Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to screw up your first job hunt

The employment guru firm Robert Half has some "don'ts" for your first job hunt.

DON'T ignore your campus career centers and job fairs--harness your network and keep it current. Talk to neighbors, friends, parents' friends, anyone you can.

DON'T  get sloppy. Have someone look over your resume and cover letters. Read them out loud--a good way to catch glitches.

DON'T depend on canned or generic letters--the same for every job. If a listing is really cool, google the company, go to the website--hang your letter on a piece of news about the company.

DON'T let your online presence ruin things for you. Employers will search, count on it. Establish a great profile and pix on Linked In at minimum. Get a decent email address--not hotchick@gmail.com. If you have a cutesy graphic or quote accompanying your name, lose it.

DON'T have dumb phone manners--companies may indeed call. Have a professional message on your phone. And answer calmly and maturely--not "City Morgue."

DON'T waltz  into an interview ready to wing it. Think up questions. Rehearse answers. Take a second to think before speaking.

Be confident--listen more than talk--ask questions. But above all, if you want the job,, don't be afraid to say so. Back when I hired people, so often I could not tell if the person even was thinking of wanting to work for me. They were neutral. And then so was I--and I moved on.

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