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by Eileen Levitt | March 10, 2009


As the New Year approaches, many people make resolutions to begin the year anew and better their lives. One of the most common New Year's resolutions is to find a new job. Remember these 11 tips when seeking employment:

Keep track of the jobs you apply for.
Sometimes people forget, or do not keep track of which jobs they applied for. In many cases, this leads to the person forgetting which recruiter goes with which job. Keep a log of what companies you are interested in, who you speak to about a position, when you send in your resume, when you follow-up, when you interview, and the final outcome of that interview.

Send a cover letter with your resume.
Cover letters are not a thing of the past. They are a way to introduce yourself to the company and let them know how your background ties into the position they are trying to fill. Cover letters also give recruiters a sense of your writing skills. Sometimes, job ads specifically ask for a cover letter.

Proof your resume and cover letter for typographical/grammatical errors. Resumes should be proofed several times for typographical/grammatical errors. Spell check is a wonderful tool, but it is not perfect.

Research the company.
If you are going to spend the time to write a letter, send your resume, and show up for an interview, you should at least know a little bit about who you are interviewing with. At a minimum, look at their website, quickly check to see if there are any articles written about them. If it is a large company, call and ask for a press kit or any other information they can provide. The information you gain will help you prepare and may impress the interviewer.~Remember your manners.
Being cocky in the interview, becoming too informal with the interviewer, using profanity, answering cellular phone calls, chewing gum, providing too much personal information, etc. does not impress an interviewer. They are more likely not to take you seriously.

Call if you can't make the interview.
You never know when you might cross a recruiter's path again. You don't want to be remembered as the person who did not show. If you are not interested, let the company know. Don't promise to get back to them on an offer, and not follow up.

Don't lie.
It is better to be honest, than to lie. If you lie about having certain skills, and are hired based on those skills, the truth will be discovered sooner or later. If you claim to have a certain degree that you do not have, eventually someone will call that school or request that you provide transcripts.

Be yourself.
It is always best to be yourself. If you pretend to be something that you are not, chances are that you will not truly be happy in the job you take.~Get promises in writing.
Shocking as it may sound, some companies don't always follow through with their promises. It may not be intentional, but they may forget because it wasn't written down.

Don't bad mouth current/prior employer.
It leaves the interviewer with the impression that you will talk about them that way. Remember, if you do not have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Trust your instincts.
If something does not sound right, it probably isn't. Never ignore your gut feelings.

By following these 11 tips, you are more likely to reach your goal of finding new employment for the New Year and be fulfilled with the choice you make.

Eileen Levitt is president of The HR Team. She can be reached at (410) 995-5257.