5 Simple Strategies for Career Search Efficiency

You need to think about organizing your career search and defining a strategy that will get you the job you want. Here are some tips you can implement today to manage the time you spend on your job search.

1. Clean your desk.

They say that a cluttered desk is a sign of a creative mind, but it’s also a sign that you’ve gotten off track with your plan. Take 15 minutes every morning to go through an old stack of papers or file bills. Put all those business cards you collected into stack.

Simple strategy for today: Put your business card collection into sandwich baggies. You can label the outside of the bag with industry, company, or other type of contact, and you’ll have the cards stacked neatly at the ready when you need them.

2. Make a list of the contacts you’ve been meaning to call.

Get your networking strategy off the ground by determining whom you need to reach. Networking—online or in real life–is now the number one method of finding a job. For you to use this critical network effectively you’ll need to record whom you have contacted, what they said, and when you plan to reach them again.

Simple strategy for today: Build a networking spreadsheet. Label the columns with name, dates, subject, industry, and anything else you find relevant to your job search. Keep this record of your contacts up to date, and you’ll always have a handy reference to your networking strategy.

3. Answer a LinkedIn question.

Remind your LinkedIn contacts that you’re still in the game and that you truly are an expert in your field. Pick a question or two and deliver great resources. You’ll prove yourself to be an online expert and likely gain some new connections for your network (see #2 above).

Simple strategy for today: It takes a lot of effort to use online resources effectively without getting distracted by all of the possibilities the web has to offer. Commit to answering one or two questions, then walk away from your computer. Don’t spin your wheels trying to find a job online when you could be calling a contact or going to a networking group in real time or face to face.

4. Read a book on career search strategy.

My weekly trips to the bookstore reveal that there are simply dozens of career strategy books. Clear your mind and get some good information at the same time (not to mention a great cup of coffee). Sit down with yourself for an hour and learn something new.

Simple strategy for today: The next time you’re completing #3 above, ASK this question of your LinkedIn network: What is the best book you’ve read on improving your career search strategy. You’ll get some amazing advice, and, again, effortlessly build your connection base.

5. Do whatever it was that you were planning to do for your career search but got sidetracked.

We all get sidetracked. It’s human nature to be attracted to the next best thing. I know that you’ve had something in your head that you have been meaning to do that you simply keep forgetting to do. Set a time and a date to do this one thing, and commit to getting it done.

Simple strategy for today: Write down this one thing you have been meaning to do. Someone once said that a goal is only a wish until you write it down—make this one thing an actual task with deadlines and boundaries. Put this goal on an index card and tape it above your desk. When you finish, hang up another index card with another goal. You’ll be amazed at how much you can complete and how far your own personal career search strategy will take you.

 

Your Online Strategy to Finding a Job–No Matter What the Economy

Today’s Yahoo! Homepage highlighted an article entitled “Disappearing Jobs: High-Paying Careers With No Future.” I read this article with interest, as I’m always working to get my clients into positions that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to achieve. A variety of sources suggest that as many as 80% of jobs are found through networking—you’ll be the wise and strategic job candidate if you take advantage of online networking resources to improve your professional presence.

Professional Sectors on the Outs as the Economy Shrinks

This article pointed out that so many positions are disappearing due to specific factors, namely offshoring of positions, budget cuts, and the distributed approach to work.

Of note:

  • Domestic production facilities are losing market presence, so much of our factory work is going to cheaper international sites.
  • The value of true journalism (and writing in general) is slowly waning due to the instantaneous availability of online news and blogs.
  • Travel agencies are disappearing, as online sources enable individuals to plan their own travels and trips easily and cheaply—without the middle man.

Narrow the Distance Between You and Job Search Success—No Matter What the Economy

The question that remains, then, is this: What if you happen to be a travel agent, or a production manager, or (gasp!) a writer? What can you do if you need to get a new job in this failing economy in sectors that are slowly drying up?

