ADVICE ON HOW TO GET A JOB FROM A FORMER HR MANAGER…
My family likes to make fun of me at how easily I get jobs + how many jobs I have had. I am not afraid of change. I actually love change. If I am not happy in a job, I have no problem looking for something else. So I’ve had a lot of experience looking, interviewing + changing jobs. I realize that if it’s not something you’ve done a lot, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.
I’ve reflected on all the things I’ve learned in my job searches plus my experience working in Human Resources + combined them to help you find that perfect career. (hint: I would bookmark this to refer back to!)
1. Your Resume. This is your first step. Don’t even start thinking about looking for a job before you deal with your resume. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down (figuratively speaking) + have someone ask for your resume + start scrambling. There are plenty of resources to help you build a resume, edit your resume or make it pretty. Here are the main things: highlight your strengths + don’t lie. Don’t put that you’re great at public speaking if you actually would rather have a hole in your head. Remember the episode of Friends when Joey had to pretend he knew how to dance? Yeah, not a good look. Definitely talk up things you’re great at, but don’t put what you think they want to hear if it’s not the truth. Also don’t use the thesaurus on Word to try + make yourself sound smart (another classic Joey mistake…). You’ll end up just sounding ignorant. Here’s what you should include:
+Your name + as much contact information as you can fit. You don’t want them to be confused on how to get in touch with you. (Also, if you put an email address, make sure you check that email regularly!!!)
+A professional summary/mission statement/objective (whatever you want to call it) that explains a snippet about you + your expertise. Tell them what value you would add to their company.
+Education – do not put high school on there if you’re a college graduate. If you’re a college grad, they can assume you went to high school. The key is to keep your resume concise. If your GPA was really impressive, you can put it, but it’s not necessary. What’s important is you have a degree from an accredited university.
+Work History/Experience – Hopefully some of it will relate to the job you are applying for, but if it doesn’t, that’s ok. Just make sure you highlight skills you learned there that can translate to other jobs (such as teachers looking for other jobs can most definitely highlight the fact that they had to be very organized + learned planning skills. these skills are needed in many other jobs, not just teaching). Keep this list pretty concise. I wouldn’t list more than 4 jobs. Make sure you put the company name, your title, the dates you worked there + a summary of your responsibilities in this role.
+Awards – If you received any special awards at your previous jobs or in college, I would highlight them here.
+Skills – I wouldn’t make this an exhaustive list, but focus on your main strengths. Do think of the skills that would be required of you if you got the job + try to mention those.
+Technology Proficiencies – If you are going to be in a job that requires a lot of technology (which is basically every job these days), I would highlight what programs/devices you’re experienced with. For example, do you have knowledge of Microsoft Office or Google Drive? Most companies use one or both of these systems so they are important to note.
+Portfolio – If your job will be one where you have to produce something (such as graphics), I would add a portfolio of some of your work so there is a visual representation of what you can do. This way nothing is left to the imagination. This would be separate from your actual resume though.
2. The Search. This is where people get hung up a lot of times. They don’t know where to look. There a lot of sites out there for job listings + I will list them below. But I also want to note that a lot of companies post open jobs on their websites. So if there is a particular place you want to work, you can go to their website + look under “Careers” or “Job Opportunities”. If you don’t know where you want to work, do you have an idea of the type of work you want to do? For example, do you know you’d like to work in a doctor’s office? In my area, we have two really big hospital systems that pretty much own all of the doctor’s offices. So they have a big job board online with all of their jobs for all over at all offices. You can narrow it down by the city or the job category. Do you know you’d like to work for a construction company? Do a Google search for construction companies in your area + then visit each website + look for their open positions. Another place you can find jobs these days is Facebook. They have a whole job section where you can search for jobs + apply directly on Facebook. Now we’ll take a look at some sites that list job openings:
+Indeed – By far my favorite these days for professional jobs. You can upload your resume or create a resume specifically for Indeed. You can apply directly to the company that posted the job and keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for right in your Indeed dashboard. You can also save jobs that you are considering applying to. Some companies don’t want you to apply on Indeed + will give instructions of a different way to apply. You definitely want to make sure + pay attention to these because it shows you follow instructions. Companies can also message you directly on Indeed which is a nice way to communicate and keep it all in one place. Another great thing about Indeed is employers can search for candidates that match what they are looking for. So if you have your resume on there + have your settings so that employers can find you, someone might contact you about a job they have available, even if they don’t have it posted publicly. Sometimes companies don’t want to post open jobs publicly for various reasons.
+LinkedIn – One of the great things about LinkedIn is it runs sort of like a social media site. You make “connections” with others + can post + share just like you could on Facebook. I love that you can highlight your skills + other people can “endorse” you for these skills. So employers don’t just have to take your word for it; they can see that other people are vouching for you that you do have that skill.
