Job search strategies: the do’s and don’ts

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On the first Monday of each month, over on the wonderful world of Twitter, @CareerBuilder holds a job chat from 7-8 p.m. Central. Basically search for the hashtag #cbjobchat on Twitter (or just click here) to see a discussion between us, career experts and job seekers. We chat about different topics affecting job seekers and workers.

On June 6, we discussed overall job search strategies. What are you doing right? What can be improved? What haven’t you thought about?

Here’s an overview of some of the great answers we received from everybody:

Job seekers, what is your job search routine like? Is it a daily or weekly process? Or is it random/passive?

Career experts, what approach do you think job seekers should take? Do they need a plan to stick to or can it be casual?

  • I’m at an internship now so the job seeking is when I have time after work or when I find something that interests me. – @AnnaJWagner
  • It’s a daily process. The early bird gets the worm when it comes to job postings. – @JerryRizzo
  • Create a daily job search plan and quantify your results in terms of # of contacts, job apps, events, etc. – @dawnrasmussen
  • When applying, good to be early bird. @startwire study found 50% percent new hires applied within 1st week of job posting. – @Keppie_Careers
  • Try not to stress out during your job search. Recruiters can tell when you’re frustrated during an interview. Remain confident! – @KaraSingh
  • Creating multi-pronged job search strategy most effective – cover all bases including social media, networking, etc. – @Give2GetJobs

Job seekers, is your online search focused on job titles, skills, education? Or even specific companies?

Experts. What are the most and least effective online search methods? How should job seekers be searching?

  • I think job seekers should focus on industry + passion, what drives them, skills can always be learned – @Give2GetJobs
  • Least effective online search method: applying for jobs w/out targeted documents, not following up, ignoring networking. – @Keppie_Careers
  • When it comes to the job search remember that job opportunities are everywhere! You never know when you might meet right person. – @Give2GetJobs
  • Least effective: Post and pray. Always follow-up on a job application. Most effective: Network, network, network. – @tombolt
  • Leverage the power of LinkedIn to follow, learn, and network with folks from specific organizations you are interested in. – @RecruitingDaily
  • Keep records of your network and applications…don’t fumble around if I call you and you can’t remember that you applied to me – @tombolt

Job seekers, have you had success networking? Where/how did you do it? (We get asked this a lot!)

Career experts: We know networking is important, but what networking opportunities do job seekers overlook?

  • Networking is a constant process even when you are in your next job, never stop networking – @Misteism
  • I think job seekers most often overlook their local chamber of commerce – @Misteism
  • Networking is all about building relationships. And when job searching you can use as many people on your side as possible. – @Give2GetJobs
  • May sound self serving, but nothing wrong w/. networking w/. recruiters in your field either- bound to find 1 that has an ‘in’ – @RecruitingDaily
  • Always think about how to move from online to in-person networking! Ask for a phone or in-person meeting. – @Keppie_Careers

Job seekers, have you established a professional online presence to help your search? What have you done? If no, why not?

Experts, how should job seekers establish an online presence? Is it OK to have no presence in today’s job market/2.0 world?

  • At least start a blog and have active social network accounts. otherwise you name will be buried. – @cathy_chao
  • In fact the more activity in commenting and following will increase the exposure of your online profile – @CleanJourney
  • It’s a good idea to set up a Google Profile and linik UR fav blog sites and when someone Googles you it comes up 1st. – @CleanJourney

Job seekers, do you change your job search strategy/routine if you’re not seeing results? If yes, how do you shake things up?

Career experts, if job searches aren’t going successfully, how should they be adjusted? How do you know when it’s time?

  • Keeping things fresh is a good idea on all levels….keeps you ‘genuine’ – @RecruitingDaily
  • If not getting interviews – focus on improving resume + CL. If getting interviews – focus on improving interview skills. – @Give2GetJobs
  • If you’re not getting interviews, it’s time to make some changes. Avoid blaming external factors (economy, ageism). – @Keppie_Careers

We’re thankful to everyone who joined in the fun and for anyone who just sat back and watched. Hopefully you found it as informative as we did!

