Hi, can I work here please?
July 26, 2007 10:59 AM   Subscribe

I am going cold hunting for a job and need some advice. The story is...

I graduated college a few years ago and have been working in the 'real world' for the last 8 years. The first 3 in restaurants, the other 5 in the entertainment industry doing everything from executive assisting to casting to story line editing. I have decided to change careers completely and go back to school full time. Now I have to find a normal college kid type job like working in a restaurant again or in a little shop somewhere.

I have never gone door to door looking for a job before, so I would love some advice. I am in a new town and there are plenty of restaurants and little shops around. When I go into these places should I ask for the manager directly and ask her/ him if they are hiring or should I ask the staff? I know not to go into said establishments at the height of busy times (dinner or weekend rushes). I will also be going in with resume in hand- but my resume is all entertainment related. Without giving my life story (as I did here) how do I explain I'm just looking for something that will work with my school schedule? I don't want to sound like I wouldn't take the job seriously, but I want them I am a hard worker. And what about restaurant stuff? Should I add those couple of restaurants to my resume even though they were 5 years ago? Back then I was assistant managing the lunch shift of a very busy location in NYC, so sure it was great experience, but it was so long ago- is it even valid?

I already know my fall schedule and it only allows me to work 2 days during the week (after 11am) and anytime on weekends. I can't think of any type of job that these hours would be conducive to except retail and restaurants. But if you can think of something please throw it out there (except for babysitting... I don't know how to care for the wee ones)

Any advice totally appreciated here...
posted by MayNicholas to Work & Money (16 answers total)
When I was in college I had a job as a fund raiser for the school. We would call alumni and ask for donations. We were paid well, best paying student job on campus, plus bonuses for meeting daily goals. We worked weekends and weekday afternoons/early evening. They understood we all had classes and homework, the schedule was completely flexible.
posted by Eringatang at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2007

I'd say talk to the managers during off-hours. Let them know what you're up to and why you want the gig. As for your NYC managment stuff, it may help to have it on there, if you've got the room. If it's not on the resume, I'd mention it to the manager.

As with everything, if you have personal contacts in the industry, milk them.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2007

Oh - and with your skills you could work in the media dept. (don't know what the actual name for this group is) for the campus, helping to record guest lectures for documentation purposes and classes for distance learning. They will have mostly student employees, I bet, so they will understand class schedules.
posted by Eringatang at 11:26 AM on July 26, 2007

I'd check your campus job board. The jobs you find there are likely to be much better about scheduling around your school work.
posted by MsMolly at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2007

If you're looking for restaurant work and you have restaurant experience, then definitely include that on your resume or on the job applications. Five years isn't that long ago.
posted by occhiblu at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2007

I would also suggest putting your restaurant experience on your resume. It makes a big difference in the restaurant industry. If you have experience, you could get a job at a nicer restuarant based on your experience, which means higher tips!
posted by triggerfinger at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2007

Include the previous restaurant work without a doubt if that's where you're looking for a job.

Also seconding checking out the school's job listings (wherever they are hidden).
posted by boreddusty at 11:54 AM on July 26, 2007

I have been checking the school's job boards, and have applied for a couple, but most of them are listed as full time right now.

When I go into the restaurants & stores, do you think I should speak to the manager or ask the staff? I recall from my restaurant days that the servers were sometimes territorial and would shoot down people who asked of we were hiring (even if we were).

Thanks for the advice so far! Keep it coming!
posted by MayNicholas at 12:17 PM on July 26, 2007

UPS has late shift work and pays well.
posted by electroboy at 12:23 PM on July 26, 2007

Talk to the manager, not the staff, unless it's to ask to talk to the manager.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2007

2nd talking to the manager.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:00 PM on July 26, 2007

Connections, connections. Do you know anyone who works somewhere you'd like to work? Do you know anyone who knows anyone? Talk to them about positions. It's always easier when you get jobs through connections.
posted by Pants! at 2:24 PM on July 26, 2007

If I had connections I would use them, but alas, I just moved here. I would try to soberly frequent the bars I would like to work in, but since I'm jobless, I can't afford that approach.
posted by MayNicholas at 2:40 PM on July 26, 2007

Some interesting advice someone recently offered me is to make two sections, one called relevant experience in which you'd list your restaurant positions, and another called related experience in which you'd list your other jobs just to show you're competent and hard working and you've held down decent jobs before.

Worked ok for me.
posted by jourman2 at 9:34 PM on July 26, 2007

It's common to go in during a non-rush time and ask if they are hiring. I think ask the staff first.

When I worked in restaurants I had a rule that resumes were bad, and people who sported them shouldn't be hired. But that is just me.

If you must have a resume... I wouldn't list a lot of detail about your Entertainment jobs, maybe condense it to explain your time, but keep the focus on your restaurant experience.
posted by Mozzie at 12:14 AM on July 27, 2007

If a campus job is okay, get one working as a computer lab assistant. You'll basically sit in a computer lab and work on homework/surf the net/play videogames until someone needs help with something, which is usually no more complicated than clearing a paper jam. For minimum wage, it's pretty sweet.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:55 AM on July 27, 2007

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