Looking around southeastern Ohio, most people would agree that finding gainful employment is difficult. Quite a number of people have observed that the gas and oil industry, although becoming more dominant in the area, really hasn’t done much for the local economy in the ways of jobs or benefits.
If the industry is booming, and they want to work in the local area, with the local community, then why aren’t local people getting the jobs?
Well, the sad truth is that there is only so many jobs, and the competition for them is fierce. If you have thought long and hard about it, read through my previous post on what it’s like to work in the oil and gas industry and feel that you have the qualifications and skills that they’re looking for, here are some hints on how to get your foot in the door.
Hint #1: Polish and Perfect Your Resume
This is true for just about every job you apply for, but it is especially true here. A well-polished, edited resume helps show that you have a grasp on details, you’re accurate, concise, and you took the time and effort to put something together — or that you had the insight to hire someone to help you if you couldn’t do it yourself. There is really no excuse for handing over a sloppy or unprofessional resume, especially when there are so many resources available for help in creating a great one.
Hint #2: Take the Initiative
The oil and gas industry is filled with technical and very specific ways of doing things due to the regulations that it must deal with on a regular basis. This is true in everything from accounting to putting in an oil well, from pumping gasoline to cleaning up an oil spill. There is often training that needs to be completed for safety and environmental reasons, and companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars doing just that.
By seeking out the training you need for a particular job — say, learning what specific accounting measures are needed, or taking a 40-hour HAZWOPER training course and completing them on your own — is a fantastic way to get ahead of the competition. In addition, by paying for the training yourself, you won’t have to necessarily be “locked in” to a particular job if something better comes along. Often, when the company pays for the training, they expect you to work for them for a few months to essentially make sure that they get a good return on their investment. If you have to fall short of that amount, they may ask for reimbursement on the training.
Hint #3: Look at the Websites and Talk With Temp-to-Hire Agencies
I’m not entirely sure why, but many oil and gas companies or those who work with them will often not post all their employment opportunities on places like CareerBuilder, Indeed or even the local paper. They will, however, post job opportunities on their website. They also often will rely on temp-to-hire agencies that are geared more toward science- or technical-related fields to staff their needs. So if you want to be taken seriously as a potential candidate, make sure you read their websites carefully and talk to temp-to-hire services in your area. Also, when you read through their website, make sure you study the entire thing, which leads me to my next hint.
Hint #4: Do Your Homework
The oil and gas industry is often under attack from various sources and for various reasons. I won’t go into whether or not those reasons are justified; that’s up to you to decide. However, if you want to find a way to get into this industry, it’s a good idea to remember that it is really a very competitive, and yet very close-knit group. They tend to be a bit wary of outsiders. So, it pays to learn as much as you can about your chosen company, essentially making sure that you would fit in their group. Take the time to learn about the various projects the local branch is taking on. Where is the company expanding? Where does it look like they are struggling? And finally, ask yourself, what specifically can you offer them to make the company grow and prosper?
Hint #5: Network
This is another one of those hints that work well for just about any job search out there, and it is especially true in this industry. In many ways, the oil and gas industry is a type of “old boys club” — pardon the expression. It’s not necessarily about what you know, but who you know. Take the time to introduce yourself to the various people working in the industry and in your local area. Buy the driller a cup of coffee as you’re both sitting at the counter at the local diner. Strike up a conversation with the local real estate guy who has been working with the oil and gas company’s acquisition department. When someone offers to make an introduction, take them up on it — and be sure to follow through on any meetings. Keep things friendly and professional, but make sure that people know that you’re interested in working with them. You never know exactly who will be doing the hiring for the next job.
These are just a few hints that you can use to help land employment in the gas and oil industry. Read them through, and consider what may work for you. Above all, be yourself, be professional and be consistent.