Advice for Job Seekers
I'm posting this message because I'm sick and tired of people I don't know contacting me for a job. Based on the e-mails and voicemails I have received, I joined this website to find out if these individuals are members of this website. Not suprisingly, they are. I'm a professional so I won't name names. However, I'm going to provide some employment advice. It's not comprehensive but it has worked for some knuckleheads I have helped in the past and it'll work for you if you have patience and determination. If you don't, enjoy a lengthy unemployment!
1) Apply to as many jobs as possible on a career board like Monster or Indeed.
Yes, many people use this route and supposedly, recruiters miss qualified applicants. However, if you've been unemployed for six months or longer, can you afford not to?
2) Have a CLEAR understanding of the position you are considering and the required qualifications.
If you don't have any mathematics training or computer programming experience, then you are wasting your time applying for a quantitative analyst role.
Conversely, if you are interested in a leadership role and you apply for an entry level position with filing as its main requirement, don't expect an offer. You'll be boasting about your abilities to lead teams while the hiring manager just wants someone who can place files and documents in an orderly manner.
3) If you are a less than ideal applicant (i.e. GPA<3.5 acquired from a not-top academic institution, no impressive accomplishments nor internships), you can still become a candidate for a position by having SPECIAL skills.
These skills are typically not taught in academic institutions but are highly desired by many companies. I'm referring to SAS, MATLAB and other proprietary software.
If you are still in school, I highly recommend acquiring a license for at least one of these applications and learning how to use it on your own time or, if you have the funds, by paying for a course taught by that company (i.e. SAS). I highly recommend the latter because it potentially provides a networking opportunity.
If you aren't in school and don't have the funds, you can still learn these skills via Youtube.
4) Attend industry events with the intention of learning more about the subject matter than passing out resumes.
In fact, don't even bring any resumes. Work the room and ask people about their thoughts regarding the event. If people find you engaging, they'll automatically extend the conversation. It's the professional thing to do. Don't bring up your employment ambitions unless there's some type of opening. You'll look and sound creepy if we're talking about multi-level modeling and all of sudden you mention that you are looking for a new job and are flashing your resume in front of me.
Regardless of how the conversation goes, ALWAYS ask for a business card. Within a day, send a message regarding how you enjoyed meeting them and that you are looking forward to seeing them at future events. DON'T ask for job advice in this message. DON'T expect a response. If they do respond, DON'T constantly badger them for job advice. If they feel COMFORTABLE, they WILL EXTEND the olive branch.
Yes, some of this sounds more like dating advice than job hunting strategy. However, think of it this way. If you are seeking a date with a drooling mouth and your pants around your ankles, you'll be quicker to receive a restraining order than a call back. Remember, PLAY IT COOL AND DON'T BE ARROGANT. Even if THEY are RUDE to you, remain POLITE. People talk and if you're unemployed and desperate, you don't want to put yourself in a bigger hole
5) DON'T LIE ON YOUR RESUME!
Your resume is fair game so expect follow-up questions. I'll ask you what Beijing is like if you claimed to have won a gold medal in archery during the 2008 Summer games. I'll ask you about how to do triggers and counts if you indicate you have SQL knowledge. If in doubt of your expertise, leave it off your resume. People are looking for highly-qualified yet honest employees. Why start on the wrong foot by being a liar?
I hope this advice has been helpful. Please feel free to send me any questions but I don't want any solicitations for jobs. Good luck.