Who Is Getting Jobs Quickly

July 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

We all know someone like this (and I’ve been able to congratulate some of them on this blog recently): A job hunter who finds a good position quickly, just a couple months or even weeks following a layoff or after initiating a search while still employed. Why do they land in a flash while others with similar experience who are just as talented can languish for months and months in this ultra-competitive job market?

There are some commonalities among these job hunters, say hiring experts. And it’s not that they’re smarter or better-looking or have more personality than the average bear, as Yogi would say. Instead, they are focused, flexible, upbeat and confident, and they keep their expectations in line with reality. None of this is rocket science and I’ve mentioned these qualities many times before, yet when you combine them, it tends to work.

Here are some things that quick-landing job hunters have in common, and ways to adopt these traits for your own search. They:

*Start a search with a focus and keep that focus in mind each step of the way. Those who get jobs quickly don’t spend time deciding “what they want to be when they grow up” but know where they want to go. They remain quite realistic about what’s available that would be a good match for their skills and experience, and they target their search to those opportunities. And they stay focused — training their efforts on openings that make the most sense for them based on contacts and their expertise, etc. They don’t fritter away time applying for “reach” positions or applying blindly to organizations where they don’t have contacts.

*Remain flexible and open. This is true — within reason — of salary, location, and job duties. If you want to get hired soon, you often have to be willing to give up some things; this is not a good market for finding your “ideal” job. I’m not advocating that job seekers take a huge pay cut or drive for hours to their workplace. Yet if you’re not flexible and instead narrow your possibilities right off, you’re likely ignoring openings that could be decent and might be a good path to future opportunities. With their targeted organizations, quick job-getters often have a pay range and are willing to be somewhat flexible about it (especially if they land quickly so they can hang on to more of their savings and severance), are open to jobs within a certain area and are willing to consider a range of duties. They aren’t too worried about job title, whether this is a deviation from their career path and how big their office might be. Instead, they are looking at whether this is an interesting job that pays decently and will help them build a resume.

*Maintain a confident and upbeat demeanor. Everyone advises this, but it’s true. And you can’t turn this on and off. Successful job hunters exude confidence in all public settings and in conversations with all but their most trusted friends. People want to be around them and want them on their team. Hiring managers like winners. It’s that simple.

*Tap their network, again and again and again. First, those who land jobs quickly tend to have maintained and developed a strong network over time and aren’t starting from scratch when they initiate a search. They’ve invested in their network — helping others over time, so that others are willing to support them for specific positions when asked. And they work at networking. They’re visible during a job search by attending events, arranging coffee and lunch meetings and maintaining a strong social-networking identity. They use their network in a targeted way to help them get noticed by those organizations where they have the best chance of landing a decent job quickly.

*A last-minute event (it’s tonight!) but it could be interesting for journalists (and National Press Club events are often good networking opportunities) and others interested in a discussion of military secrecy:

Event: The National Press Club’s Freedom of the Press Committee – “Banned at Guantanamo” –
When: July 20, 7 p.m. EDT
Where: 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045
The National Press Club’s Freedom of the Press Committee is holding a panel discussion, “Banned at Guantanamo,” on the Pentagon’s banning and subsequent reinstatement of four reporters from covering future military trials of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The discussion starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20, in the Club’s conference rooms.

In May, the U.S. Defense Department barred four reporters from covering future military trials of suspected terrorists at the military’s Guantanamo Bay detention facility for including the already publicly disclosed name of a witness in news stories over Pentagon objections. The Pentagon lifted the suspensions early this month of one of them and signaled its intent to reinstate two others — not all four — after news media organizations complained the bans were unconstitutional.

Reporters covering the military commissions at Guantanamo still face restrictions on their movements, their photographs and how they may access facilities that journalists covering other American judicial proceedings have never experienced. The panel will explore these restrictions and their impact on coverage of one of the most controversial U.S. government undertakings in the nation’s history.

Panelists include Carol Rosenberg, one of the banned reporters who has spent the last eight years reporting on Guantanamo; Michael Berrigan, who was until June the principal deputy chief defense attorney at Guantanamo; Michelle McCluer, a former military attorney and expert on access to military legal proceedings, and David Schulz, whose free-speech efforts include a successful Freedom of Information Act case that compelled the release of files on Guantanamo prisoners.

For more information, contact the National Press Club at +1 (202) 662 6517.

*And though this piece in Monday’s New York Times (and nytimes.com) has gotten a lot of play on social-networking sites and journalism blogs, I thought I’d link to it here as it discusses the downside of some of the new forms of journalism; we’re working all the time! Some food for thought on what digital journalism can mean for one’s working life, w/a D.C. focus:

In A World Of Online News, Burnout Starts Younger (NYT)

*As always, some fresh leads for jobs (and a couple of internships) to check out:

*The State Department has a new opening in D.C. for a writer-editor:

WRITER-EDITOR
Department of State – Washington, DC
As a Writer-Editor in the Office of Inspections (ISP… advisory inspections reports. As the only Writer-Editor in ISP, you will perform a full range of writing… $89,033 – $115,742 a year
From usajobs.gov

*Kratos Defense & Security Solutions in Arlington is looking for a director of communications and outreach — this could be a good opportunity for a transitioning journalist who has covered defense issues:

Director of Communications and Outreach
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. – Arlington, VA
Director of Communications and Outreach Company… seeking an experienced communications professional to provide strategic communications efforts for multi…
From techcareers

*The Department of Agriculture has an opening in its Office of Communications in D.C. for a deputy director of creative development:

