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My how things have changed since I stumbled into the job market a while back. I'm gathering ideas for a page about how to approach finding a new job or changing jobs in today's world of giant job boards, email thank-you notes and unacknowledged application submissions. I have plenty of ideas about what might be useful to readers, but I'd really like to hear from you. What's the biggest challenge you face, have faced, are facing, in the search for your perfect job? Is it how to format your resume? Is it protocol? (Do you send a hand-written thank you note after an interview, or is it okay to email?).
What about your friends? How do you network?
Please leave comments.
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Yeah I want to tell you all to watch out for marketing firms that have you sign a waiver to work for a day to see if you are "fit for the job." I unfortunately have had no previous expirience in this area. From what I have found out is that these pyramid scheme type firms take in anyone and everyone for these "fit for the job" days and send you at to have more bodies and energy to bring people in for sales then the sales associates try to poach any sales these potential hires bring in then at the end of the day they tell you they hired others who went out and in truth may have not hired a single person that day and then they do it again the next day!!! I don't know if this is actually legal, just because you sign a waiver they don't pay you and they do this every day! Say they send out 6 potential hires two drop out 4 people for 8 hours at 8 dollars an hour 5 days a week equals 1280 dollars of FREE LABOR a week this at 52 weeks a year equals 66650 dollars a year and that's NOT INCLUDING THE SALES THEY MAKE and the company sales associates poach! So beware, NEVER NEVER NEVER work for free for anyone! Even under the impresion you may get the job if it is for real they will hire you and if you don't work out they can fire you, ever heard of a probationary period? Was I conned? Yes! And with my outrage I warn all others and plea to you all to warn all of your family and friends AND OTHER POTENTIAL CO-WORKERS AND JOB SEEKERS... TO NEVER NEVER NEVER WORK FOR FREE
I have been looking for employment for almost a year and 1/2. I have been on interviews, taken test and finally got a potential position. Here is the kicker, on my application the questions was asked if I have ever been convicted of a felon or crime, awaiting trial or other. I answered no - to my surprise they told me that my background check came back with warrants, convictions of crimes in the surrounding county from where I live and also in the county I lived in - I have a common first, middle and last name. I had to go to the local police department and get a background check done on myself which came back clear. The crimes done in the other county where proven to not be mine, but I had written a check 2 years ago and before it became a criminal offense I paid the check and fine. But, this one thing that I totally forgot about and did not think that applied to me on the application cost me the job. I have never been in trouble before and never been convicted of any crimes. It has never taken this long for me to find a job before and I am beginning to think that because the recent problem that I had that this may be a reason I am not getting calls back from employers when I thought the interview went well.
I graduated from college in 1990 and dealt with periods of (often frustrating) job searching and steady/unsteady employment, not to mention economic downturns and periods of growth. Also, I've seen different fields go through periods of growth and slump. I left an okay job to leave the country for family reasons several years ago, and when I returned more recently, I was again back searching for a job for the #nth time in my life, hopefully using my credentials and experience I have gained over the years. My experience has been such that looking for a career job that matches my credential is not an easy thing, like the experiences I have read here. In the meantime, I've taken interim employment, and such interim jobs often end up being long term. There are, depending what part of the country you're talking about, mostly jobs as general laborors. I've gotten to the point where I've been exploring business ideas for some time and also been working at business plans as of recently. If one can be successful at being their own boss, it'll be more rewarding that what most jobs offer. And as much time and effort it does take to find a career job, the effort to be self-employed probably isn't much more.
and yet no one mentions disabilities either. You think weight and age discrimination are terrible try those who have limitations or disabilities. They see you are different in any way they will be conscious of this and will not see you able to fit in whether you blow them away or not. Its not deliberate but it happens. They just never call you because its liable if they lie so they just don't say anything. my choice of work is in food preparation/food services. I am unable to relocate and have very limited access to transportation. I have applied to over 800 different establishments locally over the past 2 years have only had 3 interviews. I have less than 3 months of experience and in the industry its better to go out of business than to risk hiring someone like myself. I might be trying some volunteer work soon but because of the potential disability related discrimination factor I cannot use it for experience. I have some schooling thats unrelated to this field as well which makes me overqualified for all but the higher level positions. If I lie and do not include the schooling I am guilty of misrepresentation (even though it slotters mots of my chances) Unfortunately I cannot afford to return to school to take related courses due to my loss of assistance eligibility. I am also pretty much not eligible for most other forms of help. I find networking is critical for any work these days the interview is a psychological game as said before. and even then these days they have already made their decision before the interview comes especially in my industry. Essentially if you don't kiss alot of you know what to break in your pretty much screwed for chances. Its likely the same for all but a few industries. Employers often trust those who are inside their circle more than someone on the outside so networking is more important than even what you put on your resume. I have gone through 20 revisions of my own resume with professional assistance and it still comes down to how well the interviewer knows you. Theres little you can see in 15 seconds of looking anyways. Id argue the resume is worthless now even compared to networking. This pretty much seals me for not being able to get work. My situation and disability make it difficult to get this skill down.
