Job Hunting….

October 30, 2009

I have been unemployed the last couple of months and am learning to reinvent myself. Over the last five years or so I have worked in the construction industry (mainly in roofing) in a variety of facets doing everything from; sales, operations, project management, HR, and management, during that time I have experienced three separate layoffs. After the first two layoffs I was bound and determined to stay in the industry and have been able to do so.

The biggest issue I have come across is getting myself and my resume to stand out amongst the 130k+ unemployed people here in the Portland metropolitan area.  I feel that I have an excellent resume, and solid reputation within the industry.  My biggest downfall is that I have experience three layoffs all in a row and all of them have been a year and half or under for service with the company.  The layoffs have nothing to do with my work performance or me as a person, but rather they have to do with economic.  What it comes down to is that I have made some career choices, that have put me in the wrong place at the wrong time; what’s a guy to do?  What can I over come that first impression people see when they look in to my work history and see that I have bounced around so much in the last five years?  What can I do to get people to understand that I am very dedicated to my work and that I have an unrelenting work ethic and that I am not a risky hire, worth the time taken to interview?

I interview within my current industry the other day, I wore slacks, button up shirt with a tie.  After my interview I went over to a supplier that I worked with to pay them a visit, I told them that I had just interview at this other placed.  One of the first things they told me is that I was overdressed for my interview.  They said I should have worn blue jeans and a polo shirt or a button up without the tie.  My question is, can you over dress for an interview in the construction industry?  Is there something wrong with looking your best when you go to an interview?  If so what is the protocol for dress when attending an interview?

After my most recent layoff I am beginning to consider getting out of the roofing/construction industry and pursuing a career in public relations, which is what the center of my degree is. The problem is I have very little experience in that profession outside of my college courses and a little bit that I have done with my former employer. I have been told that I need to find an internship, the problem is that most internships require being a student, which I am done being a student, so that creates a problem for me. I am doing as much volunteering as I can and trying to network with as many people as I can, with the hopes that I can land something where I can grow and gain the desired experience in public relations.  If anyone as any suggestions that will help aid me in my search I would appreciate it very much.

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