Suggestions to Consider When Seeking Employment Opportunities

As Director of Business Solutions in Cincinnati, Dave Matre has been the primary liaison between employers, recruiters and staffing agencies, and Per Scholas graduates in the region since 2014. He uses his knowledge and expertise to advise Per Scholas alumni on conducting successful job searches, helping them to kickstart their technology careers. We asked him what advice he would share with Per Scholas alumni nationwide.

Finding Employment IS a Job!

First, I would suggest getting organized. There are many ways to do this but here are a few guidelines to consider:

  1. Establish a professional email (if you haven’t already) which has your name in it. This will make it very easy for a potential employer to get a hold of you. Check this email location several times throughout any given day so you can respond quickly when contacted.
  2. Use a daily planner or a legal pad as a single source for all of your correspondence. Write down the date and time of each inquiry or application or resume submission. At that point, consider a time in the future that you will conduct a follow up with your application or submission to inquire as to the status. I would recommend considering a week to ten days out – then write that date down and follow up on the status of your submission on that date.
  3. I would recommend a similar follow up method for any phone, Skype or face to face interviews. If the interviewer states they will get back to you by a certain date, I would consider simply asking them if it would be ok for you to follow up with them a few days after that date if you haven’t heard anything back by the date they stated. This gives you their ‘permission’ to follow up and they will then perhaps be more receptive if they get busy and are unable to get back with you as they had originally stated.

Next, I would highly recommend networking with your current contacts and expanding your network of connections and contacts.

  1. LinkedIn is a great professional tool for this. I would suggest developing a professional profile. Perhaps look at some other profiles of individuals you know in the industry or look at some other Per Scholas graduates’ profiles for content and get some ideas from them. Also, your Per Scholas Career Development Director can assist with this as well as your Business Solutions Director.
  2. Start sending requests to connect (on Linkedin) with others in the profession and in the business community overall as well as Per Scholas Staff members and previous Per Scholas graduates.

Then, I would also suggest using all tools and contacts available to you for research on companies, individuals (i.e. a recruiter or an interviewer etc.).

  1. Certainly the internet is a good source for information on companies and individuals. I would recommend using it extensively and start writing down notes by companies where you have applied or companies you are targeting for employment opportunities.
  2. Another great source for information on companies hiring and individuals is Linkedin. You will also find that you may be connected with someone who is employed by a company where you have applied or you may be connected to someone who is connected to an individual at a particular company and they can introduce you or endorse you!

I would also suggest other methods of networking such as joining some local IT groups and local networking groups. These groups typically sponsor workshops, seminars or breakfasts, lunches, or after work hour events where you can mingle and expand your network and uncover new potential opportunities.

Finally, some points to consider:

    1. Follow the professional guidelines your Career Development Director has provided. I would recommend asking your Career Development Director and your Business Solutions Director if you can use them as a reference.
    2. I would also recommend keeping in touch with your Career Development Director and your Business Solutions Director throughout your career search. They can often provide suggestions and ideas or contacts which can assist with your employment search.
    3. Remember, you are: Dependable, Reliable; and Tech Savvy. Our programs are structured to cultivate and assure these traits.
    4. The differentiating factors which will set you apart from the rest of other applicants for any given position also include: Interpersonal skills and ATTITUDE.
    5. Don’t give up! There are more employment opportunities available than there are people to fill them and you are well qualified for many of these.

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