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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Hello everyone,

I joined personalitycafe just this week and find it to be one of the best advice forums on the web.

So far, I've lingered only on the "Education & Career Talk" sub-forum and have responded to several career-related posts. I can't wait to check out the rest of the site.

I write articles in my spare time and want to share an article I recently published. It centers on ways you can find jobs that suit your skillset, excel in interviews, and sharpen your resume for better results. I figured it'll be of help to many on this board who are interested in learning job hunting strategies.

I am looking for feedback on the article. Do you already employ any of the strategies listed? Do you disagree with any of those tips? I, myself, am always in search of tips I can employ in my own job search. I'm hoping you can provide me with new ones.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Great article! It gives a pretty general overview of how you should approach job hunting, as well specific tips.
Your general message: Be persistent, prepared, and follow-up!
Specific tips I liked: tailoring your cv for the job at hand, using action-verbs, and preparing for the interview!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, dann. :happy:

I'd love to know what other posters on this board thought, too.

Do you guys feel I left out any useful tips? I'd be interested in knowing which strategies you already employ.
 

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haha, #1 is hard for me because my interests are all over the place, and I seem to have a new interest every week. for me the hardest thing is building a network, because I don't like to feel like I'm using people. also, I don't really wish to keep in contact with most people from high school or college, since I consider relationships to expire after a period of no contact.

I just had a job interview and ended up not getting the job. I wonder if a thank-you note would have made a difference. I thought of sending one but wasn't sure if it would be appropriate; I figured it would be better for jobs with more than one interview before being hired. I'm not sure if bank tellers get interviewed more than once, and I guess I'll never know o_O I also consider thank-you emails or phone calls to be just slightly brown-nosing, depending on the type of job you're trying to get. I don't think someone interviewing for a cashier job at Walmart would feel the need to write a thank-you note to the manager unless they were just that desperate O_O
 

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Discussion Starter #5
fihe,

You're right. Building a network sure isn't easy, but it comes in handy when you find yourself looking for a job. I personally think that sending a letter sets you apart from the competition. Why? Because most people don't send one.
 

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fihe,

You're right. Building a network sure isn't easy, but it comes in handy when you find yourself looking for a job. I personally think that sending a letter sets you apart from the competition. Why? Because most people don't send one.
Even if you are interviewing to be a cashier at Walmart?
 

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I pretty much ensure my future jobs by being good at my current one... I'm not trying to boast or anything, but this morning I actually told my boss "I can't handle it and you should put someone else there" and she told me that I should give it a bit more and see if I get used to it, and if not, I always have my old position back. That she doesn't want me to leave because I'm an excellent worker... My point is, one of your priorities should be to do your best at ALL your jobs. You might think it's pointless, but if I ever move or transfer, I KNOW my boss would put in a good word for me.
 

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No interview is over until a thank you note has been received by the interviewer, who invited the interviewee to the meeting... unless the interviewer does something to offend the interviewee. In that case, it is fully within the interviewee's prerogative to walk away and I have done so.

Here is my philosophy about job searching and interviewing based on a lifetime of experience as both an interviewer and interviewee:

The best situation is when both participants enter into the meeting with the objective of interviewing the other to determine if there is a fit worth pursuing. If you just go in ceding all power to the interviewer, you are not acting in your interests at all but rather playing a game in which you will ultimately have to say anything in order to get the job. This is actually in nobody's interest.

Interviewing is an act of consultative selling. You enter into it with a desire to find a solution to problems that both parties have. So you need to be willing to walk away if you determine that you do not have a solution that is mutually satisfying. There is no point in wasting two people's time if that solution is not possible. Here is the model I propose:

BEAMS

B is for building trust. This is the foundation of any relationship. You start here and you never stop here. You act with complete integrity at all times no matter what any other person does.

E is for exchanging information. This is the start of the interview if you will. You want to have an honest exchange of information so that you can get to the next phase.

A is for agreeing on needs. This is the point of exchanging information. You have needs. The interviewer has needs. If you are not uncovering these needs and not simply discussing what somebody wants, you are not getting to a point where you can propose a solution.

M is for making recommendations. If you know what you need and you know what the interviewer needs and if you both agree on these points, only one of two things can happen. Either you can propose a solution to the problem that supports both of your needs or you can gracefully back out of the negotiation so that you don't waste each others' time. You can only know this if you have followed the model to this point. Otherwise you are not connecting at a deep enough level to be able to know anything either way. But if you do make a recommendation based on the mutual agreement on needs, that recommendation can be one that serves the interest of both parties. And as such, it is a recommendation that has a very high probability of being accepted. If you can honestly recommend yourself as a solution to the problems you and your interviewer have agreed upon, your interviewer has very little reason not to accept your recommendation (the recommendation of yourself as a solution to the agreed upon problems based on the value you know you can provide). Of course you have to be able to back this up with strong evidence that the recommended solution is one you are capable of providing. If not, you should be taking the graceful way out.

