Job Finding Tips by Rick Derris

Finding a job is hard. It takes persistence, confidence and preparation. That being said, there are things one can do to make the transition from unemployed to office superstar faster and less frustrating. The number one thing that alleviates job-finding anxiety is preparation. It cannot be stressed enough. Proper preparation includes researching the best job sites for one's industry, having an updated resume always available, and even knowing what to wear.

Job Sites

Whether we like it or not, job search sites are a major part of finding a job. Find the best job site for your industry. Below are some of the best job sites around, but there are a ton of job sites out there. Find one you like and visit it often. However, be sure not to limit yourself. It is a good idea to sign up for email alerts from multiple sites, that way you can be first to respond to jobs that are right for you.

Multiple Industry Job Sites Indeed is a very powerful job search engine. It's like Google, for jobs. When you click on a job at you will be taken directly to the site where the job is posted.

Craigslist Find your city and start lookin'! Craigslist has tons of jobs in every industry and provides a nice local touch. However, conversion rates are pretty low, so don't count on an interview.

Specialty Job Sites

Krop For creative and tech professionals. Krop is a fast growing site with great design and interface.

Creative Hotlist Great resource for creative positions (designers and such)!

Resume Format: Don't Get Cute!

Use a style similar to business letter formatting. Avoid using elaborate headers or multi-column layouts. These kinds of flare DO NOT make you look unique, they make you look unprofessional. If you want to show a bit of your personality, let it peek through in your cover letter. Your resume should serve to provide a structured outline of your qualifications, nothing more.

Remember that consistency and simplicity are priorities with your resume. Treat each section the same. Make sure that you use reverse chronological order for all entries. DO NOT prioritize your employment history. Just because something was important to you, does not mean your potential employer will think so. Let them make the decision when reading with no surprises. For instance, you don't want to go from 1997 to 2006, back to 2000. You want to go from 2007 to 2006 to 2005, and so on. No surprises, nothing to hide.

Font: Times, Times New Roman or Georgia
Font Size: 10pt
Margins: 1" on all sides
Tabs: 0.5"

Sample Format

Jane Boogie
555 Some Street
Great City, US 20817
(212) 555-1212

Six years professional design studio experience. Four years freelance design experience. BA, Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Cum laude.

2007 University of Southern California
BFA, Sculpture, Cum Laude

2006 BCBG
Graphic Designer | May 2005 - Aug 2006
Responsible for xyz. Managed four employees.

2007 ABC Design Award
2006 XYZ Sweetness Award

How to Dress for a Job Interview: Always Over Dress! (Just a little bit)

Rule Number 1: Dress Nicely! Set aside an outfit that you know you're comfortable in and makes you feel confident. If the employer does not specify what the dress code is, assume it's BUSINESS CASUAL and plan to dress a little nicer than that!

Women: Wear dark dress pants and either a sweater, blouse or button down dress shirt. NO JEANS! NOTHING REVEALING! Don't even risk it for a first impression. For shoes, knock yourself out. If you like heels, wear heels. If you like flats, wear flats. NO SNEAKERS, no matter how cool they are! Keep the makeup to a minimum, don't overdo it lady!

Men: Wear dark dress pants and a button down dress shirt or stylish, lightweight sweater. NO JEANS! NO POLO SHIRTS! For shoes, wear dress shoes, NOT sneakers OR sandals. Remember, if you wear dark grey or black pants, wear a black belt and black shoes. If you wear dark brown or dark green pants wear a brown belt and brown shoes.

Chances are you could care less about this sort of thing, but it DOES MATTER (at least for a first impression)! Please remember to shave at least 3 HOURS BEFORE your interview, just in case you knick yourself or you have sensitive skin and are prone to "raspberries."

NOTE: If an employer specifies a very casual dress code, then certainly go with that. Remember to still dress a little bit nicer than you think you should. It always pays off!

Rule Number 2: Smell Nice! Wear some deodorant for once! If you have a light cologne or perfume you like to wear, put on a little bit, but not too much. Having a nice smell is very underrated in social situations. Furthermore, if an employer turns up the heat, you don't have to worry about getting all hot and bothered. You will, naturally, smell like roses.


These tips will help you get started in the right direction. Now go put yourself out there! Set up some interviews and even accept a few interviews you know you don't want. Practice makes perfect and the only way to practice is to be under the microscope in a small office with a peculiar HR person asking you questions and telling you the way it is. But, these situations will prepare you for the interview that goes perfectly, where you can't say the wrong thing and feel respected and wanted. In order for that to happen, you have to be prepared and stay persistent.

Rick Derris is the staff writer for [the website cannot be found].

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