Dr. Randall Hansen is the Career Doctor. Discover more about Dr. Hansen read about the purpose of this column and find previous issues of this column at the home page of The Career Doctor.
If you have any career- or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email email@example.com.
In This Issue (04/12/02):
- Locating headhunters and recruiters
- Figuring out problem with current job search
- Finding a book with solid career information
- Changing careers by discovering a fulfilling career path
|Q:||Anonymous writes: Do you know of a local headhunter agency reliable and with moderate fees? I have a Ph.D. 3 master’s and live in Washington D.C. metro area in Virginia. Thank you!|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Headhunters and recruiters can be a great tool of any job-search but you need to find the right fit. Headhunters are typically organized by location or by industry/occupation. Nearly all reputable recruiting firms are paid by employers so you should not incur any (or many) fees. That’s the good news. The bad news is that recruiters work for the employers not for you. So while you are an important part of the puzzle for a recruiter (assuming you have qualifications and skills that match the needs of his or her clients) you will always be second to the clients.
Since I don’t know your specialty I cannot offer you much more advice. There are numerous recruiters located in the Washington D.C. metro market (as with any large metropolitan area) but I don’t know if any of them specialize in your field.
The best source for getting information about using headhunters and finding recruiters? Go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Recruiter Directories & Associations. You’ll find a growing list of articles and other resources about how job-seekers can best use the services of recruiters as well as recruiter directories and recruiter associations. My favorite recruiter directory is Oya’s Directory of Recruiters.
Best of luck with your headhunter search!
|Q:|| Dr. Galen R. Hays writes: I have been searching for a job for about 2 and 1/2 months. Every one I show my resume to or e-mail/fax/snail mail to says that they really like my resume or WOW or this is a really strong resume.
Problem is no interviews no follow-up calls from headhunters on-line or otherwise for jobs which I submitted my resume. Many of these jobs I am definitely qualified for some over qualified some under. Most 80% fall into the definitely qualified for.
1. What am I doing wrong?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: A key part of any job-search is follow-up. It’s not good enough just to be pounding the pavement sending out cover letters and resumes expanding your network of contacts responding to job ads and postings and contacting headhunters and recruiters. All those activities are important but they’ll all be for naught unless you take the time to follow-up every single job lead.
No interviews is a bad sign to me. It means that there is something wrong with your job search’and probably not just your lack of follow-up.
I strongly urge you have a career professional — a resume service a former boss or colleague or a headhunter — carefully review your resume and cover letter. In fact you should have him or her evaluate your entire job search plan.
I also strongly suggest you read our article Ten Questions to Ask Yourself if You Still Haven’t Found a Job published on Quintessential Careers. The article discusses some of the common roadblocks to a successful job-search — and how to get through them.
|Q:||Robin Monk writes: I’d like to know if there are any books that give descriptions of which careers do what? I thought it was a simple question but I am having a hard time trying to find a resource like this. I am in the midst of making a career decision and don’t want to miss out on understanding the basics of each career.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I think the two best books on careers career potential and requirements and job outlook are the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Career Guide to Industries — both published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The books are available in print (usually in reference areas of libraries) and online (with search or browse capabilities).
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is a nationally recognized source of career information designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years the Handbook describes what workers do on the job working conditions the training and education needed earnings and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations. Follow this link for the current 2002-03 Edition of the Handbook.
The Career Guide to Industries (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) provides information on available careers by industry including the nature of the industry working conditions employment occupations in the industry training and advancement earnings and benefits employment outlook and lists of organizations that can provide additional information. This edition of the Career Guide discusses more than 42 industries accounting for more than 7 out of every 10 wage and salary jobs in 2000. The Career Guide is a companion to the Occupational Outlook Handbook which provides information on careers from an occupational perspective. Follow this link to the current 2002-03 Edition of the Guide.
There are also numerous books written about careers within specific industries. For example someone interest in marketing as a career could read Opportunities in Marketing Careers. You can find a fairly extensive list of career books — organized by industry — in this section of Quintessential Careers: Industry-Specific Career Books.
Finally I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention that there are a growing number of Websites that either offer just industry-specific career information or a combination of job postings and career information’and many universities with majors in specific disciplines also offer career information. I suggest visiting these two sections of Quintessential Careers: Career and Job Resources — by Industry and Career Exploration.
|Q:||Vonni writes: I’m currently a 2nd year teacher at a New York City public school. I’m 22 years old and a Swarthmore College graduate. I am absolutely depressed at my job. I chose my current position because it was the only thing available that offered good benefits and a decent salary. I however hate it. I majored in French because of my passion for languages (I speak three) and minored in psychology because I love working with people (on a one on one basis not one on 37!) I find that I am unqualified for most of the professions and careers out there. Sometimes I feel like quitting and working at a retail store but that would put my thirty thousand dollar a year degree to waste. I don’t know what to do. Would you have some advice to offer me?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Wow you sure seem to have steered off course! But take a deep breathe and relax because you are not alone — a large percentage of recent college grads end up in first jobs that they dislike or that don’t fit their career path. The thing you most want to do is not make that mistake twice — and certainly taking a job in retail out of desperation is the wrong strategy.
First while teaching is a great profession why is it that you settled for a job/career in a field where you had no interest or background? You need to answer that question before you start job-hunting again — because it’s going to be a long road and you’ll need to have the determination to stick with the job search.
Second you know you have a passion for languages and you enjoy working with people. Do you realize you have special skills that make you stand out from the crowd. How many people can speak three languages? Now you need to go the next step and identify jobs/careers that need the skills and education that you have. Careers that come to mind include: translator/interpreter foreign language tutor guidance counselor travel writer travel guide cultural assistant and foreign service.
Third you need to revamp your resumes and cover letters to refocus potential employers away from your teaching to your new career goal. A strong resume is critical to the job search. Take advantage of one or more of the many articles and resources we have available in the Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers.
Fourth once you’ve identified types of jobs and careers and revamped your job search correspondence now you have to go out there and find the job openings. Since New York is such a center of foreign trade culture and diplomacy I would think you should be able to find multiple opportunities for your unique mix of skills and talents. Make sure you use all your available job-search channels including the career services professionals back at Swarthmore Swarthmore alums in the NYC area (assuming you want to continue living there) your network of contacts job postings job ads (online and off) and cold calling/direct mail. For more details on this step read through this Quintessential Careers tutorial: Job Search 101.
Finally be persistent. Make a plan to complete some element of your job-search everyday. And as the economy continues to pick up steam stay focused on finding a job that better fits you. It may be a bit harder now (though people are still finding jobs everyday) but it should be easier over the next few months. Stay focused stay determined.
Best of luck.