How Can Part-timer Show Seriousness about Job?


Marlene writes:
I will be earning a master’s degree in mental health counseling in December. I
have a disability that renders me unable to work full-time. I have sent out a
couple of resumes but have not been contacted. How do I explain to the
potential employers that just because I will be working part-time does not
mean I am not serious about the job. My first job I worked for 4 years. My
second job I worked for 10 years. I am on my 3rd job now for almost 5 years.
Thank you in advance for your help.


The Career Doctor responds:
I know the beginning of my answer is going to sound a little flip
but job-hunting is a full-time occupation — regardless of whether
you are seeking full-time or part-time employment. In fact it may
be harder to find jobs that do not fit the normal 9-5 routine.
You say that because you can only work part-time that employers
should not question your desire or interest in a job but your actions
say otherwise. I use two metaphors when describing job-hunting.
First you can think of it as you might dating; you need to continually
pursue (and woo) prospective employers to get their attention and
interest. Second think of it as a marketing and selling experience
where you need to track down prospective employers and sell them
on your unique mix of skills experience and accomplishments.
Whatever way you want to look at it you are not doing your job.
You cannot simply send off a few resumes and expect employers
to be pounding down your door — especially in this job market! You
need to be aggressively (but professionally) following up every
resume every job lead with a phone call or email. You need to
continue to show your interest enthusiasm and fit for the job
until the employer either calls you for the interview or asks you
to stop.
I would also recommend using your graduate school’s network
of alumni as well as the career professionals in its career services office. You should also check with your professional association
(such as the American Mental Health Counselors Association) for networking and job possibilities.
The more sources you have the more job leads you can pursue.
You might also want to read this article published on Quintessential Careers: 10
Reality Checks of Job-Hunting: Overcoming Common Job-Search Mistakes
.