This blog post provides career advice from a Production Supervisor - including how he landed his dream job! This is a true career story as told to AsianHires.com, where other Asian professionals from different fields have shared their experiences as well, like a Product Merchandiser and a Computer Engineer.
I am a 34 year old production supervisor for a major auto parts manufacturer. I found this job by applying through a job search engine. Prior to being hired, I had been searching for a job for four years. My mother is a beautiful Filipino lady and my father is a Japanese gentleman with a kind heart and a warrior's spirit.
The most important thing I learned about the professional job search process is you are not simply applying for a job; you are selling yourself to your prospective employer. Everything you do in order to land that job, from the layout and contents of your resume to the way you dress and conduct yourself at the interview, is nothing less than a sales presentation explaining why you are the best candidate for the job. And with potentially hundreds of others selling themselves for the same position, your pitch has to be the best. I gradually learned this lesson by reading the advice articles on job search engines, and through my own personal experiences. It isn't enough to talk about your education and relevant experience. You have to convince the hiring manager they can't run their business without you.
The first piece of advice for running a successful job search is to polish your resume. It is the first thing the hiring manager will see and it is your first chance to impress them. Include all relevant education, work experience, organizations to which you belong, and anything else about yourself that will make you stand out. Be sure to especially highlight any achievements you have earned and any positive highlights in your career. I started out by mass mailing a resume that I created on my PC. It had the usual information in the usual places but it had no luster. Then I would cut and paste the same resume with a few minor changes to apply for jobs online. I would get a few calls but not for the kinds of jobs I was interested in. Finally, I had my resume professionally done and it made a world of difference. I started getting calls for the kinds of jobs I wanted.
The next piece of advice is to develop a solid job search strategy. A great resume is nothing if you can't get it in front of the right people. I tried mass mailing and cold calling without much success. Networking is better but may not get you into the field of your choice. I tried job fairs and resume referral services; job fairs don't happen as often as I'd like and don't necessarily attract employers in the field I'd like to work in. Resume referral services put your resume into a database from which employers request matches. There are no guarantees with this method. I finally turned to job boards and I found my job 2 months after I started searching with this method.
My last piece of advice concerns the job interview itself. This is where you really have to sell yourself. Be on time. Dress for success; I always wore a suit and tie. Save the khakis for casual Friday. Be aware of your posture and non-verbal communication. Don't do anything that would indicate that you are closed off or nervous. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact. Be prepared to answer specific questions about yourself and your experience. Be especially prepared to tell the hiring manager how you would be beneficial to the company. Give examples of the good things you did for past employers. My job interviews early on in my search were not so good. I would answer the questions without elaboration and not ask any questions of my own. I seemed disinterested and would not get hired. I had to learn the proper way to conduct myself during an interview.
Here are some examples of how I used my own advice: Prior to my current job, I applied for a position as a production manager for a graphic packaging company. I sent them my professionally designed resume and got the call for an interview. I arrived for the interview early and waited in the lobby for my appointment. What I didn't realize is that when you arrive too early, they can have the receptionist watch you and take notes on your conduct. They notice everything from your posture to what you read to whether or not you straighten up that stack of magazines. Even though I did well in the interview, I failed to get that job. I'm sure they must have seen something while I was waiting, but I don't know what it might have been.
For my current job, I applied electronically, as I said before, but I also followed up with a hard copy of my resume. I researched the company and found some things that piqued my curiosity. When I got the call for my interview, I practiced my questions and my interview answers until I had them down cold. I even practiced my handshake so that it was firm but not too firm. I arrived 10 minutes early and treated it as part of the interview. I sat upright and remained alert to my surroundings. My interview was perfect. I got a second interview and passed that one as well. I was hired a few days later.
JustJobs.com is a job search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it.