HIRED! 5 Keys to Getting my Job

I am thrilled to share that I have been HIRED!!

As I mentioned in my interview questions post, I have been looking for a job for about six months.  I’ve interviewed three to four times with a few companies, while others ended after one phone interview.  AT LAST I found a job that is a great fit for me both professionally and personally!  It is a part-time marketing management role for a small business that is located only about 25 minutes from my house.  I am very excited to get out of the house two days a week (and send the kids to “school” a.k.a daycare), and still have three days at home with the kids.  It really is the best of both worlds! Without further ado, here are the details on how I was hired.

5 Keys to Getting my Job

1. Be honest & open – I was extremely nervous about explaining the year gap in my resume, when I was staying at home with my children.  A friend once said, “Well, just tell employers what you were doing, and if they don’t like it, then you wouldn’t want to work there anyway.”  She was spot-on with this comment!  And chances are you are NOT the only parent that is employed at the company, though sometimes it may feel like you are blazing your own trail!

I was careful in explaining that I returned to work after having my second child, but left due to the long commute and wanting to stay home with both children while they were so young.  After my son reached one year, and I had the opportunity to do some consulting work, I realized that I missed the professional interaction and development.  This led me to take eMarketing classes online and some additional consulting work that again re-affirmed that I wanted to work outside of the home.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask – There were very FEW official part-time marketing roles that were being posted, so I did participate in the recruitment process for several full-time roles. Knowing that flex hours would be important to me, I asked about the “flexible work environment” mentioned on the job description during a phone screening call with HR. I was pleased to learn that this particular company offered flex time, meaning you had to be at work during core hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but could schedule your 40 hours as needed (and according to your job’s requirements).  I was impressed and certainly wasn’t penalized for asking that question early on in the process.

In my new job, my boss has provided the flexibility for me to set my own hours as long as I’m there for the Monday morning meeting.  With a little schedule juggling at day care, I will eventually work Monday – Tuesday from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m., giving me enough time to pick up the kids and get dinner going at a reasonable time.  YAY!

3. Be prepared –  I tailored my resume and cover letter to highlight experience and skills mentioned in the job description, showcasing accomplishments in three areas of direct marketing, event planning, and online projects.  This helped me past the first hurdle and led to an hour long phone interview and subsequent face-to-face meetings.  To prepare for these conversations, I researched the company, industry, and came armed with numerous interview questions and several marketing ideas. Being prepared with ideas was key in showing that I was truly interested and motivated to help their business grow.

4. Timing is everything! I tapped into my network to hopefully get some inside info on new opportunities, but ultimately I reacted to job posting in my search. After applying to a job, I could not control how quickly a company would respond to my application – if they chose to respond at all.  I played the waiting game and was rejected too.  Some companies had to wait several weeks or months due to budget issues or simply the time of year in responding.  When I finally received an email or call, I had to dig back through my job search folder and emails to remember the job opening!  I did have time on my side, waiting for the right opportunity, while still working as a stay-at-home-mom.

I actually was interviewing for my part-time job and a full-time job with a flexible working environment at the same time.  The day I received my offer for the part-time job, I was contacted for a second round of face-to-face interviews for the full-time job.  After some soul searching and talking it over with my husband, I needed to choose the opportunity that was best for me and my family.

5. Do what makes you happy – When I reflected on both potential jobs (though I only had one offer at this time), I considered which job would make me more happy.  The part-time arrangement AND the industry were more fun and interesting than the full-time position. Ultimately, I chose what would make me happiest!

In your own experience, what are the keys to getting hired?

16 thoughts on “HIRED! 5 Keys to Getting my Job

    • Thanks Melissa! I am really happy to change up my routine, yet still be able to do fun things with my kids when I am home – especially when the weather FINALLY gets nice in Wisconsin. Happy Friday!

  1. Yay! I love that you have been able to carve out the right fit for YOU. This is such a perfect story to share with women who believe it’s all or nothing.

    • Thanks! With some hard work & patience, I was able to find “something” really great! I was thinking of your meal planning post, and was hoping to link to it in one of my upcoming posts. Would that be okay? Planning in advance is key for moms!

  2. Congratulations, Mama O!!! It really is the best of both worlds, and you deserve it! I will be referring back to this post when I start getting serious about my job search. 🙂 Hope you still get the chance to blog once in a while! Best of luck at your new job!

    • Thanks!! I would say that I started my search rather slowly, signing up for weekly job announcements, or maybe spending about an hour every week just browsing. When you keep your ears open, you may never know what comes up. Good luck with your search too! I will be blogging for sure, though aiming for 1 – 2 times a week. Daily is just not for me!

      • Mama O, I’m looking for your advice! Did you explain on your cover letter about your employment gap right off the bat, or did you wait until being called for an interview to explain? I have a huge gap in mine (5 years), and I feel that it’d be better if I dive right into my explanation in my cover letter, but my husband disagrees. What do you think? I’d appreciate any advice you can give me!

      • I did not explain my gap in employment in my cover letter. Instead I focused on my strengths and how they fit the position. I think my sister was given similar feedback on her cover letter that initially explained why she went part time after having kids. Talking about the gap in employment in a phone interview or in person is easier and better in my opinion. Don’t forget to mention any volunteering you may have done in the past 5 years too – that’s good experience. Good luck!

  3. Congrats! I took your questions with me to my last interview, but didn’t end up using them since it was a very unconventional interview. I got the job, which is part time like yours, but I’m not sure if it’s as good a fit for me as yours sounds. Good luck!

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