The Dreaded Job Search: Tips to help you through it
Laid off? Fired? First-time job seeker?
You’re not alone. According to the National Employment Monthly Update, as of the end of April 2018, 3.9%* of the U.S. population is currently out of work. If you’re like me, you dread the process of having to find a new job with a new company. It’s nerve-wracking, stressful, and ranks right up there with having hemorrhoid surgery!
Like you, I found myself laid-off due to a lack of work back in January 2018 and I have been looking for gainful employment ever since. Out of the dozens upon dozens of positions I have applied for each week since January, I have had two interviews. Two. I certainly hope you have had much better luck than I have.
Since a girl still needs to be able to eat, pay the bills, keep a car, and a roof over her head, I decided to make some money on the side by offering my skills and services to businesses, both large and small. However, getting established is quite difficult, and I do still need to work a full-time job, so I’m still applying like crazy each week.
Here are some tips that I learned along the way that might help to make your job search a little less stressful.
Don’t put your cell or home number in your online résumé
I know, you’re probably wondering why on earth anyone would offer this as a piece of advice? Simple. You should still be diligent about maintaining your privacy as much as possible even while seeking employment. Instead of including your home or cell number, sign up for a FREE Google Voice number and use that instead. It’s really simple to set up and takes only a minute or two of your time, especially if you have a Google/Gmail account already.
Create a new Gmail account used specifically for the job hunt
Just as you shouldn’t use your home or cell number in your online résumé, you also shouldn’t use your personal email. Trust me when I tell you that you’re going to be inundated with a ton of offers for sales positions and insurance positions. If that’s your cup of tea, then by all mean, use your personal email if you so desire. Personally, I found it much easier to create a new, FREE Gmail account that is strictly dedicated to employment purposes.
Important tip: Don’t use any cutesy or inappropriate usernames. Keep it professional! Remember, for many, this will be the very first impression a potential employer will have of you!
Submit your résumé to the staffing agencies
Every time you work a new job, update your résumé immediately! It saves a ton of time when it comes to providing the most up-to-date version of your résumé to posted positions and the staffing agencies. That being said … submit your résumé to multiple staffing agencies. The main thing to remember with regard to working with staffing agencies is this: do NOT apply for the same position through different temp agencies. This is a big No-No. Essentially, when you agree to let a recruiter submit your information to a position they are trying to fill, you are agreeing to work strictly with that specific recruiter/agency for that specific position.
Upload your résumé to online job boards
During my own job search, I have utilized a few of the online job boards. My favorite at the moment happens to be ZipRecruiter. I like many of the features ZipRecruiter has to offer, such as notifications when your résumé/application has been viewed, the ease of applying for a posted position with their 1-click apply feature, and it’s rare if I am notified about a job posting that is not suitable for me or what I’m looking for. You could also try Indeed and Monster. At one point in time CareerBuilder use to be the go-to, but personally I have not had any luck through Career Builder and I always receive notifications for positions that I’m not qualified for or interested in.
Network through social media
Social media plays a huge role in our personal and professional lives, so don’t forget to utilize your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts during your job hunt. Facebook now has an area where you can look for jobs and of course, LinkedIn is the biggest and best of the social media resources when it comes to the job hunt and networking. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should get one. Don’t worry, it’s free. There is a paid version which opens up other features that some people find useful. I personally find it to be a bit pricey so I stick with the free version.
Don’t forget to market yourself
It’s very frustrating when you apply for jobs that you’re perfectly suited for only to be turned down. Some businesses are at least considerate enough to send an email or polite rejection letter, but many are not. It’s important to remember that it’s not personal, it’s just that they found a candidate whom they felt was a better fit for the role. However, feel free to reach out and politely ask for some feedback. Most of the people you reach out to for this are more than happy to provide you with some feedback. It also helps you to improve areas in which you might be weak or lacking so you’re better prepared for the next time.
It’s so easy to sit down with your friends and explain to them why you’re good at what you do, but it’s another to sit down with a potential employer and do the same thing. But, ask your friends if you can practice with them! They can help you smooth out your self-promoting sales pitch and you can practice, practice, practice!
It’s really tough out there, my fellow job seekers. Let’s make the best of it and I wish you luck in your future endeavors!