Make sure you know your own story, and also know that right now, there are certainly options for you despite how overwhelming a job search may feel.
Dear CHCC (Chestnut Hill Career Column):
How do I best utilize online job searching platforms? It all seems pretty overwhelming and I am not sure where to begin.
From the days of printing your resume and snail-mailing it out... to today? …. This is a great question!
For most of the folks I talk to about their career plans, it starts with basic things like where do you want to live? Geography matters for some jobs, and others not so much. I am working with an attorney now who works for a firm in Philadelphia but moved home to be near family during the pandemic and is thinking of a full-time relocation to that state. The process in this scenario is to set the stage for that potential transition, which for her involves waiving into that state’s bar.
Be aware in your search that most jobs require some form of licensing, for example, and those licenses are state-based. In fact, the number of jobs requiring state licensure has increased in the last 60 years from 1 in 20 to 1 in 4 — a full 25% of jobs may require you to obtain and maintain a state-based license. There is a database to glance at if you are curious: ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/occupational-licensing-statute-database.aspx
Examples are bar admissions for attorneys, athletic trainers, cosmetologists, educational certifications for teachers and real estate licenses to sell real estate.
Once you determine your geography, you can set up notices for job postings in specific areas of interest: make sure you determine what job titles fit with your interests and skills. Platforms like indeed.com and linkedin.com are free and allow these daily notices to your email inbox. If you are currently working, set up a folder with a ‘rule’ to move these emails automatically into a folder so you can manage your online job search on your own time and not feel ‘spammed’ with potential options. Set aside time each week to focus on what you found.
The last year has created a world where our attention has been incredibly challenged. So much has changed and many things have seemed overwhelming. For the most part, being in isolation hasn’t helped our interpersonal skills all that much. As we move forward, making sure that we help each other with these life transitions and trust ourselves is key. My advice is don’t overwhelm yourself with options: refine your own wants and needs with your search, know who you are and what you want for your future, and focus on that.
Linked in and other job search platforms do a good job walking you through setting up a profile, then clicking ‘open to opportunities.’ It is important to know, whether that is short (no job yet, one job) or long (a number of jobs ideally in your field or skill set), it is all a story to tell. Practice verbally explaining your situation, interests, and/or job changes to someone you trust, to prepare yourself for interviews on the topic. Make sure you know your own story, and also know that right now, there are certainly options for you despite how overwhelming a job search may feel. Take it a step at a time, share your story when given an interview opportunity, don’t take it personally if a match doesn’t happen because…. There is something else right around the corner perhaps you didn’t know was there. Good luck!
Rona Sisson is an attorney and also Executive Director with Mestel & Co., a legal recruiting firm with offices nationwide. You may email her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org for the CHCC.