Looking for a job is a full-time job. A few weeks ago we received an email from a job seeker who took this statement to heart. His feedback on the job search process gives an insider’s perspective on how to manage the “work-life balance” of looking for a job.
Keep reading to learn some of his tips to help you manage your own job search.
In retrospection, there are definitely some things I would have done a bit differently after knowing what I know now. I am not expert, but I can recall one specific week where I was so busy with interviews and follow ups that I was lucky if I could get in a meal before 5pm. Because of the grueling 4 months of being unemployed that I endured searching for employment and because I know you work with a lot of job seekers, I would like to provide you with some feedback that I would provide to anyone looking for a job:
Phase 1 -Beginning:
1. Take as many classes at RochesterWorks! as possible and as soon as possible.
All of the classes were extremely helpful, but if I had to pick 2 that helped me the most, they would be Right Your Resume and Interviewing: Beyond the Basics. Job Search Management helped especially with the LinkedIn aspect. I also took Negotiating Your Job Offer and Catchy Cover Letters.
2. During this time I would look for jobs and apply, but don’t spend too much time applying for jobs until your resume is completed and has been reviewed by several people.
3. Get on LinkedIn and search for people you know.
Look for family, friends, and colleagues. I would even get out your high school year book and look for former classmates and teachers. Connect with every recruiter you meet or talk to. I took it one step further and connected even with recruiters who asked to connect with me that I did not know. Recruiters are paid to find good talent so this is a great way to try to get jobs to come to you.
I also had my job status set to “Actively Looking” because I was unemployed. I had quite a few people reach out to me asking what I was looking for. All of this will help because you can have conversations with people who are working for a company or doing something you are interested in. (Networking is EXTREMELY important, I had to know someone to get a job and from what I recall most jobs operate off some type of referral).
4. Perfect your resume.
Phase 2 –Kicking it up a notch:
1. Once your resume is perfected and you feel more comfortable with interviewing, get your resume to every single staffing agency you can find.
More and more companies seem to use staffing agencies. I found a lot of Temp-Perm positions. This is great for employers because they get to almost “Try it before you buy it” so to speak. I also found a few direct hire positions through staffing agencies.
Almost all of the interviews I had were because of staffing agencies marketing me to companies. Also, I think that staffing agencies sometimes have a greater understanding of the job market, they can sometimes even market you for positions in which you do not meet certain requirements. For example, one interview I had was for a position in which the job description very clearly mentioned that a bachelor’s degree was required – but I haven’t completed my associates yet.
I also want to include that I applied to the same position at the same company I was hired for when I saw opening a few months prior. I didn’t get an interview until I used the staffing agency.
3. (Optional) Post your resume on websites like Monster and Career Builder.
Because I did this, I was able to find out that the company I was hired for actually uses 3 different staffing agencies. All were temp to perm, but the salaries differed. You can imagine which one I went with.
The only thing I would warn about doing this is that there are a lot of strange places out there. Make sure you ask questions to anyone who calls you and beware of places that don’t review details (like pay) to you. In my opinion, recruiters should know the pay and some details of the position and when asked should not say things like “Well just come in and talk to the hiring manager”. One company even called me and then emailed me with a gmail account. I was also contacted by a lot of insurance related companies looking for entry level sales people. This is great if you’re interested in sales or insurance, but they don’t tell you that they expect you to actually pay for the training.
Phase 3 – Keeping up with everything:
1. Interviewing tips:
Ask questions, my 2 favorites are:
1) “In the short amount of time we could get to know each other here today, is there anything that you feel sets me apart from the other candidates that you have already interviewed?”
2) “In the short amount of time we could get to know each other here today, is there any potential weaknesses or concerns you think you might see in me in comparison to the other candidates you have interviewed so far?”
Ask more questions:
Ask for a business card (And then send them a thank you email and a handwritten thank you card)
Ask when to follow up.
3. In addition to your work search log, use a calendar like Outlook to keep track of when you have interviews and when you should be following up with employers.
I even used category colors in my outlook so I could easily differentiate what was a phone call I had to make and what was a meeting I needed to go to.
Thank you so much for all the help you gave me. I really enjoyed meeting you. I hope you have a great summer and good luck!