Wednesday, August 11, 2010

JBCStyle: So You Want A Job?

So you want a new job? Here's what you do first...

Don't quit the one you got until you get the one you want. The market has changed. You can't name your price and have a million offers all competing against each other paying you a TON of money. Not gonna happen. The employers are calling the shots and they're not paying crazy dollars like the "good old days." (If you can call 2000 the "good old days!")

Be strategic. Be selective. Do NOT blast your email to every email address you can find in the hopes that something sticks. It won't. It will actually turn crusty and gross and just fall down the wall and rot. Not pretty and SO not attractive to a potential employer. This comes across as desperate, and ultimately makes them think:

1) You don't know how to read
2) You do know how to read, but just don't read directions
3) You don't care about "requirements" and think you are the be all end all

You aren't. There are a million other people competing for the same job and some are more qualified than you.

Be concise. Don't write an autobiography in your email. No one is reading it. Those who are looking at resumes are SCANNING them; they are not reading them and looking for key words. If the job is for a position as an Account Executive requiring premium denim experience with majors contacts and your resume doesn't indicate that you have ANY experience with premium denim and doesn't have your contacts/relationships clearly defined, you ain't getting a call. You are getting a delete right off the computer screen.

It's hard out there. Why make it harder for yourself?

Read the job descriptions. REALLY read them and ask yourself: Am I qualified to do this job? This is a lot different than "can I do this job"? They don't care if you CAN do it - they only care if you have done it, and if you can do it for them. Employers are hiring, but they also are being selective. They can be choosy. They can take forever to make a decision and they can also have you talk to 10 people before they make it.

Be patient. Don't be obnoxious. Don't stalk. Follow up timely, be a reminder in their ear, but not a bug that they want to smash against the wall. Be assertive, but  not aggressive. Make sure it's the right fit for you. YOU have to work there. Don't just take a job to take a job. It's a race out there, NOT a sprint. Be patient, be concise and be prepared.

P.S. Oh and do not, I repeat, do not give out your email if it has "sexy" or "party" in it; take a moment to listen to your message on your phone. No one wants to hear the music from the club last night. How about a nice professional message that makes them WANT to leave you a message AND wants you to call them back?

Deena Clarke
Senior Talent Acquisition Executive, JBC West Coast
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