Carl Wellenstein

Carl Wellenstein is an employment and career strategist located in Southern California and is the author of 12 Steps to a New Career. He helps those in mid-career facilitate career advancement, expedite job changes, and pursue new career destinies. Carl can be contacted at [email protected] or visit his website at

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The Top Five Things That Job Seekers Must Do

(And the Top Five Things You Shouldn’t Do)

Carl Wellenstein

July 08, 2009

3.8/5.0 (4 votes total)

You’ll get an abundance of advice from recruiters, career coaches, and even peers about what you should or should not do during your job search. The perspectives of recruiters are often very different and contradictory from that of career coaches. And just because a colleague said such and such technique worked for them doesn’t necessarily mean the same technique will work for you.

It’s no wonder that people are often confused about what you should do and avoid doing in a job search. Considering all the advice you’ll hear, there are some basic things that are universal truths. Here are the top ones that will enhance your job search and the top ones that will adversely affect it, regardless of your situation:

The Top Five Things That Job Seekers Must Do

1. Be clear on what you do – You are competing with many more people who think they also can do what you do. Your greatest strength is your record of success at doing what you do. You and everyone else must be crystal clear about what you do best.

2. Build on your experience – Employers prefer candidates who have most of their experience in their industry. If you need to change industry, you must then find the words to describe your industry experience in a way that a different industry will understand and accept.

3. Contacts are key – Networking for employment will be most effective if you concentrate on building relationships with others so they will want to help you. People don’t become trusted friends at a casual encounter. Taking the time to build relationships is an investment in yourself.

4. Your resume is your brochure – Simple is best, content is king. Say what you want, what you are best at doing, an achievement story or two that demonstrates and reinforces your skills, followed by your career history and other capabilities that enhance your employability – period!

5. Stay focused – Plan your days. Set priorities and stick to them. If you say you’ll follow up, you must do so. Review the results of what you have achieved each day and what you learned that you can use in the future. Ask others to keep you accountable and report back to them.

The Top Five Things Job Seekers Must Avoid Doing

1. Lack of clarity – Tell different people different things about what you want because you don’t want to avoid any opportunity. The result will be that no one will know exactly what you do best and won’t be able to recognize the perfect opportunity for you or refer you to others.

2. Too many resumes – Change your resume every time you send it out. The result will be that your message of what you tell others will never be consistent with the message in your resume or a potential employer will receive more than one version and will not know the real you.

3. Aggressive networking – You approach networking as if you are doing it for business, collecting as many business cards as you can, and having a sheaf of resumes handy. The result will be, without building a relationship with others, you won’t get effective referrals.

4. Depending on others – Send out resumes to all the recruiters and employers you can find and then wait for the calls with job opportunities. The result will be that you will waste money and time that could be better spent making contacts with others who could actually help you.

5. Negative thinking – Relax, do chores, play golf, think that it’s a recession and you’re not going to find a job now anyway. The result will be that you won’t find a job because no one sees you as motivated and won’t be motivated to help you.


About Carl Wellenstein:

Carl Wellenstein started his career as a CPA and partner with Arthur Young & Co (now Ernst & Young). He eventually left public accounting and moved to the UK where he launched an executive search firm. He returned to the United States and today he successfully coaches executives who need to expedite job changes or find satisfying new careers. Wellenstein obtained his BS in business, has a certificate in coaching and completed the JCTC (Job and Career Transition Coach) program. He lives in Southern California.


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