courtesy of

courtesy of

Have you watched Shark Tank on TV? It is more than just a reality hit. There are sound business decisions made each episode. The contestants walk away with investment money or not, depending on their product and presentation. Your job search strategy can take a few hints from this popular TV show in how you approach your answers to these questions:

Are you only applying for jobs online? If you only use online job boards or postings, you are ignoring a huge area of job search resources. Your odds will increase dramatically if you also use your network. Personal connections are key to tapping into the hidden job market and potential job opportunities.

Do you send a generic cover letter when you send your resume? Really? You are missing out on one of the most effective ways to grab a hiring manager’s attention if your letter is too generic. Your letter should talk specifically about why you are the best candidate for this job, and why you would excel in this position.

Are you skipping interview prep? Don’t sell yourself short by not putting a little effort into preparing for that all-important interview. You should spend some time researching the employer and think of appropriate questions you can ask during the interview that shows your interest in the company and the position.

Have you talked to your references lately? There’s nothing worse than a potential employer calling a reference and catching them off guard. They may rattle something off the wall that may jeopardize your being considered for the job. Prep the people on your reference list with what you’d like them to share about your working relationship. Keep them informed when potential employers may be contacting them.

Are you nurturing your network? People are more apt to help those who help them, and appreciate and remember the gesture. Being a resource for connecting opportunities, and valuable information is a way to stay engaged with your network. They are more likely to be there when you need them.

Are you sending thank you notes after interviews? This is one of the areas in the job search handbook that should be followed, no exceptions! No, this is not a tweet – “Just finished an interview with XYZ Corp, thanks John!” It is a handwritten note or email to the interviewer to reiterate the high points of the interview and your interest in the position.

Ask yourself these questions to make sure you are on top of your game, pursuing job search as a hunter, someone who is driven to achieve success. Answer these questions as if you were up against the Shark Tank panel. The “Tank” would expect nothing less.