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Job Search: Expert answers 5 questions

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Whether they're out of work and looking for a job, or employed but looking for something better, lots of people are job hunting right now. Many of them face situations that can be tricky to handle.

Justin Rhatinsky from Robert Haft Technologies joined KSL AM with some tips.

  1. Many positions require me to submit an electronic application. Does this negate the need for a cover letter? "It's individual. Some companies like it, some don't," Rhatinsky said. "If they say don't send one, then don't. Otherwise, I'd definitely try to get it in there." He suggested trying to customize your approach to the job and letting the potential employer know how interested you are. "Remember the goal of a resume or an application is to get you an interview. They don't get you jobs, they get you interviews."
  2. How should I follow up on my application knowing that most employers have a "don't call us, we'll call you" policy? "The majority (of companies) would say it's fine to follow up once, whether it's by email or on the phone," Rhatinsky said. "Don't just follow up to make sure they got the application, follow up to express interest in the job. It may set you apart from other job seekers." He also warned, "Don't overdo it. Don't stalk them. But one time is fine."
  3. Is it appropriate to connect with hiring managers on LinkedIn prior to my interview? "Probably not a good idea to try to connect with them and talk to them via LinkedIn," Rhatinsky said. "A lot of people don't like to talk with people they haven't met with yet." However, he said LinkedIn is definitely a good research tool. "When I hire for my company I always look to see if people have done their research and have viewed my company profile," he said.
  4. I've been offered a temporary assignment. Should I take it? "We see a lot of this. Temporary jobs are probably more common than you'd think," Rhatinsky said. "It's a great foot in the door, a great way to network. If it's within your skill set, a lot of companies will hire temporaries until full time jobs open up. Once they do, if you've been in there on a temporary basis, you've definitely got a leg up on other job applicants because you've had a chance to prove yourself," he said.
  5. After months of job searching, I've been offered a position below my salary requirements. Should I try to negotiate? "Absolutely," Rhatinsky answered. "I'd let the employer know, 'I'm not doing this to be selfish, but what I don't want to do is end up in the same spot in six months, with you looking for somebody and me looking for a job again.'"

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