In this interview a Social Services Case Manager details her most recent job search. Using online resume templates to help create an enticing and modern resume, as well as preparing for interviews by using friends as mock-employers she gained an edge in her job search. Read the full article to benefit from all of her insight and advice.
I work as a county Social Services Case Manager and have three and a half years of experience in this position. I spent four months searching many different job listings via the internet and newspaper want ads before I discovered this position posted on Monster.com. The posting was actually for an exam and those who passed the exam were allowed to submit their application and resume for the job.
When creating the resume to apply for this job, I knew I wanted it to stand out. Using computer graphics, I added a small three-tone color block pattern to the top of the resume which set it off and gave it a nice appearance yet kept the resume professional. In fact, when later attending a job interview, a committee told me it was the nicest and most appealing resume they had ever received. I researched ideas for creating resumes on the internet and discovered several sites with modern resume templates; I used these sites for inspiration. This website not only gives ideas for creating a great resume, but also provides tips for job interviewing.
If I were to apply for this same job again but with another company, I would use the same resume but would adjust the wording around to specifically meet the criteria the hiring committee is looking for. Since I know more about what the job duties are after having worked in this position for a considerable period of time, I can add more detailed keywords to the resume to fit the criteria the committee is seeking in a job applicant such as, “ability to adjust my communication style to fit each individual I am assisting.” I know now the clients I serve have different lifestyles as well as backgrounds and communication abilities are varied. One communication style does not fit each client and must be adjusted per individual to meet their understanding. This would allow the interview committee to understand that I know how important communication styles are and would set me apart from others.
An important part of my job is keeping up with ever changing regulations and computer technology helps me do this. I work in an office away from most other Case Managers which I need to communicate with on a regular basis in order to help me to keep up with these changes. Our primary source of communication is e-mail through the Microsoft Outlook program. When I receive an e-mail, a small envelope shows up to alert me that I have received the e-mail. I can’t image how my job would work without this technology. I also used this same system when I was looking for specific jobs. I could put in specific words I was looking for in a job title such as secretary or administrative assistant. When these jobs would post, I would receive an e-mail alert to notify me that a job posting has been created that I may be interested in.
Job interviews can be very stressful and I learned that the more experience I have interviewing and the better prepared I am, the less stressful the interview will be. I have interviewed for jobs I know I didn’t get because I didn’t know how to answer a question and became stressed which stopped my ability to answer further questions in a calm and professional manner. The last job interview that I had went very well but it was only because I was well prepared. I tried to anticipate the questions that would be asked by studying the job duties and knew how I was going to answer each question. I sat with someone to practice several times and had them act as the person performing the interview. When I went in for the actual interview, many of the same questions were asked and I knew how to answer each one.
The single most important thing I have learned in the professional job search process is to not just turn in a resume and expect a call. I turned in many resumes that I never heard back from although I was well qualified for the position. I learned to follow up with each resume I had submitted with a quick phone call within a day of submitting the application and asked just a few questions about the job. This let the employers know that I was serious about working for their company and I got more calls for interviews after making those calls. It was also beneficial to know a little bit about the company I was calling and to incorporate this information into the questions I would ask about the position.
Although I know the Career Services programs at colleges or universities can be very helpful in job searching, I did not use these services in finding my current position. However, I did discover that many job postings are listed by employers who post their help wanted requests specifically at colleges or universities trying to get applicants who are freshly trained right out of college.
The only event I would redo in my professional past is to leave a job I was not happy with sooner. Your job and career should make you happy. Although my current job is challenging, it is a job I enjoy and look forward to going to every day I work. I wish I had discovered this job sooner!
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.