Monday, September 15, 2008

Face(booking) the job market

Friday was Facebook day. At the urging of Kreblog and others, I finally opened an account. I still have a bit to learn. Chats started popping, messages started flowing, acceptances were coming in. Lots of happenings. I still need to figure out how to turn this into a job seeking tool for my immediate needs. I also don't want to get totally sucked into the vortex of social networking at the expense of job searching, which I can see myself doing because it's a compelling tool.

I spent a good amount of time on Friday researching acronyms (PMI, ITIL, CMMI) that were on a job posting for which I applied. I found that while I have knowledge in these areas, certifications are a way of proving that knowledge which is why I suppose employers ask for these things. I'm willing to get certifications, but I need to be a bit further down the job search road before I want to invest time in those versus time in searching.

I have to remind myself on occasion not to get "job lock". You know what it is: when you see that job that you'd be perfect for at the perfect company paying good money, you fixate on getting that job and the general search or progress you've made on other jobs takes a back seat. It usually happens when you get the first interest from the employer, but as I researched the certifications, I realized that although I was gaining general knowledge, it may or may not help me for other jobs I might be considering.

Another significant activity on Friday was finding my old cover letter file. What I've done in the past is save paragraphs that I might put into a cover letter so that I can cut and paste some of what I need. For example, if a job posting asks for good communication skills, I have a paragraph that lists a specific example where I've demonstrated good communication skills. Of course each paragraph might need to be tuned for the specific circumstances of the job I'm applying for, but it's nice to have a starting place.

I did take the weekend off from job hunting, but not from worrying. With my daughter's wedding a week away and with the construction on the house going over budget, the amount of months we can survive my unemployment keeps going down. I guess I'd better get back to the hunt.

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