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Thursday January 24th 2019

6 Ways to Job Search Smarter – Not Harder (MSN Careers)

By Debbie Shalom, Amazing Resumes and Coaching Services

You don’t need a Ph.D. to conduct a successful job search. Achieving your career goals requires an organized strategy and disciplined approach. Below are six tips to help you search smarter, not harder.

Sell your value.
What makes you unique? How will your strengths, skills and accomplishments solve prospective employers’ problems? Determine your “unique value proposition” and make it an integral part of your personal marketing plan. Consider every document (rĂ©sumĂ©, biography, business card) or face-to-face meeting (networking, interview) as an opportunity to communicate your value and address strategic business needs.

Energize yourself.
Searching for a job can be exhausting if you do not have a plan to re-energize yourself. Staying motivated and on task is easier when you develop a practical plan and stick to it. Arrange a daily schedule that is feasible and fits into your lifestyle. Determine how many days and hours a week you will invest in your search and create a document to track your progress.

Activate and build your network.
A strong network can provide you with job leads and information to access the hidden job market. Research shows that more than 60 percent of all jobs are found through networking. Everyone you know or meet and every situation you encounter is an opportunity to grow your network. View every family member, social or business acquaintance as a potential member of your network.

Research your options.
The Internet is an excellent place to begin your research. If you want to know more about specific industries, average salaries or educational requirements, visit sites such as, or Employers’ websites are another source of valuable information; there you can learn more about key  decision-makers, products and services. If you want to speak to someone within a specific company, try searching for him or her on professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Brightfuse or Ning.

Customize your job search strategies.
You will increase your chances for success if you focus on personal preferences. Select two or three strategies that fit your personality and lifestyle, and build your job search around them. If you like to meet new people, volunteer for an organization or apply for work at a temporary agency. If you are introverted or shy, contact others through social networking sites or alumni associations. Other job search channels you can try are job boards, networking groups, job fairs and trade shows.

Harness your creativity.
Market yourself with imagination. Five years ago, job applicants would print their rĂ©sumĂ©s on colored paper to get an employer’s attention. Today, employers want to hire qualified applicants who know how to present their value. Producing project portfolios or video rĂ©sumĂ©s are two original ways to showcase your candidacy.

Whichever method you choose, conduct your job search in an organized, targeted and creative manner. And remember the adage, “Success is the end result of creativity and all of the hard work around it.”

Debbie Shalom, the owner of Amazing Resumes and Coaching Services in Baltimore, Md., is a certified career management coach and  master résumé writer. Recognized for being a talented author, speaker and entrepreneur, she guides her clients to achieve career satisfaction, financial security and personal fulfillment. Debbie can be reached at

Copyright 2010 Debbie Shalom All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.
Story Filed Friday, April 30, 2010 – 11:56 AM

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7 Responses to “6 Ways to Job Search Smarter – Not Harder (MSN Careers)”

  1. Nigel says:

    One important point to remember is that networking is not relying on contacts to whom we are close, hoping that they in turn will know somebody who knows somebody who will want what we have to offer. Nor do we simply try to make as many new contacts as possible in the hope that one in a hundred will pay off.

    Instead, we are looking instead for structural holes in networks, areas in which we are clearly qualified to add value. It is highly likely that in order to position ourselves to add value, we will be relying on weak ties – contacts who know us little or even not at all – to make introductions and to convey messages. By definition weak ties offer little in the way of closure, and therefore the messages we send across these links must be Robust and Sticky.

    For more detail see

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