Wow, this blog almost makes me want to crawl into a hole and die. I feel bad for a lot of people that our economy and job market are so screwed up right now. It's a tough time for a lot of companies and they aren't hiring, or like one person mentioned, they already have an in-house candidate and only are meeting with people because they have to. It's not easy to find a job, I agree, but make yourself more marketable to them as well. Has anyone tried to get into sales? Most insurance agencies will hire just about anyone who is willing to work for them, most of the time with no experience. They don't pay a salary, only commission, but you earn what you're worth. It's not uncommon for someone to make $40-$50K their first year out, which is 1099 money, so it's really like $60-80K. Better than what you're doing now I'm sure. They do this because most people wash out and go back to the "safe" job with everyone else fighting for a job that an idiot HR person, who probably finished getting her GED and community college degree, decides if you're qualified. How stupid does that sound? I hate interviewing for positions that I know I'm qualified for as well, but welcome to the real world. For everyone one bitching about how they are qualified, there are 100 people who are probably more qualified than you, and didn't get the job either. Instead of crying about the job market, go out and get into sales where you will always have a job, make what you're worth, and be in control of your future. Yes, recruiters are worthless 99% of the time, as well as job fair. It's not what you know, it's who you know so network through people to find the safe job you're looking for that is controlled by someone else. I was hoping to find some info about one of the companies I was looking to take an offer from, but now I'm frustrated by having to listen to everyone complain. I came out of college 4 years ago, worked for an insurance agency, built up my client book and make over 100K/year, working my own hours with no boss telling me what to do, without every having to really interview for a job because I've always been recruited because of my skill set in sales. Now I work for a financial advising firm as an asset manager and was never given a salary where the boss told me what I was worth to that person. Wake up and start being in control of your life.
I agree, I have been looking for a job for 6 months and have come up with the same probolem as some of you.I have worked in the medical field for 30 years.I have become disabled and cannot do my old job,I have had a few interviews and was honest about the situation. I am a fast learner and not stupid. employers are sooo. rude. they say they will get back and do not. after working for 35 years one should not have to kiss a - -. to get a job that i have years of experiance doing.
Can someone please tell me the point of contemporary job fairs? Because I thought that going to job fairs was a way to avoid the electronic log jam and submit your resume to, and perhaps interview on the spot with, hiring reps from a variety of firms. Instead, the reps at most fairs are there to just hand out freebies, answer cursory questions about the company, maybe accept resumes, and then direct candidates to the company's website to view and apply for open positions, as if we haven't already been doing that. At the last fair I attended--and believe me, it was my *last* fair--one company rep wasn't even accepting resumes; she was just there so say, "Check out the website." So, I repeat: what is the point of job fairs?
Hey Maristella, Posterteacher, I need individuals with your skills. Could you please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to discuss hiring you. You seem to meet my requirements.
I'm just resign from the NGO and it's been at least 1 1/2 months without job. Well the truth is I do not like to be jobless for more then a month but...... Anyway, I know how it felt to be rejected eventhough u have what it takes to full fill the job but yet they will give thousands of excuse for saying this: - 1. U got the paper but u ain't got the experience or vice versa. 2. U over qualified (so call polite saying that either u ageing or u not beautiful enough to be fit this job)
3. Race factor (by saying looking for someone who can speak exmp: Chinese/Japanese/etc) And much more nonsense excuse. Yes I agreed some of the HR dont really know what they looking for, to full fill the post or rather unknowlegeable enough to know the details. But hey, thats what we all have now. I agred with Philly, we have to start taking control of our life not them. Just like my friend said I think I have to do something else rather then working with someone else. I have send countless resume through e-mail. Been to some of the interview and yes, they promise to call either I have the job or not but nothing happen. So enough of this, if we can do something else then we have to start now, its not to late. so guys don't give becoz I know i wont' after reading all this it's time for me to move on and take a step to change my life. It is ours no one should and could take it from us, let start taking control of our life.
