How’s your job search going? If the answer is, “not well”, don’t let it get you down - at least, not personally. The problem may not be about you.
Why? Because the employment picture in California is still anything but rosy. According to an article on MSNMoney (http://money.msn.com/investing/5-states-where-its-hardest-to-find-work), California is the second worst state for finding a job, meaningful or otherwise. Our unemployment is at 9.5%, and the under-employment rate – people working at part time &/or low-paying jobs below their skills level in order just to have any income at all – is at 18.3%.
So, what to do?
Well – the only thing you can. Keep your chin up and keep trying. Do what you can to be better than the other candidates. If anything on the following list sounds familiar, it should. But, it bears repeating – especially if your job search is getting a bit long in the tooth.
- Make sure your resume is absolutely perfect – no typos allowed, folks. It doesn’t take much these days to get sent to the “no” stack, and even one typo can be enough to send your resume to the recycle bin.
- Take the time to tweak your resume as specifically for the job you are applying as possible (without fabricating, mind you). Make no mistake, a resume is a marketing piece, and the product you’re selling is you. Make sure it’s aimed at the target audience!
- Keep working your contacts: friends, former co-workers, former bosses. Put them on a sort of rotation so you don’t start annoying them – but reach out to each of them at least once a month. Even if it’s a five minute phone call – do it!
- Make sure you have the proper attire ready to go if an interview comes your way. And I don’t mean just dressing appropriately (though that is important, too). Faded stains on your tie, pants creases that are less than sharp, wrinkles on your jacket, discoloration on your shirt or blouse – any of these tell an interviewer that you’re not prepared, that you do not care, that you miss details - or any or all of the above. That’s not the message you want to impart, believe me.
- Grooming: Be clean. Be trimmed. And don’t smell (by the way, too much cologne or perfume counts as “smelling”).
- Should you get an interview, remember to do the little things afterwards – wait a few days, then send brief notes of thanks to those you talked to. Drop in an even briefer mention of one or two key highlights of the interview, something that you felt resonated with the interviewer(s), something that illustrates how you would be an asset to their operation.
- Whatever you do privately, do not let a contact, a source, or an interviewer see you down, bitter, tired, angry, or negative in any way – make sure they see a confident, controlled, upbeat version of yourself. No one is going to hire Debbie Downer, and everyone has problems of their own – they don’t want to hear about yours.
- Stay on top of all of the above. Just like your chores when you were a kid (do kids even do chores anymore?), the more you put things off, the more everything piles up – and then the finished product looks like what it is – rushed and very possibly incomplete.
This list can go on from there, but you get the point: It’s the little things, the details, that can make the difference. And in the economic battle we all find ourselves in, you need every advantage you can get!