FIT CAREER SERVICES DEPARTMENT (B 216)

 

ORGANIZING YOUR JOB HUNT

 

The job search is an on-going process until you land your job.  It requires effort, persistence and commitment.  Be prepared to treat this task seriously and invest time in your job hunt every day.  Use the Online Career Office as frequently as possible and take advantage of as many other resources as you can.  Allow adequate time to work on your job campaign each day.  For example, you may want to aim for making ten telephone inquires, sending five cover letters and resumes, and trying to arrange for two interviews daily.

 

The Career Services Department (B216) has a variety of handouts that you can use in preparation for your job search.  Guides for writing resumes and cover letter, interviewing techniques, portfolio tips for both fashion and non-fashion majors, the Career Preparation Workbook and a wide range of other helpful print materials are available to you.

 

BEGIN YOUR JOB HUNT BY ORGANIZING WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

 

Resume

A resume draft and a cover letter can be critiqued in the Career Services Department (B216), to help you make appropriate changes or modifications of your draft.  When mailing your resume, it must always be accompanied by a cover letter tailored to that particular firm.  Call the firm to which it is sent within a week to make sure that it was received and to schedule your appointment to explore the job opportunity.

 

Portfolio

Art and Design majors should have their portfolios ready to show employers.  Aim for standard size mounts, clean acetate covers and display the very best of your work that shows the full range of your talents.  Make sure that your portfolio pieces focus on the type of work done by the firm for which you will interview.  Change your presentation to match the kinds of firms you interview with.  Keep several copies of your resume or business card in your portfolio.

 

Resources

Don’t overlook other resources in addition to the Online Career Office.  FIT’s library has an outstanding collection of trade journals and newspapers for most segments of the apparel and related industries.  Review classified ads regularly.

 

Learn about directories that are used in your field.  For researching an industry or a company, a trade association can give you details on everything from industry statistics to members’ names and addresses.

 

Don’t forget about these frequently used resources:

·         Standard & Poor’s Directory (Corporation Records & Industrial Index)

·         Dunn & Bradstreet’s Million Dollar Directory

·         Moody’s Industrial Manual

·         Fairchild Publications’ Apparel Industries Directories

·         Federal Career Opportunities

·         Davison’s Blue Book

·         Advertising Red Books

·         Sheldon’s Guide to Retailers and Buying Offices

·         Gayle’s Encyclopedia of Associations

·         Ayer’s Association Directory

·         Your local Chamber of Commerce

·         Classified Yellow Pages of the telephone directory in areas of interest to you

 

Begin to establish a job search network.  Get the word out that you are actively job hunting.  Let everyone in your personal circle know that you are available; you never know who will have access to important leads.

 

INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS

Target people in an industry or a company that you would like to work for and arrange for an informational interview.  This is NOT a job interview.  It is a chance to speak with someone who is employed in the field of your choice who can provide details about the nature of the work, required educational background, ideas about the future of the industry, and answer your questions.  Try to get names of other contacts in the field at this type of meeting.  Ask the person you are interviewing how he/she got started, what their daily routine is, what they like and dislike about their job-or the industry.  Discuss current career opportunities in the field and typical entry-level positions.  Try to get advice on how to become part of the industry, including others you may call.  Send thank-you notes to those you interview with and follow-up after you have spoken or met with suggested contacts.  Not only is this polite, but it reinforces your candidacy.

 

NETWORKING

This is a strategy of making contacts with people who can give you helpful suggestions or advice, identify potential positions, and act as a support system for you.  Your aim should be to talk to as many people who may be able to hire you or who can direct you to others who can.  A great many positions are filled through personal referrals and networking can be a highly effective means of allowing you to meet potential employers. 

 

Networking can be time consuming; energy and planning is needed to make contacts, keep notes, set-up interviews and follow-up after each interview.  Begin to develop your own list of people, professional groups, and FIT alumni.  Do not forget friends, relatives, faculty members, and counselors.

