The top do's and don'ts in a job search. Times have changed in a job search. Are your job search skills still relevant and current? By Greg David of Gregory Laka and Company
TheTop Do’s and Don’ts
When Conducting a Job
Tell that to 10-15% of the US job force that are
laid off and land quickly.With multiple offers.
Let others believe that. You need to learn the
“secrets” of navigating the job market.
People are getting hired all the time. It might as
well be you.
If you want to get there, you need to change your
beliefs, thoughts, ideas, words, actions,
strategies, and habits.
Most people in search mode experience death by a
million SMALL cuts.
They endure more pain and suffer longer not
because of the market, but because of the poor
choices they make.
They lengthen their search timelines and create their
Focus on easy activities.
Focus on highly competitive
Spend most of their time at
Don’t spend money on their
Don’t have a financial
Don’t measure their failure
Don’t “study” for success.
Don’t have timelines, goals,
Become more flexible as
they get more desperate.
Put limitations on their
Focus on being busy instead
of getting results.
Don’t hold themselves
Don’t create meaningful
change daily, weekly, etc.
Although it is a marathon,YOU NEEDTO SPRINT. DO NOT PACE
YOURSELF. How you begin your search is critical to the overall success
of your job search. Most people put limits on their search, do not get
all the cylinders going at once, and ease their way into it. This
guarantees a long painful search.
Every day that you do not learn something that
you will later learn adds days, weeks, months to
There is no such thing as ‘ramping up’ or ‘pacing
Job seekers who hold their own feet to the fire,
expect more of themselves daily, and get to the
finish line faster.
Prepare written goals on all
Read daily on topics in a job
Invest $ in your search.
Avoid ALL negativity.
Work 10 hours a day minimum.
Memorize Powerpoints attached
to my LINKEDIN profile.
Procrastinate and ease into
Put limits on your search in
Make search firms and job
boards your main diet.
“Strangle the baby” or kill your
Do what you have done in the
past in job search mode.
Do not place any limitations on your search. You
do not know where the next job offer will come
from. Within reason, interview for any job,
anywhere, anytime—no exceptions.
Over 30% of job offers come from a connection
made during a previous opportunity pursued.
Exercise will allow you to:
Burn off stress and frustration.
Have more energy.
Increase your self-esteem and personal confidence.
Feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Outperform other candidates.
Sleep better and stay healthier.
Develop greater discipline that carries over.
Physical fitness is 60% what you eat, and 40%
Research how your food choices directly impact
the success of your job search and later, your
long term health.
Learn to eat things that make you feel better,
think better, be happier, and look better.
GIGO: Garbage in, Garbage out. Your choice!
Search on what job seekers and interviewers are reading.
i.e. behavioral interviewing techniques and ‘how to’ interview books.
‘Who Moved My Cheese’ and anything by Dr. Spencer Johnson or Ken Blanchard or Og
Mandino. Also—read a book of worship of your choice and reflect for 30 minutes
Use the Internet:
About.com ---- search on ‘job searching’ and other similar keyword combinations.
Make it daily, and read like your life depends on it. Those that land quickly DEVOUR
Subscribe to daily emails for meditation, prayer, positive mental attitude, job search
techniques, job search articles, interview tips, etc.
In a unidirectional search, candidates
throw as much as they can against the wall,
hoping it sticks.
They blame the job market, corporate
America, recruiters, competition, off-
shoring, outsourcing, politicians, and more.
The reality is they choose to use an
outdated process instead of adapting to the
It is this process and zone that delays their
job search and makes it less rewarding.
They prefer the pain of unemployment to
the pain of conducting a successful search.
An “old style” job search
candidates chase jobs.
This is an outdated,
irrelevant type of search
that takes a very long
time, and is very painful.
Sending resumes out to
search firms manually.
Searching the job boards
Using job search engines
Sending resumes out to
Going to networking
events to find a job.
Spending most of your
time at home.
Spending most of your
time on a computer.
Spending most of your
time not in business
Spending most of your
time looking for jobs to
Emailing or calling to
keep your name in front
of recruiters or
Applying online makes
up most activity.
Building a ‘network’
that consists of mostly
people from your
Trying to tell others
who you are when you
feel you fit their need.
Trying to change your
experience to fit their
calling, writing to get
A unidirectional job search is activity focused outward
from the job seeker to the marketplace in an effort to
get noticed through emails, applying on-line, random
sending of resumes, make believe electronic
networking, and self centered instant gratification
that yields little measurable positive return for time
Fifth challenge: Doing a
BIDIRECTIONAL job search.
A bidirectional job search is one that focuses on doing
SURGICAL and STRATEGIC activities that allow others to
It is proactive, and covers all bases. The key to a bidirectional job
search is making it easy for others to findYOU, often when
they do not advertise a job that you fit. To do this successfully,
you must do things very differently.
