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Tips for finding a new job

JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
edited May 2015 in The Universal Membrane
Before I attempt to kick this off, I just want to say that this thread is open for any suggestions that other people might have. What works for you? What doesn't? I'm going off of my own experiences and I think that yours can help as well. I live in the United States, so I'm not sure how well this will apply to other countries, but you're more than welcome to post what works in your area as well!

I know some people that have been searching and searching for a new, better job. I also know that there are some people in Achaea that are working dead-end jobs with no idea how or no luck in getting out of them. I have never had an interview that was not followed by a job offer and there are a few reasons that I attribute to that personal statistic.

The search:

Quite possibly the biggest question you should ask yourself is "do I enjoy the type of work that I have the most experience with?"
  If you do, great! Keep trying to find jobs like that in your area.

  If not, consider the following.

  • Consider the jobs in your area. Do you have a lot of retail stores? Do you have more factories? Which industry will allow you the greatest chance of advancement either by staying in the same company or through company-hopping?

  • Consider going to a temp agency. Despite their reputations in the media, they are possibly the fastest and easiest way to find a source of steady work and often are gateways to permanent positions within a company. They do staffing for all sorts of industries, not just manufacturing. 
    One tip when dealing with staffing agents though: don't let them push you into a job you don't feel comfortable with. You are free to tell them no. Their main motive is to get you working so that they can get paid. They will keep searching for a job until you are placed. Different staffing agencies have different rules though. Some may require you to call them once a day or week while some don't require you to call at all. Manpower is a great agency and they are country-wide.

  • I don't know about other states, but Michigan has MiWorks!. It's a place that will help you to build a resume and look for work. We also have an online talent bank where you can post your resume and search for jobs.

  • Build several resumes. Try to include the most relevant information for the jobs in any particular industry.
    This one is contested, really. Lachlan (a manager) says to include all information and be detailed, while I and the stupid college course I had to take says to include relevant information. The reason for the latter is that employers have to look through a ton of applications and having information relating to the field will make it easier to pick yours out.

  • Don't fret if you get placed into an entry-level position. You can still try to find new jobs, and oftentimes, it's easier to find a new one while you have one because you're not stressing. Coupled with the stress, entry-level jobs are designed to give you experience in a field which can lead to better opportunities in the future.


Application & Interview process:
  1. Filling out an application.
      -Don't be afraid of the 'experience required' line in the postings. APPLY ANYWAYS. ->They might have an 
                                                                                                                                           opening somewhere
                                                                                                                                           else for you.

      -Do some research on the company with which you are applying for employment.

      -Be thorough, do not leave any empty spaces. If there is are questions that require a few sentences, use a few sentences.
        If it only gives space for a single sentence, say something relating to the industry.
        For example, "Why do you want to work here?"  "I have always been interested in <industry type> and would relish
        the opportunity to work with your company to learn more about it while also being a productive employee."
        ^Something along those lines.

      -Intelligence and thoroughness are valued traits.

      -If it's a paper application, fill it out at the building or bring it back on the same day.


  2. Dress.
      -They say 'dress for the job you want', but if you go into a factory expecting to get a machine operator position, nice jeans
        and a button-down shirt will work just as well as a suit (I would know! I don't own a suit anymore.)

      -If you can afford it, get a professional haircut from a salon and be picky. If you can't afford a salon, go to the next most
        reputable place in your area that you can afford (don't go to Borics, ever. The $9 haircuts aren't worth the massacre).
        I go to a salon that charges me $17. That's really not that bad. My girlfriend pays much more than that though, so it's
        really a 'what kind of haircut do you require' kind of thing.

      -Shower and groom your facial hair (if applicable) and trim your nose hair.
      -Don't wear cologne. Perfume for ladies is fine. The risk you run with cologne is putting too much on. It's better to not smell
        at all than risk smelling like someone just broke a bottle of it over your head. You never know the size of the room in which
        you will be interviewing, which plays a big factor in how cologne is received. Do wear deodorant though.


  3. Charisma (confidence).
      -Come prepared. Having done some research, you can better answer certain questions. 
        Bring your own pen- black or blue ink only.

      -Do not seem desperate.

      -Look the interviewer in the eyes.

      -Smile.

