Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ask Working Girl

Have a work-related question? Blog-related question? Or want to know something random about one of us? Ask! Send your questions to WorkingGirlOne@gmail.com or WorkingGirlTwo@gmail.com or just post a comment here. Now, onto this week's questions...

SingErin13 asked: I'm currently job hunting (such a daunting task), and do you believe in Internet methods, door to door resume distribution or simply the fact that you need to "know someone". This slump is reeeeally getting to me!

WG2 answered: Wow. Good question. And a hard one to answer. I think it's really just a combination of all three. There is no one method that has proven to be me a job over another. While I was job searching these past few months, I used everything in my power to try and find a job. I distributed my resume to all my family members urging them to be on the lookout for job openings. My dad sent my resume to family friends across the board. I contacted old friends from high school and friends from college. Knowing people is always helpful and in most cases, people want to help you! So don't be embarrassed to send your resume around your inner network. I actually found my current job through just checking career websites on a daily basis - and when I say daily I mean it. Apply for as many jobs as you can every single day. I have never personally tried resume distribution but I am sure it cannot hurt. And I'm sure this technique would impress your future employers! Let us know how your search goes!

Katie K asked: I currently live out in sunny San Diego, and it's getting boring. I've been here my whole life and am looking for a change. I am seriously considering moving to New York, even though it's freezing lol, and I was wondering if you have any tips? I've actually never moved to a new city so I would have no idea how to go about looking for a place or a job. I'm currently a sales assistant for a litigation support firm, so the legal field is my first choice. But starting over in a new city with a new outlook on life would be amazing.

WG2 answered: When I graduated from college almost two years ago (omg, two years already?!), I had two options. One was to find a job in New York City ASAP or move back to Chicago and move in with my dad. At the time, I was adamant that I had to stay in NYC. And I think when it comes to finding a job and apartment in NYC, you have to be in NYC. New York is highly competitive and New Yorkers like to get things done quickly. Being available for interviews at a moment's notice is important. If you have friends or family that live in New Jersey or Connecticut or even in Manhattan, ask if you can live on their couch for a few weeks while you job search. I lived with my friend's family for two months before I found a place to live, but I'm glad I was in Jersey while I searched. 

If this is impossible, you could always try applying to jobs in the New York area while still living in California. If you can fly on a moment's notice then this shouldn't be a problem. That is what I have been doing while trying to find a job in Chicago. And job hunting - oh my lanta - well, it is difficult. I'm not gonna lie. Scouring Craig's List in search of a great deal and if all else fails hire a realtor (but beware of realtor fees - they are killer!). 

Jennifer asked: In your opinion, do you think it's possible for someone to find an hourly job quickly to help them along the way while they work towards looking for that job or do you think it's best to apply to those more professional jobs before making the move? 

WG2 answered: I say apply for both! There is no harm in spreading your resume around. The more jobs you apply to the better! I know that you are looking for a job specifically in NYC, so while yes it may seem like it will be easier to find a hourly gig than a full-time one, you never know when fate will drop the perfect job right in your lap. In short, don't limit yourself to applying for just one type of job. Apply for hourly, temporary, and full-time. You might be surprised at the responses you get. 

Princess Sarah asked: A couple of posts ago I read where you had posted some Job Search Sites. I tried to find it but with no luck. My boyfriend has been trying to find a job since the beginning of October with no such luck. He got a job as a Security Guard but is working the most horrible hours ever and wants to leave and only started yesterday! He has been wanting a job in a company where he can move up if desired. This would be his "first" job out of college. If you could provide some tips, tricks, and some websites it would be greatly appreciated.

WG2 answered: With my latest job search, I became an expert at surfing career websites. Some of my favorites include CareerBuilder.com, Craig's List (just an fyi - beware of scams on this site), Monster.com, Simply Hired, Indeed, Media Bistro, Ed2010, and SoloGig (for temp and freelance jobs). Like I said before, every day after work and on the weekends I would check each of these sites. I probably applied for about 20-30 jobs each week and in total got about 5 responses back. Searching for a new job takes patience. I also believe a stellar cover letter is necessary. When sending out your resume, sit and think about what your cover letter says. Personalize each one to say not only something about why you would be a great fit, but something you admire about their company or how a certain technique you learned in college or at your last job could benefit you in this one you're applying for. If you put in the effort, you will see the results.

7 comments:

Emily said...

For job sites, if you're anywhere NEAR entry-level, local university career resource websites are fantastic. Some of them aren't password-protected, so have at it!

Twenty-Something said...

Some very wise advise!

Mishi said...

I'd say its best not to show up "unannounced" to drop off a resume. Either send it in the mail, or make an appointment with HR director. Trust me - it annoys people to have to take time out of their busy schedule to find some awkward way to tell you to go away. Take it from someone who regularly turns people away - being persistent is good, being annoying is bad. Showing up unannouced is annoying.

Life in a Cube said...

I have a work-related question.

I'm a legal secretary and I got a new boss that joined the firm. She is great but she works in a different practice that I'm use to. A paralegal that nobody likes because she is a know-it-all is joining our team. She feels just because she is way older than me that she knows everything and I'm incapable to know anything since I'm just a 20 something secretary. So do you know how do I deal with a know-it-all?

Thanks,
Mel

claire said...

I got an online job from visiting forums related to job posts and such. And also, I tried looking for student websites related to work and all that. You may want to try NUresume (www.nuresume.com). It's a site where you can build your free online resume and get job alerts as well. Worked for me.

K said...

Thank you Thank you for this post at my very desperate time of need.

geoff said...

I don't think I know anyone who has had success recently with online job sites, I'm glad to hear that they're not completely fake. I tried Monster and Career Builder for a week and ended up with several phone calls a day for jobs I would never take, and I'm still getting spam from fake employers offering work-at-home salaries.