How To Find a Job
Go to now,
ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and
continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get money.
For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and
do this, or that." James 4:13, 15.
So, we don't want to leave the LORD out of all this, as though
we've got all the information on how to find a job, or whatever
else/whatever other worksheet you're working on: we really need
the LORD to lead us and guide us in everything we're doing, but
especially, it's very important to stress this when we're looking
for a job, because jobs are not very easy to find in the U.S. right
now, even for the most qualified people.
So, the first thing you need to know about finding a job, is that
it will be God who opens that door and gives you that job.
need to know that you need to prepare yourself to be in the position
when a job is open. The way Americans usually
prepare themselves is by creating a very good resume. There are
a lot of products that are even free: if you go on Google and type "resume," you
can find some free resume products there. Now, even though in your
country, maybe nobody ever thought about these kinds of things,
sorry to tell you that in America, these are the facts of life.
You'll want to have a statement at the top of the resume that
generally tells what you're good at and an example perhaps of a
problem that you solved, (for example, that you increased productivity
by 40% by configuring some system that overcame an obstacle at
the last place you were working).
So, just to
get the basics of resumes, you'll have to brag about yourself
a little bit. In most countries outside the U.S., as in
Asian cultures, you're taught not to brag about yourself, because
that would show pride. I guess we're trying to define "pride" a
bit more carefully here, where we might think of pride as being
egotistical, really hung up on yourself, but to us in America,
to say something like, "I'm good at typing on a computer," or "installing
things on a computer," or "answering phone calls," that
does not mean you're bragging about yourself.
If you think about it, how else will the boss know that you are
the person he should hire, if you don't even give him any reason
to hire you, because you're too embarrassed to say anything about
your abilities? So you'll have to find a happy medium somehow,
that you are able to present yourself to a boss and explain, even
in a very humble way, what you're capable of doing.
So after you've
put the statement up at the top of your resume, then the next
thing will be, what's the very last job you had,
and what are the dates, approximately (for example) from November
of 2006 to December of 2008, and what was the name of that company;
who was your supervisor or boss there; how can they contact that
company (phone #, web address might be appropriate); and what exactly
did you do/what were your responsibilities at that company. You
want to be sure to describe these responsibilities in a way that
makes you look good: (for example) "I had to work as part
of a team effort, to accomplish a goal, and we did it ahead of
schedule, and the boss was very happy" (or whatever). But
you'll have to describe your responsibilities and how you fulfilled
them. And then, since we mentioned 2006 to 2008 (whatever the dates
were in your own case), then the next item on the resume will be
2003 to 2006. The company wants to know, sequentially and chronologically,
what you've been doing for the last several years, and they usually
want to see your last 3 jobs.
Then, at the bottom of the resume, you can put personal things,
like personal interests: (for example) that you're interested in
ice hockey and collecting postage stamps; you have 3 children;
you were once nominated for an award or received some type of award.
They want to know a little bit about what kind of person you are.
Keep in mind
that when someone's interviewing you for a job, I want to impress
on you that the first thing they're thinking of
is, "Will this person fit in around here?" If the interviewee
says (for example), "I hate sports," and all the guys
at that company are into sports, the interviewer might think, "Hmm," and
it will stick in the back of his mind, and he'll think to himself, "I
don't know if you're going to fit in around here..." Which
is not to say you have to be a sports lover, but you have to present
yourself as someone who can get along with other people. So, the
only way for the prospective employer to find out is to know a
little bit about you.
Next, you put
down your education. It's kind of a given that everybody went
to high school, if you haven't gone to highs chool, or you
didn't finish, you don't have to necessarily say that you graduated,
you could just say (for example) "so-and-so high school from
1985 to 1987." If you got a GED (a diploma you can get in
the U.S. which is the equivalent of a high school diploma), you
don't want to write "GED" on your resume, because it
has a bad connotation (it makes you look like a person who dropped
out of school).
If you got
a GED, then just put down "high school graduate," because
in America it's the same thing as a high school diploma.
Then, if you had ANY college whatsoever, put it down on your resume,
even if you only went for a year, because it makes you look good.
In America, college shows that you are a person who can follow
a course of study, and pay attention, and discipline yourself to
do the research and that you passed examinations.
the very bottom of the resume, you put "References" (people
who will say nice things about you---but make sure you first verify
with these people ahead of time that they will indeed say nice
things about you): put their phone # and their name, and
email if they have no phone. Believe me, a lot of employers will
call those people, they will check and say, "So, other than
the fact they're a friend of yours, do you know anything about
them, can they get along with people?" Make sure your friend
is ready to say about you something like, "Oh sure, he's a
great guy, he can get along with anybody, one of the nicest people
on the face of the earth!" (or something to that effect, you
get the idea).
Now, we need
to talk about the interview process. The most important thing
in America that you need to keep in mind in regard to jobs,
is being on time. In the country you came from, it might be good
enough to get there within an hour or so, but that won't cut it
in America. You'd be fired on the spot. Similarly, if you're supposed
to be at an interview at 10 a.m. (for example), but you show up
later than 10 a.m., even by 1 minute, most likely they'll simply
scratch you off the list. So, it's a good rule of thumb to be 15
min. early, and if you can be earlier, that's even better. Because
of traffic conditions and other situations that come up, it's best
to be thinking, "I need to be there 30 min. early."