The answer is this: Be the best you can be at what you do. The likelihood that every position in these and other industries is going to disappear is slender. But that means that in your job search, you have to be tactical and strategic in your job search technique.

You can up your ante in the job search process by engaging in several steps that will put you head and shoulders above the other candidates who are also seeking choice jobs.

Your Online Strategy to Improving Your Access to Choice Positions

  1. Network, network, network—the In-Person Strategy. Yes, we’re talking about online strategy. But all good networking starts with in-person contacts. This means putting yourself out there, even if you’re an introvert. Go to industry-related events, and bring your business cards. Ask your friends if they know someone at your targeted company. If you’re a recent graduate or new to the job market, enlist the help of your professors. And then ask those you’ve networked with for recommendations on additional contacts you should be making. And make them.
  2. Network, network, network—the Online Strategy. Build out your online profile, particularly with LinkedIn. If you’re not findable, you’re invisible, so make sure that your profile addresses the type of professional you are in the industry in which you want to work.
  3. Online Profile Development. Infuse your online presence not only with your expertise but with your personality. Additionally, take advantage of all the great options that LinkedIn has to offer. Use their apps. Move bits of your profile around. And absolutely create a vanity URL—it’s an option in your profile settings. By doing so, your profile will be associated with your name (mine’s amyladler), not a meaningless series of letters and numbers.
  4. Other Online Venues: Facebook and Twitter. Use them to your advantage. A jobseeker can post what he needs, what he’s doing, and with whom he wants to network. I’m always amazed by the great responses I get to my Twitter posts—all at 140 characters per microblog.
  5. MySpace. For kids. Not worth your time and effort relative to your job search.
  6. Google yourself. You’d be wise to Google yourself to see what turns up. If by some chance you’ve got the same name as a convicted felon (I’ve heard of this happening), you’re not going to get the offer, no matter how good your experience is or how well your interview went. Circumvent any trouble by ensuring that your online name is unique. For example, if your name happens to be John E. Smith, you might want to clarify your online presence with a new moniker: J. Ezra Smith, perhaps. Use this name online, on your resume, and in uploaded job applications, so you won’t be confused with others.
  7. Google others. You can be sure your prospective hiring manager is looking for you. When you have the name of the person with whom you’ll be interviewing, you’d be wise to research that person as well.

True, these strategies will work for you no matter what your industry. But if you’re trying to find a job in a flagging industry, you will be wise to work the online system in a stringent, strategic manner to ensure that you are beating out the hundreds of other candidates competing for the same jobs. But, if the Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by the Yahoo! article rings true, even though the numbers of positions available in these industries might be shrinking, their salaries are still high. Be wise, and prepare now for ever-increasing competition with a clearly defined online job search strategy.

Amy L. Adler, Career Search Strategist, is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a career search strategy and resume writing company. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents that get interviews for savvy job seekers. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS.

You Only Need 1 Job

I’m proud to introduce to my readers a wonderful writer and career strategist, Karen Adamedes. She has graciously agreed to share some of her expertise with my job seeking readers.

You Only Need 1 Job

The process of looking for a new job is time-consuming, at times disheartening and always needing you to be at the top of your game so that you can present the very best you.

With high unemployment rates and plenty of competition on the job market this can be tough going when you need a job for practical reasons (like eating and paying the rent) or even if you are stuck in a job you don’t like and really need to move on.

But on the flip side when you review your own accomplishments the process can also be a reaffirmation of how much you have achieved. It’s also the opportunity for you to determine the direction of your career (and possibly life!) and to make choices that are good for you. You are the person who is making the decision about which jobs to apply for, where you want to be located, which companies you will work for and once you get to an interview – decide if the culture and manager are right for you.

Regardless of how hard it may feel it is to get a job you do get to make all of those decisions. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the power of choice is yours.

