Reports of major lay-offs
, salary freezes or companies closing
their doors have been slowly becoming the everyday norm during these troubling economic times. Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a release
saying that 13.2 million people are currently unemployed, a rate of over eight percent. Without a doubt, the majority of those 13.2 million are hitting the pavement, looking for employment. With fierce competition and a scarce number of jobs how can you stand-out?
Work Your Network
Stay in contact with your former colleges and keep your Rolodex or business social media contacts. Let people know that your out of work and let them be your eyes and ears too!
According to Monster.com, 80 percent of jobs are obtained through networking. On the Internet find organizations in your field and Google (News
) them to find more information. Or, try to find them on Yahoo!'s Directory. Don’t stop there, go back to your college’s career center or alumni directory and see if there are former classmates that may be able to help.
Just because you’ve sent out your resume to everyone in your area, or have an account on every job board on the Internet, doesn’t mean you can stop and wait until something comes along. Go out there and make sure your resume is being seen. There is always another location for you to send your resume to, don’t stop looking.
Image is everything. Social networking sites, like Facebook (News
), have been grounds for dismissal so make sure that your profile is professional and accurate. If you have your own Website, make sure your best work is showcased. For those who want to post a professional profile, for free, can look into Ziggs.com
. In addition to that, during the interview process make sure you know almost all you can about the company and then some.
San Francisco PR account executive Samantha Rubenstein attributes her success on getting a job with Atomic PR by doing more than learning about the company. “Preparation [includes] learning how to talk about yourself in a meaningful and powerful way,” she said. “I created a list of potential interview questions and typed up bulleted answers to create speaking points.”
Sweat the Small Stuff
“Don’t forget the personal touches,” counsels Felicia Miller, assistant director of career services at the Art Institute of Las Vegas. “Don’t use a template cover letter—make sure each letter addresses specific skills or qualities the company is looking for. And always send a thank-you note or email after the interview. Use this correspondence as an opportunity to revisit weak areas of your interview.”
Although freelancing may not always be a stable gig, it is a great way to get your name out there and form contacts.Freelancing is also a great way to build upon your resume and gain experience.Here are a few Web resources for freelancing, guru.com
. If you’re into volunteering, check out volunteermatch.org.
Take a Temporary Position
If freelancing isn’t practical, try temping. “Consider interim staffing to fill a temporary slot for work that needs to be done despite the economy,” advises Ronald Torch, president and CEO of the Torch Group, a marketing staffing firm in Cleveland.
“Or temp with a company that interests you. Many of these options pay well and can carry the burden of bill-paying until a permanent position comes along,” he says.
If a temp position comes along they may not be exactly what you are looking for or the temp job lowers your pay expectations or you have to commute farther, remember that it’s better then not having a job at all.
Also, be flexible. If a commute is what’s stopping you from accepting a position, this decision will most likely peg you into a smaller area, resulting in fewer job options.
Carol Vecchio, founder and executive director of Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal in Seattle said, “Even in a job market with 10 percent unemployment, there’s 90 percent employment,” she says. “There is an average of over 3 million jobs available in the US per month—and each job seeker is looking for one. Those are pretty good odds.”
Struggling to find a great job in a bad economy can be a huge drag, but “remember it doesn’t matter how many jobs are or aren’t out there,” Vecchio says. “You’re just looking for one—the right one for you.”
Don’t Give Up
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jessica Kostek
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