MOVING FORWARD / Job Finding in Philadelphia
Tips to Help Make the Transition from a Job to a Career

So you’re ready to do something new with your work life. Maybe you’ve moved out of your parents place and want to earn more so you can live more comfortably, or maybe to you want to start earning more so that you can get out from under a shared roof with Mom and Dad. Maybe you’ve got a special someone in your life and you’re thinking toward marriage, or having children. Maybe you’re just tired of living paycheck to paycheck as you get older and think more about the future. You make the choice and decide that you’re going to stop taking part-time jobs that last for a year or two, and start working on a full-time, long term career. But as soon as you’ve made that first choice, you feel like you’re at a loss. Where to go from here? What to do? How to get started?

For many people, taking the plunge from part time job to full time career can be difficult. Most have no idea what to expect, and go through a difficult trial-by-fire experience as they try to match their interests, experience, and skill set to a career. This process can be stressful, confusing, and frustrating – but it doesn’t have to be.

The tips below are the primary Dos and Don’ts for today’s job-seeker. In the end only you can get yourself into that dream-career, but you can greatly improve your chance by educating yourself about your available resources, knowing how to present yourself on paper, and knowing what to expect from the situation you are in. By being prepared, you put yourself ahead of the field and make it that much more likely that you will be the one to get that coveted position. And more importantly, in a process that can be intimidating and stressful, you will be able to stay calm and stay on track.


TAKING ACTION – THE DOS Job Finding in Philadelpha

Many people view the job-hunt as something guided by negatives – don’t do this, don’t do that. However, it is important to remember that the things you can do are just as important as the things to avoid! By keeping in mind the things you can do you can feel empowered and in control, even during the long waiting game.

DO…

Pinpoint the Positives (job finding in Philadelphia)
After you’ve made the initial decision to go for a more long-term, better paying, or more satisfying career, sit down and put together a list of things that make you qualified for that career. What is your experience? What can you offer a company that is unique about you, in both your skill set and your attitude? What draws you to this particular career? Get started by just listing everything you can think of that is a positive asset. Even if you aren’t sure that a business would really care about a certain good trait of yours, write it down – chances are you can spin it a little to fit a specific job on a case-by-case basis, and if not, you can always leave it out in the resume process. It can be helpful to do this step with someone who knows you well, like a good friend or spouse. Just make sure they’re going to be honest, not just flatter you!

Have A Great Resume (job finding in Philadelphia) 
The first thing most employers see of you will be your resume and cover letter. This is the very first impression they have of who you are, what you can do, and why you stand out from the crowd – make sure it’s a good one. In a world where jobs get dozens or sometimes hundreds of applications, nothing will get you weeded out faster than a sloppy resume, no matter what skills you have. Take the time, and do it right. There are many examples online of what a professional resume looks like, and if you don’t feel that you can make one yourself, there are plenty of companies who will organize and format your resume for you for a reasonable fee. Even if you feel that you don’t have a lot of experience or strong points to put on a resume, showing that you will take the time and effort to make a good impression is big points in your favor with potential employers.

Be Willing To Get Certified (job finding in Philadelphia)
If you’re job-hunting, you probably don’t need to be told that the modern professional market is highly competitive. Because they want to insure a high standard, many professions require a license, certification, or some other credential to prove that you are qualified to do a job. This is especially true of professions where you are working directly with other people, such as insurance agents, childcare providers, and teachers. If you are going into the field where there is a standard minimum qualification, or even where a license will simply get you a little more attention, be willing to spend the money, attend classes, take tests, and get your credentials in order. It will be worth it in the long run.

Use the Internet (job finding in Philadelphia)
Whether you like computers or not, this is now the primary resource for job-seekers. Websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, and even Craigslist are now the fastest way to find job openings, job requirements, and job contacts. Even newspapers often have an online counterpart, which usually includes and interactive employment section. In addition, if you want to work with a particular company, checking for a website with a Job Openings section is a great way to start.

TO BE AVOIDED – THE DON’TS - Job Finding in Philadelphia

Remember, the don’ts of job hunting aren’t meant to be a deterrent, or a criticism of mistakes. Rather, they are things you can avoid to keep from limiting yourself, and to make sure your search running smoothly and efficiently.

DON’T…

Expect Employers to Come to You (job finding in Philadelphia)
Many sites like CareerBuilder will advertise that you can post a resume and have it seen by hundreds of employers online. While the internet is by far your best tool by finding job openings in your area, the idea that employers are out there browsing websites for resumes is, unfortunately, inaccurate. The legwork is up to you. You will have to do the research on the jobs you are interested in, and sometimes tweak your cover letter to and resume to fit specific jobs. Above all, you will probably have to apply to a lot of places – and in turn, face a few rejections – before you find the right fit.

Limit Yourself (job finding in Philadelphia) 
Remember that no matter what your qualifications, many businesses will expect you to start at the bottom and work your way up to make sure you understand their organization on every level – so don’t be turned off by positions that say entry level! You have to start somewhere, so be willing to prove that you will work hard and well, no matter where you are in the company. It is much easier to get promoted from within than to insist on only being considered for a higher-level position. Also, don’t be unwilling to consider a temp or staffing agency to help you. These organizations have a lot of experience in matching job-seekers to the right position, and can be very helpful in putting you in contact with the right people.

Get Lost in the Crowd (job finding in Philadelphia) 
When a job opens up in a competitive field, applications pour in by the dozen. Distinguish yourself to potential employers as a person. Call them – be sure to introduce yourself so they will remember your name - and find out who you should be addressing your resume to. Get a name and a title, and use them in your cover letter. If it is feasible, deliver your resume in person and if possible directly into the hands of the person who will be reading it. This way, when he or she is going through your application, there will already be a name, face, and first impression to accompany the paperwork.

Get Caught in a Scam (job finding in Philadelphia)
The key to recognizing scams is simple – jobs pay you. You don’t pay them. If a company claims they need a processing fee, a signup fee, or an initial investment, watch out. Chances are very good that there is no job to be had, and that you will never see the “employer” or your money again. Another tip-off is the position advertised claims to be simple, easy, and something you can make a huge amount of money doing. Real employers don’t want people who are looking for simple, easy payoffs – they expect you to work. Remember that if a job sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

THE WORKING WORLD - Job Finding in Philadelphia

Especially if you’re new at it, job hunting can seem overwhelming. By using the tips above, you can minimize the stress and uncertainty of your job search and continue to live a well-balanced life while moving toward your new career. Just remember: DO be patient, because like anything worthwhile, finding that perfect job takes time. And DON’T get frustrated – just because you get a rejection letter, it isn’t the end of the world, and it doesn’t make you any less valuable as a person. Keep your chin up, keep a sense of perspective, and keep at it. Before you know it, you’ll find the job that is a perfect fit for you.