Posts about the job search – where to look for jobs, what to look for in a job ad, and what to look for to find out more about the job itself before you apply.
Today’s topic comes from my inbox. The author’s question is about how to ask about a job opening that hasn’t yet been posted. Also known as: how do I write a cold cover letter (which in my mind should be read as “email.”)
I’ve anonymized some details at the author’s request, but here’s the gist.
“I have been at my job for more than 5 years, so I’ve gotten to know my university pretty well. I am decently happy where I’m at, but there is one college that, if they EVER had an opening in the right role, I would jump at. The person who’s in that role has been there for more than 10 years. Or, I should say WAS there for more than 10 years. I learned in the fall that she had resigned. I was sad that she’d gone – I really liked and respect her – but their loss could be my gain.
Good news: I found a new job! Bad news: its pay is less than I make now!
This is the conundrum facing a client today and I’m sharing with her permission. She has been looking around for a new job in higher ed. After months of looking and applying and interviewing for a couple promising leads that didn’t pan out, she finally got an offer. Here’s what she says:
My friend’s husband has a saying (that I can’t repeat) but let’s just say it’s a warning that a choice you make in the moment could be one your future self is going to regret. That’s sage advice. But so is the corollary. You can also do something now that your future self will thank you for! In this case I’m talking about writing a master resume.
What is a master resume?
Yesterday, I posted about something you can and should do when exploring a new career: an informational interview. But that post only covered how to schedule the interview. You still need to know what to ask during an informational interview. So let’s get started.
Why do an Informational Interview?
This is a low-stakes way for you to
- meet someone in a different career,
- explore how they got into that work, and
- get a snapshot of a typical workday.
In other words, the point of an informational interview is to give you more data points on whether it might be a career that suits you and warrants more exploration.
Once you have done your research and figured out what kind of work you want, where and how do you start to find jobs in that field?