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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
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    NC piedmont
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    2,255

    Default Spinoff: GETTING a Job Interview

    I'm at my wits' end. I've been unemployed since June, everything I had saved is gone. I HAVE to find something, soon, or I don't know what will happen to me.

    There are jobs out there, not jobs I want to do, but ones I'm easily qualified to do, have experience doing, am GOOD at doing. Nothing that I'm grossly overqualified for, and I've stopped applying for anything that's a stretch, too. My resume is up-to-date, no mistakes, professional, and strong with diverse experience directly related to what I'm applying for. I admit I'm bad at cover letters (or at asking for anything) but I had a friend help me with them, and they too were correct, no mistakes, highlighted why I'd be a good fit.

    And I haven't even gotten a phone call. Not one.

    Not even for the basic reporter jobs that are out there, despite the fact that I'm an experienced, award-winning journalist. Not even for basic editorial/copy editing jobs, though I'm a managing editor for my website with managerial and copy editing experience. I don't get paid, but they don't know that. Not even for tutoring, despite the fact that I'm a certified teacher with ten years' experience.

    So now what? How do I land at least an interview? I've never had a problem getting interviews before, but now I'm completely discouraged. I'm not talking about my dream job (I've given that up as a foolish pipe dream; though I'm well-qualified, I lack the connections in an industry that thrives on nepotism), I'm talking about stuff I'm easily qualified to do and know I could do better than a lot of the people doing it.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    This may be a stupid question, but are you registered with any head-hunters?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2003
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    4,215

    Default couple of thoughts

    If I had to guess, I'd say they probably see all your experience and think you are overqualified and won't stay. Can you do two resumes, one that is a bit more subdued (same info basically but maybe not sounding as intimidating)? How about networking? Have you done any informational interviews? How about joining some groups on Linked-In?
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2002
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,357

    Default

    When my job situation seemed fragile last year and I had to take a leave of absence for a week, I saw a Dr. Phil show that recommended this book -

    http://www.amacombooks.org/book.cfm?isbn=9780814473320

    In the interest of doing something instead of sitting there panicking, I ordered it.

    I ended up being able to secure a good job with the company I was then consulting for, but I did feel like the book had some excellent ideas - a full battle plan, not just sending out resumes & cover letters & praying.

    (If you are too broke to buy it, PM me your address & I'll mail you my copy)



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
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    2,255

    Default

    I'll see if the library has the book, thanks for the tip.

    It's NOT stuff I'm overqualified for, that's what's frustrating. It's exactly what I've been doing for my website, I just need it to pay. I've tried to network, but without success. I don't use Linkedin, though I could give it a try.

    I just feel like such a failure, you know? It frustrates the hell out of me to see people doing the jobs I'm looking for and knowing I could do a better job than a lot of them. I can say that about what I REALLY want to be doing, too, but like I said, I don't know the right people and in that industry, you have to know the right people. (I moved 900 miles to try anyway, because I knew a few people. It wasn't enough, and it's been 4 1/2 years) It's frustrating from my current standpoint to work with these people who are in the job I want and to see how bad some of them are at it...and yet I can't even get the door to open, let alone get a foot in it. So I'll settle for whatever I can get...only whatever I can get is NOTHING.

    I can pay this month's bills. That's it. I don't know where I'll go if I don't get something by the end of the month.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,896

    Default

    NETWORK. Get in touch with everyone you know, let them know you are looking, ask them if they know of anything, and keep in contact. Expand your network by joining groups, volunteering, interning, and doing everything you can to get out and about.

    I'm not surprised that you have not had much success because you don't network. It's all about who you know and it sounds like you need to make more efforts to know more people.

    And one suggestion, stop thinking about how people not as good as you have jobs you want. That is a complete waste of time and energy. Who cares! If I were hiring you, I would want to know how GREAT you are and HOW MUCH you can do for my organization. I'm sorry but being concerned about the status of others is just a version of a pity party.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2008
    Posts
    457

    Default

    No real advice, as I am on the job hunt as well. Are there any temp agencies you can check out? I have started having luck with that, once they finally gave me an assignment.

    Just want to say I know how hard it is out there and how frustrating it is. I hope something comes up soon!
    Impossible is nothing.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
    Posts
    2,255

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    NETWORK. Get in touch with everyone you know, let them know you are looking, ask them if they know of anything, and keep in contact. Expand your network by joining groups, volunteering, interning, and doing everything you can to get out and about.

