Monday, February 24, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #7

Pro bono is the new black

So I've convinced myself that the best way to hunt for jobs in function areas that I don't have experience is to mosey into departments around my institution and volunteer. In particular, I have had my sights on the university's career center, which has been widely known for having vacancies since last semester. Secretly, I'm holding out that they might have a position for me, so about a month ago, I greased the wheels by soliciting an informational meeting with the center's director. 

In the meeting, I told the director that I was interested in trying to support them in their time of need, and of course, that I was happy to help in whatever capacity (aka hire me). I am lucky to have somewhat of an open schedule this last semester, so I offered about 15 hours of time, which I honestly don't really have to spare, but I'm willing to make it work. Since then, I've volunteered for a career fair, and I working towards getting the chance to put on presentations and giving career critiques - in  hopes that I can genuinely show them that I should be a permanent fixture in their office. 

Now don't get me wrong, this all sounds rather self-serving, but I am truly interested in career services work itself. The fair I helped out with a few weeks ago was a lot of fun. I was tasked with trying to get students connected with employers and vice versa, and I thoroughly enjoyed putting nervous students and overzealous employers at ease. It was as if I were participating in a professional version of OKcupid. 

Nonetheless, my recruiter intuition says that even if it doesn't lead to an offer, it's still additional fillers to the resume. Not to mention, the appreciation that I can offer to the staff by taking some things off their plates is priceless. I excel at putting my skills to use for the benefit of students, so I can hold out a little longer. At the very least, I will get a flavor for the career services work in a non-committal way. I prefer monogamy, but I'll take what I can get for now. At the very least, it gives me something to pour my energy into while waiting in vain for the job fairy to grant my wish of a super awesome job landing in my lap. Tick tock job fairy, time is ever constantly running away from me. 

Curious to hear from anyone out there who might also be trying/tried this tactic and if it is paying/paid off? Happy hunting!


  1. I am currently on the job hunt in student activities/leadership. I have had an interview with a local community college and even asked back for a 2ncallsd interview. I did not hear back from them and called HR to find out if the job was filled, they never returned my calls and the contact I interviewed with told me she could not give me any information. I have an abundance of experience with Student Activities and Leadership however at the high school level and not higher ed. I need experience but can not get it without a job. I decided to go the next possible route. An internship I figured any school would love to have someone work for free. After 100s of phone calls and emails I finally found a Student Center Director that actually returned an email. We began talking via email and phone and finally met in person. At first I thought this might not work out because they only do interns with students attached to a graduate program. After a few more conversations I will begin my internship in a few short weeks. I will commit 10-12 hours a week and have the opportunity to gain experience and work with those I want to work for. I ultimately want to work for this college however the experience I will gain is invaluable. I willl update on how it turns out.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Sarahnub! I apologize that I did not get back to this before now, but I do want to hear how it's going for you and if there's a possibility that it turned into something more permanent!