It has been so long since I last looked for a job that I really am
not sure as to where to start.
Here’s where to start. Write up a resume. It should be two pages,
the first lists your education and experience and should include all
education after high school especially everything jewelry related.
Account for every day of your professional life since you finished
high school if at all possible, and list every job you’ve held since
entering the work force. Employers will look for holes in your career
and will wonder what you were doing (and what you’re not telling
them) if there are gaps of more than a couple of months. Each job
listed should include a brief description of your duties while there.
There’s a lot of info on the web on how to write a good resume, if
you go looking. Keep this part to one page. Too much info and too
many pages and it goes in the round file at most places.
The second page is the reference page and should include at least
three references related to the jewelry industry. These should not be
family, and at least one should be a former employer. It is common
courtesy to get their permission before you list anyone as a
reference. Count on a prospective employer to call every one of these
people, this is more than just a formality. Keep this to one page
also, for the same reason.
The next thing you should do is get together a portfolio. This is
arguably the most important part of a goldsmith’s resume, and should
include at least one piece showing each of the skills you are trying
to convey, the more diverse the pieces the better. If you’re selling
stone setting skills, don’t show five pieces with round stones only,
include a princess, a cushion, a bezel, a super fragile stone, round,
square and V prongs, beads, pave’, etc. Show a complex fabrication,
and a carved and cast piece. If possible show a couple incorporating
both too. Include an original design or two, more if that’s part of
the job you want. The quality of the photos isn’t as important as the
content, but try to use the best ones you have. They must show enough
detail so a prospective employer can really see what you can do, not
just a gold ring-shaped blob. Think of it as entering a design
contest based on photos rather than actual pieces. Try to keep the
number of photos to around ten or so. Mention in the cover letter
that you have more if they would like to see more.
The next step is to write up a cover letter. It should be tailored
to each position you are applying for, and should include who you
are, your contact info, what you would like to do, and why you
believe they should consider you for the position and/or why you
would be a good fit with them. Keep it short and sweet, no life
history (that’s for the interview or follow up emails), three
quarters of a page max.
These days, make sure all of this is able to be sent electronically
if at all possible. And make sure you can send it all in the time it
takes to write a cover letter. A few hours max turn around time from
the time they first contact you.
When you get an interview/bench test, show up on time or a few
minutes early, or call way ahead to let them know you’ll be late. You
better have a darned good reason too. Wear decent clothing, no blue
jeans or tee shirts and get a hair cut. At this point you are selling
yourself as well as your skills, so look in a full length mirror
before you go. That’s what they will see when you walk through the
door. You never get a second chance at a first impression. Many a job
has been missed (or landed) in the first ten seconds of the
Try to keep the job you have, no matter how distasteful that
prospect is until you land a new one. It’s a whole lot easier to get
a job if you already have one, and there won’t be a hard to explain
gap if the new job doesn’t work out.
The best of luck to you Tim!