Make us your home page
Jobs | Finding work

Job search tips for improving odds and beating the competition

The U.S. Department of Labor reported this month that job seekers outnumber reported job openings by about 5-1. That helps explain job hunters' protracted searches. Competition for available jobs is fierce. With so many applicants, employers have the luxury to wait for the perfect candidate. Here are ways to appear "perfect" for your target job. Diane Stafford, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

• Apply only for the positions for which you can make the case that you're a good fit. You'll just depress yourself and get no responses by applying for longer-shot jobs.

• Tailor your resume for the published requirements. Show how your professional experience fits the job.

• If you're trying to change industries, translate industry jargon or titles to make it clear how your skills and experience are transferable.

• Research compensation structures in the industry and company so that you don't price yourself out of consideration or appear "overqualified."

• Augment your resume with a cover letter or attachment offering a strong sales, marketing, quality or productivity improvement idea.

• Give names and correct contact information for references you know will say positive things about you. Keep your references updated so that they don't say, "I know Mary really wants to work as an events planner" when you've applied for a public relations job.

• If you're stuck with an online application system, answer every question.

• Have a clear, benign e-mail address, such as your name, rather than something silly like "boogerboy" or "easygrrrl."

• Be prepared for a first-round telephone screening. Be ready with solid answers to questions you'd expect in an interview, including "Why do you want to work here?"

• Have a clear, straightforward recorded greeting on your cell phone and landline — no music, no kids, no sayings, no background noise.

Job search tips for improving odds and beating the competition 06/22/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 22, 2009 5:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In your 20s and living with mom and dad? In Florida, you're not alone.

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Florida in 2015, Gabrielle Piloto jumped on the highway and headed south to Tampa.

    Gabrielle Piloto, 22, moved home to live with her grandparents in West Tampa after graduating from the University of Florida in 2015. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

  2. Senate leaders unveil bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, who have promised a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for seven years, took a major step on Thursday toward that goal, unveiling a bill to cut Medicaid deeply and end the health law's mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

    U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill's chief author, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said "Obamacare is collapsing around us, and the American people are desperately searching for relief." [AP]
  3. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego


    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  4. Tampa Bay homes values continue to rise along with sales prices

    Real Estate

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported today.

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported Thursday.
[Times file photo]
  5. Busy start has Florida Hospital Center Ice dreaming big


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Opening day brought 600 doctors, administrators and their families from Florida Hospital. Soon after that, the facility hosted its first junior league game and a collegiate showdown. A few weeks later, 200 kids, ages 4 to 9, participated in national Learn to Play Hockey Day.

    Alex Senushkin and his grandson, Styopa Kulshyn, 3, of Lakeland, skate at the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]