Treat finding a job as a job and you will be rewarded. So for example, if you’re out of work and looking for a full-time job devote yourself full-time to finding a job. Job searching is a skill. Like any other skill, it takes time to learn, and even longer to master. But the nice thing about learning how to job search is that unlike other skills that help you qualify for a job, this skill can actually get you the job! Many a job seeker have landed jobs they weren’t qualified for because they learned how to properly conduct a job search, then put in the effort to act on that knowledge. Job hunting is not some mystical code that needs to be cracked, though there are a few things you need to know. Learn these, put in the effort and you’re well on your way to finding the right florist job for you!
What it takes to be a florist
In the first page of the Education Guide, “Is floristry right for me?” we asked a few questions about whether you’d be the right fit for floristry. If you haven’t read that, give it a read because if you know what employers are looking for in an employee you’ll have a much better chance of finding a job. Recapping the top traits of a florist: people-oriented, ability to work well under pressure, not afraid to work hard and good hands-on skills.
When looking for an entry-level job in a florist shop the hands-on skills are not as important as the first three because the tasks will be more straightforward, like taking orders, answering phones, cleaning buckets, watering plants and sorting flowers, but when progressing to higher-level florist jobs it’s extremely important since so much time on the job is spent arranging flowers.
If you’re at the point where you’re done your schooling and are actually looking for a job, it means you could conceivably be working tomorrow, so be prepared to work. One of the typical requirements for a florist job is having a driver’s license. Since deliveries are a big part of the job, your chance of getting a job is greater if you have a license. And having a license alone isn’t enough if you have a bunch of DUIs on it, so maintain a clean driving record!
If you’ve taken florist classes, you’re on track as far as education goes, but it doesn’t hurt to study more on your own, so continue learning whatever you can about flowers and plants by reading floriculture and horticulture books and magazines. If you have access to florists, ask them about flowers and floristry in general. If you can job shadow, even better.
Get whatever related skills to floristry you can possibly get, such as retail and customer service experience and specific skills like operating a cash register. If you don’t have any of these skills or experience, consider volunteering to gain them.
Job searching techniques
The first place people head when looking for a job is online. It’s so easy to tap in a few searches and surf around so it makes sense. The problem is that almost everyone else is searching that way too, so your odds of finding a job that way are a lot smaller.
If you’re taking the time to find a job the right way, use job searching techniques that require effort or creativity (or better yet, both). Doing so ensures you’ll meet a lot less competition than if applying online. Here are a few suggestions:
Network – Employers are far more likely to hire someone they know either directly or indirectly so tap into your connections both online and offline. Ask everyone you know if they know a florist and get the word out that you’re looking for a job. Once you’ve located potential connections contact them, starting off by letting them know who referred you. Since you’re already connected through someone you already have built up some trust before they’ve even gotten to know you.
If you don’t have any connections in your personal network search around LinkedIn, other social media sites and florist-related forums for connections. Get to know about their businesses and contribute to conversations they’re having online. The more you get to know them the more they get to know you. Once you feel ready, contact them and introduce yourself and your intention of finding a florist job. If they’re not hiring they may know someone who is.
Try to make connections face to face by searching out places where florists meet like floristry trade fairs and floral design shows (here’s a list of worldwide events). Check out your local florist association and consider becoming a member to get discounts to events. Some associations have lower cost student memberships.
Cold call – You don’t have to attend events to get yourself out there and in front of people. Show up at florist shops and talk to the owners. Strike up some conversation with them and be upfront, telling them that you’re looking for a job and give them your cover letter and resume. Take some time to build up rapport with them while also respecting their time. You can browse around the shop until customers have left before speaking to them. If they don’t have any time at all to talk, ask if you can come back another time. If you’re new to floristry, at this point you can also ask them if you can come back for an informational interview so you can pick their brains about working in this field.
