In case of emergency…
Have you been recently laid off?
Here are some tips, gathered from an article by Joann Lublin, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal:
- Don’t let anger stall your search.
- Make finding a new job a full time job.
- Stay focused; ignore your worries until a set time later in the day.
- Don’t get caught in the trap of feeling productive while doing tasks around the house. Before you know it, a month will go by with no actual job searching.
- Maximize strengths, minimize weaknesses.
- Aggressively network, while appearing neutral.
- Don’t share your panic or frustration, but network, network, network. While asking contacts for assistance, it is vital that you offer help in return.
Liz Ryan, a syndicated columnist and workplace advisor (www.humanworkplace.com), recommends the following job search schedule:
- Make a plan. You can’t apply for everything. You’ll want to zero in on a certain job-search geography, the types of companies you’ll be targeting, and, of course, the job titles/families that are closest to your experience and interests. You’ll need the plan first so that your resume, LinkedIn profile and job-search business cards (in Step Two, below) can ‘point’ in the direction you’ve identified.
- Get your materials together. Your sharp, human-voiced resume is the very first priority where your job-search toolkit is concerned. Your LinkedIn profile is next. Third, you’ll want a set of dedicated job-search business cards. A grownup email address (not email@example.com) and outgoing voicemail message round out the materials’ list.
- How much time do you have? You’ll need to know how much time you’re willing to spend on your job-search every day (M-F) in order to create a schedule. Let’s say five hours per day is your target. That means you have 25 hours/week available for job-searching; that’s equivalent to a full-time job search, because job-hunt work is Very Taxing.
- Build your schedule. Here is Liz’s recommended daily breakdown:
- One hour/day of jobs-site research. Target: Apply for five new jobs every day M-F. Once you find a few jobs sites that seem to turn up the best opportunities (such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, and CareerBuilder.com) set up email alerts to send new job opportunities to your inbox.
- One hour/day of company research. You don’t want to apply for those five jobs until you’ve researched the companies that are advertising them. One hour/day gives you twelve minutes on each employer’s website and on LinkedIn to gather fodder for your pithy, customized cover letter. You’re looking for a specific person to write to, and a topical ‘hook’ for the first paragraph of your cover letter.
- One hour/day writing cover letters: You’ll use the previous hour’s research to construct a customized cover letter for each opportunity. Read more about customized cover letters at: practicaljobsearchadvice.blogspot.com
- One hour/day assembling and sending out your five packets via snail mail. You can also use some of this time to write a second great cover letter per opportunity, in case you decide to double up your direct-outreach efforts by sending a resume and cover letter into the Black Hole (the employer’s website or its on-line ad).
- One hour/day networking – that’s lunch, coffee, a walk around the block or some other face-to-face contact with a human being who can give you leads, ideas, and/or moral support for your job search. If you have a friend who’s game for a weekly get-together, sign up! Even if s/he has no ideas and no leads – the moral support is the most important element! Job-searching is hard, solitary, and often discouraging work.
If you get a burst of energy in the evening, there are “pure” employer research — that is, writing to companies who haven’t posted jobs — and online networking, which aren’t included in the above daytime schedule.
Keep your sense of humor, and remember that this, too, shall pass.