In my 16-year career, I’ve learned two
truths about job hunting. The first truth is that job hunting is an art, not a
science. The second truth is that everyone and their mother is more than eager
(whether or not we ask for it) to provide advice when it comes to job hunting.
Do you keep short term jobs on the resume or
do you remove them? Do you keep the specific dates that you were at a job or do
you just put the year? Do you apply to a job via the link on the ad or do you
bypass the link and apply directly to company via email or physical mail? The
answer to these questions often depends on whom you ask.
Since graduating from college in 2003,
I’ve had a few short blips of unemployment. During those times, I have looked
to career coaches or career experts for guidance as I have looked for a new
job. The problem is that every career coach or career expert has their own
opinion as to how one goes about getting a new job. If I am to be honest, it is
completely and utterly confusing. The advice that one career coach may give is
likely to be the complete opposite of the advice that another career coach may
One of the issues that has come up
recently is the question of whether or not to have gaps on my resume. For the
last few years, I have adhered to the idea that my resume must be gap free.
Recently, I was advised that gaps in my resume were acceptable, especially
given the golden rule that resumes (unless one is applying for a CEO or CFO
position), must be no more than one page long.
Due to restructuring, I am currently
looking for a full-time job. Once more, I have had to wrestle with the question
of what advice to follow in regards my resume and job-hunting methods. After a
lot of soul searching and reading, I have come to the same conclusion that I
came to the last time I was looking for a job: do what is right for you. The
information a job seeker receives is not akin to a set meal that one must eat.
It is akin to a buffet in which the job seeker has the ability to choose what
advice and tactics works for them and their job search.
Job searching is hard, period. But Richard N. Bolles is trying to make that search just a little easier.
Last year’s edition, entitled, What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual For Job-Hunters And Career-Changers, is a practical and reliable guide for the job hunter. In the book, Mr. Bolles talks about everything from resumes to cover letters to figuring out your ideal job and helping those who are changing their careers midway through adulthood.
I initially read this book in 2014, when I needed comfort during the job hunting process. I re-read the book because I will be out of work as of one week from today and I needed that same comfort. In the last four years, the book has not changed (with the exception of references that were not available 5 years ago). What I really appreciated about this book is that it both challenges the reader and provides support during a difficult time in their professional and personal lives.
I recommend it.
Tonight begins the fourth week of unemployment.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, four weeks without a job is not a huge amount of time. There are people in this country who have been without a job for much longer than a month.
I told myself that I would be fine. This is not the first time I have been between jobs, it probably won’t be the last time.
But the truth is that it is a nerve wracking experience. The reality is that for all of the applications that a job seeker will send out, it is likely that he or she will only receive a call for interviews for only a handful of jobs.
I know that I will find another job. I did it before and I can do it again.
It’s just a matter of time. I hope.
Ask anyone who is looking for a job and they will tell you that the technical aspects of the process are easy.
Log in to whatever job search sites you use, input the keywords of your preferred profession, and hit the apply button for the job you feel you are right for.
What is not so easy is remaining positive. For every 10 or 15 jobs that a job seeker may apply for, he or she may only receive two or three calls or emails to set up interviews. After a while, this process can feel demeaning and degrading. What is the point of continually applying if the only response is crickets?
Passover is coming up this weekend. Passover is the story of Moses, a man born into the household of the Egyptian Pharaoh. What he does not know is that he is not the son of the Pharaoh, but of a Jewish slave. His mother sent her son down the river in a basket to prevent Pharaoh’s soldiers from killing him. As an adult, Moses learns of his true origins and will lead the slaves to freedom. But that journey will not be easy.
Sometimes, we need to travel through the desert a little to get to the promised land. We also have to have a little faith in whatever higher power we believe in (if we do believe in any specific higher power).
I have faith that I will find another job, I believe that my G-d somehow has a hand in this process. I just need to travel through the desert for a little while.
Looking for a job is both an art and a science. It is a science because there are the basic rules and procedures that every job seeker follows. But it is an art because everyone and their mother will provide advice on job searching when asked.
Barry Cohen’s 2003 book, Power Interviewing: Killer Cover Letters, is one of many books that provide job seeking advice. Written in a clear language, the book provides help from the beginning of the job search to the end, when the job seeker becomes an employee. He provides advice on anything and everything relating to job searching. From resumes to the various letters to employers (including the one on page 33 which according to the book generated multiple interviews and job offers. Whether or not it works for me, is yet to be seen), to interviewing and then what to do when you start at the job.
What I like about this book is that it is very thorough. It answers many questions that a job seeker will have in their quest for employment.
Just like any goal in life, there is no shortcut to finding a job. It takes hard work, a lot of time and a tremendous amount of effort. But it helps that there are books like these to provide support to the job seeker along the way to employment.
I recommend it.