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Job Hunting Tips For 2020

Updated on January 5, 2020

1) Job fairs & group interviews = a waste of time

Job fairs are severely outdated. The only reason you should go to a job fair is to get information on a company. But we have the internet for all that. So what's the point of going to a job fair other than to talk to people who are not even the employer? Group interviews are a slight step up from job fairs in the sense of you actually have a chance to get the job. However, to have to compete with like 5 - 10 other people all in the same room at once and then have to come in for another 1 or 2 interviews seems like a waste. Sometimes they will end up hiring someone who was referred by a current employee already working at the company over all the applicants who did the entire interview process. Unless you are a really good talker or a miracle worker other than that I'd recommend you pass. Staffing agencies also can be a waste of time because they usually have a lot of employees in their network. As a result, they will have less time to focus on you as an individual. Some people such as single mothers, people in special programs, LGBTQ, young adults out on their own, etc. may be given more of a priority over you. So in order to get a gig or a job you'll have to keep calling, emailing, and harassing them just to get offered something. Sometimes they may not have much while other times they may have a lot, but it all depends on them or the season. Overall, staffing agencies are very hit and miss. Some people I've read online have had success while other people like myself have had very little success or benefit from using such services.

2) There are 3 types of job interviews

Show up Interviews - These are the interviews where once you are offered an interview you just have to show up to be hired. These interviews are mostly offered at entry level positions, but can be anywhere really.
Fair chance interviews - Here you have to really explain why your skills set is the best fit for the job, talk about what you know about the company, and so on. Basically everything you were told to prepare for goes into full effect here.
Dead end interviews - These are the interviews where you practically don't stand a chance of getting the job or maybe you did, but they hired someone else right before you walked in. Let's say maybe the employer liked your resume so they called or emailed you for an interview. Now you walk in and within the first 3 min before you have even said a word or sat down they have made up their mind not to hire you. Whether it was because of your race, how you look to them physically, what you were wearing or maybe they were just having a bad day. Pretty much no matter what you say you're not going to get the job.

It's always good to gauge what type of interview you may be faced with.

3) Your resume is searched for key words
Job hopping is more prevalent now then it's ever has been especially in the big cities. Due to all the competition, and frequent resumes these companies reverie (which can range from 100s to 1000s) they don't want to waste their time looking through all those resumes. So now they have a system set up where a PC sifts through key words that will qualify whether the employer views your resume or not. You can use this to your advantage by making slight alterations to your resume to qualify for certain jobs that you may have otherwise not have been qualified. For example, say you worked as a food runner, but you want to be a server. Your resume says you only worked as a food runner so you only qualified for food runner positions. By altering your resume to say server you are now qualified for that position. I mean you did serve food, and when the server was busy you did serve drinks here and there. Can't really calling this lying because I mean you did do those things *wink wink. There's a little bit more to it then that, but I'll leave that up to the reader.

4) Proper preparation prevents poor performance
Write down what you would like from a job. Like me I want healthcare, dental, vision, I'm not willing to work overnight, I'm not willing to be a dishwasher again, etc. Just write things down even if you are new to the workforce and don't have a lot of experience. Writing things down gives you something to work towards so you don't stay stagnant or stuck in a dead end job. Sure, you may have to compromise some of those things in the beginning, but after a while you can demand more and also learn more about yourself and what you want. Everyone says it's about appeasing the company, but I say it may be that way in the beginning but it was always about me first. This is what it should be about for you too especially if you want to be happy in the long run. The more you prepare the more likely you are to succeed. Humans are creatures of preparation. Just like we had to make spears to hunt and tame wild beasts and make clothes to survive the harsh weather conditions. The same is true for anything else including the job market.

