Any employer will want to understand how you meet his or her needs before taking yours into consideration. When you keep this in mind, you will understand that the fastest way to find a job is to find the employer who thinks you represent the answer to his or her problem. To paraphrase President Kennedy’s famous inaugural dictum: Ask not what an employer can do for you … ask what you can do for an employer.

When you winnow down all the possible jobs that you might apply for into the jobs for which you’re most suited for to attain success, you will have the time and energy necessary to make each application, interaction and interview count. Rather than taking an unfocused shotgun approach, you will be able to psych out what employers are looking for … and give it to them with a customized cover letter, resume and phone-screening interview all leading up to the main event: the in-person job interview.

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