Awhile back, I did a book review for Steven Savage, an author and fellow geek. His book, Focused Fandom: Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers, was absolutely fascinating to read and he asked me to review another of his books, Quest for Employment: Lessons from the Job Search Adventure. Seeing as how I am still unemployed, I jumped on the opportunity once again!
First and foremost, the concept of the whole book is simply helping people find jobs by using the knowledge that Steven Savage has. He takes the knowledge he has accumulated from his previous books and his own experience and gives his best advice to help the unemployed.
The first section of the book is Regional Issues and Location, which as Steven summarizes is about how “regional issues affect your job search in multiple ways; look for them and deal with them.” Such regional aspects are job titles and job descriptions varying in meanings in different regions. Certifications, experience, and job boards can vary in usefulness. Knowing your commute and how to best use it to suit your needs in your job hunt is also a good thing to consider. Realizing how each region looks at age, experiences, personality, etc. is another thing to take in as well. Things you can do to help you are listed at the end of the section, which is basically ways to realize how regions affect you and how to use them to your advantage.
The next section is Resumes Say More than You Think, which is summarized as “a resume tells people a lot more about you than your skills or career; a carefully crafted resume tells a lot more about you.” This whole section is about crafting a resume that not only displays your skills and experience, but who you are as a person. A resume should be a tool that helps recruiters and those is human resources hire you because they feel you’d be an asset. At the end of the section, the things to do suggest ways to help craft your resume into something a company seeks out and continue to evolve it to suit you.
Section three covers Job Search Boards and You, which is summarized as these “have their place if you know how to use them right – and keep track of how they work.” Basically, job search boards are useful to an extent, but it is up to you, who are unemployed, to keep track of how each one works for you in your region. You also need to remember there is usually a high volume of people responding to these postings, so you need to make yourself stand out via your resume. These are all things to do, along with networking with other job seekers and good recruiters, to help use job boards to your advantage.
The fourth section is Networking is More than it Seems, which is summarized as “networking is not only important, but it’s something you do all the time, even if you don’t realize” it. This is where you sit down and tell everyone you know you’re looking for work, what you’re looking for, and let them assist you. Once you get a job, let everyone know and keep track of those who reached out to help. Yes, you have to put yourself out there, but anymore, networking is your biggest tool in getting you a job. To help yourself do well, constantly network on sites, with people, business cards, anything to get you a step ahead. One site Steven Savage constantly brings up is LinkedIn.com for such purposes.
The next section is Be Your (Best) Self, which is basically “being yourself while showing your best traits helps you do a more effective, more honest job search.” This means to be yourself; be your best honest, true self. Show who you are, own your best qualities and your mistakes, and use that honesty to your advantage. It’s less stressful and more natural when you go into your interviews, which tends to cause you to get more call-backs. Things to do to help bring out your best self? Write down a list of your best and worst traits, realize what they honestly are, and know them. Practice this, make it natural, and present who you are at all times without holding back.
Section six is titled Empathy is Success and means that “empathy makes for an easier, more effective, more human job search that won’t drive you crazy.” When you’re job hunting, realize everyone involved, from the unemployed to the bosses, are people. Have empathy to their causes and be understanding of everyone’s situation. It allows you to relax and calm down with your job search, because everyone is human and everyone has an agenda. Once you realize this, you become more natural in your search and your interviews. It also allows you to get into others’ heads on what they’re looking for and how you could best fit, or not fit. Just by listening actively and changing your own mannerisms and speech can show empathy and actively increase it.
The next section is A Blitz Works, which means “a big change right out the gate can help prime your job search and empower you.” This means to attack the job hunt hard and hit it with all you’ve got, especially when you’re feeling rested and confident. You put yourself out there for the world to see with a quick attack for a job, and tends to pay off. Before you do a blitz, you need to prepare by getting all of your resources ready, prepare for interviews, and just be primed to go. When you need rest, take it, because exhaustion will not help your situation.
The eighth section is The Job Search is a Campaign. This means that you should “conduct your job search as an organized campaign so you can do it right and improve it.” A job search is like a campaign; you need to ready for it. Have your materials together, your story established, track your data, hit hard but keep an eye on your targets, no turning back, but going around, sell yourself, and tie it altogether to portray what you are to any future employers. The best way to do all of this? Plan, review, and plan some more. Use your time to your advantage.
The final part is Miscellaneous Findings from the author. These are various things Steven learned that didn’t fit under the listed sections, but are still useful to your hunt. He explains that there are a lot of unrealistic views in the job search, various annoyances that can take place, and things that just happen to potentially cause issues. But the best thing to do is learn and move on.
In the end, this book is very helpful in breaking down what needs to be done to get a job. Some of it seems like it should be a no-brainer, but there’s a lot of useful tips to help an unemployed person think outside of the box. I definitely recommend giving it a read. You can purchase your own copy for the Kindle on Amazon for $2.99 here!