Since I'm back in the market soon... Whats the best piece of advice you've recieved while job hunting?
It was offered as part of my severance package so I took a course in resume writing even though I thought that I was pretty good at it and had also done a considerable amount of technical writing. I was in my early 50s at the time. The instructor showed me how to write a resume that emphasized accomplishments and put less emphasis on time.
My first resume page had a list of topics with brief descriptions of accomplishments under each topic with no dates or elapsed times. Dates and elapsed times are impossible to hide so those were located on the second page in a general and minimal way where possible.
My suggestions: Leave a single space between a topic and its descriptive details and then use double spaces between each last descriptive detail sentence and the next topic title to make the page appear less dense with print so as to invite a closer look. Be brief. Don't use the word "I". Spelling must be perfect. Don't use an apostrophe where inappropriate.
Late with this but oh, well.
Advice is welcomed. Still looking for a new opportunity. Luckily I have some severance floating the finances for a bit longer.
I've been working with a professional resume writing career assistance company (previous employment provided) and its been helpful. Only issue is times flying quick and not seeing alot of progress yet.
Few things I've learned, might be helpful to someone.
1. Write a really good resume and get help on it. Write one for an ATS system (text based).
2. Use said resume to update Linkedin, Connect with 250+ people of possible so you show up in results better.
3. Make sure Email, Linkedin URL etc are all professional. [email protected]. Don't use AOL.
4. Brand yourself well. This is really hard but basically a 30second what are you really good at statement that you can drop on anyone for networking.
5. Apparently successful job hunting is roughly 25% job postings / 75% networking keep that in mind.
Agreed on #5. Networking is critical. If you have a professional association with an active chapter within your area, join and start attending their events. Look for Meetup groups that align with your professional function and go. During my last job search, I set a goal of at least two calls/in-person meetings per day for at least 4 days/week. I had three job offers after two months, all from my network.
I also think building a robust LinkedIn profile is crucial. LinkedIn is much more than a replacement for your old Rolodex full of business cards; it's a full-fledged social network. Look for the Rock Your Profile training that is available online and use it to bolster your profile. Get someone you know to do a quality headshot of you--doesn't have to be in a studio. Don't be afraid of saying something about yourself in your profile headline. Mine is, "Recruiting / Talent Acquisition Leader; Traveler; Always Pursuing Better". I've had more than a few InMails start off with things like, "I love to travel too--I just got back from _____" or "what's your favorite destination?".
Also, set your LinkedIn profile to indicate you are open to new opportunities, and in which areas/industries. When sourcers/recruiters use LinkedIn Recruiter to search, people that have that flag set appear first in search results.
^^ Thanks. I'm trying to take all the advice I can get. This has been a learning experience. A painful one.
I feel stuck.
I was a Tech Support Specialist (System Engineer) at a large company (layoff was news worthy) where I configured, integrated (with WebLogic/WebSphere, Oracle DB, LDAP, Web servers, SMTP Etc) and troubleshoot a proprietary SaaS Solution. I bit of a jack of all trades over the 9 years I was there from App Admin (hosted SaaS), Support Analyst, Sys. Engineer (Installed in house) all with the same product. Had the opportunity to lead several small/mid size projects which were very successful. Worked with clients all over the globe from local government to finance / energy giants. Part of my position was essentially an account manager, client had an issue we handled it until resolution which might have taken weeks/months working with development.
I went to Augsburg University and graduated with a BA in Business Administration / MIS minor. None of those classes were in any programming language.
Why I feel stuck?
I have 9 years of experience in IT but no formal certifications or education. Most IT jobs call for a Computer Science degree with a variety of computer languages. I'm decent at shell/sql and well figuring it out.
I have a Business management degree with no experience managing people. Overall not a lot of experience on the pure business side.
Most recruiters approach me with help desk / call center jobs. Honestly the #1 job I don't want to do. I spent a year + in a call center being an "analyst" and hated it, its just not my personality.
What I've been looking for:
A company with opportunities for growth, balanced work/life, good people.
Full time - I need Health Insurance.
Local - 0-20miles ideally. No travel or local travel. We have an infant.
Ideally not a 24/7/365 on-call shop. I did that for 9 years, I'd like to move on from that.
Titles: Admin, Sys Engineer, DevOps, Jr DBA, Jr Project Management types of roles.
Given I've received near zero response for my efforts. Stats: 2 months OOW, 8 applications, 2 rejection letters, 1 informational interview, 3 recruiter phone calls, variety of recruiter emails, 0 interviews.
I have to be approaching this the wrong way. Or applying to the wrong positions. I know I'm mentally rejecting more positions (not even applying) then I'm applying for. Maybe I'm just too restrictive since I'm trying to avoid a 45+ minute commute or job requirements (4yrs of X) is turning me away..
I know I'm not doing enough, I'm being open with metrics because I'm looking for helpful suggestions.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Complaining doesn't help land jobs, back to looking.
I must have interviewed 60+ people in the last 20 years. I lost count.
The easy hurdle to get over is ensuring that your resume lists your specific knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience. Getting over this hurdle gets you past HR and into the hands of the person who is interviewing for the job.
How you're at the interview. Time to *wow* people without boring them.
Have a cover letter that summarizes your skills. HR reviewed your resume and determined that you qualify. Now, simplify it for the group that is interviewing 15 people today.
When questions are asked, they have a specific response they are looking for. Find out the crux of the question, take your time responding (but not too long... what is your point? Get to it!). You might have to ask for it to be repeated and ask the question back to them to ensure you are asking the right question.
Know the mission statement, history of the company, number of offices, etc. This shows that you invested time into researching to company to determine if it is a fit for you; which means you care about THIS company.
Tell them why you want THIS job (vs. just any job). Let's be honest, most of the time you don't know that you want to work at THIS company until you get there, but you have to sell it.
Don't blow smoke.
Address everyone in the room.
Spelling errors anywhere (especially in same sentence that spoke to your attention to details... it really did happen!) could sink you. Don't have the eye to produce a very important document (your resume), how can we trust that you will do our work correctly.
It may seem minor, but anything that detracts from what you're selling (you) puts someone else ahead of you.
All things being equal, the final discussion point after you have left the room... how will will this person fit in with the rest of the office?
If you have a good group of interviewers, they will understand if you're nervous. It is human nature. I believe that should never detract from someone's qualifications. I have heard that someone who is nervous just really cares.... I call BS. You're just nervous.
But... how do you stay calm? Perhaps you don't need help in this area. As an interviewer, I also start out by shooting the poop at the beginning to get to know the person on a personal level (nothing work related) helps put them at ease. My goal is to find the right candidate... someone who is relaxed enough to truly answer my questions is good for everyone in the room.
By the way... we are hiring at least one DBA at the moment. But, we are in Vermont.
Best of luck.