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Posted by on Feb 7, 2013

Real Job Search Tips from Pros that Know

Real Job Search Tips from Pros that Know


It’s not unusual for a job seeker to feel stranded somewhere between Hope and Frustration. Hopeful that a career fair, job board or chance encounter will be the path to a new opportunity, yet, frustrated when the job search seems to wind up at a dead-end. Does this ring familiar to you?

Do you feel stuck in your job search?


Recently, I attended a large, local job fair, as well as a two-day social media conference. Both events were great opportunities to chat with recruiters and career services professionals. I scoured the events — talking to as many people as I could — to bring these real job seeker tips to you:

Know what makes you stand out. Over and over again, I heard from recruiters that many job seekers seem to have difficulty saying what it is they are looking for in a job. If you don’t know, how is a recruiter going to? “Be able to articulate what makes you different,” says Chris Russell of Career Cloud, LLC. It’s important for job seekers to know their “unique selling proposition.”

Create job seeker profiles. In an age when we all want everything now, completing online job applications may seem painstakingly tedious. However, it’s important to know that many companies require you to fill one out. Tiffany Melo, a recruiter with a major utilities company, recommends creating a profile on corporate career sites. “Sign up for job search alerts … this way you’ll get notifications when jobs match what you’re looking for.”

Have a professional online presence. “I’m proactively sourcing candidates online,” reveals Jillian Cournoyer, a recruiter for a world-wide engineering company. Recruiters are using a variety of business and social networks to find their next hire. Having a professional presence on LinkedIn or Facebook could help you find your next big thing or enable your next gig to find you.

Use social media to identify and engage. When using LinkedIn, Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, advises that job seekers “identify people and companies on LinkedIn, and then engage them on Twitter.” Social media not only serves as a comprehensive research tool, but also a means for direct conversations with employers and recruiters.

Surround yourself with supportive people. Being in the job search for months – even years – can take its toll on your mind and body. Brandon Boulter of George Washington University recommends that job seekers “seek out a mentor and openly engage with them.” Having people that you can count on and a network that’s there for you, may be just what your job search needs.


Years ago, I found my current job via a large, popular job board. Today, I still know of people who are landing jobs by responding to job board postings. Crazy, right?!

As a job seeker, there are many tools in your job hunt tool box: social media, online networks, career fairs, alumni groups, job boards, staffing agencies, networking events, referrals from friends and family, and even the newspaper. (Seriously, it’s still a viable tool in some areas!) The best advice that I can give you is this: Utilize all of the resources that are available to you.

Good luck my friends! I hope you find your dream job.  What’s the craziest tool you’ve found in your search?

Photo Credit.


About Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad spends her days leading HR social media and employment branding at GEICO and has more than 12 years of recruiting experience. She’s a work@home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, yoga, traveling and her morning coffee. You can connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. (Opinions are her own and not those of her company.)

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