ALEXANDRIA

Job Search Update: May 2016

I kept busy in the month of May by saving pdfs of job openings I found on Indeed, LinkedIn, my campus job board, and the town job board. My hard drive is filled with different revisions of my resume and cover letter. When I reached the middle of May, I realized that I wasn’t keeping up with my networking goal. In fact, I didn’t even try to find people to contact. However, I forced myself to reach out to 2 people. Here’s a quick summary of how May looked for me.

Job Searching

I applied to a lot of jobs. I had this system where I would download pdfs of job postings I was interested in. Then the next day, I would create tailored resumes and cover letters. This month, I applied to a total of 26 job postings online. I only received an interview from 2 employers which happened in the first week of June.  The first interview was for an internship that I previously applied to and this was the first time I moved forward in the lengthy and competitive application process. The second was for a local clinic where I submitted my application in person.

Shockingly, I had those interviews on the same day. I practiced my answers to common interview questions and reflected on why I wanted to work for each employer. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear back from them but I have no choice but to keep positive. Hearing back from 2 employers gives me a bit of hope – it reminds me that I do have attractive skills to employers…right? On a positive note, I know my answer to “Tell me about yourself”. I’ve also taken the questions I was asked and added them to my collection of practice questions.

Networking

I only contacted two people and they were not in the industry I was had mentioned before. If you have read my previous posts and perused through the pages of this website, you would know that I am interested in pursuing a career in science communication – specifically, the visual aspect.

The people I contacted however are not in that industry. They’re in podcasting. One day, I was binge listening to podcasts and I emailed two hosts. I had no idea how it would go. I have zero experience in radio. I hate the way I stutter and sound confused when I tell stories. I say “like” too often and I don’t sound particularly sophisticated because of my not so sophisticated vocabulary. Nevertheless, I’m quite curious about podcasting production and I love story telling.

I pushed away the negative self-talk and boldly sent emails. I expressed my love for their podcast and explained that I simply wanted to be involved in the process. To my surprise they both replied within the week. One host was kind enough to set a meeting with me on Skype!

Next Steps

Based on May’s stats, I have an 8% interview success rate and a 0% hiring success rate. I recently read an article about getting hired using connections rather than submitting passive applications. It is definitely something I have to try but first I need to push myself to break out of my shell and not to be intimated by making connections. Let’s hope the month of June is more interesting.

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