Michelle from Keller Graduate School of Management, DeVry University asked:
“I have my BS in Healthcare Administration and my Masters in Public Administration. I been working as a temp for the past year but I am still not able to find full-time employment and it’s really taken a toll on me. I trying everything but I all I get is, “do you want to be a CNA?”. I really need some advice on how to proceed with confidence.”
Thank you for your question, Michelle. I can appreciate your frustration in not landing the right opportunity as quickly as you’d like. You are experiencing the downside of job searching in that it takes time.
Employment experts indicate that it can take approximately one month to find a job for every $10k you’ll earn. So, a $40k job could take around 4 months to land. While I can’t find firm data or research to support this claim, I believe the premise behind the suggestion that it takes time to land a job in today’s market. Simply put, there are many different variables that impact the time it takes for a candidate to land a job. For some, it could happen more quickly, while taking more time for others.
Having worked with thousands of professional-level clients, I found that most landed their next job within 100 days. This assumes that the candidate is doing the right things in their quest by treating the search as its own full-time job.
The bottom line is that there are a number of things you can do to move confidently towards successful achievement of your employment goal.
Treat Job Search as Full-Time Job
Wouldn’t it be great if you could accomplish a goal with little effort? Yes, of course it would. However, it is not likely. Any goal worth achieving will take effort. This is especially true as it relates to your job search. Tons of job seekers convince themselves that they are working hard at their job search when in reality they are spending very little time to accomplish their objectives. Put a full-time effort into your job search. Spend 40+ hours a week moving your campaign forward. You only need one job so build your plan and fuel it daily with consistent effort. If you don’t give up on the plan, you’ll achieve your goal.
Improve Your Professional Skills / Enhance Marketability
Invest time to improve your professional skills, especially those relevant to your employment target. Take classes (online or on campus) to gain new skills. If you need to improve your computer skills for example, then take a course through GCF Learn Free. Continue to keep informed about news and developments in your field. Go to sleep each night with improved skills so you are better and more marketable than before.
Volunteer in Community and Industry
Become active in your community and industry by volunteering. Giving back can offer you many benefits beyond just feeling better. Volunteering can help you: 1) Establish your reputation as a leader in the community, 2) Build your personal network with other community leaders, 3) Gain new skills (or strengthen existing skills), 4) Enhance your resume, and 5) Lead to employment opportunity. Learn of volunteer opportunities online through Idealist and VolunteerMatch. Check with your campus’ student services group as they may have affiliations in the community already to help you get started.
Start a Blog
Blogging is a great way to highlight your writing skills, while showcasing your industry knowledge. Media Bistro found that 9 out of 10 companies examine a candidate’s online profile before offering the job. Employers want to hire candidates that have a positive online profile and blogging is the best way to achieve this objective.
Engage (and Build) Network
Make sure to start your search by letting those who know and like you (i.e. friends, family, existing connections) know specifically what your employment target is and how they can offer assistance to you. Be sure to ask humbly and kindly, while allowing them an out if they don’t have any leads for you. If people like you and can help, then they’ll help. Offer to help anyone you are asking for help. Reciprocity is key.
Networking (or connecting with people) is, was, and will always be the best job search method. People hire people, not computers. Also, utilize social media, especially LinkedIn to build your network, especially with those in your field.
Join Professional Associations
Another way to build your network, reputation, and circle of influence is to join a professional association in your industry. This is a great way to connect with leaders in your industry and learn of employment opportunity. Most professional organizations post their available positions through the association’s website or possibly through word of mouth at meetings. Don’t just become a member and do nothing either. Get involved and volunteer for a board or steering committee. This will provide you with the opportunity to showcase your skills and ability to produce results.
Improve Your Resume
Make sure your resume is up-to-date. It is your personal marketing brochure so it should highlight your ability to produce results and have strong eye appeal. Build a value-based resume that focuses in your key relevant skills and accomplishments. Proofread your resume document carefully and have others you trust do the same. Sometimes spell check misses usage errors (i.e. “Manager” misspelled as “manger”).
Contact Your Career Center
Every student should leverage their career center as it is a student resource. College career centers are staffed with knowledgeable, skilled, and credentialed professionals who can provide assistance in a variety of areas including resume review, interview skills training, job search strategy, and more. Furthermore, they likely have a job site exclusively for current students and recent alums featuring jobs posted with the institution. Set up an appointment at your earliest convenience.
Putting It All Together
Be creative and resourceful, while leveraging your network in your search. We need the help of others to success in both work and life. Most importantly, fuel your search consistent effort each day and stay focused. Don’t give up on your plan and you’ll land the right job soon. Embrace the journey. Good luck!
Here’s to your success,