Even though his jumping off point is about making your application stand out, in this month's Career Doctor, Dave Willmer gives some of the most well-articulated arguments I've seen for using the basics when conducting a job search. While employers appreciate creativity and initiative, he says, today they're focused on the bottom line, which means candidates need to demonstrate - at each step of the application process - how they can help the company through the job that's being offered.

TypewriterWhen Robert Half Technology asked CIOs to describe creative or unusual tactics candidates had used successfully, a large number boiled down to networking, persistence, research and follow up. One executive told of a job seeker who got to know people in his department, another remembered a seeker who called HR every day for three weeks, and a third talked about a candidate who took him to lunch twice after he didn't get the job, "to stay in touch." Said the manager: "I finally found something for him."

Creativity, says Dave, is all about getting an employer's attention. But ultimately, "receiving a job offer will depend on your track record and your ability to tie it to an employer's needs."

-- Mark Feffer