This e-commerce analyst has struggled for over two years to get a job. In this interview he summarizes what he should have done to get a job sooner.
I am an e-commerce Client Service Analyst in the technological solutions field, working for a firm that provides technological solutions to financial institutions, retailers, healthcare providers, and etc. I have been on the job for 3 years after finding my position through an online job search site. I had been actively looking for work for 2-1/2 years.
I think the most important thing I learned about the job search process is that opportunities can be found in places where you don't expect to find them. Persistence pays when seeking a job, especially now when they are seemingly becoming harder to find. The circumstances that led to this knowledge were that I spent 2 years looking for a job through the more 'traditional' methods, like want ads, networking, and attending job fairs.
I finally found a web site that lists nothing but e-commerce jobs and used the site to apply. Six months later, I got my job. I'd used job boards in the past without any success and so I didn't really expect that it would pay off for me this time. But since nothing else was working out either, I really had nothing to lose. I'm certainly glad that I decided to try online job hunting again. If I hadn't, I might still be looking!
I would give three pieces of advice for job searching. First, don't be afraid to try something different. For me, it was the decision to post my resume on Employment Crossing. I had actually tried Monster.com previously but with no results. I had come to believe that using a traditional job search strategy was the best way to find a job that I would enjoy. I decided to try online job hunting when the traditional method failed to deliver.
Second, be in it for the long haul. A 54 month job search is a very long one. You should seek employment with the confidence that you will find a job in 8 to 12 weeks, but you should have a back-up plan just in case. For instance, mine is writing articles online, just like this one. Writing doesn't pay very much but it's better than a lot of online work, and its enough to pay the bills. Its just like any other job, you get out of it what you put into it. I still write even though I now have a great job. It allows me to be creative and keep my mind active.
The third most important piece of advice is to constantly monitor and adapt your job search strategy. If one method isn't getting you any interviews, it's time to change and try a different method. Also, read the forums on the job boards and look for hints and strategies that you may not have thought of. It's always helpful if you can use the experience or advice of others to your advantage. Sites like Monster always post articles to help job seekers. Read those and follow their advice. In addition to tuning your strategy, look for ways to tune your resume. Whether taking classes to add to your education or simply downplaying something potentially negative, always put your best face forward and sell yourself.
I started attaining success when I took my own job search advice. I realized that my success depended on coming up with a new idea because newspaper ads and job fairs weren't producing the kind of results I needed. I didn't know anyone with connections in the e-commerce field, so networking wasn't a viable option either. I had wasted money on employment agencies with nothing to show for it and didn't want to do that again. So I decided to try searching online again. I thought of Monster but it occurred to me that a more specialized site might give me better results.
I searched for e-commerce jobs and found Employment Crossing. They list e-commerce jobs exclusively and I thought I'd give it a chance. As far as implementing my own advice about having a back up plan, I chose to write articles for the web because it was just a natural fit for me. People have always told me that I'm a good writer so I just took advantage of it. Use your talents to earn money in between jobs, at least enough to make ends meet. My final piece of advice kind of goes hand in hand with the first. I tried different job search methods and switched to others when I realized that they weren't working.
You need to be able to see when something isn't working and be able to switch to a different, hopefully better, process. Where this advice didn't work is that it took me far too long to see the problem. I should have had a job much sooner than it finally took. A lesson learned, I say. Should there ever be another job search in my future, I will utilize online searches first. It seems that more employers will be posting their openings than printing them in newspapers in the future, so job boards are a sensible way to look for that new career.
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