Career and Job Hunting Advice

How Well Does Help Prepare You for Your Job Hunt?

April 26, 2012 helps their end-customers find jobs. But what if an applicant isn’t quite ready to go job hunting? What if she needs advice and examples to prepare for her job search? We look at how well helps members prepare to take advantage of the company’s primary service of matching applicants to open positions. The lessons learned about getting customers ready for the value that you offer in your products and services can apply to any organization.


What does your company do to prepare customers to be ready to use your revenue-generating products and services? In many scenarios, customers have “homework” they need to do before they can get value from your offerings. Do you have a strategy and the tools to help guide them through the preparation?

In this customer experience audit, we follow Laura, who is about to lose her long-time job and who doesn’t really know what types of jobs to search for. Her scenario is “I want to be prepared to apply for and get a job that will make me happy.” We test on how well it prepares her for her job search and how well it meets her scenario objectives:

  • To discover careers and job titles that are suitable to my skills and experience and that I would enjoy
  • To present myself well to potential employers

Career Benchmarking

(Click on image to enlarge.)

© 2012 Patricia Seybold Group Inc. and

5. By answering questions about your own job details, you can benchmark yourself against others based on a dozen criteria: Gender, Office Size, Average Number of Jobs, Type of Job, Highest Education Level, Licenses/Certifications, Total Compensation, Benefits Offered, Number of Vacation/PTO Days Available, Hours Worked, Career Satisfaction Ratings, and Commute Time.


Before You Start Applying

Looking for a new job is very different today than it was 20 years ago. Pounding the pavement is now an online activity, going through the job postings on dedicated job-search sites like and or seeing what’s posted on Craig’s list, or looking at more niche sites, such as or (which provides job leads and other services for design professionals). We are pretty sure that all of these sites, and others like them, do a good job (forgive the pun) of helping companies post open positions and helping candidates find and apply for those openings.

But what about those job seekers who aren’t prepared to enter the job searching world? Many people have lost their jobs after years with the same company, and they aren’t sure how to approach the challenge of finding their next opportunity. Of the over 10+% of people in the U.S. who are unemployed, a large percentage of these people do not have the benefit of outplacement services. People who have lost their jobs are left to their own resources to figure out what they want to do next and how to go about finding the right job.

So we decided to put the premiere employment site,, through a customer experience test of preparing someone to enter the job market. After all, if you don’t know what type of jobs you might be qualified for, or you have no clue how to market your experience in a resume and cover letter, you won’t be ready to apply for employment.


As always, the best way to evaluate how well a company does in supporting customer needs is with a customer scenario, so we tried out by following the scenario: I want to be prepared to apply for and get a job that will make me happy.

In this scenario, Laura is a 46 year old divorced woman (with a grown daughter who is on her own). Laura spent her mid and late 20s raising her daughter. After working for a small publishing company for 16 years, moving up from secretary to managing editor and writer, the company is shutting down in three months. As part of a small company, Laura has worn many hats and used a mish mash of skills—including marketing, training, purchasing office supplies, and even office decoration, as well as writing and editing. Therefore, she is aware that her skill set isn’t automatically transferrable to a pre-defined job description. And traditional print publishing has changed so dramatically, she will be definitely looking to switch to another industry—such as online publishing, although she is willing to look at any industry.

Another difficulty is that her current company is the only place she has worked since her early days of waitressing and temping before her daughter was born. So she only has that single job reference.

Even with her writing skills, she is clueless on how to write a compelling resume that will get her interviews. Once she figures out the type of job she is suited for, and that suits her, she is confident that she can nail an interview and be successful in her search. But she has to prepare first.

So, before Laura starts looking for jobs, she is looking for both career advice and practical tips on how to best present herself as a viable candidate.

Steps in the Scenario

The steps that Laura wants to take to prepare for her job hunt are listed in Table A. We will follow those steps to see how well supports Laura in achieving her goal.

I Want to Be Prepared to Apply for and Get a Job that Will Make Me Happy

Steps I Want to Take:

To discover careers and job titles that are suitable to my skills and experience and that I would enjoy.

Related Steps:

  • I want to easily find information on appropriate careers/job titles based on my skill set.
  • I want to know in-depth information about the potential career paths, including compensation and lifestyle considerations (such as whether there is travel, weekend work, career growth, etc.).
  • I want a site that can recommend types of jobs based on my skills and experience.

Steps I Want to Take:

To present myself well to potential employers.

Related Steps:

  • I want help composing a compelling resume that accurately reflects my skills and experience.
  • I want samples of cover letters that will help me get the interviews I want.
  • I want tips on effective interviewing in today’s job market.
  • I want advice on what types of thank you correspondence and other follow-up communications will be effective in helping me “seal the deal.”

Table A. These are the steps that Laura wants to take to reach her goal of being prepared to launch a new career.


Discovering Potential Career Options

Because Laura is open to changing career paths, she wants the following ...

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