly, otherwise she might tell her "boss" what you asked.
Well, now the "moment of truth". You are escorted to the Interviewer, whether he/she is in HR, a principal in the firm, or a manager, extend your hand, shake firmly, but don't make this a contest to see who is stronger (Note: make sure your hand is not sweaty). Sit when Interviewer sits. Body language is very important. Sit comfortably in the chair, but somewhat forward. If you lounge it sends a signal that you are not attentive. DO NOT Lean on desk. DO NOT move his/her items on desk. DO NOT PLAY with items on desk. Listen effectively. Ask questions about the "job desription". NEVER ASK about Vacation or Benefits. You will have plenty of time to do that later, if you get the next appointment. I had someone sit down and tell me what she wanted. It included 4 weeks vacation, extra days off, 401K Plan and a Pension Plan... after she paused, I showed her the door. The Interviewer must feel in "Control" of the interview, otherwise you're dead again. After the interview, thank the Interviewer for his/her time, stand, extend hand for shake, and proceed to leave office. If the same Receptionist is there, thank her/him for their courtesy, and leave the office.
THANK YOU NOTE
Once you are outside the offices, jot down some notes about the Interviewer and what was said. Perhaps some "keywords" which you will need to re-emphasize in your "Thank You" note.
Once home, take your notes, transfer them to the proper index
card, move index card forward, and send a Thank You note. NEVER send
a Thank You on
your current or past company letterhead. This is unprofessional and it gives the impression that you "steal" letterhead.
If you do not hear from the company within one (1) week, move your index card to the "Follow Up" section and make a call to Mr. Smith. If you can't get him on the phone, you may ask for that nice Receptionist, whose name, of course, you took. Remind him/her who you are, when you were there, and ask them for the favor of giving Mr. Smith a message. Reiterate that you are very interested in the position and you would like to know if you are being considered. Leave your phone number and the best time to be reached.
If you haven't heard by the following week, you can try this one
more time - then forget it. Consider this position to be a dead
However, do not throw out the index card with the information. You may need it in the future.
GOOD LUCK in your Search !!!
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