Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Find a Job in a Down Economy


Dick Avazian, President,  National Field Service Corporation

1)        Resume

Submit a different resume for every job.  Be certain to mention the needed skills up front.  If the skills are old, use a functional rather than a chronological resume and leave the dates out.

Have two resumes:  a one page condensed resume and a complete resume.

When answering ads online or in the paper, write a letter mentioning you have the requisite skills.  Do not send a resume unless they call and ask for one.  If you send a resume up front, they feel they have already interviewed you.

2)        Business Card

Your business card should be on white linen, not vellum, and should have raised lettering.  Include your cell and home telephone numbers and your email address.

3)        Cold Calling

You must employ cold calling in a down economy (you have a better chance of getting in to see someone in a smaller company as the larger companies usually insist that you apply online).

Make a list of all the possible companies in your area then research them online, through their website or in the library with research reports from such services as Standard & Poor’s. 

Before going on your cold calling trips, be certain to read up on the company in the event you are able to get past the receptionist.

Mark the location of each company on a local map so that you can efficiently cover more companies on each outing.

When you appear at the front reception desk, ask to see someone in the Human Resources or Personnel departments.  If no one is available, leave a business card and ask the receptionist who you should call.

Call and see if you can drop in.  If you must apply online, at least you will have a name you can contact.

If you see a large number of companies (minimum 25-30) and follow up periodically calling them, you have a better chance of getting a job.

4)        Interviewing

Do the research about the company.  Most people assure the interviewer they would love to work for the company, but don’t know anything about it.

Dress appropriately for the interview.  A conservative jacket & slacks/skirt or business suit is best.

Do not wear facial jewelry.

During the interview, spend more time explaining how you can contribute rather than what the salary and benefits are. 

If they ask you what salary you expect, answer that you are flexible, are looking for an opportunity to contribute to the company and are confident that the compensation will be appropriate.

Be prepared to answer these questions:  what is your best trait and what is your worst trait.

A good answer for your best trait is to say, “My character.  I’m honest, loyal, flexible and I take responsibility to complete tasks assigned to me.”

For your worst trait, I have no suggestions.

Be certain to get the business cards of the interviewers and write them letters thanking them for their time and expressing again your interest in contributing to the company.

If you don’t hear from them within two weeks, call the interviewers on the telephone.

5)        Networking

Networking is also crucial on second and following jobs.  Almost 80% of such jobs come from networking.

Ask all your friends if they can think of a position you might apply for.  Ask if they know anyone in the company and if you can use their name as a reference.

Always carry your business cards to social events.  You never know when you will meet someone who can help you.

Networking is more important than ever as many companies will insist you apply online. 

If you must apply online and couldn’t get through to HR, try dropping in on a branch office and seeing a manager.  Mention that you have applied online.  It’s possible that the manager can put in a good word for you.

Be prepared to face rejection, this is a numbers game.

Have faith that persistence over a period of time is a winning tactic.
Note from Lisa Saunders, a former recruiter for National Field Service Corporation, who currently serves as their consulting field director in New England:  
Post your a VERY detailed version of your resume on database sites. For online resumes, it's important, for example, to say PowerPoint, Excel, etc., instead of just Microsoft Office as some recruiters only do a search using the required skill buzz words given them by employers. Slightly edit your resume every week on these resume database sites so it appears on top when recruiters do searches.
In addition, there are probably several free job hunting workshops in your area. Attend them. You will learn new skills and may meet someone who can help you.
Volunteering/interning for organizations is very helpful in regard to networking and learning new skills. If you show up on time, are eager to learn, and demonstrate your dedication, you will be the first one they think of to either hire or recommend to associates when job openings occur.