10.15.2013

8 Things to Know When Doing a Job Search

After 10 months of being unemployed and going on at least 10 interviews, I believe I am qualified to  the whole job searching process. I hope none of you ever find yourself in that position looking for a job for several months but if you do, I have some tips on the job search. 
job search tips

1) It takes lots of work. You might have heard the saying finding a job is a job. It is no joke, you can't put in 2 hours a week into your job search and expect to find a job. Maybe you can find any job in that amount of time but for the job that you really want, that you would succeed at and that your qualifications match, you gotta put in the hard work of searching for a job. It isn't just the searching that will take your time. 
2)  Do your best in writing that all-important cover letter. Make sure you always write a cover letter. A cover letter is the opportunity to explain a bit more why you desire the job, what specific qualifications makes you a good candidate for the position and what you can bring to the job. 
3) Tailor your resume for every job you apply for. For every job I submitted my resume to, I would use the verbs in the job announcement in my resume to make the tasks I did in previous jobs to sound similar to the tasks in the job I was applying for. I would make my resume with the experience I had to fit to the job that I was applying for. Use the company's words and speak their lingo. 
4) Follow up, follow up. Maybe you emailed your job to an HR email address. Do you know if your resume was even seen? The only way to do so is to follow up. Call HR, ask if they received your resume. Get that person's name you spoke to and keep in touch with that person. However, don't be annoying. Don't call every other day asking if HR knows when interviews will start. Be polite and never be rude. Please and thank you are manners so use them.
5) If you get scheduled for an interview, prepare for it properly. Learn about the company or wherever you are interviewing. Learn their mission statement and memorize a few facts about them. So the company, you have taken the time to learn about them and also review the position you are applying for.
6) Part of preparing properly for the interview is dressing appropriately. I hope this is a given but ladies don't wear too short of a skirt. Hide your boobs. Don't dress too sexy, sorry just don't. Dress as though you give a darn and you actually want the job, take the time to show the interviewer you care about your appearance and you aren't wasting their time or your time by dressing inappropriately. Sorry, jeans are never acceptable. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
7) During the interview, get the name and title of everyone who interviewed you. After the interview and within 24 hours, send a hand written thank you note. Don't buy a fancy thank you note, a basic thank you note will do the job. Use the thank you note to thank the interviewer for their time, further explain why you are the best candidate and if you didn't answer a question how you liked during the interview, restate your answer. It is the last opportunity you have to be in touch with the interviewers so use it wisely. 
8)  It is hard but be patient after the interview. From my personal experience, the more quiet the company is, it is never a good sign. If they aren't responding to your calls or your follow-up emails, sorry but it isn't good news. The company will constantly be in touch with the top candidate. So unfortunately quietness is not a good sign.

I know I said 8 things but I need to add a personal 9 tip when job searching, rely on God during the whole process. He created me with certain skills and He knows what jobs are best for me and what jobs He doesn't want me to have. It was hard after the rejections I received but I had to realize that it wasn't God's plan. I always want God's will in my life especially when it comes to jobs so I put my complete faith in His will for me during the process. It didn't mean I sat back and waited for jobs to come, I still had to do all the work, submitting resumes, going to interviews, etc. but if it was God's will for me to have a job, I believed He would make it happen.

Anyone else have some tips to share on job searching?

18 comments:

TheTinyHeart said...

Before I got my current job, I was looking for quite a while. It is SO true that job searching is a job itself...it's a ton of work!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart

Allison said...

I teach work/employability skills to my inner-city students during the second half of my work day, and these are all things that I stress over and over again. You consolidated a perfect list of tips and I'm so impressed! I love that you stress following up - after an interview is NOT the time to go out quietly (and the question I always suggest when an interviewer asks, "Do you have questions for us?" is to find out when you can expect to hear back, and/or if it would be okay to make a call within a week to check your status).
Keep up the search - fingers crossed for you, love!

Faith said...

Girl it sure is work! Great tips here :)

Kate Sullivan Corpuz said...

great tips!

always, koru kate

Becky K said...

Solid advice Meg! I am always blown away by some people who whine about how hard finding a job is who don't even pick up the phone to see if their resume made it to a living breathing person! Finding a job sure is tough, but there are a million ways people weed themselves out prematurely!

<3becky
www.loosefromthezoo.com

Heather said...

Great advice! I would just say to be careful about making phone calls, since some companies actually state that they don't want calls and/or view them as a pushy move. I also think it's great to send an email thank you immediately afterward, along with a hand-written note.

brooke lyn said...

it's crazy to me how often people under dress for interviews.

Kristen said...

This post makes me nervous! I'm looking for a job, I have literally applied for 25 places.. and only three call backs just to tell me I had a great resume, but they aren't hiring..
I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I think I'm just destined to do my own business!
Xo
Just when you thought

Tiara Wasner said...

I'm a firm believer in follow up. Another tip -- be prepared to ask questions you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

Jane said...

These are really great tips. Thanks for sharing! I never liked people who were overly confident to make up for their flaws - outselling themselves. And so I would always undersell myself (or what I thought was being modest and humble) because I was afraid I would look cocky or overly confident. That didn't turn out so great. But as I grew in work experience the interviews got less intimidating as well. I think I got used to my skin and knew what it felt like to be truly confident in your skills and knowledge and I think it showed as well. Being true to yourself and true to your previous work experiences and your expertise - not overselling, not underselling - but just being true to it has been the biggest key for me.

Alexa said...

I am so glad you found a job...it was waiting for you that whole time Meg! :) Patience is key. It's tough but in the end something will come along...that's what I learned.

awhite said...

Great tips, doll!

Hope you're doing well and Happy Tuesday!

-Ashley
http://lestylorouge.com

Julia Barger said...

This is exactly what I needed to read today. I am beginning my job search journey today and I'm a tad overwhelmed! I haven't had to look for a job for over five years! Eesh....

birdie to be said...

Great tips! Staying positive is always a given, but a good tip. So happy you were patient and persistent and now you found something you are excited about! :)

Sarah said...

A good tip that I like from candidates (since I'm in HR) is getting handwritten thank you notes in the mail following an interview. I'll be honest and say emails get lost/buried..but there is something special about getting a nice card in the mail. Who doesn't love that? It really makes you stand out from the crowd.

Stay patient my friend. Great things are coming for you! xx

LPFashionPhilosophy said...

Love this - really amazing tips and advice!

Greets,
Davie and Erica

picklesandchapstick said...

You are so right - finding a job is a job!! As someone who is currently unemployed, I know this very well. It takes forever trying to find the perfect job! This is great advice! Thanks for sharing!! Great post!

xo
Rachel

Jennie Grange said...

those baby boys clothes are so darn cute!