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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