When Finding a Job Is Your Job

by Tricia Goss
When Finding a Job Is Your Job photo

Out of work? Treat your job search like a full-time job and take these steps to employment.

No one is immune from sudden job loss. The position you once considered completely secure one day might be eliminated the next. Or something as unimaginable as the coronavirus can put you out of work as it did with so many people this past year.

If it happens to you, it is perfectly understandable and acceptable to take a little time off. Give yourself a chance to lick your wounds, brush up your résumé and possibly rethink your career path. After a week or two, though, it is time to start pounding the proverbial pavement.

To land the next terrific job in the least amount of time, you must treat your job search as a full-time position.

Shoot for forty hours each week.

Get up, shower and get dressed to the shoes every single weekday. This type of dedication will pay off in helping you find a job more quickly.

It will also help you maintain a sense of purpose and stave off feelings of hopelessness.

Besides, you never know whom you might run into at the mailbox or corner store and making a good first impression is crucial.

Create a schedule.

Use a digital calendar, your day planner, or simply a small notepad to organize your efforts.

At the beginning of the week, whether that is Sunday afternoon or early Monday morning for you, browse job listings.

Make three columns on a sheet of paper or digital spreadsheet. In the first column, note opportunities with phone numbers to call. In the second column, enter those with walk-in addresses. In the third column, list employers requesting emailed resumes or who have online applications.

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Make optimal use of business hours.

First thing Monday morning, begin calling those in Column 1. If you are unable to speak to the hiring manager at that time, leave a message, adding politely that you will call again later.

When you have made all of the calls, head to the employers listed in Column 2. After applying for these, head home and call back those you were unable to reach in the morning.

Send off resumes and/or applications to the employers in Column 3 at the end of the day.

Spend an ample amount of your forty hours each week networking.

Networking is considered the best way to land a new job.

Make a list of everyone who would be able to put a face to your name over the phone. Along with family and friends, list people from church, your child’s school, former jobs, and so on.

Call the first person on the list and relay your situation. Ask each contact if there are any openings where they work, as well as if they know of someone else you might call. Make sure they know how to reach you if they hear about something later.

Take copious notes and graciously thank each contact, whether or not they provided any new information.

Follow up with employers you called, visited or emailed at the end of each week.

Ask outright if you might schedule an interview. With the current number of candidates all vying for a limited number of jobs, your resume may not be prominent.

A courteous phone call stating your deep interest in a position might be the key that gets your foot in the door.

Use spare time to upskill and reskill.

If you are taking all of these steps but still have some of those forty hours to spare, don’t zone out in front of the TV.

Instead, take a class that will boost your employability.

Volunteer.

Another great way to spend this time is performing volunteer work. Helping others will allow you to forget your own troubles for a while.

Volunteering looks good on your resume, and it just might connect you with someone who knows of a job that is perfect for you.

Document your job search expenses.

Finally, make sure you document any costs incurred during your job search. Be certain to retain receipts and break down expenses, such as mileage driven and cell phone minutes used.

Depending on your circumstances, these costs may very well be tax-deductible.

Reviewed May 2021

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