The politics of job hunting

The politics of job hunting

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

Now that I am fully recovered from my recent back surgery and can function like a normal person again, my doctor has released me to return to work. The unfortunate thing is, after having been out on disability for the last year, I don’t really have a job to go back to. I wasn’t exactly fired from my last job, but seeing as they didn’t know when I would return they couldn’t hold my position within the company. Having no position to return to, the company could not find any other place for me and was forced to let me go due to medical reasons. So, I am now once again on the hunt for a job, and boy is it awful.
Being unemployed is stressful enough. Having little or no income coming in is a hard way of living. The unemployment office never grants you the same amount that you were worth, a fact that I think is put in place to stimulate you to find work quicker and so you are forced to scrape and scrounge trying to get any job you can to pay the bills. Fortunately for me, my husband is the bread winner in our family, so any paycheck that I earn is usually just a bonus for us. It does take the stress off, but not everyone is so lucky. Back to my original point, looking for work not only sucks, but is basically a job in itself.
I am finding that in order to land a good job you have to play the politics of job hunting. What I mean by that is there are certain tricks and maneuvers you must master in order to first land an interview and then second, ace the interview to land the job. Obviously I am still learning the game or I would already be employed, but the first step is to have a great resume. There are some professional services out there that can help with constructing the perfect resume for the job you want, or you can just look online, but either way a perfectly polished resume and carefully crafted cover letter will catch the interest of the potential employer you wish to impress. After that, comes the interview process. This face to face process is where the politics of job hunting skills really come into play.
The other day I was invited to a small group interview for a job I really wanted. I found that I was very nervous because one on one interviews are hard enough, but a group interview is even harder. The only benefit to a group interview is the fact that you get to meet the other applicants you are competing with and hear what their answers to the same questions you are being asked will be. The problem is you have to be a bit more delicate when participating in answering those questions posed to the group. You don’t want to answer too quickly and seem too eager to beat out the competition, but you also don’t want to lag behind and seem disinterested. Making conversation with the other applicants can show the potential employer how cool under pressure you can be, but you want to be careful not to dominate the conversations. This will seem as though you are not interested in what others have to say or contribute. Sometimes it is hard to gauge what a group interview is even for. Is it for the employer to gauge how you interact with others, or is it a way for them to save time in screening their applicants? These types of situations are always stressful but remember if you follow the politics of job hunting and play the game correctly you may just land yourself the perfect job.