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Job search strategy discussion thread:

 1026 SKJAM, Tue, 30th Apr '13 6:39:53 PM from Minneapolis Relationship Status: Cast away
Great and Powerful
Just a quick question prompted by that icon, but are you by any chance in Minnesota?
 1027 Combat C 122, Tue, 30th Apr '13 7:28:43 PM from The Frozen Icebox
Well, I've done that before, contacting the general HR department emails of companies, and lately I've been connecting with recruiters on Linked In, but people don't always respond to my messages, and even when they do it's not always information that's necessarily new to me. I'd love it if I could find someone who actually works in administration or something and just ask for an informational interview. I don't really want to spam inboxes since that would seem to be counterproductive in most cases.

And yes, I am in Minnesota.

 1028 Gabrael, Tue, 30th Apr '13 8:05:39 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
I understand. Its a rough situation between being assertive and being an ass. With the drastic demands for jobs, interviewers have the pick of the litter. Then again so many jobs have been canceled as well due to budget cuts.
 1029 Combat C 122, Tue, 30th Apr '13 8:20:07 PM from The Frozen Icebox
It just seems like the whole job search process is made of frustrating contradictory rules like that. You have to be assertive and stand up for what you want, but you can't be too persistent or directly ask about opportunities. You need a job to gain relevant experience, but you need relevant experience to get a job.

Oh well, it is kind of refreshing to have an informal, anonymous place to vent about this. Maybe this will be a positive outlet for me.

 1030 Enkufka, Tue, 30th Apr '13 8:39:07 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
So, I failed to get that job I talked about weeks ago.

However, the same job I applied for is now open again, and I have been told by my mother that I should contact HR again and ask if I could be interviewed again, and what I did wrong the first time.

My concern is that the question of "why did you not ask what you did wrong immediately after your notice of rejection?" will be raised. Additionally, we were informed during the group interview that there were three possible things to happen after the group interview. 1) we move on to the next level, 2) we don't move on, but our records are kept on file and we would be contacted later if another position were to open, or 3) we wouldn't move on and we would not be kept in mind for another position. I got option 3.

So I'm wondering additionally if trying to get the job again is a legitimate option.
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
NCC - 1701
Do NOT ask HR "What did I do wrong?" In my experience that hurts your chances down the line even more.
It was an honor
 1032 Enkufka, Tue, 30th Apr '13 8:57:25 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
When the person you were in contact with and was interviewed by and who sent you the rejection letter basically said at every stage "please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this" ?
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
NCC - 1701
I repeat, do NOT ask. Trust me on this one. I mean, seek opinions from others on this thread and elsewhere, but that's my strong suggestion.
It was an honor
 1034 Gabrael, Tue, 30th Apr '13 9:50:31 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
I have been told by some professionals to ask, but it all depends on how you ask.

For example, "I am confident I can be an asset to your company and am excited to work towards being on your team. What areas wouldlike me to focus on so that I can be a stronger candidate for your company?"

Sounds a lot better than,

"So, I thought the interview went well but I didn't get the job so what went wrong?"

It could be you were a fine candidate but there was just one person who had something, a license, a second language, six months more experience, something minor and that you could work with.

Plus the fact you asked shows humility and dedication to the position. They will remember you and your integrity.

You have absolutely nothing to lose by it either. If they rejected you before by application alone, reapplying isn't going to do anything.
 1035 Caissas Death Angel, Wed, 1st May '13 4:16:23 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Starship, please explain why you so vehemently believe that people shouldn't ask for feedback after an interview? I've spoken to a LOT of HR people - through applying for jobs, working next to large teams, and my brother having been a recruitment consultant for a temp agency for the last few years.

All say the same thing - get the job or not, always ask for feedback. My last job, I was really annoyed when I was unable to get feedback on the successful interview - I thought I'd failed, and I wanted to know what I'd done right. Admittedly, learning that one of my interviewers was hungover and the other was still drunk (he admitted the hangover at the time, but revealed later he was still drunk) from a massive staff night out the day before may have been a contributing factor. Still, would have been nice to have learned what I did right so I can repeat it.

There's no need to be particular about the phrasing either - any manager worth their salt would be happy to help a candidate improve themselves for the future, assuming they didn't actually offend them. To me as a manager, a candidate asking such a thing shows courage and a pro-active, positive nature in itself, and would make me more likely to consider them for future vacancies. I really can't seen any downsides whatsoever. By all means just phone and say "I had an interview with/on whatever, I didn't get the position and would appreciate some feedback as to where I went wrong".

In my life, I've finally started full-time volunteering! I've got a shiny new flat down in the town I grew up, which is considerably cheaper but actually bigger than my previous 1 room studio apartment, thanks in part to it being owned by my parents who are setting the rent at my benefit payments. Even at full rent, it would still be about 100 a month cheaper anyway.

The position is going really well so far - the work I did in my first two days (demographic analysis, which meant me getting to play with data and present it really nicely in pivot tables in Excel) was immediately picked up by my boss's boss, who asked me to replicate it for other areas she covers. Not a bad first impression really! Especially as said boss's boss was the one who interviewed me in the first place.

