Great Escape: 6 Simple Ways to Upgrade the Job Search
I hate reception work. We’ve established this with my last post (The Introvert Receptionist if you missed it). 20/20 hindsight (my favorite thing, y’all know) has me seeing that the article may have sounded a bit passive, petulant, and whiney. I probably spent too much time talking about identifying my problem instead of how I’ve been working to solve it. So here we go, let’s talk about this escape plan.
Make a list of your job skills.
Because I hate my to survival job the first thing I had to do was figure out what marketable skills I actually have. While I have 2 degrees both are in performance (great for my career, not so great for the job search). Instead of harping on what training I didn’t have I needed to take an objective look at the skills I have acquired. There actually turned out to be a lot when I thought about it (and got a little help from onetonline.org). It’s surprising how many skills you don’t realize you even have because you’re focused on the surface abilities of your work.
Remove the skills you’re good at but hate doing.
I have excellent phone manner but I hate being stuck answering phones all day. I also hate handing out flyers or talking to people all day or being outside in the elements. These are things I know I don’t want to do so I’ll make sure not to include them in my search or on my resume. If I don’t tell them I can do it, they probably won’t ask me to.
Overhaul your resume.
Resumes need to be brief, visually appealing, and (most importantly) tell a clear story. I’ve checked out other people’s resumes for formatting ideas and tried to infuse a sense of my personality in the design of it (nothing too crazy though, Elle Woods). My main project right now though is to create a master version that I can edit and Taylor for each job I apply for (really making me wish I had Word…ugh Microsoft subscriptions).
Get help from people who know more than you.
Here’s what I’ve been doing a lot of. I’m obsessed with the career advice on The Muse. I’ve been asking my friends who have jobs that they like. I’ve joined the Actors Work Program with The Actors’ Fund and attended as many of their sessions as I could. Hell I even have a career coach strictly for sideline work. I can admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing (no shame, I’m just guessing here).
Utilize the help out of the Internet.
I check LinkedIn, The Muse, Indeed, even Facebook and Twitter when I’m looking for jobs. I’m working on networking with not only people in theatre, tv, and film but in social media marketing, content strategy, writing, blogging, and anything else that catches my interest. It’s our best resource, folks, and I’m snatching as much from it as I can.
Let people know your plan.
I’m telling all my people (including all of you) what I’m up to. Why? Because they’ll hold me accountable. They ask how it’s going, what my progress is, offer suggestions (which I am free to take or politely decline). It’s more reminder than guilt trip but it keeps me on track. You guys are in the loop now, just don’t bombard the comments section.
So that’s where I am now with bettering my sideline job situation (career stuff is a completely different plan for a completely different post). Is this plan perfect? Nope. But I’ll run with it for a while longer and see where it gets me before I scrap it for a new one (feel free to steal any or all parts of this plan if you need to).
What are some of your best job search tips? Better, what skills would you rather leave of your resume?