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What worked for you to land a job?

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Guinness23 posted 4/1/2014 15:16 PM

Like so many, I have been searching high and low for a decent job that pays a liveable wage. I have had to relocate to a new state over to live with my dad after my house was foreclosed on last year. All my contacts are in Illinois where I lived. Now I am in Indiana and have no network. I am terrified of scams and landing a bad job (something I already did in my life that didn't end well) I need advice BAD. I am flat broke and need something ASAP.

1.What worked for you - networking? classifieds? What?
2.How did you find your job?
3.How did you land it?
4.How much time did it take from applying to landing it?
5.How many interviews were involved?
6.Proficiency tests?

GabyBaby posted 4/1/2014 16:09 PM

1.What worked for you - networking? classifieds? What?

The last time I was unemployed, I used classifieds, job hunting sites, pounded the pavement, city/county/state websites, the unemployment office job sites, etc. I also sent my resumes to job service agencies (head hunters).
Any and every source I could find, I searched.

2.How did you find your job?

My job while unemployed was to FIND a job. I literally "worked" 8+ hours each day searching for jobs, filling out applications, and sending resumes.
I kept an excel spreadsheet of the jobs to which I'd applied (and the date), a brief description of the job (with a web link if applicable), where I found the job notice, responses (if any), and any notes needed.

3.How did you land it?

I landed my current job through a job placement agency. My current company was using them to find suitable applicants. I answered the ad, got the interviews, and was hired.

4.How much time did it take from applying to landing it?

I dont recall how long exactly for this particular job, but I do remember that I was unemployed for 6 weeks total. BUT- that was back in 2007 (before the job market starting majorly tanking).

5.How many interviews were involved?
For this job, I was interviewed 3 times. Once by the agency and twice by the hiring company itself.

6.Proficiency tests?

I didn't take a proficiency test for this position specifically, but I did take one through a few of hiring agencies. The tests included typing (# words per minute), accounting knowledge, and a few other things I cant recall at the moment.

Guinness23 posted 4/1/2014 16:27 PM

Thank you, GabyBaby. I am just so frustrated like whatever it is I am doing is NOT ever going to work. Without a network, I just feel I just pounding sand. Being flat broke also limits how I can get myself off this floor.

GabyBaby posted 4/1/2014 17:21 PM

Try looking for temp agency work as well.
I worked as a temp for a while in a prior short stint of unemployment. They actually asked me to stay on, but I'd already accepted a different position that was a better fit for me.

tesla posted 4/1/2014 17:22 PM

1.What worked for you - networking? classifieds? What?

I was a SAHM. Had been out of the job world for 6 or 7 years. My training was as an educator but I was living in a place where I had ZERO contacts. I put out at least 12 teaching applications...took tests to renew my license.
I also put in applications for related educational jobs: coaching, teacher's aid, community college instructor.

2.How did you find your job?

My job found me...I ended up having to take a teacher's aid job. But the experience exposed me to teachers who started talking about their amazing assistant who could teach and manage classrooms. Word kept circulating and I was approached to interview for a teaching position where a teacher had been dismissed 2 months into the school year.

3.How did you land it?

By being confident and open to teaching a subject that was not necessarily my training (the job was as a special ed teacher)

4.How much time did it take from applying to landing it?

I started applying for positions in February...I got the teaching position in October. I was considered a temporary teacher.

6.Proficiency tests?

I had to apply for an emergency license to teach this particular area. After last year, the principal offered me the job permanently but to get the license, I've had to enroll in a master's program.

I think the biggest piece of advice that I can offer from my experience is do not be afraid to work in a related position in your field until you can develop the network.
Like I said, I knew no one in this town when I started applying and it took getting in at the ground level to develop the contacts to end up with this job.

Sad in AZ posted 4/1/2014 17:55 PM

Networks are virtual nowadayshave you joined Linked-In?

Having said that, I've never used a network, and I've always had a job. I'm an employment generalistsince leaving the insurance industry. Due to circumstances, I've had to start overand overagain, but I always work my way up in the organization. I've worked in government, non profit social services, tourism.

By all means, use the resources mentioned by others, but go to, set up as many job searches as you want and have them deliver to your email on a daily basis. When you get the emails, link back to indeed and search more thoroughlyyou never know if they'll miss something.

Like Gaby said, you're job is to find a job. Put in at least 6-7 hours a day. In an interim period, I've taken part time jobs to tide me over and keep my work history (if not resume) flowing. Saying that the market has dried up for your type of work doesn't really fly with employers.

EvenKeel posted 4/2/2014 12:50 PM

5.How many interviews were involved?


I have been at my job for decades but my boss told me what singled me out over the others. So maybe it will help someone here.

During the interview he asked about a few things from my resume (ie a big survey/report I did as well as about my college days such as classes and grades). So when I sent my 'thank you' note, I included a copy of that survey as well as my college transcript.

