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February 02, 2009

Tips for finding your perfect job match

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Tips for finding your perfect job match

By The Charlotte Observer

Finding a job is much like finding your match in the dating game. If you're tired of meeting the same type of people, you change your social calendar. If you're looking for a job and haven't landed an offer, examine your search strategy. Consider the mistakes you're making and adjust.

There are lots of fish in the sea

A job search is a numbers game. Charlotte, NC career coach Tom Killen says make sure you are applying to enough positions. "We're in a bad economy and most companies are laying off people or freezing their hiring," he said. "You may have contacted 40 companies in a traditional search. You may have to contact 80 or 120 now. You have to be persistent and aggressive. The numbers will increase your probability in finding a job."

Play the field

If you are just doing an online search, it will be hard for you to stand out in the pool of other candidates doing the same thing. Make sure you're contacting employers directly.

Make a good first impression

Make sure your resume is formatted in a way that sells you. Think of it as a sales letter. "You need to make sure you use the right format to emphasize your transferable skills if that's your key strength or your chronological work history if that's your key strength," says Killen.

Get beyond the first date

Do you have a lot of first dates, but no second dates? Do you make it to the interview, but don't get the offer? Examine where you "lose" the offer and change that part of your job hunt. "If you've contacted 80 companies and you haven't gotten an interview, there's a good chance there's something wrong with your resume," says Killen. "If you've gotten five interviews and haven't gotten the job, something is wrong with your interview style."

Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now

You may have to settle to pay the bills. Your next job may not be your dream job. It's not Mr. Right, but maybe it's Mr. Right Now. In this job market, you may have to be a little more flexible. You may have to work in a field you haven't worked in before. You may need to be more flexible on your salary and your location.

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