Career Services Job Search Workshop Fundamental Truths About The Job Search

Fundamental Truths About The Job Search


Fundamental Truth #1: There are always jobs (vacancies) out there, waiting to be filled. 

  1. Jobs are being created that have never existed before. To be exact two million new jobs were created in the past 12 months.
  2. Companies and employers are playing musical chairs with the jobs that already exist.
    1. People get promoted
    2. People retire
    3. People quit
    4. People decide to move
    5. People get injured or fall sick
    6. People die
    7. People get fired or laid off due to downsizing, mergers, hostile takeovers. Initially there are fewer jobs, but studies reveal that often companies hire again within a very short time as they realize they cut too deeply or need people with new skills.

  3. Even during recessions, there are jobs. The musical revolving chairs among the jobs that already exist holds true even during a recession or hard times.

Fundamental Truth #2: Whether you can find these jobs or not, depends on what job-search methods you are using.  If you are going to find a job, your job success does not depend on a good job-market.  Everything depends on what search method you are using to find those jobs that are out there, in good times or bad.

Five worst ways to find a job:

  1. Using the Internet. Technical, computer-related, engineering, finance or healthcare the success rate is 10%. For all others the success is 1%. Overall 4%.
  2. Mailing out resumes to employers at random. 7% success.
  3. Answering ads in professional or trade journals. 7% success rate.
  4. Answering local newspaper ads. 5-24% success rate.
  5. Going to private employment agencies or search firms for help. 5-24% success rate.

Two best ways to find a job:

  1. Networking. 33% success rate.
  2. The Creative Approach. 86% success rate.

Fundamental Truth #3: If you're job-hunting, and coming up "empty" you need to change the search method you have been using.

Identify where your marketing plan is weak. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Top 10 Career Fields: Are you seeking a job - any job will do as long as there's a paycheck and benefits? Or, are you seeking career fields that you are passionate about and can you communicate that passion within a resume, during networking opportunities and during an interview? Employers do not want to hire someone looking for a paycheck. Employers want to hire employees who are passionate about doing the type of work the employer has available. Yes, the employer can see through you if you are just after the paycheck. If you do not know what your top 10 career fields are, then you need to take the assessment Career Services uses called MyPlan and get guidance from our trained career counselors.

  2. Networking: Are you out talking to a lot of people every single day about the career fields you want to work in and how your skill sets align with the career field? If not, you will stay frustrated and unemployed or underemployed. Experts say you have to have 100 people that you are talking to specifically about your career interests and aspirations. The reason for this is that the really cool jobs are found in the "Hidden Job Market". Unless you are talking to a lot of people, you'll never know that your dream job is out there waiting on you! Career Services has two very good video tapes that teach how to network effectively. Come in and watch them.

  3. Resume and Cover Letter: Are you applying for jobs that you know are available and you are qualified and not getting an interview? If you are, re-think your resume and cover letter. Are you showcasing that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) that the employer is seeking? Usually the answer is no. You may be showcasing the KSAs that are important to you, not theemployer. Target each resume you send out to each job to which you are applying. Career Services can help you with this process! Attend a resume workshop either in our office or onlne to get started.

  4. Interviewing: Are you getting second interviews or job offers? If not, you are doing something wrong in the interview. Be critical of your interview performance. Immediately after the interview, sit down and replay the interview to see where your responses to the questions asked were weak. Great coaching tips can be found in Career Services' online Interviewing Workshop.

    Prior to the interview, you must identify the KSAs needed to do the job and do a thorough analysis of how you stack up to them. The KSAs are found in the job description or vacancy announcement. You can also look up the job title online at ONET's web site where you'll get a listing of the typical KSAs associated with the job. You cannot ace an interview unless you know exactly the KSAs the employer wants and your match.  Prove to the employer you have what they want by pin-pointing examples from you past experiences showcasing these KSAs.



Success Secret #1: You must decide just exactly what you have to offer to the world. Identify your transferable skills or talents, in order of priority or importance to you. These skills are transferable to any field/career that you choose, regardless of where you first picked them up, or how long you have used them in some other field. Once you know your skills, you have the building-blocks of your occupation; with these building-blocks, you can define an occupation that you love to do.

Success Secret #2: Identify the top ten jobs you want to do. Identify the organizations that typically hire the career fields you identified. You must go after the organization that interest you the most, whether or not they are known to have a vacancy.

  1. Identifying organizations.
    1. List categories where people doing the jobs you want to do work be thorough.
    2. Identify names of organizations in each category
      1. Yellow pages
      2. Chamber of Commerce publications
      3. Better Business Bureau
      4. Library resources such as "The Almanac of American Employers", Dunn & Bradstreet's numerous books on employers, etc.

  2. Research the organization through friends & neighbors, the Internet, print, from the people within the organization.

Success Secret #3: Networking. Ask for job leads from: family members, friends, people in the community, staff at career centers. The Hidden Job Market is where dream jobs are found. Rarely are they found advertised in the newspaper or on the Internet. Coaching tips on how to do Informational Interviews are found in our online workshop.


Success Secret #4: You must ID specific people to contact and turn the name into an appointment. This means using your contacts –anybody you know to get an appointment there; specifically, to get an appointment with the one individual there who actually has the power to hire you for the job that you most want to do.  You must have done the research on them first, to find out just exactly who that is, not to mention other valuable information about the organization's goals, etc. You have to be working 100 leads ALL the time.

  1. Call - write - call. System to look for leads, advice, ideas, and referrals - not job openings.
    1. First call to verify the name, title, and if they are in town.
    2. Write a letter saying you are going to call. Do not send resume. Stress that you are interested in career advice and information. Give a specific time that you will call, such as, Tuesday before noon.
    3. Develop a 60 Second Commercial Imagine yourself in an elevator with the person you will be calling and you only have the amount of time it takes for the elevator to move between 3 to 4 floors. What do you need to say in this short time frame that will convince them to talk to you? For help in developing the commercial use the resources available in Career Services online interviewing workshops.
    4. Call. Use your 60 second commercial when you call. "Can I talk to you about my career ideas? Will you have any time to talk to me about advice, ideas, leads or referrals?"

  2. Should you be invited to meet with a representative of the company you are interested in working with or the individual who has the cool job you want, be prepared for an information interview.
    Career Services has an entire workshop on line that will teach you more about Informational Interviewing. Here are some sample questions to ask:
    1. How did you get into this field?
    2. What kind of preparation is expected? Is this typical / required?
    3. Once you got this job, was there anything different from what you expected?
    4. What insures continued advancement?
    5. What is the typical career path for this position? What is your next step?
    6. What advice do you have for someone like me?
    7. How much can a person expect to make industry wide in a position like this?
    8. Who else does this? What other companies? Who else should I talk to?

If you stumble across an opening, apply for a change in status. Ask the person, "That sounds very interesting. How would I go about formally applying for the position?"DO NOT BURN THEM BY BEING THERE LOOKING FOR A JOB.


Success Secret #5: Repeat the process over and over until you get a job you really want.



You can expect to change your job seven or more times over the course of your lifetime, so learning how to conduct a job search is something of a continuous improvement process. The more you learn about the process this time, the faster you can get started the next time. And, the more skills you master with your job search, the better able you will be to integrate and use effectively these new strategies in the future.

Additional tools are available on our website to help you with your job search, including links to a number of internet job search engines, employer websites, career guides and more.

Network! Network! Network!  The harder & smarter you work the luckier you get!