The Editor’s Corner

Michael BournazianBy Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, CSSGB

Since I last wrote to you in January, I have had 2 good friends of mine, both of whom work in the Quality field, lose their jobs. Both had been with their respective companies for over a decade, but in both cases, cutbacks and downsizing needed to happen, so their seniority, experience and dedication meant little.

As someone who has been through this myself, I know that starting over and finding new employment can be difficult under the best of circumstances: under our current world circumstances, well, difficult suddenly becomes DIFFICULT.

So I am using my Editor’s Corner this month to highlight a few things that I believe are important when it comes to job searching. If you are reading this and unfortunately find yourself in the same boat, maybe these tips will help you find your way to a new shore.

1) CVs and LinkedIn: Nowadays, a solid and comprehensive LinkedIn profile is as (if not more) important that the paper/Word CV. Recruiters and headhunters use LinkedIn to easily search for candidates that fit the profile of the job they are trying to fill, so making sure that your profile properly summarizes your work experiences, education and training is vital. In the end, make sure both your CV and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date and “attractive”. And don’t forget to use job sites like Monster, Jobillico, Indeed and the like.

2) References: Most (if not all) companies will ask for references during the interviewing/hiring process, so make sure you have (if possible) 3-4 reliable references. A mix of people you have both worked with and worked for is good, and of course, make them aware that you are on the job market and get their buy-in that they will give you a solid reference when called upon. Finally, I have found that having the vital information regarding these references summarized on a single page very handy, especially when asked for them in an interview.

3) Interviews: It’s been said/heard many times, but prepare for your interviews: have copies of your CV, references and certificates with you; research the company ahead of time, as you may be asked what you know about them and/or why you want to work for them; have a list of questions to ask them, it shows that you are prepared and interested. Finally, unless you are very lucky and get hired at your first interview, you are more than likely going to have more interviews that don’t end with a job offer than those that do. The important thing is to not get discouraged, you are probably not the only one who applied and got rejected; and if you do get discouraged, don’t stay down for too long.

4) Zoom/Skype/Teams: Given our current world situation Part 1 . . . the previously discussed interviews may very likely happen virtually. So make sure that you are accustomed to using the current plethora of online meeting tools.

5) Working from Home or On-Site: Given the current world situation Part 2 . . . it is important to determine your comfort level with working at the company site, and therefore, in potential close proximity to other humans. Not all jobs can be done from your home bubble. So make sure to take this into consideration when researching an opportunity or being interviewed for it: it may be important for both your physical and mental health.

6) Any Given Hour: One important thing to finish on . . . when I first entered the job market in the early 1990s, the Internet was not a major player in our lives, so job searching mainly took place during traditional working hours and certainly not on weekends. Well, no more: with everything electronic and online, you can basically job search 24/7 if you wanted to. I am not advocating being on your computer all day and night looking for and applying to job opportunities, but realize that even on a Saturday or Sunday, an opportunity may pop up and the recruiter may be there to see your application. The early bird catches the worm, but so does the omnipresent bird.

I hope these tips have helped someone in some fashion. Good luck to you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.

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Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.