I have a friend, let’s call her Sandra, who was recently looking for work. She really needed to get a job before Christmas so she tackled the task like a military operation. There were emails, spreadsheets and full-time application to the task. The eventual result was three offers came in the one week. All of a sudden Sandra was juggling all of the information she had collected to make a decision about which job was the best suited to her, her skills, her future aspirations and to family considerations. She was only looking for one job but her approach and processes and the choices she made gave her lots of options.

Sandra’s eventual decision was governed by three factors, the job in the industry that would set her up for future roles, a manager who she respected and the flexibility to be able to pick up her children at a reasonable hour of the day.

The choices that you make are governed by your approach, optimism and the clarity of understanding what type of job you are looking for and why.

Here are 3 of my hot tips for getting the job you want in a difficult economy:

1. Focus on the fact that you only need 1 job.

Don’t be distracted by the size of the unemployment statistic or the number of people who you know who are also looking for work. You need to be focussed on finding only 1 job. Your next job.

2. Apply for every job as if it’s the only job you are applying for.

Potential employers don’t know (or want to know) how many jobs you have applied for or how weary you are of the process. They want to be convinced that you are the best candidate for the job with the most chance of being successful in the role (and the least risk to them that you’ll succeed!)

To do this you need to approach each job application as if it is the only and most important role you are applying for. Each cover letter and your resume should be adapted for each and every job.

3. If the job suits you – take it – even if it is not at the level you were working at previously.

If a role is suited to you because it gives you a regular pay-check, is in your area of expertise and is with a company you are happy to work for – apply for it and if you are successful – take it. Don’t not apply or take a job because it is ‘below’ your capability. Don’t rule a job out just because it isn’t at the same level that you have worked at previously. It can be a job that sets you up for the future.

Cream, they say, rises to the top, and once you have your foot in the door with a new employer you will be able to demonstrate your skills and new opportunities will emerge. And even if you are from the school of worst-case scenario thinking – at least it will provide you with some income whilst you search for another opportunity. In tough economic times employers understand that you need to be practical and work and ‘taking a step back’ for a while will not negate your previous career advancements.

To all who are looking for work, it can be hard and there’s no disguising that it’s often not fun. Treat looking for a job as a job and do it as well as you would a job.

Remember you only need 1!

Karen

PS There are more tips on how to ‘get the job you want’ in my book “Hot Tips for Career Chicks” available on Amazon!! 🙂

Karen Adamedes

Karen is an experienced business executive, leader, speaker and author of “Hot Tips for Career Chicks.

She began her career in the back-office of a bank, earned her degree as a part-time student and moved into a sales career.

Karen has worked for market-leaders in Australia and has pursued a successful career in sales , marketing, operations and management. She has managed national teams and multi-million dollar budgets. Karen is an accomplished senior executive with a proven track record of success in driving the delivery of business results and the development of high performance teams.

Her experience has provided her with insights into what works and why for women in the development and management of their careers.

In Australia Karen has appeared in Notebook, Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Madison magazines, and had a national TV appearance.

In fact “Hot Tips For Career Chicks” has been featured in the Australian November edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the recommended “7 books to get you through’.

Karen is a writer, speaker, commentator and blogger at careerchicks.blogspot.com. You can also follow Karen on twitter @karenadamedes and on face book. Her book has just been released in the U.S. on Amazon.

Personal Branding Countdown: 5 Steps to Success

Have you looked at your personal brand recently? Here is a simple system you can use to make sure that your branding is hit-the-ground-running ready for your job search.

Grab your paper and pencil, and make these lists:

Five contacts

with whom you’d like to renew your network.

Jobseekers’ networks are their #1 source for referrals, notices of prime job openings, and internal recommendations. Don’t lose the opportunity to increase your sphere of influence by losing touch with important contacts you’ve not connected with in a while.

Four projects

you’ve worked on in the last two years that showcase your expertise and winning contributions to your company.

