The featured pic is a screen shot of an actual email I got today regarding a position I presumably should apply for. I can’t imagine how this job search company put anything I have ever completed together and came out with a truck driving position but it gave me a good laugh this morning.
I’ve spent the better part of the last two years job searching. I lost my previous position doing medical transcription for a hospital due to outsourcing in November 2011. I was lucky in that I was already in school for a whole new career. Also, I was able to draw unemployment benefits but for most of the time I was on unemployment, I had to job search.
I was blessed to find a medical billing position a little less than a year after becoming unemployed because a friend and former colleague recommended me to the owner. It was a perfect position to work part-time while still in school and I was grateful for the opportunity.
A few months before graduating it became time to update my résumé, polish my cover letter, and rev up the job search again. For about 6 months I scanned ads, got email updates, and stalked the websites of potential employers. My full-time job was finding a full-time job and it’s not an easy one. About six months in to my search, again I was lucky and blessed enough to have people connected to a position recommend me and now I’m in a place I love.
So, here are my thoughts on job searching. They are in no particular order.
1. Have multiple people read your résumé. You know what your résumé says. Or at least you know what it should say. When you read something for too long it’s easy to see what you believe it says and not what it really says. Having multiple fresh sets of eyes will help you catch minor grammar, spelling, or formatting errors that you’re just missing. You don’t want to be out of the running due to something easily fixed.
2. Your cover letter isn’t about repeating your résumé. Your cover letter is a chance to stand out and show why you are interested in the position and why you think you would be a good candidate. Use it as a tool to grab attention (as long as it’s been carefully edited as well!).
3. Network like crazy. Did anybody notice the pattern of how I obtained my most recent two positions? People I worked with and went to school with knew of positions and advocated for me. They knew I was looking for a job and were happy to recommend me. Going to the people you know who work where you want to work can be a major advantage. New hires are a crap shoot but to have someone who already works at a company be able to say that the shoot isn’t quite so blind is a good thing for you and for the company. Take advantage of your connections and make your job search, hopefully, a little but easier.
4. It’s not personal. Every rejection feels like a personal affront but it’s not. It’s business and, more than likely, it’s not about you. There are so many factors that go in to the hiring process and many of them have nothing to do with you. There may be 100 applicants for 1 position. You may get an interview, which means you may have been in the top 10, but you still don’t get the job. Why not? Who knows. It could be because the person who was hired had a connection (see #3) or had a skill set they decided would be more beneficial or who knows why. But it’s more than likely not about you, it’s about them and it’s business. Don’t let the process beat you down personally, it’s just not personal.
So those are the basics. Sometimes I had to REALLY remind myself of #4 and I’ve had more people than I can count read and edit my résumé/cover letter. Good luck to each and every person out there job searching now!