How To Get a Job—Five Steps

Former recruiter discusses resume objectives and how to network--even at funerals!

Looking for work? Know someone who is? As a former recruiter and "How To Get a Job" workshop presenter, I recommend you take the following steps:

1. Just let go? Thank your employer for the opportunity to work for them and ask if you can stay in touch—they may let you know when they hear of an opening. Leave on the best terms possible—they probably did not want to lay you off.

2. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. They may know people hiring. Don't be ashamed to be unemployed—especially not in today's economy.

3. Prepare your resume and don’t include a job objective—it can seriously hurt your chances of getting a job (when I was a recruiter, I often disregarded resumes if the job objective wasn't an exact fit for what my client was looking for). Instead, post an experience (or skill) summary at the top of your resume, making sure to tailor it when applying for a specific job. Give specific examples of how you helped a business within each job you've held. Buzz words to include in your online resume: any and all that are often listed in job openings you apply for because recruiters will search resume databases using those buzz words. Resumes can be more than one page when posting a general one on the Internet and for applicants with technical skills. Avoid fancy formatting and don’t overstate your skills—employers may think you are overqualified and not committed to remaining in the position if you get it.

4. Post your resume (and look for jobs) on these free resume posting sites:

Your college Career Service Centers
Your company website (if you have a business)
Your personal website or blog
Industry-related resume database sites

Don't forget to list your resume with recruiters!

5. Drop in on companies you would like to work for with your resume on good paper. You can ask the front desk if you can leave your resume with the Human Resources Department. You may show up just as they were thinking of posting a job opening.

Research the company beforehand and have questions/comments such as, “When do you expect this product to be launched,” or “I think it’s great that your company is…” Come prepared with a list of your strengths and examples of how they specifically helped your former employer. If asked about a weakness, have one, but mention your strategy to overcome it. If the interviewer wants to talk about himself, let him, he’ll like you for it. Try not to say anything negative about a former employer. If asked about compensation, have a figure in mind but state that it is not as important as getting a position where you can contribute since you are confident the company will be fair over the long haul. Bring extra copies of our resume on good paper to the interview.

Other important steps:

Attend functions given by business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce because employers go there to network. Also, go to funerals (I know someone who networked themselves into a job at one), parties, art openings, Motor Vehicles—anywhere there are people! When you meet people, focus on being interested in them instead of trying to get them interested in you. Ask them what they do, etc. Ask them for their business card, then offer yours—a simple, high-quality one with just your name and contact information. Tell them you are looking for work and ask if they have any advice (that sounds better than asking them to help you get a job). Prepare a one-minute statement about yourself –how your experience and “can do” attitude can help an employer. For example,  I might say, “As a publicist, I help people or their businesses become known as experts in their field and contributors to their community."

Volunteer, intern, apprentice, job shadow—even if you are not a student (see internships.com for opportunities in your area). You need to be seen by potential employers, meeting new people to recommend you, and learning new skills or industries.

Learn new skills at your library, online, community college, etc. You must keep your skills current.

Becoming a speaker or a writer can lead to a job offer or secure clients. 
Start your own business (visit your Town Hall to get the required information needed to begin) or become an independent consultant--at least temporarily (even when the economy improves, the Department of Labor states that many jobs are unlikely to return).

I have written articles and free e-books on the topics above. Visit my new blog, "How To Get a Job Today" at http://howtogetajobtoday.blogspot.com/ where I have included several activated job hunting links relevant to Mystic, Connecticut, area job seekers.

Post questions below—if I can't answer it, I bet some of the other Patch readers can!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

PG July 09, 2011 at 11:15 PM
The free resume posting sites are very helpful resources, I was not aware of all of them. Great advice. Thanks!
Lisa Saunders July 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Craigslist.com is often overlooked by job seekers. Employers and recruiters like to post job openings there because it doesn't cost them anything to do so. Indeed.com is also great because it collects openings from several sources.


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