done, done, onto the next one

February 24, 2011
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Applying for jobs online feels like getting rejected by a blind date- before even meeting.

It feels like we simply respond to an endless series of online posts only to hear nothing back. At best, after a few weeks we may receive a sort of Dear John letter from some of the companies to which we’ve applied- but even then they’re not particularly insightful. One email once boldly told me, “We’ve chosen to go with a candidate who is better qualified for this position”. Ouch. If this WERE a Dear John letter, it would read, “Oh no, there’s nothing wrong with us. The problem’s most definitely with you”.

How did the job search come to be like this? In some ways I blame technology for letting us get so disconnected from each other that we can rely on resume keyword searches to find a fitting employee rather than utilize good old-fashioned reading.

But as fun or easy as it may be to focus my negative energy onto a vague perception of technology, I mostly just resent the fact that I’m unable to learn from the process of finding a job online. How can I better my search techniques and chances at landing a face-to-face interview if I don’t receive constructive feedback about why I was passed over?

I don’t know if these people didn’t like my resume, if they think I don’t have the desired work experience, if they weren’t impressed with what I wrote for my cover letter, or if they just DIDN’T SEE IT. Because if they don’t respond to you in any way, you have no idea if your attempt was even acknowledged.

Right now I’m focusing on trying to stay positive about the process and trust that I’ll get the call for an interview when I’m qualified for the position. But in the meantime I just wonder if my email inbox is broken or internet is disconnected. It must be one of these, because why else aren’t they responding to me?




we’re just ordinary people, you and me

February 8, 2011
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(Blog) Roll Call!

Beginning a blog can be quite a challenge- especially when the content you’re blogging about is new to you, too! While my focus is always everything job-search related, today’s post is going to shine a little light on the process I experience in putting it together and the kinds of questions I have.

I’ve started following a few blogs that pertain to the job search in some way. I’ve paid close attention to the way they format their page and the posts, their content, their writing styles. I’ve really liked some of the ideas I’ve discovered and I think it’s begun to help me in my search for the job (and the right way to look for a job) as well as how I could be designing my own page. And of course I’m learning from the parts of their pages I don’t like so much as well- everything helps right now.

So here’s a quick run-down of what I’ve found and my reactions to them. As always, please chime in with your thoughts!

The Find A Job Blog (Providing The Best Tips & News On Conducting a Successful Job Search)

i’m a new day rising, i’m a brand new star to hang the sky upon tonight

February 2, 2011
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A wise person once told me that a resume should describe what you accomplished in the job that someone else wouldn’t have.

Okay, that wise person was some unnamed author of a resume tips web page that I found from Google, but the advise is pretty good. In the land of one million resumes (basically every HR department in the country), everyone is doing their best to describe their achievements in the most impressive light. And not only that, but they’re working to spice up their first impression papers and attract enough attention to avoid the ‘Instant NO’ pile.

So how do you and I come out on top in the fight to get noticed by an employer? What’s the proper format for a solid resume, and what should I say in it? Type the word ‘resume’ into your Google search bar (go ahead, I’ll wait) and you’ll find that the top results suggestions are all about these very questions.

Resume templates/builder/example/objective are our main questions, and it took Google .13 seconds to find the 132 million articles related to these phrases.

While I have found some of the resume tips to be very helpful, I feel that my Googling may have done just as much harm as it did good for my resume writing. For every statement about what is ‘required’ in a resume, there’s at least one that claims it’s unnecessary or even potentially harmful. Case in point: the Objective (and most of the time there’s still no real consensus within articles themselves, either). My searching for answers has mostly left me with more questions. A trip to UCSD’s very own Career Services Center (a great place for students to go for help, by the way) still left me unsure about my resume. Same goes for page length: more than one is fine if the information is good OR more than one will get your resume tossed into the trash can faster than a cheetah who’s running late for work (yes, I did just make that up).

Amid the confusion, I created this basic resume that I have begun to use. I decided to include an objective and condense everything down to one page purely because that’s what they told me to do at the CSC, and I’m still waiting to see if it’s effective.

So for now, take a look. Any advise? Let me know what you think and feel free to leave comments or make suggestions- I’m looking to improve it! Financial Aid’s only going to be covering rent for a few more months…

TEMPLATE amanda gallegos resume 2011

Until next time,


run and tell all of the angels- this could take all night

February 1, 2011
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Hello World.

