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Job Search Tips

A successful job search involves much more than simply applying for an open position online and waiting for an interview. Careful planning, organization, and proper follow through are all needed to ensure your job search is effective. Make the most of your job search from start to finish with these helpful tips from Celebrity Staff.

Managing Your Online Presence
Tips for Referrals and Recommendations
Thank You Letters and Follow Up
Writing Your Resignation Letter
Letter of Resignation Samples
Starting a New Job

Managing Your Online Presence
As online social sites and marketing tools have become increasingly popular, managing your online presence is very important. You are your brand and being aware of what is searchable on the Web about you and regulating the information you make available on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites can be vital to the success of your career search. More and more, hiring officials are turning to these sources for background information about potential candidates.

Google Yourself
Search for your name (and various spellings) on a regular basis or set up Google Alerts to scan what has been posted about you on the Internet. If someone has spoken poorly about you online or posted a photo that might damage your reputation, you need to know.

Create an Online Presence

  • If you have a Facebook profile, restrict public access to it and make sure that your friends don't publish unflattering photos or videos of you.
  • Make sure you find and delete any pictures, videos, and articles online that might give potential employers a wrong impression of you. In the event you cannot delete the offending media, make sure to leave a reply telling your part of the story or comment to defend yourself.
  • On professional networking sites like LinkedIn.com, point out your key areas of expertise and get recommendations from people you trust and that have something valuable to say about you.
  • Be careful how you use Twitter, which allows for real time search. That means if you're writing about how "bad your boss is" or "how boring your job is," a recruiter could end up seeing that.
  • Having an opinion and commenting on message boards or on a blog is appropriate, but be sure to always maintain a high level of professionalism and double check your grammar and spelling before posting your message.
  • Keep your private content private and protected and make sure your key strengths are visible online.


Tips for Referrals and Recommendations
Just as reading a product review is important before making a big purchase, personal referrals play an important role during the hiring process. Referrals act as a testimony to the quality of a candidate's professional abilities and convey a level of value offering a hiring authority reassurance that they're making an excellent choice.

  • Personal referrals can be recommendations in letter form, given over the phone, or can simply be an introduction from someone in your network to a contact of theirs about a position you were interested in.
  • Recommendations should come from respected peers within your industry or come from people you have reported to in the past. Getting recommendations from people you've worked with in a variety of capacities, however, will give the best overview of your skill set.
  • When asking for a referral or recommendation from one of your contacts, it's important to be targeted and specific in your request whether it is for a contact at a company you may be interested in or an actual recommendation letter.
  • LinkedIn.com recommendations count as well, but focus on quality versus quantity. Contrived or ambiguous recommendations can be more negative than positive.

Thank You Letters and Follow Up
An often over looked and under-valued aspect of the job hunt is the ever important thank you letter. The thank you letter is critical to you getting noticed and to the success of the job search. However, many don't take advantage of this simple, yet powerful form of follow up.

Although experts differ on the style and formality of a proper thank you letter, all agree sending one increases your affinity with those who have interviewed you, shows you are serious about your career search and the position, and demonstrates that you employ the most basic of people skills - the ability to show gratitude.

  • To have the greatest impact, send your thank you letter the day after your interview. A week later the sentiment will be lost.
  • A conservative, handwritten thank you card is the most ideal, but you can also type a thank you letter and print it on quality, professional stationery. If you send a quick thank you via email, be sure to follow up with a written card as well.
  • Address the note to the specific individual you spoke with and double check your interviewer's name and title and make sure of the correct spelling.
  • Thank the interviewer for his or her time and reiterate your interest in the position, mentioning how your skills/experience will positively impact the company.
  • Don't forget to thank anyone else who helped you during your job search. Send a note of gratitude to colleagues who provided recommendations for you, friends who helped proof your resume, employment firm personnel who provided a job lead, and anyone else who provided guidance or advice even in the smallest way. Doing so will let these people know you appreciate their help, which will make them want to help you again in the future.
  • After you have sent your thank you letter, don't inundate the company with calls checking on the status of the hiring process. If you have not received a call back in the time frame agreed upon during the interview, it's appropriate to call and check in. Remember to be patient and don't over-do your follow up calls.

Writing Your Resignation Letter
Your hard work sending resumes, preparing for the interview, and following up has paid off. You've landed a new and exciting career! Now what? It's time to tender your resignation and start the transition to your new job. To avoid burning professional bridges, you'll want to leave gracefully and this is achieved through the resignation letter.

  • Use proper form for business letters and keep it short, polite, and positive. You may need the employer as a reference in the future and the resignation letter is not the proper venue for airing grievances.
  • Type your letter on a computer and address it to your supervisor. You may also provide a copy for the human resources department.
  • In the letter, state that you are resigning and give the date the resignation is effective. For example, indicate if you are giving two weeks notice or if you are resigning immediately.
  • Thank your employer for the opportunities he or she provided and indicate that you are grateful to the company. Even if you do not whole heartedly feel that this is the case, you do not want to make enemies.
  • Refrain from explaining why you are leaving, why you hated your job, where you will be working, how much more they will be paying you, etc. Do state that you are willing to help with the transition your resignation may cause.
  • Expect your supervisor to want to talk to you about your decision. Be polite and again, don't use this as an opportunity to vent. Understand that in some cases your employer may be angry you are leaving. Try not to become involved in a dispute about the situation.

Letter of Resignation Samples

Starting a New Job
Psychologists list starting a new job as one of the 10 most stressful things one can do, so it's perfectly understandable to be nervous. From filling out a barrage of forms, to hours of online training, to getting a handle on workplace politics, a new job can be overwhelming. A little planning plus a dash of common sense can go a long way in helping you get off on the right foot at your new job.

  • First impressions at a new job really matter. You should treat the first day, and even the first month, like it's still the interview. The necessary basics of arriving on time, dressing professionally, and being enthusiastic about your new role should go without saying.
  • A lot of information about your position and procedures at your company will be thrown your way in the first 30 days. Ask questions and seek clarification on anything you don't understand, but take notes and pay attention so to better remember what you are learning.
  • Figure out how your boss prefers to communicate and keep him or her updated on your progress. It's important to get off on the right foot, so set a meeting to discuss his or her expectations and make sure you are on the same page.
  • Start slow when you're developing relationships with co-workers. Be pleasant and polite, but hold back from being too boisterous in a meeting and don't overdo it. Once you've built up a rapport with your co-workers, you are free to let more of your true self come to life.
  • Be open minded about your new company's processes and procedures and don't get caught saying, "That's not how we did it at my old company." Give yourself time to adjust.
  • Remember that your co-workers may be threatened by you and your ideas at first. Although it's natural to want to impress your new co-workers with your great ideas right away, give it some time and instead focus on simply doing the job you were assigned to the best of your ability. Later, when you see an opening to assist in resolving a nagging problem, volunteer to help and show that you are a team player.
  • Be patient. It takes time to understand the company culture and social norms. Start by figuring out which people seem to be in the know and approach them with simple questions about processes (such as determining how best to communicate updates on a project with someone), staying clear of questions about personality. You don't want to come off like you're fishing for gossip or are prying. Chances are good the person you are asking will not only answer your question, they will add helpful background details on their own (as in, "Send updates via email, but keep it simple - Ms. Smith is a real cut-to-the-chase type").