    I'm not surprised that you have not had much success because you don't network. It's all about who you know and it sounds like you need to make more efforts to know more people.

    And one suggestion, stop thinking about how people not as good as you have jobs you want. That is a complete waste of time and energy. Who cares! If I were hiring you, I would want to know how GREAT you are and HOW MUCH you can do for my organization. I'm sorry but being concerned about the status of others is just a version of a pity party.
    It's not that I don't network; I do. I meet and talk to as many people as I can...but apparently, I don't know the RIGHT people. Like I said, in my industry, nepotism reigns and nobody tries to hide it or pretend otherwise. Plus, I work in an industry where there have been lots of layoffs etc. People aren't very willing to keep an eye out or put in a good word when they're after the same thing you are!

    I would NEVER say anything to a prospective employer about doing abetter job than a current employee, even if that were the person I was replacing. Ever. But it's very, very hard not to be bitter, because I work with many of these people I'd like to replace on a regular basis, (I'm media, they're PR, so I need to contact them for interviews, statements, press kits etc.) When they ignore you; turn down an opportunity that would benefit their employers and clients; don't return emails, texts, or phone calls; continually cancel or move appointments; and otherwise act like you're wasting their time when it's their JOB to give you their time...it's pretty hard to take when I always return messages promptly, make an effort to be on time and prepared for every interview, work to give publicity to their clients even when they aren't on the mainstream radar. But I'm not 21 and blonde and perky, the daughter of someone, sleeping with someone, or otherwise suited for the job. Forget about actually DOING it. It's very frustrating to see PR reps do things that are a DISSERVICE to their clients, yet they have a job that I would do anything for, and have been trying for years to get. When I was teaching, I even offered to intern for free as an assistant to do the grunt work and couldn't even get that. So, yeah, I'm a little bitter.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    4,907

    Default

    I think you should explore LinkedIn. I've found most people will accept invitations to connect and it's a great way to grow your networking circle. If you do join, PM me your name and I'll connect with you. You never know!

    Also, be polite and persistent. Don't assume that just because you sent a resume that it got in front of the right person. Try to get the exact contact info of the hiring manager and go directly to that person, rather than via a blind email address or HR.

    Double check your "personal branding". Make sure that everything that shows up via a google search on your name is legit and professional.

    There are also websites that match freelancers with people needing projects done. Maybe you can find some temporary work that way.

    If you haven't already, get as much public assistance as you can be it help with utilities or even food.

    Good luck and stay strong.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    450

    Default

    I am on the job hunt as well as a graduating senior in college. I am going to reiterate again. It is all about networking. Networking is not about just talking and meeting with various people. It is about forming relationships with those people you meet. People who I have met networking are now my friends and mentors.

    In three weeks of being on the job hunt, I have had 3 interviews. All 3 came from networking. I have yet to actually apply to a job. At a professional conference, there was a panel of headhunters. They stated that very few people find jobs by applying to the black hole that is monster.com. Networking is key.

    Being on LinkedIn is also necessary in todays world. It is easy and add people. I don't deny anyone on LinkedIn because they could be connected to my next boss.

    Lastly, people don't get hired on skills alone. The interviews must like you as a person first. Skills can be taught personality can't. You can't show personality well in a resume or cover letter. That is why networking is key.

    When you do network, follow up. Email within 2 to 4 weeks. Build that relationship. Career fairs are helpful. Don't go with the intention to get a job, people come off desperate that way. Go solely to network and only give a resume if they ask.

    And even though it sounds like you've been in industry, it may be helpful to find a mentor. Mine have helped me with every step.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2008
    Location
    Northern Italy
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Definitely get on linkedin.com and "add" everyone you know. From there, you can find people doing similar jobs to what you'd be interested in. Look at what companies they work for. Find out if those companies have open positions; if not, linkedin will show you other companies where that company's employees tend to have worked previously and ones they go on to work for typically. See if THOSE companies have openings. When you find a job to go after, see if you can locate someone in HR at that company (on linkedin) or use someone you know at the company and ask if they will deliver your application package (resume and cover letter) to the hiring manager for consideration. This will set you apart from the data-dump of applications that come through the company website and make it more likely that a pair of human eyes will see your resume.

