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Unemployment: Find a New Job Faster

Unemployed?  Follow these steps to find a new job faster!  Record numbers of people have been furloughed and laid off.  Unemployment numbers in the US alone are reaching 15%.  The worst since the Depression era.

But listen to what I am about to say…YOUR FUTURE IS NOT UNCLEAR! Yes, you are facing obstacles and you may feel stressed however, you were created with a clear purpose.  There is greatness inside of you!

I am writing this article in the same boat as you!  Our entire household was laid off over the past few months.  So this isn’t Pollyanna stuff written by someone with a job. This is real and these steps will help you find a job faster.

My husband and I being laid off at the same time has been rough.  It has caused stress for our daughter who began to worry that we could lose our house and a life we love.  We have felt every emotion imaginable. Thank goodness we didn’t feel down at the same time.  When one of us was down, the other was feeling optimistic and would be there to lift the other one up.

I would love nothing more than to wave a magic wand and find each of you a new opportunity.  Since I can’t actually do that, I decided to write this post with the steps my husband took that led him to finding a new position in his field faster than he anticipated.

Steps He Took to Find Employment F-A-S-T

My husband just accepted a position for a new job in his field and starts tomorrow.  I am pretty impressed with the actions he took to get here so quickly.  He honestly didn’t think he would find a new position for a year.  He is in architecture and when the economy suffers a blow like COVID, his industry is hit hard.  Every time he would say this to me, I would feel literally sick with stress.  My profession is retail so you know without my saying just how difficult that industry is too!  What a pair!  Unemployment was going to run out by July so the clock was ticking!

I am convinced that the diligence in his actions helped him locate opportunities much faster than if he hadn’t taken these steps diligently.  It wasn’t one thing, but a combination of all these things.  I have spoken to people who focus on one step, or another.  The truth is looking for a new position ia a full time job.

Here are the steps.

Networking is KEY to Finding a New Job FAST!

  • Actively Network
    • Talk to everyone you know professionally who might know about potential opportunities.  Many great jobs aren’t ever posted.  The saying, “it’s who you know” is true when it comes to finding a job in a difficult market.
    • Networking can be done through phone calls, meeting for coffee (when things open back up) or even emails and texts are all great ways to network and connect.
    • They don’t have to be in your industry to know someone who is hiring great talent!

Be Positive!

  • It is so important to stay positive and upbeat during this time.  Surround yourself with people who will support you when you are feeling discouraged by your situation.
  • People will be quicker to recommend you to someone when you have an optimistic attitude. If you are feeling negative or bitter about your situation, use close family or friends to work through these emotions.  Losing a job can result in feelings of grief and stress so allow yourself time to process what has happened.  The worst thing you can do is say “I am fine” (burying the feelings) when you are carrying around baggage about what happened to you. It comes to the surface when you are talking to potential employers, they ask what happened and you let loose like a volcano!

Update your Resume

  • Review your Resume
    • It is important to look at your resume with fresh eyes.  Here are some basic things to consider:
      • Keep it brief.  One page is ideal unless a senior executive and than 2 pages is ok but no more.
      • Include no more than 10 to 15 years of experience
      • Be specific on results achieved, including specific and verifiable numbers
      • Speak to your target market.  Don’t have one resume for three different industries or positions.  Recruiters and HR teams spend 15-30 second MAX looking at resumes so it needs to be eye catching!

Review your LinkedIn Profile

  • Review your LinkedIn Profile
    • Update your profile to include a header like “Looking for a new opportunity”
    • Review entire profile and ensure you are putting your best foot forward.  Proper English and grammar, a professional photograph and recommendations are all key to a great profile.
    • Follow people in your industry.  This goes back to effective networking.
    • Recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates so it is important to distinguish yourself through your profile.

Look for Open Positions EVERY DAY

  • New positions are posted daily on job boards.  Having a disciplined approach daily will give you a leg up on new postings and make you an early applicant.
  • This is where many people miss the boat.  They think looking weekly is enough.  Nope.  Do it daily.

Talk to Recruiters

  • Recruiters can provide insight into your industry
    • Have a conversation with recruiters who specialize in your industry.  Good ones will tell you the truth about your resume, social media profiles and potential jobs.
    • Decide if relocation is possible.  It is one of the first questions they will ask. It is important to know where you would be willing to move, how much you would have to earn to consider a move and if your family is up for it.

Your Personal Brand

  • It is important to assess your personal brand during this time of unemployment. This includes things like:
    • Social media footprint
      • Delete anything that is negative or unprofessional.  Many potential employers check your social media to get a sense of if you are a right fit for their organization before you even have a chance to talk to them.
    • Calling card or Business card
      • These are inexpensive and an important reflection of you.  If you aren’t meeting anyone in person, you can skip these.
    • Professional Headshot
      • If you don’t have one, perhaps a friend who takes good pictures can take one for you.  Don’t use a picture where you have been cropped!
    • Resume
      • Check it closely for spelling, grammar and overuse of the same descriptive words (thesaurus is your friend!)
      • See above resume comments
    • Appearance/ Wardrobe
      • Everything got so casual during COVID, it can be easy to remember how we look, even on a zoom call, is an extension of who we are and our personal brand.

Patience Grasshopper

There is no doubt that we live in a hurry up world.  Waiting for the right position to come along can test our patience.  Sometimes we learn really important lessons when we wait.  I would encourage you to be diligent in following these steps to find a job faster. Take this time to enjoy things that you normally don’t get to enjoy because you are working full time.  Know that you may not find your dream job, but it might be a transition role or even become something greater than you expected.  We can set expectations that aren’t realistic, especially in today’s market.

I am confident if you follow these steps consistently, you will find a new position.  I am rooting for you!

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