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User Topic: Job hunting - Several questions - long
♀ Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 1:06 PM, October 31st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

SD, applying a lot is a good start and you have to keep doing it. But it is probably not enough. I'm going to bullet point several of the key the suggestions you've gotten -- go thru it and see if you have done these things, and schedule time to do or continue to do these things. Finding a job, especially in this economy, is a job in itself.

1. Keep a list of accomplishments and a list of skills and update it frequently. Career center at a college or comm college you have attended, or a savvy friend can help you do this. You will use this for your resumes, cover letters, and *interviews*

2. Revise your resume. Take it to someone who can give you good, honest, and professional quality advice. (By that I mean, someone who takes a professional attitude towards work.)

3. Tailor your resume to the job or at least the job category (office manager, health care, bookkeeping, teaching elementary school, teaching middle school -- you get the picture). You should have a master resume and a set of tailored resumes.

4. Make a BIG list of all possible contacts. If you can use excel or another spreadsheet program, this will help you keep track of folks -- who they are, contact info, when did you contact and how, your follow up contacts, etc.

I mean, BIG. List every friend. List every relative. List everyone in any group you belong to (Mommy G2G? kids sports team? church group?) Teachers you have had in the past. People you have worked with.


Cross off anyone with twelve heads, in jail, that sort of thing.

Do NOT cross off folks who you THINK have no connections. Because you may very well be wrong.

(I'll give you an example. My background is in the humanities. I advise college students. I have a former student in the sciences who's looking for a job, preferably in natural resources. Now, I don't work with anyone like that. But, a mom from my son's elementary school PTA is married to a guy who works for the state division of natural resources. So, I gave her a rippin good contact.)

Get their contact info. Contact them. Follow up with thank you's. And ask them if they know anyone who might be a good contact. That;s how you build your network. Add those people to your big list.

5. Work on your job skills. That can mean specialized knowledge, or it could mean soft skills. Classes are obvious, but you can also develop or improve your skills (and by the way, improve your network) by volunteering, participating in clubs, etc.

6. Get assistance in identifying your career strengths and areas for development. Again, career centers may help you with this. There are non-profits and state agencies that do this sort of thing. You can also do some of this on your own. Pick a big, reputable university, go to their website, go to their career center webpage, use those resources. Those resources are almost always free and anyone with internet access can use them.

Good luck -- this is so hard! I think being organized and willing to work your big list of contacts is really key to getting some traction.


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 872 | Registered: Sep 2012
♀ Member
Member # 3224
Default  Posted: 7:50 PM, October 31st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have a staff of 11 and there is 1 who is not an employee referral. It's not always what you know, but who you know.

Suggestions that I would give to anyone applying for a position in my department? (It's always entry level)

1. Spell check. Please. I work for a nationwide company and believe it or not, I personally look at every resume that is sent in when I am trying to hire and I can't even begin to tell you the spelling errors I have seen

2. If you are applying for an entry level position - do not list a salary requirement that is insane. Asking for 50k to be a receptionist is just unreasonable. It's better to say 'negotiable' - get in the door, see what the job is exactly and then decide if the starting rate is something you can live with.

3. Job history is always important - if you have gaps - explain them OR highlight your skills instead of just listing employment history. I would take dependability over experience ANY day. I have interviewed no less than 10 people in the last three weeks; not a single person has described themselves as dependable/reliable.

Don't give up. Network every chance you get.

Off my soapbox - just hit home since I have been interviewing a lot myself recently.

"Unconditional love does not mean unconditional crap absorption"
~Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive~ Sir Walter Scott

Posts: 1603 | Registered: Jan 2004 | From: NOVA
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