This article relates to land based field jobs in the oil industry. Much of this also applies to offshore drilling, indoor, lab, office, and facility related jobs, but for the most part they are not addressed specifically. For most of this article, I use the word 'industry' to describe the oil industry as a whole. The word 'field' is used to describe a sector of the oil industry that involves on-site labor at varying locations, such as well drilling or seismic exploration.
Daily Job Search Routine:
You need to make a full time job out of job hunting if you want to be successful. If you're already working, then your job search will have to be a part time job, but you need to take it seriously and devote some time to it every day.
1. Use the International Oil and Gas Company Directory (www.oilfieldworkers.com/directory.php), the internet, and the yellow pages from any nearby oil-active city to gather contact information for at least 50 companies. You should have the company name, city, state, country, phone AND fax numbers, and email address and website if they're available.
These should be kept in a job search log-->a notebook or a text file.
Also add a line to each company for each of the following:
--and a few extra lines for additional information.
If you find any companies with online job applications, bookmark that page (or write the address down) for later. Be sure you also gather the other contact information for these companies and make a note of the online application in your job search log.
If you find any companies online with printable application forms, be sure to save them. Depending on the format of the job application file, you may be able to open it in a word processor like MS Word to fill it in. Otherwise, print it and complete it NEATLY. Be sure to check your spelling.
For many of the listings, the International Oil and Gas Company Directory has email addresses, phone and fax numbers, and links to the 'careers' sections of company websites. This detailed contact information is only available if you are logged in.
2. Email or Fax your cover letter and resume to each of the 50 companies. I prefer using email if I have the company's address... it saves long distance charges, and it's faster. Mark the date on the appropriate line in your job search log (Faxed or Emailed) for each company. Also, fill in any online and printable job applications that you've found. Be sure to submit printable job applications in the manner requested by the company (ie. fax,mail, or email).
Take the time to send a unique email to each company, rather than using the cc: or bcc: fields to mass mail your resume to many companies at once. Many companies have filters to automatically delete mail that's not addressed specifically to their address. Also, your email is more likely to get deleted by spam checkers if there's a hundred addresses on it.
3. For the companies that you emailed your cover letter and resume to two business days ago (give them some time to respond), send them the same cover letter & resume as a fax if you haven't received a response. Your email may have been killed en route by a misguided spam-killer robot.
4. For the companies that you faxed your cover letter and resume to two business days ago, phone their office and ask to speak to the field personnel manager or human resources manager.
-Explain that you faxed them your cover letter and resume a couple of days ago, and you wanted to be sure that they received them. Ask if they're currently hiring or when they might be hiring in the future, what training and other requirements they have for their employees, and whatever else you can think of. Ask questions about their business and the types of work that they do. Try to keep them on the phone for at least two full minutes, unless they sound like they're in a rush to get off the phone. It's tough to make an impression over the phone in a few seconds. The idea is to show an interest in the company while throwing in the odd bit of information about yourself that they might find attractive in a potential employee. You want this person to remember you (in a good way) the next time you call...
Be sure to record the date of the call in your log, and MAKE SURE YOU GET THE PERSON'S NAME! This is very important.
People love to hear their name, and they remember the people that say it. Really, they do.
The next time you call, you can ask for them by name. Whether you get through to the person or you get their voice mail, you can start with something like "Hi Bob, it's Joe Smith calling. I spoke to you last week about a *whatever* position. I had another question for you...", or "...I'm just calling to see if you're hiring right now".
They may not recognize you right away, but if you start your conversation where you left off-- ask a couple more questions if you have them, and of course ask if they're looking for any workers right now... they'll remember you soon enough, and next time they won't forget. If you get voice mail, leave your phone number and ask them to call you back.
5. For every company that you phoned and left a message, or spoke to a personnel manager one week ago, call them again.
Fax your resume to every company that you're interested in working for, then follow up with a phone call. Call every company on your list every week to check for work... let it be well known that you're serious about working for them.
- If you're calling a company that's not local, be sure you know what time it is there.
- Don't call when people are rushing to get things done-- right before or during lunch, or at the end of the day.
I realize that you may feel awkward phoning people again and again asking about work.
I do too. Suck it up.
Motivation, remember? Do you want a good job or not?
