Laurie's great advice: treat job search like full-time job

photo of Laurie, who thanks CareerForce for helping her land a perfect job

Laurie had been working with CareerForce specialist Angele Hartell and other CareerForce staff for several months. That good work paid off when Laurie was offered the exact position she’d hoped for. Laurie recently called Angele to share the good news. The two celebrated her success over the phone, then reflected on how she achieved it.

“I think people need to realize two things,” Laurie stated. “Job search really is like a full-time job, and for many people, it starts with acknowledging the feelings of loss and grief about the last job ending.”

Angele agreed: “If people don’t intentionally manage their thoughts and deal with the loss of their last job, it can show up in their attitude, as well as the energy they bring to the job search.  It’s definitely something employers will pick up on.”

Angele described the successful approach Laurie used in her efforts to move back into a field she had taken time off from to engage in advocacy and education efforts locally and nationally. While she already had extensive experience in the field of Human Resources, since there was a several-year gap in her work experience she decided to pursue current education with an HR Generalist Certificate from the University of Minnesota, as well as a recognized credential from an HR professional association, both of which allow her to demonstrate current applicable skills. Her next strategic move was to gain assistance from the professionals at CareerForce. 

“I’ve leveraged many of the CareerForce resources available including career counseling, professional resume review, and several of the webinars offered. The advice and education have been truly valuable.  Then I put it all into action. When I saw the position I believed would be perfect for me, I researched the organization to make sure it was a good one I would want to work for – I didn’t want to accept a position and then be looking again.” 

Laurie continued: “I worked on my STAR stories [a technique taught by CareerForce for providing meaningful responses in an interview; see below] and I was absolutely ready for a wide variety of questions asked in my interview. I found out what I could about the company leadership, especially those who would be interviewing me. I was then able to connect personally with interviewers based on what I had learned. For example, I described my appreciation for a level of certification one interviewer possessed, that based on my research I knew to be very difficult to attain.”

Laurie also described preparing a binder over the course of her career that documented work-related activities and achievements, training and promotions.  “Reviewing it during my job search helped me recall all I had done and all of my accomplishments.”

Angele added that while CareerForce professionals often recommend maintaining a career binder during the course of one’s career, it’s never too late to start one. “This is essentially conducting research on yourself, and capturing all of the information about your skills, education and training, strengths and successes from throughout your career. All of it helps you to ‘build your vocabulary’ about your qualifications, so that it becomes so much easier to tell an employer why they should hire you, and even before that, to write a resume. Many job seekers tell me they have a hard time talking about themselves – this diminishes that problem.” 

Laurie is ecstatic about her new position and the opportunity to combine her Human Resources expertise with her passion to make a difference in the lives of others. “Being strategic and diligent in the job search process, and leveraging all of the resources available through CareerForce really helped me put myself in the best possible position to get the job I wanted.” 

*STAR –Situation, Task, Action Result:  a method for answering behavioral interview questions by using story-telling that is direct, logical, meaningful and personalized.  Learn more with a CareerForce Interview Skills Webinar: Virtual & Interactive Services for Career Seekers | CareerForce (

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