Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don't cut corners

The best advice I ever heard about looking for a job was that you should treat the search as a full-time job in itself.

How much job searching can you do in a 40-hour week? How thorough can you be? A lot and very.

Is your resume spotless? Are you sure those are your best clips? Have you scoured for every possible contact and opening? How much time did you spend on your most recent cover letter?

If you have an interview, do the research. For my first job interview, I was expected to take a quiz matching the towns and nicknames of the 15 local high schools the paper covered. I got about half right just by guesses and alliteration, and although I later got the job, my new boss told me that I'd almost been disqualified right there. He couldn't believe that I hadn't taken the time do research the paper before driving three hours for the interview. And he was right. Why hadn't I? Sure, I'd been a busy college student. But if finding a newspaper job was as important to me as I'd said, I would have done it.

Never leave a stone unturned. It's easy to say, and I'm sure everyone reading this is nodding their heads right now. But only a small fraction of people do it.

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