Job Search Tips that WorkMany job search experts, including me, are out there giving tips about how to find jobs. I thought I’d give you all some job search tips based on my own experience – one that got me several interviews and a part-time job when I moved to a new city. In my search, I was open to accepting a part-time position as something steady and stable while I started my own business.

Job Search Tips that Worked

1. Created multiple versions of my resume.

One emphasizes my managerial experience; one emphasizes my legal experience; another emphasizes my writing and editing experience. For each job I was interested in, I made sure the keywords from that job description were in my resume!

2. Applied to a lot of jobs.

Yes, even ones I thought I didn’t want. Some of them turned out to be more interesting than I had expected. I also applied to jobs there was probably no way I would ever get. And I sent cover letters and resumes to places where I would want to work but where there were no available jobs advertised (including the University of Wisconsin Law School). Because you never know.

3. Wrote engaging, punchy cover letters.

Each cover letter was custom tailored to the specific job I was applying for. It made a difference. I was offered several interviews in widely divergent fields.

4. Went on an “informational interview.”

Where there was no position currently available but there was a possibility of a future job, I scheduled time to talk to someone relevant.

5. Asked what I needed to bring to interviews.

I found out what the employer wanted and brought the requested materials.

6. Showed up 15 minutes early for interviews.

I also chatted politely with the receptionists whenever possible. Believe it or not, this practice can get you far!

7. Stayed positive and friendly in the interviews.

I talked about things other than the job. Plus I had researched the company, so came prepared with questions I could ask about the organization and the job.

8. Wrote thank you notes.

(At least when I was interested in the job!) If 2 people interviewed me, I wrote 2 thank you notes, each with its own unique message.

9. Clarified my priorities for myself.

I got clear that having a part-time job with flexibility, in an open and friendly environment, was what I wanted. These attributes were more important for me than the pay rate or even growth opportunities. The more I got clear about what I wanted, the closer I got to getting it.

10. Stayed active!

I searched for or applied for jobs every day, while also taking care of my body by exercising every day. I sent out at least 2 job applications per week, whether I found the “perfect” opportunity or not. In my spare time, I volunteered to help a woman with disabilities to write a book. I took a transcription job that kept a little bit of money flowing in. And I started my own business, which got me out in the community and on the internet networking. I was never sitting around wondering what to do on any given day. Remember, action breeds action! Doing something – anything – keeps you engaged in your life and work. You never know what will come out of the relationships you form.

How Effective Are These Job Search Tips?

What did I get out of all of this? Several interviews, and ultimately a 25% time job at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Office of Career Services. It’s was a perfect fit as I ramped up my own business.

All these job search tips worked for me. What has worked for you?


  1. Thank you for taking the time to write and post this. It is just what I needed to read today. The past three years have been challenging, to say the least.

    I have not been fully employed in almost 2 years now; and still working to complete my PhD.

    My reality: it’s time to develop a purposeful plan for returning to academia and/or finding a new path. The “how” is a bit troubling….

    I am appreciative of all that you do….


    Jodi Gonzalez B.S.W, M.P.A.
    PhD Candidate, Texas Tech University

    • Thanks you Jodi! I’m glad my article made a difference for you. I encourage you to sign up for my job search and LinkedIn e-lists, and perhaps to look through my books on the same topics. There is a lot of helpful information in all of them!

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