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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Ted Chalupsky from The Right Staff joins KARE Saturday to talk about what you should have on your job checklist.

December is the time of year when many people use checklists to get things done, whether it be gift buying, guest lists for holiday parties, or preparing your tax return. For job seekers, putting together a simple list and focusing on key areas applicable to any job search, will enhance your prospects for a great new job in 2014.

Job Checklist Basics:

1. Have your resume' reviewed by an expert.

Surveys show roughly 20% of resumes' submitted for new job openings are well written, 40% are average and 40% are poorly written. A candidate may have the skills required for the job, but if they don't have a good resume', odds are they won't be considered for the position and will lose out on an opportunity. Add to this, when an employer reviews a resume', they will take about 10-15 seconds to view it and determine if the resume' makes it to the next step in the process.

Many government sponsored job transition organizations or private recruiting firms will review your resume' and make recommendations to improve it, and most will do this service at no cost. Having a well written resume' to present to potential employers is step 1 on your checklist.

2. Target specific companies, not specific jobs.

Most job seekers take an approach of applying for every job posted, regardless of their skills and experience. They figure, if I throw enough at the wall, something will stick. This is a recipe for job search frustration. Instead of applying for a job, target 10-15 specific companies within an industry that is a good match for your skills and experience. Visit the company websites to research and apply for job openings. Also, research Linked In for contacts within each company to connect with and get your resume' in front of these decision makers.

3. Establish or review your online branding strategy.

Almost as important nowadays as having a good resume', is a professional online marketing strategy. This includes a complete and well-structured Linked In profile, and possibly a business blog or personal website. Information about you and your background that can accessed via the internet, utilizing key words about your skills and accomplishments will make it easier for potential employers to find you. Like all companies, the internet allows you many ways to establish your own professional brand online.

4. Improve your networking skills.

Finding a new job, in many ways, is a numbers game. The more people that become aware of your skills and experience, the more you increase your odds of being introduced to the decision makers at different companies, and ultimately, getting a job offer. Start with writing a list outlining your current network of social and professional contacts. As you connect with each, ask them to refer you to 2-3 people within their network. After contacting these people, repeat this process of asking to be referred to 2-3 of their contacts, and so on. Within a short period of time, your contact list will have grown exponentially to a point where interviews and job offers will be almost inevitable.

5. Utilize a reputable recruiting firm.

More employers today are outsourcing the hiring process to professional recruitment firms. Most reputable recruiting firms have a relationship with the decision makers within the hiring companies, so utilize the recruiter's network of contacts, to get your credentials in front of the people that will be making the hiring decisions.

December Job of the month:

Web Design / Network Administrator / Helpdesk support

Several positions available. Delivers support, implements and maintains all IT systems, including telecommunications, networking infrastructure, servers, PCs, operating systems, hardware, software, peripherals/devices and office automation equipment. BA or BS in IT, Engineering or Computer Science, with 2-5 years' experience administering standard network technologies. Apply online today at www.therightstaff.com or call 952-546-1100 for more information.

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