What you know is not important if no one knows who you are.
Your experience and knowledge is irrelevant.
Who you know is equally not important. This is dated thinking.
People used to say that it is not what you know, it is who you
know. People who say and believe that show they are dated
Consider this: You can have 100% of the most influential people
in your industry in your cell phone address book. But if you
are not in theirs, AND they do not think of you when they
have a need, AND they do not take specific action to contact
YOU, then it does not matter.
Relevant and current thinking is: Who knowsYOU?
Who knows you exist? A bidirectional job search is one
that focuses very early energy & activity on
penetrating proprietary databases with your
information, on building a “brand” and identity for
others to find you, and on continuing to do this on an
ongoing basis (daily, weekly, monthly).
A bidirectional search is what should occupy
most of each day, and it radically shortens
time in the market.
Makes a job search more
Makes a job search faster.
Allows you greater
control over your results.
Makes a job search less
Makes a job search easier.
Taps you into a market
that most job seekers do
not venture into unless by
Makes you more
attractive to recruiters
and hiring organizations.
Shows you are a more
savvy, and desirable job
Use automated tools to distribute resumes to search
firms and hiring organizations.
Create your brand & identity on public sites.
Make it easy for those with needs to findYOU!
This link provides you a 10% discount!
Create search agents to automate finding jobs you fit:
Major job boards (Monster, DICE, CareerBuilder, etc).
www.indeed.com & www.simplyhired.com
www.linkup.com & www.slideshare.com
www.twitter.com & www.instagram.com
www.youtube.com & www.plus.google.com
Author Powerpoints and whitepapers and put on Internet.
Volunteer time to speak at event panels.
Volunteer time to be a guest speaker or lecturer.
Be known as a Subject Matter Expert.
Automating your job search means that these “job agents” run by themselves
daily, and your email box is populated automatically each day.
This frees you up to spend time on other things, and therein the power lies.
Others will be toiling and doing low return work as their “core focus” and this
will give you a substantial competitive edge.
They will be busy ‘chasing jobs’ where they are competing with hundreds and
thousands of other candidates.
You will be able to focus on surgical and strategic activity.
Laugh all the way to the finish line!
Do have your contact information on every page.
Do NOT put your contact info in the header or footer
Do NOT send resume out as a PDF.
Do NOT have graphics, borders, pictures in resume.
Do have your resume written by a professional.
Do NOT use your middle name or initial in resume.
Do NOT use initials in a resume (i.e. G.D.Smith).
Do NOT have certifications or degrees included
with your name.
Do NOT use same resume for all positions.
Do NOT have a summary or objective.
Do NOT hide your address or contact info.
Do NOT write a third party resume.
Do NOT use ONLY a chronological resume.
Most resumes have typos. Don’t be a Sh*t Supervisor.
Don’t rely on spell check. Don’t rely on just your eyes.
Never proof read a resume or email on the screen. Print
it. You will catch more errors.
Over capitalization is a typo, and you will be ruled out.
Do use OUTLOOK.This is critical.
Do use LIVEINBOX (www.liveinbox.com)
Do set up your email account using your first and last name with
no initials or abbreviations.
Do use SimplyFile (www.techhit.com/simplyfile/)
Do use LINKEDIN.com (Job seeker version—not free)
Do use www.Gwabbit.com.
Do have a COMPLETE signature in ALL emails (even replies)
including a brand that describes you.
Do have a work type email ONLY (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do NOT use your middle initial or name in your email
signature or in your electronic business card.
Do NOT become a “RESUME SPAMMER”. Only apply for jobs
that you fit.
Do NOT play “RESUME HORSESHOES” and apply because
you are close.
Do NOT use certifications or degrees in signature or contact
Do NOT send your resume blindly.
Do NOT keep emailing your resume or sending empty follow
up emails just to keep your name in front of them.
Do NOT use EARTHLINK orYahoo or SBCglobal or AOL
Do NOT have your Facebook photo be anything under
than 100% professional.
Use a professional or generic photo for LINKEDIN.
Do back up your computer and your address book online
with a backup service.
Do use ACT! or an online contact manager like
Do have at least 10 recommendations on LINKEDIN,
with most from past supervisors or people above you.
Do get a SMART phone with email and Internet
access and use ONLY that phone number on ALL
Do NOT write anything negative anywhere on
the Internet, even in private groups, or on
Sit, don’t stand.
Smile into a mirror in front of you.
Have paper and several pens for info gathering.
Listen to the question and answer the question quickly,
using facts & figures. Ask if you answered the question
or if they would like more information.
Avoid background noise (i.e. kids, pets,TV, music, etc).
