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Thread: Calling potential employers (Directors)

  1. #1
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    Calling potential employers (Directors)

    I've got experience, but not much. 6 months Municipal, 1 year County, 1 year consulting.

    I'm looking to move from PA to FL. Interviewing will be a process.

    I'm afraid that Dept. Directors are throwing out my resumes because of my lack of experience and distance from position. I try to label my resume with "Will Relocate at No Cost" and "Will travel for interview at no cost." In times of tight budgets, I'd hope that potential employers would be willing to see how interested I am.

    I also am only asking minimum salary...because even THAT is a big raise over what I currently earn.

    So, is it ok for me to call potential department directors and tell them my situation?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    In all honesty, your situation is irrelevant. There are tons of people in the same situation as you and employers recognize this. Their preferences for more experienced and/or local candidates is perfectly valid in this economy. Local candidates are often more desirable because they're familiar with the area and they won't be stranded far from home if the job doesn't work out. To top it off, they'd be willing to work for the same amount as you are while bringing more relevant experience to the table. Just because you're willing to take the risk doesn't mean the employers feel the same way.

    What I would do is just leave your address off your resume or use a relative's address so it won't be quite as obvious you're from out of the area. I wouldn't mention the other stuff because it makes you sound desperate which can be a turn off. Similarly, calling the director can have the same effect. If I were to contact them, I would do so in a more roundabout manner by asking various questions about the department or planning in the area.

    Don't get discouraged and keep sending out resumes, something should eventually come up. Just recognize there's a ton of competition out there and that focusing on a single geographic area (Florida) may prevent you from getting a job. Be prepared to look for jobs in places off the beaten path.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    In all honesty, your situation is irrelevant. . . . Don't get discouraged and keep sending out resumes, something should eventually come up. Just recognize there's a ton of competition out there and that focusing on a single geographic area (Florida) may prevent you from getting a job. Be prepared to look for jobs in places off the beaten path.
    Ditto to what Blide said. Your first job isn't likely to be exactly where you want it. I didn't expect my first full-time planning job was going to be in Ketchikan, Alaska, but that is where I ended up, after dozen of resumes and applications and a half dozen interviews. And that was when the job picture was pretty good. I was glad to get it and, on the whole, it worked out. After that job I was lucky enough to land exactly where I wanted to be.

    Keep on keepin' on. You'll get there.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Ditto to what Blide said. Your first job isn't likely to be exactly where you want it.
    Keep on keepin' on. You'll get there.
    This is an employer's market and will be for some years yet.

    Expect that every app you turn it will have minimum 150 applicants, and likely that a minimum of 30% will have more experience than you. So how youze gonna stand out from da pack?
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Put it in the cover letter. I use mostly bullet points instead of paragraphs: "willingness and flexibility to relocate when and where needed to meet your needs". Why do you want to move to Florida? Planning is done very differently there than other places and they might not be that friendly to outsiders. Casting your net farther will lead to more interviews.

    Please be aware of CULTURAL/REGIONAL differences when interviewing. I am a native Chicagoan and I currently live in Houston, TX. I don't consider myself a rude person, but I have to learn a ton about proper southern manners if I want to settle down here. My mannerisms are viewed as more aggressive and forward in the South than in Chicago. Not every city/metro area is open to outsiders. Chances are you will earn a phone interview first. Ask if you can reschedule for the next day or two, most people are understanding. See previous posts I wrote on prepping for interviews. Before you start reviewing your interview answers, I would read up on proper business etiquette in that area. It could not only help you formulate answers but also how to present yourself (body language, non-verbal cues, etc). For example, I use "sir", "ma'am", etc. FAR more down here. Interviewers do not like to be called by their first name (whereas in other states they might ask you to drop the Mr./Ms. at the beginning of the interview).
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    So how youze gonna stand out from da pack?
    I usually send a pic of myself.... naked.

    For some reason I don't get too many calls.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
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    FYI in case you guys missed it...I'm not applying for my first-full time position.

    It would actually be my third full time position.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I think it depends a lot on the particular director and their style. An email usually won't hurt. I wouldn't highlight the "will relocate at no cost" too much, it is probably assumed and may even backfire if highlighted too much. That shouldn't be your main lead. You can say in a cover letter that you are planning to relocate anyway and they will get the message, I think.

  9. #9
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    First, Florida is a tough nut to crack at this time. If we're recruiting, we're looking for folks with Florida experience. That's just the way the market is here in the Sunshine State.

    http://www.floridaplanning.org/jobs2.asp

    Second, don't "call" a director. No time for that. An email is not as intrusive and you'll most likely get a polite response. Plus, all recruitments funnel through the HR departments. HR is the first filter.

    In any case, the best of luck to you.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PHeller View post
    I've got experience, but not much. 6 months Municipal, 1 year County, 1 year consulting.

    I'm looking to move from PA to FL. Interviewing will be a process.

    I'm afraid that Dept. Directors are throwing out my resumes because of my lack of experience and distance from position. I try to label my resume with "Will Relocate at No Cost" and "Will travel for interview at no cost." In times of tight budgets, I'd hope that potential employers would be willing to see how interested I am.

    I also am only asking minimum salary...because even THAT is a big raise over what I currently earn.

    So, is it ok for me to call potential department directors and tell them my situation?
    My first take when I read your post was that you are a job hopper or cannot stay in one place too long. I have a span in my resume that looks similar and it is something I am always asked about...even 5 years later. Another fear organizations have with out of staters is that they will go through the whole process and have a change of heart and backout at the last moment. It happens more than you think.

    In Arizona when we post for a position we will see people from all over the country apply with tons of experience. Like Florida, Arizona is a great place to retire and it attracts people that want to do another 10 years of work and call it quits with two pensions. We also get tons of people from cold places with little experience that want to move somewhere warm.

    Other things to think about: people with master's degrees coming out of school probably as much work experience; locals with BA/BS from universities that have an internship with cities in Florida both will have a leg up. Plus you have a ton of people already in Florida that have been laid off and took jobs outside of the field and are trying to get back. Along with everything else that is said you have two huge strikes against you.

    If you really want to live in Florida then start looking at small cities in the less popular areas of the state. Keep an eye on their websites and check them every other week. Most of these smaller communities do not advertise like larger cities and are more likely to take a chance on an out of stater. Have you thought about trying to get closer to Florida like MS, AL or GA?

    If you really want to move to FL just keep trying. Every position is different. I have applied for jobs and called the director and was told that was a bad move and other times I have been told that not calling put me at a disadvantage. Best of luck, I hope it works out for you.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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