      -Stand or sit up straight and don't hunch your shoulders. If you sit with your back against the chair, do not slouch.
        Turn your body in the general direction of the person speaking (especially if interviewing with more than 1 person.)

      -If sitting, fold your hands in your lap. Do not fidget or bounce your leg- it shows impatience.

      -Thank the interviewer for taking the time to look at and consider your application/resume.

      -Speak clearly, as if you know exactly what you're talking about and try to relate to some of your previous experience.
        Interviewer: "I see that you do not have any factory experience, what makes you think you would be cut out for this
                            kind of work?"  "Well, you are correct, however I believe that some of my previous experience will apply . 
                           I have had to meet strict deadlines in <
    previous industrywell as work with other employees
                           to complete daily goals. yada yada yada"
    (Don't actually say yada yada yada, I will kick you if you do.)
                           You can always find some part of your past work history that will apply to any future jobs, in some cases,
                           though, you might have to dig a little deeper.

      -Don't use filler words/sounds such as "um", "uh", or "like"
          Bad: "I like, haven't had a job in like, a year."
          Better: "It's been some time since I had a steady source of income."

      -Learn how to give a proper handshake.


  4. In fact, the handshake gets is own category.
      -This one simple gesture says a lot about a person. If you have a weak grip or a limp arm (while in otherwise perfect health),
        it's a bit off-putting on a subconscious level. Don't hold it too long and don't let go early.

      -For me, this can make-or-break just meeting someone on a more professional level. If they try to crush my hand, I think
        that they are a combative person. If they let go too early, it makes me think that they just don't care, etc.



  5. Ending the interview.
      -Smile.
      -Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to interview with him/her
      -Handshake
      -Wish the interviewer well. "Have a wonderful day!"
      -Smile at each person as you leave.
      -Walk with purpose and do not look back unless you are being called back into the office.
      -Wish the receptionist (if applicable) well.

The wait:

  • Do not call the following day. Wait a few days and if you still have not heard back, THEN call the person with whom you interviewed.
  • Be patient. My background check took 2 weeks to come through.
  • Continue searching for a new job.


I know that this thread may end up being completely pointless, but because I got a new, better job doing something I enjoy, I thought I'd share some of the things that have helped me throughout my adult life when it comes to jobs to try and help some of the people who are stuck in a rut.

My site will remain up, but will not be maintained. The repository will continue to have scripts added to it if I decide to play another game. Maybe I'll see you around in Starmourn!
Tutorials and scripts  The Repository

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Comments

  • AedinAedin Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Congratulations on the new job! (Assuming that you made this cause you recently got a new job) As well as nice thread!
    Jonathin
  • TekkTekk Member Posts: 272 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Jonathin said:

    • I don't know about other states, but Michigan has MiWorks!. It's a place that will help you to build a resume and look for work. We also have an online talent bank where you can post your resume and search for jobs.



    MIWorks! is pretty bad ass. Their the perfect example of how good people in government can help improve lives.

    My tips:
    • for any job outside of the entry level, send a thank you card after an interview.
    • If you're in IT make sure you engage on a site like Git/StackOverflow/whatever the latest is.
    • If you're in consulting you should always be whoring yourself on Linkedin
    • Create a professional contact list and always enter information of people you may be interested in working with or if you think they have a cool job
    Jonathin
  • KelloniusKellonius Cape Girardeau, MissouriMember Posts: 303 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Never underestimate the importance of getting your resume and information out there. I put my resume out on Monster, LinkedIn, and other local job sites a few in 2012 and I still get emails from head hunters today.
    image
    JonathinMannimar
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Great tips @Jonathin.

    I don't have any experience getting corporate, career-level jobs, but I did get my way into a few dead-end places like restaurant waiter and short-order cook at a vegan bar. I also worked for a telecom agency on a Verizon FiOS tech support project, that was easy to get though, they were literally hiring anyone and everyone since the employee burnout rate was extraordinarily high.

    When I got a job as a cook at the vegan bar, I showed up a few times after I'd put in an application, and just chilled and got to know the bartenders and manager. My theory was, I was more likely to be hired they recognized my face, and it worked.

