After a long day at work, I finally make it home to find my boyfriend standing there, looking depressed.
I ask him what’s up? He begins to mumble something, but his voice is muffled by some sort of noise…
The phone buzzes.
I wake up. It’s a text. I fell asleep on the bus.
“I got the job” – it reads.
I’ve been writing a lot about unemployment, depression and some of those feelings have rubbed off in the last couple of posts. I know some people out there are still struggling to find work.
In fact, the bus driver I spoke to just before coming home informed me she’s been looking for a job for over a year. The current one she has is making her work odd hours and she just can’t keep up.
I thought I’d try to help some of you in search of jobs and do my best by interviewing my boyfriend to see how he got to where he is now. Bear with me as he’s kind of shy and doesn’t want to reveal much about himself or his work. Naturally, I oblige.
Q: How long ago did you lose your job?
It’s been a month and a half.
Q: How did you feel when you got let go?
I was very confused, very disappointed, angry and sad all at once.
Q: What have you been doing since then?
I persistently applied at many places, filled out many applications, renewed resumes multiple times (depending where I applied to), and made many phone calls.
Q: How many places did you apply?
I applied at 14 different places.
Q: How many interviews did you get out of those applications?
Q: Can you describe how you got the job?
At the 2nd interview I didn’t get the job, but in a typical fashion I sent a thank you letter to show my appreciation for the interview. The person they hired didn’t work out and I got called in for a second interview, all because of this letter. I was hired upon our meeting for the 2nd time where the interviewer pointed out that he really appreciated the thank you note I had sent the first time around.
Q: What helped you get through this job search period?
Q: How did I help you?
When I was searching very hard, it was difficult to expand my job search field and you encouraged me to widen my search. You were very supportive emotionally and that made day-to-day searching a lot easier. I lost confidence in myself many times and you reminded me that if you just keep looking, something will turn up.
Q: Did you do anything in your spare time besides searching for work?
I worked on my hobbies, considered volunteering (even though it never came to be). I may still consider volunteering in the near future. Just going out there to help someone felt like it would be a great idea. Other people have problems much worse than mine and I’d like to be able to contribute to benefit them somehow.
Q: What is the best tip you can give to those in search of a job right now?
Shoot at many targets, you’ll hit one eventually.
Q: What helped you get actual interviews?
I was able to demonstrate that my schedule was very flexible (on my resume) and I think employers really consider that sort of thing even if ultimately it doesn’t matter.
You have to be very persistent.
Don’t wait for them to call.
Keep calling them to show how enthusiastic you are.
Have good references. I was asked for references a few times.
Bring extra copies of resumes and references even if you already sent them a copy.
Let your friends know (if they are in the same job field) that you lost your job, they will look out for you. I got a notice from a friend about a few job postings.
Q: Can you recall any mistakes you might have made during this entire process?
I can’t think of any, but I’m sure there were some, otherwise I would have gotten more interviews.
Q: Was there anything particular during the interview that you think helped you get the job?
I think the main thing to do is to show enthusiasm – the type of attitude that shows “this is the only job I want!”
Have answers to questions and don’t be afraid to show that you are willing to learn new things. Be honest and don’t pretend to be a know-it-all. I honestly think being as transparent as possible says a lot about the type of person you are.
Q: Any final words?
Always dress your best – in fact, overdress.
Smile a lot.
Don’t panic or frustrate too much. Some days I couldn’t find anything so I stopped searching for the day. Limit the amount of time you spend on searching. New jobs show up every day.
Cut down expenses as much as possible.
Sleep in, get exercise, be lazy once in a while. Try to stay positive even if it seems impossible most of the time. Laugh every chance you get – I watched funny YouTube videos.
Try to have something else on your mind besides job search. Don’t forget to keep following up.
Most of all, send Thank You notes after every interview!
Do you have any questions you’d like to hear some answers to? What have you learned from past job searching experiences?