Job Search SOS

Dear Students

June 02, 2021 Chris & Nancy Pinto Season 1 Episode 10
Job Search SOS
Dear Students
Chapters
Job Search SOS
Dear Students
Jun 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 10
Chris & Nancy Pinto

CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Graduation is an exciting time.  It brings out all the feels, right?  And if you’re going from high school, college, or a trade school straight into the workforce, you’re probably also feeling the discomfort of leaving your comfort zone.  

Some people JUST KNOW what they want to do with their lives from an early age.  Others have no idea, and hop from industry to industry, learning a great variety of new things along the way.  And then there are those who (like us) have a very vague notion of what they’d like to do, find a job they like, build a career on that, and then later in life discover that there are other things they’d like to try.    

It’s hard to imagine now, but whatever you do today might look like the complete opposite of what you choose to do later in life.  

But today you have a crisp, new diploma and the desire for a job.  Let’s go through some practical steps.

Show Notes Transcript

CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Graduation is an exciting time.  It brings out all the feels, right?  And if you’re going from high school, college, or a trade school straight into the workforce, you’re probably also feeling the discomfort of leaving your comfort zone.  

Some people JUST KNOW what they want to do with their lives from an early age.  Others have no idea, and hop from industry to industry, learning a great variety of new things along the way.  And then there are those who (like us) have a very vague notion of what they’d like to do, find a job they like, build a career on that, and then later in life discover that there are other things they’d like to try.    

It’s hard to imagine now, but whatever you do today might look like the complete opposite of what you choose to do later in life.  

But today you have a crisp, new diploma and the desire for a job.  Let’s go through some practical steps.

Whether you asked for a job transition or not, searching for a new position can be scary, frustrating and disheartening.  Times and technologies change quickly, and there’s a lot to organize!  But the journey can just as easily be exciting, fruitful and rewarding.  I’m Nancy Pinto. 

And I’m Chris Pinto.  Together we own Pinto Employment Search, an executive recruiting firm specializing in the supply chain and logistics industry.  Our combined experience in transportation jobs and recruiting is over 50 years!  We’re here to help you navigate the world of resume writing, job applications, interviews, negotiating compensation, and everything in between - to help you land the job you want!  

From time to time, we will also release an episode where we announce current job openings we’re working on.  

Welcome to the Job Search SOS Podcast!  

CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Graduation is an exciting time.  It brings out all the feels, right?  Joy, sadness, nostalgia, fear and exhilaration, all at the same time.  And if you’re going from high school, college, or a trade school straight into the workforce, you’re probably also feeling the discomfort of leaving your comfort zone.  

Some people JUST KNOW what they want to do with their lives from an early age.   They fall in love with a career, follow the path to get there, and work happily ever after.  Others have no idea, and hop from industry to industry, learning a great variety of new things along the way.  And then there are those who have a very vague notion of what they’d like to do, find a job they like, build a career on that, and then later in life discover that there are other things they’d like to try.    

Chris and I fall into the latter category.  We knew we needed to be in the business world, fell into the logistics industry - which turned out to be a great industry to work in - especially since we met each other at work! - AWWWWWWWWWW!!!! and spent many years learning the ins and outs from the ground up.  It wasn’t until later that we built upon that foundation to branch out into recruiting, and later still to have the confidence to explore side hustles in our favorite hobbies (including voice over, acting, and fitness coaching).   

Point being there’s no right or wrong (unless it’s illegal!), and nothing is permanent.  It’s probably hard to imagine now, but whatever you do today might look like the complete opposite of what you choose to do later in life.  Or what life forces you to choose.  

But today you have a crisp, new diploma and the desire for a job.  Let’s go through some practical steps.

First, plant seeds of positivity into your brain.  You have to go into this knowing that you’re probably not going to get an interview for every application, and every interview does not necessarily mean you’ll get the job.  That’s okay.  You need to keep at it.  As long as you do your very best, you can rest easy knowing it wasn’t anything you did wrong, or anything negative about you personally.  

It’s like actors auditioning for a role on a TV show.  They may have fantastic acting chops, but for whatever reason the director didn’t feel he or she was the right fit for the part.

How I Met Your Mother: Can you see anyone else playing Barney, besides Neil Patrick Harris?

