Tips for the Job Hunting Woman

Being a small town girl interviewing in the big city is intimidating, no if ands or buts, it sucks. Every job I’ve ever gotten has been a result of word of mouth. In a small town your family, friends and mechanic are your resume. Even my last job of sixteen years in Toronto was the result of my reputation from that same town.

**Cue John Cougar Melloncamp**

Over the past several months while looking for work my eyes have been opened to the stress of doing just that. It can get old real quick and before you know it you’re knee deep in a vat of self pity inhaling chocolate chip cookie dough.

Rejection is hard; actually getting an interview is harder. My search is finally over. Proof it does happen. It takes time, don’t let it get to you and remember:

  1. Don’t get discouraged –So much easier said than done, but take my word for it, buy some chocolate and relax. Try not to anticipate a timeline because as soon as you pass the magic date your self confidence takes a hit and you risk losing focus. Avoid compromising on positions of lesser quality. Don’t lose sight of your goals. Unless, you’re desperate then I’m afraid you’re going to have to buck up and take what’s available keeping in mind it’s only a stepping stone to what you really want.
  2. You will learn humility – When I left my last job I wasn’t thinking further ahead than a year. I wanted a break. I had the money for a break. I took a break and I don’t regret it. Besides I had a plan. I was going to be a blogger and earn just enough money to keep me in my PJ’s. Needless to say, it’s been a long road of self discovery with a side of humble pie. Sometimes we have to step back, refocus and live in the real world.
  3. You will have to send out A LOT of resumes. You will hear from almost none of them.
  4. Get help with your resume, even if you don’t think you need to. Don’t be so stubborn, you don’t know everything. There are tricks of the trade I never knew existed.  I have four resumes and up to ten different cover letters.
  5. Tweak your resume and cover letter with every application. It’s a pain in the ass, but necessary. Pick words out of the job description, pull out your thesaurus and switch some words around or Google similar job descriptions and find something that matches your talents. Use it. No one is going to enforce copyright laws over a resume.
  6. For God sake make sure you know what you put in your resume. If you look like a deer in headlights in an interview when they ask you about something you wrote, you might as well walk out.
  7. Practice your interview techniques with someone. I know it sounds cheesy and it is…but do it anyway. Look up typical interview questions on the internet and practice them until they are comfortable.
  8. If you’re a woman looking for work in a business dominated by men, consider getting a penis. Trust me. With my resume and a penis, the sky’s the limit in the world of industrial products. Of course I’m kidding; you obviously can’t afford the operation if you’re out of work, so you’re going to have to go in full vagina. Full badass vagina. My point is self confidence, even if it’s not real. There is a lot to be said for, “fake it until you make it.” If you’re feeling down about the process it’ll show in your body language. Give yourself a pep talk, throw your shoulders back and be proud. If they don’t want to hire your vagina then they’re the ones missing out.
  9. Personality goes a long way. So does honesty. Be yourself, if you don’t get the job there’s a reason, believe it. They did you a favour. You don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t get you. Remember you need to be comfortable there to…which leads me too…
  10.  Don’t discredit the importance of interviewing your potential employer as well. Have questions for them, they like that. Look interested in your future and they will be to.

It’s sometimes a long, frustrating process. There is truth to the saying, “Looking for work is a full time job.” I look at it the same as finding a husband; put yourself out there, try some on for size and in the end pick the one that feels right and appears to have some sustainability.

In the words of Jon Bon Jovi circa 1992, “Keep the Faith.”

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