6.      Ask for the job.  At the end of any interview, if you want the job, tell the hiring official so and ask when you should check back.  Then follow the instructions as if they were a set appointment.  Calling back should always be done courteously.  You never know who you're talking to.  The CEO's secretary could be answering the phone that day.  Show your interest and express your desire to go to the next step in the hiring process.  Never be overbearing or a pest.  This is not a time to be over-assertive.  But, if you don't ask…

7.      Do not filter your job search by title.  When searching for jobs on an internet site, do not use key words.  For example: searching "Sales Manager" will exclude job opportunities with companies that might call it something else like Sales Director or Sales Team Leader.  Search all jobs in your geographic area.  You may see interesting openings under other descriptions and possibly get insights into companies that you could contact for opportunities in your area of interest or experience. 

8.      Have realistic expectations.  Be informed about the current market forces and economy in your industry of interest.  Be reasonable in desired income and title.  Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings about your business community.  Being able to talk about industry news or trends in an interview will allow you to stand out in a crowd of interviewees.  Do online searches for news, info and insights about a company before you go to an interview. 

9.      Dress for success.  You never get a second chance to make a strong first impression and hiring officials do judge the book by its cover (your clothes and grooming).  People notice haircuts, fingernails, shined shoes, food stains on clothes, or wrinkles.  Be conservative; do not wear elaborate jewelry or "hip" clothing.  If you don't make the effort to professionally prepare yourself for an interview why should the hiring official think you'll prepare to do the job?

10. Use social media.  Place links to your Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter and especially Linkedin on your resume.  Use them.  Just remember... your mother, pastor, and future employer will read absolutely everything and see every picture on these sites.  Join groups in your industry and participate in discussions just stay professional - do not vent.  Millions of potential bosses are watching and reading.  If you don't know how to use these resources, you now have the time to learn.

At this point in time, your job search IS your job.  Go to work and you'll go to work that much faster.  God blesses diligence - He will bless you.  Proverbs 10:4 (NASB) - Psalms 68:18.

Originally posted September 22, 2010.

Born and raised in South Dakota, Len Allen began college at South Dakota State University. He transferred to the University of Hawaii in Honolulu where he attended for 3 years majoring in commercial art and art history. In 1972 he graduated from Sioux Falls University back in his home state of South Dakota.

He returned to Hawaii where he began his career as a ditch-digger and met his wife, Beverly. Because of Bev's influence, Len went from ditch-digger to corporate Vice President within one and a half years and his career was off and running. They have lived and worked in Hawaii, California, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Texas and are now back in their old home of Chattanooga. They have been married 36 years and have a 21 year-old son attending college.