Catching Lightning in a Bottle (THREE Job-Search Success Stories)

A new year brings new opportunities, new challenges, new hopes and new dreams and three new success stories. Hope these help motivate and inspire you to start 2011 off with a bang!

The first comes from a friend who decided to move to NYC with no job, a limited network, and a dream of living in the Big Apple (she landed a job in a matter of weeks).

How did I land a job so quickly in New York City?

Luck. Well, it seemed like pure luck … but I like to think that luck is just hard work chasing opportunity. I quit my job in Nashville and moved to Manhattan without a job or even a prospect of a job.

So how did I search for jobs?

I searched the internet (Indeed, Monster, Hotjobs, career sections of any and every website – you name it) and applied for jobs all day everyday for several weeks straight. It was my full-time job, and it was awful! Going to the ‘career’ sections of websites and entering in all that information time after time is exhausting.

After doing that for probably a solid month I realized it wasn’t working for me (I had heard from a recruiter that most of the time a human will never see the resume you upload to a company website) so I decided to branch out and figure out a better way to go about this.

I updated my LinkedIn account headline to express that I was seeking a job in the greater New York City area, I updated my Monster account, and started talking to anyone and everyone I knew. A friend told me that posting a tweet that you are seeking employment in a certain city on Twitter is something to consider (I never did that though). 

Your address is really important, too. Make sure that your resume or cover letters express that you are a local candidate. I don’t think a lot of companies recovering from the recession are willing to spend money on relocation packages. 

 My roommate introduced me to his HR manager at his small sales company and she gave me some pretty good advice and passed my resume along to some people in her recruiting network. I had a few call backs from recruiters because of her. 

Ultimately, I got my job from a recruiter who found me on Monster. She told me she had a job perfect for me, set me up on the interview, I went, I really liked the company, and they liked me as well. It was quick!

It seems lucky but I think eventually if you get your name out there enough things start coming back to you. I got so many more responses applying for jobs posted on LinkedIn than I did anywhere else.

My recommendations for anyone applying for a job is to spend your time networking or being in contact with real people. Don’t spend your time sending your resume out into cyberspace. I got ZERO responses back via that method. Or try to find a recruiter or two that you like (or maybe they’ll find you) and maybe they can help you get in the door for an interview.

Also, I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to be confident and think positively! Don’t ever get discouraged.

Our second example is from a friend of a friend who landed a job within twelve weeks of starting the networking process.

I landed a great job using the following method – 

   – Sent in an application to a Nashville healthcare company through Careerbuilder

   – Researched the company like crazy on-line and through personal contacts

   – Reached out to lawyer-contacts in my field for conversations about the healthcare law landscape

   – Patiently worked through seven interviews; getting feedback, question-ideas, and strategy suggestions from other job seekers

And finally, landed a job as in management for a Nashville area healthcare company

Finally, I got notification of this third success a couple of days ago and it was a great way to end the year!

I do IT audit and have been having a hard time finding steady employment for the last 2 years. A friend of mine told me about the CTSG meetings and took me to my first one. At one of the meetings I met one of the volunteers who is also a recruiter who asked for my contact information. She places people in accounting positions, but her co-worker places people in IT positions.  Her co-worker got me a two month contract doing an IT audit at a large corporation (TN Co-op distribution center), and I start January 3rd.

Without meeting the recruiter at a CTSG meeting, I would have never known about or gotten the job. The meetings are a wonderful place to network with people, and CTSG helps you realize you are not alone when it comes to finding a job.

 I found out I got the job Dec 23rd. Talk about a wonderful Christmas present. I believe 2011 will be a wonderful year for me. Talk about a great way to start off the new year.


Here are a few lessons learned from the stories shared above:

  • One method of job-search is never enough. In our first shared success story job-boards did not work, networking had some positive results, but ultimately having her information on Monster landed her a great job (and I mean a really good one). For information on how to have success posting your résumé online check out this post.
  • Our second contributor found what she thought was her dream job online and did everything she could to get known and gain knowledge about their field and the job function there and aced the interview and landed a job.
  • We always preach networking her on RGttU and our last success story is a great reminder of sticking your neck out a little bit and making new connections can lead to some great opportunities. The CTSG that she refered to is the Monday night Career Transition Support Group that meets in Brentwood, TN. For more information on that group click here.

For more success stories check out Never Burn Any Bridges, Take Your Career by the Horns, Be Open, Be Brave, Be Strong, You Never Know Who You Are Sitting Next To.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!



6 responses to “Catching Lightning in a Bottle (THREE Job-Search Success Stories)

  1. Pingback: Libraries link into job search | Green Living Tips | Information and Free Resources |

  2. I am a very strong believer in the power of networking now. I have applied for dozens of jobs online since graduating from college, but the three positions I’ve held have all been due to networking. Including my latest job move which I got through Matt. While I don’t attend a lot of meetings or groups–obviously I should–but sometimes just knowing and networking with someone like Matt who does can be beneficial.

    Thanks for helping me with a great start to my New Year, Matt!

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Catching Lightning in a Bottle (THREE Job-Search Success Stories) « A Recruiters Guide to the Universe --

  4. I’ve started to volunteer in public ways. I write articles for web sites, including my own, I give lectures and I try to be as proactive as I can at building other ways people can get to know me other than just a piece of paper. So far I’ve gotten more interest. The one interview I’ve had this year, the fact that I go out and give presentations seemed to be taken very approvingly.

    Here is one I did a few days ago on WordPress plugins: presentation. The site that hosted it ran a blog entry on it. Other blogs picked it up. I was really happy to get that kind of publicity. Will it lead to a job? I did get a lead on a short little contract from it. If I can turn that into something and get a good recommendation that would be more than worth the time I spent writing and then giving the presentation.

  5. Great blog, Matt! The internet is a key to finding a job, but the bulk is about doing the hard work of networking and connecting!

  6. Shalisa Watkins

    Wow! Thanks for the great information. It was just what I needed to read at this moment. With graduation upon me in a little more than 6 months, I have been searching online job listings unsuccessfully. I will have to come out of my shell, be brave, and network more.

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