*Job Hunting Tips*
Here are few tips that have worked for me in finding a new job.
Instead of searching the classified ads I would drive the industrial areas near me and look for trucks and equipment sitting idle; this could be a sign of a lack of drivers/operators or a sign of a lack of business. Too much equipment sitting was most likely a sign of slow times for business. This also gives me an idea of the names and types of businesses in an area. Take notes you might be able to use the information at a later date. I found a job as "skunky pumper" this way, the guy who cleans outhouses and porta-potties. I saw some trucks sitting at a temporary fence company so I went in and asked if they were hiring and got an interview with the one of the owners, after filling out the application. They liked the fact that I already had a commercial drivers permit and would help me with the road test if I was hired (don't rely on promises). I wanted to install temporary fences or power lines, but they said what they really needed was a route driver and all of their bobtail trucks had 2 speed axles and I had the experience for that, plus it paid about 14% more than fence installers. They explained that the route drivers cleaned the porta-potties. I took it for the money, almost lost my breakfast the first morning, but it got easier after the first few stops.
Another time while driving around, I saw 3 semi trucks parked in a yard so I stopped and filled out an application. The regional manager happened to be there and I interviewed with him. After turning over the application, he asked what made me stop and apply there since they were on a dead end side street. I told him that there were trucks sitting in his yard and if the trucks were sitting the trucks weren't making the company any money - just costing him money. They had a driver retiring in a few weeks and I became his replacement. This upset some people there since they all started as temps and I walked in off the street and got hired. (Office politics is a completely different article.) This tactic may or may not work for your industry, but look for the signs of your industry for active companies.
When I walk in looking for a job I wait to be greeted, and they ask if they can help me or what I am looking for? Instead of asking if they are hiring, I reply with something like, "Well, what I am really looking for today is a job." Once, in a building supply center, a clerk asked if I needed assistance and I said I was looking for the personnel department and they directed me right to the manager's office. This seems to throw people off in a good way. Instead of the usual blunt, "We advertise in the paper when we have openings," I get a better response and people are more helpful. If you are directed to another office, or even another company follow up on the lead, take notes on who gave you the info and who they said to talk to; name, title, and company of both people. If you go in looking defeated before you even start talking, change your attitude to "They have a job opening and that job is mine." I know it can be discouraging looking for job even if you still have one, but you have to look, act, sound, and be optimistic. No one wants to work with a pessimist and you have to get past the people at the front desk; know that they are screening you as you walk in. Smile when you talk and you will look and sound more optimistic and confident even if you're nervous. Remember, the receptionist is screening you and she has more to do with you getting to the right people than most folks realize. So, don't be demeaning to her. Get on her good side and remember the golden rule, "Treat others as you would want to be treated."
Name dropping has only worked once for me, but it got me the job. I had done some work for an old guy who worked on boilers. I went to a roofing supply company that was family owned and I knew the boiler man who knew the owner. In fact, they went to high school together. When I went in to see about a job the owner happened to be there. I waited for the opportunity to mention the boiler man's name to the owner. The roofing company owner didn't have much to do with the day-to-day operations, but I know my name dropping sealed the deal and it was chance that he was even there and that I had a the opportunity to talk to the owner. The roofing supply company owner was talking about his high school days, and I asked what high school and asked if he knew the boiler man. I talked to the owner while his son-in-law looked over my application, and as I was walking to my car the son-in-law called me back in - I had the job. Remember names and relationships, it may help you at some point.