You should definitely swing by next time because:

  1. What else are you doing on a Monday night?
  2. The people who participate are informative and intelligent.
  3. It could boost your chances of finding a job.
  4. You can do it all while eating ice cream and wearing your pajamas!

As always, please let us know what topics you think we should discuss in the coming months. And i you missed our previous chats, you can find their recaps here:

March – Résumés and cover letters
April – The application process
May – Interview FAQs

8 Comments
  1. Pingback: The Do’s and Don’ts

  2. Pingback: Job search strategies: the do’s and don’ts | MaxwellCareers

  3. Pingback: How to answer tough interview questions | Job Seeker

  4. Pingback: How to answer tough interview questions : The Work Buzz

  5. Are you really listening? Let us see…or read what happens next.

    All of this is very fine advice and I have heard it all, over and over and over again. What you are not saying is this whole job search thing is a perplexing as the job descriptions to which one may respond to.

    You have the “Standard Answer” down like the back of your hand. It is as “new and improved” as last weeks garbage. What you fail to tell anyone other than, network, continuing education and the ever popular “re-release of old news with a new title contained within the whole gambit of information to let us know we are not measuring up is not very useful. Especially in times where the unemployment term outlasts the contact you used to have, oh so many months, years ago is now gone. This is where the rub is.

    You need to know how to get inside the employers head. No, not the company, but the actual person doing the hiring. I have written, with rave reviews, for the employer, hiring, is like standing in the tooth brush aisle at “Walmart”. You are the tooth brush and your resume outlines your superior qualities. You are competing for a spot in the same market with at least 50 varieties of tooth brushes, but we only need one toothbrush at this time, and we want the best. What does this mean to the employer?

    As a toothbrush we all claim we will do the job exactly the same and will provide some have benefits that others do not. You need to fit the bill exactly and this is your first task. People are not job descriptions and do not perform like toothbrushes in exactly the same way everyday, day in and day out. How long will this new toothbrush last? Will it hurt my teeth and what happens if you just don’t do what you promised about curing/preventing periodontal disease. So, you need to also be clairvoyant.

    Know what to wear, how fast to walk, talk and what the pet peve of the day is, then and only then are we cooking with gas. Otherwise you are wasting your time, point blank.

    My best advice is get them to laugh. That is right, get them to laugh. It eases tensions and allows you to connect on a level that is not so demanding. Remember it only takes a few muscles to laugh but so many more to frown. This is not to say to act like a clown, but remember, a good defense is better than a bad offense. Be human and stop telling everyone to be so perfect. There is no such thing as perfection and if you are in a situation where this is the goal, you are doomed before you even get started.

    On the topic of stalling or throwing up your own road blocks… when you have traveled down many roads successfully, sooner or later you are going to run in to roadblocks. This is a phenomenon you discover when you know what you know like the back of your hand but there is not a path for you to travel. You have choices to make. If you keep making the same choice and get the same answer, it is time to look for another road to travel. This is the biggest roadblock most people are facing right now. You need another path or course and it is time to take an inward look and find your new horizon and set your sights straigh ahead. We all have talents, skills and time. We need to learn how to make the best use of them.

    When you have a resume that is found for jobs that need to be filled, like I do. It is very old and posted exactly where I left it over a year ago. You know what, I still get calls on it. I am not alone.

    We get interviews and alas, here we go, where the rubber meets the road. You are either over qualified, over paid or too old. Notice, I did not say uneducated. Why do you need a B.A. or M.A to answer a phone or apply for the most lowely of positions? Oh, please explain that to me. Is my understanding of the English language lack the polish to direct a simple phone call, even when you can not understand the language of the other person to whom you are speaking. Rediculous. You still need a Masters to be a receptionist, utterly amazing.

    The next time I read something on how to obtain a “career” that does not contain the word “NETWORK” or creating one of 500 resumes that are always on the ready with the 30 second “elevator speach” then maybe you may have unearthed something of interest to your readers.

    • Thanks for your input Randi. You are essentially saying what we tell all job seekers – know your personal brand. If you can’t identify how you stand out from other competitors and aren’t able to ‘sell’ those qualities in the best package, then it is much more difficult to get noticed and subsequently be hired. I gleaned that you suggest people forego the tried & true methods of job search and in today’s economy, people do have to hustle and get creative in how to find a job, network and then impress a hiring manager enough to ensure they are memorable (and smart enough) to be hired. Great comment.

