Monday, November 21, 2005

Get a Job! Tips for the Job Seeker

I recently received an e-mail from a student and now a friend, Marco D. DeSena, formerly a member of the prestigious New York City Urban Fellows program. Having just completed his Master of Science in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics, Mr. DeSena was eager to reshape his résumé for his return to the United States and entry into the job market. He politely asked about this blog, “Where’s the résumé section?”

I knew someone would ask sooner or later, but thanks to Mr. DeSena’s gentle nudging, I will devote this installment and the next five of WORDS ON THE LINE to what I consider the five phases of the entire employment application process: self-assessing, researching, writing, interviewing, and following-up.

I have had the pleasure of helping many people create and fine tune their job application materials as well as grooming job seekers for key interviews. With the experience of listening to their concerns in preparing for their dates with destiny—and sharing their joy upon receiving favorable news from prospective employers—I will look at the tasks of the employment application process from the perspective of the candidate.

A fully focused and engaged job seeker should be adept in the following five phases, in chronological order:
  1. Self-assess, to identify your career goals, preferred job and organization, and strengths and weaknesses as a job candidate
  2. Research, to learn about the job market and available positions in your field of interest
  3. Write, to craft the résumé that best tells your qualifications as they relate to your prospective employer’s needs
  4. Interview, to express your key qualifications and to listen for your interviewer’s cues about the prospective employer's integrity, culture, and direction.
  5. Follow-up, to maintain a positive focus, keep tabs on prospective employers, and adjust your approach to the employment application process as needed.
In the next installment of WORDS ON THE LINE, I will focus on the first phase of the employment application process: self-assessment.

To purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by Philip Vassallo, click here: