March 29, 1998

Preparation Is The Key To Landing That Perfect Job

 

Job seekers don’t always recognize the resources they have at their disposal, said Tami Legler, branch manager of Accountemps and OfficeTeam in Spokane.

“People don’t typical appreciate the value of the ties that they already have in the community,” she said: “Prior employers, professors, family members - these sources are typically underused.”

Legler will present a seminar at the Career Fair titled “Job Search Tactics for the 21st Century.” Topics include: developing and using networking techniques to uncover job leads, preparing cover letters and resumes and interview techniques that work.

“People need to market themselves just like an ad campaign markets a product,” Legler said. “They need to be involved in professional organizations and community events.”

When they finally get that key interview, they need to be prepared with a good resume and cover letter. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no one-size fits-all solution, she said.

“You’re really looking critically at putting your best foot forward. If your educational background isn’t that strong, you don’t want to lead with that. You might want to look at listing your work experience first.

“That’s what I mean by ‘looking critically’ at your resume; everyone needs to do it the way that works best for them.”

For example, “The resume you have when you’re working is not necessarily the one that you have when you are between jobs.”

Legler is still surprised, she said, by the number of people who appear at job interviews unprepared.

“The basics are always the same, a firm handshake and good eye contact. It’s amazing how many people aren’t able to do that. A lot of people aren’t experienced at being in interviews, or they haven’t been in the job market for a long time.

“It’s a rebuilding process that helps a candidate become more comfortable.”

But relaxing in an interview is just the first step toward impressing a potential employer, Legler said.

“You should have a good list of questions prepared, and you should have an understanding of their industry. Here you are, trying to convince a company that you want to go to work for them and yet you don’t have any understanding of the company or where it stands.”

Professionals seeking positions often rely on the services of a company’s like Legler’s. Robert Half International, parent company to Accountemps and OfficeTeam, has six divisions, all devoted to career placements.

Accountemps offers temporary and temporary-to-hire accounting and finance positions, while OfficeTeam focuses on administrative slots.

Legler said the companies serve business clients within about a 50 mile radius of Spokane.

At the Career Fair, Legler and her staff will be looking to fill positions for both divisions.

“At Accountemps, we’re looking for a minimum of one to two years of experience in accounting, although there are certain combinations of educational background that might offset a lack of experience.

“We’re best as a resource for people with one to two years of experience and some education.”

On the OfficeTeam side, the emphasis is on a good mix of education and general office skills, including desktop publishing and office management. Some combination of educational background and experience is preferred, Legler said.

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