Supporting your jewelry career every step of the way
Whether you’re looking for your first job out of school or considering a career change, getting started on your job search can be daunting. The good news is there are plenty of tools to guide you. This guide from Jewelers of America includes tips and resources you can use as a quick guide to assist your jewelry career search.
Job Boards and Resources
A survey of Jewelers of America members conducted in 2022 found that the majority use commercial websites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter and social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to post for jobs. That said, a number of respondents indicated they use a variety of options from signage in stores to jewelry-specific job sites, word of mouth or referrals. Regardless of the method they use, jewelers prioritize finding high trustworthy candidates. With many casting a wide net, job seekers need to be seen on a variety of sites. As a business focused on relationships, jobs seekers should look to network and use industry focused groups to strengthen or forge connections. We’ve highlighted some key job boards to consider.
Jewelry Specific Job Boards and Resources
Jewelers of America Job Board: In addition to being able to learn more about specific jewelry jobs through this Guide, Jewelers of America’s Job Board offers up-to-date listings for those looking for opportunities in the industry. It also links to more general career advice through its Career Planning Portal which aggregates articles and blog posts on topics including résumé writing and interviewing tips.
Gemological Institute of America’s Gem & Jewelry Career Center: Free for job seekers and employers, the GIA Gem and Jewelry Career Center offers powerful features to speed up the search for the perfect job or qualified candidates. Jobseekers can create a dynamic profile, connect with employers and upload their resume, portfolio, and other professional documents to apply to jobs quickly and easily. They can also stay connected with favorited jobs, keep track of application deadlines with push notifications and save searches, among other premier services and features.
MJSA (Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America) Career Connections: Sponsored by the MJSA Education Foundation, the site is geared toward jobs and training focused on jewelry making and design. It features a Mentors & Apprenticeships program that connects jewelers with those looking to get training and hands-on experience.
Women’s Jewelry Association Mentorship Program:The program connects experienced professionals with aspiring talent in a supportive environment. The goal is to provide both parties with a rewarding professional relationship that is mutually advantageous.
Commercial Job Boards and Resources
Indeed: Features a huge database of jobs along with company and salary information as well as career advice. Jewelers of America members sited it as the top site used in their search for employees.
LinkedIn: The professional networking social media site is the leader in that space, with TechRadar.com noting: “You can check out who works at any potential new company, see if you’ve already got connections working there, and research your prospective place of work.” The platform has a number of benefits and resources.
ZipRecruiter: An AI-powered job search engine, Ziprecruiter matches a job seekers’ résumé to appropriate jobs, sending applicants an alert when there’s a fit. It allows users to apply with just one click. From the employers’ perspective it posts job listings to hundreds of job sites to help identify qualified candidates. Money Magazine rated it the best job site for employers.
GlassDoor: In addition to job listings, Glassdoor includes salary information and reviews from employees, making it one of the largest databases for salary and benefits information. Since user-posted information may be biased, job seekers should use the data along with other information when researching companies.
FlexJobs: While many jewelry jobs are on site, the opportunity for remote or hybrid work continues to grow. FlexJobs offers job listings and career advice focused on these opportunities.
Government Job Resources
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop includes information on jobs, managing your career and pathways to success. It offers tools for job seekers, students, business and career professionals.
Jewelry Company Websites
Larger jewelry firms with corporate websites often allow job seekers to search and apply for jobs directly with the company. Even if you can’t apply directly through a jewelry company’s site, getting familiar with a company’s website is a great way to prepare for an interview and to include in a cover letter.
Even as the internet now dominates the job search arena, students and job seekers can still take advantage of in-person tools.
- School Career Centers:If you are in high school or college, the career center at your school can help you to research careers and employers or find a training program.
- Public libraries carry a wealth of information on job hunting, writing résumés and interviewing and can help you research potential employers or training programs. The majority offer online career services and access to their catalogues as well.
- Hands-on career assistance can be found at local American Job Centers (AJCs) which are partners with CareerOneStop. They offer help with skills assessment, résumés and interviewing and provide access to computers, phones and fax machines. Basic services are free to jobseekers.