Your next hiring manager is going to want to know how you can solve his or her pain starting… now. By having a clear understanding of the contributions you have made, and thus the contributions you can make immediately, will help you organize your thoughts for your resume and your interview.

Three reasons

your skills have changed or grown in your current position that support a promotion.

If you can’t identify in thirty seconds or less how your skill set has improved since you started your current role, you need to do some serious thinking. These are exactly the types of skills that you will showcase on your resume and, ultimately, in your interview. Think of them as pre-on-the-job training, which now your future employer won’t have to ensure that you get, as you’re already there!

Two challenges

you’ve recently discovered about your work.

You’ve changed and upgraded your skill set in response to . . . something. Identify which projects impelled you to work harder, smarter, better, or with different resources. Take the time to identify not only what you did but how you did it. Demonstrate how you have already taken steps to tackle the types of situations your new hiring manager is expecting you to manage in the future. In addition, utilize these job upgrades to show why you’re the only one for the job you’re seeking (and why you merit a significant pay increase, too!).

One skill set or new challenge

that you have yet to incorporate into your professional toolbox.

Want to know why they need a specific line item broken out in Accounting? Ask the manager. Is that program manager handling a project with new technology? Go ask her about it. Heard about a great webinar that will add something new and different to your already diverse skill set? Sign on, and improve your marketing pitch to include your new abilities.

Now take a step back and read what you have written. All of these together contribute to the branding and image that you want to project to your future manager. Your next challenge is to distill all of what makes you great, hirable, and worthy of a fabulous salary. Put these features of your professional self into your elevator pitch, your resume, your cover letter, and your interview. You’ve got the goods, now go get the job!

Related Links

Market Your Professional Branding Message

Indispensability + Findability = Employability

 

Market Your Professional Branding Message

Your personal branding is a statement of the why and how you are an expert in whatever it is that you do. Just like McDonald’s is known for burgers and fries, people should remember you for one or two areas of expertise. If you think you’re an expert in 5 or 10 things, you’re probably not sure what direction your career should take, and you’re certainly not ready to start applying for positions.

These one or two skill sets or areas of proficiency should pervade three components of your career documentation. With a unified, clear marketing message, you will make the connections you need with your next hiring manager. Market your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile with your unique selling proposition, and you’ll present yourself as clear, focused, and ready to solve a hiring manager’s pain, starting on Monday.

Target your personal brand

Focus your personal brandYour value makes you special.

Your resume

Say who you are and what you do in your headline. Rather than title your resume with Resume or Summary of Qualifications, use strong, interesting language that will pique the interest of a hiring manager as well as provide excellent fodder for a digital applicant tracking system. For example, if you’re a project manager who only manages construction of airport parking garages, say so. As a selling strategy, it sure beats Objective.

Once you have distilled this headline, elaborate on this headline in your professional profile. This paragraph, rather than being a literal summary of your experience, should demonstrate the benefits of hiring you. Think of it as an expanded headline.

Your cover letter

If your hiring manager is not a fan of cover letters, convince her otherwise with a killer cover letter that conveys something really special about the value you deliver—your unique skill set and expertise. Rather than rehash your resume, explain how when the doors open on Monday morning, you’ll have a list of implementable solutions founded on significant expertise.

In summary, no matter who you are, no matter what industry or what level of expertise, you have something special to offer your next hiring manager. When you have refined what makes you great, make sure that your message flows through every marketing document you send.

Your LinkedIn profile

Poorly engaged LinkedIn profiles look like copied-and-pasted resumes. Instead, capture your audience’s attention with a well-written headline (different from, less formal than the one on your resume; see above). Infuse it with your personality. Make it clever. Invite people to read more. For example, a resume’s “Project manager for Airport Parking Construction” becomes LinkedIn’s “Project Manager Overseeing Parking Lot Construction: I built it, they came, and they flew away.”

