Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

One of the hardest things for a company to do is hire skilled, qualified candidates for a positionOne of the hardest things for a company to do is hire skilled, qualified candidates for a position. Any position, actually; office, field or shop can be difficult. Luckily, in my neck of the woods, somebody always knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody. If someone puts in an application here, it is most likely because somebody else recommended them over here. That’s how I got my job here eight years ago. I told a friend of mine that I was looking for a change. He knew that Artistic was looking for someone with my skill set. Eight years later, I’m still here, and it’s all good. Artistic never advertised the position. They just let it be known that they were looking. I never went to any sites like Monster or Indeed. I never got the chance. We both just networked our way to each other. In this one instance, the sun, moon and stars lined up just right.

However, we all know that it really seldom happens that way in the real world. Resumes, job boards, social media, networking, emails, walk-in applications, phone calls and interviews can all make one’s head spin. Is all that really necessary? Unfortunately, yes, it is probably necessary.

In this modern electronic world, a paper resume is still one of your best friends. If you give a good resume to a potential employer, whether the job is office, trade or management, you look professional and serious as an applicant. Even if it is a situation where you are just filling out an application, bring it. A good resume will more than likely have the answers to most of the application questions: where you worked and how long, education, reference information, etcetera. There is no more guessing or not remembering phone numbers and addresses. 

An application to a potential employer looks much better filled out completely. Plus, a resume doesn’t have to stay on paper. I have had the same resume writer for 30 years. He offers paper, disc, thumb drive and electronic presentations that you can offer to any employer. 

A good resume writer isn’t cheap. View it as an investment in yourself. I can honestly say that over the years, every time I have offered my professionally written resume to an employer, I have gotten the job (no kidding!). It also looks good when a job board like Monster lets you post your own resume. That’s what you want right? You want to stand out and be noticed. 

When you start looking for a new job, you should clean up your social media profiles. Some of your posts, tweets and social media comments could be misunderstood by someone who doesn’t know you. These days, more employers than not will check your social media presence to get a sense of who you are. Let’s face it, this happens every day somewhere. You hear about someone being sued, arrested, forced out or fired** for something they posted or tweeted years ago. 

Look what just happened to Carson King. One day he is on top of the world, raising money for a Children’s Hospital, and then the next thing he knows, some reporter finds an offensive tweet or two from when he was 16, prints it in the paper and the Fortune 500 company** that was backing him cuts ties with him.  Don’t let your social media profile be the thing that doesn’t get you an offer.

Network, network, network! Tell everyone you know what you are looking to do. Even if the person you are talking to can’t help you, they may know someone who can. 

When the moon and the stars line up and you get an interview, be proactive. Prepare yourself before the interview. Research the company online. See what they are about. Figure out why you are a good fit for them AND tell them during the interview. You don’t just have to sit during an interview and answer their questions, ask your own questions! What are the exact duties of this position in this company? Is there a chance for advancement from this position? Who do I report directly to? What are the values and goals of this company? No matter what type of position you are interviewing for, sitting like a lump on a log during an interview does not do anyone any good. Showcase yourself! 

People look for jobs for many reasons. No matter what the reason, job seeking is hard work. Whether you have to because your previous employment came to an end, or you just need a change, the more organized and prepared you are, the less time it will take and the sooner you will be working in your new position. Good Luck!

Just an afterthought or two:

Another reason you want to research a company online is to see if you really want to work for them. A company with bad reviews or low star ratings across the internet may not be where you want to settle down.  Only you can decide that.

Also, if you are currently employed and you don’t want your current employer to know you are seeking a job elsewhere, you may need to be a bit more careful and discrete about what you are doing. Only you know how far you can safely go. Another option is to be honest and discuss your dissatisfaction with your boss. You might be surprised what your employer is willing to do to keep a skilled, trained worker.

**The Fortune 500 Company that cut ties with Carson King did say they would honor their monetary commitment to the Children’s Hospital, just not in conjunction with Mr. King.

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