<– Don’t do it!
I would love to bang my head here but I don’t think my monitor is up for the task. It’s a New Year, 2011 yay!, and many of us are looking forward to a better year especially for those who are unemployed. The job market is fierce and competition seems to be growing yearly with new graduates. Recently, I graduated with a B.S. in Business administration in hopes to open new career opportunities and driving that car I always wanted. New opportunities did open because now I can fill out those fun online applications that says “bachelor degree required”. However, the problem is landing that job interview.
Things sure have changed since I last applied for a job and to be exact it was 7 years ago. Now you no longer drive to the location to drop a resume off, ask for a manager, or any social interactions at all. You simply look online and apply there. Trying to pass the automatic screening process in hopes it would reach an actual human being. The purpose of this blog is to encourage all you frustrated unemployed or unhappy employed individuals not to throw in the towels and keep on trying. I am going to write what I did during my job search and how I did it. I also want to pin point that this is more of a career search than a “job” search. But it will certainly help you out even if you are looking for just a job. I know many individuals say a job is a job. But I am looking for a career to build upon my prior career experiences. I will post some information to help ease that frustration.
Where to look for work?
Many of us search for jobs of what we would like to do but that should not be the only criteria used. I am sure many of you know this but I will post it anyways as a reminder. Someone who graduated in bio engineering could be the director of marketing because it doesn’t matter what degree you have but more what you are good at. However, it doesn’t apply much after a bachelors because by then you know what your field of study and profession should be.
Now back to the topic. Where do you look for a career nowadays? I used a few different job search techniques. Utilizing job search engines, local online paper ads, Craigslist, and the company career page. I will list exactly what I did and why I did it. Each have their pros and cons but it also varies based on your personal experience and skill set.
I like to use these websites to look through companies that are hiring. I then look through the position and job requirements to make sure I am capable of doing it. Now here’s the tedious part. I copy and past all the companies, titles, and link to an excel spreadsheet to organize everything. I do this so I can keep track of all the places I have and have not applied to. It also allows me keep track of all calls, interviews, and everything else related to the job search. In addition, the leads from these websites can also allow you to go into their career page and apply for more positions. I will get into that later.
- Online Ads (Craigslist, local newspaper website)
Not too many people use Craigslist because it can be filled with too many spam. Tons of fake marketing and sales job topped with the good ol’ pyramid schemes. Work at home today and make gazillion of dollars! However, don’t let that push you away because I’ve actually landed some interesting interviews using Craigslist. Smaller companies tend to use Craigslist and they know what they want. This reduces your competition with hundreds of other people who are using the shotgun approach (sending mass resumes out) that will get filtered out. Don’t just keep applying for any random job you see on there. Take your time to find the ones you are capable of and then email a cover letter and resume. I know some people love to send the same resume and cover letter to every place they apply for. I don’t do that at all. I write every company a cover letter and revise my resume to meet their job requirements. Why? Because if you’re applying for an IT job and you listed mostly your marketing skills then that will filter you out. So remember! Custom cover letter and resume that caters to the job requirements.
Company career websites are great for applying for jobs. A lot of larger organization use this because they don’t need to pay any fee on job search engines. In addition, they don’t have to deal with recruiters and such. I use my excel sheet to look through all the companies and search through their listings. The good thing about using career websites is you can have a profile with them. In this case, you can simply use the shotgun approach by applying to as many positions that you match. In addition, your cover letter can be slightly more broad focusing towards the organization and what you can offer them as an employee.
If you are still in college you should always go to a career fair at least a few times. Otherwise, you are going to have a very hard time finding a career of your choice. Career fairs helped me stay in contact with a few recruiters for some companies I was interested in. It’s all about networking! I have had friends of friends who asked for my resume just to submit to their employer because they liked me and knew what I was capable of. Ask for the recruiter contact card and always keep an eye on their career page. If something comes up you can email the recruiter and try to stay in contact. The recruiter is the person who will screen you, phone interview, and then pass you onto the hiring managers.
This is the last resort and I am glad I did not have to go this route. Job agencies are good because they are trying to find a company that matches you. It’s their job to do that! Personally, I don’t like it because I wouldn’t need someone to tell me what I enjoy doing and suites me. Know thyself! Now the bad thing about job agencies is they take a good percentage of your income. It can vary from 5-10% depending on the position, pay, and time. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and to impress the employee. It can lead to a full-time job and eliminating the job agency once the contract is up. I had a few friends who went this route and it turned out great for them. They didn’t have to go through the interview process and it was great for a few of them. Why? Because these guys where smart but they weren’t good at selling themselves.
I am going to supply some links and resources that will help you with the frustration. I will continue to write more about job targeting, cover letters, resumes, references, interviewing, and follow ups. For now, keep going at it and keeping that job pipeline strong.