Job application advice

After putting it off for too long, I have finally decided to look for a new job. Right now I currently work as a substitute teacher and tutor. I like what I do, but the problem right now is that while I work the equivalent of ‘full time’ I don’t get any overtime or benefits because I’m essentially lumping two part-time jobs together. I really need something full-time that gives me health benefits and sick days.

Checking my W2’s, I grossed $18,000 last year. Somehow with this I was able to scratch out a living, but with mounting credit card debt I have to find something that pays more; ideally double what I’m currently earning.

The main question I had was finding the most effective way of getting interviews. People often mention doing it online, but I’ve also heard really dismal statistics about online job applications (something like 5-10% of some employers’ hires were from job sites like Monster). Whats the most practical method?

I like working in education, though without a Credential I can’t work as a public school teacher (bummer). It seems like without a Credential it is tough finding full-time work in the educational field, but it’s entirely possible I haven’t been looking hard enough. I’m also widening my search to just about anything full-time that I feel capable of doing.

You have to be willing to send your info out on every channel.
Don’t try to find the best. It seems “hard” but if you clock the time, it’s just minutes at each job posting site.

Who are the large employers near you? Universities, hospitals, corporate? If they are large they may have postings on their website, and that allows you to be more focused in where you send your materials. It also allows you to write your materials in response to the available jobs rather than staying too generic.

I haven’t had a huge amount of experience in HR-type stuff but the searches I’ve helped on have looked at resumes that came in in response to postings on our website or in print. We’ve never looked at on-line sources like monster.

What about society webpages? Many have job boards.

I agree about the company/organization specific websites for online job listings and applications.

You might consider university department office manager positions or various student services positions if you like working in education. The pay is not great but the benefits are solid. At least around here it’s often easiest to start as a temporary either hired directly by a department or through the university’s own temporary service. They are somewhat unlikely to hire a complete unknown, but take references from other departments quite seriously.

Another option, more likely to be in line with the pay you are looking for, would be in some type of corporate training job. It will probably be less secure, a bit harder to get hired, and in some cases may be extremely close to sales in actual practice.

The University positions sound like a good start. I think I’ll also look for positions in San Jose State University (since I graduated there, and would eventually like to go back eventually to earn my Teacher’s Credential).

What I was always curious about was exactly how effective it was to get called into interviews/hired by applying for a job online, either through a third party site (Monster, for example) or the organization’s own website. Something just tells me it would be better to go to these places in person, even if it involved a lot of pavement-pounding, because they have a face to the name and my physical presence might make more of an impression than a resume.doc would.

Two of the headhunter calls I’ve received in the last three weeks are from having put my cv up in a couple years back. The third came through a CV I sent as part of a blanket mailing during the same period of unemployment. And the call I got four weeks ago (which is not a headhunter, but for networking and information) is from someone in my home town who works in my field and who got my name from a friend of a neighbor of…

The job that got me out of that hole was from monster as well.

Many companies are taking advantage of the easy of electronic document storage to keep CVs a lot longer than they used to… none of those had panned out two years ago, but getting your CV in monster can come in helpful when you least expect it.

For local places, I’d go in person but carry both paper copies and a pen drive. If they prefer you to submit through the webpage (they usually want things in that specific structure), of course you’ll do it.

I guess I just don’t see it that way. If I’ve listed a position I am inviting documents to be submitted the way I requested, not having someone show up. But again, I am in an individual department in our institution, not in HR. Perhaps they do actually see people walk in, but I can’t imagine they do more than accept your paperwork and file it with the rest of the pool.

gigi, if he’s cold-calling, that is often better in person.

I think the approach depends on the size of the institution and whether you know anyone there.

If you’re applying for jobs at the university, there will be a prescribed process for doing so. You need to follow it. Talk to people who have applied for jobs there if you can so that you know what the HR area looks for on applications. You might also be able to find someone in HR who is willing to give you advice on how to do this. If you know anyone in the department that is hiring, you might want to let them know that you’ve applied and see if it’s possible for them to put in a good word for you.

I get the impression that services like are more helpful in searches for technical jobs, but I might be wrong.

Showing up personally at a smaller organization might help you, but it might also keep people from getting work done. What will help the most is to really work your contacts for information on who may be hiring and the best way to approach specific employers. Make sure absolutely everyone you know or come into contact with knows that you’re out looking and knows what you’re looking for.

There are lots and lots of good books about job-hunting and resume-writing out there. Go to your library and to bookstores and read through them to find one or two that fit you. I had to update my resume recently and found this book helpful (even though they referred to adverbs as adjectives on page 100 :eek:; yes, I e-mailed the publisher). It’s probably even more helpful to a beginning job-hunter, but there were several sections that were helpful to me as a person with a 25+year job history. Don’t bother with any books that are more than about two years old; things have changed A LOT in the past couple years.

Good luck with the job hunt!


Universities I’m familiar with, and some companies, have you fill out an online application that you can then submit against multiple job openings. It pays to keep resubmitting against newly posted jobs. If they have a hard time filling a specific position, they may search the “backlog” of randomly submitted resumes, but they generally have to account for each one that was submitted against the specific position. If you are already doing a good job in a temporary position on campus, that opens the door for you to ask in person about other jobs. In general the stranger showing up asking about a job tends to make the staff uncomfortable. They are under a lot of pressure to treat each applicant in a standard, evenhanded fashion, so explaining meeting to interview with you before they’ve reviewed all candidates and found you to be one of the best in the batch doesn’t fit with the approach they want to take. Above advice is based on a state university. There are many other types of employers where the situation would be different.