Casting Directors and Hiring Managers have a certain idea of what they're looking for.  It's not to be taken personally.  IT'S JUST THAT YOUR MAGIC BELONGS SOMEWHERE ELSE.  

OK so, first up, you need a resume and a cover letter.  

Let’s talk about the resume first. 

If you don’t wanna futz around with formatting, there are plenty of templates available online that you can download, and you just plug in your information.  You don’t need anything fancy.  Remember to keep saving your work as you go along.   

The file name should be your name and the word “resume”.  That’s it. So mine would be Nancy Pinto Resume. Or N Pinto Resume.  Whatever floats your boat there.  Just, please, don’t name it Nancy Lynn Pinto Final Resume May 2021 Revised Version 3.  You could do that for yourself, but never submit that to a company.    

Here are the things that should be included on the resume:

Contact info:  Name, city and state where you reside, cell phone, email, and link to your updated LinkedIn profile.  If you have a professional, secure website, add that as well.  Photos aren’t necessary; however, if you choose to include one, make it a small, clear, smiley headshot-type picture.

Branding Statement or Personal Summary:  These have just about totally replaced the traditional Objective on a resume.  Basically this is a sentence or two where you state who you are, what value you bring, and what you’re looking for.  Make this as specific as possible, including keywords and terms used in the type of job you’re looking for.  Put this underneath the contact info.

Education:  This can go next, especially if the degree or coursework is related to the job you’re applying for.  Or, it can go at the end of the resume if there’s relevant work experience you want the hiring manager to see first.  Either way, show the school, degree/diploma or certification, the year (you can leave the year for about 5 years past graduation), and any academic awards or honors received.  Schools should be listed in reverse chronological order; for example if you got your masters, list that first, and underneath that the undergraduate details.  Include your GPA, unless it’s lower than 3.5.  

 Experience:  Considering your work experience may be limited, you wanna list anything and everything you’ve done.  Include previous jobs, work study, internships, temp or part time jobs, volunteer work, and projects you’ve completed.  Stuff you did on the side for yourself counts too. For example, if you developed an app as a side hobby, definitely put that down.  As you accumulate work experience, the older stuff (or the things not related to your chosen field) will become less prominent - or be removed altogether. 

Skills:  There are two types of skills, hard skills and soft skills.  You should include both on your resume.  Hard skills would be things such as proficiency in a particular software or program, fluency in another language, or ability to create promotional videos for social media.  Soft skills are personal characteristics, for example infinite patience with angry customers, problem-solving and creative thinking, and the ability to communicate professionally with people at all levels.  

Don’t be afraid to go for a job even if you don’t meet 100% of the hard skills required.  Coming right out of school, you probably won’t have them anyway.  This is where your desire and ambition come into play.  Soft skills go a long way.  Most companies would rather hire and train someone with a friendly attitude and enthusiasm for learning, than a fully qualified but know-it-all jerk.  

Hobbies, Clubs, and other interests:  List a few attention-getting, non-classroom stuff you do, inside and outside of school.  From the basketball court to the church choir, activities demonstrate that you can make commitments and work with people.  Hobbies will make you well-rounded and creative.  And no, as far as hobbies go, it is NOT acceptable to put down “Netflix and chill.” 

You’re almost done.  Proofread and fix any typos.  Make sure the information is organized on the page nicely and is easy to read.  Have someone you trust read it and give you their opinion.  If your resume was a selfie, would you post it?  If so, you’re done! 

Now take a well-deserved break.

Moving on to the dreaded Cover Letter. Some companies will require one along with the resume, some won’t.  Even if you’re just starting the job search and haven’t had to submit one yet, it’s good to practice writing it, so that it won’t be so mysterious when you actually need to do it. 

A cover letter is just a couple of paragraphs basically saying, “Hi, I’m excited to be applying for this job, this is what I offer and how it matches your job opening, I’d love to interview, and thank you!” 

A few pointers to keep in mind:

Number 1:  The cover letter should be brief, 2 paragraphs max.  Start by addressing it to “Dear Hiring Manager” if you don’t know the exact person this is going to.  

