If you are one of our nation’s long-term unemployed, unable to find work for at least three months-maybe even a year or more, here’s some advice: DON’T GIVE UP! It is certainly easier said than done, but it is essential.
Develop a Job Search Strategic Approach
Applying online for jobs may have been a good search tactic back when jobs were plentiful, but nowadays, that method is just too passive. Take a moment to craft a search strategy. While you want to utilize the web in every way possible – such as using free online tools to help you budget not only your time, but the cost of your job search – you still need to get out from behind your computer and start to incorporate a whole array of search and networking tools.
The truth of the matter is that people hire those they know and trust; and employers are using that network more than ever.
Here are a few tips for re-invigorating your job search:
- First…stop panicking! To develop a successful job search plan, you need to act the same as you do when you are working: calm, efficient, professional.
- Craft a formal plan for your search. Don’t haphazardly run through the same job search routine. Make a plan and a daily schedule.
- You need to consider your search for employment as a full-time job. Get up at the same time each day and execute your job search plan. Make it a routine.
- Make a list of your strengths. Then, develop and rehearse communicating a past job experience that clearly illustrates why you add value to an organization.
- Look at what your job responsibilities were, not just your job titles. You are marketing yourself, so make sure you know what you’re “selling”: your skills and experience, as well as your anticipated impact on the organization.
- Practice talking conversationally about your job skills. This way, when it comes time for a job interview, you are not simply spewing the same tired answers by rote, but are having an engaged, fluid conversation.
- Check out business and professional events you can attend to meet more people in your field. Then, don’t be shy. Join a group of strangers having a conversation and introduce yourself. It is helpful to have business cards printed with your contact information and area of expertise to hand out at these events.
- Determine how integrating Social Media might further enhance your job search.
- Don’t make excuses! The fact is you need to craft a job seeking plan around any kind of shortcoming, so it is your assets that you focus on. It will make it easier for employers to do the same. Having a negative attitude will only hurt you in your search for a new job.
Times are Tough so HANG IN!
My ol’ soccer coach used to say when things weren’t going well: “Don’t get your dauber down…”. Now I never knew what a “dauber” was (still don’t), but it sounded good; so I didn’t. The same is true for the job seekers. You just have to realize that these are tough economic times; and your search is likely to be long and tedious. It helps if you set small goals along the search process road to give yourself a sense of achievement. Set objectives like finding and attending networking events, calling colleagues, sending out resumes, and then meet those objectives. Just make sure those goals are within your control.
Lastly, be sure to take a break every now and then. Stress for the long-term unemployed is palpable, so you really need to make taking time for yourself a part of your routine too. Go to the gym, walk around the block, watch a movie – whatever it is that makes you happy and relaxed. And, during that time do not check email or voice mail. This will help you stay balanced and maintain focus on the goal at hand: finding your next job.