5) Send it and forget it
This is something that I learned from my friend and it has helped me tremendously when it comes to how I go about applying for jobs. Don't apply to more than 5 jobs (generally speaking) a day, but apply at least every 6 days a week. Like for me I apply to a job that I make sure that I am qualified for and then I put all my energy into filling out the application well and answering the questions. I will even throw in a cover letter here and there. Then I forget it instead of what I used to do which was just apply to like 20, 30 jobs every few days and sort of put in a little bit of effort with each application. This is not efficient and can lead to burn out. Spending your whole day or half your day applying to jobs is exhausting which is partly why I stopped. When you apply to like 1 job this day, 3 jobs the next day, 1 job on the day after that, and you put your all into each application you are more likely to get interviewed. You can remain consistent in your job search. It doesn't exhaust you to the point where you want to stop your job search altogether. You have energy to continue your day invigorated and motivated to do others things. And when the interview does come you are ready to go. Your job search becomes less of a hassle or liability and more of a part of your everyday routine.

6) A cover letter can make you stand out
Never underestimate the power of the cover letter. A cover letter can mean the difference between your resume being seen and getting a reply back or not. Sometimes a company won't even give you the time of day without one especially if the specifically ask for a cover letter in the job description. A cover letter can even get you into an interview for a job that you have no experience for. Like one time I sent a cover letter for some job. It required one year of SEO, but my resume didn't have anything to do with tech and was all about hospitality and customer service. I got the interview, but boy was that the shortest interview of my life. Anyway, even if you get an interview to that job you are unqualified be prepared to explain why your skills match the job history wise or recreational wise (in your free time) otherwise don't show up. Don't waste your time on a dead end interview.

7) Don't be afraid to apply for jobs that ask for a college degree when you don't have one
I know a lot of jobs ask for a college degree, but don't be afraid to apply to them especially if you have experience. Even if you don't have the job history if you at least have the recreational (free time) experience or training then by all means apply. Don't forget a cover letter though and to mention those relative experiences in the cover letter. Someone who you can use as a reference always helps as well. Overall, as long as the job doesn't require a degree or the job doesn't require a substantial amount of experience and knowledge then you should get by with applying for it.

8) Business attire not needed

I know a lot of workforce places and staffing agencies say business attire or business casual, but you don't need to dress in business clothes. This is especially true if the job is entry level. It's already enough of a hassle to go out every other day or so on these tedious interviews, but to have to dress up in a collard shirt, dress pants, shoes, and sometimes even a suit and tie? That's a huge inconvenience and most employers don't seem to even care. Of course, I'd recommend you should always dress at least a little nicer than you would going out to your local store, but you don't have to overdue it. The only time you should dress up in business attire is when the employer asks that you to do so or if you are applying for a corporate job or maybe a white collared job. Other than that dressing up in business attire is a waste of time and energy.

9) Always assume there is no room for growth

Its best to come into any job with the idea that there is no room for growth [for you] because that's usually the case. Even when employers states this on a job post it's just untrue from what I've experienced. And even if there is room for growth employers are often more quick to hire new people for an open position then those who've already been there for years. Whatever job you pick expect to be in it ever since the first day you applied. This way after like a month or so you find you don't like the job then move onto the next one. Everybody is trying to hold on to this drastically changing environment and saying that there's growth to me is like saying stay here and put up with the BS a little longer. Um, I think not.

10) Chase benefits not money

This is perhaps the hardest thing to grasp. Even I still have trouble with this every now and then. The idea is instead of going after a job or career because of how well it pays you want to chase more of the accommodating factors to your life and what benefits you long term. Like instead of aspiring to be a doctor just because of money it might be better to aspire to be a home health aide. If you go on to be a doctor it will require years of schooling, debt, and at the end of it you might even be miserable being a doctor. All that just for 200k+ a year may not be worth it. Now if you went on to be a home health aide you could get benefits, work with different types of people which you enjoy, and possibly grow into something more over time. On top of that you won't have debt and would make a profit immediately. Sure how much you make will be a lot less immediately, but the amount could add up over time. Basically, the moral is always consider the overall scope of what it is you are applying for because chances are you won't get the highest paid position and it may not even be worth it. In a drastically changing workforce where everyone is chasing money perhaps the smartest idea is to start chasing benefits over money. Then the money is more inclined to come to you.


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