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Keep at it and you will find your fit.
Episode 144th August 2021 • Careers & Coffee • Corridor Careers
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Dan & Liz are joined by a new team member, Adamu Muhammad to talk about his recent job search experience and his advice for job seekers.

Simply put? Keep at it. Don't allow rejection to get personal, and understand if you have strengths in your field, eventually a company will see your value and offer a position.

We also briefly touch on cover letters, and why they are not such a thing anymore. At least in a tight job market like Eastern Iowa.

Resume resources for job seekers: corridorcareers.com/resume-services

Transcripts

Dan Holterhaus:

All right. Good morning, and welcome back to

Dan Holterhaus:

another episode of careers and coffee. I live.

Liz Kennedy:

Dan got my coffee here.

Dan Holterhaus:

Hey, I do too. And we are pleased to be

Dan Holterhaus:

welcomed by Adama Mohan, who just joined our team, I think is

Dan Holterhaus:

that in quarter careers as a web developer, so we thought it'd be

Dan Holterhaus:

awesome to have a dialogue and just share his experience as a

Dan Holterhaus:

job seeker. Being that he just went through the process of

Dan Holterhaus:

looking for a job. This is your I think third week with the

Dan Holterhaus:

Gazette. Is that right? That's right. Yeah, third week. So we

Dan Holterhaus:

wanted to ask you some questions put you on the spot a little

Dan Holterhaus:

bit. So my first question is, has to do with your resume? And

Dan Holterhaus:

I just want to know, how long and maybe how many drafts or

Dan Holterhaus:

versions of your resume did he you go through before finding

Dan Holterhaus:

one that you liked and felt comfortable with?

Adamu Muhammad:

Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad to be here.

Adamu Muhammad:

And cheers have my own coffee.

Adamu Muhammad:

So So yeah, I, like Dan mentioned, I've been with the

Adamu Muhammad:

Gazette for about three weeks now. And before then, I was

Adamu Muhammad:

actually in the job market about a year ago. So I have recent

Adamu Muhammad:

experiences, looking for jobs. So as far as my resume, so

Adamu Muhammad:

because I think the version of my resume that I applied to the

Adamu Muhammad:

Gazette, that was done. Actually, couple years ago, I

Adamu Muhammad:

was laid off, where a couple of us were laid off in one of the

Adamu Muhammad:

jobs I held before, back in 2017. And after that, the

Adamu Muhammad:

company hooked us up with an agency. So that employment

Adamu Muhammad:

agency kind of helped me out, draft a resume. And I've been

Adamu Muhammad:

using that resume, since all I need to do is just to change to

Adamu Muhammad:

add the jobs or to change the job description, date. But

Adamu Muhammad:

during that time, I would say it took back and forth with the

Adamu Muhammad:

resume people to get that all ironed out. And then after that,

Adamu Muhammad:

it is adding dates and removing dates, as far as working on my

Adamu Muhammad:

resume. So I got lucky with that already have that.

Liz Kennedy:

Would you say it kind of helped to work with

Liz Kennedy:

another person on your resume to, you know, put things in

Liz Kennedy:

perspective or with the structure of it?

Adamu Muhammad:

It definitely, it definitely did. Before I work

Adamu Muhammad:

with the agency that helped me with my current resume, I had a

Adamu Muhammad:

resume. But when they did it, I had like their own better. So I

Adamu Muhammad:

would say absolutely, if you can get a hand on someone, get a

Adamu Muhammad:

hold of someone that will help you. Maybe review it, or maybe

Adamu Muhammad:

even help you with some directions on how to do that.

Adamu Muhammad:

That is always welcome. And I know there are some services

Adamu Muhammad:

indeed.com, the job search website used to help people for

Adamu Muhammad:

free, you will submit your resume to them, they will

Adamu Muhammad:

schedule a call with you actually do your resume. But I

Adamu Muhammad:

think that discontinued a service this year. So yes, I

Adamu Muhammad:

will to question yes, if you can get a hold of someone you really

Adamu Muhammad:

helped me.

Liz Kennedy:

We do have some career, resume service, links on

Liz Kennedy:

our Career Resources page on the Gazette. So we'll make sure we

Liz Kennedy:

link to those in the show notes. There are people in the

Liz Kennedy:

community that do help out with that. And there's also free

Liz Kennedy:

services with Kirkwood with IowaWorks and some other even

Liz Kennedy:

the library offers some consultation on resumes, which

Liz Kennedy:

could probably be helpful to an average job seeker.

Dan Holterhaus:

We'll make sure to link to those.

