• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Just a short Job rant...

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
679
Points
19
Sorry to do this, but I need someplace to vent right now. I'm a second year grad student, just about to graduate. As such, I'm playing the employment field, sending out as many apps as I can afford to each week. I'd say I've put out about 30-35 of them so far(I know that 100 is not uncommon before a position is offered). Not a great number I know, but enough to begin to get an idea. I like to think of myself as a reasonably inteligent, well written/approachable kind of guy. Is it that I'm over qualified for jobs I'm applying for? I'm generally looking at entry level(I'll have a masters soon) jobs to simply get experience in the field. I'm not really demanding a job offer simply from my resume as I know thats not reasonable, all I'm asking for is an interview. Hell, just a simple phone call would be good, I don't need to visit on site, as I know that is expensive. Haven't gotten a f**kin' thing. I don't ask for much in life. I live pretty simply actually, and all I want at this point is a job. It doesn't have to offer big money. Doesn't have to offer rapid advancement. Doesn't need an ounce of 'prestige' to it. I JUST WANT A JOB. Have I done something in a past life that karmicly screws me? I know that I probably shouldn't, but I'm starting to get really bitter about this whole affair.

Thanks for reading. Best of luck to all others out there looking.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,197
Points
28
Three factors may be in play here, each of which you may have already considered. If not, read on:

1) Did you have a summer internship related to planning? If not, maybe that's why you are being overlooked. If you didn't have an internship, then #2 becomes even more important...

2) Do you have a portfolio? When I began interviewing for my first planning job almost two years ago, I brought copies of every project I was invloved with and every major paper I wrote. Each interviewer took the time to go over the materials I brought. On group projects, they wanted to know which parts I did, comments on team dynamics, and an assessment of the successes and failures of the planning document we wrote. I know, you have yet to experience this. Consider putting a portfolio together now. Further, make it available on the web, and put the web address on your resume. Worked for me. After I was hired, my current employer told me they snooped to my online portfolio before they decided to interview me. In my case, they liked the fact they could view my work before they phoned me.

3) You don't have your degree yet.

Send me a PM if you want the web address of my online portfolio. It's still up, but dated in terms of my professional development.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,564
Points
59
I agree with Wanigas?

1. I would add that part-time job / internship that lasted at least 2 semesters
would be better than just the summer.
volunteer work looks good also.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Everybody can't do an internship. I think the most important things to consider are the writing and logic skills of the applicant. It is paramount that they be able to meld together all the jurisdictional policies with sound planning theory and produce a coherent summary, in writing and verbally. If you don't have the internship, I go with the portfolio idea presented previously.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
Messages
142
Points
6
martini,

I can empathize--I too am graduating this semester and looking for a job.

It's sounds like you're doing everything right so far. I wholeheartedly agree with Wanigas? about the website. It worked well for a friend of mine, and it saves the hassle of sending a writing sample when they can pull down your latest paper or site design off the Internet.

If you're up for some constructive criticism, maybe someone here who has hiring experience will take a look at your cover letter/resume for you...?

Lastly, hang in there. It's still not a particularly hot market for planners from what I've seen in my job search, although it certainly helps if you are willing to relocate.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Well, seeing as how I am an "unemployed bum" and pretty much always have been, the only thing I am qualified to comment on is your Karma. I will now commune...... nope, can't sense any vibes, good or bad. Do you still have a pulse? 8-!

(I know you are seriously upset. But I generally deal with frustration with humor. I just wanted to make you laugh. Please don't throw anything at me. :-D )
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
679
Points
19
Michele Zone said:
Well, seeing as how I am an "unemployed bum" and pretty much always have been, the only thing I am qualified to comment on is your Karma. I will now commune...... nope, can't sense any vibes, good or bad. Do you still have a pulse? 8-!

(I know you are seriously upset. But I generally deal with frustration with humor. I just wanted to make you laugh. Please don't throw anything at me. :-D )
LOL! :-D Thanks MZ. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a pulse....

Wanigas?, I'm currently working on a web page for exactly that reason(I'll have to dig up papers and such, to put on there as well as work history). It's slow to come though since I work at an internship(I've had two, and am looking at snapping up another, so I think I've got that covered), and another job on top of classes and writing my APP/Thesis paper. And relocation is not an issue. The wife and I are looking forward to trying a new place!

The internships I've had/have though, I think are working against me. They're both heavily reliant on policy research(which is good, but I think only to a point) and not on the nuts and bolts of planning, which is where I'd like to get hired at some point. This new internship I'm looking at is exactly that, the nuts and bolts in a small community on the south side of the Metro, close to me and easy to commute to. I'm calling on it tomorrow to grab an application.

Thanks folks. I just may hit someone up here to review my resume/coverletter style. I've been told before that I'm too personal in corespondance, and this may be rearing its ugly head again.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Here's a handful of observations:

1) Almost everyone looking for thier first professional job needs to send out a lot of resumes. With my first (and second) jobs I probably sent out fifty each.