Related Links

Indispensability + Findability = Employability

What Is in a Name, or Why You Need a Great Resume Headline

What Do You Need in a Job Search Emergency?

Amy L. Adler is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or .

Indispensability + Findability = Employability: Three Steps to Proving You’re the Best Hire

The keys to solving the perpetual riddle of staying employed, staying challenged, and growing in your current position so you can get your next fabulous role are in this formula:

Indispensability + Findability = Employability

First, you need to demonstrate your indispensability to the hiring manager who is looking for her next best placement. You do this in several ways. You prove in your LinkedIn profile and your other social media presences that you’re the only one who can solve that hiring manager’s pain—and you can do it starting Monday. Once you’ve hooked your savvy online recruiter or hiring manager with your amazing online presence, be sure to carry that indispensability factor into your resume.

Your indispensability strategy for today:

Describe your challenges, the actions you took to resolve them, and the results for you, your company, or your customers.

Second, prove your findablity. You might be the best person for the role, but if the recruiter or hiring manager can’t find you via your LinkedIn profile or your online presence, you might as well not be looking for work. You simply won’t ever get onto the radar of the recruiters and hiring managers you’re trying to attract.

Your findability strategy for today:

Look at job postings for positions you are interested in. Find the keywords that best depict your skills and experience. Use these in your headline and throughout the body of your online profile (and your resume, too).

Third, be employable. Prove to your current manager every day, in every way, that you are the right person for the job you already have. Don’t give in to disillusionment and add yourself to the 10% of the workforce that is currently unemployed by losing hope and not giving 100% of your skills and expertise.

Your employability strategy for today:

Continue to build your skill set. Say “yes” to a challenging project. Agree to manage a difficult client. Attend a continuing education course. The skills you build today will serve your current resume and your future hiring manager.

Related Articles:

What Do You Need in a Job Search Emergency?

7 Words You Can’t Say in a Resume

How to Effectively Use Recruiters in Your Job Search

Amy L. Adler is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or .

What Do You Need in a Job Search Emergency? How Not to Be a Discouraged Worker

I recently wrote a blog post about the the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s (BLS) reporting on discouraged workers. This article received a fair amount of traffic—I learned from my search statistics that jobseekers are feeling pretty discouraged. Read on: Don’t become just another “discouraged worker” statistic. Instead, start preparing today to searching actively for your next great position.

What Does This Stat Mean to the Job Seeker?

Data on displaced workers are collected from a special supplementary survey conducted every 2 years. Displaced workers are defined as persons 20 years of age and older who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports of a variety of unemployment data, the number of discouraged workers has risen dramatically over the last 15 years, as the following chart represents (in thousands):

Discouraged Worker Statistics 1994-2009

Discouraged Worker Statistics 1994-2009

This year’s dramatic rise in average number of discouraged workers to about 600,000 greater than its next greatest value is a testament to exactly one thing, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being displaced. It means that you need to get your job search emergency equipment in gear, so that you can feel confident that you are ready, at a moment’s notice, to get your search started if or when your company lays you off.

Why Does This Stat Matter?

For you and me, that means that if you or I lose or left our jobs because of the downsizing that is a manifestation of our economic slowdown, we’re “discouraged workers.” If you’ve already been crushed in the economic avalanche, you are probably already feeling mighty discouraged. And whether you’re digging yourself out or watching the crumbling rocks bearing down on you, you need to have an emergency job search toolkit to minimize your lost work hours and lost salary.

Your job search toolkit should include:

  • Updated resume—with lots of references to your accomplishments.
  • Cover letter—and not the “Please accept this letter in application for” subtype.
  • LinkedIn profiled—up to 80% of hiring managers say they use social media.
  • Post-interview thank you letter—see my blog post on why you can’t forget the post-interview thank you letter.

Need some help assembling your jobsearch toolkit? Don’t get discouraged—just call me. I can help you get the materials you need, so you’re ready to start your job search.

Amy L. Adler is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or .

