Once upon a time, looking for a job was ‘easy’. You’d walk into a place of business, fill in an application and hand it to a person who would pass it along to the hiring person. You’d go home and wait for them to call, hoping they would. Once you got there, you expected to wow them with your intelligence and eagerness to such a point they had no alternative but to hire you – there… in person.
I’m finding it’s not all that easy now. First you have to make a resume that sells you as your product. And, if you might like to a few different things, you have to make a few different resumes. You have to decide how to create this resume… do you tell all your jobs back to year one, or do you cut it off at ten years ago? Do you make it functional describing your accomplishments in certain job functions or chronological where your jobs take a backward spin through time? You need your resume to speak for you.. YOU may never get the opportunity to do so in person.
Once your resume is ready to meet the public, you have to research companies, network with everyone you have ever met in your lifetime, hoping one or more of them has a job or knows someone with a job, or knows someone who knows someone with a job and will put in a good word for you. I’ve networked before – my first full-time job was at a bank where my aunt had gone to school with one of the branch managers, and did that good word putting for me. You have to have an elevator speech prepared where you can tell your (work)life story in 30 seconds or less and grab someone’s undivided attention in a way that would make you seem interesting and indispensible. (We need someone like that here! is the thought they should be going away with.) You need to anticipate their every question before you arrive at your interview and you need to have meaningful questions you want to ask at the ready when you arrive there (this is where the aforementioned researching the company comes in handy.)
Job-hunting websites are also fraught with speed bumps. How important is that degree in journalism if you’ve got actual experience doing the job, you wonder. I don’t know that piece of software, but I’ll bet I could learn it in a week if they’d give me the opportunity, you think.
Lately, I’ve been trawling the LinkedIn site for connections. Since that seems to be one of the greatest keys, it makes sense to me to spend some time searching for anyone who could help. I’m reviewing my list of connections and who their connections are that I might also know and take advantage of. One by one I scroll through my list of contacts looking to see who has the largest number of contacts I might steal.
And groups. I’m joining groups. Today’s online webinar taught me that I should join LinkedIn groups that pertain not only to work areas I’m interested in, but my personal interests as well. I’m just trying to figure which of those will yield a better group of contacts.
So I feel like I’m treading the waters of research and phraseology while I try to figure out what to do next. Let’s hope I can see the shore soon because I’m going to get tired of this real quick!