Job Search Tips

You may find the following tips and advice from CareerBuilder helpful in your job search. This article is adapted and used by permission of CareerBuilder.

Top Tips

Need a little boost in your job search? Here's some of the best advice from the experts.

List of references

A strong reference list should consist of five to 10 people who can speak to your workplace strengths and skills.

  • Talk to your references. Tell them beforehand so they can prepare a succinct statement about you.
  • Provide references. Don't wait for a recruiter to ask for your references. Instead, hand them over during the interview.
  • Keep in touch. Your references should be kept up-to-date on your career, especially if you're launching a new job search.

Find a job fast

  • Seek help. Ask for assistance with your resume. Practice mock interviews with friends.
  • Stay positive. Your future employer wants to hire someone with a positive outlook.
  • Use all the resources available to you, including office equipment, to make things easier for yourself.
  • Target hiring managers, the real decision makers in a company or firm.
  • Consider temping as a way to make money while you're looking.

Resume update

Your resume is your most important job-search tool. Check it every month or so to ensure it's presenting your skills in the best possible way.

  • Keep it short.
  • Quantify your value. Employers understand numbers.
  • Emphasize language skills.
  • Describe how you've supported yourself.
  • List internships.
  • Describe the companies you've worked for in the past and present.
  • Use a professional-sounding e-mail address.

Interview attire

You want to look as professional as possible when interviewing for a job. Avoid these blunders:

  • Odd hair color
  • Visible tattoos and body piercings
  • Strappy, open-toe shoes
  • Short sleeves
  • Too much perfume
  • Too much makeup

Interview tips

Your interview is your one chance to make a strong impression. Take advantage of it.

  • Tell a story: Your interviewer wants to know about your skills and experiences, but he or she also wants to know about you. Work your answers into stories or anecdotes about yourself.
  • Don't say it: Don't talk about money or benefits during the first interview. Don't badmouth any of your past employers. Don't mention outside career aspirations or part-time jobs.
  • Be memorable: Do or say something that will allow you to stand out in the mind of your interviewer.

Interview questions to ask

After discussing your skills for the position, you should ask your interviewer a few questions. Here are some examples:

  • Do you have a detailed job description for the position for which I'm being considered? If not, can you please walk me through a typical day for a person in that position?
  • What is the growth plan for your company?
  • What are the next steps in evaluating me for this position?
  • When can I expect to hear back from you?

Job fair dos and don'ts

  • Do some research about the companies and jobs that are of interest to you.
  • Be distinctive and give the recruiter something to remember you by.
  • Dress for success. Be professional in your appearance.
  • Don’t forget to follow up with recruiters.
  • Don’t dress too casually. You'll regret being one of the men or women without a suit.
  • Don't come unprepared. If you can't prepare, don't bother to show up.
  • Don't forget your manners.

Thank-you notes

The small step of sending a thank-you letter after an interview could seal the deal toward landing your new job.

  • Quick response: It's best to send the letter within 24 hours of the interview and it can be done either by e-mail or traditional mail.
  • Quick recap: Use the note to emphasize something you may have forgotten to say during the interview.
  • Be thankful: Obviously, you need to express appreciation for the opportunity to meet. Restate your interest in the job and emphasize two of your strongest talents.