New York City is expensive and if you want to live it up here, you’ll have to find a way to pay for it. Follow these tips to find a job in New York City – fast.
Probably the worst thing to be in Manhattan is the unemployed. With the cost of living as high as it is, if you don’t have a continuous source of income coming in, you can quickly go broke. If you’re like thousands of other people who move to New York City every year, you probably think that you have one lined up already.
Some friend of a friend with an awesome connection at XYZ Company promised to pass on your resume, or you know someone who knows someone who owns a bar in the city that will totally hire you. Stupidly, you think you’ve got an in, haul all your junk to New York and wait for that happy phone call. And you wait… and you wait… and you wait…
After about a month of waiting, you realize that nobody’s calling. That friend of a friend you were relying on has more important things to do than find you a job and people don’t always keep their promises.
Now you’ve wasted an entire month thinking you had a job lined up, are knee-deep in debt and have no idea how you’re going to pay your rent (which is due next week). You need a job and you need one fast.
Most people who need to find work quickly will choose one of two routes – they will either find a job in a restaurant in NYC or find something more corporate through one of New York City’s many employment agencies.
Doing either can land you a job within a couple of days if you’re persistent and know where to look.
If you’re a struggling actress or artist who just needs to pull in a paycheck until you get your big break or you need a flexible work schedule so you can attend casting auditions, your best bet is to find something in the restaurant industry. If this is your desired route, check out my post on Finding a Job in a Restaurant in NYC.
If however, you are looking to do something a little more corporate – in fields like finance, marketing, entertainment, and office administration, here are a couple of tips to find a job fast in New York City.
Tip #1: Update your resume
First off, before you even begin to look for a job in NYC, you should make sure that your resume is updated and ready to be sent out. There are hundreds of sources all over the internet with information on how to write a good resume so I’m not going to waste time here regurgitating what you can easily find elsewhere.
Some useful tidbits that I will add though: it’s always a good idea to have multiple versions of your resume.
Any job you have had in the past has probably had multiple facets to it. For example, my last position, I worked under a staffing agency as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager, but a large percentage of my job had to do with HR and staffing.
Depending on what job I apply for (HR Assistant, Recruiting Coordinator, Onboarding Specialist, Office Manager/Coordinator, Administrative Assistant), I tweak my title and job description accordingly.
Also, make sure that your resume is in a format that’s easy on the eyes and that it fills up a whole page (if you’ve been working for more than five years, it can be longer).
If you’re just getting out of school and have no work experience, fill in the gaps with extracurricular activities and volunteer work.
Tip #2: Contact staffing agencies
Once your resume is ready, you can start sending it out to different agencies and applying for jobs.
In New York City, your best bet for finding a job quickly is to go directly to the source – the staffing agencies in New York City that work as gatekeepers to all the awesome companies here looking to hire.
Some of the bigger staffing agencies in New York City are:
- Atrium Staffing – http://www.atriumstaff.com/
- Access Staffing – http://www.accessstaffing.com/
- Manpower – http://www.manpower.com/
- Asset Staffing – http://www.assetstaffing.com/
- RJL Resources – http://www.rjlresources.com/
- The Aldan Troy Group – http://www.aldantroygroup.com/
- The Career Group – http://www.careergroupinc.com/
- Solomon Paige – http://www.solomonpage.com/
- Green Key Resources – http://www.greenkeyllc.com/
- Taylor Hodson – http://www.taylorhodson.com/
- Winston Resources – http://www.winstonresources.com/
Visit the websites of the above agencies and follow their instructions on submitting your resume.
Also, do a simple google search of “staffing agencies NYC” and start submitting your resume to everything that comes up (there are hundreds of staffing agencies in New York City, and the more that you apply for, the higher your chances of finding something).
If you are in a specific field, you can also try looking for staffing agencies that specialize in that field. For example Glocap (http://www.glocap.com/) for finance positions, Bon Temps, NYC (http://bontempsny.com/) for legal positions, and ProMed Personnel (http://www.promedpersonnel.com/Promed/) for positions in the health industry.
After you have submitted your resume to as many agencies as you can, you should start to get call-backs within a couple of days.
If you don’t hear back, give them a call, make sure that they got your resume and ask them if you can schedule a time to come in and talk to them about what you’re looking for and any jobs that they have available.
Be aggressive, but don’t be obnoxious. A recruiter will not submit you to a position if he thinks you’re annoying or too desperate.
Tip #3: Brush up on your tech skills
If you are right out of school and looking for administrative work, recruiters and potential employers might ask you to do some basic tests. Mostly for skills like typing (words per minute) and Microsoft Office Suite (finance industries tend to especially emphasize excel skills).
If you aren’t up to par on Microsoft Word, try and do a couple of training videos beforehand.
Lynda.com is a relatively inexpensive site with training videos on everything from Microsoft Office to Quark Express to Photoshop – skills that can help you land a job more easily in NYC.
Tip #4: Apply to job boards
After you’ve submitted your resume to as many staffing companies as you can, you should start applying to jobs directly.
The problem with most job boards is that most of the positions on them don’t actually exist (oftentimes, positions that already are being filled internally for a company are posted online just to work around anti-discrimination-style laws, or fake positions are posted by recruiters as a means to harvest resumes).
Or, if they do exist, they receive so many applicants that your resume will be lost in the crowd.
For this reason, you shouldn’t spend too much time writing cover letters for vague job postings.
Instead, upload your resume into their system and submit your resume in mass to positions. Even if the positions don’t exist, you will be getting your resume into more recruiters’ hands, who can call you for other job opportunities.
Most job boards have some sort of “easy apply” button that you can use to quickly and easily apply to positions which you can use.
In addition to the traditional job boards, try looking for positions on craigslist.com or on specialized sites in whatever niche you want to go into, like mediabistro.com.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet – make one. Fill out as much information as you possibly can, put a nice face pic up and start making contacts, joining groups and applying for jobs.
I get 2 or 3 job proposals a week from LinkedIn alone. It’s one of the best and most used recruiting tools in New York City, yet many applicants don’t use it to its full potential.
Tip #6: Network
Even in a city as big as New York, most jobs are found through personal contacts.
From the moment you arrive in NYC, and whether or not you are actively searching for a job, you should be looking to expand your personal network.
Sites like meetup.com have some great resources for meeting other business professionals in NYC, regardless of your career niche.
Tip #7: Ace the interview
They say that 90% of success is just showing up. But for that extra 10%, dress well and do some interview prep.
New York City is one of the most formal cities in the US, so unless you’re applying for a job at a restaurant or a very niche field, make sure that you come to your interview in a full suit (if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a wardrobe – try H&M, I got my first suit there for $70 and it’s still in great shape two and a half years later). Make sure that your shirt is pressed and your teeth are clean. Losing a job opportunity because of mismatched skill sets is one thing – losing it because you forgot to brush your teeth that morning is another.
Follow these tips and be ambitious and you will find a job in New York City – in whatever your field – in no time flat.