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Job Search Strategy
To Get The Job You Want.
Tour Overview
1. Assess Yourself
2. Research Potential Employers
3. Establish Your Fit
4. Write Your Own Resume
5. Start Networking
6. Get In On The Ground Floor
7. Create Your Own Job
8. Informational Interviews
9. Interview Preparation
10. Tough Interview Questions
11. Negotiation Skills
12. The Key To Hirability

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2.  RESEARCH: Identify the companies that have a need you can fill. You will recognize this through research and speaking to people within the organization. There you will learn some of the challenges they are facing or problems they are having. You can then take this information and think of ways to help them solve these problems. This is the true value you bring to the employer, and what will separate you from the competition.

How Do You Select Potential Employers? Research.
The job interview is a two way process. You are trying to decide if you want to work for a particular company, and they are deciding whether they want you.

There is only one way to determine if the job and employer is right for you while impressing an interviewer with your interest and enthusiasm in their firm. Research.

By investing the time up front, focusing on the key issues you want to address in your research efforts, you will be prepared for unexpected questions and maximize your chances for success. Information gathered during this process will help you determine what the company is looking for in a candidate and enable you to ask informed questions during the interview.

Having this knowledge will allow you to clearly demonstrate how your skills and achievements precisely match the company's needs -- and more importantly -- your immediate impact and contribution to the organization's bottom line.

Research your target company to find out what problem(s) they have -- that you can solve!  Employers want candidates who are problem solvers. Regardless of your chosen field, if you are good at what you do, it's because you can solve problems.

Good salespeople overcome obstacles to make sales. Good technicians overcome glitches and find solutions. Good managers overcome problems and get results. People who are good at what they do solve problems every day.

Any job you apply for has problems to be solved. To win over the interviewer, you must create a positive impression of the value you will bring to their organization.

During interviews, position yourself as a problem solver rather than a job candidate. You do this by showing your interviewer(s) that you are the right person for the job because you can deliver the solutions they need. For example, when responding to a problem solving question you might say, "Here is the way I see the problem" and then explain your solution.

Sources of Information

Company Web site
The first place to start your search is with the company's Web site. Try typing "www" followed by your company's name to see if you can find it. If not, try a search using any one of the popular search engines like Yahoo, Excite,,, Google etc. The site can provide all kinds of pertinent information that can be critical in your search.

Industry Web sites
Often specific industries have Web sites devoted to trends and current news in that particular field. Again, utilize search engines to locate these industries. To conduct a search, simply type (in the search field) the industry "type." A list of industries corresponding to your search will be displayed.

Company Annual Reports, Brochures, Pamphlets, and Newsletters
If your target company is publicly held, chances are its stock is traded on a major exchange like the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. These companies are required to publish free of charge, their annual financial disclosure reports. This information is invaluable as it provides critical data on their current and future goals, objectives, priorities, management philosophy, and commitment to quality issues and growth.

People Working for the Company
Do you know someone who works for the company, or a friend of a friend that does? If so, you can ask them specific questions about the company such as, how good are the products and services? Have they developed or are they utilizing new technologies? Are they expanding or downsizing? How is employee morale? How supportive is management, etc. Extracting this information may provide you with critical knowledge determining whether or not the organization is a good fit for you. If it is, then this may give you a distinct advantage over other candidates that did not bother to uncover this crucial research.

When possible, try to learn as much as you can about your interviewer, i.e., where he/she was born, educated, areas of expertise, likes, dislikes, achievements, etc. Additionally, are there any touchy subjects you should know about and avoid discussing during an interview? The more you know about the company and the interviewer, the better the odds you'll get a job offer.

Please be careful how and from whom you attempt to acquire this information. Privacy issues are at stake here. Most people don't like others snooping into their lives regardless of how honorable your intentions. If the interviewer finds out you have been prying into her life, she may direct her anger at you by doing everything she can to prevent you from getting the job regardless of your skills, talents, sparkling personality and accomplishments.

Chamber of Commerce Directories
Chamber of Commerce Directories are rather subjective but otherwise a good source of information. Most cities have a Chamber of Commerce and they publish directories of its members, listing basic data as: the date the company was founded, its principals, number of employees, products and services. This can be especially helpful if your job requires relocating to another city. You'll learn: businesses both large and small, present/future development projects, education, entertainment, leisure, recreation, and cultural activities.

Better Business Bureau
A good way to check if your target company has a higher-than-average number of complaints filed against them, and their history/reputation for satisfactorily resolving these issues.

Other Companies or Customers
Contact companies that do business with your target company and/or customers who use their products or services. Speak to competitors and ask how they feel about the company.

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