Job Hunting Strategies for the Modern Latina


by Vanessa Garcia

Times, they are a changin’.  With the current financial crisis in the global economy, it’s becoming more and more difficult to compete in today’s job market.  Many of us have been hit in one way or another by the recession, but if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.  We all want to move forward in our careers, unfortunately, these have been some of the most difficult time to get ahead.  So how’s a Modern Latina supposed to get ahead in these difficult times?  It’ll take a lot of perseverance, patience, and know how to move forward through these times.  Fortunately, there’s a lot of strategies to use in your job hunt that could land you one step closer to your dream job. 

According to Richard N. Bolles, author of  What Color Is Your Parachute? 2009: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career Changers –2008 publication. and The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide: How to Find a Rewarding Job Even When “There Are No Jobs” says that using the internet for your job search will only result in a 10% solution.  Therefore, only 10 people out of 100 will actually get a job answering ads online.  We spend so much time on the internet that it’s our first instinct of where to go when we’re looking for work.  However, many employers often hire from within.  They promote full-time and part-time employees, consultants, contract, and temp workers. This is because employers want to hire someone whose work they’ve seen.  So if you can’t find the full-time job you want, shoot for a part-time, temp, or contract position with the intent of becoming full-time.

Employers also fill vacancies when they’ve seen someone’s work, such as a website, program, photographs, or designs.  If you’re inquiring about a job position, don’t forget to take these important pieces as evidence of your outstanding work.  In addition, employers are more likely to hire someone who has worked with their friend or business colleague.  This is why it’s so important to use your network to your advantage and always keep friendly bridges open between yourself and former co-workers.  Recruiting and temp agencies are also used to fill full time and temporary vacancies, which are not always advertised on the internet, and could lead to a full time position.

Richard N. Bolles has a plethora of job search strategies which he has complied in his forty years of research.  Here’s a list of the top five ways to find a job in this recession:

# 5:  Ask your network for job leads

This results in a 33% success rate.  Ask anyone and everyone you know if they know if any job leads.  This includes your friends, family, teacher, work colleagues – anyone.  The more you put it out there that you’re looking for work, the greater the chances are that you will find something. 

# 4:  Visit any company that interests you, regardless of whether they have an opening or not.

47% success rate.  Visit smaller companies of under 100 employees.  If you get lucky you could stumble upon a vacancy that was just created.  If they have any future openings for your skill set, they’re more likely to remember you when something comes up.  Don’t be shy when you walk through the door, let them know who you are.  If they can’t help you out, ask for any leads they may have.  If they really you they might even ask you to volunteer or help you with your networking. 

# 3:  Index the yellow pages for companies and fields that interest you in the city you would like to work in.

 69% success rate.  This could help you tap in the “hidden job market” by calling or visiting companies you’ve identified as wanting to work with.

# 2:  Join a job club. 

70% success rate.  Do some research and look for a job club in your area.  You could implement the previously mentioned strategies but you’ll have more help in numbers. 

# 1:  Do homework on yourself!

Make a list of all of your transferable skills, and the fields which you could flourish in.  List any job titles that could suit you, organizations in your area that are hiring, the person in charge of hiring, and the approach you will take to show them how great of an asset you will be to their organization.  The more you can define exactly what skills you have, and what you could offer, the easier it will be to fins placements for yourself.

There’s also a lot of great resources online: is great for networking, posting your resume online, and finding jobs not listed on other sites.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has an amazing Occupational outlook Handbook to help you research the careers your interested in, what geographic location have the most opportunities, and future job growth. allows you literally type in any kind of job title and will scour the internet for results.

Get gutsy and start your own business.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has lots of information on grants and loans.

Now that you’ve got the information, go hit the pavement and make your dreams come true!

Vanessa Garcia has written for Modern Latina since 2008, in addition to Live en Vivo, and 831 Magazine.  Many of her articles reflect her interests in art, music, culture, travel, and the environment.  Vanessa received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Anthropology, and is currently finishing her Master’s as San Jose State University in Mass Communications.