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Job-Searching Techniques

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Personnel searchers or managers almost always see the applicant's resume before arranging for an inter view. When your resume and letter are well prepared, they can be a helpful stepping-stone in obtaining the right job at the right salary for you.

In addition to sending your recruiter a copy of your resume, enclose a letter covering these points:
  1. The kind of work you want and can do.

  2. The salary range you will accept.

  3. Whether you are willing to relocate.

  4. When you are available for employment.

  5. Suggest possibilities for arranging an interview.

  6. Your willingness to abide by the terms of a contract-if any-given by the recruiter.

  7. Your willingness to accept collect calls or telegrams, and where.

  8. Offer to submit a photograph of yourself. This is not always required since it is forbidden in some states, but you may do so voluntarily.
The Private Employment Agency

The employment agency specializes in finding jobs for people and people for jobs. A person seeking employment is in the position of an artist who needs a resourceful agent to sell his talents. The private employment agency offers diversified opportunities and large markets for selection. In many cases, the private agency can secure entry for a job seeker into companies that are difficult of access. Thus, like the executive-recruiting service, the agency operates as middleman between employer and the job seeker.

Employers also receive valuable and often unrecognized services from the private employment agency. Clients sometimes fail to realize the work done by the agency before it sends an applicant for an interview. The manager of the agency must often ''sell" the company to the employee and overcome such objections from him as "the location is inconvenient," ''working conditions don't seem just right," or '*the hours don't appeal to me." Both employer and applicant must also realize that agencies operate under regulations enforced by state or local authorities. An introduction to a prospective employer is therefore bona fide.

In the better agencies, the staff is apt to be quite skilled in detecting abilities and exploring the personalities of candidates, and they are equipped to do a thorough job of evaluation.

As an example, let us assume that you are the manager of the foreign department of a company doing a great deal of overseas business. You are looking for skilled employees as trainees or replacements, and you turn to a reputable employment agency. The person at the agency who handles applicants in your general area of work must have an extensive background of travel abroad, a reasonable command of foreign languages and some knowledge of international commercial skills before he can refer an applicant to you.

A further example: The agency may know that the vice-president who needs a secretary has a vile temper and is therefore looking for a mature and tranquil individual. Or let us suppose the essential requirement for someone in the media department of an advertising agency is accuracy. The placement manager in the agency takes note of a young man who has patiently worked his way through months of uncongenial work for a paint manufacturer, but-because of the young man's reputation for accuracy-gives him a chance to enter the advertising field. Even those who have acquired specialized qualifications through training and experience may find that the private employment agency is the most direct route to a prospective employer.

The practice of some companies to advertise for applicants through newspaper ads is, in the long run, much more expensive than any fee the agency may charge. Personnel departments of large companies advertise for help in newspapers and periodicals largely to improve efficiency. The time element in screening applications, reading poorly arranged resumes, eliminating the "drifters" who make a practice of answering ads, and answering letters, can be quite costly. The agency refers an applicant who has already been screened and by this means saves the client time and money.

Help Wanted

The "Help Wanted" sections of newspapers print a variety of employment offers. These are of two kinds: the open ad, which identifies the company and its address; and the blind ad, which provides only a box number to which the applicant must write. Of course, it is better to answer the open ad that gives you the name of the company, its location and possibly some information about its business. However, the blind ad is used when firms do not want it known that they need a new employee, as this could have a disturbing effect on their staff.

Do not be taken in by attractively worded ads. Many are written only to entice applicants for jobs with many limitations. And beware of ads which ask applicants to take a course, or deposit money or buy samples. These are often a disguise for selling something.


Business and industrial news items in your local paper or trade magazine can offer a clue as to where you can apply for a position. You would do well to clip and save articles about the opening of new plants and offices, the enlargement of stores, factories or offices, and the development of new products. A personal item about the promotion, transfer or resignation of an employee may indicate a vacancy for which you might qualify. These items and notices are often forecasts of the need for more personnel. You can contact the personnel manager of each firm and ask about new opportunities for employment.

Friends and Acquaintances

It has been said that it's not what you know, but who you know that counts. This is undoubtedly true in many instances-and it is indeed too bad when an unqualified person is preferred over one who is better qualified because of someone's influence. We are not suggesting that you depend on ''pull" to secure employment. Do not, however, overlook friends who may be of real assistance to you. One among your friends may even know of a vacancy in a company that is exactly in line    ~ with your own qualifications. Or a salesman friend may be in a particularly good position to help you, since salesmen are always seeing and speaking to people.

A note of caution: do not pester your friends about a job. Let them know that you are available and what you can do, and suggest how they might be of help. They are sure to appreciate your problem, since they themselves have very likely been in your situation. But if you tend to use your friends and to hound them, and make no effort on your own to find a job, they will not cooperate, and you might lose them as friends.

Selection of Companies

Another way of finding vacancies is actually to canvas companies for which you would like to work. You might make a list of these companies. A methodical review of ads in trade journals, of headings in the classified telephone directories, and of the financial and business sections of newspapers will provide you with the names of many companies in the field you desire. The chamber of commerce in many cities might help with a list of local companies that might be able to use your services.

If the firms you are interested in are in your vicinity, you might call in person and present your resume. (Suggestions for the proper approach for an interview will appear in a later section of this manual.) It is suggested that you plan your calls a day in advance by neighborhoods, so as to save time, energy, fares and shoe leather.

The telephone might also be of help in contacting someone for a personal interview. If you use the telephone, be prepared with a short, snappy sales talk, Offer your reasons for using the telephone instead of calling in person, and have a ready answer for any turn the conversation may take. Hold the listener's attention by asking appropriate questions-and try to arrange for a personal interview.
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