If you’re too far to visit the shops you want to apply to (assuming you’re willing to relocate for jobs at a distance), call them up. It’s easy to send an email, but it takes some courage and effort to make a call, which means less people do it. You won’t be able to tell how busy they are in the shop so consider what their busiest times are (i.e. rush hours) and avoid calling them then. Miriam Salpeter, co-author of 100 Conversations for Career Success, suggests checking their social media status updates as they may have an unusually busy week due to an upcoming big event. If so, call them the following week. It’s a good idea to be straightforward and express your intent right from the start, leaving out the small talk.
Salpeter highlights the importance of being prepared for your call. Make sure you know the name of the person you’re calling, a surprisingly easy one to forget when calling many different people! Prepare notes, or a script, of what you want to say before calling so you can get right to the point. Keep your appointment calendar open so you can check your availability if they’re ready to set up a time to meet.
Use the cold call to ensure your CV gets put above the pile and gets read. The CV is designed to get you an interview, but you may just make a good enough first impression to land an interview right from your conversation, or to be remembered for the future.
Think outside the box – A few alternative job searching techniques include using a Google Adwords campaign, posting your video resume on YouTube, getting known on micro job sites like Fiverr for doing something unique and stalking employers (just kidding!). The possibilities are endless. If you really want a job and the opportunities out there aren’t turning up any results you’ll find a way to get yourself noticed.
Applying for jobs
Once you’ve made contact send out your cover letter and CV (see the previous two sections of this guide, “How to write a cover letter for a florist job” and “How to write a CV for a florist job“), addressed directly to the person you spoke to, making sure to include a follow-up date, then follow-up.
Since it’s so easy for employers to post jobs online there are a lot of jobs online, which makes it worth your while to still use the Internet for job applying. Websites like Indeed, Monster, Seek and SimplyHired are a few good sites to search for florist jobs. Employers can sniff carpet bombers as clearly as they smell the roses, so make sure to tailor your cover letter and CV accordingly (refer to “How to write a cover letter for a florist job” and “How to write a CV for a florist job” for more tips).
Whether you’d like to follow up after sending a job application, follow up after being referred to a connection, or even if you’ve been turned down for a job there’s a follow-up letter just right for the task (here are some sample follow-up letters). Sending a follow up letter makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. Since employers are busy the fact that they’re taking the time to read your resume or interview you, deserves acknowledgement. Sending a follow-up letter is a courteous and easy thing to do that leaves a good impression on the employer, who may just remember you the next time they’re hiring.
If you’ve submitted a resume as a result of your networking, following up will give you the chance to potentially land an interview. And if the employer you contacted doesn’t have a job available, when following up you can ask if they have a job coming up in the future or if they know of anyone else who is hiring.
If you’re responding to a posted job ad chances are they’ll contact you if they want to interview you, but it’s still a good idea to follow up for a number of reasons: your resume may have gotten lost, the employer may not have had the time to read yours yet and your follow up may get your application noticed and remembered. Due to the influx of applications, many employers are asking job seekers not to follow up. Some people suggest following up anyways since it shows initiative and your enthusiasm for the job whereas others would say it’s pointless and could harm your chances since the employer may get annoyed or think you can’t follow directions. There are pros and cons to each so take your pick.
The job interview
This is your chance to land the job. Just as in sales you have to close the deal or else all the work you’ve done up to this point will be wasted since the employer will have several other applicants lined up. The key to not blowing an interview is to prepare yourself. Prepare by reading books on how to interview. Goods ones include Job Interviews for Dummies and Fearless Interviewing: How to Win the Job by Communicating with Confidence. Learning about interviewing is just part of the job; you also have to practice answering questions. Here are a couple of recommended books that will help you practice this skill: Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions and 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions.
As they say, practice makes perfect. So as you hunt for jobs you’re actually gaining on-the-job experience that will last you a lifetime of job hunting. But of course, hopefully you’ll land your dream job and never need to use these skills again! All the best with your job search!