Finding a Job

2010 Pi Arthur Stuart
Updated April 14, 2017

Related Pages: Getting the Job and Questions Appendix

What make me an expert? I'm not. I'm just a guy with over thirty years in the civilian work place and twenty-two in the Navy. I've applied for over a hundred jobs and have been interviewed for most of them. As a manager I reviewed resumes and applications, and then conducted interviews for the most qualified individuals. If there is a suggestion that doesn't make sense, just ignore it. Don't settle.

I think one of the major mistakes we make in life is that we gamble on the future, usually unconsciously. The gamble is that thing will stay the same and for most of our lives things pretty much remain steady. However, sometimes things do change unexpectedly, so follow the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared." The current economic crisis (2010) is an example of how things can get really bad.

Even if you are working, you should prepare yourself for advancement or another job. Companies and jobs come and go at a moments notice; even in the government. Even when the economy is good, companies go out of business for many reasons. The best time to prepare and look for a job is when you already have one.

Before you start to looking for work you should take some preliminary steps.


Job Preparations List:

First and foremost, if you are working, be a good employee. A lot of people I've worked with over the years thought they were good employees, but they weren't -- not in my eyes, but in the eyes of people that counted. I've seen a lot of people passed-over for promotion or being hired, that had nobody to blame but themselves; although they did blame others.

Also related to being a good employee is doing a little extra. Although a particular task is not in your job description, do it anyway, so long as it is not unsafe or illegal. My personal point of view is that if I'm there anyway -- what difference does it make. Volunteer, there aren't many suicide jobs you'll be asked to do. In addition you may be gaining more skills, which are applicable to higher or another position you would want.

Volunteer or get an internship. Besides being a good employee, this is probably the next most beneficial thing you can do. Look for work in the field you would like to pursue. All volunteer work will pay off. You get experience. You meet people and build a network. And you will probably feel good about yourself. Volunteer work shows possible perspective employers that you are motivated. Go to a business that you would like to work for and ask if you can volunteer to do the work. If they ask why. You can tell them that it will give you experience. You can also say that it is a win-win, they get no-cost work and you gain experience. In addition, the benefits to you are: you get a foot in the door -- meaning that if a position should open you'll be a prime candidate, the opportunity to show them how good a worker you are, and obtain references or referrals

Get yourself a loose leaf binder or an accordion file folder. I filled mine with plastic protectors so I could slide in 8.5 x 11 sheets. I divided the book into sections: Education, Job History, Resumes, References, Applications. At the end I've include several forms that I used.

Gather several applications and make a list of generic questions. Then carefully document the answers.

Collect a few job descriptions for each type of job you will be seeking.

Read books and take courses.

Build a Network.

Get A Mentor.

Let everyone, and I do mean everyone, know that you are looking for work. A lot of jobs are not advertised and filled by word of mouth.

Update your resume. Make sure you use the "Key" words related to the position. You should have one for each type of position you seek.

Develop computer skills.


Job Hunting:

Start by going to Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc and search for Jobs or Career. Nearly all government jobs are posted on the internet. If your interest in a local government job go to their human resources office and ask. Many companies also post employment opportunities. In some cases you can download job applications and job descriptions. In a few cases you can apply on line. I would encourage delivering the application, with a cover letter and resume, to the person doing the hiring. Have a few questions about the position -- not benefits or pay related. Good questions tell the person that you interested the job. My favorite is, "What's the biggest challenge I'll face?" I like to save this one for the interview but most of the time in large organization the person your speaking to will not be at the interview.

Visit all places you would like to work, even if no jobs are available. Get an application and ask for job descriptions of the positions you would apply for. Ask to speak to the person responsible for hiring. Let them know you interest in working for their company (have a reason) and leave your name, phone number and e-mail address. Put it on a three by five card. Also leave a resume. Ask them to "Please" notify you if a position becomes available. It will let the person know that you are motivated and when your application is reviewed, you will be a person rather than just a piece of paper.

Professional/trade magazines, newspaper and specialized publications (Like Jobs Available, which list various government jobs can be subscribed to) are a good place to look. There are often local publication that list jobs and can be obtained at various outlet, such as the library and stores.


Links to Job Seeking Sites:

Note: comments following the name were taken form the site.



Forms

Job History
Position :   
Organization :   
Type of Business :   
Address : 

 
Phone :   
Supervisor :   
From :   
To :   
Starting Salary :   
Ending Salary :   
Reason for Leaving :    
Summary of Experience : A short summary for job applications and an in depth description of your work for resumes and when more than just a short summary is required. Include special accomplishment and certifications.





References
Name:   Title:  
Address:

  Known from - to

 
Phone:   Email:  
Summary of relationship:





Education part 1
Name of School:   Type  
Address:

  Phone:

 
Email:   Attended: from - to  
Number of Units   GPA  
Summary of Courses:



Education part 2 -- List of Seminars, Certifications, Self-study courses and examinations.
Course Title Grade Dates
     
     
     
     


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