How To Get a Job in “This” Economy Part 1

08 Feb

About six years ago I was making the transition from Idaho to Utah. I lined up a job in Salt Lake with a State Farm insurance agent as a sales person with a salary and commission. Four days before my move and expected start date, she called to say she had been crunching the numbers and just could not afford to bring someone on. Four hours later, I had another job lined up with a different insurance agent.

It’s no longer that way. When someone loses a job, it can take months, years, to find another job. I started noticing it a few years ago when I worked at the Hurricane Valley Journal. Friends of mine were being laid off but they weren’t rebounding like before. And then the Journal closed.

I wasn’t worried until about a month had gone by and I still didn’t have a job, neither did any of my former co-workers. We had suddenly become those victims of the economy that we had been writing about.

What I have noticed, and love, about Washington County, is that when someone really wants to do something, and they can’t find someone to pay them to do it, they start their own business. Do you know how many home-based businesses there are in Washington County? So many of them don’t have an actual license so it’s hard to get real numbers, but just attend any one of the numerous networking meetings and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about.

As I, as a first-time business owner, have come to realize, new businesses rarely start off making money. In fact, I consulted with iMedia when I first started St. George News, formerly Dixie Press, and they told they worked a full time job for a year while getting iMedia off the ground.

So while St. George News is doing better than my expectations, and especially with the help of two new business partners, anything we do make we put back into the company to get it off the ground. Which means working other jobs at the same time.

I had an interview yesterday to work part time for a reputable company in St. George that I would be very proud to work for. And here is what I’ve learned about getting a job, even in “this” economy:

Overcoming “Overqualified”

I hear it a lot. “Your resume is very impressive. I’m worried you might be overqualified for this position. I’m not sure it would be stimulating enough for you.”

“I have to feed my kids so I’ll take just about any job,” is not the answer they are looking for. But let me tell you, it’s more impressive than, “I shouldn’t have to work” or “I’m too good to work at XYZ.”

You may be tempted to alter your resume so that you don’t fall in this pit of “overqualified.” But don’t. If you can make it to the interview, which is one of the most difficult parts these days, you can solve this problem right then and there.

In this particular interview, the actual position I was applying for is not exactly what I see myself doing for years to come. But the company is. I explained that, yes I am quite qualified for the position, as are dozens of the applicants waiting for their turn to interview, but I have the desire to do more, to learn everything about their company and fill in wherever I can. They can spend less time training me on the job I’m applying for, and utilize me in other areas when needed. And as it turns out, they did need some help in other areas that fit my skills, and resume, perfectly.

On another note, do not add things to your resume or lie about skills you don’t have. I get asked to build or check resumes quite often. If the resume has not been built, I don’t have the time to do their data entry and if they really want a job, they should be doing it themselves. So I will often send them my resume for the correct formatting, and tell them to populate their info and then I will look it over from there. I once had someone try to use many of experiences and skills, things I know they did not know how to do.

This won’t do you any good if you make it to the interview, which is really the deal breaker. Someone experienced in his or her own career field can tell very quickly whether you are lying, or whether you actually know what you’re talking about.

Part Two will include, “How to get past the resume on the desk and into the interview,” “Staying humble and confident,” “Being honest about your future plans” and “Explaining those not-so-good job transfers on your resume.”

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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Social Media & Business


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