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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Job Search Tips That Work: They Worked for Me

15 Dec 2015 2:09 PM | Anonymous

By Brenda Bernstein
The Essay Expert

Many job search experts, including me, are out there giving tips about how to find jobs. I thought I’d give you all some advice based on my own most recent job search – one that got me several interviews and a part-time job! In my search, I was open to accepting a part-time position as something steady and stable while I start my own business.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Created multiple versions of my resume. One emphasizes my managerial experience; one emphasizes my legal experience; another emphasizes my writing and editing experience. For each job I was interested in, I made sure the keywords from that job description were in my resume!

  2. Applied to a lot of jobs. Yes, even ones I thought I didn’t want. Some of them turned out to be more interesting than I had expected. I also applied to jobs there was probably no way I would ever get. And I sent cover letters and resumes to places where I would want to work but where there were no jobs available (including the University of Wisconsin Law School). Because you never know.

  3. Wrote engaging, punchy cover letters. Each cover letter was custom tailored to the specific job I was applying for. It made a difference. I was offered several interviews in widely divergent fields.

  4. Went on an “informational interview” where there was no position currently available but there was a possibility of a future job.

  5. Asked what I needed to bring to interviews, and brought the requested materials.

  6. Showed up 15 minutes early for interviews, and chatted politely with the receptionists whenever possible. Believe it or not, this practice can get you far!

  7. Stayed positive and friendly in the interviews. Talked about things other than the job. Came prepared with questions I could ask about the organization and the job.

  8. Wrote thank you notes (at least when I was interested in the job!) If 2 people interviewed me, I wrote 2 thank you notes, each with its own unique message.

  9. Clarified my priorities for myself. I got clear that having a part-time job with flexibility, in an open and friendly environment, was what I wanted. These attributes were more important for me than the pay rate or even growth opportunities. The more I got clear about what I wanted, the closer I got to getting it.

  10. Stayed active! I searched for or applied for jobs every day. I exercised every day. I sent out at least 2 job applications per week, whether I found the “perfect” opportunity or not. I volunteered to help a woman with disabilities to write a book. I took a transcription job that kept a little bit of money flowing in. And I started my own business, which got me out in the community and on the internet networking. I was *never* sitting around wondering what to do on any given day. Remember, action breeds action! Doing *something* – *anything* – keeps you engaged in your life and work. You never know what will come out of the relationships you form.

What did I get out of all of this? Several interviews, and ultimately a 25% time job at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Office of Career Services. It’s the perfect fit for me, and it is likely to turn into a 50% time position in the Fall – with benefits.

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