Monster is Dead
Face it people, don't waste your time on Monster or any of its clones anymore (it's full of spam anyway).
I think back to my days in one of the most boring classes ever, career planning. Not only was it a dread to go to, what could you learn there that you didn't already know? In Johnson & Wales at least, there were three of these classes, all requiring the same assignments to be turned in: a resume, a cover letter, and job search results. Sure there were variations depending on what major you were in or which class in the series you took, but it was basically the same. Resume, cover letter, job postings (from Monster no less). Damn, it was the same thing every time. Most students went so far as to just port their assignments from class to class. But let's stop mocking for a second. The final class in the series which was entitled "Career Capstone," at least my final class, focused on something called networking. Basically, finding a job through resources other than a job bank.
"Damn, that's clever," is what I should have thought at the time. But as any student a few weeks from graduation would do, I ignored it. Little did I know that it would come to bite me in the ass later.
Fast forward to my job search in Savannah. Most of you know how utterly horrible that went. But let's take a look at how I looked for jobs. Yes kids, I used Monster, CareerBuilder and local job search engines. I "applied to," meaning "sent my resume" to about 25 companies and only getting one response. Bummer, that's crap. On top of that, I had wasted a whole four days there.
Quickly losing hope, I started to post "unemployed :(" in my different forum profiles. "Who looks at profiles?" I thought. I didn't think anybody really cared, but a few days after I did that, I got an invite to a place called LinkedIn. In an utter sense of desperation, I accepted the invitation and started building my network. For those of you that have missed the slew of articles about this service, let me tell you, don't listen to anybody else. Use it right, and you'll get results. It takes no more than about 20 minutes to fully flesh out your profile (using that old resume perhaps?), and start looking for people you know.
Here are some helpful ways to find people:
- Search for your school.
- Search for your places of work (they provide an easy way to do this).
- Search for your interests.
- Search for names you know (like mine for instance).
Before their newest releases, the LinkedIn service encouraged people to connect with people they knew. Because in their minds, "you'll never know who your friends know." Once you get a few people with some good connections (don't forget to invite your friends too), and hopefully get those connections to endorse you, then you head over to the job bank and start searching. Naturally, if you're in the San Francisco area, you'll get the best results. This is mainly because, one, the network is based in Palo Alto, and two, it's been adopted throughout the Bay Area. Fortunately, I was looking for a job in the area, so I had a lot of jobs to choose from. Also, there are employers that post jobs only on LinkedIn.
Note: If you have any sort of programming background. This is the place for you. Employers on this service are looking for engineers over designers at about a 5:1 ratio. But then again, it all depends on who you connect with.
Best thing about this service is that you let your peers do the talking for you. In order to get in contact with a potential employer, you must have your peers vouch for you. On top of that, you can forget the resume and cover letter. For one, your profile covers that (IF you filled it out fully) and two, they don't require it if you connect through your peers.
I found my job at Facebook through LinkedIn, and I'll just skip all the weird connections that happened through and because of it. I can't stress enough on how services like this are replacing, no, destroying job listings. If you haven't signed up for LinkedIn yet, you no longer need an invitation, but I can only stress that you flesh out your profile and connect with as many people as you can. That way you can make the most of this service. If you put the work in, you'll get great results. If you sit there and wait, well, then you just don't want it that badly.