ONLY use land lines for a phone interview. No cell
Do research (Role, company, industry, pain points,
individuals, trends, history, etc).
Be prepared (Behavioral, group, panel,
psychological, aptitude, dining, video conferencing,
itineraries, examples of work, etc).
Be timely (Don’t be late, but don’t be too early. 15
minutes is perfect).
Know your body language---Practice in front of
mirror and/or video tape yourself while responding
to 50 interview questions you can prepare for.
Know your voice quality---Audio record your phone
interviews and conversations with recruiters to ‘self
evaluate’ your performance later (note: recording
others without their permission is illegal and in
violation of certain state, federal laws).
Have printed information---Firm, job description,
history, trends, ‘pain points’, interviewers profiles
on LinkedIn, etc).
Have pre-written questions----They need to be
intelligent, well thought out, and make a positive
impression on the interviewer.
Have examples of work---Make it relevant. You
can also create examples of what you have done
from memory if you do not have this now.
How do I compare to the other people that you
How do I compare to your “ideal” candidate?
How do I compare to the person that was in the
What weaknesses do you perceive in my
background or experience?
What strengths do you perceive in my
background or experience?
What may I do to strengthen my candidacy for
employment with your organization?
Never bring up money, benefits, title, perks, etc.
Never play hard to get, brag, or put a gun to their
Never try to control, or speed up the process.
Never hold them accountable to timetable.
Never go off on tangents.
Never say anything negative, even if it is true.
Never comment poorly on a company, person, issue,
Never “step on their heels” with follow up.
Never say “NO” until you have an offer, and even
then, suggest alternatives instead of rejecting an
Never share where you are interviewing with
anyone! Don’t allow family to share either!
Never tell anyone why you are researching a
particular firm when preparing. NEVER!
Why do you want to work here?
Why do you want this job?
Why should we considerYOU?
Why are you unemployed? Still unemployed?
Why are you here today?
Why do you want to work in this industry?
Why do you stand out versus all the other
Don’t hold them to their commitments.
Don’t hold them to their earlier interest level.
Don’t become part of the problem.
Don’t “choke the baby” by hugging too much or too
Don’t try to control the situation or process.
Don’t blindly follow up or check on status.
Don’t take it personally.
Who can you help?Who can you mentor?
Who can you team up with (different skills)?
WhatVALUE do you offer? Who cares?
Why should others partner with you?
Make them heroes! Make them love you!
Help them connect to others!
Choose your network wisely. Be choosy!
LinkedIn and similar tools: Do NOT link to anyone
and everyone. You will devalue your network.
Don’t blindly recommend people for openings. Most
of the time you will be wrong and will damage
organizations and search firms you want to help you.
If you really want to help, give them all the names
of people you know who fit.
It takes 100 names to find 4 qualified people.
Find your past bosses and peers and have their
current contact info prepared to leave behind.
Get their permission to give their info out.
Understand peers may be hired instead of you.
Don’t offer unless asked. Don’t include with resume.
Know what they will say. They must be credible.
Many references are not favorable.
Follow up must ENHANCE their perception of
you. MOST FOLLOW UPS DOTHE OPPOSITE!
Send well written thank you notes. Must not be
fluff. Include specifics from interview.
Follow ups must include white papers, articles to
share, examples of work, testimonials, etc.
Emails must be well written. Spell check will NOT
catch all errors.
The average job seeker gets a job offer they
accept after making 500 new meaningful
The length of time it takes you to make these
contacts is up to you.
Most delay the timetable and lengthen their job
It is all up to you! Get back to work faster!
Have an accountability partner!
Have metrics and do daily, weekly, monthly
This should cause you to make small changes and
implement new ideas on an ongoing basis---
something most job seekers do little of.
What type of role?Why?
What type of co?Why?
What size co?Why?
Type of boss?Why?
What challenges you?
What do you enjoy?
Last book read?
Favorite classes in
Parking lot people
Driving to interview
Meeting with realtor
Meeting benefits people
Networking: Do you focus on yourself or others?
Job Clubs: Do you focus on yourself or others?
Volunteer initiatives: Why are you not involved?
Faith based groups: Why are you not involved?
Children’s groups: Why are you not involved?
Hospital: Why are you not involved?
Retirement home:Why are you not involved?
Political causes: Why are you not involved?
Town or village efforts:Why are you not involved?
In addition to the obstacles and issues covered today,
there is one larger issue and obstacle that is 100% self
Implement change as soon as you learn about it.
Don’t delay. Don’t procrastinate. Do it now.
This type of behavior is contagious and magical.
It leads to a ‘snowball effect’ where good things begin
happening all around you. It takes on a life of it’s own.
But you have to startTODAY and create that spark!
Greg David, President
Laka & Company