My Job Search Experience
My Job Search Experience In September 2009, I was laid off for the first time in my career. I was given a 60-day notice by my previous company. So I had about 2 months to find a new job before officially becoming unemployed. But luckily enough, I was able to land a new job within two months. So today, I would like to share that intensive job search experience with you in my report. Also as you already know, the financial crisis and recession began in 2008, by the time I was laid off, the job market was at its worst.
There were not many job openings. Of course, I was afraid that I couldn’t get a job. So after taking a few days off, I immediately started to look for a job. I quickly updated my old resume and send it out to any job openings which have my skills listed in the job description. Although I was able to get many interviews in the first month, none of them resulted in a job offer. So I decided to take a pause and think about what went wrong. After reviewing my job search campaign in the past month, I decided to make changes in three areas.
The first area was that I needed to narrow my search scope. I had been working in America for 15 years up to that point and I had learned many skills over time and worked in several different fields. But in reality, I am only very good at a couple of skills. For other skills which I am not very good at, it is almost impossible for me to do well during the interview. Also, there were many experienced people looking for a job, so a company can easily find a perfect match for an opening.
So I decided to focus my job search only on one field which I am very good at and I like the most so that I can use my limited time and energy more efficiently. The second area was that I needed to polish my resume. After one month’s job search, I noticed that most of jobs were posted by human resource departments or recruiters, not by hiring managers. But these people by no means can have in-depth knowledge of the jobs they were posting. They mainly rely on keywords to screen candidates.
Therefore, in order to have my resume reach a hiring manager’s desk, having right keywords in the resume is very important. I also found out that it is actually very easy to find these keywords because they are readily available in the job description section of each job ad. So I started to collect them from job descriptions and select the right ones and put them into my resume. The third area I worked on was to figure out how to do better for interview questions. This was a difficult part for me because I am not a native English speaker.
Sometimes people have hard time understanding what I am talking about. Also I am poor at impromptu speaking. So for those questions coming out of nowhere, I normally couldn’t figure out an answer offhand. But after reviewing all of the past interview questions, I found out the interview questions were more or less the same. So if it is possible to prepare beforehand and if I can prepare them well beforehand, going through an interview is more like doing a prepared speech rather than doing a table topic.
So I started to write down all of the past interview questions and came up with the answers matching my backgrounds. Then I tried to practice them many times so that I can say them fluently and clearly during interviews. After I started to work on these three areas, I saw my job search campaign improved gradually. I did better and better with each interview and I was able to get a job offer on spot in my last interview. So that is my story back in 2009. That is the valuable job search experience for me and I guess I can use it again in my next job search.