The high unemployment rate makes your job search a difficult process and makes some of you more likely to being looked over than others. What can you do to make your job search easier and less painful?
One of the first things you can do for a successful job search is not to give up and continue talking to the employers you are hoping to work with. Set up a process for routine follow-up; follow them on LinkedIn or other social media and contribute to professional online discussions.
The following steps are suggestions to help you restart your job search:
1. Make sure you have developed a positive professional social media presence. The primary avenue for this is LinkedIn. You need to include a picture, a professional looking picture, even if it is one you take yourself. Complete a profile rich in keywords and successes stories.
2. Evaluate your resume from an objective view. Is there anything that could be perceived as negative. If you are older, does it emphasis your age? If so only show your work history for the last 10 – 15 years. Include earlier accomplishments as a part of your summary with no dates needed.
3. Don’ just wait for a job to come to you. If you’ve been unemployed for over a year, its time to evaluate what you have been doing to keep yourself busy. If you have only been conducting a job search, then employers are probably not going to call you. Long-term unemployment is a big red flag to employers, even though they know the job market is a difficult place, you have to be doing something, even if it is volunteering.
4. Find some good recruiters. They will have leads before they are posted. Keep in mind that a company pays the recruiter, not you. If they try to charge you, then move on to someone else. There are plenty of recruiters and some specialize in specific industries.
5. Activate your network! If you haven’t sent out a network letter letting your professional network, friends and family know what you are looking, then send them a letter and a great copy of your resume.
6. Target your job search, create a plan and work the plan. You need to be spending about 4 – 6 hours a DAY working your job search plan. This includes, targeting and researching companies, developing network and cover letters, talking to recruiters or headhunters and researching real job leads.
Something else to keep in mind is not to get frustrated and start taking it personally. There could be any number of reasons you are not getting a response from employers. Remember most employers are actually short staffed and overwhelmed by resumes; some will not even post a position, instead relying on their networks to help them find candidates. It’s a difficult time to find a good position, but putting these practices into place will assist in making your job search a little less stressful.