Cumberland Times-News

June 5, 2010

How to approach a potential employer

Shane Riggs
Cumberland Times-News

— Looking for a job today is not the same pavement-pounding it used to be. Today’s job seeker — at any age — has to be even more savvy. However, according to Sheri Dean Sensabaugh of ACT Personnel Service in Cumberland, today’s teen may actually have a leg up on the competition because of the technology that can be used.

“Young people and anyone looking for a job should follow some tips and read up and do their research and be prepared,” Sensabaugh said.

Tips job seekers should consider include:

• Be more proactive.

Emily Bennington, the author of “Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job,” writes, “This isn’t the time to sit back and be casual in your approach. Create a hit list of five to 10 target companies, and really utilize your network to locate an ‘in’ at each.”

• Don’t rely solely on the Internet.

Brad Karsh, president of JobBound, says, “When thousands of candidates are applying to the same jobs online and posting their resume to the same job boards, candidates need to stand out by making connections and networking their way into a company.”

• Create a customized resume.

According to Jay Block, the author of “101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times,” younger job seekers often haven’t thought about what they have to offer an employer and create resumes that are “boring biographies” instead of effective marketing tools.

• Appear professional.

“Make sure you’re ready for employers’ scrutiny,” writes Tim McIntyre, president and CEO of The Executive Search Group. McIntyre recommends that when looking for a job “sanitize your MySpace and Facebook page — right now. It will be checked.” He also recommends changing cell phone voice mails to sound more professional.