If job hunt hits snags, these tips will help you

You have your job down pat. You know your industry. You job hunt intelligently, but you’ve hit a brick wall. What have you not learned to do? For inspiration, read some tips from people throughout the country.


Don’t minimize the most important first step — research. Learn about company cultures. Mark Frietch recommends you develop of list of cultures in your work history you liked or didn’t. He’s president of TAC Services LLC in Charlotte, N.C., where he consults on integrating social media and social networking for job seekers.

“Look for particular buzzwords on web sites,” he says, “such as community involvement or community relations.”

Michelle Proehl, president of Slate Advisers Inc, a career transition service in Sunnyvale, Calif., tells you to identify the values of an organization to determine if it parallels yours.

“What type of work environment brings out the best in you?” she asks. “When have you felt most successful in the past? How will the role that you’re applying for enable the same? Some companies value long hours, collaboration and face time,” she observes. “What kind of people do you want to work with — technology innovators or people with more work-life balance?”

Frietch also mentions that, when using LinkedIn, if you target the title of a person likely to hire you and “do a keyword search in your areas of focus, you’ll be targeting people who will help you get the job. They talk to each other.”

Once inside, look at your potential boss.

“Leadership styles and work environment are created by that leader,” Proehl says. “Is the person more hands-on or self-directed?”

She adds that you need to think about co-workers, too.


Career strategist Darrell Gurney, author of “Never Apply for a Job Again,” has updated his job-hunting method, which is particularly useful if you don’t need a job this minute. He directs people to “focus on relationships today/this week (rather than your) desperate need for a job.” The latter repels. The former attracts.

Identify and maximize your passion, “such as something cutting- edge in your current field or hot and fascinating in another field,” he advises. Not sure how to do it? He makes it simple: Scan the classifieds for inspiring words and phrases (aka your “sweet spot”).

Then, “find reasons to meet people other than your need for a job,” Gurney writes. These aren’t information interviews that scream, “I’m looking for a job.” For example, one job seeker created a blog showcasing local chief marketing officers after he interviewed them. Eventually, “people turned the tables on him and offered him a job,” Gurney says.

“It’s always about knowing and being known by people in the know,” he says. “Go for information and relationships. If you find reasons to get in front of and known by thought and industry leaders, the job will take care of itself.

“People bend the rules for people they know.”


When you don’t land a job, it’s easy to torment yourself with failure. Rather than obsessing over how you did in interviews, consider a tactic from Tracy Brisson, founder and CEO of The Opportunities Project Inc. in Savannah, Ga. She calls it the “replay” technique.

Immediately after an interview, write down everything you can remember. Then, bring together one or two peers, especially one who’s hired. “Replay the interview questions and your answers,” she says. “Ask if they hear anything they might rephrase or consider a turn-off.” Discovering you didn’t say anything catastrophic will free you to move forward.

Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at culp@workwise.net. © 2013 Passage Media.

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