Upon further review

Looking back at some of the top tips of 2006

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Need a little boost in your job search? We've taken some of the best advice from this year and packaged it in these cut-and-save cards that you can stash away in your drawer at work or on your kitchen bulletin board at home.

Resume update

Your resume is your most important job-search tool. Check it every month or so to ensure it's presenting your skills in the best possible way.

• Keep it short.

• Quantify your value. Employers understand numbers.

• Emphasize language skills.

• Describe how you've supported yourself.

• List internships.

• Describe the companies you've worked for in the past and present.

• Use a professional-sounding e-mail address.

Thank-you notes

The small step of sending a thank-you letter after an interview could seal the deal toward landing your new job.

• Quick response: It's best to send the letter within 24 hours of the interview, and it can be done either by e-mail or traditional mail.

• Quick recap: Use the note to emphasize something you may have forgotten to say during the interview.

• Be thankful: Obviously, you need to express appreciation for the opportunity to meet. Restate your interest in the job and emphasize two of your strongest talents.

List of references

A strong reference list should consist of five to 10 people who can speak to your workplace strengths and skills.

• Talk to your references. Tell them beforehand so they can prepare a succinct statement about you.

• Provide references. Don't wait for a recruiter to ask for your references. Instead, hand them over during the interview.

• Keep in touch. Your references should be kept up-to-date on your career, especially if you're launching a new job search.

Interview attire

You want to look as professional as possible when interviewing for job. Avoid these blunders:

• Odd hair color.

• Visible tattoos and body piercings.

• Strappy, open-toe shoes.

• Short sleeves.

• Too much perfume.

• Too much makeup.

Find a job fast

• Seek help. Ask for assistance with your resume. Practice mock interviews with friends.

• Stay positive. Your future employer wants to hire someone with a positive outlook.

• Use all the resources available to you, including office equipment, to make things easier for yourself.

• Target hiring managers, the real decision makers at a company or firm.

• Consider temping as a way to make money while you're looking.

Interview tips

Your interview is your one chance to make a strong impression. Take advantage of it.

• Tell a story: Your interviewer wants to know about your skills and experiences, but he or she also wants to know about you. Work your answers into stories or anecdotes about yourself.

• Don't say it: Don't talk about money or benefits during the first interview. Don't badmouth about any of your past employers. Don't mention outside career aspirations or part-time jobs.

• Be memorable: Do or say something that will allow you to stand out in the mind of your interviewer.

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