There is a ton of information on the internet and hundreds of books which claim to have the key to securing your dream job.  Authors have made millions of dollars writing books on the secrets of  the perfect resume and job winning interviews.  Can they all have “the answer”?

Based on my years of experience selecting and developing talent, I offer you the following recommendations to consider as you make your next career move:

  1. Use Multiple Strategies – Most job seekers put their efforts into one method; however, those who use multiple strategies are most successful.  For example, only 10-15% of people will find their job via a job board like Monster or CareerBuilder so utilize many resources to cast your net as widely as possible.
  2. Network Online & Offline – Social networking is an important part of our lives and effective in your job search but turn off the computer and network on the telephone or face to face in order to build a real network of people and make a lasting impression.  Remember to contribute to your network, too, in order to impact others’ lives.  You would be amazed to know how many people landed a great job through contacts they made while volunteering for their favorite cause.
  3. Surprise – Your Resume is NOT the Key to your next Job – Some people become a bit perfectionistic because they are convinced their resume is the ticket to that dream career.  While it is important to have a well constructed and professional resume highlighting your accomplishments and transferrable knowledge/skills, few people have been hired solely on their resume alone.
  4. Research Your Targeted Companies – This is a very important step and is often overlooked but the time you spend to do your homework will pay off in the interview.  What’s more, it is expected that you will have done this since so much information is available online.  You can even earn a little “extra credit”  from the hiring manager by researching the company’s competition. This shows that you want to know the interviewing company’s challenges and gives you a prime opportunity to present your thoughts of what you would do if hired. Regardless of your level or role in a company, you are able to make an impact.  Imagine what a positive impression you would make if you showed up to an interview knowing the top three problems facing the company and had suggestions or solutions to them.  That makes you memorable to the recruiter and separates you from the rest of the candidates.
  5. Prepare your References – If it is likely that the prospective company may call your references, don’t let them be blind sighted.  Give them a heads up and coach them about what you would like them to say on your behalf.  This is not to say that you are telling them what to say about you but reminding them of the value you provided based on their experience working with you. While preparing your references, they may appreciate you reminding them of your top three achievements to which they could attest and provide further information.

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