15 March 2010

Progress: Phone Interview

Good day, readers! I was gearing up for my phone interview last week and just didn't feel like I had enough time to get everything done. Thus, I focused on my phone interview.

Here's a couple of links that helped me:

Some answers should probably be rehearsed as they always seem to be asked. I suggest having answers for these frequently asked questions:
  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What are your strengths?
  3. What are your weaknesses? (Always turn the negative into a positive.)
  4. Why do you want to work for this company? (Always look into the company beforehand to ensure an articulate answer.)
  5. What sort of pay do you except to receive? (Remember, whoever says an amount first in negotiations always loses. Be careful on this one.)
  6. What are your future career goals?
The advice given in the book "The Very Quick Job Search" by Michael Farr, suggests using the "prove it" method for answering questions.
  1. Present a concrete example (tell a story)
  2. Quantify (give numbers and/or results)
  3. Link it up (link the story back to the question)
My phone interview went well, but it just is not a fit for my future. The firm wanted me to be in this role for a minimum of 3 years, which is just to long for me in that particular role.

Every "no" is a step closer to a "yes," so I do not feel bad about it. It was also good practice. I hope to land more interviews. I need to stay positive, keep my energy level high, and never despair. I am making progress.

06 March 2010

NYC Networking

It's been quite a busy week. Unfortunately, I was out of commission for 2 days with a cold and a migraine, hence my tardiness on this post.

Let's just do the highlights of the week as I am still rather busy:
  • I scheduled a phone interview next week with a firm located in Manhattan. (Thank you to my brother Daniel for helping me with that cover letter for that particular position.)
  • I chatted with a friend of a friend who would like to help connect me with appropriate people. (Thank you to John for putting me in touch with Eben.)
  • I researched apartments within Manhattan to get a better feel for what is available.
  • I set a minimum amount that I need to earn (i.e., to pay student loans, rent, and other living expenses).
  • I interviewed over the phone with a firm in Missoula, MT (my hometown) that will help me further network. (Thank you Pat for connecting me to Jill.)
  • Networked, networked, networked. (I appreciate everyone helping me out in this arena.)
  • I sent thank you notes to all parties that have helped me. Thank you!!!!
It seems that my job search strategy may be paying off. This is the most positive week in terms of job hunting that I've had thus far. I'm really excited about all of the possibilities.

Tonight, I am celebrating as my graduation ceremony was held today in Paris. I could not attend due to my unemployment, but that's no reason not to have fun with my local friends.

01 March 2010

Interesting Job Factoids

The job hunt journey is always a long one it seems. Sometimes looking at the numbers is helpful and at other times upsetting. Either way, I thought you might enjoy some of the research I've been doing.

Top job search techniques and effectiveness in landing a position, according to What Color is Your Parachute? (mostly paraphrased, but not completely):

1. Asking for leads from "warm contacts" (people you know). 33%
2. Cold calling various employers whether they are known to have a vacancy or not. 47%
3. By yourself using the Yellow Pages to identify target companies, then calling them or visiting the employers to see if they are hiring for someone with your skills. 69%
4. In a group of other job seekers, using the same basic technique as #3, but in a group and sharing information. 84%

The worst ways? Well, I thought you'd like to know:

1. Looking for employers' job postings on the net. 4-10%
2. Mailing out resumes to employers at random. 7%
3. Answering ads in professional/trade journals. 7%
4. Answering local newspaper ads. 5-24% (The higher the salary level, the lower the effectiveness of using this technique.)
5. Going to private employment agencies or search firms for help. 5-28% (Again, the difference in effectiveness has to do with salary.)

I hope you make use of these statistics as I have been. I am trying for a combination of the first four methods I mentioned. However, I find that reading through ads can help me locate a business that I would have otherwise not known about.