I am always coming across new ideas for being more effective when you look for a job. Here are some I’ve collected:
1. Don’t answer the phone when it wakes you up.
I know people get giddy for interview call backs like they get giddy for good-date callbacks. But the combination of giddy for phone calls, and sleeping late because you’re unemployed could be lethal.
Time magazine reports that “the morning haze you experience when the alarm clock goes off is known as sleep inertia, and it clouds your brain more than sleep deprivation. The impairment is most severe in the first ten minutes but can linger for up to two hours.” Bottom line: Let the call go to voicemail and go get some coffee.
2. Edit a wikipedia entry to show you’re an expert.
Writing a blog on a given topic is great for your career. It shows that you specialize and you know you’re stuff. But a blog is a big time investment. I got the idea of taking charge of a wikipedia entry from reading this blog post. It seemed totally natural to this woman to contribute to wikipedia in an area she was becoming knowledgeable in.
We should all think this way. In general, editing wikipedia is not rocket science. It shows that we are good at working in a team (which is what a wikipedia entry is), and that we have expertise.
3. Handle hard interview questions with a positive bent.
“Most times people ask trick questions, the person is looking for you to go negative,” says Cynthia Shapiro, former human resource executive and author of Corporate Confidential. An example of one of these questions is, Tell me about a difficult boss and how you got around it.
The impact of being positive in an interview, and in life, cannot be overestimated. Optimistic people are happier and more fulfilled than the not-so-optimistic.
4. Don’t provide two email addresses.
Why do I see so many resumes with multiple email addresses? If you can’t make up your mind which email address is best, then how will you make decisions for anything once you’re hired? Providing two email addresses is not being thorough. It’s being annoying. Know the difference.
5. Make your resume a tease.
I write all the time about how a resume is a marketing document and not a list of your achievements or (worse yet) your job duties.
But David Perry, author of the Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters, takes that one step further and says a resume should be a tease. You don’t want to tell absolutely everything. You want to tell someone enough to get them to call you to ask for more.
6. Pitch your cover letter from the right angle.
A reader, Harry Hollenberg, wrote in with this tip: “Don’t spend your cover letter telling me why my firm is perfect for you. Tell me why you’re perfect for our firm.”
“Try Googling yourself. If you can’t find anything that promotes you as an expert in your field, take steps to establish a web presence so recruiters and colleagues can find you and learn about your strengths. You can do this and control the content by establishing your own professional website (not family trips) and including information detailing your achievements, links to other references, white papers, articles, presentations at industry conferences and keynote speeches, internal training you’ve developed or delivered, PowerPoint presentations of general interest.”
“The idea,” writes Feldman, “is to let yourself be found by recruiters and others who are looking for certain skills or qualifications. This tends to make you a more interesting and attractive potential candidate than if you submit a resume or write to introduce yourself. Think how you feel when you unearth a gem.”