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Tips for successful job hunting

Writer Hal Lancaster observed: “Getting fired is nature’s way of telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place.”

OK, but what do you do after that?

Several area job recruiters and human resources executives provided these tips for finding a good job in 2014.

Dianne La Valley, senior staffing manager for Accountemps, a Spokane executive job search firm: Develop a professional online profile at LinkedIn. La Valley suggested also joining useful and professionally relevant groups on LinkedIn that an employer can see as positive indicators of one’s career goals.

“Include a photo that is a professional quality photo on LinkedIn,” she said.

On Facebook, she urges candidates to not reveal too much personal information that an employer could judge as unprofessional.

Nancy Nelson, owner and president of recruiting firm Humanix: Make sure your resume speaks to your abilities and experiences. “Accent the key strengths that you’re trying to get the employer to notice,” she said.

Josh King, CEO of Tinderbox Consulting, a Spokane media consulting firm: Think of your job search as a full-time job. “After you get up in the morning, be prepared for a full day of job hunting. Be ready to go to an interview on short order, by being well-dressed and looking professional,” he said.

That applies even if one only goes to a public library to use the Internet, he said.

Susan Clevenger, Humanix director of national recruiting: In an interview be mindful of body language. “Engage with the interviewer and keep good eye contact at all times.  I have had candidates interview … while sitting there with tightly folded arms.  It is a turn-off when you don’t feel engaged or connected with the person,” she said.

Prepare answers for interview questions one can expect. “Be prepared to give an example of how you handled an uncomfortable situation. Keep the story short and to the point. No rambling,” Clevenger added.

Barbara Olsen, executive director of Business Networking International for Eastern Washington/North Idaho: Know a possible employer’s company history; be familiar with its mission, vision and values. “Understand what the company does within the community,” she said.

Ev Hopkins, vice president of human resources at STCU: Find a mentor in the field or job that you aspire to. Invite them to lunch and learn their career story. Ask that person what advice they’d give, and what experiences or education would prepare you to be a stronger job candidate.

“Who do they know who they would be willing to introduce you to, so you might get help to secure the job you want?” she suggested.