- Career Fairs: In person events like GIA’s Jewelry Career Fairare a great way to get facetime with potential employers and learn about opportunities in the industry. Career fairs are also held through high schools and colleges and local and state labor departments
Essential Tips to Organize Your Search
Set Goals and Targets
- Define your goals: Consider your career goals and the type of jewelry job you are looking for. Use this guide to help focus your search and identify opportunities in the industry.
- Identify companies that align with your career goals and values and create a list of potential employers. Research the companies to learn more about their culture, mission, and job openings.
- Set up a job search notebook or use online tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Excel or Word to track information on the jobs or companies you are interested in.
- Track important dates, contacts and information and note any information you will need to follow up on such as sending thank you notes after an interview.
- Take advantage of online job sites that allow users to save their profile and résumé and keep track of applications.
- Set up a dedicated email account with a professional-sounding address to use when following up on leads, contacting employers and sending thank-you notes.
- Keep copies (physical or online) of the résumé and cover letter you send to each company, particularly if you send different versions of your résumé to different employers!
- Don’t go in blind: Even if you didn’t thoroughly research a company before applying for a job, make sure you do so before an interview.
Résumés and Cover Letters
Your résumé should highlight your relevant skills, education, and experience when applying for a job.
There are a wide variety of resources to help you create your résumé and cover letters including those already mentioned in this guide. If you are currently in school or a training program, your instructors or school’s career center may offer résumé and cover letter review services.
Tips for a Strong Resumé
Tailor it to the job: Review the job description and identify the key skills and qualifications required for the position. Then customize your résumé to highlight how your experience and skills match those requirements.
Keep it clean: Use an easy-to-read format for your résumé and be consistent with headings, font and spacing. Make sure your contact information is easy to find.
Include a summary statement: Used at the top of your résumé, a summary statement can provide a brief overview of your qualifications and experience targeted to the specific job you are applying for.
Focus on relevant experience: Highlight your experiences, skills and accomplishments that best fit the job for which you are applying. If you don’t have direct industry experience include highly transferable skills like sales, customer service or marketing experience.
Include education and certifications: If you are enrolled in or recently graduated from school, or in a jewelry industry training program, your résumé should include this information.
Use keywords: Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen résumés so include keywords from job descriptions.
Proofread and edit: Check your résumé for errors and typos and have someone else review it as well. A polished, error-free résumé shows attention to detail and professionalism.
Follow instructions: Some firms have specific instructions for submitting applications and may prefer you to upload your information to their website instead of sending a résumé as an email attachment.
Job Training Within the Jewelry Industry
Traditionally, people in the jewelry industry relied on “on the job” training for sales and administrative positions and formal or informal apprenticeships for jewelers and watchmakers. Today, it is still possible to get a jewelry industry job without formal training or jewelry experience – good news for people starting out as well as career-changers! Many employers are looking for the skills you need for success in any industry: a strong work ethic, the ability to listen and learn, computer and organizational skills and, above all, passion and enthusiasm. But getting at least some training before you start (or within your first few years) can make you a stronger applicant and will certainly make achieving your career goals an easier task.
Because of the varied nature of the jewelry industry and its many occupational pathways there are numerous educational programs available to meet your needs, from weekend classes or seminars to intensive hands-on studio or lab sessions, comprehensive diploma programs and convenient night classes and online education. Additionally, while many professionals in the jewelry industry have benefited from a college degree, others have seen a high level of success without one. The jewelry industry offers individuals disinclined to attend a traditional college many career choices that can bring great satisfaction as well as tremendous personal and financial rewards.
You can use the same (or similar) organizational tools when researching training and education options. Compare costs, program length, location and other factors for each program of interest. Check out Jewelers of America’s Jewelry Schools Directory which highlights training and education programs in the industry. Also note that many industry organizations offer scholarships toward jewelry training. GIA has a comprehensive list of jewelry-related scholarships on their website.
Keep records of calls and emails to or from schools, and before signing any contracts, ask a friend, school counselor or business-savvy relative to look over the fine print for you. You want to be sure you are spending your money well – and that you know what will happen if for some reason you can’t continue once you start.
Make a list of what documents each school’s application requires and keep copies on file (online using tools like Google Drive that you can easily print out) to save time when having your high school or college send transcripts.
Be aware that trade schools are required to provide career assistance to graduates and include that department in your preliminary research. It is not too soon to start thinking about your job search, and many instructors report that students who are thinking about their career goals often get more out of their studies.
Source: Jewelers of America