Tips for parents seeking jobs
In the event that you are involved in your own job search, Career Services would like to offer a few ideas and resources to help you.
First, please make use of the extensive job search advice resources available here on our website. While some are targeted at students and new graduates, much of the information, such as how to target resumes, prepare for interviews and use networking as the most powerful job search strategy, remain valid for any job seeker.
Second, brush up your resume. As our resume section describes, a good resume must be targeted toward each individual position to which you apply. For a sample resume of an experienced job seeker, visit our Resume Guide and look at Sam Sales-Alumnus’ resume.
Third, use the web as a research tool but don’t concentrate all your efforts into just looking at advertised opportunities, especially through third-party sites like Monster.com which are very limited in scope because they require employers to pay to post. It doesn’t hurt to check them, especially Craigslist (which, as a free site to job posters and seekers alike, is more likely to have a broader range of opportunities) and Indeed.com, which crawls other websites, both third-party posting sites and individual employer sites to cull job postings. Use the Internet Links section of our website to locate additional web resources we’ve pulled together.
Fourth, concentrate the majority of your time on networking. An employer would most like to fill a position by referral - it’s simply the easiest, least labor- and cost-intensive way for employers to hire. Visit our web pages on networking for ideas on how to get started. LinkedIn.com, a professional networking site online is a fast-growing tool you should utilize. Professional organizations (e.g. Association for Women in Communication, Society for Technical Communicators) are great places to meet (in person or virtually) individuals who share your career interests, get advice on your next career move, get access to actual job opportunities and update your training and qualifications (see more below on this topic). If you attended a university, you may be able to capitalize on alumni associations and alumni career services resources.
Fifth, consider volunteering during your downtime. While you may feel like you should be spending all day, every day actively job searching, realize that time spent volunteering can actually aid your search. You can work on developing or augmenting skills in a particular area (e.g. volunteering to design a website for your church or civic group). If the organization with which you’re volunteering is in your career field of interest, your dedication as a volunteer may be a helpful, if not necessary, first step for being considered for a staff position. And regardless if the organization is in your career field, you may meet other people who can serve as referrals. For example, the person with whom you volunteer each Saturday at Habitat for Humanity may be employed in a field that interests you or know someone who is and refer you to a hiring manager.
Sixth, consider brushing up on your skills and training during your downtime. Look for classes online, through university extension offices, through community colleges and even through professional organizations, which may offer credentialing. This skills development could be related to your past career experience or could be the chance to tackle a whole new area.
Finally, you may decide to seek out individuals who specialize in helping job seekers get hired. Staffing/employment/temporary agencies are one possible source of assistance. Governmental resources also exist, such as the Texas Workforce Commission, which has a multitude of resources for job seekers. In addition to advice on their website, you can locate and meet with real career advisors at various Workforce Centers across the state. And last but not least, you may find it worth the investment to work with a private professional career coach. While there are numerous individuals billing themselves as career coaches, be sure to research and compare them thoroughly and ask for referrals to satisfied clients before making a decision. Southwestern University Career Services can offer a few suggestions for Austin-area private coaches. Contact us to inquire.