Advice for the modern job hunt
In today's global economy, where employment is becoming increasingly less secure, job seekers need to be extra prepared, organized and diligent.
SHARON ASCHAIEK -- Special to Sun Media
In that sense, you can't do much better than reading the bestselling Knock 'em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide 2009. (Adams Media, 2008, $16.50).
Called "The best book on job hunting" by the Financial Times, the updated version of this 23-year-old book, which was written by leading career management expert Martin Yate, is a treasure trove of advice on how job seekers can penetrate this tough market.
What stands out in this 341-page resource is the fresh information on how to facilitate the modern job search. A chapter on networking, for example, features detailed information on leveraging social networking websites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Ryze, to enhance your network of professional contacts.
"Online networking can get you useful introductions to people throughout the country and the world -- people who might know of jobs at their own companies or who can introduce you to people at companies that do have openings," Yate writes.
A detailed chapter on job search tactics features tips on a relatively new and effective passive self-marketing tool: a web resume or web portfolio. As more employers are researching potential job candidates online before interviewing them, or prefer to view examples of candidates' professional accomplishments online, such a tool, Yate says, gives job searchers an edge.
"A web resume allows you to provide a multimedia proof of your achievements and strengths ... you have the opportunity to expand beyond the immediate page, offering access to examples and supporting documents in other media ... prospective employers, headhunters, clients and colleagues will get a far more comprehensive picture of the professional you, and because your e-resume or web portfolio looks so much better, its very existence speaks of a technologically adapted professional," he writes.
While most job searching books cover interview techniques, Knock 'em Dead goes one step further, covering how to handle interviews held in uncommon, noisy and potentially distracting venues, such as hotel lobbies and restaurants. Etiquette tips on everything from how much to drink to which utensils to use to what food to order are all discussed here.
Another very helpful part on excelling at interviews deals with acing psychological tests. Increasingly, employers are using aptitude tests, personality profiles and personnel selection tests to weed out potentially "risky" hires. Yate breaks down what these tests are all about, how to prepare for them, and how to successfully complete them.
The book not only deals with what to say and do during an interview, but at the end of an interview. Here, Yate's list of Dos include securing the correct spelling of interviewers names to issue correct thank-you notes, asking for a second interview, and leaving with confidence, while his Don'ts includes asking about salary and benefits, and pressing for an early decision.
Yate also offers tips on how deal with rejection, how to negotiate if you do land a job, and what to do if you find yourself in the happy situation of receiving multiple job offers. His final chapters deal with surviving specific employment challenges such as job hunting while still employed, preparing for an anticipated layoff or firing, and dealing with job termination.
Knock 'em Dead concludes by emphasizing the importance of having a positive, can-do outlook to successfully finding employment.
"Your winning attitude is positive and active -- dream jobs don't come to those who sit and wait -- and you realize that success depends on getting out and generating interviews for yourself," he writes.