When I’m feeling lost in my job search, my dad tells me about his many jobs throughout the years. His main piece of advice to me is always to be persistent and keep calling someone if I want them to hire me.
When I’m feeling lost in my job search, my dad tells me about his many jobs throughout the years. His main piece of advice to me is always to be persistent and keep calling someone if I want them to hire me. Funnily enough, that’s the opposite of what my former professor said.
When you’re unemployed, you get more unsolicited advice than anyone else besides maybe newlyweds or first-time parents. So who do we listen to? During my first year of unemployment, I turned to webinars from so-called career gurus. Here’s what I learned:
- The focus of your résumé should be your achievements, not the tasks you performed. Saying you developed a whole new filing system that helped your team finish a project two months ahead of schedule is more impressive than saying that you have experience in filing. Plus, the more specific you are, the easier it is to see how your experience can translate to success at another job, even one you’ve never done.
- If you want more information than that, you’ll need at least $500. Webinars are just a chance for random people to sell you advice that’s probably no different from what your parents, professors, neighbors, or pet dog could give you.
- Even with no job, I could be a “career guru.” A lot of these people claim that they became millionaires before the age of 30 because they landed their dream job, but they probably make most of their money through their career planning services. Being hired for a job—no matter how much it pays—doesn’t make someone an expert at building a career. I’ve been hired four times in my life. Does that mean I should charge people for career advice? That brings us back to the question we started with: Who do we listen to? The truth is that it depends on what job you want. If you want to be a graphic designer, you might not want to ask a banker how to break into the business. Find people who are living your dream or something close to it. The internet is a great tool. Send an email. You have nothing to lose.If you’re looking for basic information about résumés and what to do and say in interviews, turn to someone who has hired people before.
A resource that has helped me is the blog Ask a Manager run by Alison Green. Alison covers all the facets of hiring and managing that you can think of, and anything she doesn’t cover, you can ask her about. Best of all, she doesn’t charge anything for her services.
That’s who to look for out there, not people who trick you into listening to them try to sell something to you for your student loan money. Do your research, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and remember that you have value as a person with or without a job. That’s what I would say in my webinar.
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