1. Help me find you. Post on Monster, Careerbuilder and any niche
boards relative to your field (salesjobs, biospace, dice). Make sure
your email and phone numbers are current. Don’t post a “confidential”
resume because I won’t go through the trouble of finding you, no matter
how great your resume looks. If you’re concerned about your current
employer finding your posting, then simply put “Top Pharmaceutical
Company” instead of “Pfizer” (though I do search by competitors as
well). And don’t forget social networks such as LinkedIn and profile
sites like Jigsaw, Spoke and ZoomInfo, which serve as recruitment

2. Update with keywords and be specific. Don’t say “databases” when you can list Access. I search by key abilities or required skills. So if cold calling your forte but you’ve only listed “sales” then I’ve
skimmed right past your post. Also, include anything that is specific
to your industry. “Building relationships” happens in nearly every
occupation, but “Hits sales targets every quarter” tells me that you
can sell. List those awards and numbers to prove it.

3. Flaunt what employers need. If you have technical skills, show me – pivot tables, SAP,
or software specific to your trade is crucial. As well, companies
everywhere are trying to keep up with the diversity of this world.
Though it won’t get you the job, memberships in the Black MBA Society or the fact that you’re bilingual will likely put you on the list for a first interview. Employers across the country are screaming for
people who can communicate in multiple languages, specifically Spanish,
Chinese and Korean.

The Interview:

1. Be specific. Tell me about a time when you had real success. Don’t
be arrogant about it, but show me your have had past success. Prove it
with numbers or manager feedback.

2. Be upfront. Don’t fear the salary question and be honest about your
expectations. If you’re okay with $30k a year but you’re hoping for
$50k, then give a range. Don’t disqualify yourself if you’re
negotiable, but don’t list a price you’re not actually willing to work
for. It’s an employers’ market and they’ll find someone to work for
their wage.

3. Be gracious. Don’t bad mouth a past employer, even if you were
right. Employers want to know you’ll work well with others and take
responsibility for problems that arise, not just blame the nearest bad
guy you can find.

The Search

1. Know who your recruiter works for. I am a recruiter paid by specific
companies, so I’m looking for talent. Contingency recruiters work for
the candidate. Plenty of talented recruiters will get you the interview
you’re wanting, but be aware of some who will place you anywhere you
can get hired so they can take a slice of your salary. Make sure the
recruiter presents you with opportunities that fit in your desired, or
acceptable, career direction.

2. Make yourself a necessity. There are layoffs in every industry, but
employers find ways to keep quality workers. If your company is on
shaky ground, be the person who gets results and the boss won’t bring
herself to fire you. In the mean time, start a preemptive search
because employers want to see that you were good enough to survive the
cuts, and therefore would be valuable to their company.

3. Don’t personalize rejection. Every employer, even within the same industry, is looking for specific, and often different, criteria. For
example, one pharmaceutical company is looking for previous sales
experience while another wants seasoned educators to be their
representatives. Do your research, talk to employees and find out what
a company likes. But when and if the “thanks but no thanks” comes,
realize that it might not be because of your lack of skill, but rather
your skill set isn’t a fit.

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