Video: Dream Job

msnbc.com
updated 1/10/2006 1:52:06 PM ET 2006-01-10T18:52:06
TRANSCRIPT

Can finding your dream job be simple?  Former editor-in-chief of Monster.com and author of the popular series of Monster career books, Doug Hardy joined Tucker Carlson on ‘Situation’ to explain how to get the job you’ve always wanted. 

To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, ‘SITUATION’:  The obvious question:  What's the best, most effective way to apply for a job, in person, by e-mail, letter, phone? 

DOUG HARDY, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MONSTER.COM:  All those are important.  I mean, how you get in touch matters, but all work.  The best way to apply for a job is to really be prepared, to have done your homework in advance.  You know, the Internet especially has really raised the bar.  Your competition knows about the company you're applying for, knows about the job, and knows what they want.  And if you don't know that, they're going to outshine you. 

CARLSON:  But how do you, know about the job you're hoping to get.  But how can you prepare for the inevitable dippy question every employer asks, what are your weaknesses?  I mean, you shouldn't tell the truth, should you? 

HARDY:  Well, I think there's a way to talk about your weaknesses that shows you really know yourself.  And it's not that usual old answer about, “Well, I work too hard,” or something like that.

CARLSON:  I'm just too kind, too compassionate. 

HARDY:  Exactly.  What you really need to do is to show that you're aware that there are places you can grow.  And also, you can show in the past when you've had maybe a shortcoming, something you didn't know about and found out..  But you can tell how you learn something, how you caught up quickly, how you know something better. 

CARLSON:  What's the best way to find out what the salary is?  I mean, it's kind of the key point for most people, job hunting, but it's the most uncomfortable subject to broach.  How do you broach it?

HARDY:  There are a couple of ways.  The first is there are a lot of ways now online to find out what the salary is generally paying for that position in your part of the country.  Another way that really works is if you've talked to people in the profession.  And if they're part of a real lifelong career network, people who trust you, people you trust, they'll tell you. 

CARLSON:  That's a good point.  Now, what's the best cover letter opening line you've seen? 

HARDY:  The best cover letter I've ever seen.  I think it's a kind of letter that poses a real high-interest issue for the employer.  So you start by saying, “My friend, Bob, who you know, said you've got a real problem with customer service.  And I should know, because I use your products, and your customer service stinks.  However, I think I can help, and here's how.”

CARLSON:  Interesting.  I mean, so many cover letters, at least the ones I've been fortunate enough, I guess, to receive, seem like they're written by a machine.  I mean, there must be some computer program that generates pitch letters for jobs.  So it should be as personal as you can make it, then? 

HARDY:  Yes.  And if you can make a personal connection, that's best.  I mean, having someone recommend you, connect you, really breaks through the ice.  Now, how does that work?  Let's say it's six months from now, Tucker, and you're adding a producer.  You can advertise online.  You can go get resumes online.  You can look at resumes you've received.  But also you're going to look at your producers and say, “Who does this as well as you?”

CARLSON:  Exactly.  That's exactly right.  “Who do you know?” 

HARDY:  Exactly.  And they're going to connect you to better candidates, because guess what?  They know what it takes to be a good producer on your show. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Plus, all producers know each other.  That's the truth.  Something to keep in mind when you're dealing with them.

And finally, give me an example of the two or three things you definitely should not do in a job interview, apart from show up drunk? 

HARDY:  Well, you shouldn't show up with all your body metal.  I mean, keep it to two or three piercings, OK?

HARDY:  And I think, if you want to discuss your criminal record, maybe save that for your second or your third interview. 

CARLSON:  So hide the true you, basically? 

HARDY:  Well, hide the true you that maybe they need to fine out about later, when they're convinced you can actually do the job. 

Watch 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' each weeknight at 11 p.m. ET

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