He said it was that attention to detail that got me the position.

Dark Inertia posted 4/2/2014 13:28 PM

1.What worked for you - networking? classifieds? What? I looked almost exclusively on the internet, a little bit word of mouth. But I want to add my approach to job hunting was very similar to Gaby's. I didn't have a spread sheet, but I did meticulously note everything in a day planner. When I am job hunting I tend to be obsessive, and it is not unusual for me to be looking and applying through the night.

2.How did you find your job? I had gone to a temp agency and was working a job there, but knew it was going to end very soon. One night the supervisor was talking, and she mentioned my company's name. I thought it was interesting, and on a whim I went to their website, saw they were hiring, and applied.

3.How did you land it? It's funny, because I went to that interview thinking I had another job in the bag. I actually was not going to go, but my husband convinced me... lol, he said he would go with me, if I would just give them a shot. He must have had a sixth sense. So when I went to the interview I was breezy and confident, but professional. I know that since I was thinking I was going elsewhere I was not self conscious, was able to comfortably be myself, and in the process I knocked that interview out of the park. It was, hands down, the best interview I have ever given.

Funny enough, the day I got the email saying that there were stronger candidates for Job A, I got a call from my current job saying I was perfect. :)

4.How much time did it take from applying to landing it? I can tell you exact dates because I wrote it down: I applied at the temp agency on March 29th and had a job on April 22nd. After I started the temp agency I continued looking for a job from April 22nd to May 15th. My current job I got on May 16th and started it on June 3rd.

5.How many interviews were involved? For my job I had one interviewer give me a tour and feel me out, then I had an interview with an HR rep, and then an interview with two supervisors, so all total 3.

The interview process took 3 hours. My poor husband was waiting the whole time, haha. He walked around the building a dozen times and sat in the car listening to music. I had no idea it would take so long.

6.Proficiency tests?
They had me take 3 tests, that were easy. I blew right through them, but no one told me I had to meet a certain score. I think not knowing that also helped me with getting through the test.

[This message edited by Dark Inertia at 1:54 PM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]

sadcat posted 4/2/2014 17:43 PM

Use google to find examples of resumes in your field and see if yours looks similar. Have a couple trusted friends/ family members go over it and check for grammar, etc.

Staffing or placement agencies are great, and they often specialize. Find a couple that work in the field you need ie; admin or accounting or hr or whatever.

Make a list of companies you would love to work for. Hit Linkedin and find executives in the area of the company that you want to be in. Send them Linkedin requests or messages asking how to best to go about getting into that department.

If you can't do the requests you can send them a hard copy of your resume and a cover letter via snail mail.

Every job has a different time line- some take a couple interviews, some take 5. Some hire within 2 weeks, some take a month or more.

You could consider taking something temporary or lower wage for now while you continue to look. Working in fast food or a grocery store, target, whatever is not shameful and can help pay the bills. Plus it shows you want to work, which employers like!

Proficiency tests abound in admin or accounting type roles, not so much in some other areas. Staffing agencies use them a lot, and some private companies also do the Wonderlitic (Sp?) or other personality type testing.

Only way to know is to ask, if they do ask you to do a test on MS office ask if they can send you the tutorials as well. Those literally have the processes they want you to follow!

Good luck, I am going through this too right now and it sucks.

Crescita posted 4/2/2014 18:13 PM

I think itís like OLD. Keep trying, donít be too picky, but donít abandon all standards, donít put all your eggs in one basket, and develop a thick skin.


Oh and don't be afraid to aim high. You might be more qualified that you think. Even if you aren't, I've had interviewers pass my resume along when they didn't think I was experienced enough for the original position. It's a different sort of networking.

Guinness23 posted 4/2/2014 20:11 PM

Thank you all for your amazing responses!!

ProbableIceCream posted 4/2/2014 21:26 PM

I started as a contractor and was hired for a requisition a bit into it before the contract expired in a different position. I got the contract job because my resume which had experience with the same company doing roughly the same thing was on a job board (Dice in my case). I got the previous contract because I was going to school and it was also an internship.

One tech screen for the contract. When I went permanent, I was interviewed by four people, half an hour each.

Actually applying for jobs, which I have done in the past, kind of scares me. My go to for doing stuff 'cold' in the past has been a temp agency (e.g. Kelly Temporary Services is good). Even got me a short term job in early 2009! I wouldn't count on getting more than 11-12 an hour for 'general' temp work that way though.

I would like to recommend the book 'what color is your parachute' (get the most recent one!). It says a LOT of useful things. I need to read through it myself. It addresses a lot of the concerns I'm guessing you have including that sometimes applying for jobs out of listings seems to be very frustrating. It talks about how companies find employees. Basically if you have a good work ethic and can follow directions and are minimally qualified, and can get yourself in front of the person who needs the worker, that's most of what you need. The trick is getting to that place. You'd be surprised how low quality most applicants are.

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