I Need a New Job
December 9, 2020 5:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm starting to look for a job outside of my current organization for the first time in ages, and I feel like everything has changed. Help me start my search like a competent adult, please?

Currently I work in a client facing role that's... semi-technical. I'm probably looking for customer success roles going forward. I have a few connections, but not many because, well, I have a good thing going with my current company. Now, though, I want to Build my Dang Career by moving to a different company, but the last time I applied to jobs was ten years ago so my complacency has gotten the better of me.

Pandemic and economic depression aside, how do people find white-collar jobs these days other than word of mouth? Where would I go for some assistance with polishing my resume and tailoring my applications? Should I engage a recruiter? Located in an urban center in the PNW, if that makes a difference. I feel like I should know this since it's been a few decades since I graduated college, and I have read through Ask a Manager for general advice, but at this point I think I need someone who can cut through my anxiety paralysis with a clear plan of what to do next beyond spamming likely jobs with a substandard resume. Any help is appreciated.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Recruiting firms definitely would be a place to start. A good way to at least look at what companies are hiring, what they're looking for, and how to tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to get the attention of hiring managers or internal recruiters.

Don't discount your friends, ex-colleagues and connections to scope the landscape, though. If you know someone who works at a company, or someone who's connected to someone who works at a company, and you ask to chat about what they do and how they hire, people are generally up for something quick and informal. I do it all the time with people who are interested in my company.
posted by xingcat at 6:12 AM on December 9, 2020

Are there people who have already been in your situation you could ask? People you've worked with at your current company who have left and gone to other companies? That's the best place to start, not only to see how they did it, but because they might actually know of openings.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:24 AM on December 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I really liked my experience with Blue Bridge Career Counseling. She does a full day workshop on job hunting which is pretty affordable and then if you like her approach you can hire her to work on your resume/cover letter and/or to coach you. She’s based in Seattle so even though none of it is in person these days, she’s familiar with the PNW job market.
posted by lunasol at 6:35 AM on December 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

In my tech-adjacent field, it’s all about LinkedIn. Update your profile, set the flag that says you’re open to new opportunities, and connect with recruiters. The rest just happens.
posted by rd45 at 6:57 AM on December 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I recently changed jobs twice in ~12 months as a 50+ y/o female engineering director in PNW. I got the 2nd job through a connection, but I knew no one in the first company.

On the advice of a recruiter, I got an account with enhancv and got my resume down to one page. It also looks modern :). I also wrote customized cover letters that showed my personality. I have been hiring people recently and very few write cover letters and those that do, have a very generic boilerplate that tells me nothing about them except that they want a job.

I also found that the job posting scene has changed since my last job change -- where I used to use indeed, I now find that glassdoor and linkedin are better sources of relevant openings.

Finally, my company along with many others has opened positions for remote employees. Our job posting software hasn't always caught up, so I would encourage you to search beyond your current geography. If you have experience successfully working from home, that might be worthwhile mentioning in the cover letter.
posted by elmay at 6:59 AM on December 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

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