If you’re Latino and looking for a job you’re 1 in 10 (actually you’re 1.1 in 10, I rounded). This recession has been harder on Latinos than it has on the general population and even though official word is that we’re in a recovery, they’re quick to add that it’s a jobless recovery- which bring the question: who’s recovering?
That said, if you’re looking for work you won’t find it in official reports and public statements. You’re going to have to do what everyone else looking for a job is doing, only better.
So I’ve got some tips for you. And before you go thinking “who is Victor to give me tips on finding a job?” – I’ll tell you where I got them.
I made some friends recently at a recruiter’s un-conference, called TalentNet Live. It’s a social recruiting conference that brings together the brightest brains and best experience from around the world to chat and exchange ideas about finding and hiring the best talent.
Luminaries in the field – like Robert Scobel, China Gorman, Don Ramer, Bill Boorman, Maren Hogan, and Jason Seiden - held court in free-flowing conversations with about 30 human resources and talent recruiting executives. I went as the invited guest of one of the best professionals there, Alicia Arenas, of Sanera PDC.
I took furious notes about what HR executives are thingking, what they’re looking for and what get’s their attention. But then I wondered, is any of this different for Latinos?
I posed the question directly to almost all of the presenters and they gave me mostly the same answers. Michael Long, from Rackspace, was very concise and to the point. Here’s how he answered my questions.
NewsTaco: What is the best way for Latinos to use social media in their job searches?
Michael Long: I suppose that this applies to anyone who wants to use social media for a job search, but I would recommend some heavy networking. Do some research, figure out where you want to work and use the tools to find people who currently work for the company. From there, structure a plan to reach out to each person. If you can’t find an email address, sometimes the best way is to call the company directly. Job search is about discipline and consistency. Seekers need to treat their search like a job and they will eventually find success.
NT: Is there a difference to recruiters?
ML: When it comes to recruiters, many of them are impressed with candidates who come in knowing as much as possible about the company. If someone had the foresight to research the company, get to know some contributors and then reach out, it will look impressive. That said, recruiters stay extremely busy, so it’s important for job seekers to pursue various companies at once in hopes of finding the right position. Don’t take rejection personally and realize that we are still in a very competitive job market. As I pointed out with the first question, discipline and consistency will go a long way.
NT: Should they highlight their culture (ethnicity)?
ML: Given the demand in the market for diversity of thought and background, I think there are some real positives that come along with highlighting involvement. If someone is involved with clubs or associations that highlight their background, I think it would be great to have them include it in their resumes. Most of the time, this can come under a section titled “Involvement” on their resume. That said, I would not recommend overwhelming their resume with references to any particular ethnic background – i.e. Latino Professional Seeking Great Company … that would be a bit too forward.
NT: Is there anything different that Latino job seekers should do to be noticed by recruiters?
ML: I don’t think there is anything in particular that Latino job seekers should do differently. Just be confident in their heritage and recognize that it should in no way represent a disadvantage in their job search. At the end of the day, everyone wants to join a company that accepts each individual for who they are. So, I always recommend that job seekers first understand their own narratives and what makes them stand out as a great candidate for the companies they are applying to. Practice, discipline and consistency will greatly improve a job seekers chances of identifying and securing the best employment.
NT: The feeling of many Latinos is that we need to work twice as hard to be noticed. How does this look to recruiters?
ML: I don’t know recruiters who judge Latino candidates this way. In general, I think that the candidates who work the hardest will win. Be yourself, be proud of your background and, again, know your story and the value you bring to the table.
If you needed these tips and found them helpful, good luck!
If you’ve got a job you probably know someone who doesn’t, so pass this along, any help is appreciated, no?
[Photo by jamestruepenny]