Job Search Tips
What is the most important thing to do in an interview?
Most importantly be PREPARED, PREPARED, PREPARED; know the trends of the industry, the skills needed for the job, the salary ranges offered by competitors, and as much as possible about the company or organization. Then relax and be yourself. Keep eye contact, make an excellent first impression, engage in a dialogue– a two-way conversation, and say you would love to have the job at the end of the interview (if you do). Exit the interview the way you would like to be remembered. Distinguish yourself as a person not just one of the interviewees. Write a thank you note immediately.
People say it is better to look for a job from a job. How?
With difficulty. A job search is both exhilarating and exhausting. If you are already in a “full-time” mode in the various facets of your life, adding a job search will be very stressful. We recommend taking some time out to assess your goals. Generally, it is a good rule “to give up something when you add something to your life.” Assessing your goals by the categories of your life as well as your lifetime, five-year and six-month goals will give you the information to set reasonable priorities and open up some time for your job search.
Should I put my resume on the Internet?
By all means. The internet will look for a job for you while you are sleeping. Most of the good job and resume posting sites are making it as easy as they can for you to post your electronic resume on their sites. The time spent figuring out how to do this is well worth it. Many sites also have free personal agents to sort incoming jobs for you. Set yourself up a free email account to receive the possibilities various search agents find for you. An excellent resource for creating an electronic resume is the 10 Minute Resume at http://www.10minuteresume.com. It gives you step by step directions for writing your resume and provides a means for storing your resume in html, text,email and print formats for use at any time.
How can I figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life?
- Treat yourself to assessment exercises and few standardized tests that correlate with vocational areas. Very often the secret to what you would love to do can be found in your own experiences and personality. Then allow your curiosity some freedom to research and discover the world of work, “what’s out there.” You will find professions and jobs that match your skills and others that you would love if you had the skills. Continuing education is the norm for work in the 90s and 2000; don’t resist it. The Internet makes this whole process so much easier than it used to be. There are wonderful exercises found at this site ranging from personality tests to skills analysis. Go to http://www.kingdomality.com add some humor to the process. You will find out what your medieval job would have been and what it relates to now.
- Systematically evaluate Who?, What?, Where? and Why?You will find our four part model for self assessment is a simple and easy way to diagnose your immediate situation.Begin by assessing WHAT you have been doing? List out the functional/transferable skills you use on a regular basis? Have you been able to demonstrate the special knowledges you possess? Then ask yourself if there is a good match between what you really like to do and how you have been spending most of your time. What corrections can be made to improve the fit? Talk with your manager, re-establish your priorities: reward yourself if the skills you are using require a steep learning curve.Then move on to the structure of the environment WHERE you are conducting your current work. Did you have the resources you need on hand?. Is the environment pleasing? Did the project have a beginning, middle and end? What are your preferred working conditions and are they being met? If not, what can you do to refresh yourself?In the lower right quadrant re-examine the characteristics of the people you have been working with? WHO are they? Do they possess the values you find important? Is your own personal style valued? Do you have enough contact with others and enough time on your own to feel balanced?
And finally, look to discover if the rewards are meeting your question of WHY do I do what I do? Are you clearly working on something that “needs doing?” Are the short and long-term rewards adequate to the task before you?
- Use the internet to open up your mind and acquire concrete information. Start by looking at the web sites that talk about trends in the work force, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Money Magazine, the Wall Street Journal. Then go to Yahoo companies and get a feel for the range of industries of work. Your next step will be to read about vocational areas at Bureau of Labor Statistics, Berkeley, or JobStar. When a vocation seems interesting, check out its future at Americas Infonet or Princeton Review. Then verify that there are real jobs waiting for you by looking for job postings on any of the top ten job sites.
I hate to write cover letters. How important are they?
Cover letters are very important because they accompany any resume, and if you cannot write one, you will be cutting out ads and finding opportunities on the Internet, but you won’t be applying for the jobs. The best cover letter is one that is sent, not in several drafts on your desk. Even if the letter is only three sentences long, you will have at least gotten your resume in the pile; you will have a chance. Cover letters need a connection, a hook and a close. They should not repeat your resume, but include some fresh material told in a manner easy to remember. If you are really stuck, go to the career lab at http://www.careerlab.com/letters/ and pick a letter that fits and fill in your own information. There is really no excuse anymore for letting cover letters deprive you of all the good opportunities available.
I would love to be in the art world but have no artistic ability.
For every idea there is a universe of work! If you would like to be in the art world, it is possible to do so. The arts are a business, an industry, and require all the skills that any industry requires. If you take the idea of painting, think of that universe. There are art journals, book publishers that specialize in art books, galleries and touring exhibits, art schools, internet sites, paint and brush companies, software companies creating software to preserve paintings digitally, framing companies, etc. etc. etc. Be creative and open to the possibilities. You can have a job relating to the arts, work with people who love the arts too, be in an environment that appreciates an aesthetic sensibility and have a task that shares or promotes your love of the arts with a larger community.