S is for supporting the commitment. Without this support, everything falls apart and you have violated the building trust tenet.

So go into your interview with the mind set that you are interviewing as well as being interviewed. Be prepared to ask questions that are aimed at uncovering more fundamental needs than your interviewer is providing you with. This means doing your research about the company in advance so you can formulate the right questions to help guide the conversation in the direction of exchanging information and agreeing on needs. If your conversation reveals information that does not meet your needs, it is time to back out and put your energy into other opportunities. This is why I say you don't want to waste either party's time. If you are moving toward being able to recommend a solution, keep going. If you are not, look elsewhere. The integrity you show in this way may very well come back to help you in the future if your interviewer knows of a situation where you might be a better fit. And if you learn through exchanging information that this company is someplace that doesn't meet your needs, you are better off not working there and devoting your energy to finding something that is a better fit for you.

I know this can seem daunting if you feel that you desperately need a job. But ask yourself what your life would be like if you accepted a position that was antithetical to your other needs beyond that of a job. Can you even function in an environment that is not supportive of your other needs? Can you imagine how your employer would feel about you if you pretended to be somebody you could not deliver? Better not to even go there. Work instead toward finding that best fit by employing the BEAMS model in your job search process. When you get that agreement on needs and you know you can provide a valuable solution, then and only then sell your value. It will be much easier to close that deal than you think if you truly know what you can do to solve the problems you and your interviewer agree upon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Even if you are interviewing to be a cashier at Walmart?
Yup. If there are two candidates in the running for that cashier position, but only one sends the thank you letter (assuming, of course, that it's effective and typo-free), who do you think would get the job?
 

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Yup. If there are two candidates in the running for that cashier position, but only one sends the thank you letter (assuming, of course, that it's effective and typo-free), who do you think would get the job?
I suppose you're right. I just feel like writing a letter would make myself sound too eager. last thing I want is to seem like a kiss-ass
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I pretty much ensure my future jobs by being good at my current one... I'm not trying to boast or anything, but this morning I actually told my boss "I can't handle it and you should put someone else there" and she told me that I should give it a bit more and see if I get used to it, and if not, I always have my old position back. That she doesn't want me to leave because I'm an excellent worker... My point is, one of your priorities should be to do your best at ALL your jobs. You might think it's pointless, but if I ever move or transfer, I KNOW my boss would put in a good word for me.
This is true. You never want to burn any bridges. It's important to remain in the good graces of your boss.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No interview is over until a thank you note has been received by the interviewer, who invited the interviewee to the meeting... unless the interviewer does something to offend the interviewee. In that case, it is fully within the interviewee's prerogative to walk away and I have done so.

Here is my philosophy about job searching and interviewing based on a lifetime of experience as both an interviewer and interviewee:

The best situation is when both participants enter into the meeting with the objective of interviewing the other to determine if there is a fit worth pursuing. If you just go in ceding all power to the interviewer, you are not acting in your interests at all but rather playing a game in which you will ultimately have to say anything in order to get the job. This is actually in nobody's interest.

Interviewing is an act of consultative selling. You enter into it with a desire to find a solution to problems that both parties have. So you need to be willing to walk away if you determine that you do not have a solution that is mutually satisfying. There is no point in wasting two people's time if that solution is not possible. Here is the model I propose:

BEAMS

B is for building trust. This is the foundation of any relationship. You start here and you never stop here. You act with complete integrity at all times no matter what any other person does.

E is for exchanging information. This is the start of the interview if you will. You want to have an honest exchange of information so that you can get to the next phase.

A is for agreeing on needs. This is the point of exchanging information. You have needs. The interviewer has needs. If you are not uncovering these needs and not simply discussing what somebody wants, you are not getting to a point where you can propose a solution.

M is for making recommendations. If you know what you need and you know what the interviewer needs and if you both agree on these points, only one of two things can happen. Either you can propose a solution to the problem that supports both of your needs or you can gracefully back out of the negotiation so that you don't waste each others' time. You can only know this if you have followed the model to this point. Otherwise you are not connecting at a deep enough level to be able to know anything either way. But if you do make a recommendation based on the mutual agreement on needs, that recommendation can be one that serves the interest of both parties. And as such, it is a recommendation that has a very high probability of being accepted. If you can honestly recommend yourself as a solution to the problems you and your interviewer have agreed upon, your interviewer has very little reason not to accept your recommendation (the recommendation of yourself as a solution to the agreed upon problems based on the value you know you can provide). Of course you have to be able to back this up with strong evidence that the recommended solution is one you are capable of providing. If not, you should be taking the graceful way out.

S is for supporting the commitment. Without this support, everything falls apart and you have violated the building trust tenet.

