Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Advice in your job search

Now, don't let me fool you into thinking that I am a professional; because I am not.  My only qualification for thinking that I have anything to share regarding the subject of job hunting is that I have always managed to find a job when I needed one.  So with that begin said let you give you a little background that will double as a disclaimer:  I am soon going to be graduating with a degree in a science field, I have a wife with a baby on the way.  I have lived in both urban cities and rural towns, and I am not the top of my class. I have interests in many areas, and consider myself handsome while not overly so.  Most of these things matter in a job search, if not to your employer they will to you.  Now...

1.  Be a charitable and giving person.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon.  A cute nickname coined for the scripture that we hold as canon:  The Book of Mormon, you can find more here.  We also believe in a little thing called tithing, which is a voluntary charitable donation to our church of one-tenth of my income.  I've always paid it and I always will because I know that I, nor my family will go hungry when I do.  It's not a matter of math though, it is a matter of faith.  As for those who belong to a faith of any kind, you may or may not agree with me but the scriptures are clear on this.  As for you that don't believe in this, then believe that by sharing what you have be it little or great, it will pay in dividends to do so.  Call it karma, the universe, or whatever:  By giving you will receive more in return.  I always intend to live this way and this is my first point of advice, is to be a charitable and giving person.

2.  Apply Everywhere.  Depending on your qualifications this may not be reasonable, but apply everywhere that you have even an inkling of qualifying.  Prioritize:  Apply to the places that interest you first, and then those places that sound like they could be something that you will enjoy, and then apply to those places that you are just qualified for (if you qualify, you at some point enjoyed doing what makes you so).  This is important as often it was the last place that I applied for that I got the job at.  Case in point:  When I got an internship at a local software company, it was in fact the last place that I qualified for that I was accepted at.

3.  Follow Up.  Call them, email them, thank them, sincerely.  Keep in contact with those people that you network with, check up on them, chat about whatever, talk about the jobs you applied for, let them know you are interested.  Another job I held for some time I was able to get because I called them every day or every other day asking them about how the interview and the hiring process was going.  Sometimes they may ask you not to call them, and generally it is a good idea to honor that:  irritating the HR people is akin to irritating the guards to the front door of the castle.  But by doing this (sincerely) you will indicate how interested you are in the job and your own confidence as a potential hire.

4.  Social Media.  Love it or hate it, it is here to stay.  Social media is an amazing medium to network and connect with people all over the world instantaneously.  It's amazingly powerful as both a tool and a means of destroying your future in any company.  Thankfully the world is still large, even if it is becoming more flat.  Get connected on every medium that you can reasonably keep up with:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Deviant Art, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, etc, etc.  Depending on your skill set and your audience, one may be more suited for you than another.  The key is to be involved in a positive way.  I am currently interviewing for a job after college because I kept my LinkedIn resume up-to-date and professional, the recruiters in fact found me.  The bottom line is that these are networking tools, a means of connecting you with people online and promoting relationships in real life.  They are not an end in themselves.  So if you suck at relationships in real life, chances are these tools will not help you in the same way that they help others with those skills.  Just something to keep in mind.

This post will be continued in a few days, just something to chew on for now.