At a time when so many experienced and highly trained people are looking for work, finding a job is not something that can be approached casually. Instead, you will need to sharpen your job-hunting skills and put as much energy into the effort as you will into the job itself. Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Create a first-rate cover letter – Remember that it is a means of introducing yourself, and your resume’s valuable partner. It is also a sales letter that must be free of spelling and grammatical errors, and should never be written in haste.
While you will want to have a generic template ready that you use as the basis for getting an interview, every cover letter you send should be tailor-made for the company you contact and the position you are seeking.
2. Develop an effective resume – This should showcase your skills, experience, and training so that potential employers can clearly see how they will benefit from hiring you.
3. Spend time preparing for every interview – Make an effort to research the company in question, dress appropriately, and be punctual. Try to stay calm, and focus on explaining the ways in which you can satisfy the employer’s needs.
4. Remember to search the hidden market – This is both rare and fertile territory, and you can access it by making direct contact with potential employers and doing your share of networking. Today, you can even register on organizations’ websites to request updates on openings that match their skills and experience.
5. Pay special attention to acknowledged growth industries – Be aware, also that, depending on your background, this may also require some retraining on your part. Many of these openings will be related to energy conservation, the medical field, the Border Patrol, National Guard, homeland security, and national defense.
6. Consider temporary employment or working as an independent contractor-Depending on your flexibility and versatility, you may succeed in a “temp to perm” position” if you have the patience to see it through, and you will be earning some income in the meantime. Once you learn what the tax implications are for freelancers, you may discover that you can go this route if you find the right client(s).
7. Be prepared to relocate if necessary – This is seldom an easy decision to make, but experts in the field of recruitment tell us that your chances for finding employment increase when you are willing to expand your horizons and agree to compete on a bigger playing field.
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8. Try to keep a positive outlook – Every contact you make, every interview you experience, will bring you closer to hearing those magic words, “When can you start?” If Monday comes and you are still out of work, plan your job-hunting campaign for the week and remember that you may be starting a new job the following Monday.