    Its also cliche and can come off as cocky if you do it wrong, but at the end of the interview, when they ask if you have any questions, give them a half-joking "when do I start?". I've used that successfully at 3 different job interviews. You need confidence though, otherwise you sound desperate or cocky, but if done right they'll laugh, in a good way.

    Jonathin
  • RohaiRohai Member Posts: 451 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    edited May 2015
    I had a tough time getting a job at first when I got out of school - here's what I learned in the process, and have learned since:

    Resume Tips
    • Ditch the "objective." It wastes space and does not provide valuable information to the employer. Opt for highlights instead that list your most important qualifications in clear, bulleted format.
    • In previous experience, rather than listing responsibilities, quantify your achievements. Give concrete evidence of the value you created in your past positions.
    • Make every verb count. Don't use weak phrases like "helped to" or "assisted with" - just say what you did. Don't diminish it. Don't lie, but don't sell yourself short, either.
    • Keep it short. If you're looking at entry-level positions, you don't need more than 1-2 pages (even 2 is arguably too long in certain cases). Make the margins smaller if you have to, but don't use any font smaller than 10.
    • If you're fresh out of school, beef up your education section. Mention your thesis, any research you've presented or published, TA or student government positions you held, etc.
    Job Search Tips
    • Leverage any and every networking opportunities available to you. Alumnae/i associations, your school's career center, your friends, your enemies, former co-workers, former bosses, neighbors, etc. Reach out to everyone you know who might have leads about job opportunities.
    • Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and professional (see above resume tips). Employers will look at your LinkedIn before and/or after an interview. Fill in the skills section in addition to experience and get endorsements from past colleagues if you can.
    • Continue to develop new skills while you search. Take continuing education classes at your local community college, teach yourself with online learning resources, read books, etc. You can get an idea of the skills that will be useful by looking at the qualifications in the job listings you come across while you look. Find out what you're missing, and fill in the gaps.
    JonathinBrean
  • RohaiRohai Member Posts: 451 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Also: Apply to jobs you think you're under-qualified for. The worst that can happen is they ignore you, and the best that can happen is you get a job. "Basic qualifications" can be more of a wishlist than a requirement list in many cases. Sometimes employers don't even know what they're looking for, so take the opportunity to show them that you're that person. Just make sure to put in the research before the interview so you know what you're talking about if they call you.
    Brean
  • AustereAustere TennesseeMember Posts: 2,236 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    As someone who sorts through hundreds of applications a year, if you got fired from your last job, don't just write "personal" as your reason for leaving.

    If they hand you an application to fill out, ask for two in case you make errors (make sure to say that, otherwise it's assumed that it's for your buddy.

    No stains, and don't fold it. 

    If you have a large gap in employment history,  write an explanation. Even something as simple as "stay at home mom for x years" or "At home caregiver for x".

    Use black ink. 

    Make sure you thoroughly understand any questions you answer.  A good example is when are you not available to work?  I get so many "Anytime!" That it's not even funny. 





  • AchillesAchilles Los AngelesMember Posts: 2,506 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Having been a hiring manager for over a decade, here's some easy tips especially for small to medium sized businesses.

    Look up relevant buzz words in your industry and update your resume/linkedin to include these, keep your resume to a single page if possible.  Customize your resume for job listings, if they are looking for people with experience with X software make sure to note that in your resume.  Fill in holes in your resume, learn how to use Excel and Powerpoint if the role requires extensive knowledge etc.

    Have professional references ready, contact your reference to let them know they may be contacted by your prospective employer.

    Always send a thank you email or even better have a prepared thank you card to hand them.  Ask for their business card.

    Have a few questions to ask them.  How is the work/life balance at company X?  How long have you been working at company X?  What are your expectations for this role?  If you are interviewing for a role they are backfilling, where/why did the other person go?  Common sense applies here but the more interest you show in "fitting in" the more serious they will consider adding you to the company

    Spend an hour or two researching the company on the internet.  You should have a good general idea of what the company services are before you meet.

