Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wisdom Gained From The Job Search

Hello, it’s been a long while. I know that I have been neglecting my blog of late but I have a good excuse. I have been focusing my energy on the new job. However, since I have been spending all this time now in gainful employment, I should at least provide you with some of the job search wisdom I gained during the last 6 months.

PERSISTENCE: I think that the most challenging thing about the search was the rejection by prospective employers. During my search, I had to tackle over 300 applications and 70 interviews before finally connecting with my new job. The saying goes, "if at first you don't succeed, try again." the saying should be modified to "if at first you don't succeed, try again SMARTER." Continue to push forward, but learn, evolve and adapt. Try new techniques and methods to achieving your goals.

MARKETING YOURSELF: Have you ever bought something after seeing a really interesting advertisement in the newspaper? Have you ever bought an item based on the recommendation of a friend? You should consider the job search process as an exercise in self-marketing. Your resume, blog, voicemail, job application, and even your personal relationships act as advertising for you. Be tactful and professional, but assertive in getting your name out there. Other people need to know that you are an available, quality solution to their staffing needs before they will consider you for a position.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION: With each interview that I did, the better I got at preparing before the interview. Prior to an interview, you should make a list of possible questions that you may be asked. Then, using the STAR method, write out the answers to those questions. If you are asking yourself, "what's the STAR method," don't feel bad. When I went on my first interviews I didn't either. STAR is a way of answering questions in a way that reveals you as the talented person you know that you are. STAR, as taught to me by Janis Campbell, stands for situation, task, action, result. Answer the interviewer's questions by first describing the situation in one or two sentences, providing the time, place, and your job. The task should follow next, describing the challenge you faced. Action is the most important step. The action step describes in summarized detail the process and activities you did to solve the problem. (Note: talk about what you did, not what the group did) The final step is the results section. In this section you must provide specific facts and figures about the impact of your contributions.

THANK-YOU NOTES: Handwritten thank-you notes go a long way in the hiring process. E-mail is more convenient, but that is why it fails to show your genuine appreciation. Thank-you notes can show a recruiter that you care.

Conclusion:
Ultimately, these are just a few of the things that I learned about during my job search. It can be a challenge, but new paths and ideas can be found. Time permitting, I will return to this subject again in the future. I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors.

Please drop me a comment sometime.
- Sincerely, Trevor Stasik




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