by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Here are the keys to successful job-hunting. Job-seekers who follow these rules and guidelines — the do’s and don’ts of job-hunting — should have much more success in the job-search.
- Do use all avenues/methods of job-hunting available. And do have a job-hunting strategy.
- Do take advantage of all Web-based job-hunting methods, including general job-hunting sites, industry-specific job sites, geo-graphic-specific job sites, company (employer) sites, and networking sites.
- Do know the Job-Search Domino Effect.
- Don’t rely on any one method of job-hunting, especially job-hunting on the Internet (which should be at most 25 percent of your efforts), but do consider using our Quintessential Careers Job Board as one of your options.
- Do have a professional looking resume and cover letter. And do use action verbs in your cover letters and resume. And for help analyzing your work experience, do complete a job-seeker accomplishments worksheet.
- Do focus on identifying your key accomplishments. Also, do use transferable skills to better explain your work experience — especially for recent college grads and career changers.
- Do consider developing a job skills portfolio, which showcases everything you have to offer a prospective employer.
- Do develop multiple versions of your resume.
- Don’t expect to get a new job overnight; job-hunting takes time and patience. But do take some time to reflect on your strategies if you have been job-hunting for several months and have not had any success.
- Do consider developing your personal brand. Self (career) branding is essential to the career advancement of job-seekers because branding helps define you and your value to current and prospective employers. Use these free personal branding and career self-marketing tools to help develop and strengthen your brand.
- Do have at least one version of a compelling elevator speech for job-hunting, job fairs, and networking situations.
- Don’t quit your current job until you have a new job. And do give proper notice when you quit your current job. And when resigning your job, do so with class.
- Do know the current dress for success rules for job-hunting.
- Do take advantage of your friends, family, and colleagues to network, network, network. And don’t simply rely on passive job-hunting methods.
- Don’t get discouraged if you’ve been fired or downsized.
- Do follow-up all job leads. And do be persistent; there is truth to the “squeaky wheel” cliche.
- Do make sure a potential employer can reach you. Provide your home phone, cell phone, and email. And do make sure that your voicemail (or user name for e-mail) is professional.
- Do prepare and practice for your job interviews. And do be sure and ask questions at the interview.
- Do conduct research on all companies that interest you.
- Do send thank you letters to all people who interview you.
- Do make sure you use these other free job-hunting do’s and don’ts on all the major aspects of career development and job-hunting: Job-Hunting Do’s and Don’ts Articles.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Read all our job-hunting do’s and don’ts articles for job-seekers.
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