Monthly Archives: June 2009

Good Ole’ Fashion Job Search Tips

With fast-paced technology and social media sites exploding all around us, it’s no wonder job seekers spend the majority of their time submitting résumés online and using networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to conduct their job search.

As a professional in the communications world, I understand first-hand the importance of social media and the purpose it provides job seekers, employers, and businesses across the world. Often, I recommend these vehicles to job seekers who are looking to make connections. Although the web is a very powerful tool, it’s not the only way. My brother reminded me of that just the other day.

After months of searching for jobs online, he finally decided to go back to the basics. He hit the streets with his freshly printed résumé and went door-to-door. One week later, he found a job – not just any job, but a well paying job.

So, what that tells me is that it’s not only important to use the internet and network, but it’s equally important to get out there and hit the streets, going face-to-face with the people who make the hiring decisions.

So, whether you’re from a younger generation or if you’re part of the seasoned workforce, don’t underestimate the power of the good ole’ fashioned job search advice.

  1. Update your résumé frequently to highlight your strengths and sell your skills. 
  2. Dress for success by putting on your best interview outfit.
  3. Make a list of the places you want to submit your résumé to.
  4. Call the company you want to work for to inquire about job openings and to get the name of the director of human resources.
  5. Hit the streets. Go to each of the places on your list, walk in the front door, and request to speak with the HR director using his or her name. You never know, the front desk receptionist might think you have an appointment, especially if you got a name from an earlier phone call.

If you’re only searching for jobs online – you’re competing with millions of other job seekers. Plus, you might miss out on some job opportunities that aren’t posted online. So, separate yourself from the pack by using some traditional techniques.

Either way, you can get your résumé in their hands with a face-to-face meeting and have a contact person to follow up with. It might not work every time, but hey, it does work. Just ask my brother!

6 Things to Bring to an Interview

As you prepare for an interview, you might be thinking about what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to say, and how you’d love to land the job. But, have you thought about what you need to bring? Before you head out the door for your next interview, make sure you have these six things in hand.

Good attitude.

Many employers hire attitude over skills, so it’s imperative that you bring a good attitude to every interview. If you’re pessimistic during the meeting, potential employers might fear that this attitude will carry over into the workplace.

Copies of your résumé.

Even though you already submitted your résumé to your potential employer, bring a few extra copies printed on nice résumé paper just in case you need one. You never know – another person other than the interviewer might want to sit it on your interview, or the interviewer might request another copy for their records.

Knowledge of the company and position.

Before any interview, make sure you’re knowledgeable about the company and the position you’re applying for. If you’re unprepared, employers will notice and think you’re apathetic about the job itself, a quality that may translate into laziness in the workplace.


Depending on your type of work, you might have examples of your previous projects or tasks. If so, make sure to bring a few samples with you to demonstrate – not just talk about – your skills, from design work to writing.

Copies of your reference list.

Take a couple copies of your reference list printed on nice paper just in case the interviewer requests this information from you. If they don’t request it, make sure you offer to leave a copy behind.



Displaying appropriate manners shows you’re courteous of others and that you respect authority. Be sure to say “please” and “thank you” at the appropriate times before, during, and after your interview. Also, make sure not to chew gum, roll your eyes, or talk bad about your former employers.

Acing any interview takes more than wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and having the right connections. So, make sure to take your interview preparation to the next level, and bring these six things with you every time.

Need more help preparing for an interview? Check out these posts:

Responding to the Top 7 Interview Questions
5 Things Not to Say in a Job Interview
4 Job Interview Musts
Ace the Interview by Asking Great Questions
3 Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Falling Behind on the Job? Pick Yourself Up and Start Again

With more to do at work and less time to do it in, some job responsibilities – big and small – can easily fall through the cracks. Incomplete or missed projects and tasks can affect your job performance, your co-workers, and your company. So, ask yourself if it’s time to start changing your habits. Whether you’re learning the roles of a new job, trying to break time-wasting habits, or simply don’t have enough time in your day to accomplish every assignment, follow these steps to get back on track before you get further behind.

Step 1: Admit mistakes. When you’ve made a mistake or overlooked a project, admit your error and accept responsibility for it. Set a time with your supervisor to discuss the oversight, how you can fix it, and how you can prevent the mistake from happening again. Your employer will appreciate your honesty and your desire to improve. Then, together, you can come up with a solution that will keep you on top of your tasks and performing to your potential.

Step 2: Ask for help. If you’re struggling to accomplish your tasks in a timely manner, or to understand an assignment, ask for help. Your manager or even a co-worker may be able to give you insight into how to tackle a task more effectively. They can also be a source of encouragement when you begin to feel frustrated.

Step 3: Create new habits. Bad habits like tardiness and procrastination hamper your productivity and job performance. Dr. Rob Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Montclair State University once said, “First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.” That’s why, you must first identify the habits that are overtaking you and your work week so you can begin to replace them with habits that will serve you. It takes an average of 21 to 30 days to create a habit. So make it a priority to fix your bad habits. For example, if you struggle with being prompt to work, work hard to be early for the next 30 days until it becomes a habit to arrive on time every day.

Step 4: Remember that tomorrow is a new day. Every new day brings with it endless opportunities to learn, grow, and change. If you feel discouraged and behind at work, remember that tomorrow is a new day. Starting now, you can embrace a new outlook, leaving yesterday behind, so you feel refreshed and ready to tackle your projects head-on.

When you feel overwhelmed or just bored by a project, it’s tempting to put it off. But procrastination only makes the situation worse. Before you fall behind at work, seek out solutions that will help you accomplish your projects with efficiency and ease, whether it’s simply asking for help or breaking bad habits. Fulfilling all of your job duties to the best of your ability will leave you feeling secure, proud of your accomplishments, and ready to face new challenges.

This Summer, Are You Looking for a Second Job?

Summer job season is upon us, which means opportunities for seasonal employment are beginning to open up. Six months ago, we asked if readers were looking for a second job to make it through the holiday season.

Today, with a reported economic upswing on the horizon, we want to know if you’re looking for a second job this summer season.

Let us know by voting in our poll, and feel free to share your summer job search stories in our comments section!