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How to do an Effective Job Search

Updated on November 12, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

Bachelor's degree in English. Middle school language arts teacher with over 15 years experience with a specialty in reading.

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Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source

Job search

Like many Americans I know several people who need help looking for jobs. My current job is to assist students from a vocational/technical school in finding employment in their particular field of study once they graduate.

The problem is usually the same: their resumes need tweaking, are too simple or not geared to a particular job and they rely solely on one source for leads, usually me! Successful job hunting takes skill ,patience, research and perseverance.

Do not rely on only one source for leads, like the Internet or job boards. Instead use job boards, search engines, company web sites, your friends, newspapers, and knocking on doors. Florida like many states has government agencies that assist individuals in their employment search for free. Many of these agencies can offer employers who hire through them tax incentives.

In South Florida the tax incentives can run as high as $4,000 per new employee hired. Higher if the individual is from a special category such as welfare participants, those that collect food stamps, single parents and so on. Here the agencies are administered through local workforce boards and the service is given by local career centers.

Your resume:

Tweak your resume to show relevant up to date information about past employment, education & skills. Notable skills and achievements should be in bold. Include skills such as speaking other languages, certificates, special licenses, training. computer skills(by name such as Excel, PowerPoint etc...) Reword your objective to fit the requirements for the position that you are looking into.

Looking for a job as an office clerk is better than looking for a job that will enable me to assist my employer in meeting its goals. Be specific about what you can offer the prospective employer. Use numbers or notable achievements. Do not make stuff up, employers can usually verify your information and lying is always grounds for dismissal.

Include a cover letter that is specific to the job and the employer reciting why you are different from any other applicant. Follow your resume or application submission with a "thank you for taking the time to review your application" letter after approximately three days. Addressed it to a specific person if possible. This can be done by email also.

At the interview:

If you are scheduled for an interview, research the company and its principal business and make this point known at your interview. Always ask yourself " why should they hire me" and be ready with an answer. One of the best answers to this question that I have heard was: "I know that I am qualified but if you can find someone better qualified, hire them". This does not say that you are cocky, instead it shows that you are confident, and be prepared to deliver.

If you have gaps in your employment history, explain why; Illness, family tragedies, military duty and many other situations are perfectly appropriate and understandable. Also consider listing yourself as an independent consultant or self employed during your employment gaps.

Please, dress appropriately, the new fashion statements are never appropriate for job interviews. Keep jewelry to a minimum, groom yourself, including make up, get rid of the gum. At the interview sit comfortably and don't fidget.

Eye contact is essential because it demonstrates interest. Ladies be mindful of your outfits, cleavage and short outfits are not only inappropriate but will distract your interviewer. I know, I have been a hiring manager for several years now. Never arrive late for your interview, if you can't make it on time call and let them know and include a valid reason.

Whether you apply on line or by fax, it is considered appropriate to mail a hard copy of your resume also.

If you are collecting unemployment benefits and you cannot get a job in your particular field of expertise, consider working in something else, at least for the moment, even if the pay would not be equal to your unemployment benefit payments.

Unemployment benefits are like a savings account, once it runs out, that is usually it, in Florida the maximum payable amount is $275.00 per week. You need to contribute to it through your job. Plus working keeps you in the field so to speak an allows you to meet new possible contacts that can be useful in the future.

Some of my jobs have been through friends or acquaintances. As mentioned before, successful job hunting has become an art in today's economy.

More job advice articles here!

Job Hunting

Job Hunting Tips Video

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CC BY 2.0 | Source

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • Liveleigh profile image

      Liveleigh 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, UK

      Fantastic hub, I really enjoyed reading it and found it to be very informative.

      It's good to see that most of the advice is applicable both in the states and in the UK.

    • MissTravel profile image

      MissTravel 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Like your hub! You make some good points. I agree that covering or explaining the gaps in employment history is important and it comes up a lot in interviews.

    • profile image

      kims3003 6 years ago

      Great hub with excellent information!! You have a very nice writing style too!