Job-hunting is difficult. I’ve spent hours upon hours filling out those dreaded questions online, hoping that I can eventually reach through to a real person who can read my resume and feel the desire to call me immediately, requesting for an interview. It’s frustrating to say the least, and downright depressing after a while. I feel like the online applications never end up in the hiring manager’s email account; rather, they float in the negative space between the digital world and my reality. Which is, that I’m broke.
And then, when I least expect it, I’ll hear my cell phone ring. The conversation is only a couple minutes long, but damn, I swear I feel the wind just change direction. Boom. Interview.
How did I get to this point? It’s not easy to get a call-back. But once you get one, your job is only halfway over. Did I say “your job”? Yes, I did.
The number one tip to job search effectively is to treat job-hunting as your job.
When the time comes for me to job-hunt, I buckle down. I mean business. I wake up early (well, earlier), grab a cup of coffee, throw make up on my face, slip a snuggie blanket on, and sit in front of the computer.
The hunt is on.
Most of job-hunting is online nowadays. But you have to be careful which job-hunting sites you choose. My favorites are Snagajob.com and Craigslist.org (and no, I didn’t get paid to say that). Those are the only two websites that I’ve tried that I have actually gotten jobs from,so I know the applications actually get seen. If you know of others, please let me know in the comments!
My method is this:
Know what job you want.
Figure out what kind of jobs I would be interested in, and which companies I would like to work for, and how far I would drive for the right job. Just recently I was looking for cashier-type jobs anywhere within 30 minutes of my place. So those are my specifics.
Set your search terms to those specifics.
On Snagajob, I’ll set the miles to within 0-25 miles of my house, and apply to literally every job that meets my specifics (mostly, cashier jobs. If something else keeps my eye, I will definitely apply). You can also go directly to the websites of the companies you are interested in working for and find the “careers” page or similar.
Don’t apply blindly — read each application and only apply to jobs that you have previous experience for and feel that you would make a good match.
Also, only apply to locations where I wouldn’t mind driving. I would rather take a job that paid a bit less but was 3 miles from my house than one that was $10/hr but 45 minutes away. Do the math with how much gas is nowadays, and see if it’s worth it.
Keep tabs on where you apply and get info on how to get in touch.
I write down every job I’ve applied for, along with the date, location, and position. Later, I look up the addresses (if not given) and the phone numbers to contact. I wait 1-2 weeks to see if they contact me first. If they don’t, I’ll call and request the manager to speak about the position and to try to get an interview. This step isn’t required, and I only did it for jobs that I really wanted. Usually, I’ve gotten callbacks from jobs that wanted me first.
Repeat with other job sites and then get dressed and go to jobs to fill out apps but prepared to interview.
After I’m done on the job sites, I will take a look at positions posted on Craigslist. If a posting intrigues me, I’ll follow the instructions — either email the person (using my excellent cover letter and attaching a resume), call the number, or physically go to the address.
After doing everything online, I will sometimes go to areas where there’s large blocks of stores and physically ask for applications and fill them out right there. I always ask for the name and phone number of the manager in charge of hiring. Also, dress professionally and be nice to everyone. If the manager is there, immediately shake hands and ask if there are any positions available for (whatever you’re interested in). Sometimes they will tell you to apply online. If so, get the website and thank them. Rarely, they will interview you on the spot, but be prepared just in case — and bring a resume.
That’s my method to getting call-backs. I will spend at least 3 hours everyday doing the same thing, applying to new postings, going to new areas near my house, and calling places.
If you treat job-hunting as your job, you should be able to find a job quickly. I have never been unemployed for more than 2 weeks because of my diligent efforts. Don’t give up! And don’t be afraid to apply to the same job after a month. When people keep seeing your name, you’ll be remembered and get a callback.
One of my past co-workers got a job at the Subway we worked for because he literally put in an application every week until he got hired.
Do you have a method you’d like to share?