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Jewish World Review March 23, 2001 / 27 Adar, 5761

Getting Hired By Marvin Walberg

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Consumer Reports

Job seekers can still find employment without degree -- DEAR MR. WALBERG: I have recently received my A+ certification and would do just about anything to get hired. However, most employers seem to want a degree and/or experience. I have decided to send my resume and cover letter to various staffing services and wonder how I can word the fact that I would do nearly anything to get my foot in the door without coming off as a flake. -J.W., of Georgia

DEAR J.W.: A couple of things in your letter jumped out at me, and I'd like to examine them for the sake of all our readers.

First, you said, " ... most employers seem to want a degree and/or experience."

Sure, most employers trying to fill open jobs look first to candidates with experience, and in many cases, candidates with four-year degrees. But does that mean you should just walk away and not let them know you exist? I don't think so!

Sell your strengths, your skills and your incredible desire to get started in your field. You may be surprised how much a positive attitude and passionate desire to get started counts in an interview.

Then you said, "I have decided to send my resume and cover letter to various staffing services. ..."

Staffing services work with companies willing to pay a fee for the right job candidate, which in your field probably will spell degree with experience. Staffing services may not be your best approach. But there are other approaches:

Know what you want and how to communicate it in a strong 60-second personal commercial. Then broadcast that commercial to everyone you know and everyone you meet. Networking is the best way to get referrals to hiring authorities.

Research your industry, identify leaders and ask for "information interviews" to get direction and guidance for entering your field. Don't ask for a job. Instead ask for information on how you can get hired.

Offer to volunteer in order to demonstrate your skills and abilities. However, stipulate a specific time period (like six weeks), with specific goals for you to meet, followed by an offer of employment if you satisfy your goals. If you're going to work for free, ask for an agreement in writing.

Marvin Walberg is a job search consultant and the author of ''About Getting Hired: the Job Search.'' Comment by clicking here.


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02/15/01: Good vibes with employer, less with recruiter
02/08/01: Ten tips that deal with job loss
02/02/01: Include cover letter even if ad says 'resume only'
01/26/01: 'Greatest accomplishment' answer can be relevant; recover from stupid interviewers

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