Happy days and jubilation… I’ve found myself a full-time gig again! This past 6 months marks the longest time I haven’t had a full-time job since I started working, and honestly it was quite a different experience. I learned a few new things this time around, and here are some useful tips if you’re in the same situation.
1. When they say you’re “impressive”, it’s like a girl saying you’re a nice guy.
If there’s one keyword I’ve read in a lot of rejection emails lately, it’s “impressive”. I’ve seen stuff like “We’re impressed with your capabilities” or “you’re incredibly impressive”, but these would always be followed by “but it’s not an ideal match for us” or “there isn’t a close enough match between your strengths and our needs.”
So now I know that when a recruiter uses the word impressive, it means I’ve been friendzoned by a company.
That said, I really should’ve learned this lesson from the Star Wars movies because Darth Vader cock-teases Luke with this very same word!
2. If your resume isn’t working, revamp it entirely. Better yet, customize it!
I’ve been using more or less the same looking resume since I started. I guess it worked for me before, even when I made the transition into the animation industry, but this time I wasn’t getting the same kind of results. I’d tailor it slightly for different companies, but the basic structure was pretty much the same.
Then there was this one particular job, and I was hit by a giant light bulb of inspiration to completely redesign and rewrite my resume. As I was applying to a sporting-related company, I completely rewrote my resume like an athlete’s bio and had my brother (who’s a designer) lay it out as such, complete with a douchey photo of me with a mean look and an aggressive pose. I got called in for an interview a few days later.
This point applies to your LinkedIn profile too. If you’re not getting any hits there, it might be that you’re not filling your profile with the right keywords. A friend went through my profile and had a bunch of suggestions. I did as he asked, and I started getting more inquiries via LinkedIn.
And if you haven’t uploaded a profile photo yet, please do it. Nobody wants to hire the creepy gray ghost guy.
3. LinkedIn is like the lottery.
Speaking of LinkedIn, I really feel that it’s like the lottery. I didn’t have a lot of luck with it, and the few hits I’ve gotten with it have never worked out… but if you don’t buy even a single ticket, then you won’t have even the slightest chance of winning the lottery.
Besides, while you might not find or receive a job offer from it, most recruiters will definitely look up your profile to find out more about you. I definitely saw a lot of recruiters poking around my profile after sending them an application.
And if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, then in a recruiter’s mind you have a significantly higher chance of being one of those technophobes that can’t figure out how to use email.
4. Don’t just use one job-search website.
I figured that Singapore’s such a small place, and one job site would probably have much the same openings as the other. It was the impression I got when I was last job-hunting, so I just used the one site this time.
One day, I went to poke around another one, and I found a ton of different openings. The application rate went up after that.
5. Don’t stay cooped up at home.
I know it’s incredibly depressing to be unemployed and sometimes you don’t want to do anything except wallow at home, especially since it’s far cheaper than going out and you’re undoubtedly on a budget now… but you should still go out because shit happens.
I went out to watch Django Unchained with my wifey one night, and bumped into someone I haven’t seen in a long while. He found out that I was going back into full-time writing, and told me about a potential opening at his workplace. I applied, and I was talking to his boss the next week. Sadly, it didn’t work out though.
6. Social media can be used for more than just sharing cat videos.
But you know how I got my new job in the end? I tweeted “Is anyone looking for a writer?” and someone responded. Cha-ching!