During the 1990’s I worked as a personnel manager for a ten-store retail chain in San Diego. I interviewed hundreds of potential employees for current locations and new stores that opened during my time with them. I discovered several things about potential employees. The most important being that most job applicants are totally unprepared for the interview process. In this post I want to give you some tips about how to find that perfect job.

Your Personal Assessment

The first step in successful job hunting happens before pulling out the want ads and circling what you think is a good fit for you. You need to honestly define who you are. We all have worth. We all have knowledge and skills that are valuable to someone else. Your first job is to identify those skills.

I’m not just talking about the fact that you know how to weld. In addition to your welding, will you bring a positive influence to that company? Think how your skills combined with your confidence, work ethic, and pride in what you do will be sellable to your new employer.

Your Resume

I’ve looked at thousands of résumés. Most are just a shopping list of things the applicant has done in the past. You need to show more than just education and work history. I look for a history of accomplishment.

For example: “Supervisor at XYZ for 10 years” is not as compelling as, “While a supervisor at XYZ the division grew over 5% for ten straight years.” The latter tells me you are a go-getter and probably a person who can motivate others. I would explore you more based on that single entry.

Know Something Before Going In

Before wasting time submitting your resume all over town do some research on companies you might want to apply to. Look them up on the Internet. Find out what they do. Read their press releases. Can you show how hiring you can make an immediate and positive impact on that company?

It’s Not What You Know; It’s Who You Know

Whenever I had a job opening I would go to my best current employees and ask if they had any close friends that would be a good fit for us. Winners do not hang out with losers. I will admit that putting friends together did not always have the best outcomes but with ten locations this seldom happened.

The above practice is how most jobs are found. A current employee recommending you puts you at the top of the list in the interview process. Let everyone you know well that you are looking, not for a job, but for an opportunity.

Some Final Thoughts

Social Media is a great resource for job hunting. Almost 90% of upper level recruiters use LinkedIn to find new employees. They don’t always look for people who are unemployed. They are looking for good, experienced, employees they can steal from someone else. Another reason recruiters like LinkedIn is that people who know the applicant can see their work history. This makes fudging your skills dangerous because those who know you might call you out. Most LinkedIn successes will be true.

Go into the job interview with the idea that you are interviewing the company rather than the other way around. Are they good enough for you? If not, walk away. You have value and you are worth a fair wage for that value. All employment has to be a win-win for both parties or it can’t work for long. We make our own successes. Go make yours.

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