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How I got a job in this market
Six inspiring stories from the front.
April 2, 2004: 11:22 AM EST
By Joan Caplin, Jean Chatzky and Ellen McGirt, MONEY Magazine

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - At 34, Eric Fulmer was ready for a new job. He was ambitious, and his position as a regional sales manager for a technology company in North Carolina didn't offer enough opportunities for growth.

Eric Fulmer Eric Fulmer - He credits his new job to his energy and enthusiasm -- and his networking.
Brenda Carter Brenda Carter - Though unemployed, she stayed current in her field and learned new skills.
Connie Guglielmo Connie Guglielmo - A job-hunting and support Web site helped her impress the man who hired her.
Eric Green Eric Green - He cinched the new job by moving 700 miles in three weeks.
Rebecca O'Mara Rebecca O'Mara - Volunteering for a Hispanic group led to her meeting executives.
Gilbert Wilson Gilbert Wilson - He used his technical skills to get his foot in the door.

He knew that having work made him one of the lucky ones. To land another, better job he'd have to sell himself with every bit of the savvy he put into selling his company's products.

He'd always made a point of sending holiday cards and making the occasional phone call to his old colleagues, figuring the contacts might come in handy one day. He was right.

When he heard that the man who had hired him to work at Fuji earlier in his career had joined Rimage, a manufacturer of CD and DVD publishing systems, he called to offer congratulations. It had been more than six years since they'd worked together, but it took only a few minutes to discover that there might be a place for Fulmer.

He wasted no time. Rimage called for an interview in Atlanta on a Friday; Fulmer said he'd be there on Monday. He could have made the eight-hour drive from his home in Chapel Hill; instead he invested his own cash in a plane ticket and used the time he saved to create what he thinks convinced the company to hire him: a PowerPoint presentation that showcased what he could do for the company.

"I thought it would be a lot better than just talk," he explains.

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It worked. "What got me the job," Fulmer concludes, "was my energy and enthusiasm and aggressiveness. It's the lesson of the story: Go above and beyond."

Above and beyond, certainly. Over the top, perhaps. But that's an example of what it takes to land a job in what some economists are calling the toughest job market since the 1930s.

"The job losses over the past three years have been across a wide range of industries and from coast to coast," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at "And if you've lost your job, in all likelihood you will remain unemployed for longer than in any period since the Great Depression."


While the unemployment rate has dipped to 5.6 percent, that simply reflects the fact that layoffs have slowed.

"That's not helping people who are already out of work," Zandt says. "Companies have yet to step up and start hiring."

But Fulmer and the five others you'll read about here beat those odds. Read on to see how they did it -- and how you can too.

Continued...  Top of page

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