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Features Workplace Fairness Weekly

Zuckerman Law

Clark Law Group

Workplace Fairness Weekly (3/29/10)

Topic of the Week  No Person is an Island - Using Teamwork to Get Hired:

• DO form a support group.
• DO share leads.
• DO keep learning.
• DON'T lose hope.

The time it takes to get a job is now over 6 months, the longest it's been in recent memory. It's tough out there. Which reminds me of a Miami woman who called in a bomb threat so her boss wouldn't have to miss his fight to Honduras. The 31-year old employee did it because she'd delayed her boss on his way to the airport and she knew how important it was for him to be on the flight. Officials didn't have a tough time tracking her down, she'd emailed the threat to the airline.

That employee broke the law and paid the consequences for her teamwork. But there is another kind of teamwork that you do want to practice, forming a job seeker support group. I'll give you three Do's and one Don't to show you how you can work together to get ahead. For more, check out Duncan Mathison and Martha Finney's book "Unlock the Hidden Job Market" (Pearson, 2010).

DO form a support group. Not as a gripe session, but to collaborate and cooperate to find a job. Most of us think of a job hunt as a solitary process, but it's a great idea to work as a team. Why? First off, regular group meetings will motivate you to put energy into your job hunt rather than sitting on the sofa watching Jerry Springer, because you'll have to report regularly on what you're doing. It is also a great place to role play job interview answers, brainstorm about job search strategies and keep each other's spirits high.

DO share leads. You have friends and contacts that can't help you, for example they're in the wrong industry. But they could help someone else. I've heard great things from people who've been in a support group for the expanded network that resulted. For example, I've swapped contacts with a few different speakers over the years. I've actually found that there is a lot more cooperation out there than most people realize. Give a little and you can get a lot in return.

DO keep learning. It is a different world out there. For example, these days computers usually do the first scan of resumes, not people. So you've got to make your resume scan friendly, but keeping it on white paper, minimizing any graphics and using as many key words as possible (key words are the components of the job, you can find them in either a want ad or a job description). Working with others will allow you to learn about new ways to get hired.

DON'T lose hope. It's easy to get discouraged. But remember, no one wants to hire someone who trails blood into an interview. You've got to figure out ways to psych yourself out, so that you can come across as energized and ready to tackle whatever problems are facing the company.

Use these tips and your job hunt won't bomb, it will arrive on-time at a great destination, a new job.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

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"When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

–Will Rogers

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