I always seem to give advice to job seekers, so I wanted to share with you my experience as a job seeker.
When I graduated from college years ago, internet was quite new and we used to look for jobs the old-fashioned way, newspaper ads and networking. There were no online resources for Resume writing and/or interviewing skills, we read books:)
I have never been someone who likes to ask for a favor, so I found all my jobs through ads or recruiters, so let me tell you how it all began.
After college, the first thing I did was to contact local recruiters for entry level job openings. I started my job search early May. Recruiters were super nice and they all wanted to meet with me in person. They did not give me any feedback on my Resume or interviewing skills or anything, just told me they would call me if they have any openings. You can imagine my enthusiasm at the beginning, but weeks passed and I got no callbacks. I still don’t know what the reasoning was, was it my Resume, my interview skills, overall lack of experience? I have no clue. By mid-June I was desperate to get a job and started applying to local stores and got a retail job. I worked there for 6 months while I kept looking for a better job. Still no calls from recruiters… I ended up getting a permanent job through direct application.
It took me a good 6-7 years to get my first job through a recruiter. Once I established myself and career and knew what I was doing then and only then they started calling me.
I am sharing this with you because I see there is a lot of information and advice online but also there is a great deal of negativity towards advising new graduates. Personally, I wish someone gave me any advice or feedback instead of being fake nice to me. It is always better to have access to information and make your decisions accordingly and I find it really cruel to let people fail.
Recruitment business is sales, understandably recruiters are mostly interested in investing their time in easily marketable candidates. That is why if you do not have any experience it will be hard to get the help of a recruiter. The same goes for senior job seekers unfortunately, they would be considered a hard sell.
I am not a recruiter myself, I do not get paid a commission or make money on the number of candidates I find, so I have a little more flexibility than most people in this field. Most importantly I have been there many many times. As a new graduate, I faced the struggles of finding a job. As a mid-level employee, I faced the issues with finding good jobs. As a senior employee, I face the challenges of being over-qualified and as a woman I faced the hardship of going up the corporate ladder. And I wish I had mentors all along, I was not one of those lucky people who had family and friends and colleagues that were willing and able to help.
So, my advice to you is simple: knowledge is power, do not dismiss free advice, even if you do not agree with it or follow it do not get offended when someone is trying to help you out. Remember that many before you and many more like you are in the same boat and have the same experiences, do not feel singled out. Things only do get better in time.