Deputy Director, Creative Development
Agriculture, Office of Communications – Washington, DC
If you would like to work for a premier agency that is focused on enhancing the quality that is focused on enhancing the quality of life for the American people… $119,554 – $179,700 a year
From Federal Highway Administration

*JPMorgan Chase has an opening in D.C. for a director of federal government relations:

Director of Federal Government Relations
JPMorgan Chase – Washington, DC
issues Proven to have impeccable integrity. Demonstrated excellent communication skills Proven to have a strong work ethic Graduate degree or equivalent…
From JPMorgan Chase

*D.C.-area organizations are starting to ramp up the search for fall interns. Here are several such opportunities — first, the Becky Lee Women’s Support Fund in D.C. is looking for communications, development and PR interns:

Development and Communications Internship
Becky Lee Women’s Support Fund – Washington, DC
and Communications Intern will work with our development team, providing support in the areas of fundraising, events and communications. Responsibilities…
From washingtonpost.com

*The Environmental and Energy Study Institute in D.C. is seeking an intern:
Development Internship
Environmental and Energy Study Institute – Washington, DC
EESIs Development Director, Communications Coordinator and Communications Interns * Work with staff on… public relations, communications, journalism…
From washingtonpost.com

*The Department of Agriculture’s Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships office in D.C. is looking for fall interns:

The USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is seeking qualified student interns for the fall semester.  If you know of any currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students in the Washington, DC area who would fit this opportunity, please let them know!    Thanks!   Julie Curti     Internship Position Description The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships seeks an enthusiastic self-starter to provide support to the office during the fall semester. The person selected for this internship will have an exciting opportunity to help us build partnerships with faith-based and secular non-profits that are working to alleviate domestic and international hunger and poverty while gaining valuable experience working in the Executive branch of the U.S. Government.   About Our Office The USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is part of President Obama’s Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative.  Our office works closely with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to build partnerships between government, faith-based and community organizations to better serve individuals, families, and communities.  The main priorities of our office are ending childhood hunger by 2015, promoting healthy families, increasing access to healthy and affordable food, sustainably reducing global hunger and poverty, and encouraging interfaith dialogue and volunteerism among our partners, grantees and USDA employees.     Majors Applicable Public Health/Nutrition, Agriculture, Business/Management, Communications/English, Political Science and Government, Public Administration/ Policy, Sociology, Social Work, International Relations, Religious Studies, others may also apply.   Desirable Attributes Highly organized, strong work ethic, customer-service oriented, dependable and responsible, adaptable, honest, self-motivated, professional, and resourceful.
Skills Required
Excellent interpersonal and written communications skills
Interest and/or experience in the non-profit community Interest and/or experience in anti-poverty work
Interest and/or experience with interfaith/ecumenical issues
Interest and/or experience with government and the political process
Proficiency with Microsoft software: Word, Excel, Outlook, and Publisher
Successful experience in a team-based office setting and working independently
Proven high level of organization
Excellent time management skills
Ability to meet tight deadlines    Job Responsibilities –          Assists with office management: arranges for and/or attends meetings, prepares correspondence, answers phones, files materials, and ensures the office operates efficiently. –          Draft and/or edit documents (emails, memos, and reports) to be submitted to USDA and White House leadership for approval and dissemination. –          Identify, pursue, and maintain partnerships between the USDA and relevant non-profits, both faith-based and secular. –          Plan events linking community and faith leaders with senior USDA leadership (e.g. the Secretary and Deputy Secretary). –          Develop and update content for the Center’s website and printed materials. –          Liaise with contacts within the USDA, the White House, and other Government agencies in order to promote and advance White House and USDA policy priorities. –          Implement the Director’s ideas and objectives as assigned.   Internship Location U.S. Department of Agriculture Jamie L. Whitten Building, Rm. 544-A 1400 Independence Ave., SW Washington, D.C. 20250   We are located in the Jamie L. Whitten Building, which is easily accessible from the Smithsonian Metro stop.  The main entrance to the building is on Jefferson Ave. between 12th and 14th streets, facing the Mall. Hours 20 to 40 hours per week.  A minimum commitment of 20 hours per week is required. Compensation Students who are currently enrolled are eligible for course credit or compensation.

For additional information: To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and professional writing sample to Julie Curti: julie.curti@osec.usda.gov. The application deadline is 12pm on Monday, August 2nd for the fall semester.

*Now back to full-time job leads — Smart Growth America in D.C. is looking for a communications associate:

http://blog.smartgrowthamerica.org/2010/06/29/now-hiring-communications-associate/

*And to wrap up today’s leads, FDAnews in Falls Church has an opening for a speaker development manager — this is for someone who would develop the organization’s conferences:

Speaker Development Manager

Falls Church based company seeks bright, energetic, aggressive professional to secure speakers for its webinars, workshops and conferences.

Must be comfortable working the phones, detail-oriented, a quick learner, and hold a passion for accuracy and thoroughness. Candidate must be able to show a history of meeting goals and deadlines.  Must be comfortable in a fast paced work environment.

Candidate would manage all aspects of developing conferences; from creation of ideas, writing event proposals and speaker selection. Duties also include budget management and achieving quarterly objectives.

Experience in pharmaceutical and medical device industry helpful.  MS Office skills a must.

Benefits include health, dental, 401k, vacation, etc. Send resume with cover letter and salary requirements to kharrington@fdanews.com. No phone calls please. Resumes without a cover letter and salary requirements will not be considered.

Good luck on the hunt today!

Jodi

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