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How to Create Job Opportunities and Land a Great Job in One Month
You want to work? Well, get a job!
What is my mission in life? What is a job that I can do? What are my best options? These questions plague the majority of those wishing to make a difference or otherwise stuck in a dead-end job situation. Worse yet, with the current economic recession threatening the work world globally, finding the best job fit for the individual is nothing less than a small miracle: first finding a suitable work, then a job vacancy, applying for and winning it amidst heavy competition.
"I guarantee it!"
There is a famous TV ad for a clothing company near Los Angeles, with the owner ending each commercial with his famous claim "I guarantee it!" And now I am telling you, the job seeker, that if you follow these directions to a T, you will receive at least one, if not many more excellent job offers. This is what I did, and after a month's time I had five excellent offers, which I played one against the other. In the end, I ended up with the best pay, best vacation and benefit package, and most days off with a guaranteed 5% increase in pay after six months. Not bad, huh?
At the end of a terrible recession (1993 - remember George Bush Sr.?) all my friends were working temp, as was I - no one wanted to put us on the payroll, give us benefits or vacation time. I had had enough of that! Besides a temp is usually underpaid. I wanted a real plum of a full time job.
I did my blitzkrieg in November or December 1993, can't remember anymore. All I know is, one month later, I had my job. At the beginning of the 'krieg I got the wackiest job offers, but I told them I was still interviewing with other firms and would let them know as soon as possible. As the month wore one, many interesting job offers came into view. One was for the firm that owned the San Francisco Giants. The second was for Levi-Strauss. The third was for the San Francisco City Port Authority - an interesting and secure job, but with the lowest pay. The fourth one was for ... I forget. The fifth was for Stanford University. I chose Stanford, but as I said earlier, I used my other job offers and their prospective packages as leverage to negotiate the best possible package I could have ever imagined.
I have given this advice to other people, who have often found jobs before the month is up. I encourage you to listen to your heart - find a job that makes your heart sing - and just take it to the limit, cuz after all, life is just too short to settle for a crappy job.
Lots of rewriting to get it right
Seek and You Will Find
First, you must prepare
Time to really fine tune your resume. For this, I spent the weekend and it was worth it. By Monday morning, my resume was ready to hit the street.
Customized resume. It might be good to have two versions, for example one geared to an Accounting job and another to a Finance job. Or maybe just one will be fine. You decide.
Accuracy. Get critical. Run spell-check. Seek out any punctuation errors, non-capitalized names, verify dates of employment, and be sure that the grammar is consistent (all in past tense, for example).
Rack your brains: Is anything missing? What else did I do - what computer programs did I learn - what special skills did I acquire. Who did I help - What experience do I have, paid or unpaid? The goal is to really paint the most accurate picture of your skills and qualifications possible.
You know that your future employer is in the business of eliminating undesirables. Make yours the one in a hundred that really shines.
The tone of your resume should be truthful, honest, open, but not bragging. Instead of focusing on "what I have done" it should also hint at "what I am capable of doing - or learning". Any situation where you turned lemons into lemonade "I made a computerized expense report form" or "updated the obsolete system" - can and definitely should be mentioned.
Follow up on your References
Let them know you have included them as a reference, and if necessary, get permission. This will prepare them if a potential employer contacts them. Communication can't hurt you, here. It also lets them know you are getting ready to make a change, and they will be able to refer you or inform you of any new job possibilities that they may come across.
Your Mind Set
You are about to land a new job! And you are going to work like a dog for one month to get your name out there and find that ideal job, just like a blind man would look for a ruby in a haystack. So - get busy. Every day you will be getting closer to your goal. Step by step - follow the recipe. Don't think - just do.
Week 1, Monday morning
The Sunday paper is an excellent resource. Start searching, writing down names and addresses, do a keyword search on the internet listings. Stop to read the job postings on the wall, and just about anywhere that you can find. In addition to the name and address, (you may want to Google Maps this to know exactly where the job is) you will need an email address and - or fax number, and a contact name and telephone number. If not readily available, look it up and write it down. For Monday of Week one in a special notebook you will list the following:
Accounting Job - analyst For the Fishy Seafood Company Contact Joe Green Tel 555-4545
For each of the ten possibilities, you will need a cover letter.
Of course the basic cover letter that you prepared over the weekend will do, but even if you read up on the firm in question, you can add a sentence or two that you are familiar with their products, you have heard of them, know of their reputation, and so on. Be sure to add the contact name on the letter. If you sign and fax, do so. If you send by email, also fine.
