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Great tips for your job search

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With the economy in bad shape, a lot of people have found themselves looking for work without much success. Many people wonder why they didn't get a call back on a job or didn't get the position after they went to an interview.

Tina Simon was a contract worker and worked as a graphic artist until she was recently laid off. She now relies on freelance work.

Simon has 20 years professional experience. Her resume speaks for itself. It lists her credentials, experience, and education.

Simon wants a job but said it's been difficult to find one.

"I've had maybe two interviews. You don't know what's happening - if they've hired someone for that position or if you should continue hoping you get that position, if you should move on to something else," said Simon.

Almost all companies require you to send your work history and application electronically.

With so many people out of work, certain job fields are flooded with applications. This means the chances of finding out the status of a resume or application is slim.

"Instead of going up against 5 or 10 people they are going up against 300 people," said Mike Fowler, the manager of the Huntsville Career Center.

To improve chances of getting hired, Fowler said start with making a good first impression. Make sure a resume has the right key words or buzz words to catch the attention of the employer.

Fowler said do your research; know the company and know the job. Arrive for the interview at least 15 minutes early.

Fowler said to keep in mind everything is being watched closely.

"Everything and anything you do is going to be evaluated. Make a good impression with the receptionist. Be polite and professional. Don't be overly friendly with the interviewer," said Fowler.

Fowler also said to look professional. Wear good clothes, shoes, and be properly groomed.

Don't ruin chances of employment by asking about vacation and off time on the first interview.

"That shows you are looking what's in it for you. Granted these are important things to know but that can wait until the second interview or job offer," said Fowler.

Fowler warns to never text or talk on a cell phone. It should be turned off or left in the car.

Simon hasn't given up hope she'll find a job soon. She knows it's critical to sell yourself. You might have just what a company is looking for.

"Twenty years graphic design experience and education, the awards I've received for my work. I think all that add up make me a very good potential employee for any company," said Simon.

In this day of social media and electronic media, you have more options than ever to search out job openings. Take advantage of job and career fairs, job agencies, and networking. Friends, family, former co-workers, classmates, neighbors and other connections are often good sources to find a job.

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