by Debra Wheatman
True, the economy is not at its high point, not even close; but that doesn’t mean it is all doom and gloom. It just means that perhaps it is time to dig in your heels and take a more realistic approach to your situation.
In my experience, job-seekers who take the statistics to heart and follow the jobless reports too closely set themselves up for psychological torment and a sense of hopelessness. Whether you are unemployed or want to change jobs, don’t let fear scare you away. After being turned down for job after job, rejection can really take a toll on your self-esteem. Shut the TV off, stop watching the news about the unemployment numbers, and start promoting yourself. Take steps to package yourself as attractively as possible.
If you are unemployed, think of creative ways to use your time and give your resume an extra punch. Let hiring managers know you haven’t been sitting at home licking your wounds. If you are currently employed, these job-search strategies can work for you as well:
- Consider part-time volunteer activities that still allow enough time to mount a strong career-search campaign.
- Choose organizations that are relevant and can add value to your experience.
- Participate in online courses or undertake a self-study program if you can’t afford formal training.
Use some of the more proactive strategies to land a job. Don’t take the same approach as others by simply applying online to postings. Most jobs are actually never posted on job boards or websites. Instead, decide what jobs you can realistically attain, and go after those. Even if they aren’t in your previous salary range, consider swallowing your pride and weighing new alternatives, particularly if you have been unemployed for a while.
- Research employers to target.
- Evaluate companies in your geographic region. Jobs may be available that are not advertised.
- Make a list and send a well-written, error-free resume with cover letter via multiple avenues.
- Go back to traditional US Postal mail (a.k.a., snail mail) to get you noticed when email becomes a black hole.
Network, network, network!! Oh, and did I say network. Use social media resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with former coworkers and colleagues. Your connections just might know someone who would be interested in your skills. Participate in discussion groups and add your input. Do whatever it takes to get your name out there and make people aware that you are a potential asset. Adopt an attitude of optimism; let go of fear and move forward. No matter what the current odds, people are getting new jobs every day, and you can be one of them!
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
This article is part of Job Action Day 2010.
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is president of Careers Done Write, a premier career-services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries. Follow Debra on Twitter.