Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Job search 101

I hope that anyone reading this will never be laid off or lose their job. I hope that you will only look for a job when you are ready, and that you have a job while looking for your next job. I think that is the best scenario.

This post is for those who for whatever reason are unemployed and are on a search for a job.

I have written some suggestions for actions while unemployed, actions that I myself have taken in the 19 days I have been unemployed. I though that with this blog post I would write about simple actions one can take that will benefit them during the search. A lot of these ideas came from friends of mine in the first day or so of being laid off.

To bring you up to date with my job search, I am currently considering an unofficial job offer. It will be official when I receive the offer letter which I have been told will come later this week. I have two more interviews coming up. I have sent out 19 resumes to date.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Create a list of friends and colleagues who can help get the word out about your job search.  Email them as a group frequently to keep them posted on your search.

Create a "job search" file on your computer or on a disc. In this file keep your resume, a sample of a cover letter you love, a salary history and a list of references.

On my list of references I have seven people, their addresses, phone number and email. As I send a resume package I choose which three would be best for the position I am applying for.

Send your resume as a PDF. A dear friend taught me this, and she also professionally edited my resume. What I do now is create one document that includes everything the employer has asked for, make it a PDF and then send that one PDF document to them. Most folks attach several documents that the employer has to print out which can become quite a task. Having to print just one makes it a lot easier.

Keep tweaking your cover letter. Some of the basics can be kept in each one you send out but make sure every cover letter that you send is very specific to the agency to which you are applying. Give them very clear details as to why you are the one, details that may not be covered in your resume. Remember that they are most likely reading a ton of cover letters. Yours needs to stick out!

Network Network Network. I have been happily surprised by all of the support, ideas and encouragement that I have received from people I am connected with on LinkedIn. Networking with all of these folks has definitely helped me in my search. I have learned a lot from them and been able to pass along ideas to get feedback. If you are not on LinkedIn get on now. If you are on LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date and that anything on LinkedIn matches what is on your resume.

Unemployment benefits. I applied for unemployment about 15 minutes after being laid off. I had already researched how to do it as the feeling was in the air that I might be laid off. It takes ten minutes to do and that starts the process. I bring this up because yesterday I was approved, day 19 of being unemployed. So it takes time.

Because of that, have some cash in savings. We all hear, and hear it often. Have an emergency savings account. It will make a HUGE difference when hearing the words that you are being lad off. Having a little cash aside makes the job search a whole lot less stressful. Even just putting in $25 a pay period will make a difference over time.

Stay positive. Grab coffee with people who adore you. Accept the lunch or dinner invite. Keep your inner circle posted and love on yourself.

More to come. Thank you for reading!

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