Friday, August 26, 2005
Informational Interviews at your fingertips
How do you find out—before you get there—what your dream job is really like?
I’ve met with a number of people who never did check things out ahead to time and, low and behold, 15 years later and they hate (should be a capital H there) what they’re doing. Worse yet, might be making a lot of money doing it, thus exacerbating the stuck feeling. A few lawyers I met with years ago always come to mind.
Anyway, one low risk way to get the facts is to do informational interviews, i.e. line up what amounts to advice time with a professional and get them to basically tell their story.
Sound too daunting? Well, jump to http://www.roadtripnation.com and click on Interviews for real life tips from people in a variety of fields.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Cover Letter Hints
Since I’ve been hitting the whole job search thing rather broadly of late, I thought it was about time to add a few specifics.
One area which typically stumps searchers is the dreaded cover letter. I’ve seen everything from two paged tomes to very brief—but dry—form letters.
The best lies somewhere in between…if you drop the dry, that is… in a shorter, one page targeted letter. Easy to read. Interesting enough to hook people into reading your resume, which is the real purpose of the letter in the first place. Think interesting version of a direct mail piece—one which lures you on to the second page.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Questions to ask in an interview
Bright sunny Monday morning. Start of the week. It’s a good time to think about success stories from past summers.
Like last summer. A grad of about two years had, like many other Michigan residents, lost her job. So she would use the computers in our resource area daily. Everyday I’d see Kelsey—working tirelessly on her job search. We’d often talk and, at one point, spent some time in prayer asking the Lord for a job.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Email—small stuff/big consequences
I had originally planned on writing stuff in a sequential manner. But, if you know Aunt Bonnie personally, you’ll know I’m not really a sequential kind of person. And, so much of this is based on what I encounter on a day to day basis that itís hard to stay sequential.
So, with that out of the way—today’s topic has to do with email. Foibles of, that is.
Three live examples of nixing your job search right out of the gate.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Streeeetched ouuuuutttt—Looking over the long haul
I met yesterday with a grad who had accumulated about 2 years of experience, fortunately in his desired field. He was, admittedly, one of the fortunate ones whose internship had resulted in a full time professional position. But after two years, the glamor had worn off.
The grad was out on the streets conducting his very first job search. During our meeting, he made a comment ruing the fact that he knew nothing about the process because his first job had literally landed in his lap.
I’ve told stories like this to other job seekers who have been looking for months. Something to the effect that they are in some senses fortunate to be put into a spot where they’re learning essential skills about the job search process. After pondering that unusual perspective on their situation, the most common question had to do with hanging here. Essentially, how do you hang in there over a long period of time?
There’s nothing to develop character like a tough job search. Not necessarily fun but worthwhile on multiple levels.
Take persistence, for instance. A noble quality but look what a person usually goes through to develop it. Tough times spent sloughing through difficult circumstances.
Actually, an article written last year (before my personal blogging era so did not keep the reference) listed persistence as the number one quality which led to eventual success. Makes sense. But it’s sometimes easy to overlook the obvious, especially when you’re in the middle of stuff yourself.