    Compensation discussion is always interesting.  You can price yourself out of a job sometimes but certain industries are hiring rapidly and will pay 15-25% more than you are currently making for the right candidate.  Our last 3 hires we've increased their base pay alone by 20% just so their current employer wouldn't match.  Review comparable salaries in the market on payscale and glassdoor.  Find out if there are other benefits (box seats, PTO policy, insurance coverages, 401k matches, pensions, stock options) that will add to the comp package.



    image
    Jonathin
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    Austere said:

    Use black ink. 
    I'm not totally sure if this started in civilian world and filtered into military or the other way around, but it's always been interesting to me that this is a thing, and it's one of those many things that don't quite make sense.  Reason being, it's so much easier to see that a document is most likely an original (not so much in the sense of any worry about forgeries, but in the sense of simply differentiating between your originals and copies) at a glance if it's in blue ink.  Oh well... 
  • MannimarMannimar Member Posts: 973
    Thank you all! This is especially helpful as I'm looking at an industry change for myself. Luckily many skills in education transition well to other industries.
    BreanJonathin
  • KatzchenKatzchen MhaldorMember Posts: 2,000 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think the best advice I was ever given for job interviews was "It isn't brutal truth time". While you definitely shouldn't lie, you don't have to throw all your faults out for display either. In fact it's a great idea to think about what you can answer with if they ask you what you think your biggest fault is - respond with something you can then follow up with how you compensate for it, or deal with it.

    Other things I'd suggest is having questions prepared for when they ask if you have any - it looks really good. Also yeah definitely give them a call to thank them for their time, no matter what sort of job it is. 


                   Honourable, knight eternal,

                                            Darkly evil, cruel infernal.

                                                                     Necromanctic to the core,

                                                                                             Dance with death forever more.



    BreanJonathin
  • BreanBrean Member Posts: 194 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Achilles said:
    Having been a hiring manager for over a decade, here's some easy tips especially for small to medium sized businesses.

    Look up relevant buzz words in your industry and update your resume/linkedin to include these, keep your resume to a single page if possible.  Customize your resume for job listings, if they are looking for people with experience with X software make sure to note that in your resume.  Fill in holes in your resume, learn how to use Excel and Powerpoint if the role requires extensive knowledge etc.

    Have professional references ready, contact your reference to let them know they may be contacted by your prospective employer.

    Always send a thank you email or even better have a prepared thank you card to hand them.  Ask for their business card.

    Have a few questions to ask them.  How is the work/life balance at company X?  How long have you been working at company X?  What are your expectations for this role?  If you are interviewing for a role they are backfilling, where/why did the other person go?  Common sense applies here but the more interest you show in "fitting in" the more serious they will consider adding you to the company

    Spend an hour or two researching the company on the internet.  You should have a good general idea of what the company services are before you meet.

    Compensation discussion is always interesting.  You can price yourself out of a job sometimes but certain industries are hiring rapidly and will pay 15-25% more than you are currently making for the right candidate.  Our last 3 hires we've increased their base pay alone by 20% just so their current employer wouldn't match.  Review comparable salaries in the market on payscale and glassdoor.  Find out if there are other benefits (box seats, PTO policy, insurance coverages, 401k matches, pensions, stock options) that will add to the comp package.



    Important stuff in bold, landed a great job(career, finally!) last year because of these 3 things...not to say the others aren't important, just bolded for things that worked great in my instance.

    Jonathin
  • KasyaKasya TennesseeMember Posts: 657 @ - Epic Achaean
    I applied for four different positions where I work now and and interviewed for three of them. When you're among 250 applicants and you make it to the interview stage and think you've nailed it, don't feel too discouraged if you don't get the job. If it's somewhere you want to work, don't be afraid to apply again. 

    In my case, I could tell I was gaining ground after the interview for the second position, and was called tenacious at the third. I didn't need to say that I really wanted to work for them, they knew it. 

    I also found it really helpful after an interview to think about what went well and what didn't go so well, to better prepare for the next one. Don't beat yourself up, just live and learn. 
    Jonathin
  • OceanaOceana North SeaMember Posts: 890 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    - Look up yourself on Google. It is what an employer will do. Remove any pictures/texts that could leave a negative impression.

    - Use the same profile picture for LinkedIn, Twitter, job sites, your CV.... It makes you more recognisable.

    - Double-check spelling and grammar in your CV.

    - Make your resume stand out. Be creative (unless this is inappropriate for your job). If you use colours, print your resume out in black and white to check if it still looks good/is readable in grey scales.

    - Practice your elevator pitch!
    Jonathin
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