This is a true story, as told to AsianHires.com that covers a handful of small behaviors that led this professional to the job of her dreams.Â Read stories of other professionals, like anÂ English Teacher and a Computer Engineer.
I am a female Asian-American currently working as an interior designer for a small design firm. I have been in interior and graphic design for over fourteen years. I have worked for this particular firm for the last eight. This firm was started by a friend and former co-worker from a previous job. He invited me to join in once it had gotten underway. This is great, because I may or may not have had a job otherwise as my previous firm was struggling. I imagine it is doing even worse in the recession.
Luckily, I did not have to search for this job but I did have to look for the previous one. During the search, I picked up some skills that I hope will help me if I ever find myself looking again. Given the uncertainty of the economy, it is entirely possible that the firm could go under and I will need to employ those skills.
Conventional Means to Get a Job
At the time that I was looking for my first job, there were not as many job search related websites as there are now. I wish I could have made use of sites to expand the number of employers I could reach but it was not necessary. I received my first job through more conventional means.
I wrote a lot of letters and sent them off to tons of companies. In this way, websites – job search engines – still work on the basic principle of sending inquiries to as many people as possible resulting in a greater chance of someone calling you back. Instead of doing it on paper, however, you do it electronically these days. The advantage is that you can reach many more people for less money and time.
Persistence Is Key
In getting that very first job, I learned a number of crucial actions that will really help me out in the future no matter what industry I work in or what job I seek. The single most important lesson would be to have persistence in my search. Employers want people who are willing to give it their best effort. A great way to demonstrate your dedication is to be aggressive while trying to obtain that job. Sending a letter of interest and following up with calls and letters helps show this.
According to my former boss, one of the reasons he chose to hire me was because of my dedication to getting the job. He told me that he figured if I was willing to work that hard to get the job, then surely I would work hard at the job itself.
The first thing I did was essentially getting the word out to as many possible employers as I possibly could. These days, I would get an account on as many job websites as I can and apply for every position that fits my resume even just a little bit. You never know when something on your resume will catch the eye of a human resources director or CEO!
At the same time, I would do what I did way back when I looked for that first job: I identified around ten top companies and wrote a physical letter of interest and sent it. Letters are more formal and are more likely to attract attention than an e-mail. When I conducted my search, this technique came in handy. I probably sent out twenty letters or so in total and received five responses back. This is only a twenty-five percent return rate, but if you send out enough you can get enough responses back for it to be worth it. Five potential job offers is not a bad number!
Secondly, I would make sure to build my resume for each application. This can be tedious but it definitely pays off. By emphasizing my strengths that related to each individual position, I really made myself more attractive. In fact, some employers viewed me as a perfect fit.
As an example, if someone is applying in the healthcare field, he or she may want to emphasize time spent volunteering in a hospital. If one is applying to work in a bank, he or she may want to emphasize time as a treasurer for an organization. These subtle differences can help candidates stand out among a pool of competitors and I feel like this practice really helped me snag the job.
Covering Employment Gaps Effectively
Third, I kept active during the job search process. Many times when employers see long stretches of time spent unemployed, they begin to wonder about the candidate and if there is some undesirable quality that is keeping them from finding employment. They start to wonder if there is something wrong with the candidate that they may not have noticed. This could lead to them not hiring the person.
Studies have shown that people who go a long stretch without employment face a harder time getting accepted by a new employer. There are several ways to counter this. While looking for a job, I accepted a part time non-profit volunteer position. I always enrolled in a course or two at a local community college so that I could put that on my resume as well. This made it seem as if instead of being unable to find work, I was adding to my education. This can work wonders with any employer!
These techniques worked for me before and I feel confident that they will work in the future!
Gaby Reyna works for LatPro.com and is one of their content specialists. Her other interests include reading and cooking.