 

THE TELEPHONE

Each time you telephone a prospective employer, it is an opportunity to open the door to a new referral.  Use the contact well. Be prepared by knowing exactly what you want to convey to the listener-and do it clearly and courteously.  Try not to show your impatience or allow your annoyance to come across if employers are not in when you call or do not return your calls promptly.  Most employers have hectic schedules and may not consider your call as high a priority as you do.

 

Try to aim for at least five telephone calls per day-make more if you have the leads.  If you get negative responses when you ask about job openings, attempt to get referrals to other departments or divisions within that organization that might have jobs-or you might courteously ask for referrals to other people whose names your contact may be willing to share.  Remember to keep notes about the people you have spoken with, their firm, and their suggestions or contacts.

 

THE INTERVIEW

The Career Services Department’s Interviewing Guide will help you prepare for your interviews.  Begin by doing your ‘homework’ before each interview so that you will be able to present yourself in the best possible manner.  Interviewing is a skill that can be improved with practice; so do practice-by yourself, with a friend, with a tape recorder.  Try to have as many interviews as you can and learn from them.  Whenever you can, ask for feedback and critically review what you need to change in your presentation so that you can make each new interview better than the last one.

 

Keep trying…Keep improving…

You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression!

 

SALARY

Your ability to negotiate your salary depends upon your qualifications for the position plus the salary information you have about the firm or about the industry.  It is not advisable to enter an interview without some ideas of appropriate wages for the job you are considering.  Knowing a specific figure or a range of salary for candidates at your level of experience will allow you to intelligently discuss the issue when it is raised.  Positions listed in the Online Career Office will usually indicate an annual salary range.  You should be familiar with salaries listed in classified ads of the trade papers and industry publications for your major area.  Talking with people employed in your field can also give you appropriate guidelines.  Whenever possible, try to focus on the growth and career opportunities that the job may offer, rather than the starting wage.  In addition, to being armed with current salary ranges, you should be ready to talk about what your annual range is and of course, what minimum salary you are willing to accept.

 

 

Here is a sample of what a daily log of your contacts might look like:

 

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Date                                         Contact Name/Title                              Phone #

 

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Company Name                                                                                               Product/Service

 

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Address

 

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Salary Range                                                                                       Job Title/Description

 

Action Needed:            send resume                                        send cover letter                                            

                                    interview                                              2nd interview                                                   

                                                            date/time                                                         date/time

 

                                    call back on                                          send thank-you                                                          

 

 

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SAMPLE EXPLORATORY MEETING LETTER

 

Date

 

Ms. Jane Rodriguez

Amazing Company

1234 Main Street

New York, NY 11111

 

Dear Ms. Rodriguez,

 

I am writing at the suggestion of our mutual contact (associate, acquaintance, etc) Mr. Martin Bradley who has known me for a number of years (has been acquainted with my family/has hired me for the past several summers – any information that will establish the connection), and he recommended you as a source of information relative to my career goals.

 

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to explore the current marketplace and how I might best use my skills and abilities in entering the industry.  I do appreciate any time that you may have available in your busy schedule.  I will be calling your office within the next few days to set up an appointment for a brief meeting at your convenience.  I look forward to meeting you.

 

Sincerely,

(Signature)

 

Type your name

Address

City, state, zip code

 

(If you enclose your resume, add this sentence to your letter: I am enclosing my resume for your reference)

 

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SAMPLE THANK-YOU NOTE

 

Date

 

Dear Ms. Rodriguez,

 

Thank you for the information and advice you offered during our recent meeting.  It was very generous of you to take the time from your busy schedule to share your insights and to provide me with additional contacts in the industry. 

 

I will be following-up on the leads you suggested, and I will be delighted to keep you informed of my progress.  (Make specific reference to something that was discussed, observed, or recommended during the meeting to personalize the letter and remind her of the visit.)  Again, many thanks for encouraging my career goals.  Our meeting was most worthwhile and I appreciate your support.

 

Yours truly,

(Signature)

 

Type your name