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Job-Hunting With Limited Experience

By Kenneth Bredemeier
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, June 13, 2008 12:00 AM

Sometimes job seekers seem to have all the proper academic credentials for the job they want -- everything, of course, but job experience.

So where do you turn then?

I have an MBA degree with human resources as my specialization from India. I have teaching experience from India and administrative support experience from my last job in the United States. But apart from my internship, I do not have experience in an HR office setting. Now that I have relocated to the Washington area, I am looking for an HR job. What is the best place to start?

Eve Framinan, president of TPO Inc., a Tysons Corner human resources firm, says she thinks this worker "ought to take a multiple-pronged approach" to finding a job. And while his circumstances and desired field might be different than that of other job seekers, the overall job search strategy might well apply to many others as well.

The successful job search might take more than a little time, she says, but it ought to include networking at HR professional events as well as posting resumes on various general interest job boards and those specific to human resources, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (www.shrm.com).

Framinan says that networking "is going to be more important than job postings" for this credentialed human resources worker with little on-the-job experience.

She said he ought to attend several monthly meetings of the HR Leadership Forum (hrleadershipforum.org) to meet key HR executives, who in turn are likely to know of job openings.

"Make the connections that will help you find a job," she says. "You've got to do something to stand apart. You've got to have some consistency in your attendance" at professional events, both to show your seriousness about your job quest, and to get to know the relevant players in your field.

Kenneth Bredemeier has six years of experience writing about the workplace. On the Job, a column addressing real worker questions about office relationships, corporate policies and workplace law, is written exclusively for washingtonpost.com.

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