Do’s and Don'ts for a Successful Job Search

Searching and applying for jobs requires A LOT of hard work! There are resumes and cover letters to write, interviews to attend, and references to contact. BUT, don’t let laziness stop you from landing a job! Whether you are a new Auburn graduate or a current student looking for a part-time job, this blog pertains to anyone who is currently seeking employment! Chad Bauer, a writer for, identifies some do’s and don’ts for a successful job search:

DO customize/target your resume for each job submittal
Each resume you submit should be tailored to the position, highlighting those dimensions of your background that are most important to the job.

DON’T use ONLY job boards to search
The least effective way to find a job is by applying to job listings on job boards. Other, more useful tactics for identifying job opportunities include networking with colleagues, targeting specific companies, and attending professional association meetings, to name just a few.

DO write a cover letter for each job
Cover letters provide a way to highlight the personal qualities and accomplishments that differentiate you from other applicants. Your cover letter also allows you to draw the reader’s attention to the parts of your background that are most applicable to the specific job.

DO follow up on resumes and interviews
Professional follow-through on resume submittals and interviews helps set you apart, puts your name in front of the hiring authorities, and demonstrates your interest in the company and position.

DO take extra copies of your resume and cover letter to each interview
Interviewers are notorious for forgetting to bring your resume to the interview, so demonstrate your preparedness by taking extra copies for them. You may also meet people who have not seen your resume before.

DON’T lie on your resume or at any point in the hiring process
Lying is very high risk, both during the selection process and after you get hired. Many people have been fired for lying on their resumes, even after years of high job performance. Positive spin is good; lying is bad.

DON’T include personal information on your resume
Personal data is irrelevant to the hiring process. Companies are governed by law to not discriminate based on personal characteristics or circumstances. Listing personal information on your resume, which used to be standard, is now viewed as unprofessional.

DON’T use too many fonts and text effects on your resume
A resume must be easy to read and understand. Use no more than two fonts – one is best. It’s good to highlight specific words in your resume by making them bold, but you should generally avoid underlining or heavy use of italics, which can affect scan ability.

DO prepare intellectually and emotionally for interviews
The interview is the most important moment in your job search and as such, it requires solid intellectual and emotional preparation. Researching the company is just the beginning. Research the background of the people you will meet (use the corporate web site or online profiles). Practice answering the most common interview questions, and the questions you fear most. Prepare five questions you will ask during the interview. Finally, get yourself in the most resourceful and positive mood for the interview. Candidates perform their best when feeling spectacular.

DO send a thank you note after interviews
Send a thank you note to every interviewer. This one technique demonstrates your professionalism and interest, and can make the difference between getting and not getting an offer.

DON’T disclose unflattering data on social network profiles
Many employers check social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) for additional data about potential employees. Review your online profiles and disclose only professional and positive information.

DO pre-qualify your references
Make certain your references are absolutely comfortable providing a stellar recommendation for you.

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