Last time, we left off with the link to the Humanmetrics quiz that generates a Jung Typology. Career discovery books and articles always begin with some kind of quiz to apparently help the job seeker find their true inner selves and to guide them into the right field. I’m not sure I have ever actually learned much about myself from taking such quizzes. At most I think they are a reaffirmation of what I already knew or expected. But regardless, I think they’re fun. Especially this one.

My results:

ENFJ. I’ve been this for years and am thankful that unlike my zodiac (ha ha) its standing remains unquestioned. Here’s a link to a description of me which I have to admit is pretty accurate. The good and the not so good.

So do these statements about my type make me reflective? Do they make me think about my life and my goals? Yes. As someone prone to processing a high level of meta analysis it would be surprising not to. These things call me a ‘Giver’ and a ‘Teacher’. It fits in very well to what I strive to do in my daily life, and what I eventually want to do when I grow up. I simply want to help people. I want to help them be better people for themselves, their relationships, and their planet. Now begins me finding out how to make a living off of doing that.

This is why I’m so happy to have the opportunity to be doing this right now. I’m the Lead Marketing Intern at UC San Diego’s Sustainability Resource Center and I love it. My advisor Kristin is phenomenal, I couldn’t ask for a better person to be guide into all things sustainable. I’m helping fight for a cause I care about and I’m part of the team that is creating something new and exciting. When I began my internship last quarter, little did I know that we’d be launching a campus and community wide campaign (with a name that I thought up!) to inspire people to make sustainable choices and commit to sustainability pledges (that I helped write!), on an awesome new website (that I could only hope to one day design something so pretty!). Check it out (and pledge too, if you don’t mind)! This time spent at the Center has really shown me how much I love this cause, how excited I am about the work I do,  and how happy I can be when I’m in a good work environment.

At this stage in my life, I’m finally feeling confident that I know who I am. I want to combine my love for working with people with my passion for a good cause to help make each better.

Next up on Mandy Goes to Work:

It’s time to tackle the job application process and all the FUN that comes along with it. Stay tuned…


skin and bones, don’t you know?

January 16, 2011
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Hello World.

This was the default title for the example-post WordPress made to get all of us newbies acquainted with the site and its features. But it really made me think- probably more than they would guess.

I’m at one of those key transitions in life, one that gets a whole section in the greeting card aisle and those fancy themed photo frames- I’m about to graduate from college. You’re right, it’s nothing all that newsworthy. Millions of people graduate from college all over the world every year. This year though, I get to be one of those people.

The book of “Mandy Goes to College” has long been waiting for a final chapter, and in some ways I’m more than ready to close it for good and put it on a top shelf. I’m ready to apply everything I’ve learned and seen and experienced to that “real world” that John Mayer and Matchbox 20 talk about and start making my impact on society. This is all incredibly daunting as well, as I’m sure all of those millions of other grads can attest to. Because transitions prompt the inevitable (and always somewhat annoying and overwhelming) question- “So what’s next?”

Up until now I’ve been able to shrug, mention something about how there’s still time, smile, then change the subject. But now that “time” is about to run out. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about what I want to do when I “grow up” in a few short months. It’s actually that I think about it all the time. I’ve focused all of my energy the last few years to trying to make sure that what I’m doing will be good for “my future”. So now’s the time to put all of my employment, school, internship, and life experience to use and focus on finding a job. In addition to all of the normal trials and tribulations associated with the job search, there is none more highly publicized than the notorious “Economy” (capitalized for dramatic effect). But find a job I must, and despite this obvious and terrible road block that many of us are facing, I am still setting out to discover what that future entails- and to make it happen.

So I invite you to follow me as I embark on an epic journey filled with action and drama, highs and lows, tears of joy and sorrow. Come along with me as I tackle resume revisions, job search engines, social networking sites, campus events, and much, much more. Please feel free to comment with advice, words of encouragement,  job offers (hint hint), or empathetic remarks.

“Hello World” is right.

PS. Please play along and (re)take the HumanMetrics personality quiz here. I’ve decided that it’s important to find out who I am before I become who I want to be. Until then…


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