Continued from Doug and Robin Sweet‘s Painting with a Twist.
Since a gut-punch recession sent the American economy into a tizzy in 2008, the job market has been a scary place for everyone. The good news is that 2012 may well be the year the hiring freezes begin to thaw, says Kenny Dubin, founder and CEO of The Dubin Group, a prestigious professional staffing firm in Bala Cynwyd. We asked Dubin for his advice on succeeding in the new job market.
MLT: Why do you think the job market is improving?
KD: We’re seeing more direct hiring in all positions—from clerical to senior staff—and conversion of temporary to permanent positions. By the end of 2011, our job placements had increased by more than 10 percent over the previous year. In December, we really started to see more high-level jobs hitting the marketplace.
MLT: What are some of the best ways to find new jobs?
KD: It doesn’t hurt to apply everywhere you can online, as long as you keep in mind that using these types of job boards is like relying on a wing and a prayer. Many major companies turn to staffing firms like ours because they don’t have the time, energy or staff to weed through thousands of résumés. And a number of jobs aren’t publicly posted.
MLT: What can job seekers do on their own?
KD: Contact the companies you’d really like to work for—even if they aren’t posting any job openings. Tell them about yourself and ask them to keep you in mind for any openings. Ask for the hiring manager or the person in charge of the department that best suits your skills. If you go through human resources, keep in touch every few weeks. Network, network, network. Join professional organizations and go to their events. Use LinkedIn to post your information, and look for friends and fellow coworkers who may have moved on to other companies that could use your skills.
MLT: What are some of the common mistakes candidates make when applying for jobs or going on interviews?
KD: Make sure your résumé is absolutely perfect—no fancy paper or typefaces, and absolutely no typos. And never, ever be late for an interview.
MLT: How can candidates can set themselves apart from others?
KD: A growing number of employers are asking for video interviews so they can see how candidates speak and present themselves, and to get an idea of their personalities. It gives candidates a great way to put their best foot forward before they go to a prospective employer’s office.
MLT: What about recent graduates or those still in school?
KD: If you’re in college, get an internship in the field where you’re planning to work. The on-the-job experience is second to none—plus, the company might like you so much they offer you a full-time position. Don’t go into the job search with a salary set in stone. Even if you get less than you want, it has to be better than living with Mommy and Daddy.