Given the economy, many folks who are not used to looking for employment are finding themselves doing so. Job-hunting (more importantly, job FINDING) is a good skill to have in your portfolio, and one that most of us acquire the hard way.
There are countless books, web sites, and blogs on this topic, so there is really no reason to go in depth here. However, I have developed a standard email with a few tips that I send to people, and thought I might share them here.
Some of this is local to central Ohio, but can be applied to other geographies.
- Make sure your resume’ is top quality and targets the position you for which you are applying. Your resume is the marketing collateral for “You, Inc.”, and reflects an image of what you are all about.
- PLEASE ensure your resume’ is without errors, typo’s, and formatting issues! It never ceases to amaze me how many people looking for six figure jobs have resumes that look like they were written by a fifth grader.
- I highly recommend going to the library or book store and getting a book about resume’ writing. There are many styles and formats, and unless you spend your days looking at resumes, it’s difficult to know what a good resume’ needs to look like.
- If you are struggling developing your resume’, consider enlisting professional help. There are services that range from basic resume’ writing to all out career counseling, and pricing varies accordingly. Locally, I recommend Worthington Career Services, http://www.worthingtonresumes.com/
If you have read this far, you are probably not sitting around evaluating competing job offers. Get out there and talk to people.
- http://www.meetup.com/ Go to Meetup.com and search on “ColumbusTechLife” and sign up for it. You will get emails about things going on. There is also a group on LinkedIn for ColumbusTechLife. As I mentioned, these are a great way to get intro’d to tech people around town that you might not normally be aware of.
- http://codemgmt.blogspot.com/ There are a ton of IT related groups on this site. Some may be relevant, some not so much.
- http://www.sciotoridgejng.com/ This is a great group run by Janice Worthington who writes for Business First of Columbus, and who has been featured on TV news. My company has done some job fairs with them and they are good. There are multiple meetings each month with speakers and other events.
- http://www.linkedin.com/ If you are not yet on LinkedIn, then join. It is a great tool for finding professional contacts. From a sales perspective, I use it to search companies for people I used to work with, so then I can call them to get reacquainted and if it makes sense to introduce my company to them. You can do the same thing from a job search perspective. Find and call folks you know from your past (work, schools, etc.) to see if there are opportunities or if they know of something going on.
- http://www.facebook.com/ LinkedIn has purposely targeted the professional market. On the other hand, Facebook is truly a socially oriented networking tool. If you haven’t already, set up an account, get your profile out there, and get connected to folks you know.
- Traditional Networking: Clubs, churches, and other social organizations have traditionally been a great source for networking and finding out about jobs, and still are. Leverage them.
Your job now is to get a job. Be the best employee that “You, Inc.” has ever had, and work your buns off. Everyone’s style is a bit different, but every day you should be able to point back at a list of completed activities. For example:
- Made 40 calls to former co-workers
- Applied for 4 jobs online
- Set up coffee meeting with former college room mate.
- Tailored my resume for a different type of position
- Met with a temp agency / staffing firm in my geography
- Went to a networking event at church
- Researched how to market myself as independent consultant
- Identified three alternatives to jobs in my current field
…or whatever. The point is that you need to be BUSY, show results of your activities, and apply discipline and rigor to your search, and be in control of your search.
As I mentioned at the beginning, most of this can be found elsewhere, and much of it seems to be common sense when you think about it a bit. However, most of us aren’t used to looking for a job, and a few pointers on what to do can go a long way in making our search more productive, even in a slow economy.