The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Check-List for Getting Jobs or Improving Jobs



I often work with friends and students about career changing and job searching. Not everything will apply, but this is a summary of what I suggest:
  1. Read the latest edition of What Color Is Your Parachute?. HR people consider it a plus to know the book and a minus to say "Huh?"
  2. Assume a long and frustrating search. Salespeople say, "The no is good because we have to deal with a lot of them before we get a yes. So each no is closer to the yes. A sales ration is 10-3-1. Ten referrals lead to three closes, and one sale - in two years. Whenever someone is frustrated and knows this number, the mentor will say "10-3-1." 
  3. Arrive early and hang around. The best thing about conferences is hanging around, getting acquainted with the leaders, and opening up the conversation. I began kidding a man in line at the post office. He was a former board member of two local colleges. I said, "I have some years left to teach." That led to one college job and later to teaching at his other school. Professional organizations are good for this. So are dog and pony shows where something is being promoted. I went to a free Cisco network event for the food and job opportunities. One boss was ready to hire me if I had the credentials. Alas, I was a newbie at the time. In other words, ABC. Always Be Closing. Jobs and better jobs are out there.
  4. Friends are quite helpful with advice and leads. This may seem complicated, but it is effective. When asking friends about good people to meet, ask ahead, that is ask about the influential people the referral knows. That is how one of my students went from an interview attempt at USAA to a job somewhere else. The USAA person (whom I did not know) told her, "Tell that guy that I sent you." Boom. That got her in.
  5. HR departments tend to block people rather than hire people. The way around this is the inside contact. 
  6. I like the walk-in. Have several good resumes in an envelope, walk in, and ask about working there. One should not expect everything to stop for an interview, but it is a good way to test the atmosphere there - and leave a resume behind. That is why I have references on the resume with their phone numbers. I also ask those people in advance. I am betting the person holding my resume will phone one of the references and say, "Do you know him?" That conversation will do a lot more than "References available upon request" on the resume. Bad thinking, in my opinion.
  7. The resume should include one's best phone number and best email address. It should not be a goofy email address like ken_and_barbie@yahoo.com 
  8. Professional resume help is a good idea. So is having a first-born perfectionist checking it over for errors and any other glitches. 
  9. Being in school and searching is a capital idea in America. I told my wife to read all bulletin boards. She saw a job posting and was hired out of library school - great job and great benefits. A card said "Engineering firm needs information specialist."
  10. Being in school always updates skills. Our son was at Minnesota State in computer science. A friend suggested him at Walmart, and Walmart hired him.