Podcast Transcript: Best Practices to Streamline Your Job Search

About This Podcast

Career Corner is a program produced by the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network, part of State Services for the Blind. And it is recorded for people who are blind or have reading disabilities.

You can find complete programming of the Radio Talking Book at www.mnssb.org/rtb. And the password is R T B.

Your host for Career Corner is Anne Obst.



And next up is the Working Strategies column from the April 13th issue of the St. Paul Pioneer Press titled "Some Best Practices to Streamline Your Job Search." By Amy Lindgren. 

Column Begins

Although I often write as if there's one best way to conduct a search for jobs, in reality I find my thinking is swayed by each person's circumstances. In the end, while it's difficult to declare one process as the superior approach for a majority of job seekers, I do find myself favoring about a dozen "best practices." In reviewing the following list, you'll see that the entries share a common thread in that they're either strategic, action-oriented, or both. 

Best Practice 1

Looking at the hiring process from the employer's perspective. This is old news by now, but it's still the advice I repeat the most often. To see things from the employer's point of view entails more than customizing your resume to reflect industry terms. In fact, I'd argue that those steps are far less important than candidates think. 

Rather than seeing their company name embedded in someone's documents, I'm betting most managers would prefer conversing with a candidate who understands their business and their competitive challenges -- perhaps even to the point of introducing themselves when no job is currently posted. 

Best Practice 2

Referring to online ads for information, but not as a primary source of job leads. Taken with a grain of salt, online ads can provide substantial information to guide a job search. Here you can learn about jobs and companies you never knew existed, as well as the specific terminology being used for different professions. But responding to ads as your main search activity is inviting frustration and productivity delays. 

Best Practice 3

Identifying and articulating the target job you're currently seeking. If you don't know what you're looking for, how can you develop a search strategy? Simply watching the ads for a random harvest of jobs to apply for is leaving too much to chance; having a job target empowers you to seek the unadvertised openings. 

Best Practice 4

Following up with job leads, professional contacts, earlier conversations and even rejections to stay in front of people with the power to hire. Lack of persistence is possibly the No. 1 downfall in most searches I evaluate. People simply give up too easily or talk themselves out of pursuing interactions with others. 

Best Practice 5

Being a resourceful problem-solver. Another case of giving up too easily. Most steps in job search are really just exercises in problem-solving. If you can train yourself to externalize the situation, you'll more easily approach "stuck" places with a "How can I make this work" attitude, rather than a "What's the matter with me" admonishment. 

Best Practice 6

Taking the long view. Nearly everyone has experienced the tyranny of short-term needs as they try to solve their employment puzzle. But those who take the longer view have a distinct advantage, as they are able to narrow their pursuit to employment situations that will serve them well down the road. 

Best Practice 7

Creating a daily schedule that builds job search momentum. Getting up too late or starting the day with draining activities are almost guarantees that your search will be less productive. Building a consistent schedule and organizing your tasks for each day are two simple ways of enhancing your energy for the project. 

Best Practice 8

Eliminating nonproductive, busy-work job search processes. Completing repetitive online applications for companies that aren't responding is an easy example of an activity you could cut out. What other actions are you taking with no evidence of success? 

Best Practice 9

Surrounding yourself with positive people and eliminating most negative information feeds, including downbeat unemployment reports. Really, what are you going to do with all the statistics and news stories you've been consuming? And don't get me started about the disaster-focused conversations some family and friends seem intent on pursuing. 

Best Practice 10

Tackling unpleasant tasks head-on, to reduce their power over you. For example if you dislike writing cover letters or calling people to set up meetings, get these tasks over with early in the day so you can move on. The longer they stay on your to-do list, the more stuck you will become. 

Best Practice 11

Setting daily and weekly goals, as well as regular check-ins to evaluate your progress or correct course. There is abundant research to tell us that people who set goals tend to meet them while those who don't set goals will flounder in their progress on any given project. 

Best Practice 12

Incorporating gratitude into daily practices so you can keep both your perspective and your optimism. It's the little things that get us through difficult situations; taking the time to acknowledge how much is going right every day will help balance the frustrations of not yet being employed. 


Join us again for Career Corner. I'm Anne Obst.