Job Seeking 101

Mary Lewis

As an employer of health professionals over several decades, I am aware of the many pitfalls potential candidates may encounter.

An applicant will succeed if they portray themselves honestly and professionally. You may have been a good candidate, but not portraying yourself as a professional may lessen your chance to work in your chosen field.

First, be sure you know the job you are applying for and why you want to work in that job. Answering "I don't know" or "I need the money" will not impress an employer. The employer wants to know how you will fit in and benefit the organization.

Have someone read your resume and be sure it is focused on the job for which you are applying. Mention your strengths. Condense it to one page if possible and two at the most, interviewers profess that they are too busy to read anything lengthier. Rehearse everything about the interview.

Dress in a professional manner. Be clean and neat. Prepare for the questions that may be asked. Some of these may be:

1. Why are you seeking employment in this organization?

2. How do you see yourself in this organization?

3. What is your five year plan? Where do you see yourself in five years?

4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

5. What are you doing to work on your weaknesses?

Honesty is best. With some jobs, your strengths and your weaknesses may fit well: one position may require people skills, and another may require leadership or specific organizational skills.

Bring a list of references. Make sure they are from personal and professional relationships. Do not include family members on the reference list. Notify your references ahead of time that they might be contacted. Also remember to thank them for providing this reference, too.

After the interview, write the interviewers personal thank you notes.

They will appreciate the note and doing this will bring your name back to their memory, when there have been several interviewees.

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