HR Specialist shares modern techniques for the job seeker from her most recent successful job hunt. Read the full article to discover how to get the best results from social networking sites, phone interviews and industry specific websites.
I am a 41-year-old female who has been in my current position as an HR Specialist for 16 months. I am the wife of a USAF member so until this job, all my other positions were as a civilian employed on base. I served as a Family Readiness Officer for four years in Okinawa, Japan and two years in Turkey. Once it became clear my family and I would be transferring back to the states, I began to look for a job in HR that would be strictly awarded on my own merits.
Federal Government Jobs
I found my job as a Human Resource Specialist for the US Forestry Service by using the federal governmentâ€™s job search website USAJobs.com. The federal government prefers applicants apply for positions online. There are provisions in place for disabled applicants or for those who have limited computer connectivity.
However, applicants who use the hard copy method are at a bigger risk for making errors and submitting incomplete job applications. Incomplete job applications are automatically dismissed.
Technology â€“ A Great Help
When I was job searching, technology helped me keep up with the many applications I was submitting. I used technology to search for open Federal positions. I also used technology to keep up with the status of my applications as well as the status of the actual positions I had applied for online. I also used my LinkedIn account to network and let my contacts know I was looking for a position.
â€˜Toot Your Own Hornâ€™
I am not afraid of â€œtooting my own horn,” so I approach my application and resume as a marketing campaign. Sure, the employer is going to hire someone knowledgeable and skilled, and there are tons of applicants who could fit the bill, but thereâ€™s only one me. I ensure I list all awards I have received related to my field. I highlight all abilities I have that fit criteria the job is requesting.
Use of Social Media
I use social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to connect with professionals in my field. I also use professional message boards such as the one on the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) website as well as the professional social networking site LinkedIn. I connect to these sites using my laptop computer, my desktop, my work computer and my iPhone. I am in touch and connected no matter where in the world I am. All these methods were effective in helping me find a job. In this economy, finding a job is a full-time effort in and of itself.
Technology, Internet and social networking sites were invaluable in my search for my current position. Not only was I applying for a job hundreds of applicants were also in line for, I was searching for a US job while living overseas in Turkey.
Fortunately, I havenâ€™t had any job interviews that were a complete disaster; however, one that went really well for me was the interview for my current position. It was a phone interview, so I was able to keep notes in front of me. I had my thoughts organized, so my answers flowed. The interview lasted for over an hour, so I was tired by the time it ended. Luckily, my exhaustion wasnâ€™t evident to my interviewers.
Once I got the position, I heard from my other co-workers that their interviews hadnâ€™t lasted more than 20-30 minutes. My boss simply told me he enjoyed what I had to say and I had interviewed â€œvery well”. I think because it was a phone interview, the conversation was able to move along more smoothly. Additionally, I wasnâ€™t out of my element and I was completely comfortable in my own surroundings.
The First Person to Discuss Money (Salary) Loses
The single most important thing that Iâ€™ve learned on my own is – the first person to discuss money loses.
There is a time and a place to discuss salary and it isnâ€™t in the job interview. If you are the applicant, discussing money makes you look desperate, as if youâ€™re only interested in a pay check. If you are the hiring official and discuss money, you sound impersonal and make the applicant feel you only see dollar signs. If either party has a number in mind thatâ€™s way off the mark for the other person, the entire interview can fall apart.
I did not use my college Career Services program to find my position. This is because I completed my Master’s Degree though the University of Oklahoma online while my family was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. However, I have worked in Career Services for the military. Our services have found many uniformed men and women positions after completing military careers.
Balance Your Priorities Carefully
The one regret I have from my past occurred when I was completing my Master’s Degree and I had to complete a non-paid internship. I quit my paid job in order to begin this internship. At the last moment, I was told by the university that I couldnâ€™t begin my internship after all because I was missing one class. I was living overseas with my spouse and it had been hard to find the job I did have. Finding another one after quitting the one I had was very hard. Additionally, my supervisor had spent a lot of time and money mentoring me. When I quit and didnâ€™t start the internship, she took it personally. She was so disappointed in me that she still hasnâ€™t spoken to me to this day.
If you want to put this advice to the test, start your job search at ComputerJobs.net where you’ll find all the jobs in one place.
Jarrod Swart works for JustJobs.com and is one of their content specialists. He takes keen interest in a variety of computer related disciplines and enjoys doing design and programming work in his spare time.