  6. Are you really listening? Let us see…or read what happens next.

    All of this is very fine advice and I have heard it all, over and over and over again. What you are not saying is this whole job search thing is a perplexing as the job descriptions to which one may respond to.

    You have the “Standard Answer” down like the back of your hand. It is as “new and improved” as last weeks garbage. What you fail to tell anyone other than, network, continuing education, and the ever popular “re-release” of old news with a new title contained within the whole gambit of information to let us know we are not measuring up is not very useful.

    Especially in times where the unemployment term outlasts the contacts you used to have, oh so many months, years ago is now gone. This is where the rub is.

    You need to know how to get inside the employers head. No, not the company, but the actual person doing the hiring. I have written, from another perspective…for the employer, hiring, is like standing in the tooth brush aisle at “Walmart”. You are the tooth brush and your resume outlines your superior qualities. You are competing for a spot in the same market with at least 50 varieties of tooth brushes, we only need one toothbrush at this time, and we want the best return on our investment we can get. What does this mean to the employer?

    As a toothbrush we all claim we will do the job exactly the same. We will provide some benefits that others do not. Candidates. please read, You need to fit the bill exactly and this is your first task. People are not job descriptions and do not perform like toothbrushes in exactly the same way everyday, day in and day out. How long will this new toothbrush last? Will it hurt my teeth and what happens if you just don’t do what you promised about curing/preventing periodontal disease? So, you need to also be clairvoyant.

    Know what to wear, how fast to walk, talk and what the pet peve of the day is. Then and only then are we cooking with gas.Otherwise you are wasting your time, point blank.

    My best advice is get them to laugh. That is right, get them to laugh. It eases tensions and allows you to connect on a level that is not so demanding. Remember, it only takes a few muscles to laugh but so many more to frown. This is not to say to act like a clown, but remember, a good defense is better than a bad offense. Be human and stop telling everyone to be so perfect. There is no such thing as perfection and if you are in a situation where this is the goal, you are doomed before you even get started. Silly notion, even from the employers perspective.

    On the topic of stalling or throwing up your own road blocks… when you have traveled down many roads successfully, sooner or later you are going to run into roadblocks. This is a phenomenon you discover when you know what you know like the back of your hand, you are an expert in your field, but there is not a path for you to travel. You have choices to make. If you keep making the same choice and get the same answer, it is time to look for another road to travel. This is the biggest roadblock most people are facing right now. You need another path or course and it is time to take an inward look and find your new horizon and set your sights straight ahead. We all have talents, skills and time. We need to learn how to make the best use

    of them.

    When you have a resume that is found for jobs that need to be filled, like I do. It smacks in the face of every how to article out there. It is good and gets attention. It is very old and posted exactly where I left it over a year ago. You know what? I still get calls on it. I am sure for many of you this happens, so I am not alone in my thinking. You just have to know up front what it is you really want out of the deal. If you settle, then you settle, just don’t go around with a chip because you did. Perhaps we get to speak with someone who really understands our field of endeavor. Chances are we get contacted by a recruiter over the age of 25 who barely knows what they are looking at. Doubtful, you get someone who knows exactly what the employer, hiring head wants, but this is the market and if we are lucky, we get a chance at the grand audience, a.k.a. interviews. Alas, here we go, where the rubber meets the road. You are either over qualified, over paid or too old. Save it on the discrimination page, it is alive and well and cutting your pay.

    Notice, I did not say uneducated. Why do you need a B.A. or M.A to answer a phone or apply for the most lowely of positions?Oh, please explain that to me.

    Is my understanding of the English language so poor I lack the polish to direct a simple phone

    call, even when you can not understand the language of the other person to whom you are speaking? Rediculous. You still need a Masters degree to be a receptionist, utterly amazing.

    The next time I read something on how to obtain a “career” that does not contain the word “NETWORK” or creating one of 500 resumes that are always on the ready with the 30 second “elevator speach” to go along with them and remember exactly to whom the resume and which one was submitted, then maybe you may have unearthed something of interest to your readers.

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