Key Tips in searching for Employment

Why are you looking for work?

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As someone who for the past 33 years has worked in the workforce development industry both public and private, I sincerely believe in the singular importance of job search assistance and it’s direct impact on both job seekers and employers. It doesn’t matter one’s station in life student, veteran, dislocated, disadvantaged, mature worker, disabled, previously incarcerated, long-term unemployed, incumbent, etc. or their occupational classification, professional, managerial, technical, clerical sales, service, machine trades ,transportation, or agricultural- everyone at some point in their career will be in need of job search assistance. Having directly provided job search assistance to literally thousands of job seekers, and worked closely with HR representatives in every industry, has overseen the administration of employment and training programs and trained state employment service staff on how to conduct job search workshops- here are some established job search techniques that have endured through time.

Topic 1-Let’s examine the question –

Why are you looking for work?

Some of you think that’s an easy question with an obvious answer, (upon reflection most of you will say)-

Because you need the (money) job!! …

To pay the mortgage, car notes, gas, electric, telephone bills etc. –

In essence to take care of your family!

This is a good, honest, universal response but it is also an incorrect one.

Yes- an incorrect one.

Sure you are looking for work to pay the bills but in order to enhance the probability that you will obtain the money to take care of your family-

The correct answer is (or should be) you are looking for work simply because you are the best qualified candidate, the most Talented person, for that job! It shouldn’t matter if your line of works is …

(Dispatcher, Web developer, Customer Service Rep, Truck Driver, Loan Officer, CNC Operator,) whatever your area of expertise, in a competitive job market – you should be prepared to explain to the recruiter why there is no one better than you to perform this job!

This is (or should be) your primary motivation and the mindset you should have during your job search and interview process. (Not because you need the money). This strategy will decrease uncertainty increase your confidence and eliminate as much stress as possible.


To get the job that you want, you must first have recognition of, and be able to demonstrate complete confidence in, your skills, knowledge, and abilities.

To ensure that in fact, you are looking for the right job, to ensure you get that elusive confidence, and to ensure that you are maximizing your fullest potential in pursuit of a career (not just a job),

Before searching for a job,

We at Point of Success Workforce Solutions recommend that each individual job seeker (under the guidance and instruction of a career counselor) do a self- assessment that reveals both actual occupational skills and personal interests.


Once an assessment is completed you will find that your Occupational skills are self-evident, a person either knows and has the skills needed to perform the duties and tasks on the job posting i.e. (must have), CNC, industrial electrical 220, ( know)Java script, ( know ) mig, tig, arc welding or -they don’t. The occupational skills you have are pretty clear-cut.

However, Occupational interests often are not as obvious, for example, to boost occupational introspection and further professional clarification Job Counselors often encourage Job seekers to ask themselves the following questions

a.) do you like to work with people, data, or things,

b.) alone or with others,

c.) outside or inside,

d.) in a noisy or quiet environment,

Job seekers should seek out professional job counselors that promote the utilization of personal interest inventory assessment tests.


The use of such tests could enhance both your personal /professional satisfaction and the probability of success at your chosen careers(s.)

Most job seekers discover that the utilization of individual Occupational Interests tests are a great career self-assessment tool, a genuinely fun experience, and for some – an occupational godsend.


By taking the tests and discovering the job family best suited for your personality (Realistic, Investigative, Social, Conventional, and Enterprising) the results may help to explain why although you personally liked the salary of your past jobs, your past coworkers, and the management, you hated performing the tasks associated with the job, or felt that certain skills you possessed were being underutilized and/or completely neglected. For ex,

We have counseled individuals in various occupations such as Nursing, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Corrections who have discovered an inability to handle the stress and/or requirements sometimes associated with their respective jobs primarily because they failed to examine basic tasks and/or functions attached to each occupation prior to obtaining them. for example, in nursing and substance abuse counseling both highly satisfying and intrinsically rewarding professions the extended schedules and/or heavy caseloads often required for employment with certain organizations, institutions, or operations have proven to be somewhat difficult tasks for certain individuals to perform.

So If you have been miserable in your past jobs, but you do indeed have the actual skills and experience requested for a specific job posting, armed with the results of your tests and the guidance of your counselor, to obtain some level of job satisfaction and maximize your full career potential you may want to formulate a new employment strategy, or plan that may include retraining or a career change.

Once (with the assistance of a professional career counselor) you have chosen the occupation you are qualified for, interested in, and wish to pursue, or

Once you have determined

The job you want and why you want it.

When looking for work you must understand that there are –

Two conflicting and competing motivational realities present during your job search and interviewing process. These are

1.) The motivational reality of lower order needs— (Your) need to pay the mortgage, Car note, mobile phone bill, etc. vs

2.) The motivational reality of higher order needs (Your need to reach your full occupational potential) by expressing recognition of, and confidence in, your individual Talent(s) and/ or Skill, Knowledge, and abilities (SKAs)

Remember most Job seekers when asked why they are looking for work will respond because they need the money.

To increase the probability of you obtaining that job you must first recognize and reconcile the two conflicting motivational realities-

Before you go on a job interview.

Simply put—the recognition of, and confidence in, your Individual talent, skills, knowledge and abilities, (a higher order need set) must supersede the reality of the lower order need set such as the need to pay the mortgage, car note or electric bill, – during the job search process, including before and during the actual job interview.

For example, when answering interview questions such as Tell me about yourself? Or why should I hire you? The recognition of, and confidence in, your individual talents as it relates to the specific job posting, will ensure that you effectively communicate your capability to exceptionally perform the job.


(Regardless of your level of knowledge or skill

If you are worrying or thinking at the moment of, or prior to the interview, that if you don’t get this job you won’t be able to pay the house or car note ( as many people often do) this will negate your ability to answer either question effectively-thus reducing the probability of you obtaining the job)

Why is this important?

In the eyes of the Professional Recruiter, the person’s need for the job is not factored into their hiring decision. To them job seekers are just that, job candidates capable of performing certain operational tasks, such as hauling steel- OTR Drivers, processing loans- Loan Officers, repairing machines -Machinists, welding Steel-Welders, managing Projects-Project Managers, and writing Code-Web Developers etc. Whatever position Recruiters are looking to fill they are seeking the best-qualified person for their positions –


Hiring Managers are not hiring people who need the money!

As an integral part of a competitive company responsible for managing their firm’s workforce development operations, and committed to the organization’s overall vision and mission, In their recruitment efforts- 

Hiring Managers are hiring Talented People because they believe those individuals are the best qualified and talented candidates for their operations!

Understanding this simple fact puts you in a competitive edge over other candidates. Remember the importance of your Skills Knowledge and abilities. (As it relates to a specific job posting to be discussed later in Topic 4 Resumes) and importantly

If you don’t believe in your own individual occupational talent(s) (knowledge, skills, and abilities), and in a competitive job market, are able to communicate that you are the best Talented candidate for the job- no one else will either!!

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