RE: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!

Subject: RE: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!
From: "Cekis, Margaret" <Margaret -at- mediaocean -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 15:29:32 -0500

One of the things I've noticed lately is that several people have reported
that they were called for interviews for jobs that were never advertised.
They had posted their resume on an internet jobs board, and an employer
contacted them.

For many companies, recruiting can be expensive. In tough times, when
companies are watching their cashflow, they may have open positions, but
will try to fill them without a full-scale recruiting campaign. It has been
my experience that in this kind of circumstances, companies first post the
job internally (maybe an employee knows someone and will recommend them).
Next, they go through their HR files to see if they have an appropriate
candidate on file. Then they may ask their recruiter to ask around for
candidates (recruiters belong to HR organizations and may get a resume from
someone). Next, they scan the internet job boards for appropriate
candidates (if they find some candidates, they may not need to advertise the
job).

Only when all these resources fail, do they advertise their job openings in
a newpaper or on a job board. Only after they have advertised for direct
hires and had no results and they cannot postpone filling the position any
longer will they contact recruiting agencies (to whom they have to pay fees)
to recruit for the opening.

So the course of action required in this type of job market is to get your
resume into as many files as possible! You want your resume to be sitting
there when they consider filling that tech writer position, but don't want
to incur a large recruiting expense to fill it.

I moved to Atlanta in 1990, and there were all kinds of job openings in May
when we were house hunting. (My husband was transferred by his company.) We
closed on our house on August 1. Iraq invaded Kuwait the next day. So I
got here just in time for the 1990-1992 recession.

During my first 3 years here, I sent out about 800 resumes. I went through
the ads in fields like engineering, environmental, health care, and
education (universities do research that needs to be published) as well as
computers and data processing (before they called it IT). I sent resumes to
organizations and agencies that advertised for other technical specialties
with a cover letter asking them to call me if they got any openings for
technical writers or editors, and highlighting my research/ engineering/
telecommunications /software-related experience (depending on the industry).
I developed a suite of cover letters for different industries.

During that period, I had one 3-week contract, and one 3-month contract.
But when the economy picked up, I got calls from all over the area, asking
if I were available, and would I send them an updated resume. So whatever
you do now, whether it leads to an immediate job or not, is also laying a
groundwork for future opportunites.

Stay optimistic, and keep track of any contacts you make, so that you can
address them by name if you contact the same company or agency again.

Good luck to all of you who are still looking. Keep looking, but paper the
world with your resume. They do want you; they just do not want to spend
any money to find you right now.

Margaret Cekis
Margaret -at- mediaocean -dot- com


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