Liz Kennedy:

Well, I had a question for you. And it was

Liz Kennedy:

really kind of just kind of put it in perspective. What do you

Liz Kennedy:

think the hardest part of job searching was for you?

Adamu Muhammad:

Oh, man, the hardest part of job searching.

Adamu Muhammad:

Like just the uncertainty for me. So you want a job? And you

Adamu Muhammad:

know, like and with the COVID so you know that you are competing

Adamu Muhammad:

with a lot of people I think I kind of mixed because with the

Adamu Muhammad:

COVID we are hitting a situation where not a lot of people are

Adamu Muhammad:

applying. But also a lot of people have been laid off that

Adamu Muhammad:

are probably applying. So for me was the uncertainty. Like, when

Adamu Muhammad:

would I find a fit? That was really I have kids they need to

Adamu Muhammad:

eat. And I want to do what I like doing. Right? They say find

Adamu Muhammad:

something you like doing and find somebody, that'll pay to do

Adamu Muhammad:

that. So, yeah, the uncertainty was the biggest thing. For me, I

Adamu Muhammad:

have my resume ready. And I kind of know my ways to apply. So

Adamu Muhammad:

website, in person, even referrals. So the biggest was

Adamu Muhammad:

the uncertainty.

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah, I would say that it's probably on the lot of

Liz Kennedy:

minds of job seekers right now. And not only that people

Liz Kennedy:

currently working that are maybe considering another job.

Liz Kennedy:

Definitely, that is something that is gonna play a role. So

Liz Kennedy:

another question I had was, how did you know when the job was

Liz Kennedy:

the right fit? Because you said it took you a while to find

Liz Kennedy:

something that was the right fit?

Adamu Muhammad:

Yeah, absolutely. So as far as right

Adamu Muhammad:

fit. So I know. So like the way I know everyone has his or her

Adamu Muhammad:

own way of finding what they like. I know, personally, even

Adamu Muhammad:

without getting paid, there are some, there are some certain

Adamu Muhammad:

things I like to do. So like that, like Dan had mentioned, I

Adamu Muhammad:

do web stuff with the Gazette. And there's some certain aspect

Adamu Muhammad:

of web that I like. And so as much as I can, I try to find a

Adamu Muhammad:

company that does that. Now they say, a beggar can't be a

Adamu Muhammad:

chooser. So there's that balance, okay. Do I find

Adamu Muhammad:

something? Or do I really become particular? About, Okay, I like

Adamu Muhammad:

this, I must really find a job that does this. Can I find

Adamu Muhammad:

something general? Or maybe I would like it. So that is that

Adamu Muhammad:

you might be going through that. But for me, it's the constant

Adamu Muhammad:

battle. And when I saw the job with the Gazette, one of the

Adamu Muhammad:

things that attracted me was the fact that thegazette.com is a

Adamu Muhammad:

website that constantly people see. And I like something like

Adamu Muhammad:

that, like, how do you improve a website so people can use it? I

Adamu Muhammad:

like the aspect a lot. So for me, that's what one of the

Adamu Muhammad:

reasons why I applied.

Liz Kennedy:

That's great. Well, we're glad. We're glad you did.

Liz Kennedy:

When you were going through that process, well, I guess now that

Liz Kennedy:

you've come out of it, right. So now that you've got a job and

Liz Kennedy:

you're you're you've been here three weeks, so you're you're

Liz Kennedy:

the old you're not even the new guy anymore. Because we've had a

Liz Kennedy:

couple hires since you came on board, what what advice would

Liz Kennedy:

you give to current job seekers about you know, finding that

Liz Kennedy:

right fit or getting through those moments where you're just

Liz Kennedy:

really kind of overwhelmed with that uncertainty?

Adamu Muhammad:

Yeah, I will absolutely say, no matter the

Adamu Muhammad:

rejections, you get there is always a company that you will

Adamu Muhammad:

be a fit. I know. I have had rejections. I think it's common

Adamu Muhammad:

in the job market. And sometimes when I get rejections, I take it

Adamu Muhammad:

personally. And what I mean personally is like, maybe this

Adamu Muhammad:

is not my field. What am I doing? But it is one of that. I

Adamu Muhammad:

think it's more than that. Sometimes it's more by a fit,

Adamu Muhammad:

not because you're not good at what you do. Not at all. Maybe

Adamu Muhammad:

you could know "ABCD". And the next company is not looking for

Adamu Muhammad:

"B" is looking for "E" or you don't have "E" but you have all

Adamu Muhammad:

these other skills. So So I, it's always kind of in the back

Adamu Muhammad:

of my mind not to take it personally. To see that's okay.

