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How I Got Hired

Man getting hired

Man getting hiredThis post continues the series on how I went about finding a new job.  Last time I explained how I conducted my search and I’ll now explain where I found the job posting to which I applied and how I went about applying for it.

Since I pretty much knew exactly what types of positions for which I’d apply, I was very choosy and for several weeks nothing opened up in my geographical area, so I kept repeating the steps I outlined in my last post.  I was actually in no hurry since I was still employed, so I had the luxury of being very selective and was only willing to apply for jobs that very closely matched my qualifications.

After about five weeks, what I considered to be the perfect job was posted in – believe it or not – the Sunday newspaper!  That’s right, the Sunday newspaper. And this was an upper- level management position, with a six figure starting salary. The Sunday newspaper is NOT always just for low-level jobs.

In fact, the Sunday newspaper was always one of my favorite ways to advertise a job opening.  Admittedly, with so many candidates now being available due to the tight job market, combined with popularity of company web site posting, I use it much less frequently than I used to.  However, it still has a place for certain job openings.  Consequently, it was one of the primary (and ultimately successful) ways I used to find a job for myself.

While the Sunday paper isn’t a good vehicle for positions at the vice-president level or higher, it can be a good tool for finding many middle and upper-middle level positions.  In fact, I obtained my two previous management jobs by responding to Sunday newspaper job postings.

Sure, following all the job search steps is important, as you never know where YOUR next job will be posted.  Even though the Internet has substantially lessened the impact of advertising in the Sunday newspaper, it remains a tool you should keep in your job search arsenal.

The job to which I applied required filling out an online application, along with the submission of a resume and, as an option, a cover letter (an option that you can bet I took!).

My resume is in the chronological format.  I took my basic resume and modified it to highlight the exact skills and experience in the job posting.  Remember how much I’ve hammered on this in previous posts: you must customize your resume for every job to which you apply.  Here’s the method I used to do this for myself.

First, I printed out the job posting and broke it up into each individual required qualification.  I then made sure that all qualifications that I met were specifically mentioned in my resume, along with specific accomplishments for each one.  Wherever possible, I used the exact wording in the job posting for each qualification.

Of course, you must actually have the qualifications to be able to do this.  It happens that I met most of the important qualifications because I was only looking for jobs that matched my skills and experience.

For my cover letter, I made certain it also specifically mentioned my skills and experience for the exact qualifications given in the job posting.

I submitted everything electronically via email to the address specified in the job advertisement.
I then waited almost six weeks before hearing anything. Yes, I said six weeks! It seems some organizations are a bit slower than others…

When the HR department finally called to invite me in for an interview, things started happening very quickly.  In my next post, I’ll explain exactly how I prepared for my initial interview and a little trick that I accidentally stumbled across at that interview.

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