8 Basic Job Search Tips from Thomas Jones

PROFILE: Thomas Jones has enjoyed a successful 18-year career in diverse staffing and recruiting, with 12 of those years in the defense industry as well as more than 20 years of military experience. As a senior level Human Resources representative with Perspecta (formerly Hewlett Packard) he is responsible for transforming their recruitment efforts to be data-driven, pro-active and programmatic.

In Part 1, Jones told Career-Confidence.org job candidates to maintain an open and robust professional network through relationship-building on LinkedIn. Using Perspecta as an example, he outlined steps on how to foster LinkedIn relationships. Here’s eight more potent tips from his presentation to help you sustain a successful career search.

  • Set Up Alerts. Whether you have a favorite search engine or particular company you’ve targeted, set up alerts so that you are in the first group of 20 or 30 candidates who apply for the position. If recruiters see a good match in the first 10 or 20 resumes they review, it’s likely they won’t look further.
  • Resumes. Pack everything into two or three pages. Cut and paste the job qualifications from the announcement and adapt your resume. Your qualifications have to catch the recruiter’s eye immediately.
  • References. Make sure your references are loyal to you and your relationship with them continues to be positive during your career search. Check them well before you use them. [Robert Brandau, Founding Director knows of several sad stories where the job candidate did not check with their references before using them.]
  • Recruiters. Every time you correspond with a recruiter, attach your resume. Ensure your interaction is effortless for them.
  • Clearances. Promote your security clearance. Make sure it is highlighted front and center and bolded on your resume.
  • Cover Letters. Be careful with grammar and content. Chief executives may read your cover letter, analyze your abilities based on your communication skills in the letter, then grade the cover letter accordingly.
  • Interviews Always prepare questions for the interviewer. One example: “For this position, what type of person are you looking for?”  Restate the interviewer’s comments and describe how you fit what they are looking for. During the interview, always ask for the job.
  • Career Fairs. Don’t walk up to a recruiter at a Career Fair table and ask, “What do you do?” Instead, take a minute to read the company’s flyer; or, pull out your phone to quickly research what they do. Then go back to the table and discuss why your qualifications are a good match.

“Networking gets you that job,” Jones stressed. “Chat with people at church, talk with everyone, you never know who that person is who can help you with your next career position.”