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Polishing Your Job Hunting Skills

An improving economy is encouraging hundreds of Kentuckians to re-enter the work force or to look for a new job. So what should you be thinking about to ensure success?

Be ready to work hard and make an immediate impact, knowing that you will need to justify and fight for a job from the start, suggest career development experts.

Hot job markets
Many job seekers will need to switch careers, says Sophia Koropeckyj of Economy.com. Factory and information-technology jobs will continue to move overseas at a rate of about 300,000 a year, she says.

What jobs are booming? Our aging population is demanding more health services and home-based care. The stock market has created new hiring in finance, such as stockbrokers. Low interest rates have propelled real-estate sales and the need for more realtors. Teaching and other education-related careers are attracting job-changers, despite cutbacks in some locales because of shrinking budgets.

There’s renewed hiring, too, in such diverse areas as mortuary services, veterinarians, and car sales.

Sending your resume
For many job seekers, their resume is the initial contact with a prospective employer, and its primary purpose is to get you to the next step—an interview.

Employers say that one-third of all new hires last year came through the Internet, so hone your skills on the Web as well as snail-mail.

Within a week after your resume goes in the mail or is e-mailed, make a follow-up contact with the would-be employer’s human relations department to see if it arrived intact and to answer any questions.

Land an interview
The primary goal of a follow-up call is to get an interview, but you’ll also want to find out a little more about the position and develop a personal rapport with the person on the other end. Aim to come across as enthusiastic and confident without sounding pushy.

Once you’ve landed an interview, learn all you can about the company by reading its Web site or researching the general industry.

Dress appropriately and arrive on time.

Listen to the questions and think before answering. Don’t say the first thing that comes into your head. Pause for five or 10 seconds before offering your response.

You don’t always have to answer. Sometimes the right answer is “I don’t know” or “I don’t have an opinion,” says Phil Timm of SBA Network Services Inc.

In most cases, recruiters are like courtroom attorneys—they never ask a question without knowing the answer.


KEYWORD EXCLUSIVE: MORE JOB HUNTING TIPS

For more information on job hunting resources on the Web and resume preparation tips, go online to
www.KentuckyLiving.com and type “job hunting” in the Keyword Search box.

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