Val Baldwin, CPC
Live Your Ultimate Life

by Wendy Enelow, Reprinted from

  1. Know what you want to do and "who" you want to be. You wouldn't believe the number of people who start their job search and begin sending out resumes when they have no idea what they want to do for a living. If you don't know, then how is anyone else to know? You must be clear about your objectives - type of position, type of company, geographic preference - before you ever begin your search. If you're uncertain about your career goals and job objectives, consider taking a few career assessments that will help you identify your top skills, motivators and career preferences.

  2. Write a powerful, accomplishment-oriented resume. No fluff, no grandiose statements, just the facts - written in a hard-hitting presentation that sells your skills, qualifications, contributions and success. If you're ever going to toot your horn own, this is the time! Whether one page or two, it's make no difference as long as your resume is dynamic and focuses on the value you bring to an organization.

  3. Write a general cover letter for each type of position that you are seeking. Then, remember to customize your letter each and every time you use it so that you are responding to the specific needs, qualifications and expectations of each company and/or recruiter you contact. If you use the same cover letter to respond to a sales rep position and a sales management position, then you're not paying attention to each company's needs and not hitting their "hot buttons."

  4. Network, network and then network some more. You've heard it said over and over - there is no better way to find a new position then to contact everyone you know. More than 80% of all positions are filled with networking contacts. Are you working your network to your best advantage? And, are you reciprocating? Remember, networking is a two-way street. You do for them and they'll do for you!

  5. Post your resume on a few Internet resume posting sites. Start with and then work from there, selecting sites that specialize in your industry or profession. DO NOT SPEND HOURS UPON HOURS posting your resume on every site you can find though.

  6. Prepare an email campaign (resume and cover letter) to send to recruiters that specialize in your industry and profession. It is imperative that you select recruiters who work with candidates like yourself. A sales recruiter is probably not going to place a finance professional. Stay in your "community" of recruiters for the best results.

  7. Respond to help-wanted advertisements in newspapers, trade journals and other publications. The whole world of job search is not dependent on the Internet and online job postings. All too often job seekers forget about the "tried-and-true" strategy of help-wanted ads. Don't you forget!

  8. Practice your interviewing skills. Your ability to interview well can "make or break" you in your job search. As such, be sure that you are well practiced, able to answer tough questions, and effective in communicating your skills and accomplishments. No matter how talented you are or how well written your resume, if you don't interview well, you won't get offers. If need be, hire an interview coach to be sure that you can nail each and every interview - phone screening, in-person, panel, group or teleconference.

  9. Know what salary you want. Inevitably, the discussion of your salary requirements will come up during your interviews, hopefully not during your first interview, but closer to when a company is prepared to make you an offer. It is your responsibility to know what salary you can comfortably live with and what salary you will not consider. Of course, there should be some flexibility, but know what you're looking for so that you're not wasting your time or anyone else's.

  10. Build your own job search support network. This may include your family, friends, colleagues, mentors and others. Or, you may consider joining a formal job search group in your local area. Most important, don't go it alone. Job search can often be a frustrating experience. If you can build a strong support network, these people will help keep your spirits lifted during the tough times, help you feel and act more confidently, and help move your entire job search along faster and more successfully.

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