Job Hunting Advice!

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    January 31, 2017 at 7:34 pm #671654

    Does anyone have any great job hunting tips?

    I’ve been at my job for about 9 months, and it’s just not a good long-term fit, so I’m already looking elsewhere. I’m (somewhat) trying to change fields — one of the things that I actually appreciate about my job is that it exposed me to the type of job I’m trying to move into. Two companies interviewed me last November and December. One rejected me, the other told me a couple weeks ago that they still haven’t made any decisions, so I’m waiting it out and regularly looking online at what else is out there.

    I read Ask A Manager and am open to any tips, but have a couple specific questions in case anyone has had direct experience with these things. First, has anyone had good luck reaching out to HR directly rather than submitting their application materials through online portals? I felt encouraged to get a couple interviews right away, but every time my applications disappear into cyberspace, I wonder if anyone will ever see them. Second, through my current job, one of my clients is the main professional organization for the industry I’m trying to transition into — any ideas on how to network without it being a conflict of interest?

    January 31, 2017 at 7:40 pm #671658

    It is always better to reach out directly to HR. Most of the time, through online portals, it just scans for key words, so even if you are perfectly suited, if you did not put the exact key word on your resume, it will be missed. Also a tip to use key words you find in job postings on your resume, this will help with some of that.

    January 31, 2017 at 8:00 pm #671661

    My days of interviewing for jobs and interviewing job applicants are a couple decades in the past, but what was an effective route back in the day was to apply directly to management in the department in which you want to be hired. It helps to have industry contacts, hopefully at the company in question, who know who is hiring and who is the hiring manager. In large companies, HR is just a facilitator and the departments seeking a new hire and key people in other departments who have the same skill sets are the ones who actually do the screening and interviewing and who could see a resume and decide that you look interesting.

    January 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm #671662

    Isn’t it 9 out of 10 jobs never even get posted? That’s why I’d use my network of past colleagues, and also get recruiters working for me. Do you have any recruiters you’re working with?

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    January 31, 2017 at 8:36 pm #671666

    Every job I’ve gotten in the past 6 years (3 jobs) I’ve gotten because of my network. I’ve applied to several jobs in the past few months and I’ve either not heard back or been rejected very quickly for all of them, even though I’m completely qualified. More and more I’m starting to believe it really is who you know.

    Then again, I’ve had some recruiters reach out to me via LinkedIn as well, so definitely keep your LinkedIn info updated. Also, I’ve found that in terms of job listings, Glassdoor’s are the best.

    January 31, 2017 at 8:41 pm #671667

    I got my first job via an introduction my mom’s friend made, my second through a friend of mine from grad school, my third through a recruiter (I think I was recommended to him by someone), and that’s where I’ve been since. I’m actually starting a job search now and my first steps have been to reach out to people I worked with in the past who are at new companies. Next will be to find a couple of good recruiters.

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    January 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm #671669

    A big yes to recruiters! My last four jobs were through head hunters. LinkedIn is the best way to find them and keep your network active. If one of your clients is a professional organization join the organization! Reaching out to HR is tricky. Are you talking about a specific person or using the company’s HR email posted on their website? I guess it’s very industry or company specific but I think you could run the risk of overstepping. On the flip side, it shows initiative and does cut through the online applications (which I agree are like a black hole). Depending on the role you’re looking into theLadders was semi-useful for alerting me to different types of roles and exposing me to some new recruiters. Good luck with your search.

    February 1, 2017 at 8:40 am #671706

    I agree with everyone in that reaching out the professionals/managers in your larger network is far more worthwhile than HR. HR in traditional industries rarely does a good job of connecting managers to the right applicants unless the job is extremely specialized.

    LinkedIn is your friend, update your page and reach out to a large variety of people through your network. Request information, chats (if not too intrusive), and make a connection. Most people get their jobs through their network.

    I’m in a similar situation and have had a couple of good leads that way. Good luck!

    February 1, 2017 at 10:08 am #671712

    Here’s my advice:
    1. Submit your resume online, THEN reach out to HR. Some places need the resume to go through the system. Ask if they’ve had a chance to review your resume. @Kate mentioned that 9/10 jobs aren’t posted, so if your resume speaks to a different position, they might recommend it.
    2. Don’t be afraid to take a ‘foot-in-the-door’ position that could transfer over into the job you really want. This is especially true since you’d like to change fields.
    3. Write a killer cover letter. Again, important for you since you’d like to change fields. Explain your interest, emphasize any work or training you have that could transfer to that field, and that you’re a willing and eager learner. (Obviously edit it ~thoroughly~)
    Good Luck!!!!!

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    February 1, 2017 at 10:36 am #671715

    Thanks, everyone.

    All three companies I’ve worked at, I applied blind and had no internal contacts. The two companies I interviewed at within the past few months are very, very large law firms and I applied through online portals. So, I do know I can be hired and/or interviewed without connections — but I’ve heard the same thing Kate mentioned about most jobs NOT being advertised, so I’m sure internal contacts certainly make things easier.

    I’ve started tapping my internal network, but because the jump I’m trying to make is a bit of a career change, I feel like I don’t have a ton of people to reach out to. When people Network on LinkedIn, is it acceptable to reach out to people I don’t know?

    Back in maybe November, when I was very worried about my job, I reached out to a recruiter on LinkedIn. A couple years ago, she reached out to me about a job that’s similar to the kind I’m targeting now. One of her colleagues reached back out to me and we had an informal phone interview about my background, what I’m looking for, and how the company can help. Since then, nothing… I should probably reach back out to remind them I exist.

    The primary thing I can think to do to grow my network is to attend networking events. There is an organization that is devoted exclusively to the type of job I’d like, and as I mentioned they’re a client of my current job. I am actually considered a staff member of the organization (through my job), which makes things tricky. At least a few times/year, I go to conferences/events for this organization — but I’m there representing the organization as staff. It seems like a conflict to try to make connections for my own purposes. It’s frustrating, though, because on a daily basis I work with people in the area I’m trying to transition into.

    In any case, I’m fully prepared for the job hunt to take… awhile. Luckily things have calmed down at work so I no longer feel like I need to leave (or that I’ll be asked to leave) immediately. I’d even LIKE to stay at least a year. But longer term? I have my sights set, and I’m trying to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B.

    February 2, 2017 at 7:19 pm #671949

    So I mentioned above I’m just starting to look. A recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn about a position in a company in my city, leading a client service team. She said the CEO is looking to hire ASAP, he’s interviewed a bunch of people with consulting backgrounds but decided he needs someone with the industry experience that I have instead, and that’s how she found me, by keyword searching on LinkedIn I guess.

    But when I go to the website, that position isn’t listed. Only the more junior roles are posted.

    Anyway, just a case for having LinkedIn up to date, with all the keywords, and the settings that show you’re looking (privately so recruiters can see).

    And a woman I worked with for a few years at my current company is at this new place so I can get the scoop.

    February 2, 2017 at 7:38 pm #671951

    I also helped my (much) younger friend at my company ask for a Director position like a boss today!!! He writes down what I say and then goes in with a strategy and a script that they aren’t expecting. Since summer of 2014 I will have more than doubled his comp if this goes through. Strategery!

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