Although the best practices for finding jobs
should be used anytime, they make a mark
when done well in tough economic times.
Here is a nice story. A recent grad, graduating
in the top half of her class, competed with all her
classmates for few positions all in the same
location. (In this case, LA.) She did a series of
best practices that has landed her several
screening interviews and three on-site interviews.
She upgraded her wardrobe to help her present
a mature, professional appearance and performed
some mock interviews– telephone and on site.
She had her resume reviewed by several career
consultants and the placement office at her school.
She aimed not for perfection but for better ways
of making her case. She already had an
undergraduate degree and sought a position in a
She had benchmarked her position for expected
salary and benefits with a national organization.
NEAR TERM STATUS
She has been screened in three, interviewed two
facilities and received one offer already. One
more interview to go.
The offer from the first facility provides the
benchmark for the other two to compare to
for decision and negotiating.
WHAT SETS HER APART
1. She shared what she learned about resumes,
career portfolio (or file), and interviewing with
2. She networked with CONSEQUENTIAL
STRANGERS to introduce herself and let
them know she was looking. She provided
her latest version of her resume (it has
changed since that version.) with a cover letter
to an indirect contact who only indicated that
the documents were passed on.
3. She set up a visit to what she viewed as a
“reach” institution and spoke with human
resource personnel. The manager was very
impressed that she had a professional file
and a neat professional appearance. Within
a week, she was called back for an interview.
There were no ads, no online sites to find out
about the position. The manager said the first
class impression sold her. The manager also
said, ads bring in hundreds of resumes, job fairs
bring in dozens of resumes. When you are
looking for few positions, it is nice when a
“purple squirrel” falls into your lap.
4. In the first institution interview, she was
professionally outfitted and prepared. (On time,
portfolio with extra resumes, folder with items
to review and take notes, etc.) She was
interviewed by an upbeat, enthusiastic duo
who clearly knew the kind of person they
wanted to hire. What separated this interviewee
was keeping answers short, telling stories
for each of many behavioral based questions,
and having on target questions to ask.
(See examples of questions in the comments.)
The following day they surprised her by
inviting her to the second phase of the
interview. A third phase consisting of practical
test quizzes showing solid fundamentals was
to be filled out within a week.
She was called giving an exciting offer the
day after the online test was completed.
So, things happened in rapid sequence.
5. For each of the interactions, she gathered
the names and contact information and sent
appropriate “thank you notes.”
In following comments, you can see some of
the behavioral based questions she was asked.
It is incumbent on each job seeker to narrow
the search and use all means to introduce
yourself as a person who belongs on the