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Coffee Talk


Do you have an embarrassing interview moment? A success story? Tips for fellow job seekers?  Expert advice?  Tell us about it.  We will give you a free job hunting report of your choice just for sharing.

 

EXPERT ADVICE


Preparation:

"Many job hunters do not take the time to investigate. They are so eager to find employment, they lose sight of one of the most important ingredients of a good job hunter. Seek employment AFTER you research and investigate." -- Irv Miller, author of the booklet Need a Job?, Palm Coast, Florida.

"Find out about your target company by calling anonymously and asking them to send you some information, perhaps a brochure." -- Sheila Irwin, former recruiter for an employment agency in Houston, Texas.

Resumes:

"A common resume blunder is listing too much personal business, such as marital status, age, health, and so on." -- Sheila Irwin, former recruiter for an employment agency in Houston, Texas.

Finding Unadvertised Jobs:

"A telephone campaign can save you many hours of travel and gasoline," because if there are no job openings at the company you contact, "you have wasted nothing but a telephone call, you have not spent one nickel for gas, nor have you wasted your time traveling to the company. You only want hot prospects that you can contact and that are worth your time and effort to actually see in person."

"At lunch time, go to the company you are interested in. Stop the employees outside the door" and ask if they could help you. "Try asking if they know which department has any openings or who you should see to seek a job. Obtain names of Department Heads, call them directly on the phone."

"Visit new building sites. There is usually the name of the companies moving into the building on a posted sign. When no sign is posted, ask the construction supervisor. Something I found out about most people in general, they will almost always want to help you if you ask." -- Irv Miller, author of the booklet Need a Job?, Palm Coast, Florida.

Job Applications:

"Filling out a job application is a test of how well you can follow directions. The employer realizes that someone else could have typed your resume for you, which means it may not be an accurate gauge of your writing abilities.  Also, specifically answer all questions on the application instead of filling in the blank with 'See Resume.' -- Joanne Henderson, former Administrative Assistant for Hewlett-Packard, Pennsylvania.

"How you fill out the application can be just as important as what you write on it. Employers watch to see if you check it over when you're finished, they observe how long it takes you to fill out the form, and so on."  -- Roy Long, President, RX Relief, Inc. employment contracting firm, Fallbrook, California.

"Sell yourself in the comment section of the application. If there is no comment section, make one. Write down a few specific statements to show how you're different from others." -- Skip Eavers, Chief Director of Marketing, J&E Enterprises, St. Augustine, Florida.

Job Interviews:

"As an interviewer, I am impressed when an applicant offers clear, concise, to-the- point answers to my questions. Being on time, being dressed appropriately and communicating well also make a positive impression." -- Roy Long, President, RX Relief, Inc. employment contracting firm, Fallbrook, California.

"When I interviewed several candidates for a particular position, the one who made the most remarkable impression on me was the one who asked questions. It was almost as if she were interviewing me. Instead of just sitting there bobbing her head like one of those stuffed dogs you see in the back dashboard of a car, she asked me specific questions. I hired her because I could tell she wouldn't just fill a spot -- she would make a great contribution to my company." -- Carol Lagasse, President, Estate Title & Guaranty, Inc., St. Augustine, Florida.

"Be very outgoing and positive. People like to see sincere smiles. Once again, sell yourself -- talk about your skills and your ability to learn fast. Be sure to say you always want to expand your knowledge with training and certifications, etc. Truly believe in yourself as the best person for the job. Repeat verbally the comments you made in the comment section of the job application. Don't mumble. BE EXTREMELY PUNCTUAL." -- Skip Eavers, Chief Director of Marketing, J&E Enterprises, St. Augustine, Florida.

"Avoid being too social, or overly familiar, with the interviewer. You wouldn't want to joke too much, sit on his desk, or disclose too much personal information. Also, find something positive to say if you're asked about your former place of employment -- no employer wants to hire someone who is going to be a troublemaker.  Be sure you are well-groomed, even getting a fresh haircut if it's an especially important interview. It's a big mistake to say 'I'm desperate, I'll take any job you have'. Though you may think disclosing such personal information as your recent divorce could perhaps help you -- reasoning to yourself 'the employer will then know how badly I need the job' -- it actually isn't a good idea. It could lead to an unfair judgment." Last but not least, make yourself so desirable that the company WANTS you to accept the offer." -- Sheila Irwin, former recruiter for an employment agency in Houston, Texas.

Salary Negotiation:

"Always ask for more than you expect, and be firm.  If the company is firm on its figure, ask:  'Would you agree to review my performance at the end of three months? At that point, if my performance has been up to your expectations, my salary could be increased to what I feel I'm worth, $________'." -- Joanne Henderson, former Administrative Assistant for Hewlett-Packard, Pennsylvania.

General Advice:

"Contact the person you would actually work for, if possible, before contacting Personnel. Tell him you would like just ten minutes to explain your story. A successful technique for me in the past has been to ponder (while waiting to be seen) on strong answers to the question 'Why should this company hire me over all the others?' This is the most crucial question you may be asked. Some additional advice is: be persistent on the follow-up phone calls, and on your resume list outstanding accomplishments under each job. The reader is looking for you to prove yourself by bragging." -- Skip Eavers, Chief Director of Marketing, J&E Enterprises, St. Augustine, Florida.

On Networking:

"Too many people do not convey the problem to family or friends, as they are embarrassed to be out of work and do not feel comfortable discussing it." He adds this observation: "No progress can be made by silence. Almost everyone at one time or the other has been in your position." -- Irv Miller, author of the booklet Need a Job?, Palm Coast, Florida.

Self-esteem:

"Remember through all of this that you ARE a great person! You were a great person before you lost your job. You did not suddenly become a worthless being from that moment. You just have a temporary problem of needing to find or make a new source of income. YOU CAN DO IT!" -- Victory Crayne, Professional Motivational Speaker, Tustin, California.


Specific advice from the author

 

TIPS FROM JOB SEEKERS

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