I have just graduated and received a BA in communication from quite a prestigious university. I have been avoiding the extensive job search for months now. I need to become more motivated. My problem I believe is that I fear I am not resourceful enough to find what I’m looking for. I’m seeking an entry-level position in an advertising agency or in a corporation with a good training program either in the Phoenix or San Diego areas. I have a great resume but from experience I have found that simply sending out resumes in response to job openings or business listings tends to get a person nowhere without substantial experience. I just know that if I can get in for an interview my personality and communication skills will be impressive enough to hurtle me into any position. So do you have any ideas for me as to where I should pursue that opportunity I have been waiting for? Help!
The Career Doctor responds:
Writers get writer’s block and I think sometimes job-hunters get job-hunter’s block especially when they are new to job-hunting. So Jodi I think the key for you is getting focused on what you want to accomplish; that should be motivation enough to get you on the right path to finding that ideal opportunity for you.
And you are absolutely right that you could respond to job opening listings forever without ever hearing back or getting an interview. So here’s what you need to do…
Identify the key companies in the Phoenix and San Diego areas that interest you. Research these online. Alternatively a number of reference books that your local library or university library should have in their collections (1) list corporations and divisions by location and (2) list ad agencies by location. You could also contact the two area chambers of commerce to get that kind of information — or even track down the two area’s phone books.
Once you’ve identified the companies contact each company and get a name of a person to send your cover letter and resume. For corporations it might be the marketing director or director of communications. For ad agencies it should be the VP for your specific area of expertise.
Then write dynamic cover letters to these people; look here to find some great sample cover letters.
Then do the required follow-up. Call the people you wrote to about 10 days later and request an interview. If as you say you have great communications skills you should be set. But be prepared for more rejection. While the cold-contact method described above is much more successful than responding to want ads and job listings you will still get numerous rejections. However you should also consider scheduling informational interviews with the firms that tell you they have no openings; this networking technique often leads to other possible job interviews.
Good luck in your search.