On the Hunt: The Job Search

Job hunting can be a daunting task. If you’re already employed, it’s easier to be picky, and wait for jobs that check off all the must-haves on your list. If you’re unemployed, sometimes beggars can’t be choosers. I recently made the decision to change companies, and I was reminded of some things along the way.

I always struggled with where to start looking. I like the face-to face interaction of walking into a place of business, handing in a resume and cover letter, and demonstrating that I am physically willing to show up. However, in the trades industry, this isn’t always the way to go. Often those that would be the interviewers spend time out of the office, so that face-to face is limited to when you get called for an interview.

Thus, you must sell yourself online; the hub of never-ending job opportunities, with few you may actually want to apply for. I have a great tutor for resume and cover letter writing – my Mom! – as in her career she has probably scanned over a thousand resumes. Here’s the Cole’s Notes:

For your resume:

  • Keep it to one page (Mom’s been employed for over 40 years, and can fit what’s relevant on a page)
  • State the job title, then add details about the extra roles/responsibilities you had in addition to that position.
  • Add any relevant training and/or certificates you’ve received along with your formal high school and post-secondary education
  • Include any additional volunteer items that will show your enhanced interest in your job/career

For your cover letter:

  • No need to repeat anything that’s already included in the resume, but expand on your past experiences and goals, anything that might make you stand out amongst those with the same past education or job positions.

Once you get the call for the interview, you literally can get your foot in the door. Here is the face to face time! I’ve noticed a difference between trades and non-trades job interviews. The non-trades jobs have been a more formal interviewing process, a structural question & answer format. The trade jobs, like the one I’d recently applied for, felt laid back. It was like old friends sitting down for a conversation. In and amongst general conversation, information about the company and myself, and how we’d fit together was discussed.

Don’t be afraid to let some personality out.

And don’t underestimate the value of workplace culture. They’ve read your resume, that’s why you got the interview. Give them sometime more with the valuable face time. Sure, anyone might be qualified, but that’s not helpful if they don’t fit in with the culture of the company. I dropped a line about how beautiful the weather was, and how it’d be a nice day to golf, and suddenly I’d learned my future company hosts an annual golf tournament for the staff. Shortly after, I was able to make them laugh about an industry related anecdote. Those extras helped me get the job.

Hollie CookHollie Cook
– Mechanical Techniques – Electrical Monitoring & Systems, 2014

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