Once you get
to the interview, they'll probably have you fill out a job application
(if you haven't already at that point) and
they'll want your Social Security #, your address and phone #,
and all the info that you had on your resume (like your last 3
jobs). Now, you might think, "But this is already on the resume!" True,
but the 2 serve different purposes: the job application is strictly
the facts, whereas the resume is your chance to present the info
in a real positive light to make yourself look good. Sorry, but
you have to do both.
As you might imagine as you're reading this, the better you speak
English, the better you'll do. There are English classes being
offered somewhere every single day of the week---FOR FREE!!!
So, if you're sitting at home just watching TV, and asking God
to find you a job, but you're not really hunting for a job, and
you're not systematically taking English classes, you're really
digging your own grave.
When you go
to the interview, you've got to give the interviewer a real good
strong handshake, as if they were an old friend of
yours: nobody likes to shake hands with a dead fish. You don't
give just a little wet noodle type handshake. No, it needs to be
a cordial, "Good morning, how're you doing, there!" firm
Further, you need to be dressed in your best clothes. If you're
a man, you should really be wearing a tie; if you're a lady, wear
modest clothes (like something you'd wear to church on Sunday morning,
or business-type clothes). It's always best to look your very best.
Now, during the interview, be sure to look people in the eye. I
know that perhaps for the culture that you came from, that is very
hard. Maybe in your culture, looking someone in the eye is almost
like giving someone a challenge.
That might've been that way in your culture, but in America, we
want you to look us in the eye. I'm sorry to say that if you do
NOT look us in the eye, we have all kinds of cultural imaginations,
justified or not, where you're in America now, so when you don't
look us in the eye, it makes us think there's something wrong:
either you've got something to hide, and you're afraid we'll see
it if we look in your eyes; or else something's wrong with your
personality, that you're so super humble, that we won't get anything
accomplished all day because you're too humble to get to work and
do the job.
So there're a lot of reasons why you really need to look people
in the eye, and have a smile on your face, and just try to ask
God to help you be as comfortable as possible and pretend you're
talking to an old friend. Remember, you've got the LORD with you,
so you need to realize that if the job interview doesn't go well,
and you don't get this job, you're not in the hand of those people,
you're in God's hands.
So, if He didn't
want you to have that job, then so be it. But you put your best
foot forward, and go in there displaying total
confidence (i.e. whatever God wants, I want), and "How are
you today? Good to meet you!" kind of attitude. Answer the
questions enthusiastically, and if you don't know how to answer
a question, tell them, "I never thought of that before; I'll
have to get back to you on that." Always be upbeat and enthusiastic.
Don't ever let anyone know that they've stumped you or that you're
discouraged and "oh well, I guess you would not want to hire
me." You MUST keep a positive attitude!
Now that you've
written the resume and done some interviews, the next thing Americans
do is to send their resume all over the internet.
You can go to "monster.com," or "dallasjobs.com." There
are tons of them: if you google "jobs," you'll find all
kinds of websites. Now be careful about what you're doing on the
internet, bec. unless you want to move away from Dallas, you don't
want to apply for jobs in, say, Alaska. Also, remember that some
of these sites want to charge you money, so try to find the free
ones like "monster.com."
What you do,
is you go on there and usually, they want you to log in because
the reason they're offering this for free is so
they can send you advertisements for the rest of your life---that
goes with the territory, so you log in and register on that website.
Your name, and then the password, then your email. Then, they will
send an email to your email address, you will receive an email
that says something like "Welcome to the website; you are
now an official member. Click on this link to confirm your registration,
and it will take you back to our website."
So, once you've
found a job you're interested in, usually you can click on it,
and then you're able to click on another link
that says to send your resume, and you can send it as a Microsoft
Word document or as an Acrobat PDF, and you might put a little
note with the email like, "Hello, my name's Joe, and I'm really
interested in your company. This is just the kind of job I've been
looking for; this looks like my dream job, and I'm really looking
forward to having an interview with you. Here's my phone #. Hope
to hear from you soon, and I'll check back with you in about a
got to be enthusiastic, you've got to act like, "I'm
really looking for a job!" and "I'm really gung-ho here!" If
you take some of these suggestions, you'll be doing about as well
as any American is doing right now who's trying to find a job.
Now, a final note is that most jobs in reality are not found by
walking up to and knocking on the door of 7/11 or Walmart, or whatever.
In fact, if you go to most of those places, they'll just tell you
to go apply online or at their website anyway. Really, most jobs
are found by having a friend who already works some place to put
in a good word for you, and enthusiastically tell their employer
what a wonderful person you are, and hand the boss a copy of your
So, give your
friends a copy of your resume, and ask them to tell the boss "This is one of the best people you could ever hire,
and they really need a job, and they're really enthusiastic about
this company, and could you just give them a chance, if you could
just give him an interview." Take your friend out to lunch
and get him all psyched up about helping you. That right there
is the best possible way that you can find a job.