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Job hunting tips

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This article provides tips for conducting a successful job search.

Network!

Think of the people you know - relatives, friends, professors, classmates, co-workers at summer jobs, and others. Make more of an effort to meet with people, and use these conversations to ask their advice, to make them aware of your job search, to learn more about their jobs or their organizations, and to get the names of others who might be useful in your job search.

Target your résumé

Make sure your résumé is targeted to the employers who receive it. Make sure your résumé is easy to read and the most important details stand out. Make more than one résumé if you are applying to more than one industry.

Be prepared

You should have a copy of your résumé with you at all times. It is also a good idea to have fresh copies of your résumé prepared in case you are called to an interview at the last minute.

Create a contact database

Write down all the employers you contact, the date you sent your résumé, any contact made, people you talk to, and notes about those contacts. Keep a notepad with you at all times - take notes as soon as you hear about an opportunity or when you leave an interview. Get into the habit of updating your database daily.

Make a "to do" list every day

This will help you organize your list of priorities and keep you focused on finding that perfect job.

Try the buddy system

Link up with a friend who is also job hunting. Arrange to speak weekly and report on accomplishments, best practices, and future plans.

Learn how to talk about yourself

Throughout your job search, you will speak with many people at different levels. You must be comfortable having conversations about yourself with other people. Keep in mind that you never know who may end up being useful to your job hunt.

Prepare an elevator speech

You never know who you'll meet in an elevator, in line at the coffee shop, or on the street. Know what your skills are and how to communicate them. You should be able to tell prospective employers and others you meet what you can offer. You should also be able to talk about how your skills relate to the industries that interest you.

Find out all there is about employers in your field

Remain current on any issues or developments in the field, read trade journals or professional publications, and read the newspaper. It is extremely impressive during an interview if you know about the latest merger or coup in the industry.

Practice for each interview

Preparation is key to interviewing well. Friends, relatives, and career services counselors can help you formulate strong answers to questions you might not anticipate. Look at the list of possible questions on the interviewing tutorial ("The Interview") and prepare yourself.

Follow up with leads immediately

If you find out about a position late in the day, call right then. Don't wait until the next day.

Stay confident

Job hunting takes time and energy. Remain confident, but prepare yourself for challenges ahead. Don't get disgruntled if you are still looking for a job and it seems like everyone you know has an offer. Most students find their jobs after graduation, and even experienced job seekers often search for months before finding the right opportunity.

 

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