I am exhausted. I have been going through process for several months now and let me tell you it is horrendous! I can only imagine what people who search for years feel like and am grateful I do not have that experience to date.
As a Job-seeker from 1959 in 2013, I have encountered a world of strange and amazing things. I have also had bouts with sheer disappointment and enough “red-tape to circle the globe. If you are a 50-something person looking to change jobs change careers my first inclination is to tell you DON’T, but if circumstances dictate or you simply feel compelled to do this let me offer a little insight. This will be “fun”.
First things first; if you haven’t been in the market for awhile throw out everything you THINK you know. It has ALL changed. You may not talk to a human being through many of the initial processes. I can say, with a great deal of confidence, you will do no writing until it comes time to sign your name, and even then it may be electronic. You may even be interviewed via the internet( webcam).
The SEARCH: What is it you want to do or think you want to do? Once you decide this do a GOOGLE search and find websites for employment and ones that are dedicated to the particular field or area you want. If it is a general search you have the sites that are well known, but not necessarily a great choice if you want fast results. When you “land” on a site KNOW, KNOW, KNOW you will have to register with them before you can move forward. If they allow you to view jobs before registering, you are still going to have to register to put in an application. Therefore, get ready to submit your vital information and then get ready to submit it again, and again, and again.
The RESUME’: You have to have a resume’, if you don’t stop reading this and go create one, you are dead-in-the-water if you do not. We are going to move forward like you do have a resume’; make sure it is updated, a contact number or email may be the difference between you getting an interview or not. Keep your information current, I cannot stress that enough. Go to the internet for samples of the particular type of resume’ (field/ industry/profession) most applicable. However, the fact that you have a resume’ will not eliminate your having to register to apply for a job, or filling out an application, in which the very same information/questions are required. Do a cover letter( a letter that tells why you are looking for “this”type of job and what you can offer “this” particular company), it is an introduction to your resume’.
The INTERVIEW: Yaay, you have done what may seem like the impossible or it may feel like you are waking from a dream. Yet one must approach this process with extreme caution. You have to know what to wear, consult the internet or speak to your friends and colleagues. KNOW where you are going and how long it is going to take to get there and BE EARLY. KNOW something about the company you are applying for a job with. KNOW yourself, be prepared to answer questions and again go to the internet and view sample interview questions. Try NOT to be surprised, because today you may be interviewed by an individual or a team (two or more), you may be asked to participate in a group interview where you are NOT the only applicant, it may be structured or not. However, you may not be privy to any of this information until you arrive. Therefore, be prepared for the items mentioned before and then some.
This is not only a frustrating process, it is intimidating and at times frightening, for if you are in search of employment it is because you are in need. You have to put aside the emotion of your circumstances, think on your toes, and move forward into uncharted territory. Preparation and research are your friends, and I suggest you use these tools to the utmost. Today finding employment is like an espionage project; the target(job) is out there, the enemy(competition) is trying to get to it as well as you are, the only thing that separates you and them is…..You have to figure out what you have that will separate you, and make YOU stand out and be successful. Good Luck, and that is sincere.
Do not give up, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I found it; I managed to get to the target, now if only the government will get back to work, so I can.