+ZipRecruiter – I feel like ZipRecruiter has changed + become a job board for mainly truck drivers + skilled labors. So that is great if that’s what you’re looking for, but since I wasn’t, it wasn’t very helpful for me. I do like that it has a lot of the same features as Indeed: the ability to save jobs, apply directly, message employers, etc.
+Glassdoor – This site is very similar to Indeed + ZipRecruiter. The best thing about Glassdoor is that you can review companies you have worked for to help others who may be thinking of working there.
+CareerBuilder – Another site similar to Indeed + ZipRecruiter. I never had too much luck with this one.
***Just a side note: a lot of companies (especially the big ones) post an open job to ALL of these sites. So if you see it on Indeed, you’ll probably see it again on ZipRecruiter, or Glassdoor, or CareerBuilder, etc, etc. So as long as you have your eyes on one of these, you should be good. I don’t see the need to search every single one every day because you’ll be looking at a lot of the same things.
+Craigslist – This used to be the first place I would look for jobs (about 10 years ago) + I actually did get jobs from leads I found on Craigslist, however there are so many other great job boards now (see all the ones listed above), that not many reputable companies post on Craigslist anymore.
+Social Media Sites – As mentioned, Facebook has a whole job section where employers can post open positions, but sometimes companies will post about open positions on their Instagram, Twitter, or other Social Media platform. It is also beneficial for you to post on your own Social Media that you are looking for a job. This way people you know will keep you in mind if they hear of anything. If you are a member of any local Facebook groups, this is a great place to post that you are interested in finding a new job + get your name out there to more people.
If you are still not finding any suitable jobs after trying all of these options, I would look into an employment agency in your area. This costs nothing to you. Companies pay employment agencies to find suitable candidates for them to interview. Employment agencies work with reputable companies so you know that you won’t be getting into something sketchy. They can bring jobs to your attention + you can let them know if you’d be interested in interviewing or not. They also can argue your case to the company + give you a leg up before even meeting them. Employment agencies are definitely a smart place to go especially if you don’t have the time to be searching on job sites 24/7.
3. Applying. Some people will tell you not to apply to a job that you know you wouldn’t take, + I agree with that in some sense, but I also think that every time you apply, you are getting your name out there. Every interview you go on is practice, even if you know you are not getting the job. Every person you meet in the application + interview process is a new contact. You could even go on an interview + end up interested in a completely different position than the one you originally applied for. I have had this happen. I have driven to interviews before + been thinking, “What the heck am I doing going to this?” + left there with a new contact, a new opportunity, or a new position that was brought to my attention. If you are the slight bit curious, I would apply. It never hurts to just apply. You would be surprised at what might come of it.
4. Interviewing. Interviews can be very nerve-wracking. I know how intimidating it can be when there are multiple people in the room with their eyes on you. I have a couple pieces of advice on interviews:
+Be confident without being COCKY. Don’t hesitate. Act like you know what you’re talking about. But don’t seem like a know-it-all.
+Think about what you’re going to say before you come to the interview. If you are caught off guard with a question, don’t show it. But still put some thought into what you’re going to say + don’t just blurt something out.
+Act like you are not nervous, even if you are. Act natural. Have fun.
+Be personable. Companies will more than likely hire the person who they feel will fit in with their culture the best.
+Have a couple questions prepared for when they ask if you have any questions. But don’t ask too many. Be careful with what you ask also. Don’t only ask about pay + vacation time. Ask deeper questions that relate to the job duties.
5. Accepting an Offer. So you have the perfect resume, you found the perfect job, you applied, interviewed, + you got an offer! Congratulations! But hold on for just a second…don’t accept too quickly. I never accept an offer right away. I always ask if they can give me time to think about it. I have many reasons for this. One is I want to discuss all of the details of the position with my husband + make sure he agrees with me taking the job. My job greatly effects him + our children, so I want his input. Another thing I always want to do is make sure I am not rushing into anything. Sometimes we can feel so great when we get that offer that we don’t think about some of the possible cons of the job. It is also important to do your research. Look at the reviews of the company on Glassdoor. Ask around to anyone you know who works there or knows of someone who works there. Make sure they are reputable, there’s a good atmosphere, good benefits, employees are treated fairly, etc. I would do a quick Google search of the company + make sure nothing sketchy comes up. Once you’ve had time to sit on the offer for a day or so + you still feel good about it after weighing all of the options, call + let them know you accept! Don’t wait too long on this, because they might assume you’re not going to take it + offer it to someone else.
So what else can I help you with in your job search?!? Let me know in the comments or send me an email! I would be glad to help!
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