Number 2: Express your enthusiasm and interest upon seeing the job posting.  Maybe something like, “As a recent graduate with a degree in International Trade, your job posting for an Import Export Customer Service Representative caught my eye.  I follow ABC Company on LinkedIn and admire the efforts being made to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint.”

Number 3:  Highlight any skills or experience - inside the classroom or out -that would help in the new job.  For example, if you worked in a medical office, you could say how that taught you organizational skills, or how you learned their software very quickly.  Maybe you dealt with upset patients, which would help when dealing with upset customers.   

Another example could be a project you worked on with fellow students.  You learned how to work within a team, how to solve problems, and how to communicate to get things done correctly and on time.  All of these are attributes that would help you excel at that customer service job, even if you never worked a job exactly like that before! 

Number 4:  Express your desire to discuss the opportunity further and explore how you could add value based on your studies and goals.  Offer to provide additional information.  A good approach would be something like: “I would love to hear from you to discuss my qualifications in more detail.”  If they want to interview you, they will reach out. 

Number 5:  To close out, thank them for their time and consideration, and sign off with “sincerely” or “thank you” or “best regards” - whatever feels comfortable and natural for you.  Include your name, email and cell phone. 

After applying for a job, make a note of where and when you applied.  Try to be strategic and focused in your search, not just winging your resume everywhere and hoping the right person will see it and contact you.  Just like you want to feel special among hundreds of job applicants, companies want to feel special among hundreds of companies.  

It’s okay to follow up if you don’t hear anything after a week or two.  But don’t take it personally if you don’t get an interview, or if the company doesn’t even respond.  Recruiters and human resources departments get tons of resumes.  They would love to get back to each and every job applicant but there’s only so much time, and they’re under pressure to fill job openings with the right people.  Keep your chin up, and keep applying and networking.  Eventually you are bound to land an interview!  

And when you DO land an interview, it’s time to prepare so that you can put your best foot forward (literally and figuratively).  Here are a few things to keep in mind for the discussion:

Companies realize that you’re coming into an entry-level situation with limited skills and experience.  They’re willing to invest time in you and train you.  So when they interview you, they’re looking for potential, enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn and grow.   

They’ll ask you about your degree, classes, projects and hobbies.  Think about how each of these are relevant to the job you’re going after.  Don’t ever change the subject, get defensive, or indicate that something isn’t really relevant. 

As my good friend Professor Nathan says,
“Assuming they're all reasonable questions, the only ‘wrong’ answer in an interview is ‘I refuse to answer that question.’”

Be willing to open up and show some passion for your education and goals!  Companies can teach technical skills, but they can’t teach enthusiasm.  

We suggest writing out some potential questions and answers, and then role playing with a trusted, respected and experienced relative, teacher, or career counselor at your school.  Take their advice and show appreciation for their time.  

Now for the 10 Practical Commandments of a Job Interview, assuming video or in-person meetings:

Number 1:  Arrive in person 10-15 minutes early.  Log on to Zoom 5-8 minutes early.

Number 2: Dress nicely.  Choose a clean, ironed, well-fitting outfit. Something that makes you look and feel good, and not self-conscious. Nothing you would wear to the gym or the club, but not cocktail party attire either.   Unless told otherwise, you can’t go wrong with a nice business suit.  If you’re hired, they’ll tell you the dress code.

Number 3:  When greeting the interviewer, don’t reach out to shake their hand, regardless of your stance on COVID-19.  And don’t feel you have to shake theirs.  In the unlikely event they reach out and you’re uncomfortable, just smile and politely say that it’s a pleasure to meet them but that you’re not comfortable shaking hands yet.  You don’t need to apologize since you’ve done nothing wrong. 

Number 4: If you’re going to their office, bring extra copies of your resume just in case they decide to ask other people to meet with you.  Have a copy for yourself, and highlight a few things you don’t want to forget.  Highlighting will help you see it easier on the page and jog your memory during the interview.   Even though you know your own experience, it’s easy to forget things if you’re nervous.

Number 5:  Bring a list of questions you have about the job and the company.  These should be related to the day-to-day tasks, the training period and expectations of how the role should develop, how performance is measured, etc.  This is not the time to ask about work schedule, time off, or salary.  If they ask, then it’s okay, but don’t be the first to bring these things up.  They are important, yes, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Number 6:  Silence your phone.  Put your phone away.  Do not use your phone to take notes.  It’s too easy for distractions to keep popping up, what with all those TikTok notifications and your mom constantly texting, “HOW’S IT GOING???”  with the prayer hands emoji.   

