Since job hunting questions seem to pop up pretty regularly, when I read Lee's post this morning,
"Some people use the shotgun approach to job hunting. That's understandable, but if I call you to ask a few questions, and my opening line is "This is X calling from the Town of Y," your response should not be, "Let's see, which one is that?" If you don't know to whom and to where you have applied, and aren't able to swing right into a conversation about that job and that place, the conversation is going to be a real short one."
I thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread offering advice to job seekers. Maybe it will be good reference material. Here's a few to get us started:
1. No typos! Make sure your cover letter and resume are well-written.
2. Demonstrate some knowledge of the city or firm in your cover letter: "I was impressed by the quality of work your company did in designing the downtown streetscape in Shelbyville," or "I have used Springfield's big box design code as a model in developing a new code for Capitol City" reassures an employer that you are not just trolling for any job.
3. If you can do it, put samples of your work on a web site. At least try to refer the employer to a city web page that presents something you did. (It would be great if university departments did this for their students.)
4. Your membership in the student chapter of APA is not going to get you any points. Chairing the student chapter, or presenting at the state conference will.
5. Don't bother listing that you worked at Kmart, Wal*Mart, The Gap, and 7-11, stocking shelves, ringing up purchases, and retrieving carts from the parking lot. You will probably not be doing these things in a planning job. Try instead, something like: "I have worked five years in several retail stores while in college, learning how to interact with customers and provide good service. As a planner, working in these settings has taught me how retail store and site design can impact both a business and a community. This is useful experience that I can apply to site plan review."
Go ahead, employers, offer some more.