So go into your interview with the mind set that you are interviewing as well as being interviewed. Be prepared to ask questions that are aimed at uncovering more fundamental needs than your interviewer is providing you with. This means doing your research about the company in advance so you can formulate the right questions to help guide the conversation in the direction of exchanging information and agreeing on needs. If your conversation reveals information that does not meet your needs, it is time to back out and put your energy into other opportunities. This is why I say you don't want to waste either party's time. If you are moving toward being able to recommend a solution, keep going. If you are not, look elsewhere. The integrity you show in this way may very well come back to help you in the future if your interviewer knows of a situation where you might be a better fit. And if you learn through exchanging information that this company is someplace that doesn't meet your needs, you are better off not working there and devoting your energy to finding something that is a better fit for you.

I know this can seem daunting if you feel that you desperately need a job. But ask yourself what your life would be like if you accepted a position that was antithetical to your other needs beyond that of a job. Can you even function in an environment that is not supportive of your other needs? Can you imagine how your employer would feel about you if you pretended to be somebody you could not deliver? Better not to even go there. Work instead toward finding that best fit by employing the BEAMS model in your job search process. When you get that agreement on needs and you know you can provide a valuable solution, then and only then sell your value. It will be much easier to close that deal than you think if you truly know what you can do to solve the problems you and your interviewer agree upon.
Thanks for your input. You've included some great ideas, including the notion of going into the interview with the mindset that you're interviewing the hiring manager as well. You have to go into that interview and speak self-assuredly about your accomplishments. Yes, you must make a good impression on the interviewer, but he/she must make a great impression on you, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I suppose you're right. I just feel like writing a letter would make myself sound too eager. last thing I want is to seem like a kiss-ass
You most definitely won't sound too eager by simply submitting a thank you letter. Now, what would convey that you're flat-out desperate is calling the hiring manager various times to check up on the status of the position.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@doublejm1, what if one just called one or two times?
Here's what I've learned:

I liken the dynamics of the job hunting process to relationships. If you find yourself having to make all the calls, it probably means that the other side isn't as interested as you are. If a hiring manager is interested, you'll get a call. Trust me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's nice to see that the unemployment rate dipped to 7.8%. Still, job seekers need to make sure their resumes are error-free and their interview skills sharp.
 

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Here would be a few other tips:

1. Consider groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that may be around one's interest and thus be good places to note that one is looking for work. My last job was found through a LinkedIn group just as something to note here.

2. While looking for these groups, be aware of what kind of image do you have out on the social networks. Are you a wild and crazy party guy who is trying to get a job in an ultra-conservative bank? That may not work out well as some employers may Google one's name and get an idea of what is in one's past.

3. Keep a spreadsheet of where you are applied and what stage are things for each position. Yes this may be quite annoying but worse is getting your resume tossed because you have two recruiting firms trying to represent you for the same job.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here would be a few other tips:

1. Consider groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that may be around one's interest and thus be good places to note that one is looking for work. My last job was found through a LinkedIn group just as something to note here.

2. While looking for these groups, be aware of what kind of image do you have out on the social networks. Are you a wild and crazy party guy who is trying to get a job in an ultra-conservative bank? That may not work out well as some employers may Google one's name and get an idea of what is in one's past.

3. Keep a spreadsheet of where you are applied and what stage are things for each position. Yes this may be quite annoying but worse is getting your resume tossed because you have two recruiting firms trying to represent you for the same job.

The article does touch on the importance of networking and connecting with others on sites like Linkedin. The spreadsheet idea is a good one; I've done this myself on occasion.
 

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The article does touch on the importance of networking and connecting with others on sites like Linkedin. The spreadsheet idea is a good one; I've done this myself on occasion.
This is the closest I saw from the article:

If you’re not already registered with and using Linkedin.com to look for leads and connect with those in your industry and social circle, do it now!
So while LinkedIn.com is mentioned, there isn't much said for how to dig into using it and what are the resources within that site. Some people may not be aware that there is a group section to that site. I'd be wanting to give more specific advice as there are probably more than a few ways to find people in the world. How receptive people would be to various forms of communication is another story and that shouldn't be forgotten. Going up to person after person saying, "Could you give me a job please?" as the first question you ask isn't likely to be effective even though it is a rather crude way to network.
 

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@doublejm1 thanks for all the info!! Now, I have this situation that I'd like you to help me with if you can... I had two interviews at a fast food place, ended up not getting any call back which means no job. A few weeks after that, there were advertisements on the store "Now Hiring", yeah imagine how I felt. It's been 1 1/2 months since my last interview, no I didn't send any "thank you" note, but I should have. I really want that job, how would you approach this situation? I've went in twice already, asked for the owner, she wasn't there. Of course, the owner just comes in and out whenever she wants, and she has no set schedule. If I don't get the job, I'd like to at least know why I didn't get it.
 
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