The last several weeks have been quite challenging. While finding jobs in this economic climate is rough, switching jobs is not any better as I’ve since come to learn. I’ve been looking to transition jobs lately and fortunately, I got a job offer about a fortnight ago, after an arduous search, to work for an amazing company in the Bay Area, CA.
There’s a lot of advice out there on what strategies to adopt especially now when many companies are either folding up or announcing lay offs, and I tried to read some of it although after a while it became a tad overwhelming. So this is not “expert advice” (find some here), just some ideas I’ve picked up in my job search so I promise to keep it short and sweet :).
What I stuck to were basic job search engines; since I’m in a technical field (engineering), most of my time was spent at Indeed and Dice. Craigslist is pretty handy too, even for searching for non-technical positions, if it’s available for your area.
One thing I learned in an Intro to Engineering class I had in College is that the purpose of your resume is to get you an interview. Period. Either face-time or phone-time. So the resume needs to be attention-grabbing, emphasizing performance on what you’ve accomplished in the past. Basically what it takes to stand out and convert to an interview offer. Of course, no fabrications; those will come back to bite you in the badonkadonks. Most positions I applied for didn’t ask for a cover letter and I suspect it’s because the cover letter is somewhat cosmetic, telling the recruiter what they want to hear. Most managers don’t really have time for that, not to say that it doesn’t have its place where appropriate.
Once the interview has been snagged, prepare to sell yourself. The idea is to focus on what you can do for the company to increase the bottom-line etc. The manager hires the person, not the resume. I’ve had a number of technical interviews and they are tough as nails. I suppose the biggest challenge is not knowing what they interviewers will ask, so I spent a great deal of time brushing up on content with the slightest similarity to the job description. I once had an hour-long technical interview with a large chip manufacturer, six interviewers on the conference call – the Spanish Inquisition, no less! I so want to be on the other end of that line. I want to know what it’s like. Sigh. Someday.
Despite companies laying off people, many others are still hiring. Even the very same ones that are letting go of some, are hiring others in different job capacities. So be fervent and patient. Soon the right door will open.