For a while, I thought that I might start a blog about the job-hunting tips I learned while I was unemployed. Still, it never really got off the ground, and I have a hard enough time making sure I have new(ish) content for this blog, so it died a quiet death, but I do feel I have a few useful hints (IMHO) for folks, so I will be sprinkling these tips in over the next little while.
This current post was triggered by another blogger posting 6 Tips for Working a Career Fair, which is one of the places you should be frequenting if you are looking for a job. These events are effectively cattle calls and you don’t expect to get a job when attending this kind of event, but you might make contact or meet someone you know who may help you out later, so I think following these is not a complete waste of time.
I have worked these events from both sides (candidate and hiring company), and I can assure you of a few things that will quickly get your resume and contact information moved to file 13 very quickly (look this up, it’s an old Mainframe term):
- Dump your resume on the desk or table and walk away. I don’t care if you are not a “people person”. You need to introduce yourself at least, say hello and attempt to have at least a 1-minute talk with who(m)ever is working the booth. If they give you the brush-off, that is fine. Maybe don’t leave your resume, but YOU are looking for the job, not them.
- Arrogance, which is not well-founded, is a killer for me. If you are good at what you do but act like you don’t want my job, and you tell me that, I’ll grant your wish (i.e. I will lose your resume). You can be confident and sure of yourself, but it is a fine line between that and arrogance.
- Simply show up and start taking the “swag” from the table before talking to anyone. Yes, it is supposed to be free stuff, but come on, you need a free pen that bad?
- Dress like you are going to the beach.
That last one is my pet peeve. I have had other recruiters tell me that it doesn’t matter to them if potential candidates are dressed highly casually, but it does to me. If you show up wearing “flip-flops” (or thongs to my Australian friends), jean shorts and an unbuttoned shirt, what am I to think? I am most likely standing there in a “business casual” outfit, and you are saying to me, “I am this good that I don’t need to dress up to get this job”, or worse, “Your job is so unimportant to me that I can’t find a decent outfit and some shoes to find out about it”.
I did have one young woman walk in dressed like this, and I asked her, “… were you off to the beach today?”, and when she gave me a blank stare back, I explained my point of view, to which she walked away without leaving her resume (oh well).
What Should You Do?
Go to the Job Fairs, make connections, collect cards from folks, and talk to other folks to find out how they are searching for jobs (but remember, don’t spend too much time talking to other unemployed folks. They don’t have jobs, you should be talking to folks who DO have jobs). Please dress like you want a job (not want to go to the beach).
Other Job Hunting Tips
- The one thing you must start with first when searching for a new job is activating your network of contact.
- Your Social media is now your reference for job hunting. Let that one soak in.
- A long list of short sentences with Job Hunting tips worth looking at this one.
- Dress like you are going to a job fair and not like you are going to the beach.