I’ve been coaching more job seekers lately in my coaching practice. My process is generally Assessment – Targeting – Self-Presentation. Here are some tips that I give to my clients regularly.

  • Assessment – Know what you LOVE in addition to what you’re good at.
  • Assessment – Know how to tell your story. Practice it often.
  • Assessment – Know several specific projects that describe you at your best and at what you most enjoy. Make sure you mention these later in the interiews.
  • Targeting – Know your geography, industry, and function.
  • Targeting – Aim high.
  • Targeting – Target many jobs.
  • Targeting – Who do you know who is related to the industry and function that you want?
  • Self-Presentation – Target your resume to the job.
  • Self-Presentation – Behavioral questions during interviews: brainstorm three answers to each of about ten questions, then choose the best of the three answers.
  • Self-Presentation – Practice consulting-type open-ended problem questions, such as the number of pencils in Alaska.
  • Self-Presentation – Rehearse before the interview how your body will behave if you get a question that stumps you. Examples: repeating the question slowly, clarifying the question, sitting forward in your chair – whatever works for you. Practice these with a friend.

What are some additional tips you have for job-seeking?
What’s the smartest job-seeking tip you have?

Welcome to Friday Questions. Come on it, and answer in the comments!


  1. fefal
    Posted Friday May 25, 2007 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Where I live…Friday is over ;)
    But to answer your question, Stay naturel and think you’re the best for this job.

  2. Posted Saturday May 26, 2007 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    The first thing I thought of in answer to this question is “Have your resume professionally written.” This isn’t all you need to land that right job, but it’s a lot.

    To get an effective resume written first you have to do a lot of thinking and articulating about what kind of job you’re after, what the organizations you want to work for want to see in a candidate for those jobs, and what you’ve accomplished in your career, so your writer will be able to create a compelling marketing piece about you.

    There’s a lot of footwork that goes into crafting a great resume, but it’s worth it and you have to go through a lot of that process anyway to prepare for interviews.

    Leveraging your existing network of people and expanding your contacts could arguably be the smartest tips, but for now I’ll call them the second smartest!

  3. Posted Saturday May 26, 2007 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Hi, Senia–

    I career coach, too, and find that there are different niches of this work:

    1) Career self-exploration (assessments plus)
    2) Personal Branding (getting really focused)
    3) Job search and Personal Marketing Campaign (using what is differentiated about you while searching and applying)
    4) Career Management (personal development/strengths coaching)

    Personally, I love the exploration and getting focused part. Personal discoveries are so rich for the client and coach!

    I think the answer to the smartest job-seeking tip is to have a really firm hold on steps 1 and 2 before you start the job search. Many people start looking for something they are interested in and end up taking work that makes them miserable.

    Work is such an important life-happiness domain. Is it a job, career or calling? That makes lots of difference when you are job searching :-)

    Happy day to you!!

    Regarding getting a professional resume writer:
    There are many wonderful resume collection books (Try the “Expert Resumes for…” Series available from JISTworks http://www.jist.com)for the industries you are considering. These are submitted by PRWA or other certified writers and include great strategies for what to include (or not), how to format, etc., and they are very industry specific and totally user-friendly.

  4. Posted Saturday May 26, 2007 at 6:47 pm | Permalink


    When I think about working for a company. I picture where I would like to work, find out about it and then approach them. My main drift is how I will add value to their business. After all, businesses are there to make money and I will tell them how I can help that.

    Most people are impressed that you have approached the company, know about it and didn’t wait for them to advertise. I usually keep in contact if there is not a vacancy, ask them what I could do to improve my prospects… but it usually works. I only ever approach places I am really keen on.

    One of the places I am working at now had a gatekeeper so I went around the backdoor by finding out someone who works there who did the same degree as me. I phoned him and established rapport and he thought I would be great, gave me the name of the person to call and said I can mention his name.
    Don’t take no personally..get creative.

  5. Posted Sunday May 27, 2007 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Hi fefal, Heather, Sherri, and Atlanta, I’ll summarize your ideas here:

    * fefal: Be natural
    * Heather: Have your resume professionally written
    * Heather: Leverage your existing network of people and expand your contacts
    * Sherri: Know your career self-exploration and personal branding before you start the job search
    * (Sherri also gives some suggestions toward’s Heather’s thought of having your resume professionally written)
    * Atlanta: Figure out how you can add value to a business.
    * Atlanta: Approach a company you like even before they advertise for a position.
    * Atlanta: Find someone with a similar background (or same schools, degrees, affiliations) at the company you’re interested in.
    * Atlanta: No is not a personal answer.
    * Atlanta: Get creative about how to approach the job.

    Thank you guys, these are really valuable.

  6. Posted Sunday May 27, 2007 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    If you’re screwing up in the interview: say it. People will actually understand and will often give you another chance. After all, they are people too :)