Monday, February 8, 2010

Job Hunting?

Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
David L. Williamson, CFP®

Recently, a client came to her meeting very discouraged. She may soon lose her job. We encouraged her to begin a job search now - not wait for the ax to fall. Several weeks ago, we interviewed a number of people because of Sarah’s departure. My daughter Leah and her partner, Brenda, arrived in the San Diego area from New York a few months back - eager to find new jobs. (They both did!) So, I have dispensed quite a bit of job-hunting advice of late and stood in judgment as a prospective employer.

If you know someone out there seeking a job, you might pass along these tips:

  1. Operate from a position of strength - it is easier to seek a new position while still employed, rather than waiting to become jobless, and therefore appearing more desperate. (Caveat: all of my current employees are not to follow this advice.)

  2. Browse the bookstores. There are scads of great books addressing all areas of job hunting. Where to look (great internet sites). Resume tips (most resumes are yucky). Interviewing skills (be prepared, already). Guerilla tactics (be cunningly creative).

  3. Resumes: Absolutely proofread the thing. Have a friend proofread. Kill all the errors - spelling, grammar, format, punctuation. I have seen this: "Atension to detail"!! Always provide a cover letter. The three resumes out of twenty that have cover letters attract more attention. The cover letter should make the reader want to meet you. Tailor the letter (and the resume) to each employer. See the internet or a good book to learn the basics of resumes - style, active language, etc. Use an attractive non-white color to stand out, with high quality paper.

  4. Interviews: Be prepared to ask good questions. When the interviewer asks you whether you have any further questions - speak up - impress. If the position sounds good to you, tell them it does, and why. Rarely have I been told by an interviewee that the job sounds good and she would love to have it. Be sure to get the card or cards of the interviewer(s). You must, as soon as you can, write a thank you note (spelling all names correctly!!) and express your interest in the job and what stood out to you during the interview.

  5. Be proactive. Research companies that interest you. They may not advertise any openings. No problem. Approach them. Tell them why you have an interest in their firm. What great skills, savvy, energy you might bring to them. Fire away. No competition!! Again, the books have many angles here.

  6. You got the job!!! For heaven’s sake, don’t rest on your laurels. Do all that you can to deliver the goods. Find ways to solve problems. Question outmoded patterns and processes. Seek ways to support all of those around you, including those that might report to you. Your mission is to grab the opportunity and become an indispensable asset.

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