2) If you can attend the APA conference in Washington, do so. The employment fair (or whatever it is called) is geared to entry-level jobs, and since both the applicants and the screeners are in the same place, they are very inclined to interview people. A face-to-face meeting really will help to land a job.

3) Do use the web. I have started including a mention of my work that is available on the web in my cover letter, and I suspect that the employers do check it out. I would.

4) Don't worry too much about your writing style. Keep the spelling and grammer in good shape, but a little informality can be a welcome thing.

I'd be happy to look over your resume and cover letter if you want to PM me.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
martini said:
LOL! :-D Thanks MZ. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a pulse....
You could ask your wife. If she can't sense any Pulsing or Throbbing, then you know you are truly dead.

Ducking for cover...
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
679
Points
19
Rem said:
There are lots of jobs in Australia.
This is only too tempting...thanks Rem! 8-! wringing hands, trying to figure out how to get my wife to agree to move to Aussie land....
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
Don't despair! It took me 6 months to find my first job....but I do believe, that the further you cast your "net," the more fish you'll catch. I was married at the time and my job search radius was very limited. Are you ready to relocate?
I agree with Cardinal...
1. GO to the APA conference. A few people in my office were offered/accepted jobs at the national conference. Make some business cards to take with you, and copies of your resume.
2. USE the APA website. That's how I found my current job. OR, make a list of cities in which you'd like to live, and visit their websites. Almost everyone updates their job postings on a weekly basis.

Other...(my dad is an HR director so this has been pounded into my head, but it works!):
Job searching IS a job.
When sending your resume/cover letter, don't limit it to the "HR" department that they tell you to send it to. Call the city/county/company and find out the name and title of the person that you'd be reporting to, and send them a copy as well. What I've found is that the HR depts. have a "checklist" of qualifications, and if they find one little thing missing from your resume, it gets tossed. However, the division/department head may see it differently and give you consideration.
Follow up. It's a pain but it's true.
Write those little "thanks for the interview" notes asap. (ask for the the interviewee's business card before you leave). Ya never know if it will make a difference, and it's just plain business etiquette.
Keep in touch with professors. A lot of times they get calls from potential employers.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
My only advice and observation is you have to be patient. When I got out of grad school, following my second internship, I sent out dozens and dozens of resumes and went on a lot of job interviews all over the Midwest and West. I waited a long, long, long time before I finally got a job. Even then I had to go somewhere I really did not want to go to get the experience. I put in my time in exile and eventually was able to relocate to the very place I wanted to work at in the first place. So hang in there, know that eventually you will find a job, and in the interim maybe line up a decent part-time or full-time job that will allow you to travel to job interviews.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,386
Points
25
Keep at it. It takes time but will pay off. I graduated in April 1996 and did not get an internship until Feb 1997! Fist full time job came in Nov 1997 in the middle of Montana with poor pay ($11.24/hour then). Take the first opportunity presented. Most know entry level jobs are just that and those who take them soon move on.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,963
Points
49
I graduated in May of 2002 but did not get anything but rejection letters till September, once you have your foot in the door, things get a bit easier. I remember sending out 5 to 10 applications per week from a month or two before I graduated till when I flew out to PA for my interview.

One thing that I wish I would have done is make more contacts when I was in college. I did not know about this web site at the time, and I think that I may have missed a lot of opportunities that way. Also, I completely agree with the idea of going to the APA National Conference. Meet as many people as you can! Walk around the booths, talk to people, and have as much interaction with as many people, and keep in mind that some of those people that you meet, may not be the ones to give you your first job, but maybe your second or third.

Also, with your degree, you will have a little bit wider rage of possible jobs. Just because something may not be exactly what you want, you can always make it a step in the right direction.
 

sisterceleste

Cyburbian
Messages
1,519
Points
22
Jobs

City of Orlando is looking for a transportation planner. It is my understanding, they will consider entry level.

martini said:
Sorry to do this, but I need someplace to vent right now. I'm a second year grad student, just about to graduate. As such, I'm playing the employment field, sending out as many apps as I can afford to each week. I'd say I've put out about 30-35 of them so far(I know that 100 is not uncommon before a position is offered). Not a great number I know, but enough to begin to get an idea. I like to think of myself as a reasonably inteligent, well written/approachable kind of guy. Is it that I'm over qualified for jobs I'm applying for? I'm generally looking at entry level(I'll have a masters soon) jobs to simply get experience in the field. I'm not really demanding a job offer simply from my resume as I know thats not reasonable, all I'm asking for is an interview. Hell, just a simple phone call would be good, I don't need to visit on site, as I know that is expensive. Haven't gotten a f**kin' thing. I don't ask for much in life. I live pretty simply actually, and all I want at this point is a job. It doesn't have to offer big money. Doesn't have to offer rapid advancement. Doesn't need an ounce of 'prestige' to it. I JUST WANT A JOB. Have I done something in a past life that karmicly screws me? I know that I probably shouldn't, but I'm starting to get really bitter about this whole affair.

Thanks for reading. Best of luck to all others out there looking.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,313
Points
33
Don't forget to keep track of all your job hunting expenses. They can be used as a deduction on your income taxes.
 
Top