    And don't just do it once and then wait to hear; get multiple applications going simultaneously. Just keep firing them out. However, make sure each application package is tailored to the specific job you are applying for - this is KEY and, yes, it's a lot of work. Applying should feel like a full-time job itself if you are doing it right. It sometimes takes weeks/months to hear anything back. With high-quality applications, odds are you will hear something back. Pay attention to keywords in the job postings. Sell yourself using the same language.

    Also, post your resume to monster.com, and repost it every 2 weeks with a slight variation to keep it at the top of the search lists. Use industry-specific keywords that you imagine a hiring manager would use to search with.

    Did you graduate college? It doesn't matter how long ago it was, make use of the school's alumni resources, network, and career tools. If you live near the school, find out when their job fairs are and what companies will be attending.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    8,279

    Default

    It's much harder to find work while you're unemployed. I've never understood why that is, but I've seen it from my own experience that companies don't want to even give you a shot unless you're already working.

    Just get a job. ANY job. I have a college degree, and was about THIS close to working at Walmart as a cashier. Just get something to pay the bills, and keep you employed, while you keep looking.

    This economy sucks. You have to look for jobs in areas you'd never even consider before. My degree is in Agriculture.. I work in banking. Go figure. Not what I had planned on, but my job's not bad at all.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2008
    Location
    Northern Italy
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jenm View Post
    Double check your "personal branding". Make sure that everything that shows up via a google search on your name is legit and professional.
    Yes, this is a must-do. It is the norm now to google search, facebook search, and linkedin search for applicants. Search for yourself and see what comes up. Also search for your email address and see what you find, and change your email address if it's anything besides your name/initials. I recommend not giving an email address hosted at hotmail, yahoo, or aol.
    Use an address hosted by gmail, anything .edu, a company, or your own website. I know it's strange, but you will be judged on this.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 8, 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    929

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    I'm an experienced, award-winning journalist. ... I'm a managing editor for my website with managerial and copy editing experience.
    I don't know what your exact industry experience was; but if it's what I'm guessing -- print journalism -- then you know better than most what a struggling and dying industry that is.

    There is a place for writers and copy editors, but it's not in print. Like it or not, the future is online, and even then there isn't such a demand for journalists as much as for bloggers and SEO-type writers and editors.

    To that end, you can find freelance/contract work at places like Interact Media, WriterAccess, TextBroker, and other "content farms." The pay is infamously low, but if you become a "favorite" writer/editor with the clients there, your pay scale can rise. For most people, it's not a real career, but it can at least help.

    You didn't give specifics of your resume, but remember to load it with industry-targeted keywords, as like 99.9 percent (yes, I'm inventing this figure) of resumes are scanned online for relevancy before they ever reach an HR person.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,724

    Default

    You mentioned PR...can you "jump the fence" and look for work in PR? As a journalist you will have insights that may be useful for a PR job.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
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    2,255

    Default

    Actually, I've experience in both online and print journalism...I'm a sports journalist and have done both online and magazine work as a journalist ans as an editor. Several newspapers in my general area ARE hiring reporters and editors; none of them are calling ME. I'd prefer PR, but I'm a good writer.

    I'm confused about using the content farms, because I've been advised frequently NOT to use them as accepting low pay lowers your value in the future. Right now I'm getting upwards of 33 cents a word, minimum, and I've heard that publishers don't take you seriously or don't pay you seriously if you have those things on your resume. I saw one ad for $6 for 900 words. That word content is 300 bucks, MINIMUM!

    I do have a current resume with the website that I'm managing editor for; it just doesn't pay much, and it's the ONE exception to the above I've made, because I own a percentage of the LLC and we put what we make back into the business. We're respected in the motorsports industry.

    A Google search will come up clean, my Twitter is completely professional, my Facebook is as well, and locked across the board to all but friends anyway. I follow up on personal meetings. I'm doing things "by the book" except I don't use LinkedIn..I will create an account, though.



  17. #17
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    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
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    2,255

    Default

    I've been looking for PR work for four years. To be fair, there is a gap there, I did PR during and right out of college, then did other things before going back to journalism. But PR work is even harder to come by and involves MORE nepotism than writing. Especially if you don't have "the look."



