Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Smarter Search

I recently met with a senior who was prepping for an interview that afternoon with a local marketing firm. I wasn't familiar with the company he was referring to, so I took a few free minutes that afternoon to check out their website and open positions.  Immediately I saw that this was a firm specializing in "direct marketing."  In other words, door-to-door sales.  Which brings me to an important point: Do your homework when applying to jobs.  As soon as I got to the company's website, I spotted several red flags.  First of all, the company did not request a resume or a cover letter from its applicants.  Second, it was difficult to decipher who the firm's clients were. Third, all social media links were about a year old - very unusual in this field.  Not surprisingly, after debriefing with the student, I learned that he was conducting his job search largely through large online search engines.  While I understand that these type of websites can have a place in a senior's job search, I strongly urged this student to reach out to alums in his field of interest, as well as target companies, rather than simply responding to online ads. It is easy to be seduced by the appeal of easily accessible, seemingly lucrative online job postings, but to really make progress in the job search process I recommend conducting a smarter search.

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