The “Discouraged Worker”—July 2, 2010 Unemployment Data

Like most in my trade—and most of you out there looking for work—I keep my eyes and ears open to the new monthly data on unemployment. I have heard all sorts of spins on the data most recently available from the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics (BLS). In fact, you could hear the glee in reporters’ scribbling as they happily reported the declining unemployment rate, currently at 9.5%, down from 9.7%.

I wanted to delve a bit deeper into the unemployment statistics. The report used a term we’re probably not too familiar with as a statistic, but we all know the punch-in-the-gut feeling it represents: “Discouraged workers.”

According to the BLS, discouraged workers are those who have ceased to search for work because they believe that there are no jobs out there that are suitable for them. The BLS statement reports that the number of discouraged workers has increased an incredible 289% to 1.2 million over the last 12 months.

To translate, that means that the number of people who have simply given up for lack of finding a job has almost tripled in the last year. This statistic differs from the number of unemployed, as “unemployed” assumes that those counted are actively seeking work. The discouraged worker surrendered to the poor economy.

Are You Discouraged?
If you are reading this blog post, you’re probably one of two things: You’re interested in the job market and actively seeking as well as shocked by the idea that things could get so bad you, too, might give up. Or you are, truly, a discouraged worker, and you’ve decided to give it one more shot.

Don’t Give Up! Get Connected to Career Resources
Regardless of how you see yourself at this very moment, don’t give up. My advice is the same. There are resources that can help you. If you need a resume, let us know. If you need career advice, we can help you with that, too. If you want to scrap your current career path and start over, let us find you a professional who can deconstruct where you’ve been and help you figure out where you want to go. If you already know all of that, and you simply need a recruiter who knows your specific industry, send us a note, and we’ll connect you with someone we know personally.

If you have a great resource, let us know why it’s incredible (it might even be you!), and we’ll add it (or you) to  my favorite career resources page .

Amy L. Adler, MBA, MA, CARW, is president and founder of Inscribe / Express and your partner in your job search. She writes exceptional resumes and cover letters that get interviews for savvy job seekers. Inscribe / Express is a full-service career documentation company and provides a 3-day turnaround time for resumes and cover letters. Contact us at 801-810-JOBS to speak one-on-one with a professional resume writer.

How to Effectively Use Recruiters in Your Job Search

So you’ve decided to jump into the job search along with the thousands of others out there. The job market is clearly flooded with job seekers, and your best bet to stay afloat might be to use a recruiter. After all, they’re the ones who have solid relationships with the hiring managers and can provide you with the personal connection you need. But how can you establish yourself as an outstanding person in a sea of both qualified and unqualified candidates?

Don’t worry! There are a few ways you can stand out from the pack so that you can build a great relationship with the recruiter who can help you on your way to a new career. Pay close attention, so that you don’t find yourself lost in an ocean of candidates.

#1 Know what you’re looking for and be prepared!

To get the most out of your initial talks with your recruiter, do some research. Make sure you clearly define what you’re looking for in your next opportunity. In your preparation consider culture, location, career path, technologies, benefits, compensation and any other key factors in your new role. Try to be realistic without being too picky, and be clear with your recruiter about these preferences. This is the sure fire way to get exactly what you want out of your next career step, without wasting your valuable time.

#2 First impressions are everything!

The first impression you give your recruiter will be the same impression they pass onto their client when presenting you. That being said, the best way to ensure an interview with a recruiter’s client is to act as if you were talking to the hiring manager from the very beginning. Paint a picture in the recruiter’s head of how successfully you can handle an interview. Wow the recruiter with not only your technical skills, but also your character, to show that you will be a great personality fit with the client. Treat the recruiter as if they were the hiring manager, and chances are, your next step will be with the hiring managers themselves. Be prepared, professional, and enthusiastic!

#3 Be honest!

