YOU Magazine - March 2009 - How Sharp Are Your Job-Hunting Skills?
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Lyn Bankowski     Lyn Bankowski
AVP/SR. Mortgage Loan Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage Company
Phone: 360-679-5633 / 360-969-5550
Fax: 360-279-1198
License: NMLS#304060 / CL-157293
Alaska USA Mortgage Company
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How Sharp Are Your Job-Hunting Skills?

How Sharp Are Your Job-Hunting Skills?

How Sharp Are Your Job-Hunting Skills?

In last month's issue of YOU Magazine, we presented expert advice for landing the ideal job. To follow up, this month, in addition to providing you with 5 Job Interview Secrets, we're going to let you test what you've learned. Take this 10-question quiz to assess your knowledge of job searching, interviewing and salary negotiating.

1. Searching the Internet is the most effective way to look for a job.

  1. True
  2. False

2. You can negotiate an entry-level salary.

  1. True
  2. False

3. Your résumé should always fit onto one page.

  1. True
  2. False

4. What are acceptable ways to reach out and network?

  1. Use your college alumni association
  2. Join a professional organization
  3. Join online discussion groups
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above

5. When applying via e-mail, type a brief cover letter into the body of your e-mail, attach your résumé as a Word document and click "send."

  1. Yes, it's that easy
  2. Wait, you're forgetting something

6. Should you tell your current employer you're job-hunting outside the company?

  1. Yes
  2. No

7. How long does the average job hunt take?

  1. One month
  2. Four months
  3. Nine months
  4. 18 months

8. Employers can receive hundreds of résumés for a single job. How can you get yours noticed?

  1. Use fancy formatting
  2. List every job you've ever had
  3. Use certain key words

9. What should you NOT do in a job interview?

  1. Smile
  2. Dress conservatively
  3. Ask the interviewer yes-or-no questions
  4. Bring plenty of hard-copy résumés
  5. Talk respectfully about past employers

10. When looking for your first job out of college, you can write off job-hunting expenses on your tax return.

  1. True
  2. False



1. B: False. Although the Internet will probably make up one component of your search, the most effective way to find a job is through networking. You could answer dozens of ads, but knowing the right people can make all the difference in landing an offer. Plus, only about 15% to 20% of all job openings are ever publicly advertised in any medium, according to Most come through the grapevine.

2. A: Absolutely; It doesn't hurt to ask. Most employers leave wiggle room in their offers to new employees, even those that are fresh out of school. You won't find out unless you ask. But even if there isn't any room for an increase in salary, there are other pieces to the benefits puzzle. Consider negotiating your vacation time, work hours, signing bonuses, starting date or relocation benefits.

3. B: False. There's no mandatory length limit for résumés. Use the space efficiently, but give enough specific information to attract hiring managers. Generally, you should keep yours to one page if you have less than ten years of experience. Feel free to go over a page if you have more experience or work in a field where you need to add more detail, such as your research projects and publications.

4. D: All of the above. All of these are good ways to meet people in your field. You can also set up an informational interview with experts in your industry, get an internship when you're first starting out, and keep in touch with college acquaintances.

5. B: Wait, you're forgetting something. Not so fast. You need to send two versions of your résumé via e-mail. Many employers won't open résumé attachments either out of laziness or fear of contracting a computer virus. Your chance of getting noticed: zilch. Go ahead and attach the document, but copy and paste a text-only version of your résumé into the body of your e-mail to cover your bases.

6. B. No. Don't tell anyone before you have a new job lined up. The company knows it has to replace you and it could find your replacement before you're ready to go, leaving you prematurely unemployed. Or your boss may see you as disloyal and make your life difficult until you leave.

7. B. Four months. The average job hunt takes four months, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. So be patient and don't get discouraged.

8. C: Use certain key words. Many employers dump résumés into a database and search for key words to narrow the field. The magic words are often job titles, skills or areas of expertise related to the position. The best way to figure out key words is to look at ads for your target job and see the kind of language employers are using.

9. C: Ask the interviewer yes-or-no questions. Asking the interviewer "yes" or "no" questions that stifle conversation gives the impression that you don't care about the company or the position. Stick to open-ended questions, such as "Would you walk me through a typical day on the job?" or "What is the company's plan for the next five years, and how does your department fit in?"

10. B. False. Sorry, first-job seekers cannot write off these costs. However, they can claim the write-off when they look for their next job, as long as it's in the same field.



7-10 Correct: Way to go! You've got the skills to find success.

4-6 Correct: Not bad. Hopefully our quiz has helped you sharpen your job-hunting skills.

0-3 Correct: Job-hunting can be rough. We hope you picked up some useful pointers.

Reprinted with permission. All Contents © 2009 The Kiplinger Washington Editors.

License AK# 157293 Washington Consumer Loan Company license# CL-157293 California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License# 4131067

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