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  1. #1
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Mar 2011

    Default How did you get your job?

    I'm reading this book, "What Color Is Your Parachute," and am quite surprised to find out that there's only a 7% success rate for posting or mailing out the resume to employers. Though after reading the description, it actually makes sense to me.

    I wonder if this has been the reason why I'm still unemployed.

    I only had one working experience and I've been referred. Though now I'm in a country that has no networks nor connections, I realized I have to change my tactics.

    Though I'm interested in how you got landed your current job and hopefully you would share this.

    P.S.: For those who have read the book, I would like to hear what's the most valuable lesson you've learned the most from Bolles?

  2. #2
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Stamina was the main factor I think. like a lot of people, most of the applications I sent off were never replied to. I found the main factor to success was being able to pick through my work experience and education and highlight the most relevant points.

    The other thing is to descide what you are prepared to do in order to get a job. Odd working hours? Low pay? Long travel times or even having to move? Know what you will and wont put up with before you apply. And be realistic.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    6w5 sp/sx


    I got my job through the arts jobs postings of the Guardian, one of the biggest papers here. In a way I was lucky because I think they get loads of applicants for those jobs...but the one I got was fairly specialized, so I don't think they would have got as many applicants as the average publishing editorial assistant job or something like that would get (hundreds!).

    I started thinking about how I got my jobs in the past.

    -Bookshop assistant - dropped in with resume.
    -Library assistant - they didn't have a specific job advertised but invited applications anyway and some time after I applied I got called.
    -Telephone surveys - I think it was advertised in the local papers.
    -Telephone reservations for an airline - friends working there told me they were looking for people with my language skills. I think the friends passed on my CV.
    -Customer relations for an airline - a temp job through an agency, which then went permanent.
    -Temp work at a publishing company - partly through a contact who worked there, partly through an agency.
    -Further contracts at that publishing company - through internal contacts and application.
    -Current publishing job - through applying to a newspaper ad.

    I've also had freelance writing jobs which were advertised, or my brother passed on to me because he works in a similar area, etc... They may have been cautious as I didn't have a lot of experience at first but when they saw my writing they wanted more.

    I'd built up some pretty good experience when I applied for the current job. I'd also had quite a few interviews, many through newspaper or agency ads but none of them worked out...

    I've read the parachute book, but ages ago. I think it's worth trying everything. Personal contacts certainly help but it can be hard when you're new in a country.

    Do your best to spin your resume to highlight the most favourable skills for what you're applying for. You can definitely do this and not lie! Just highlight whatever is most impressive and useful and think how it could fit well for the company or job.

    Hope it works out soon
    Enneagram 6w5 sp/sx


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    5w6 sp/sx


    Social connections.

  5. #5
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Networking, and connections.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

    8w9 sx/so

  6. #6


    I decided I wanted the Job.

    Turned in the resume.

    And went in asking for an interview every two weeks after until I finally got one.

  7. #7
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    827 sp/so


    I applied on CareerBuilder

    before that I generally got jobs by showing up in person and pretty much demanding the job... it works surprisingly well
    “The phrase 'Someone ought to do something' was not, by itself, a helpful one. People who used it never added the rider 'and that someone is me'.” - Terry Pratchett

  8. #8
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    Most of mine have been through friends, recruiters, and internet applications. Tailoring your resume and cover letter is important, and so is follow up, but without pestering them too much. Persistence with charm, without being annoying. And always be ready to summarize your experience and its relevance intelligently when asked.

    Engineers are more likely to be successful applying over the internet than others, though.

    For jobs that don't require specialized education or skill, it's usually best to show up in person and ask to talk to the manager, then make arrangements from there if necessary. That's how I got all my high school cashier jobs.

    Edit: Actually, showing up and talking to them in person is probably good for any job.

  9. #9
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Mostly luck, really. I was about ready to get out of graduate school, and as I was leaving the field that I'd studied in, went to the college career center to get some ideas. The counselor told me that an office on campus that was in my general region of interest didn't have openings, but that he knew a guy there who'd probably be willing to talk to me just so I could get a better idea of what things were like. I went and talked to the guy, and we had a good conversation.

    Turns out they *did* have positions open. He referred me to the department chair, and after an "aptitude test" I was basically offered my choice of a few different things that they had available. I wound up taking the one that they "really" needed someone for (which as it turned out, was also the best option, although one I'd never have considered myself qualified for - I'd never even heard of a significant portion of what was on the job requirements). That was 11 years ago, and I'm still there.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    I'd say if you have the confidence to do it, get suited and booted and go cold calling with your resume, even if they don't have any positions, give them a copy of it. You never know, they may just get back in touch.

    With my first job i went cold calling and someone liked what they saw so i was hired.

    My second job i decided i enjoyed the banking element of the previous job so went to an agency and got into the banking sector there i was then made a permanent member of staff and promoted. Then i was made redundant.

    Before my last job i was unemployed for 11 months and stopped counting after i applied for my 100th job. I was doing courses to show i was still active in my pursuit for growth and by chance the receptionist at the place i was taking the course told me about some vacancies for which i should apply (administrator and adviser position).
    Funnily enough the application for the administrator was far better than the adviser yet i got the adviser position. Then i was made redundant, lol.

    Good luck in your quest
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

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