Lunchroom's Hits and Misses of Job Hunt

Looking for employment? While it’s important to stand out from the crowd, it also pays to remain professional in your job-hunting techniques. Robert Half International surveyed advertising and marketing executives for the most unique strategies people have used while looking for work. Here are tactics that hit the mark — and those that missed — during the job search.

Hit: “A candidate sent us a slick electronic portfolio. It was quick and to the point.”
Miss: “A guy organized a chain letter that included a request for me to send his resume to 12 other agencies.”

Hit: “A person offered to work for free on a trial basis. I hired her.”
Miss: “One candidate handcuffed himself to the desk during the interview.”

Hit: “When I was interviewing, a candidate turned the tables on me and asked, ‘If you were a bicycle, which part would you be?’ I answered, ‘The handle bars, so I would be in control and steering.’ I was impressed that he asked me that question, and I hired him.”
Miss: “We had a job seeker send us a singing telegram.”

Hit: “One person I met with e-mailed me a thank-you letter just 10 minutes after the interview.”
Miss: “One job seeker sent lottery tickets with her resume.”
Decisions, Decisions …

What pair of slacks should you wear? Is it a turkey sandwich or a salad sort of day? You probably make hundreds of snap decisions during the week, but you need more to go on in the business world. Your success at work depends on your ability to quickly move a project forward while making thoughtful choices. Whether you’re selecting a new vendor for your company or weighing in on a hiring decision, making the right call can enhance your reputation. If it sounds like more than an art than a science, don’t despair. Here are some suggestions to help you become a better decision maker:

Assume nothing.

Not collecting key facts and instead going purely on “instinct” can be a recipe for disaster. No matter how much of an expert you are, you should always take into account the most current and relevant information available.

Don’t go it alone.

Your colleagues may have helpful input about the pros and cons of the choice you’re making — they may even have been faced with similar situations themselves. Don’t limit your intelligence gathering to those within your company — members of your professional network also are good sources to tap for insight.

Be aware of your biases.

Try to be objective and prevent past experiences from affecting your current views. Make a side-by-side comparison of each possibility.

Take your time.

While there’s often pressure to deliver projects faster, rushing can lead to poor choices or sloppy work. Take the time to process the information and make sure you understand what’s expected of you.

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