9 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before You Job Search

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Find someone to refer you. You are missing out on job opportunities by not identifying someone inside the company to refer you for a job. While job boards are the primary source of hiring, 71 percent of HR professionals surveyed rated employee referrals as the best source for finding candidates, yet only 7 percent of job seekers surveyed viewed referrals as their top source for finding a job. 

Invest in learning technical skills. Job seekers self-reported that their top weakness was technical, computer or specialized skills. If this is your weak spot too, do something about it, because a quarter of employers rank these as top skills they are looking for. Take an online course to develop the skills you lack or need. More than 40 percent of job seekers have never invested in online training, but it is one way to improve your confidence and candidacy. 

Show internships, not GPA. If you are a recent graduate, you may agree with the job seekers in the survey who feel grades are the greatest indicator of your potential. But to employers, experience wins attention. So instead of focusing on your academic achievements, be sure to highlight your internships. 

Get ready to take a test. At some point during the interview process, you’ll likely be asked to complete an exercise, assessment or test of some sort. It is just another way to evaluate you. The study found that 57 percent of employers administer some exercise or challenge to job candidates, so don’t let this surprise you. 

Master the phone interview. Your first interview will be a phone interview. It was the top method listed for conducting first interviews. But sadly, job seekers don’t feel as comfortable with phone interviews as they do with in-person interviews.

Expect to meet several people during your interviews. It is unlikely you’ll be hired based on one interview. Almost 60 percent of HR professionals said the interview process involves meeting two to three people, and some employers will have you meet with as many as five people during the interview process.

The interview process takes time. One to three weeks: That’s how long it is going to take you to go through the interview process and get an offer, according to more than half the surveyed HR professionals. And, in some companies, it could take five to nine weeks. 

Highlight these top three skill sets. Communication, adaptability and results-driven are the top skills HR is looking for in candidates. Unfortunately, job seekers miss the mark. While job seekers did list communication skills as a top skill set, they missed the mark in the other top skills they reported, which were leadership and teamwork. 

Here’s how to stand out. You’ve learned as much as you can about the company, but what else can you do to win over the employer? HR professionals say to bring a portfolio of your work. Yet only 19 percent of job seekers used this approach to stand out in their search. 

Targeted Career Solutions provides a thorough assessment process for each client utilizing the Strong Interest Inventory and the Predictive Index Assessment.  These two assessments will help identify the student's interests and areas of study so they can focus on these careers.  The PI survey, a tool used by companies for hiring throughout the world, specifically concentrates on how clients are “wired” and measures innate motivating needs.  Having self awareness on how we approach things in life is a powerful tool.  After the student completes the assessments, a consultant will meet with the client for an hour session sharing the results of both tests and provide observations and helpful tips to the student and the parent(s).  


  • Strong Interest Inventory Assessment
  • Predictive Index Survey
  • Resume review (2nd career, high school resume)
  • One hour consultation with client              
  • One goal setting meeting

                                                                                                                 Total:  $250



  • Consultation with hiring manager regarding need.
  • Create/review  job description for open position.
  • Create search plan including LinkedIN, job sites and networking strategies.
  • Review resumes and select candidates for initial interviews.
  • Interview and recommend final candidates.
  • Consult with hiring manager and proceed to offer stage
  • Prepare offer and present to final candidate.

                                                                                                                                      *Pricing subject to project.  Contact us for specific quote.

High School, College or Professional  Resume Advice                        $ 75

One Hour Mock Interviewing session
(Behavior Based Interviewing)                                                                 $ 50 per session


Contact: suzanne@targetedcareersolutions.com or (317) 679-4003