When You Go looking for a Job...........

redbazelJuly 17, 2006

I have two family members (not living with me) right now, who need and want a new job. I've given them some advice. Actually, I even found 3 separate jobs for one of them, and he may just take one for right now. But here's my question...

Not counting jobs that come available in your own company that you might post for in-house, or jobs that get offered to you personally by people who have worked with you or met you as a client, If you need a new job do you....

1. Only go to places or fax resumes to jobs posted in the classified section. (Checking the Want Ads)

2. Spread the word among friends or family and follow up on any leads they give you. (Using the Network)

3. Use Online venues heavily like Craigslist and monster.com. (Computer Addict who likes to Fax)

4. Use the phone directory to find businesses that are in your interest range, and walk in Cold asking for an application. (Cold Calling)

5. Watch for "Help Wanted" and "Employment Opportunities" signs in the window and walk in. (Spur of the Moment)

6. Use a combination of all these methods with no particular preference. (Anything I can)

And, in line with that......If you walked into a Bank/Store/Restaurant/Office/Construction site........just to hopefully pick up an application to fill out later, do you come Dressed for an Interview and Prepared for an Interview, or do you just come in casually?

And, in your opinion.....whether it's worked for you personally, or even if you inherited the family business and you've never worked anywhere else, What do YOU think is the Best Method for finding a good job?


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It depends on what field you are in and what level job you are applying for. For me, networking has worked best. Also, looking through a professional association website has also worked. Always dress "up" and follow-up!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 6:02AM
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Show ambition. Remember-- posture, although it seems superficial, is paramount. First impressions are more important than anything else. If you look defeated, like you NEED this job or you're going down the tubes, you usually are, before you even get your foot in the door. Even if you DO get hired, it'll be completely on the employer's terms. If you go in with the look of ambition, like you KNOW the job is yours to take or pass up and you want it and are ready to give it your all, it could make a huge difference if it comes down to you and someone else with the same qualifications.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:47AM
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Dress as you would for an interview when you go pick up the app. You know what they say about first impressions! My daughter got a job offer when she was a teen from walking the mall, dressed nicely, and dropping her resume at various stores.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 12:50PM
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I've done all the things in your list (except Craig's List and Monster) to get a job. I've had success with cold calls a few times and networking a couple times. But overall I think the best method for finding a job (other than having a good resume) is to treat the job search like a job. In other words, spend at least six hours each day looking for work. I've also suggested to a few people that they find a place they would really love to work (whether there is an opening or not) and offer to work there for free for a month. I've never done this myself, but if you're just sitting around, you've got nothing to lose!

I also recommend keeping your resume to two pages at the most (one is preferred), mailing a resume and cover letter in addition to faxing or emailing them, having an up-to-date list of references, sending a thank you letter after each interview, and following up a few months after you've been turned down for a position to see if the person they hired is working out.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 1:23PM
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Ux, re: the followup a few months down the road- a great strategy, but how do you ask that question?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:12PM
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"I have two family members (not living with me) right now, who need and want a new job. I've given them some advice. Actually, I even found 3 separate jobs for one of them, and he may just take one for right now."

red, You found three jobs for this person and he hasn't jumped on one of them yet, but is musing about whether to take one...? Do I sense attitude here? Could that be hindering his job search? The fact that you found three jobs for *anyone* means you have the golden touch and don't have to really ask the question. Maybe you should be telling us how to do it?? :-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:17AM
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the followup a few months down the road- a great strategy, but how do you ask that question?

"Hey! Wassup!! Dat schmoe you took over me-- he work out? Or are ya ready for the FIRST string now!?!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 7:16PM
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Jerzee, Attitude is not the problem. Problem concerns not wanting to give up the job he has, since he likes his boss and loves the work. The pay is not where it was supposed to be and the travel is not occasional, it is constant and exhausting. He's a hard worker and hates to let anyone down, but he does such a good job for them, that they aren't hiring any help for him.
Jobs I found are all up for grabs but each has it's drawbacks.
1)Laying laminate flooring--Boss would be a nice guy and wants him badly. Pay is low.
2)Cleaning carpets--Another great boss who would hire him tomorrow. Pay is low.
3) Construction/cabinet fabricator--Boss is iffy, learning curve may cause pay to be fairly low for some time, but plus is, he would learn that trade well.
4) Machinery technician--Boss is good guy, pay would eventually be very good after he learned a lot of useful skills in this industry. This one depends on the boss being able to free someone up to train my guy so he can get started. He wants him, but is in a bind right now, needing highly trained individual to keep up with orders.