I'm loving the chance to actually help people, I'm loving the serenity of the area, and I'm loving the chance to clear my head a bit. I'm not loving being so far away from all my friends though, since having not driven in 6 years, I've yet to fully regain my confidence on the road (the fact that the car I'm using is an old Renault Kangoo, which is battered and decidedly top heavy, and thus a big risk on motorways, makes it no easier to get to Glasgow and back to see them).

edited 1st May '13 4:17:49 PM by CaissasDeathAngel

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 1036 Combat C 122, Wed, 1st May '13 8:29:37 PM from The Frozen Icebox
This debate does remind me of a student job I had as a cashier at a convenience store run through the student union. I had my interview, and a day or so after I got an email from the manager saying that it had gone well but I simply didn't have enough experience. I replied politely explaining my disappointment and that I was looking forward to gaining that experience, and that actually managed to convince her to change her mind and offer me the job. I don't know if it's quite exactly relevant since she was pretty up front about why she didn't initially say yes without me having to ask her, and also this was very much a student job that was probably more sympathetic to students' needs than similar outside jobs, but it still goes to show that the right kind of communication with the people doing the hiring can make a difference.

edited 1st May '13 8:30:34 PM by CombatC122

NCC - 1701
Hm. Well, then my experience might've been a little atypical.

One HR person put it this way, "I don't have enough hours to fill all the jobs and go through all the resumes I get. Stopping to answer every person pissed off they didn't get the job would mean I'd get nothing done."
It was an honor
 1038 Combat C 122, Thu, 2nd May '13 7:38:57 AM from The Frozen Icebox
True, maybe it just depends on the size of the place doing the hiring. And again, I must stress that in the case I quoted above, this job was strictly for students. Even at a large university, I'm sure the pool of applicants for a job limited to students would be fairly limited.

Anyway, my job coach got back to me this morning, and she referred me to another job coach who happens to have contacts in HR at one of the organizations I'm targeting right now. Hopefully this will lead somewhere.

NCC - 1701
Good luck Combat.
It was an honor
 1040 Combat C 122, Thu, 2nd May '13 8:13:52 AM from The Frozen Icebox
Thanks. I still have a long way to go, but this may be the first time I've asked about networking and gotten a response that wasn't just something like "Well I don't know anyone, but here's a list of websites you can use."

Euo will do!
[up]That's a good thing. There's nothing worse than a random list of websites waved at you as a cop out (most of which you've already bumped into). tongue

Uh... I tell a lie: total silence is worse. >_<

edited 2nd May '13 1:19:21 PM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 1042 Combat C 122, Thu, 2nd May '13 2:14:11 PM from The Frozen Icebox
Indeed, silence is worse, but just being told to do your own research isn't much better. I especially find it annoying when all they do is direct you to their online job board and encourage you to keep an eye out for jobs I might qualify for. Well duh, I know how to apply for jobs online, but that's not how I'm going to get myself noticed, is it?

 1043 Gabrael, Tue, 7th May '13 6:02:25 PM Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
A Polar Bear Named Gabrael
So this is my last week in training before I start my night shifts. Cool thing is I have a job interview after I get off work Monday for a part time position at the local library. It'd be great to have it as my second job. It would be a fun job as well as very needed second income since my first job doesn't seem to know what a living wage is.

I can sleep when I die.
 1044 Smythe Ordo, Wed, 8th May '13 2:57:05 AM from In The Mountains Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Alright.

I've gotten in touch with the manager at my local Target via volunteering together, and she says to give her a call or stop in after applying when seasonal starts.

Also applied to wing stop and Lowe's. Listed my volunteer work on my resume. Any tips for following up?
For anyone feeling the feels, PM box is open.
 1045 Barkey, Wed, 8th May '13 3:18:15 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
So.. Back to square one.

My company tried to relocate me two hours drive away in Montebello, and I decided just walking away was far superior.

On the bright side, it looks like the Guard is willing to take me back as a full time MP again. So much for the grass being greener, gonna chalk up this whole "Being a civilian" experiment as a failure.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 1046 Combat C 122, Wed, 8th May '13 6:35:41 AM from The Frozen Icebox
I had that meeting with the job coach a couple of days ago, and what I got out of it was that he would help me target my resume to specific job postings and possibly put in a good word for me to the HR people after the fact. Simply contacting those recruiters before I have an idea of what the company needs and how I can help fill it isn't the way to go I suppose, which makes sense, but it does leave me wondering how I'm supposed to access this "hidden job market" I've heard so much about (that is, positions the company needs that they haven't publicized yet).

Anyway, I haven't gotten much else useful yet after sending along my resume and a couple of postings to this coach, but it's still early, so I'll continue to keep in touch with him for now.

 1047 Caissas Death Angel, Wed, 8th May '13 2:09:52 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
[up] Speculative applications are on way of accessing the "hidden job market" - if a company looks good, send them your resume and a letter to the effect of "Hi, I'm awesome and would be perfect for your company because of XYZ. If you have any vacancies, hit me up dawg!"

Most of the time, you'll be lucky to get a reply, but it does sometimes work, and shows immediate iniative and a pro-active attitude towards finding work that employers love. Certainly worth a try, and actually how I got my first job (on-call work for a bank on their cash desk).
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 1048 SKJAM, Wed, 8th May '13 6:26:24 PM from Minneapolis Relationship Status: Cast away
Great and Powerful
There's also the informational interview. Find someone in the company who's a connection of a connection and talk to them about the company and their job to see if it would be a good fit for you. I, for example, have some connections at Target that might be worth talking to if you want to know more about Target's corporate culture.

Mind, you don't go into these interviews with the specific task of getting a job, you're expanding your contact base and educating yourself about different companies.
 1049 Combat C 122, Wed, 8th May '13 6:34:43 PM from The Frozen Icebox
Yeah, I know about informational interviews, but the tricky part for me is just knowing where to find people for those. I've been told Linked In can be a good resource for that, but I don't have that many connections yet.

 1050 SKJAM, Thu, 9th May '13 4:14:09 AM from Minneapolis Relationship Status: Cast away
Great and Powerful
I'm Scott K. Jamison over there. Be sure to mention TV Tropes in your connection message.
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