Job Hunting Tips - Something Old, Something New

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: October 9, 2006 - 9:35 AM

Land that next job with the latest techniques.

Want to lose weight? Find a hot stock tip? Get a new job? In these and most cases, we humans almost always seek out the newest advice.

We want the latest and freshest ideas. We crave novelty.

Yet … sometimes the best advice is also the oldest. Which may explain why the Bible, the I Ching and the Bhagavad-Gita have been in print and read around the world for thousands of years.

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you one old and one new way to find your next job faster...

1) Something Old: Win Friends and Get Hired

If you haven’t read the Dale Carnegie classic, “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” you should. It may be 70 years old, but its advice is timeless -- the equivalent of a master’s degree in human relations.

In it, Carnegie tells the story of one Charles T. Cubellis, who answered a help-wanted ad for a financial position on Wall Street. He mailed his reply and, a few days later, was invited to a job interview.

Before that interview, Cubellis spent hours in Wall Street finding out everything possible about the person who had founded the business. Later, during his interview, he said: “I should be mighty proud to be associated with an organization with a record like yours. I understand you started 28 years ago with nothing but a desk, a room and one stenographer. Is that true?”

Almost everyone likes to talk about themselves, and this employer was no exception.

He talked at length about how he had started his business with just $450 and an idea. After weeks and months of toil, he finally built it into a successful venture. The employer was proud of his story and enjoyed telling it.

Finally, he questioned Mr. Cubellis briefly about his experience, then called in one of his vice presidents and said: “I think this is the person we are looking for.”

Now. How can this apply to your job search?

It behooves you to research your prospective employer, and show an interest in that employer and his/her problems. You may not always get hired, as our hero in Dale Carnegie’s book, but you will always -- always -- make a winning impression in every job interview if you can show an informed, intelligent interest in their business.

Here’s the best part: Thanks to the Internet, you won’t have to spend countless hours in your research, as Mr. Cubellis did so many years ago. Instead, you can uncover a treasure trove of data about your potential employers on sites like Zoominfo.com, Linkedin.com or Google.

2) Something New: Use MySpace To Get Interviews

OK, now here’s something from the 21st century -- how to find a job using MySpace.

(Unless your mailing address is: “A Cave, New Guinea,” you know that MySpace.com is the hottest social networking Web site around, especially among recent college grads.)

Last week I got an email from Karl Hass, a MySpace user in Minneapolis, who wrote:

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