Tuesday, you need ten more potential jobs. Remember - if the job being applied for is not an exact fit but in the general field - go ahead and apply. Why? Because the company is experiencing some kind of shift. It's possible that the job position they are advertising will be filled internally, as often times are. Then position B will be available! So apply. Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Wednesday, ten more resumes sent out with custom cover letters. Don't think, just do. In addition to the thirty resumes you've sent out so far, with telephone numbers recorded for each, be sure to tell everyone you can trust that you are looking into changing jobs and to let you know if they hear of any good leads. Someone will!
Thursday, ten more. Now you've sent out forty.
Friday, ten more. Now you've sent out fify.
Over the weekend you are going to be busy. It would be good to get two or three newspapers. This week you will be sending out, in typical fashion, fifty more resumes, and following up with the ones you sent out last week!
Monday morning, Week 2
Dear Joe Green of the Fishy Seafood company. Did you get my resume that I mailed to you last week? You have a stack in front of you, you say? Well, would you mind checking to see if you have it? No problem, I can wait while you look....
Yes, you did! Well, that's great. First of all, can I ask, has the job been filled? No? Well, since you've got my resume right in front of you, can we talk about the job? You see, I have five years of accounting experience and perhaps I can make a great addition to your team. After all, I heard you needed someone with my qualifications. ...
Get them - keep them - and then very politely ask, "would it be OK if we arranged for an interview soon? I would be available after 5 pm, if that would be OK with you."
Although you may feel like you are pushing things, you are helping the employer solve a very big problem. He has an opening to fill, no time to even think about interviewing anyone, and would rather not even look at that huge pile of papers that grows higher everyday. What a nightmare!
With a little luck - some of the jobs will already be filled, or for whatever reason, not be available - just cross them off your list. Go to each interview possible, then return home and send out more resumes. This whole month will be like that. Blitzkrieg.
Tuesday, phone all the "last Tuesday" resumes and send out ten more. You will be very busy, but the custom cover letters get easier and easier.
Think of yourself as a cat with a mouse in its teeth. You don't let any of your possible employers off the hook until you hear that the job is filled. Go get 'em, tiger!
Weds - same
Thurs - same
Friday - same
Friday night - go out. Saturday - rest. Sunday - attack the newspaper again.
Getting A Job Interview is an Important Milestone
Weeks Three and Four
This week, as usual, you will be mailing ten new applications everyday, plus following up on the ones made for the prior two weeks.
If you had an interview last Monday, for example, you need to follow up. Some say to send a thank you note. I would agree with this, but during this month, you will not have time. Better to phone, politely ask if the job is still opened, and if so, ask if it would be possible to have a second interview "because I am aggressively interviewing now" and want to be sure to "have the right fit". Let them know you are in demand.
Up until the last week, you will hear of jobs, apply, follow up, cross them off your list, go on interviews, and treat it all like a pasttime. Like a long distance runner whose legs have lost feeling, the applicant in these final days simply finishes off the process, wondering and half not caring how or where the chips may land. The realization that the process is soon to end, that the job - the best job possible - is at hand. It's just a matter of days, and the month will soon be over.
V for Victory
During the final days, the job offers will be made. Now is the time to play hardball. You played the game, and to the winner go the spoils.
Let's say Job #1 offers a high salary but only ten paid holidays. But Job #2 offers three weeks vacation. Depending upon which job interests you more, you can create your own package inferring, "hm, that's very interesting. But I have another job offer which is offering me three weeks vacation".
At the end of my month, I was able to negotiate for, and get, the BEST of everything. The best pay. The most vacation time. A sign on bonus. A 5% increase in pay after six months. This is the beauty of having more than one offer at one time. Because I had five job offers on the table, I could pretty much write my own ticket. Competition - the law of supply and demand - is a wonderful thing and now you have it working in your favor instead of vice versa.
You never know for sure how it will turn out - what is a job going to be really like? It isn't always what the job description says it will be, but with a little intuition and information, try to take the best possible job combination, as I did. In my experience, it was the job of a lifetime, although I stayed there only one year (because it wasn't what it was made out to be), but it was nevertheless an invaluable experience. Your job, your career, and your mission are all tied together. If worse comes to worse and you have to make a change, there is never a need to feel a victim or a pawn of the powers that be. Worse come to worse, you know that you can find a great job for yourself in a month's time - so hold your head up high, learn and lot, and do your best.