If things are getting really bad and you are about to lose your place to live, consider a job managing apartments or a self storage facility. These jobs usually include housing and a salary. Start looking before you get into serious trouble because these jobs can be hard to come by, even if the job doesn't pay that much when times are hard because the jobs include housing. I did this when I moved into what I considered a lousy place to live. I was between jobs and we were only going to be in this place about 6 months, or until I found another job, whichever came first. One day, about 2 weeks after moving in, I prevented a guy from getting a beating, with a display of a 45 as one punk went to enter my apartment after the first idiot. The next day, when I saw the owners, I asked for the job and that was the extent of the interview. The owner's grandson was the on-site manager in title only, and grandpa was kicking him out. The owners ran the building and a restaurant, which is why the place wasn't being run correctly. They were 70 something and just couldn't do both. We cleaned the place up in about 9 months and kept the job for 5 years. My wife actually did the screening of the tenants and the work after the first 9 months. I worked at a second job to save the rent money and try and get ahead. I suggested this type of job to an unemployed friend of my son who was by all accounts about to be kicked out of his sister and the sister's fiancé's place and his reply was, "I don't want to take a job I have to live at." That college grad went on to stocking shelves at the grocery store, and part time was all he could get. These jobs really aren't that bad. You have a place to live and you have set hours, unless there is an emergency. You are not required to be on site 24/7, just during office hours. Remember, this doesn't have to be your life time profession, unless you want it to be. It can be step back up. Lots of almost retired and retired people do these jobs to supplement their income. Some young families do this until they have saved a down payment for a house. Besides in an apartment setting you are able to choose your neighbors. Remember, you can't discriminate but you can be discerning; there is a difference. Now I am getting into a different article.
Temp agencies are also a good place when you are between jobs or going to school. That's how I got a job I was on for 8 years. There is a temp agency for almost every industry now-a-days, specializing from accountants to truck drivers to zoologists. Lots of companies these days use agencies to "try out" employees (screen applicants) to see if the "new guy" is a good fit for the company. You can use the same strategy to find a company that you like and have a steady job history without the job hopping resume. Some people even make a career out of working for temp agencies. If there are problems at a job the agency sends you to let the agency manager know whether it is safety, or just a jerk of a foreman, they will appreciate knowing. I went to an agency because they were more flexible than a regular job. I was taking classes at the community college and couldn't find a job that would work with my class schedule. I went to an agency for drivers and was hired the same day. I could turn down work that conflicted with my class schedule. The agency will ask you on the application what your availability is, be honest about your availability. They'll appreciate it and so will you. If your schedule changes, let them know as soon as possible. Agencies expect to have to work with you and will even let you turn down a job for a job interview. Temp agencies will even work with you to find a permanent job too. This is also a good way for inexperienced people to gain valuable experience and job skills.
Some day, labor agencies that specialize in menial work will even offer daily cash pay at the end of the day. Expect to do hard dirty work at this kind of agency; everything from setting up tents for fancy parties to cleaning construction sites or landscaping work. If you don't have a vehicle, but can get to the agency in the morning, some will arrange for you to ride with someone else to the job. They take a few dollars of your wages that day and give it to the guy with the car. If you have a car and are willing to take guys who don't have a car to the job, they will take a few dollars out of the passengers pay and give it to you for gas money. If you participate in one of these day labor car pools, you might not always like the other passengers as day labor agencies like this often pay low wages and attract people who can't get a job any other way, like parolees and folks with mental illnesses or just plain losers of one type or another. So remember that if you aren't the driver, and the driver has a fit and leaves the job early or if you decide to the leave the job for some reason, you'll have to find your own way home. A lot of folks will be like you, down on their luck needing some quick cash to get by for another few days or a week.
Another tip that I have heard a lot about lately, even on the news, is networking. I am not very sociable so I am not very good at networking. It is not always what you know but who you know that will get you a job. If you know other unemployed people or even someone who is looking to change jobs you can help them and they can help you, even if you aren't in the same industry. Ask them to keep an eye out for jobs you might qualify for and do the same for them. If you drive around looking for a job, take notes on what kind of companies and their names in the area you are scoping out. When you are out and about keep your eyes out for openings, even if it is not in your line of work. You might be able to help someone else out, it could be your neighbors teenage kid or it could be your best friend.
One thing I've tried that has not been successful for me but has been very successful for my son, is looking for a job online. It might be the industry, I'm a truck driver and my son is a computer whiz. There are countless job sites on the internet, and the one that was hot yesterday is not so hot the next. You also have to be careful about giving your information out on the internet. If you choose to try this, be careful. Research the companies you're interested in and make sure you are at a legitimate website before giving out your personal information. You don't want to become a victim of identity theft while searching for a job. Some crooks have taken to posing as a company to lure people into giving their personal information out.
I hope this helps someone now or in the future. Good luck if you are job hunting.John1lt
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