03/28/2013 12:14 pm ET Updated May 28, 2013

Job Hunt: Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

An employer contacts you for an interview for a position that you applied for on-line. If you are like many job hunters you get excited and your hopes for securing the position are high. After all, your resume was picked out of thousands. Many job hunters stop looking at this point and put all their eggs in one basket assuming that the interview means that they have the job. Many are disappointed and end having a longer job search than necessary. Here are tips to help you crack the code: Have a strategy
  • Develop a job search strategy. Focus on who will hire you based on your experience, skills and expertise. Many times we idealize that we will work for a firm that perhaps is in the news but does not align with our current background. Or we fantasize about using the job search to change careers. These are long shots and not a productive use of your time.
  • If you are serious about employment target a job in same or similar industries to your current or last job. For example if you are in retail stick to retail, if you are in marketing stick to marketing.
  • Employers want to hire people who can start on the ground running without down time. Once you are hired and have proven yourself, you can look around internally for lateral skill building opportunities.
Weed out the rotten eggs
  • You might be excited about securing an interview with a firm but the firm may not be the best fit for you.
  • Research the firm and the people you will be interviewing in advance. Prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview.
  • Remember an interview is a two way assessment not one way. You should be asking yourself,

  • "Can I work for that manager? Is the firm's culture a match for me? Can I be effective in the new environment?"
  • "Many times employees join firms that are not the right fit, thinking it is their only job option only to exit within six months because of a misfit. Frequent job changes on a resume can work against you." Says Gary Daugenti, Gent & Associates
Don't stop the hunt
  • When you are contacted by a firm or a recruiter for an interview don't stop your job search. It is most likely to be the first interview of many more to come and perhaps just a screening call.
  • Today many job hunters are experiencing a series of interviews ranging from 3-8 interviews over a few months. Many unfortunately stop their job search only to learn that there were other candidates who were also interviewed and they too were not selected. Continue your job search during this period as

  • Interviews are opportunities to network.
  • If a firm or recruiter contacts you and you feel that the position is not compatible with your background, don't turn it down. Rather, initiate a quick phone call with him or her to clarify the opportunity and at the same time learn about other opportunities at the firm or other opportunities that the recruiter might be handling.
  • Every contact can lead to more contacts and every interview should be viewed as a networking opportunity. Regardless, the hiring manager or recruiter will be able to provide insight into the firm, its culture, hiring process, and other positions that you might interest you.

With preparation and planning you can hop over job hunting obstacles.

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti is a leading thought leader on women, the workplace, and careers. She is the author of ten books, a regular media contributor, and global speaker. Her most recent book is Women Lead. Tracey is a visiting scholar at Stanford University Media X program.