Job Search Tips & Resources

Book Recommendations

  • “What Color Is Your Parachute?” By Richard Bolles
  • The “Knock ‘em Dead” series by Martin Yate
  • “NOW, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton
  • “Creating You & Co.” by William Bridges
  • Resume series of books by Wendy Enelow
  • “Guide to Internet Job Search” by Margaret Riley Dikel and Frances E. Roehm

Five Problems Job Applicants Must Overcome When Completing Online Applications

  • Online application forms are designed to screen-out candidates. Information on the application must match up to the employer’s job posting and job description (amount of experience, education, skills match) or anything that can be interpreted as a “high risk” (being fired, job hopping, felony convictions) can be a reason to reject an applicant.
  • Online applications take some control away from job seekers (doesn’t give you a chance to explain anything).
  • Online applications are highly competitive. There are hundreds or thousands of job seekers completing the same online application and competing for the same job.
  • Online applications are designed to look for “key word” matches. Many employers use the ATS – Application Tracking System that is an application scanning program that scans for keywords that are relevant to the occupation and/or industry.
  • To be better prepared and organized in completing an online application, job seekers need to invest some “up front” time and energy preparing a system to collect, organize, and store information about their skills abilities, and experiences that will be used over and over in their online application forms. Create a Word document that includes;
  • Work History
  • Educational Information
  • Contact Information
  • Professional and business references contact information
  • Keyword career vocabulary
  • Accomplishments list
  • Skills and Qualifications list

An Effective Job Search Strategy



R – Make a list of the companies you would like to work for – target companies – and RESEARCH them incorporating some of the research information into your tailored cover letter. This research information will also be useful during the interview.

M – MAIL Your cover letters and resumes to the “hiring authority” (person in charge of the department that you want to work in who has the authority to hire you). Make sure you have the correct name and spelling of that name, title and location. Be sure to get the direct phone number for the contact person.

F – FOLLOW UP – This is the most intimidating step of the job search for many people. Follow up with the contact person about a week or two after the mailing.

Ten Best Interview Questions

  • What circumstances bring you here today?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • What are you most passionate about?
  • What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
  • When I call you old boss what will they say about you?
  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • What are the biggest strengths you would bring to this organization?
  • What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
  • Why do giraffes have such long necks?
  • What makes you angry?

Types of Resumes

Chronological Resume
(In date order with most current first – most common format)

(Demonstrates or markets skills)

Combination Chronological and Functional
(Markets skills and lists employment history in chronological order)

Clustered Resume – new
(Identifies historical work experience and brings it forward at the beginning of the chronological work history marketing the past experience to the prospective employer)

Resume Tips

  • Send in a hard copy of your résumé after the required electronic submission with a handwritten note at the top: “Second submission – I’m very interested!”
  • Well-written and customized resumes and cover letters are essential.

Bypass the email or typed thank you and send in a hand-written thank you card on professional-looking stationery

Networking Tips

  • Getting stonewalled by HR? Get creative and find someone in a position to hire at the target company and get your résumé in their hands. A few ideas: LinkedIn and other social networking, meetings of professional associations, and finding out who at that company is the local Chamber of Commerce representative and contacting them.
  • Explore, especially follow: jobangels, jobshouts, chrisrussell, interviewbest. JobAngels can also be found at
  • Consider transitioning to a more stable industry or emerging industry (health care, education, government, core consumer products, “green” and energy, etc.), or fields that grow in recessionary economies (crisis-management, universities, career services, law firms specializing in bankruptcy, auto repair, etc.)
  • Keep an eye out for interesting articles that may be of interest to your contacts.
  • Keep busy – find activities and volunteer opportunities that you enjoy – you may meet your next ideal contact there.
  • Get to know the parents of your kids’ friends – do you know what they do and where they work?
  • Attend networking events where the majority of attendees are employed. If you go to one where the attendees are largely looking for work, don’t forget to network with other attendees – you may be able to help each other with leads.
  • Attend tradeshows for your industry and network with the sales/marketing people who represent the companies.
  • Is there a well-known expert in your field who does public speaking? Find out their speaking schedule, and network with other attendees. Introduce yourself to the speaker and follow up.

Some of My Favorite Job Search Resources – however, there are many more.