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Small Adjustments That Yield Big Dividends

Wednesday, 30 Sep 2009 | 11:42 AM ET

Successful job searches often turn on small details – the confidence in your hand shake, the banter at a networking event, the typo that sinks a resume.

The best candidates dot the i’s and cross the t’s in everything they do.

Here are examples of small adjustments you can make to take your job search to the next level:

Put your LinkedIn hyperlink in your email signature.

Many times you email for networking, and attaching a resume is presumptuous. The link to your online profile is less imposing but gives people an invitation to check out your background. Keep in mind that even when you network for informational purposes the people you approach will want to know your background to see if they want to spend their precious time with you.

Practice the voicemails you leave.

It never ceases to amaze me how unaware people are of how fast they talk, how they jumble their words, how they ramble and how unclear their request is. Prepare your potential message when you call key contacts because you are likely to get their voicemail. You want a succinct, engaging and clear message. Practicing on your own phone gives you a chance to hear what your targets hear.

Coach your friends and family.

You might be able to spot opportunities that interest you. You might be able to pitch yourself for consideration. But can your loved ones do that?

Too often, we don’t let our friends and family know what suitable opportunities are and how they should talk about you if one of those opportunities presents itself. This is a wasted chance to have additional eyes and ears on the market.

PS. If you can’t relay to them what you want and why you’re a fit, then you can’t do it to a stranger, and that means you need to work on your pitch.

PPS. Now that they are on the lookout for you, do the same for them.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and Vault.com.

Comments? Send them to executivecareers@cnbc.com

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