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Q&A Monday: Re: Looking for a Job

On February 5th 2010, I did a blog, talking about my experiences and some tips about looking for a job [Looking for a job] and I got the following question.  Rather than just answer the questions in the comments, I thought it would warrant an follow up entry.  Though I got e-mails saying the tips helped, I also got the following call for help.

Blaine Selby says:

I have tried all that you have listed and still have not found a job. Any other advise?

Answer:

Well I’ve defiantly been in the field looking actively for a job in this market, being unemployed and all.  The key thing to remember is that you are selling yourself.  If the tips mentioned in the earlier blog didn’t help, you may need to look critically at your current process.  If you’ve spent any time as a tech (which would explain why you’re reading this blog), you need to go through a troubleshoot your application process.

  1. If you aren’t even getting call backs, then the first thing that you need to look at is your resume.  As someone who has hired people, when a position is opened in this economy then the resumes start pouring in.  Depending on the person hiring, they many only look at your resume for a couple of seconds scanning for keys words or phrases and if they don’t see them, they get tossed aside.  The old saying is that you only have one chance to make a first impression…and that impression is your resume.  You can elaborate and explain your experience…but your resume can’t.  So make sure that your resume is the best it can me, but even if you have problems there, pay a service to re-craft your resume to get it to it’s best.
  2. If asked about what salary you are looking for be weary to disclose that.  I’ve been asked in an interview what price I am looking for, and since I’m out of a job, I tend to respond, “I am open for salary and want to see what your company, should I be hired, see what I am worth.”  This is because I want a job, but don’t want to throw out a number lower than they were thinking, then I’ll be offered that number.  I’ve never said, I’m looking for $$ salary and been offered more than that, usually only that.  Now some times you can’t get away with not saying a number, well then say the number, but make sure you aren’t looking for a helpdesk tech making $100,000, because you’d be darn lucky if you can find that job.  Make sure you’re asking for fair market value for the job, but from experience, that can be a wide range of pay for jobs.
  3. If you get to the interview and that’s where you are having the problem, that’s where you need to focus you attention on.  I’ve been nervous and havn’t done well in an interview and I blame that for not getting certain jobs, so the interview is important.  If you can get constantly to the interview and then nothing from there, you need to look at how you interview.  Some people just don’t know how to talk to a future employer and you can scare them away.  Recently I was interviewed and I froze up, and couldn’t think clearly…I was later told that I came off as “not a people person” and a “work alone kind of guy”, now if you know me, these things aren’t true, but shows you how what you say can help or hurt you.

Those 3 things should give you a more wide understanding, and hopefully help you in finding a job.  If you’re having problems finding a job, and you keep constantly looking, then you need to look at something you are doing.  I’ve made tons of mistakes in interviews, and I always taken it as a lesson and tried to fix it.  Even though I am still unemployed, I apply for atleast 10 jobs everyday…talk to recruiters everyday….work my contacts everyday…not always the same contacts and the same recruiters everyday…but different ones…and I know that I’ll find the right job.

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If  you have any questions that you want Jim to answer, from business servers to home computers, drop him a line at me@jimguckin.com, and he’ll try to answer your question.  Check back every Monday for a new Question and Answer session, and check back during the week for Jim’s other technical insights.

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