The highs... the lows - but always the reality of "The Job Search," this is your chance to commiserate with a real Job Seeker. Certainly there are statistics about how many are unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for a job - but you are about to explore one person's reality.
Last week I traveled to Chicago from Springfield via Amtrak. I had a mid-day meeting at the UIAA Alumni Career Center. And so conveniently located - I just walked across the bridge from Chicago's Union Station to 200 South Wacker.
Since it had been a few years since I had been to the Career Center, I forgot how to get upstairs. I saw someone heading to the elevators, so I followed them. I wandered around in the elevator area. No 2nd floor.. Little did I know, I had set off alarms that had the security people scurrying about to find the intruder. I showed my ID, and they kindly showed me the UI entrance.
I rode the elevator to the correct floor, and was welcomed warmly. There were a couple of alumni working on the computers in the common room, and there was table space to set my personal laptop.
I was ushered down the hall for my meeting with Julie Bartimus, Vice President of the Career Center. She asked about my job seeking efforts - so I explained what I had done, what I am doing, and asked for her ideas concerning... references. In the past, I seem to recall potential employers requesting a list of three professional references with contact information. However, I have been seeing more requests for letters of reference.
For the jobs you apply for (or post if you are an employer), are they just requiring names and contact information, or do they ask for recommendation letters from professional references?
As a job seeker, how do you handle requests for letters or compiling the list of references? Do you find yourself using the same few people over and over? Or do you "spread it around" by relying on a large pool of references?
Please share your thoughts through the comments section below, and I will address this topic in my next installment. After all, I received some excellent advice on this topic!
Wesley Wasmundt graduated from Edinburg High School, earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies, an M.A. through the Individual Option (Interpersonal Communication), and will soon complete a second M.A. in Communication, all from UIS. He has served as a radio broadcaster, retail store manager, bank teller, pastor, writer, secretary, special projects coordinator, and college faculty. You may contact him directly at email@example.com.