Moving to Chicago

I just moved to Chicago from Michigan and the job search has been overwhelming. I have 11 years of experience in the Mortgage/Banking industry with Operations, Compliance, Risk Management, Legal and Quality Control. All skills I feel I can transfer.
I really want to make a change. I find the recruiters and placement agencies exhausting. I have been searching now for 2 months and must find something soon. In Michigan, I always relied on networking and even in a slump found employment. This move to Chicago has been wonderful, I know I want to be here.
Do you have any advice on the right approach. I know if I could get my foot in the door that would be a start.

Welcome to Chicago! A job search IS overwhelming, and especially if you are unfamiliar and unconnected with the new city. It sounds like you have some strong skills that indeed can be transferable. I don't have the benefit of knowing all that you have attempted, but here are a few more suggestions.

  1. Yes, networking is a great way to make connections and get your foot in the door. If you haven't done so, check the Chicagojobs.org website for a list of local networking events. Also try a website called Techvenue that lists more. The Skokie Library has a monthly networking group and JVS has Career Connections on a regular basis in the downtown area. Check into lectures, associations and classes that would draw the types of people that work in companies you are interested in.
  2. Make sure you have an understanding of the job requirements of available positions and be certain that your skills and resume are tailored to meet those needs. If your resume is too general, you may be seen as a "jack of all trades," rather than a master.
  3. Target your search by using the library to develop a list of companies that could benefit from your skills and begin checking their individual websites for available positions. (You can also use the job aggregators like simplyhired.com or indeed.com and set up alerts.
  4. Avoid an attitude of desperation (though that can be hard!) - so you might want to find part time work to help with finances. Unfortunately, finding the right fit can be a lengthy process - no guarantees.
  5. You might also try to get some work from temporary agencies and ask to be placed in the types of companies you are interested in. Sometimes that allows you to meet the right people - from the inside!!!

The Career Experts @ ChicagoJobs.org

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