You should keep in touch and develop a friendly rapport with all of the companies that you'd like to work for on a weekly basis until they either hire you or ask you to stop calling.
The interview more than anything else is where you sell yourself. You are there to offer your services to the company, and you should show confidence in your ability to provide those services if you want them to pay you for your work. It's also a good time to get to know more about the company and decide if you really want the job.
Remember that an employer needs good workers as much as those workers need jobs. The entire hiring process is designed to weed out the unproductive, lazy people with bad work habits and work ethics; from choosing the resumes to read and the ones to skip, to calling references, to the interview process and eventually to choosing the best candidate to hire.
If you want the job, you need to show the interviewer that you are the productive, ambitious team worker with good work habits and ethics person that they need. During your interview, you must come off as a 'people person'. Nearly all jobs involve contact with other people on various levels, and the way that you handle contact with the interviewer will affect your chances of being offered the job.
It's natural to be nervous, but don't let it stop you from participating in the interview. In the end, the interviewer will hire the person they liked the most, not necessarily the most qualified person. Since only people who are qualified for the job will get interviews, the interviews are more about picking someone that will fit in with the company than finding the most qualified person.
Someone who appears confident, happy, and energetic is much more attractive to an employer than someone who's obviously nervous, self-conscious, and uncomfortable.
If you're shifty and nervous throughout the interview, and you don't ask any questions about the job or the company, at best you'll end up in the 'maybe' pile.
Your goal is the 'when can you start?' pile.
Remember that motivation is the key to achieving anything you want in life.
- Your handshake should be firm, not limp. If your hands are sweaty, run cold water over them immediately before the interview, or use an unscented anti-perspirant on your palms. If your hands are cold and clammy, use warm water.
- Do your homework. You should know enough about the company and their operations to be able to have an intelligent conversation with your interviewer.
- Look your best. Don't dress up in a suit and tie for an interview for a driller's assistant, but don't show up in rags either... Dress appropriately for the position that you're applying for.
- Speak clearly and firmly. The interviewer shouldn't have to strain to hear you or ask you to repeat yourself.
- Make occasional eye contact. Focus on the interview--don't let your eyes constantly wander around the room.
- Avoid excessive hand gestures. Occasional gestures are natural, but your hands shouldn't be moving constantly. This is a job interview, not a rap video.
- Avoid playing with your hair, chewing your nails, picking your nose, and other nervous habits.
- Avoid peppering your speech with 'um', 'er', 'ah', 'like', and other filler words. They make you sound less intelligent.
- Be honest and straightforward with your interviewer.
- Be confident about yourself and your abilities. Don't be cocky.
- Don't get defensive if you're asked a question that isn't likely to make you look good. Just answer it honestly and briefly and move on to what you can do for the company.
- Don't arrive tired. You should be awake and alert for your interview, not tired and yawning.
- You should be eager and enthusiastic about the interview, the job, and life in general. Show the interviewer that you have a positive attitude.
- Don't slouch. Stand or sit up straight.
- Turn off your cell phone or pager.
- Don't be afraid to ask about wages and benefits. It shouldn't be the first thing you ask, but it's obviously a question that needs to be answered at some point before you accept a job. If you're applying for an entry level position, there's not much room to negotiate the starting wage that a company offers, but you still need to know.
- Ask questions about the job and the company-- if you don't have any questions, think of some. You should never arrive at an interview without a few questions to ask which are specifically related to the company or the position. You need to show an interest in the company and their operations. You need to make the interviewer believe that you would be an asset to the company.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. If you have to travel to get to your interview, make sure you allow ample time for unforseen problems like a flat tire or heavy traffic. Treat it like catching a flight -- arriving late is absolutely unacceptable. If you are a couple of minutes late (DON'T BE LATE!!!), apologize briefly without offering excuses -- there are no excuses. Another big part of almost every job is being punctual-- if you can't even be on time for the interview, why would they expect you to be on time for work?
- Pay attention to what you say. If you're a chatty person by nature, you may find yourself telling the interviewer as many of your faults as your strengths. Think before you speak. The interviewer has work to do and isn't really interested in your life story.
- Ask when you can expect to hear their decision.
- Offer to provide further references if you have them.
If you're willing to do what it takes to get a good job, nothing can stop you.
Good Luck in all that you do,
Oilfield Workers Registry
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