You may be tempted to list every technology you’ve ever worked with to show your breadth of knowledge and to bulk up your resume. However, if the hiring manager or recruiter doesn’t realize that your experience with some technologies is fairly old, you risk getting yourself into interviews where you feel uncomfortable or even embarrassed because your current expertise is in something completely different.

Your best bet is to be entirely honest about your skills and experience, and really focus on making your personality stand out from the flock. There will always be a position for your level of expertise, especially when you’re honest about your qualifications.

#4 Utilize their knowledge!

How do you make sure you’re working with the best recruiter? They should strive to provide you with all their knowledge about the company you’re interviewing with. If they’re not asking the right questions, listening to your questions, or preparing you well for the interview, get a new recruiter!

The more you know about the company, people, and position, the better your interview will go. Your recruiter should have a wealth of knowledge from the source, including knowledge of the challenges the hiring manager is facing. Ask them particulars. If they don’t know, they may be able to find out prior to that face-to-face interview. In addition, they will know about the culture, personalities, career path, hot buttons to touch on and what other candidates may have been lacking.

Recruiters interview professionals on a daily basis. They are experts on what to say and, more importantly, what NOT to say. Ask your recruiter to role-play with you on questions that may have stumped you in the past. There is something to be said for saying it out loud with someone who has this experience. Ask them questions on what the best response could be to some of the tricky questions. They will respect you and remember you for it.

#5 Stay in touch!

Even when you make a great connection with a great recruiter, realize that they’re still working with a handful of great candidates, including yourself, at any given time. Stay in touch!

If you see an opportunity you’re interested in, let your recruiter know before you apply on your own. Chances are, your recruiter already has a contact at the company and can have a direct conversation about you with the hiring manager rather than simply sending out your resume.

If you have applied, or are applying, to places on your own at the same time as working with a recruiter, let them know what these places are. This lowers the risk of duplication, which is great because duplication often implies desperation and means an automatic pass from the hiring manager.

#6 End the anxiety!

Recruiters work their magic behind the scenes on a daily basis. So even if you don’t see everything that’s going on, don’t get anxious! Your recruiter is working to find the perfect match for you, and perfection can take time, so be patient! If you’ve done your part by staying in touch and being clear in your preferences, your recruiter will be sure to contact YOU when opportunity knocks.

Jennifer Schmidt – IT Search Executive at Ashley Ellis

Ashley Ellis is an Information Technology Recruiting/Staffing firm, focused on staying ahead of the industry through our excellent customer service and constant drive toward improvement.

Networking Over a Hot Stove

I was cooking dinner for the kids tonight while trying to reach a new contact on the phone. I didn’t reach her, but I had a brainstorm at that moment: Networking can be done anywhere, even over a frying pan full of breaded chicken.

Jobseekers, you can do the same. Make sure you have a voice—and more importantly an ear—on the following:

  • Facebook: Mostly for friends, but make sure your online presence is clean.
  • Twitter: See who you can help; don’t always make it about you.
  • LinkedIn: Build your profile, but also answer questions and join groups.
  • Feel free to check out Digg, StumbleUpon, and other social bookmarking sites.
  • Amazon: Create a book list to recommend to others in your field—you’re an expert!
  • Blog: Tell the world what you know and how you came to know it.
  • Pick up the phone: That’s not an online phenomenon, but you’d be surprised how much people like to talk about themselves, and they just might help you out. Be respectful of their time and set an appointment—I spoke with an amazing coach today for an hour because I set up an appointment last week.

Because I reached out, I have met some amazing people. Not all of these will drive my business into double-digit returns, but the goodwill these folks have shown me is invaluable. If anyone out there needs a sounding board, you can find me these ways: @InscribeExpress (Twitter), Amy L. Adler (LinkedIn), http://www.inscribeexpress.com, , and most importantly, by phone.

Contact Inscribe / Express for a no-obligation resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn assessment, or visit http://www.inscribeexpress.com for more information.