Job-Hunting Tips

March 6, 2009 

ON YOUR COVER LETTER

DO

  • E-mail applications
  • Stick to one page
  • Use good paper

DON'T

  • Repeat information that's in your résumé
  • Use clichés

ON YOUR RÉSUMÉ

DO

  • Let your references know that they may be contacted

DON'T

  • Compromise information to keep to the one-page rule

IN YOUR INTERVIEW

DO

  • Speak clearly
  • Dress professionally
  • Show up on time
  • Bring a folder to carry additional information
  • Cover tattoos, piercings

DON'T

  • Use long pauses, or "ummm" and "like"
  • Show up late or too early
  • Wear bright colors or patterns
  • Wear too-tight or sloppy clothes

POST-INTERVIEW

DO

  • Use a thank-you note as an opportunity to expand on interview questions that you didn't respond to completely.

DON'T

  • Call more than once after the interview to follow up
  • Be overly excited if you're offered the job

MORE TIPS

  • Cold-call employers to ask about possible openings.
  • Look up "employment" in the phone book for local agencies.
  • Make sure your voice mail recording is professional.
  • Network in person and on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

OTHER RESOURCES

County libraries:

  • Check out books on résumés, cover letters, career tests, DVDs about how to dress professionally.
  • Use library books, microfiche and databases to research jobs and potential employers to write an informed cover letter.
  • The Stanislaus County Library in Modesto has résumé templates available on word processing computers.
  • It also has wireless Internet, so job seekers can bring in their own computers and write cover letters while referring to information and books only available at the library.
  • The library also has ReferenceUSA, a database that sorts businesses regionally and by field so job seekers can find companies in certain regions that employ people with their skills.

Sources: Alliance WorkNet, Stanislaus County librarian, MJC's career development center

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