Job-hunting tips from the November 7, 2011, issue of QuintZine.
Part of the Start Up mentality needed for job search in these troubled times is taking a strategic approach to finding a job — as opposed to applying for jobs indiscriminately. Recruiter Amy Ala recently railed against an entry-level job-seeker who said he was submitting applications online for 5-10 jobs a day. Ala conducted an experiment to see if she could find that many jobs that were a match for her background, education, and experience. Unlike the entry-level job-seeker, Ala could find only about 10 jobs in a week’s time that she was well-qualified for. Throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks is not the best use of a job-seeker’s time, Ala’s post suggests. Instead, “you should only apply to jobs that you’re qualified for,” she writes. “Furthermore, you’ll be telling me in your cover letter and resume how and why you’re a fit for the job. That lands you in the ‘yes’ pile for further review. Your odds increase… Apply to the ones you’re an ‘on paper’ match for, network your way into others you’re interested in.”
Keep your eye on Invent Your Future at Slate/The Hive, which is “gathering, sharing, and highlighting your best ideas and stories about how to make (or remake) an independent working life in a time of economic uncertainty.”
Ideas to close the skills gap and gain the skills you need for the work you want to do: Ask your employer for tuition reimbursement to train for a hard-to-fill job in your organization that is out of your grasp. Many companies have discontinued tuition-reimbursement programs, but it can’t hurt to ask; weighed against the difficulty of filling a skilled job, an employer might prefer to pay for your training. If you’re currently unemployed and interview for a job you know you can do but don’t quite seem to have the skills for on paper, suggest the employer give you an extended probationary period.
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