Adamu Muhammad:

Maybe I'm not a fit. Not because I don't know what I'm doing. And

Adamu Muhammad:

there really, eases my anxiety as far as, "am I even worthwhile

Adamu Muhammad:

for anyone? Would I bring value to any company?" So, as long as

Adamu Muhammad:

you know something in your field, you can absolutely bring

Adamu Muhammad:

value to someone else. Just keep looking. Keep going, I will say

Adamu Muhammad:

that will be, if there's only one advice I will give, that

Adamu Muhammad:

will be the thing. Just keep pushing, you will find someone

Adamu Muhammad:

that you can contribute a value to.

Liz Kennedy:

Wow. Yeah, that's great.

Dan Holterhaus:

Cool. Well, there's any other questions for

Dan Holterhaus:

download before we call today here on careers and coffee?

Liz Kennedy:

No, I think we got the soundbite right there, you

Liz Kennedy:

know, just keep at it, keep going. You will find someone

Liz Kennedy:

that knows that you can contribute to their company. So

Liz Kennedy:

it's just making sure that your skills are the skills that

Liz Kennedy:

they're looking for. Yeah, just one last thing that came up.

Liz Kennedy:

Sorry, Dan, one thing that last came came up this week, I was

Liz Kennedy:

talking with our HR manager, and we were talking about cover

Liz Kennedy:

letters. And, Dan, I know it's been a while since we've applied

Liz Kennedy:

for jobs. But I know I put a lot of time and effort into that

Liz Kennedy:

cover letter. What about you,

Dan Holterhaus:

I probably spent way more time writing out cover

Dan Holterhaus:

letters then I have resumes. Five times as much time writing

Dan Holterhaus:

out all these paragraphs and different experiences on onto a

Dan Holterhaus:

cover letter.

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah. And so what I was hearing that was kind of

Liz Kennedy:

shocking to me from the manager was that, yeah, we don't really

Liz Kennedy:

look at cover letters too much anymore. And it wasn't so much

Liz Kennedy:

that she didn't look at them and consider them, they definitely

Liz Kennedy:

stand out when she did see them. But it wasn't really part of the

Liz Kennedy:

application process a lot. As long as they got a resume, they

Liz Kennedy:

weren't paying too much attention to the cover letter.

Liz Kennedy:

So my guess is if you're waiting to pull the trigger to apply for

Liz Kennedy:

a job, because you haven't got the cover letter, right, just

Liz Kennedy:

right yet. Keep it simple. You know, don't worry about you know

Liz Kennedy:

who to dress it to just just say hello, you know, my name is so

Liz Kennedy:

and so. And here's what I'm looking for if you want to write

Liz Kennedy:

a cover letter, but don't feel bad about not including a cover

Liz Kennedy:

letter, unless they specifically ask for it, you're going to be

Liz Kennedy:

just fine. Because, you know, it could be a web system. Uh, you

Liz Kennedy:

know that Adamu plays and that's going to be reading your resume,

Liz Kennedy:

you know, and it's not even going to be a person for a

Liz Kennedy:

little while until they pick out some of those keywords. And then

Liz Kennedy:

they route you into a system folder for an HR manager to take

Liz Kennedy:

a look at so don't don't let that be a barrier because I know

Liz Kennedy:

it can be very easy and that uncertainty when you're as

Liz Kennedy:

job seeker to put up, p t up roadblocks for yourself of

Liz Kennedy:

ike, well I can't apply for tha job because I don't know w

Liz Kennedy:

o to address the cover letter to just get rid of that barrier and

Liz Kennedy:

just go ahead and apply anyway Put your resume in there an

Liz Kennedy:

put yourself out t

Dan Holterhaus:

Yeah, what do you have to lose right? Yeah.

Dan Holterhaus:

All right. Well, that's gonna do it for us I love the messa

Dan Holterhaus:

e today. Keep after it. And t e one thing I picked up on w

Dan Holterhaus:

s -hey, find an employer to pay pay for what you like doing and

Dan Holterhaus:

go work for them. Right? I love that little nugget there pretty

Dan Holterhaus:

pretty simple. So Adamu, than you so much for coming on t

Dan Holterhaus:

careers and coffee but with Li and I you know Liz and I, w

Dan Holterhaus:

usually do okay with the banter but it's always good to hav

Dan Holterhaus:

another person on, don't yo think

Liz Kennedy:

Yeah, let's get some more guests.

Liz Kennedy:

Take care everyone.

Dan Holterhaus:

Thanks a lot. Bye.