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Michael C. Lazarchick, PhD

Looking for a job is work. The more experience you have, the better your chance for success. The more people you know and the more you follow up on contacts, the greater are your options. While any job that increases you income is probably worth considering, the real challenge is to find a job you really enjoy that also returns a decent amount of money.

Finding suitable employment is full time job. Keeping a log helps us organize the job search and remember what is being experienced.


Generally speaking, Employers hire people they know, first and people sent to them from people they know, second.

Humans are afraid of people they do not know and humans take care of their buddies. It has been suggested that as many as 7 out 10 positions are filled through personal contacts. The better the job and the better the pay, the greater the chance it will be offered through a personal contact. If this is true, job seekers would be wise to make a list of every person they know and contact them for assistance finding a job.

After we have exhausted our list of every person we know, if we are still not working, we need to meet more people. Where? Every person you meet may be able to help you find a job. Be nice to people. Get out into your community. Be willing to help others and you may meet someone who can help you. Learn names. Call people by their name. Continue to introduce yourself until you are sure they know who you are.

Do research so that you are able to talk about the business before asking for a job.

Whether you go on your own or are sent, the first visit to a prospective employer is a time to collect information.

Business Research Tutorial is on Internet at

We are being assessed consciously and unconsciously along every step in the job search process. We must look our best, feel our best and be aware of our actions.

If we accept the idea that the hiring process is uncomfortable for both the job seeker and the employer we will take great care in creating a positive image before asking for a job.

Be aware of your appearance. Extremely beautiful people, with charming personalities who smell good, are well groomed and neatly dressed, have little trouble getting job offers. The rest of us should look in the mirror or ask someone we trust for an honest opinion of the image we are projecting. We can determine what outfit to wear by looking at what other employees wear to work. Would not jeans be more appropriate than a blue suit if applying for work on a farm?

Since we can not hide our energy , we would be well advised not to seek opportunities when we are depressed or feeling ill. Smile because happy people get hired faster.Basically, the object is to be yourself. Most employers prefer people who are open, honest and speak straight across, person to person. It is not necessarily the person with the most skills who gets hired. It is a person who the employer likes and believes will fit into the organization. Success in establishing comfort naturally increases with additional visits. The impression is dependent upon how we look, how we feel and also, how we act.

How we fill out an application is as important as the information we put down. We must follow directions, be neat, complete and avoid spelling errors. The complete application is a reflection of how we deal with paper.

Prepare for contacts and interviews by practicing your presentation.

Be able to briefly talk about your education, experience and abilities in relationship to the job for which you are applying. Be ready to discuss what you have learned about the company that has motivated you to apply for the job. Practice means saying the words out loud, not to memorize, rather just to have experience saying the words. Thinking about what you will say is not the same as saying what you will say.

Bottom line, employers want people who will come to work on time, every day they are scheduled, who can get along with the other employees and are willing to do the job the way the employer wants it done. In essence, every job requires on the job is training. New employees must learn the rules of the organization and how to get along with the other employees. Every job is hardest at the beginning and gets easier with experience. Saying something like, "I know I can learn your method of operation," tells an employer you have faith in your ability to learn the way the employer wants it done. Understand that if you are being interviewed the employer is deciding whether or not you are a pleasant, hard working, honest person with enough confidence to get the job done. Have confidence in your ability and speak from your heart.

A short thank you note reminds the employer that we have applied for a job. We can express appreciation for the courtesy of an interview and confirm that we are interested in the position. If we do not hear from the employer within a reasonable period of time, we can always stop by and remind the employer we are still interested. You can say something like, "Just stopped by to say hello. I know you are busy. I do not want to be a pest, but I do not want you to forget me." If you really want the job, you can continue to make follow-up contacts until the employer hires you or tells you clearly that you are not being considered.

This is a publication of the National Employment Counseling Association. Please distribute to anyone who can use the information.