Recently the CBS Early Show featured a panel of professionals assembled to offer advice to job seekers that included Shawn Boyer, president and CEO of Snagajob. Boyer founded and leads Snagajob, the nation’s largest hourly job site. He was named the 2008 National Small Business Person of the Year for helping unemployed Americans find work. Boyer is a former attorney who worked his first hourly job at a retail store as a teen..
In spite of all the grim economic news we’re hearing, there are still jobs out there. Shawn Boyer says you will find tens of thousands of hourly job listings when you search sites like Snagajob. Increased competition means that, now more than ever, you have to stand out in the crowd if you want to get hired. Boyer offers practical advice in an article on the CBS Early Show site. I’ve summarized highlights here.
Be self aware. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself to a prospective employer. That employer doesn’t know you, so doesn’t know what you have to offer. If you don’t have much experience at the job you’re applying for, what transferable skills do you have? For example, are you good at problem solving or have good communication skills?
Be thorough. Explain any gaps in your employment or education. Don’t leave a blank space on your application. For example, an employer wants to know you took time off to raise your kids.
Make sure your resume and job application are neat, have complete sentences and correct spelling.
Be flexible. If you can’t find a job in your area of interest and experience, take note of your transferable skills and apply for something else you might be qualified for. Where might those transferable skills be useful? If you’re good at organization, budgeting, sales, customer service and managing a team, you could get a position as a sales rep, hotel, restaurant or store manager or something similar.
Tell friends, neighbors and family you’re looking for work. In other words, practice networking. Boyer says you may be surprised by how many opportunities come from unlikely sources!
Be prepared. You may face questions like these in an interview:
1. Why do you want to work here?
2. What’s your greatest weakness?
3. Tell me about yourself.
Boyer says the interviewer isn’t asking you which job perks you like best. He or she wants to know what you can bring to the company. In answering these questions, be honest and positive. Don’t give your life history. Remember that employers want to hear about your work experience and interests. That’s all they really care about.
When you’re looking for work, know what the job description calls for, and tailor your application to the job. Practice interviewing with someone if you can. Make sure the voice mail message a prospective employer hears sounds clear and professional. Use a simple professional e-mail address as well. Respond promptly to any calls or e-mails from a prospective employer. Follow up with a thank you message after an interview.
You can read Boyer’s full article here.
Snagajob reports they’ve had their best month ever in March. Their customer leads have nearly quadrupled in the past year and doubled in just the past six months. That represents a sharp rise in the number of people who are looking for hourly jobs.
If you’re between jobs or looking for extra income, check out Snagajob. They feature more than 100,000 active job postings in industries including: restaurant, retail, office, homecare, hospitality and more. SnagAJob.com is also making it easier for hourly jobseekers to find the jobs they’re looking for.
Snagajob recently re-categorized their job listings so you can now search by state and company. So if you’re looking for jobs in your state you can now click on the link that corresponds with your home state. If you want to search for jobs at specific places like Jiffy Lube or Sears, you can now choose from a list of Snagajob’s employers. If you’re among that growing number of job seekers, click on the Snagajob logo and find your next hourly job. Remember, think survival.