Skip to Page Content

My Best Professional Advice to Job Seekers, Amy Dillman

    With unceremonious arrival, this Spring marked my 10 year anniversary in the field of human resources. I've seen and heard a lot of the good and bad in HR, in management, in policy, in employees and in applicants. So when I was recently asked to give my best professional advice to job seekers I contemplated how to even start or when to dare stop the recommendations.  So, with an albeit condensed nod to the list-maker himself, Mr. Dave Letterman, I present my top 5 ways to prepare for the hunt (hey, I said it was condensed).

    5. Take stock. In yourself, your strengths and your goals. Answer the questions: What job do I want? What kind of work do I want to do? What culture do I want to work in? What salary will I require? Write it down. Why? This information is your blueprint for writing a resume and your source for interviewing.

    4. Apply to qualified positions. Recruiters hate nothing more than receiving applications from under qualified candidates. Don't oversell yourself. Do look for key words from the job description and use them in your cover letter and in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS searches for matches between the job and your electronic application.

    3. Network. Can't say it enough. Currently job seeking or not, keep up with your networks. If you are job hunting, let colleagues, friends, family, professional groups know about it (even quietly if you're still employed). Don't knock them over the head with it every time, but let people know you're in the market.

    2. Let's talk social media. Did you know that 56% of recruiters used social media this year for candidate sourcing?  And while we're on the subject, now's the perfect time to clean up your SM profile.  Have you googled yourself to see what your potential employers are viewing about you? Don't let a bad picture of a really good party blow your chances.

    1. Stay true to who you are. Be authentic. We'll all take any job in certain situations and in uncertain financial times, but not much is as professionally debilitating than a job where you just don't fit. Refer to number 5.


    Bonus: Get support from friends, family, former colleagues, or a trusted advisor during the process. It's hard, ugly, depressing and time-consuming. You will question your experience, curse a recruiter under your breathe and hear the voice inside your head saying 'failure.' Above all, believe in yourself, nurture your soul and have a little faith.