And don't get me started. I could have more opportunities for him in another week if I tried. But not everything is a good fit for everyone else. I heard that my son's friend was looking to leave the company she was working for, so I set up an interview for her with a branch of the company I work for. She aced the interview, they offered her a good job, but her company countered and she took that. Sometimes I just can't get people to do what I want them to do.

I've never been out of work for more than two weeks. And I've never lost a job, only had to quit for a move or for a pregnancy. My usual method is the combination of most of the choices above, but my most successful has been the Cold Call, walking into a company that I want to work for. But I can't seem to get anyone to want to do that.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 2:37AM
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I too have to say it depends on your field. I mean, if you want to get a job at Target, you just walk in. If you want to get an executive-level job, networking is your best bet. Let your aquaintances know that you are looking and when/if they hear about something, they will let you know and possibly put in a good word for you.

In my field (teaching), there is a state-wide job website (www.edjoin.org) where most school districts list open positions and you apply digitially through that. In most cases that is the only way to submit an application or resume.

When I first started teaching (1993) I was hired at a job fair.

When dh was looking (frantically) for a job last year, we joined all of the online job sites and had zero luck. He eventually wound up getting his current job through networking. He literally had spent days - all day long - on the phone just calling everyone. That is what paid off. Only did one of the sites come through a year later (careerbuilder) when they contacted him for a job, which was the hotel company VP of technology job which he was in the final two candidates out of 31 that were initially interviewed. He didn't get it, they chose the other guy - but if you may remember he was referred for another job from the guy at the hotel co. job and he is currently speaking with them now. So joining that one site a year ago may pay off now. (We also joined monster, 6FigureJobs, and a technology-specific one) So knowing the guy that he knew because of a careerbuilder referral made him now part of his "network" - and a good guy to know at that. Also - the person that contacted him was an employer-paid headhunter - and he has also sent dh on a couple of interviews unrelated to that first one. Also a good guy to know.

Dh set his pay range pretty high on all of those profiles, so things don't pop up too often, but knowing people is the best way to get there. Sending resumes online though is a joke - you are just one out of hundreds sitting in someone's e-mail box for one job. You have to make yourself stand out - send the resume in the mail (snail mail) and also call on the phone and make yourself known.

Probably the strangest job offer he ever had was from an instructor at Western Cuna Management School. (He's always worked in credit unions, and this is their management school that most of their executives go through). First day of class in a big lecture hall, the instructor goes to the microphone and says "Is there a John (last name) here?" (Dh raises his hand) "Please see me after class." So he did, scared to death at this point, and lo and behold he had a job offer for him. Dh didn't know him from the man in the moon but this guy knew plenty about him and wanted him at his credit union! And sure enough, dh wound up taking that job and was there for 6 years.

So it really depends! But by far I'd recommend getting the word out among your network.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 7:07AM
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Going through your list, I have had a very different experience than my DH. I became a SAHM at 23 so the only jobs I had were retail management which paid by the hour and I haven't looked for a job since 1995, so let's take me out of the picture entirely. DH, OTOH, has been looking for management level positions in technology and manufacturing business development. I've helped him job search 2X in the past 3 yrs. Both times, he's been employed while job hunting. His job has him traveling throughout North America 80% of the time, which makes networking locally nearly impossible.

1. Classified Ads- Out of maybe 125 resumes, we sent out 0 in response to paper ads. The jobs just aren't listed there.
2. Networking through family and friends doesn't help much if they aren't in your industry or if you move alot. Networking through coworkers and clients is better.
3. 98% of the last two batches of resumes have been sent in repsonse to regional and national online job sites and CL. All the callbacks, interviews, and offers have been with compnaies contacted online. CL resulted in a low six figure CTO offer two years ago and Monster is where DH found his new job (top executive IT positon which he just accepted last night, BTW). The hard thing about those sites is the rejection rate. The call back rate was under 10% for DH.
4. DH has never tried cold calling, though we were working on a list of potentials just in case.
5. Help Wanted signs worked when I was 16, not appliacable now.

If I was to start job hunting for myself, I'll do it online, cold call, and look for Help Wanted signs. I always dressed for the interview, even if I was only asking for an application (you never know who's watching). But, entry level service positions are very different than most other job hunts. All they really need is a clean and honest person who will show up on time and do the job.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 9:03AM
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