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by SixFigureStart | January 27, 2009

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Just finished attending Deb Wheatman?s workshop on Career Planning and boy, am I left spellbound! She took the attendees from the basic stage of creating a career map to the final thank you letter, follow up and negotiation skills. A few things stood out from her advice, tips that every jobseeker will be prudent enough to use and keep in mind during their search.

Career is one thing and your job another. The latter might have nothing to do with the former. So true for many people, especially in the current economy, where some people are willingly accepting jobs to simply get that paycheck coming in again. Ms. Wheatman suggests keeping your focus on the career aspect. After all, believe it or not currently, this market will pass and you will want to be in your chosen career when things rebound.

When it comes to sitting in the interview and talking about compensation, she suggests that we see it as one whole universe of everything being offered. Including discussing benefits. ?If you fall sick and despite having adequate compensation, cannot afford to pay the health care bills, how good is the compensation?? she asked. You also want to look beyond the job being offered when considering a position. Things like the company?s reputation, growth potential and viability all come into play. Because again, when things rebound, you don?t want to be outdated.

Another skill she strongly recommends is writing down thoughts and plans. Keep a journal, you cannot retain every possible thought and plan in the brain, while pursuing an aggressive job search. Approach the resume as an achievement poster. Literally. Put down all you would on one page. At the same time, don?t treat the cover letter as a chance to rewrite what?s already in your resume. The cover letter is a handshake, short and succinct to attract attention.

The importance of networking was next on the agenda. You can simply not do enough! LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter. Yes it all may seem overwhelming and a lot but hey, bring it on! In today?s global economy, job boards are not even a scratch on the surface for a position. When you apply through job boards, you become a statistic. When you network and get recommended through someone on LinkedIn, you become attractive, a qualified personable candidate. So Network.

Take copies of your resume, you don?t want your interviewer to have to get up and print a copy from her email. Yes, you sent it to her, but it?ll show you as an attentive candidate.

Another big NO. Do not divulge salary info. Even if they say they will not accept resumes without salary requirements. This is one of the few things Ms. Wheatman recommends ignoring. ?It?s simply a way for them to sift you out. Don?t do it,? she said. Instead ask the interviewer what the ?budget? might be for the position. Budget puts the professional spin on an otherwise abashed question that oftentimes we feel too shy to broach. Budget says you?re professional and know your thing!

So, in a summary? Network, believe in ?old-fashioned? habits of sending handwritten thank you letters, ask questions, treat your resume as your brand marketing tool, and finally: Network, Network, Network!

--Posted by Aman Singh, Editor, Vault.com

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