She found a job: My interview with Gina Turner-Conway

Gina and I met while networking on LinkedIn. She is someone who has successfully found multiple jobs this year who was happy to share her experience with us.
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Thanks again for volunteering for this. Can you give the folks a quick over-view of your background and the circumstances that led to your unemployment.

My background is Marketing and Administration. I have moved from High Tech Marketing in the Bay Area, to Newspaper Marketing, to Retail Marketing throughout my career. I also have a background as an Executive Assistant with an emphasis in event planning. I hold a Bachelors of Business Administration from University of San Diego. I took a voluntary buyout from the local newspaper to pursue other interests after sixteen years with the same company. I felt it was time to try something new. I landed my new Retail Marketing job within 3 weeks of accepting a buyout offer. I left the Retail Marketing position after 8 months, and in two weeks, was employed again, this time in the health care industry. So this is the second job search I have done in the past year.

So you are very aware of how tough the market can be. What was the first thing you did when you started looking for a job?

Fortunately, the newspaper industry is a great place to network. I had planned to leave the paper within the next few years, and had started my networking much earlier. I also built my Linked In network prior to the buyout. Our company provided outplacement counseling and I took full advantage of that. I targeted high growth companies and searched for a Marketing/Communications position where my colleagues had successfully secured positions. After I had my resume complete, I talked to everyone I could think of about career opportunities, then started sending my resume out online. I personally called my contacts and secured my references before I left the newspaper.

Can you share with us what you consider to be the most valuable or successful thing you did to land the job?

Networking - It is all about who you know. When I targeted a particular company, I would look through my contact list to see who I knew within the company, or who could give me an introduction. I am a firm believer that sending in a resume “blind”, through a website, is not the best way to apply for jobs. You really need to know the players, who can make it happen for you? I also did not limit myself to the corporate environment to network. Every day is a new networking opportunity. The grocery store, the gym, my daughter’s tennis team. You never know who that person is who can help you, or who you can help in return.

How long were you unemployed?

I was employed by the time my buyout was complete, and employed the 2nd time within 2 weeks.

Gina - I really appreciate your time. Wrapping this up would you give someone who is looking for a job?

Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation. Don’t limit yourself to one job description, and network, network, network. It is all about who you know. People genuinely want to help you, and you just need to put yourself out there and ask. You are selling yourself, so do not be afraid to market yourself! Talk to everyone you know. Someone knows someone who is hiring; even now. I am a true believer in Linked In, and I also would recommend the free class Linked In offers to job seekers. Also, thank everyone along the way who has helped you, and return the favor if you can some day.

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Views: 98

Comment by Duane Roberts on August 24, 2009 at 3:16am
Jennifer - The great thing about speaking with these people is not only how positive they've been in their approach but how thoughtful they are in their approach.

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