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Job Seeker Toolkit: Job Search Tips & Guidelines

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Top 10 Tips from WorkOne

Helpful Tip Number One: Know What Skills You Have that Employers Want, such as Being Reliable and Responsible

For Young People, Nine Other Tips Will Help You Succeed in the Work World

WorkOne has a handy guide to help you find the right job that fits your personality - now and in the future. Read the following "Quick Tips on How to Get the Job" for advice on resumes and cover letters, dressing for success, and strategies for responding during interviews and for attending job fairs.

Here are the top 10 tips from WorkOne:


  1. IDENTIFY YOUR MARKETABLE SKILLS - Identify the skills you have that employers want, such as being reliable, accepting and handling responsibility, managing time well, and being honest and dependable.
  2. DETERMINE YOUR CAREER GOALS - Compare your skills with those abilities needed for the jobs you want. Are they a good match? What other skills or experience do you need?
  3. DRESS PROFESSIONALLY - Dress professionally - not like you are going out on a date. Be neat and well groomed; wear clean, pressed clothes, and polished shoes.
  4. AVOID EXCESS IN YOUR APPEARANCE - Avoid anything to an excess - too much jewelry or make-up, t-shirts with inappropriate sayings, clothing that is too tight or worn too low - distracts mightily from what's important: you, your skills, and your experience.
  5. TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE - Before you meet someone at a job fair, while networking, or for an interview, turn off and put away your cellular phone, pager, MP3 or CD player. Get rid of gum or cigarettes. Through your appearance and behavior, show that you are focused on the job opportunity.
  6. BRING ALL YOUR VITAL DATA WITH YOU - Bring with you all the information you'll need to complete a job application. This information includes: names and addresses of previous employers and dates of your employment; work-permit, Social Security card and driver's license; names and contact information for your references. Alert your references that you are job-hunting so they will be ready for a call from a potential employer.
  7. ENSURE YOU ARRIVE 10 MINUTES EARLY - Be on time for an interview and be courteous to everyone you meet at a place of business or a job fair. You never know who can influence a hiring decision.
  8. HANDSHAKE and EYE CONTACT are PARAMOUNT - Develop a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact with people as you talk with them.
  9. HONESTY MATTERS! - Be honest about your work experience and your skills. Don't exaggerate! Be prepared to give examples of how you successfully demonstrated your skills at past jobs. Never bad-mouth a former employer or co-workers - it's a small world and your potential employer may know them. And talking down about a former employer shows poor judgment on your part as well as other negatives about you.
  10. BE ENTHUSIASTIC! - Show interest and enthusiasm to the potential employer about the job you're discussing. Do your homework on the business and its products and services. Research its web site and brochures, and examine newspaper articles about the organization. Talk to people who work for the company or one like it.

Build a Resume for the Job You Want

Build a Great Resume To Provide an Employer a Lens for Capturing a Picture of You. Use Your Resume Accurately and Honestly To Spur an Employer's Interest in You.

Think of your resume as a snapshot of you. It represents you, but does not replace you. It is just one item in your job-search toolbox. A well-crafted, clear and comprehensive resume can create a desire to meet the person behind the document.

The type of resume you create depends upon your work history, education, and skills, as well as the industry and/or job for which you are applying. Nonetheless, there are a few universal characteristics that apply to all resumes:

Write a Professional Cover Letter

Set yourself apart from the others vying for a particular job with a carefully worded cover letter that tells employers you are a serious professional.

Establish Yourself as a Professional with Talent by Producing a Well-Written Cover Letter with Impact. Use the Letter To Say a Few General, Yet Important, Things about Yourself

Set your resume apart from the competition. Impress employers with your professionalism. Highlight the skills and experiences that make you a "must interview" job seeker.

The perfect cover letter is short and concise. It features only information relevant to the position that has attracted your application. Build the cover letter just like what it is - a business letter.

Build a Great Resume that Reflects Your Skills, Experience, Educational Achievements and Ingenuity

The type of resume you create depends upon your work history, education, skills, and the type of employment, such as the industry or specific job, that you want to pursue. This page provides examples of effective resume strategies.

Functional Resume
The "Functional Resume" organizes work experience by job-related tasks without regard to time and date. It shifts the emphasis off work history and onto specific job-related skills - an especially effective method for individuals either new to or re-entering the workforce. This strategy, likewise, is very effective for job seekers who are changing careers.

A Functional Resume holds several advantages, including minimizing repetition, ensuring that gaps in work history are not prominent, and emphasizing transferable skills regardless of work history. Click here for an example of a Functional Resume.

Chronological Resume
Also known as the "Traditional" format, the "Chronological Resume" organizes work experience by order of employment from the most recent position to the earliest job. A prospective employer will take note of a consistent and solid work history that highlights an individual's track record; in addition, an employer will notice progressive achievements relevant to the field.

As clean and easy-to-read documents, chronological resumes are accepted as the standard format by a large population of companies. For an example, go to Chronological Resume.

Creative, Performance or Other Resume
Individuals drawn to a more creative approach might build a resume by combining features from the Chronological and Functional styles. This hybrid format also could be used effectively for seeking creative jobs that focus on one dominant skill, such as musicians, artists and interior designers.

A "Creative/Performance Resume" emphasizes performance by positioning selective accomplishments immediately following the opening statement. Here is an example: Creative/Performance Resume.

Special Considerations for Submitting an Online Resume
Many employers offer job seekers an opportunity to submit a resume electronically. Depending on an employer's preference, an online submission may be done by attaching your resume to an e-mail message, or by uploading your resume directly to a company web site.

To make an electronic submission, you must have an e-mail address. Moreover, your e-mail address will tell employers something about you, so your address should be professional and dignified, not something that uses a nick-name or slang. If you don't have an e-mail address, there are many common and popular e-mail services that are free, including Hotmail, Yahoo and Netscape.

Formatting Tips
Tips for formatting your resume for electronic submission:

Useful Job Search and Interviewing Tips To Use Before, During and After an Interview


Before the Interview

During the Interview

After the Interview

Within 24-hours, you should send a thank-you letter to each person in attendance during your interview. Your typed letter (never send a hand-written note) should follow business correspondence style. You should feature a few highlights from your conversation and any agreement to follow-up. And reaffirm your interest in the job. View a sample thank you letter here.