Friday, May 4, 2012


More on going drama with my current job contract has caused me to get serious about looking for another full time position.  I've been attempting to find a part time position to supplement my current position which was reduced from full time to part time about a year ago.  The 4 year contract we were under was completed 8 months ago.  Since that time we haven't known what was going on with the contract and still don't.  We are currently on the 3rd extension of the contract after they'd announced twice that another company was taking over the contract, made us jump through that company's hoops in an attempt to keep our jobs, and then announced at the last minute that they were extending us under our current contract.  I've literally left work on the last day of a contract not knowing if I'd be reporting to work the next day.  I love my job BUT I'm tired of being left dangling and not knowing.  I have responsibilities and bills to pay.

Working for the Army and being fully aware of the drastic budget cuts they've been forced to make does not make me comfortable with my job's longevity either.  I can totally foresee with the continuing downsizing planned and possible further budget cuts that my job will most likely be totally eliminated.  At this point I think it's a matter of when, not if, although some disagree with me on that.  I tend to live in reality and I prepare for the inevitable when possible and I think the continued 2 month extensions are a sign I'm probably correct.

I'm finding the current job market difficult and somewhat confusing to navigate in.  The constant contradictions in recommendations leaves me wondering what I'm really supposed to do.  Contradictions regarding resumes alone are enough to make me want to beat my head against a wall.  I don't know how many rewrites I've done of my resume.  How to format, what info to put on, what info not to put on, how much info to include, which jobs to include, length of resume, put volunteer information, don't put volunteer information and it goes on and on.  Some say keep it short and simple BUT my job is anything but short and simple. 

Keywords - if you don't have the right ones you don't get through the electronic scanners so your resume gets to a live person.  They say not to use overused, clique, and vague words but how do you know which ones to avoid?  Lists given contradict each other.

Write a Resume That Makes You Stand Out - With so many people looking for jobs, particularly in the Metro Detroit area, how do you write a resume that's truthful and yet makes you stand out?  They want you to come across as a team player yet contradict this by telling you to point out what "you" did for the last company you worked for. 

Clothes - Most say to dress like you'd be required to at the job or better.  Suits are typically recommended although if the office is very casual they say to dress in office casual attire for the interview.  Typically that wouldn't be an issue.  Unfortunately with the reduced salary for the past year replacing items in my closet that I've had to toss has not been in the budget.  I searched thrift stores and consignment stores but of course because there was an immediate need I couldn't find anything.  I was able to make do with a single purchase of a black blazer from JCPenny for $37.  I combined it with the black slacks I got at the Avenue on clearance a couple weeks ago and a blouse I've had forever.  The blacks didn't match but the fashionistas say that's okay.  If you have friends that are the same size you could always ask to borrow an item or suit.  Most friends would be more then happy to help out.  Unfortunately none of my friends are the same size so this wasn't an option.

My suggestions for anybody in a similar situation is to create several resumes in different formats and with varying amounts of information then post to multiple sites to see which one starts getting viewed the most.  From there you can tweak that resume and put it on the other sites to see if that increases hits.  It's sort of like fishing and figuring out which bait the fish want.

I had an interview Tuesday and I have another one tonight with a different company, so hopefully I'll be reporting a change of job soon.  I know I will cry when I leave my current position because even thinking about saying goodbye brings tears to my eyes.  I started working here when I was going through my divorce six years ago.  It provided me with a feeling of security, not only because I'd be working full time and could finally support myself but the physical feeling of safety after leaving a marriage that had become abusive.  There's nothing like being surrounded by military to feel safe.  I've had friends who bought houses and moved off base complain afterwards about how they miss the feeling of safety and security.  Being prior military myself I'm very comfortable with being around military.  Leaving will be very bittersweet for me but hopefully fates will find me another wonderful place to land.

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