Preparation is Key

THE FIRST 10 SECONDS often determine the outcome of a job interview.

BEHAVIOR THAT LEADS TO REJECTION: A weak handshake. Poor eye contact. Slouching in the chair. Lack of enthusiasm. Sloppy grooming. Smoking. Hostility. Boastfulness. Condescension to the secretary or receptionist.

ONLY ONE JOB HUNTER out of 100 bothers to research a company before a job interview. One out of 25 has prepared questions about the job or company. One out of 10 works at selling himself or herself. One out of 3 walks in without a resume. And only one out of 50 follow up the interview with a note to the recruiter.

BOTTOM LINE: The well-prepared candidate has a major advantage.

The 10 most common job-hunting errors along with some practical advice:

• Poor resume. Accomplishments should be emphasized. Education and experience records should be concise.

• Failure to network. Don't be reluctant to make use of friends and acquaintances.

• Limiting job sources. Don't scorn the classified or employment agencies.

• Canned approach. Don't reprint cover letters or send a "generic" resume.

• Short search. Don't kid yourself; be prepared for the long haul-five months or more.

• Inadequate interview preparation. Every interview is different and responses should be timely, flexible and geared to the prospective employer.

• Poor interviewing techniques. It's a give-and-take, an honest relationship must be established.

• Restricted job search. Geographic locations, commuting time, size and type of company and other personal preferences should be secondary. Check all possibilities.

• Negative attitude. Even if you think you have all the answers, don't criticize your managers.

• Poor physical appearance. Spruce up.

Career Related Links

·        CMP Publications TechCareers - voted Best Career Site by Internet Business Network (link)
·        CareerPath -

·         “The Riley Guide” List of Employment Opportunities & Job Resources on the Internet: (link)

·        Cost of Living Index from The Center for Mobility Resources.  If you are considering relocating, this calculator can determine a comparable salary in the city you are moving to (link)

Articles Related to the Job Search

·        “Before You Say Good-bye” things to consider prior to handing in your resignation: (link)

·        “How to Network in a Crowd” by Linda J. Nash  -  (link)

·        “How to Assess a Job Offer” by Max Carey reprinted from the Winter 1990-1991 “Occupational Outlook Quarterly”