Monday, October 29, 2012
F**k Hurricane Sandy, You Still Need a Job
You're right: I am a little cranky. Not because I'm worried about Queens getting destroyed in Sandy's maw--honestly, I can't assume that as a single girl hurricane that she'd want all the related ish of the outer boroughs in her life--but I could do without the media whipping the population into a frenzy of fear and loathing and consumption of too much Nutella. Remember when we used to have leaders who grit their teeth, and counseled us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself, and with that attitude we won World War Two and thus avoided having to learn German? Yeah, me neither...but I could still do without a bleed-and-lead "news" cycle aimed at making me want to trade in all my stockpiled weapons for bottled water and Oreo ice-cream, and live perpetually in fear. (The Kitten just read this opening and is all,"...and how exactly does this tie into helping people get a job?" Re-read the headline, you little orange b*tch.)
Anyhoo... now you're holed up in your hovel, with your significant other or his brother or whoever else was on Craigslist...and guess what? You still need a damn job. I mean, even if you had one in NYC today, you couldn't reach it, since Hizzoner shut down the MTA (#redundant)...but you're (probably) home, you're (probably) single, so you might as well spend part of this day, assuming you haven't had to evacuate, doing something productive--besides getting laid, obviously--and improve your job search.
Recently, I had a client who was interested in getting hired as a hotel concierge for VIPs at some swanky hotel. Background: a hotel concierge can be expected to do everything from making dinner reservations, to picking up dry cleaning, to retrieving lost laptops and other luggage from across the globe, getting last-minute tickets to the World Series, etc. etc. More generally, a hotel concierge is expected to welcome guests to the hotel and to provide an insider's knowledge about the facility, the city and all the types of options available to the guest. The more expensive a hotel, the more complex talents a hotel concierge is expected to provide. Therefore, for someone detail-oriented, for someone who has excellent communication skills, and is used to performing at a very high level of customer relations...the job of a hotel concierge can be a challenging, if highly rewarding position.
Since my client didn't have a lot of personal knowledge about the field, some of the first things I wanted her to do was to educate herself about the job, so as to be eventually able to re-write and re-position both her resume, and far more importantly, her LinkedIn profile, as relevant to the hotel/tourism industry human resources people, who would would be hiring for such positions.
What follows are some of the assignments I gave my client...feel free to go crazy. (And even if you're not looking for a job as a hotel concierge, you might find these ideas travel very well to other fields...hint hint!)
1. What exactly does a hotel concierge do? What sort of skills/education/experience does one need, and how can we "translate" the skills you already have? Let's start by Googling "hotel concierge," check out the industry/job descriptions on Monster, Vault, and also reference a few hotel websites (http://www.nycparamount.com/careers), the W, Hilton, Marriott, to get an idea of which companies if any might be hiring, and whom they're looking for. This is an excellent time to create daily "search agents" on Monster.com and Vault.com, as to to be alerted when these types of positions become available. I would also suggest you then go on LinkedIn.com, and start "following" the companies which are hiring hotel concierges, so that you know immediately when they have openings.
2. Start a list of all the "buzz words" or "key words" that are repeatedly coming up in your searches and job descriptions for hotel concierge, in order that we may re-write your resume to include all those words and thus help your resume eventually get read and reviewed by an actual human. You should also start working on a rough cover letter, highlighting your extensive organizational skills; your ability to be gracious and resourceful under pressure; your "people" skills, your superior communication abilities, etc..
3. Next, I would advise you to carefully work your way through your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts, checking to see if you know anyone who works in the hotel trade. Since networking is always far more powerful than passively sending in resumes to an email address, I would strongly suggest you speak to anyone and everyone you know who works in this industry. You need to get over your shame cycle right now and let everyone you know in on this search. If you're willing to post on Facebook, that you're looking for a job as a hotel concierge in the NYC area, and give a couple of sentences describing your relevant experience as well as what exactly you're looking for, and asking people who have contacts to email you, you could be even more successful. The bigger you go with your search, the bigger your results.
These are just some ideas to get you started thinking differently about your potential employment search...as well as your opportunities. If, for example, you really follow those steps and look closely through your Facebook and LinkedIn connections, I'm sure you'll be surprised by how many people you know in any given industry you might be interested in transitioning to. And what if you have no contacts, no ideas whatsoever?
Well, you could always email me @firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, Hurricane Sandy will eventually go away, but you're still gonna need that job...and I'll still be here, waiting to help you get it...