The toughest job I’ll ever have is searching for a job

March 19, 2010 at 8:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Posted by Shantae

If you hadn’t noticed, Rebecca and I are different in every way.  I’m not a Monday person like she is, so my posts generally come later in the week – that’s when things make more sense for me.

Since beginning my search for entry-level jobs more than one month ago, I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work.  On top of a full course load, two part-time internships, co-chairing a social media conference and balancing my personal life, I have found time to search for a job.

I won’t roll it in sugar and put a cherry on top – there’s nothing easy about it. My classy counterpart shared a recent job-search experience with me.  She found a job online that she wanted to apply for, but when she went back the next day it had disappeared.  She later discovered that so many people had applied for the position, the company had to remove it to keep the Web site from crashing.

Limited jobs and a large pool of qualified applicants = frustration.  In a perfect world we would each have our dream job before graduation day, but that’s not reality.  The job search is tedious, time-consuming process.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned since beginning the job hunt:

One resume doesn’t cut it.

You know that resume you’ve spent time tweaking to accurately reflect your experience level and shopped around to professors, friends and mentors for feedback?  It’s one of many.  I’ve learned it’s not just your cover letter that needs to be customized depending on the position.  Your resume should also highlight the skills that align with the internship or job qualifications.  I currently have three different versions of my resume.  What can I say, I like options.

Sometimes it’s not what you know, but whom you know.

Yes, I’m well aware that networking is critical to succeeding in the PR business; however, I never knew just how much until recently.  I have submitted countless resumes in response to job board postings and the “Join Our Team” sections of various company Web sites, without much luck (so far).  I’ve also told everyone I know that I’m for hire. Interestingly enough, my dad’s co-worker’s wife knows someone looking for a PR intern.  You just never know who can assist you in finding a job.

There’s a thin line between persistence and being a pest.

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line from being a dedicated applicant to being a nuisance?  A recent post by Ron Culp gives job seekers useful tips for strategically following up about your resume.

  1. Have a reason to call.
  2. Plan your call.
  3. Show energy and enthusiasm.
  4. Be prepared for omnipresent voice mail–and use it effectively.
  5. Don’t become a frequent caller.
  6. Plan for the call-back.

No amount of venting will make it all better, but it helps.  It’s unsettling to know that I’m graduating in less than two months and have no idea what I’ll be doing, but I also know I’m not alone.  Where will the job hunt take me?  I’m not sure, but I’m excited to find out!

What lessons have you learned while searching for gainful employment?

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6 Comments »

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  1. Great post. It’s especially difficult looking for a job while still in college since most organizations hire in real-time and don’t want to wait for graduation. The job market remains tough, but far better than in the past two years. Good luck.

    • Thank you for visiting our blog! It is very difficult to look for a job while finishing college, but I’m remaining optimistic.

      -Shantae

  2. Great post. Job hunting is totally a full time job within itself!

    • Thanks! I agree job hunting is definitely a full-time occupation, but the payoff will be worth the effort. Good luck with everything!

      -Shantae

  3. I think that I can help you land that job young lady. I love to help you talent from good old KSU. Give me a call or shoot me an e-mail right away. As long as you are a good pest, I won’t mind.

    Marvin “Coach” Powell
    CEO, Coach Powell Training and Development
    Chairman Centreville Community Foundation
    Fairfax County Small Business Commissioner

    14490 Pittman Court, Suite 100
    Centreville, VA 20121-5739
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/marvinpowell
    http://www.ninetydaypowerplay.com

    marvpow@aol.com
    703-201-4267 Phone
    703-995-4615 Fax
    Coach Powell Training and Development is the creator of VisionQuest90™ the most dynamic personal, business, and executive coaching system today. Through the use of our advanced technologies and systems we help growth oriented business owners, consultants, and nonprofit leaders achieve excellence in their chosen endeavors. Join our 90 day program and experience the revolution!

  4. Heya,
    that’s a cool post. When I graduated two years ago I had no idea what I wanted to do. At least you know exactly where you want to be! What a good start. Anyway, my advice (I now run my own recruitment business) would be to get off the resume pile and into the hiring manager’s life. No doubt she/he writes a blog, tweets, posts on linkedin or physically networks. Pick 10 descision makers and make them your friends. People love hiring friends or even friends of friends because you come personally recommended. Sending out resume’s although one way of getting a role may not be the most effective. If you are recommended you’ll always be put top of the pile. By writing this blog you stand out already- Now its getting the right be people to read it! Good luck.
    Rob


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