17 Rules for Job Seekers

A few guidelines for the successful job search.

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Michael Wade

1. The job that is a sure thing isn’t.

2. Most employers who ask for a college degree are less interested in your coursework than the fact that you got the degree. In other words, there is hope for English majors.

3. On the resume and in the interview, don’t talk about how hard you worked. Stress what was achieved.

4. Don’t forget to give credit to others. Employers are suspicious of "solo" performances.

5. If you are waiting by the phone for a call from the interview board that you wowed, Interviewer A is on vacation, Interviewer B is home with the flu, and Interviewer C is waiting for the others to return to work.

6. When it comes to E-mail addresses, boring is ten times better than cute and a hundred times better than sexy.

7. In a terrible job market, it can make sense to form a small business while looking for a job.

8. Project an attitude of Interested. That’s in contrast to Abnormally Interested and Desperate.

9. Be nice to everyone. The receptionist may be more influential than an oral board member.

10. A great many jobs are “other duties as assigned.” Be ready to be flexible.

11. Craft answers for the simple interview questions (“Why should we hire you?”) before preparing for the complicated ones. Why? You won’t be embarrassed if you flub a complicated one.

12. Put the interviewer at ease. You aren’t the only nervous person in the room.

13. Don’t make more than three points during an interview.

14. A rejection means you didn’t get the job. It means nothing beyond that.

15. Send out more resumes. A job search is often a numbers game.

16. Always send a thank-you note after an interview.

17. If it is made at all, the offer for the job you want usually arrives a week after the offer for the job you don’t want.

Michael Wade writes Execupundit.com, an eclectic combination of management advice, observations, and links. A partner with the Phoenix firm of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., he has advised private and public-sector organizations for more than 30 years.

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