My laptop remembers the websites I visit most often. Until this past week, my most frequented website was Facebook. This position has now been replaced by higheredjobs.com–a job posting site for colleges and universities around the world. I check higheredjobs.com multiple times a day. (Sometimes multiple times an hour) I’ve realized I am stalking my ideal job almost as much as I use Facebook to stalk ex-boyfriends. I think I’ve become obsessed.
Ironically, I teach a job search strategies workshop at Career Services and know that a successful job search cannot solely rely on the internet and classifieds. I’m supposed to be networking, setting up informational interviews and attending conferences. I’m supposed to be following up on the six jobs I’ve applied to via the internet. For some reason, I am having a hard time taking the career advice I share with students on a daily basis.
I just got off the phone with my mother and told her, “I’ve applied to six jobs so far, and it’s only March!” I’ve stressed to her that I am doing all I can to find employment and avoid moving back home after graduation. But, am I really doing all that I can? Am I being lazy by simply using this one job posting website? I’m going to go with yes to both of those questions. Applying to jobs over the internet is so easy. You spend time crafting the generic cover letter, changing around your resume and maybe filling out some HR paperwork. You attach it all to an email, click send and wait. Then, you brag to your friends and family about all the jobs you applied to. If you weren’t selected for an interview, you oftentimes won’t even receive a letter/phone/e-mail and avoid rejection altogether. Easy, yes. But lazy. And clearly not effective since I’ve been contacted for no interviews and received one rejection letter.
I’d like to throw in another word. Scared. That’s another good word to describe how I’m feeling. I’m scared if I follow-up, the employer will say no. I’m scared if I reach out to someone, he/she will refuse to give me career advice. And besides, scared sounds way better than lazy.
This March, I am going to mix up the job search a little bit. Written on a post-it stuck to my computer is a list of things I am going to do this month to expedite the job search process. I am attending a conference at the end of the month and plan on setting up some informational interviews over my spring break. A colleague gave me names of several possible networking connections whom I plan to e-mail. I also plan on using Twitter and LinkedIn to network. Of course, I’m still going to creep on higheredjobs.com everyday. But, I know (and teach in my workshop) that it is important to employ a variety of job search strategies in order to guarantee success.
Sara is graduating from the University of Delaware with a Master of Arts in College Counseling in Higher Education this May. She has worked in many functional areas of higher education including career services, admissions, orientation and development. Her ultimate goal would be to work in career services or admissions at a college or university. Connect with Sara on Twitter or Linkedin.