Get Hired Faster in 2009

3 Ways to Get Hired Faster in 2009

Do your New Year’s resolutions include getting a new job? If so, you’re in luck. The economy is picking up and, as a result, more companies should be hiring in 2009. Here are 3 ways to find your next job faster in the new year, starting right now!

Start networking right
I hear it all the time: "I tried networking and it didn't work. "But networking DOES work and it WILL bring you job leads...if you do it right. Here’s how.

Be clear about the job you seek and the value you can deliver. Create a compelling 15-second "radio commercial" about yourself, like this: "I'm looking for a company that needs an operations manager with 11 years of experience, who cut costs by $3 million while increasing production 23% last year. Who do you know that I should be talking to?"

It’s not who you know, it’s who they know that counts. If you’re at all average, you know 250 people...and those people know 250 more. So you’re only one or two phone calls away from 62,500 people, any one of whom could put you in touch with your next employer. There’s power in your network. Use it!

Realize that every living, breathing human is a potential job lead. Examples: my wife got a job interview from a contact she made at our daughter’s school ... my brother got a phone call and an interview from an old high school buddy. And that’s just this month, in my own family! There are thousands of job leads out there, most of them unadvertised, waiting to be uncovered by you. Go get them.

Write a resume that focuses on results
Most resumes are completely backwards. They focus about 80% on duties and responsibilities, instead of the results that happened on the job. This won't excite employers enough to make them call you. Do not say this: "Responsibilities included implementation of policies and procedures, training of new employees, interfacing with subordinates and vendors, and light correspondence duties." Say this instead, focusing on specific results: "Worked with staff and vendors to increase product turnover by 15% and sales by 23% in five months. Also trained 14 employees, five of whom were promoted." No matter what job you've done - and I don't care if it was cleaning toilets at a bus station in Tibet - if you weren't fired after 30 days, you were producing results of some kind. You were making money, saving money, increasing efficiency, satisfying customers -- something. Be specific about those results, and sprinkle them liberally throughout your resume.

Never, ever try to "wing it" in your job interview
To coin a cliche, if you fail to prepare for the interview, you are preparing to fail. Here are three ways to make sure you are the candidate who interviews best and gets that job:
Study the company. You'll make a tremendous first impression by researching your potential employer online or in the library. Your aim is to know the company and its products (so you can talk intelligently) and know the company's problems and competitors (so you can offer solutions).

Practice your answers. You can almost bet on being asked, "Tell me about yourself." To find other typical questions, research Web sites like net-temps and monster.com. Then PRACTICE answering those questions until you’re as smooth as Johnny Cochrane.

Follow up by mail. You'll reinforce the good impression you made on interviewers by mailing thank-you cards to everyone you met. Bring blank cards and fill them in outside the office. Then drop them in the nearest mailbox. Your cards will arrive with the next day’s mail - talk about an easy way to stand out!

To make your new year happy with a new job, start today by networking smarter, polishing your resume and preparing for those upcoming interviews. Now, go out and make your own luck.

-Kevin Donlin
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