Think And Tell To Get Hired

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: October 6, 2005 - 11:00 PM

Want to get hired faster? Try playing "think and tell."

Specifically, you should figure out exactly what job you want and why you're qualified to do it. Then, tell your story to the right employers.

Simple? Yes.

Easy? No.

That's because most people would rather do anything -- anything at all -- rather than think. But a little thinking will go a long way in your job search.

Here's how to do it ...

1. Think about and decide on the job you want Of the nearly 10,000 job seekers I've spoken to in person and by email over the years, I'd wager that 30-50% of them had no specific job in mind. They were looking for work without knowing what work they wanted.

This is a recipe for frustration, pure and simple.

Have you thought long and hard about the job you're really seeking? Can you say, "I'm looking for a position as a corporate trainer?" Or does this sound like you: "I think I'd like to do something in training ... or customer service ... or computers."

Don't start your job search until you have decided EXACTLY what job you want.

Now, what if you set your mind on two or more jobs, say Training Manager and Customer Service Manager? That's fine, so long as you write separate resumes for each. Because the fastest way to get into trouble is to apply for different jobs with a single resume -- you'll simply confuse employers.

Need help getting clear on the job you really want? Use employment sites like Monster.com or HotJobs.com as brainstorming tools. Visit and search for jobs that match skills you want to use, like "training" or "customer service." You'll get a long list of potential job titles, from which you can pick one that's in-demand and suitable for you.

2. Think about your most-marketable experience and skills

After you've settled on a specific job, think about everything you've done that qualifies you for it. Your goal is to come up with a short-list of three or four skills that you want to use in your next job, skills you know employers are looking for.

Example: If you want to be a Scuba Instructor, you'll likely need skills in scuba diving, training, and customer service, to pick just three.

Once you decide on a core set of skills, prove you have them by showcasing your relevant experience and education in every resume and cover letter you write.

Anything and everything is fair game here -- paid employment, unpaid internships, volunteer and charity work, school projects, etc. Because work is work, and experience is experience.

3. Tell employers why they should hire you

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