im a 50 year old carpenter with an attitude
seeking employment at my age and with my experience would seem easy but its not
my typing skills are poor and so am i
To those of you entering the job market, you had better be patient and resilient, especially if you are a seasoned worker. As so many others have pointed out, when you are interviewed by prospective employers, most of the time you're never going to hear from them again without pestering them with phone calls and e-mail messages. And should they actually get back to you, don't expect meaningful feedback. Most likely, you will be told that "Someone else was a better fit," or "We've decided to go in another direction." The absence of a follow-up call and worthless feedback -- are the two most frustrating aspects of the job search, other than repeated failure to land a job, of course. I was in the job market from 2001-2003, after my corporate communications position was eliminated, and again in 2005 and 2007, when I sensed that my communications manager position might be in jeopardy. (It turned out I was right.) I sent out more than 600 resumes and interviewed -- sometimes as many as three times -- with 18 companies. I did get one job, the one with the paper company. In the absence of honest feedback, and given the relative youth and gender of most of the employment decision makers at those companies, I have had to conclude that age and my maleness were -- at the very least -- important factors in my failure to get hired. At least 75 percent of the hiring decision makers were women who were, on average, about 30 years old. They were not going to hire their "daddy." That's simply human nature. Having failed in 2006 and 2007 to land a job in corporate communications, I finally threw up my hands and contacted a former employer, for which I had been a communications manager for 23 years, about an opening for a purchasing agent. It's not what I enjoy doing most, and it certainly pays less than what I made as a manager, but I'm working among friends and am back in the Atlanta area, which my wife and I enjoy. Hang in there, folks. For those of you with extensive work experience, focus on the industries -- and those like them -- in which you have that experience. It wasn't until late in my first stint of unemployment that I decided to target openings in heavy industry. At the time, I had two decades of experience in the steel industry. Lo and behold, I got the job with the paper manufacturer. By all means, do the networking thing, although it wasn't of much help to me. I found rofessional job boards to be of the most value. And even though you probably will never hear from a prospective employer again, always send your interviewer(s) a letter or e-mail message thanking him or her for considering you. Hey, at least YOU will have taken the high road!
I've been in my current job for nearly 8 years and am burnt out and unhappy. I want to change fields and cities. But I stay put (and stuck) because I am so fearful of what awaits me if I take the leap. I do not have the resources to be unemployed for a year or more. Ha! I barely have enough resources to pay the bills while working full-time. I would have made different choices as an undergraduate if I knew what a tough time I'd have finding financially rewarding employment with a liberal arts degree. My career path has not been smooth at all. Spent more time wearing a plastic name tag and making minimum wage than I care to recall. There was a time when I believed that if I had a polished resume, a positive attitude and wore out enough shoe leather that I would be able to get job offers. I no longer believe that, and the experiences of people on this board just confirm that. Education and experience alone don't guarantee anybody a decent job. They should, but they don't. Landing a great (or even a decent) job has a great deal to do with timing and luck--events we don't have any control over. A lesser-qualified person than you can land a job with a company you want if they happen to apply at just the right time, or if they have a 'look' that appeals to the hiring managers. It's this feeling of lack of control over events that makes the job hunting process so stressful. As the job seeker, you hold none of the cards and are dependent on the whims of hiring managers. I agree with Jim above that the onus is still on the job seeker to behave professionally and politely in acknowledging interviews, regardless of the treatment you receive. It displays your quality, even if you don't get courteous treatment in return. My last few resume submissions have been unsuccessful, but I did get a courteous letter informing me of the decision. That is increasingly unusual.
There are still race issues in some cities. It took me a little while to realize that I was getting the same reaction over the phone and when I get to the interview over and over. 'Your resume is great how soon can you come in for an interview?' I walk in and the reaction becomes a plastic smile and super courtesy and a lot of unease and back-pedalling. It makes moving from NYC to smaller cities in Fl. very difficult. Now I tell them up front that I am black. It saves me time and air fare
I have been searching for a full-time job that pays a decent salary for 4 years. By decent I mean at least 30K. Jobs are scarce and so is the pay. In order to pay all the bills (which are the necessities) - I am working 5, yes five jobs. My full-time job does not pay a decent wage and the hours are horrible. My four part-time jobs range from technical to no experience needed for qualifications, but they don't pay much either. Yes, 5 jobs makes 30K. That is 17-20 hours a day Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday are an additional 8-12 hours. I have used every resume service from CareerBuilder - Jobs.com with no luck. Just in 2007 alone, I submitted 250 applications, but only went on 6 interviews. At the interviews, employers gave "false hope" or maybe it was they were trying to be "kind" when they spoke. I would much rather have a potential employer in an interview tell me that they are not interested right there on the spot instead of dragging out their searches. Some never give you the courtesy of a response after they are finished with the interview/hiring process - you hang in limbo while you wait for an answer. I have called inquiring on the status of the hiring process, but no information that way either...
I agree with many of these posts in respect to the comments about the resume and degrees. I have my AA degree, but that is equivalent to a HS Diploma today. I was in the process of taking Bachelor's courses when I needed to go to work full-time - college took the backseat for a moment. I have had more technical training at my jobs than the people with degrees know how to comprehend, but yet they get the job and then quit when it is actual work. People who coast on other people's work really get under my skin too...they are the ones that make the most money because they have everyone else doing their work for them. What does a regular person need to do in order to get a decent job that pays well so that you don't have to kill yourself to survive??
I've noticed that a few of the posters have commented that job seekers with degrees have it easier. Well, I have a degree, and it hasn't gotten me any good job offers. For me, a good job is one that is intellectually stimulating and pays a decent salary (at least $30K), but the only jobs I've been offered have been call center positions. As someone who worked her butt off to graduate with honors while holding down a full-time job, the idea of sitting in a little room with one of those contraptions strapped to my head listening to people complain about their broken toasters or disrupted cable service makes me want to shoot myself. I'm beginning to think that spending five years in college was a big, expensive waste of time. I would have been better off taking up a trade.