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3 Secrets Of A Successful Job Search

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When it comes to the job search, it's important to focus on ways to differentiate yourself from the competition rather than merely following the "rules." With possibly hundreds of other candidates vying for every open position, you need to demonstrate value (and get that phone ringing with interview offers) ASAP.

However, there is a right and a wrong way to go about doing this. During my career as a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), I've seen clients insert cartoons within their resumes, provide pages and pages of "supplementary notes" during an interview, and blow their chances through not following up. The list goes on and on...but you want to know what works, right?

Here are 3 strategies that have been shown to consistently garner results:

1) Make a Connection Before Submitting Anything

If your job search consists of merely applying to job postings, be prepared for a long wait. On the flip side, providing a resume to an established contact significantly increases your chances of landing an interview, even if the company's not presently hiring! This is the power of tapping into the hidden job market.

-Make a list of "ideal companies" you'd like to work for.

-Analyze their websites to discover contact information for HR Managers or others with similar titles. If you can't find it, reach out to a staff member in an unrelated area and (politely) ask them to provide it.

-Send an email to your HR contact that introduces yourself and highlights your passion for the company. Provide details on 3-4 areas you really excel in, but keep it brief. End it with a request for more information on the company. IMPORTANT: do not linger on the fact that you're looking for a job in this email. The goal is to start a dialogue.

-Continue dialogues with HR staff at your ideal companies. Find out as much information as you can and, when you feel comfortable, ask if you can send him or her your resume. Follow up in approximately 1 week's time.

2) Great Resume Structure Equals Interview Success

What constitutes a great resume? A document that has a strong opening, a keyword section with in-demand terms and, most importantly, a work history section that separates job responsibilities from concrete successes. The latter, which are typically listed in bullets, should serve as a series of talking points during the interview, allowing you to expound upon those things you do best.

-In your resume, for every position listed within the past 10-12 years include a "Key Accomplishments" section that highlights successes. Keep these as quantifiable as possible.

-When asked about these positions during the interview, be sure to expand upon "Key Accomplishments" first. This ensures the focus will remain on positives.

3) A Thank You Letter Needs to Be Genuine

Yes, you should send a thank you letter following an interview. Just don't make the mistake of sending out something that reads like a form letter. Being brief, even if it's a letter that's only 2-3 lines long is perfectly acceptable as long as it's genuine. Hew to the following structure:

-Start with a sentence that has the words "thank you" somewhere within it.

-Expand upon a topic broached in the interview or provide information that might prove helpful to the interviewer.

-Exit succinctly.

Remember: a job search is a two-way street! Keep what sets you apart at the forefront of your mind, and never be afraid to shake things up in order to get where you need to go. I wish you the best of luck!

Anish Majumdar is a nationally recognized Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and founder of http://resumeorbit.com/. 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days and all work comes backed by a 110% Satisfaction Guarantee. Submit your resume for a free critique at http://resumeorbit.com/free_critique.php today!

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