Maximizing Your Job Search Efficiency

Through no fault of your own, you are now unemployed. All the while, you have bills to pay, children to support, and a waning self-respect as you join the millions of jobless Americans. Let’s be frank, these are extremely difficult times; times like these are ones you would never wish on anybody. So what is a job-seeker to do in these times of uncertainty?

First of all, you should never give up hope. As anyone will ever tell you, time heals all wounds and this is not an exception. You are allowed to grieve and be angry about your current situation, but you are never allowed to give up. The sooner you can pick up your feet the better. So where should you start?

Let’s get back to the basics.Is your resume in order? Is it current and up to date? Are you confident that this is the best resume that you can present to any prospective employers? If you answered “no” to any of these, we now know where to begin. No, this blog isn’t Resume Writing 101, so I won’t go into the details of how to write a resume. What I will say is that after you are happy with it, find somebody you trust to look it over, tell you where you can improve, make changes, and find somebody else for critique. Do this enough times until you are certain this is the best resume on the face of the Earth. Now, we can proceed to the next step.

The job boards: these are some of the best sources of a new job, but at the same time, they can often be the worst. They are great because they can give you an idea of what current positions are looking like and what is fresh and new on the job market. They are the worst because you can apply to places (sometimes in the hundreds) and never receive a response, making you feel worthless as a job-seeker. Fret not; don’t let it discount you as a person. There are a ton of reasons why you aren’t getting a call-back from the company you are applying to, so don’t just assume you aren’t what they are looking for. Lastly, follow up with the company! Find the name of the HR Manager and ask to speak with him or her directly. I won’t say, “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” because it’s very well possible that nobody is actually there to talk to you. I will say, however, you shouldn’t balk at the first “no.” If the HR Manager isn’t available, speak with the manager of the department; if that person isn’t available, you could try to be connected with the department in general. Again, don’t give up.

Probably one of the best sources that one has to find jobs is a network. Let your friends and family know that you are job-seeking. They are the ones who want to see you succeed most of all. Just last week, I had a friend announce that he was fired on Facebook. To my not-surprise, there were people (myself included) commenting that they know of openings for which he may be a good fit. My friend did say he wanted to take a step back and explore all of his options before jumping back into a job, but that doesn’t discount the fact that there are people who actively want to help. Don’t ever forget that.

Lastly, and probably one of the most important things: attitude. Keep a positive frame of mind. I know, that’s easier said than done. Trust me; I have been in your shoes before. I was underemployed for a year and it took me three years to find the job I was searching for (let’s hope it doesn’t take you that long!). No, I wasn’t positive the whole time. Nobody would ever blame me or you for having waning hope. But, you will notice that it’s waning and it’s up to you to pick up the pieces or give up. I’ll make it easy for you, giving up is not and should never be an option. Once again, time heals all wounds. Give it time and patience and you will find yourself back on your feet.

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