You Need Experience To Get a Job But You Need a Job To Get Experience

28 03 2011

So, you’ve completed your degree and you’re ready to get to work. The only problem is that no one will hire you because you don’t have experience. So now, you want a job to gain experience and you can’t get a job because you don’t have the experience because you can’t get the job.

First, I would not apply through a recruiter for any direct hire opportunities. Since you are not the “Perfect” candidate because you lack the industry experience most hiring managers will feel like they are taking a chance by hiring you. When you apply through a recruiter the company will have to pay that recruiter a fee if you are hired. While this is not always a determining factor it’s usually in the hiring manger’s mind when determining the cost of bringing you on as a new employee.

Secondly, explore contract assignments. While they may not pay as well as your current occupation, a pay cut may be required to get your foot in the door. Most companies will lower the qualifications for contract positions even though they don’t lower the compensation, compared to the direct hire candidate so the pay cut may not always be required. Some companies actually hire contract employees directly, but more have these positions outsourced contract staffing firms so if you are going this route you may be speaking with the recruiters who I told you not to speak with in my first suggestion.

Lastly, whenever possible take part in activities that help increase your resume. For example, you could volunteer once a week for a non-profit group that has some type of significance to the jobs you are looking for. By taking part in real world activities you can include them on your resume and show that you are still active even though you may be working a full time job which is not related to pay the bills.


LinkedIn’s New Tool Helps Users Find What They Are Looking For

29 10 2010

I’ve been noticing a lot of talk within my network about LinkedIn’s new beta application called LinkedIn Signal. People have talked about how it’s changing LinkedIn, the way people will use it, and how it will improve your efficiency in task like seeking new jobs.

I finally was able to sign up this morning and play around with it a little. It’s quite interesting and there is some great potential for the service depending on how large your network is and how much you intend on using it.

Let me start out by explaining what it does. Signal controls which status updates you see from your network contributors. It allows you to use many of the features found in their people search tool to focus on who you would like to see. For example, you can select only to see updates within the last week from first level connections in the pharmaceutical industry.

As someone with 6,000 first level connections and group membership in over 50 groups, (including subgroups) my LinkedIn homepage updates have become irrelevant. While I feel that each and every connection is valuable to my network. There are some members of my group that I’m going to be more interested in keeping track of on a daily basis.

By focusing the feed on my LinkedIn signal page I can conduct a search of all recent updates including the word “Hiring” and focus on the last week. This search yields me 21,000+ results. I can then further focus by region and select “Greater New York City” yielding 3,6xx results. From there I can continue to focus more and more by selecting companies, industries, schools, time posted, and even tags until I have a manageable number of feeds to read.

This becomes a great tool for candidates and recruiters alike, allowing you to find pertinent discussions. Also, because LinkedIn allows you to link information from all over the web, including Twitter and RSS Feeds, you can reach much further than ever before and still maintain focus.

So, my overall opinion of Signal is a good one. By providing another free tool LinkedIn has increased the usability for all of their users and provided a tool that will help you find what you are interested in on LinkedIn without feeling overloaded.

One disadvantage that I have noticed is that Signal is not yet set up for Internet Explorer users. If you would like to try Signal, you must either install Firefox or Google Chrome. This isn’t a big deal though. And if you prefer to use Internet Explorer you can continue to do so for all of your other browsing needs and leave Firefox open for your Signal account.

To try Signal please click on the link below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments about anything that I have missed.