We hear lots these days about job losses and the rising unemployment rate in impersonal reports. I thought this mini interview with a job seeker, Sean Bartel, might add more depth to the picture.
Sean Bartel is a broadcast journalist who lives near Cincinnati, and he’s set up his own site, seanbartel.com, to help with his job search. Below is a Q&A I conducted with him via email recently, and I think his experiences can benefit many others.
Q: How long have you been actively looking for a job?
A: For seven months. Four days after Thanksgiving I was told I’d be laid off, but my final day wasn’t until January 4th (because of negotiations of severance and things of that source).
What has been the biggest challenge for you in your job search?
Sifting through all the new options on the Internet for a job search. I haven’t been out of work since I graduated college (1999) and haven’t changed jobs in four years, and the difference in the amount of websites and ways you can get your work to an employer is staggering. Figuring out which ones are good, which ones aren’t worthwhile, and how to proceed has been more difficult than I imagined.
How has having your own Web site helped in your job search? Would you recommend that as a tool for others, perhaps as a supplement for a resume?
Absolutely, for anyone inside or outside of television. It saves you in a number of ways: Obviously the cash to send your material to a possible employer, but also time and gives you extra creativity. What you can do on a Web site far exceeds the limited imagination of a resume.
What is the most significant thing you’ve learned during your job-search process?
Read up on good ways to job search, ways you haven’t thought of. “Knock ‘Em Dead” is a book filled with simple ideas I never did before but am starting to employee. Also, when you’re sending out cover letters or creating a Web site, let your personality flow. Stop thinking about listing accomplishments for a second, and find a way to write like you’re talking to your best friend (in a professional way, obviously)
What advice would you give to others who might be facing a lengthy job search?
Whenever you talk to someone about a job, advice, anything, ask at the end, “Do you know anyone else I could talk to?” Quickly build a new network for your job search to add to your old one. Send more thank-you notes than you ever have before. But don’t drive yourself nuts. Work on your job for a number of hours each day from 9-5, but when your accustomed quitting time arrives, try and relax. Have a nice meal, and start fresh again the next day.