2009-02-10

Job Search: Making Connections


I have been searching for a job for about two weeks now and I can officially say that my personal job skills in the manufacturing and project engineering arena is not so hot. Not really all that surprising considering that my two job focuses are on factories and capital projects, which for the most part have been halted for every company out there. So my options are thin, yet some things are starting to pop up.

I consider myself a super sleuth when it comes to finding jobs for myself and I thought, hey in this employment crisis I could give out a few tips to finding a job so:

1. Find good recruiters:

In my line of work I have been called a hundred times by recruiters of all types trying to make a buck off of my back. Most are absolute meat peddlers, but some really are looking out for you. How do you shake out the good from the bad? First most of the bad is obvious, you can hear the urgency in their voice and if you don't fit their exact search criterion, they try to get off of the phone faster than the falling Dow. Good ones will probably do a long phone interview and then a face to face if they work in your town. That is typically a good sign, but the ultimate way to tell if a recruiter is good is when they give you feedback from the potential employer after an interview. That is the surest sign that they care. Those you keep in touch with and they will take care of you, sometimes for a lifetime. It must be said that some recruiters are good at getting interviews even if they are not always representing your interests fairly. They are pushy, and I dislike them greatly but sometimes that is just the nature of the beast.

When I got laid off I spoke with three recruiters immediately, and they are all beating on doors seeing if anything is available. Two are local and one is national, and they all had some possibilities. Like I said, the good ones, who know you, will take of you.

2. Know your boards:

Kansasworks.com, Careerbuilder.com, EngineeringJobs.com, CoatingsJobs.com, Monster.com, KansasCityHelpWanted.com... There are a lot of boards out there and choosing which are the best for you can be difficult. I have two tips to find the best in your area. First, figure out which board partnered with your local paper (for the KC Star it is Careerbuilder.com), it will typically have most of the jobs in your area. Second, find the state sponsored job board (Kansasworks.com for me). This can be the most effective resource because it is typically tied with the unemployment office for your state, meaning it searches a wide swath of other job boards to find you an opening. The state really wants you to make your own money. Go through the motions of creating your resume and then just search and search and search.

3. Make connections and call them:

I have met a lot of people over the years and do my best to keep in touch with lots of them. Why, because you never know when you will need a favor. A favorite target of mine is contractors. They work with lots of companies and typically have a good ear to the ground on companies that are needing people like you. One that I have dealt with quite a bit may hire me as drafter for awhile, which may be what I have to do to pay the bills. I had a good interview at a place a few years back that I didn't just quite fit the position but the plant manager said to keep in touch, and who do you think I called when I noticed that they have some openings now? That is how it works sometimes.

4. Buy the paper every Sunday:

This is how I have found 2 of my last 4 jobs and continues to be maybe the best source for open jobs and direct contact with an employer. It is old fashioned but still really effective. Even though my paper does partner with Careerbuilder, I find that positions posted in the paper are not always online or maybe I didn't enter quite the right search criteria or whatever. The paper works.


That's it folks. Good luck and keep your job.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I noticed the newspaper in my area, the Arizona Republic, has really decreased the size of their want-ads.

About a year ago or so, the want-ads in the Arizona Republic used to be approximately 10-12 pages. This Sunday's newspaper had about two pages in the want-ad section.

I don't know if it's because of lack of interest or because advertisers have realized online posts are more effective, but it's a little disturbing to me.

In my profession, it's better to go online than read the want-ads.