Here are two success stories from my readers who found great new jobs last week. As you read each story, ask yourself, "How could I apply this to my job hunt?"
1) Job-search goal cards work
Here's a story sent in by Fred, from Chanhassen, Minn. He got hired, in part, by using my "job-search goal card" technique in his search.
"On Tuesday, May 24th, I attended the Star Tribune job fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center and heard you speak. You said to write down our ideal new job on a 3x5 card and read it every day until we found a job.
"I just started working today (July 26) as a consultant, at $65 per hour, on a 3-6 month contract that could go as long as 18 months. I am working at a major Fortune 500 company not far from my house. Conclusion: Mission accomplished. Thanks!"
Here's what Fred wrote on his job search goal card -- you can see how close he came to hitting the mark:
"I am a project manager / business analyst / CIO / controller who knows how to use technology to build new products and systems. I am making $85,000 per year, and I enjoy meeting new people and problems."
Your Takeaway Lesson: When you write down a specific description of your ideal job and read it out loud at least twice a day, you will almost always get hired faster. Why? For the same reason you can start a fire with the sun's rays using a magnifying glass -- focus.
I recommend you write the following statement on a 3x5 card and say it 10 times out loud, three times a day -- when you wake up, during lunch, and before going to bed each night. This will imprint your job-search goal on your brain. And focus your efforts. And help you get hired faster:
"It's August 30 (INSERT DATE YOU WANT TO BE WORKING BY). I'm an effective INSERT JOB TITLE who adds value to the company lucky enough to have me. I'm making $XX,XXX in a stimulating environment, doing work I love, surrounded by co-workers I enjoy."
To make this work for you, all you need is a clear idea of the job you want, a 3x5 card and a pen. This is not high-tech or low-tech -- this is no-tech. So you have no excuse for not trying it.
2) Keep an open mind and say "Thank you."
Anna C. from Michigan is newly employed and writes: "I have the most wonderful job -- every day I feel like I'm playing."
Not bad, eh? When work is play, work is good.
But, Anna was first turned down by the employer who eventually hired her. Her story shows the importance of keeping an open mind ? and of always sending thank-you letters.
Anna writes: "I received many interview offers, none of which I was interested in. Many were sales-based. I finally responded to an email for a job as an agent for XYZ Company. I had never, ever thought of being a salesperson. As a matter of fact, I HATED sales people. Well, I didn't get the job, so I sent a thank-you note to the interviewer."
That doesn't sound very promising, does it? Keep reading ?
Anna got a call for a second interview, but she had no intention of taking the job, partly because it was too far from home. "But then I received a second email from XYZ, this time for a job out of St. Joseph, Michigan, which is closer to my home. I thought, 'Someone must be trying to tell me something,' so I applied. I was hired," she says.
Your Takeaway Lesson: Keep an open mind and don't be too quick to rule out positions that aren't exactly what you're looking for. As Anna's case illustrates, you might get hired for a job you weren't even looking for.
And, even if you don't get an offer after your first interview, send a thank-you letter to the employer. They may ask you back for another job that's even better, as in Anna's case.
Now, go out and make your own luck!
Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes.
Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, CBS MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly, CBS Radio, and many others.
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