This is going to sound old-fashioned and archaic, but I always felt comfortable sitting with something called a “notepad” on my lap.  In my dominant hand I would hold something called a “pen” which was used to make words on the notepad.  Holding a pen gave me something to do, and I could jot important little notes down during the interview, while I nodded, made eye contact, and actively paid attention to what the manager was saying.    

Number 7:  Posture!  Smile, walk tall, sit up straight, and watch the body language.  When you’re role playing before the actual interview, have your partner point out fidgeting, playing with hair or nails, yawning, or anything else you might be doing subconsciously that might be distracting.  You don’t have to sit there stiff as a corpse but you wanna come across natural and focused.  

Number 8:  Have a list of 3 to 5 references you can provide if they ask.  Ideally they should be chosen from among your professors, counselors, previous employers, coaches, or customers you’ve worked with.  Friends and relatives might give you a glowing review, but they won’t necessarily know you in a work or classroom setting.  Provide the interviewer with their full name, email, phone number, title and organization, and if you wish, a phrase describing how you know this person.  Make sure to give your references a heads up that they might be getting a phone call to talk about you!

Number 9:  When it looks like the interview is wrapping up, make sure you understand the next step in the process, and when you might expect to hear back.  Jot this information down so that you can follow up in the appropriate time frame if you don’t hear anything by the time you expected. 

Number 10:  Within 24 hours, send a thank you note to everyone who was in the interview.  Some people like to send an old-fashioned letter via snail mail, and this is a really nice, standout touch.  But with COVID-19, many people are working from home, so they might not get the letter in a reasonable amount of time.  

Sending an email is perfectly acceptable.  Just make sure it’s personalized, not just copied from the internet.  Keep it brief.  You just want to express appreciation for the opportunity to interview, reiterate your interest in the position and why you feel you’d be a great fit, and offer to provide more information or another meeting at their convenience.   Sign it with your name and contact information, make a note of it in your Job Search Tracking System, and move on to the next job.  

We are confident that from all the planted seeds of your attitude and hard work will sprout one or more interviews leading to one or more job offers, which you can then evaluate and choose based on your goals.  

Until then, keep your skills sharp.  Work on projects related to your field of interest.  Read up on industry news. Volunteer.  Network online and, when possible, in person.  Check Meetup groups, LinkedIn, your local Chamber of Commerce, and career fairs.  Research other groups and events where you might meet people who can help lead to a job opportunity.  

Don’t leave everything to chance and luck.  Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid.  You’re not alone, and 99% of people are on your side and want you to succeed.  The rest are idiots.

Even if you don’t have most of the technical requirements of the job, you have value to offer, and you can learn. You have nothing to lose by applying.  Really, what’s the worst that can happen?  Nothing in this whole process is going to kill you.  But the joy of landing the job you wanted is indescribable.   

We really hope you got something out of this episode.  In the show notes, we will include several job search sites that you may or may not be familiar with.  Also check out the Careers page of companies you admire, recruiters that specialize in your field, and industry-specific job search sites (for example, jobsinmanufacturing.com).    

Let us know if you have any questions, or if you’d like to share some of your own experiences!  Our website and contact info are in the show notes of every episode, so please feel free to share with anyone you know, and reach out with comments, questions, or just to say hello!

Thank you for listening to the Job Search SOS Podcast!  

Please visit www.pintoemployment.com and feel free to reach out to us.  See you next time! 


Pinto Employment Search LLC - Logistics & Supply Chain Recruiters
Chris & Nancy Pinto, Owners
Website: 
https://www.pintoemployment.com/


www.ziprecruiter.com

www.JobsInLogistics.com

www.JobsInTrucks.com

www.jobsinmanufacturing.com

www.AllRetailJobs.com

www.fleetjobs.com

www.Dice.com

www.indeed.com

www.glassdoor.com

www.linkedin.com

www.simplyhired.com


www.idealist.org

www.careerbuilder.com

www.monster.com

www.flexjobs.com

www.care.com

www.meetup.com