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4,756

    Default

    There are plenty of jobs for technical and medical writers:
    http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=medical...north+carolina
    Can you adjust your career path that way? Take a medical terminology class? Medical, and especially FDA Regulatory, writing pays very well in the Pharma industry, which is big in the Triangle, I hear. My friend in the industry says good writing ability is hard to come by, and easier to teach a good writer the terminology than teach how to write well.

    Corporate Freelance business annual report writing?
    http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=busines...North+Carolina

    Just talked to my friend in Regulatory (Exec VP of a start up) She said most medical writers bill at $100. hour. She said it is entirely possible for a good journalist to get into that field, do not have to have a medical background to get started (although the terminology class would be very helpful). To my thinking, work is work, and you might as well be in the area that pays well.

    Look into the American Medical Writers Association.
    http://www.amwa.org/default.asp?Mode...eOnSearch=True
    Last edited by Plumcreek; Feb. 3, 2012 at 04:58 PM.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,428

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Soup View Post
    Definitely get on linkedin.com and "add" everyone you know. From there, you can find people doing similar jobs to what you'd be interested in. Look at what companies they work for. Find out if those companies have open positions; if not, linkedin will show you other companies where that company's employees tend to have worked previously and ones they go on to work for typically. See if THOSE companies have openings. When you find a job to go after, see if you can locate someone in HR at that company (on linkedin) or use someone you know at the company and ask if they will deliver your application package (resume and cover letter) to the hiring manager for consideration. This will set you apart from the data-dump of applications that come through the company website and make it more likely that a pair of human eyes will see your resume.

    And don't just do it once and then wait to hear; get multiple applications going simultaneously. Just keep firing them out. However, make sure each application package is tailored to the specific job you are applying for - this is KEY and, yes, it's a lot of work. Applying should feel like a full-time job itself if you are doing it right. It sometimes takes weeks/months to hear anything back. With high-quality applications, odds are you will hear something back. Pay attention to keywords in the job postings. Sell yourself using the same language.

    Also, post your resume to monster.com, and repost it every 2 weeks with a slight variation to keep it at the top of the search lists. Use industry-specific keywords that you imagine a hiring manager would use to search with.

    Did you graduate college? It doesn't matter how long ago it was, make use of the school's alumni resources, network, and career tools. If you live near the school, find out when their job fairs are and what companies will be attending.
    Quote Originally Posted by Plumcreek View Post
    There are plenty of jobs for technical and medical writers:
    http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=medical...north+carolina
    Can you adjust your career path that way? Take a medical terminology class? Medical, and especially FDA Regulatory, writing pays very well in the Pharma industry, which is big in the Triangle, I hear. My friend in the industry says good writing ability is hard to come by, and easier to teach a good writer the terminology than teach how to write well.

    Corporate Freelance business annual report writing?
    http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=busines...North+Carolina

    Just talked to my friend in Regulatory (Exec VP of a start up) She said most medical writers bill at $100. hour. She said it is entirely possible for a good journalist to get into that field, do not have to have a medical background to get started (although the terminology class would be very helpful). To my thinking, work is work, and you might as well be in the area that pays well.

    Look into the American Medical Writers Association.
    http://www.amwa.org/default.asp?Mode...eOnSearch=True

    Thanks to both - great ideas. I've been looking for over a year now as well. Background in insurance, real estate, and law. Have applied to dozens of jobs - none I wasn't qualified for. Very few interviews. But I'm in my 50's, and it appears not much happening there. My savings is getting greatly depleted. I know I'm lucky I have it. Even today, I just finished discussion on some contract work, googled the company, and found several complaints against them for not paying contractors.

    I have one bit of advice - make sure your credit report is as good as can be. I found last year that I had an erroneous tax warrant on mine! Although it has been redacted, I still volunteer that if the phone conversation gets that far, because the County Clerk has sometimes not found the redaction.

    Now a question to everyone - since my resume is kind of vague, you might guess I'm younger than I am. However, I have my schools/colleges, degrees & classes posted on Facebook. So you can tell my age that way. Should I remove them?

    Good luck to you, HiB. And to all of us in the same stinkin' situation.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Henry - this absolutely sucks but as an HR person with many years experience I am going to just say it - many companies nowadays shy away from hiring older workers and folks who have been unemployed for a while. It is ridiculous, and utterly prejudiced but it is true.

    If you feel like you need help with your resume or maybe some tips or other assistance, I'd be happy to help in any way I can - feel free to PM me.



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