I’m back! I am very happy to be back blogging for the IMC program after a short, unexpected absence.
In October, unfortunately, I was a victim of a major reduction in force (RIF) at a small, for-profit college that I worked for in Indianapolis. I hold no grudges. It was a difficult time for the college and they needed to make the right business decisions. The economy is still recovering and at the end of the day businesses often need to re-evaluate resources to stay profitable. I get it.
The one thing that became very evident when I started looking for a new position was how dramatically searching for a job has changed with the emergence of social media and the sheer number of candidates out in the marketplace. There are over 12 million people unemployed in the United States according to the December 2012 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a big number.
I have learned a lot in my search and here is some basic job hunting advice and suggestions from a 15 week job hunter:
- Have your resume professionally evaluated and written. You don’t have to spend a lot of money but it is always good to have a professional writer work on your resume. That’s what they do for a living. You wouldn’t have a dentist fix your car, would you? Once the basic resume is written and before you approve it as final, ask a few people who you trust and will give you honest feedback to review the resume and give you their constructive thoughts.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is, essentially, a business networking site. Use it as it was intended. Your LinkedIn profile should emulate your resume so that you have good integration between both sources. When people search they will be more apt to find you.
- Shout from the mountain tops that your are in the market for a new position. Don’t be embarrassed about it. It is a fact of our society right now. Lots of people are looking. You are likely not going to find a job sending out resumes through job search sites. Your resume goes into a dBase along with thousands of others. Your chances of getting noticed are slim. You probably will find a job by one-on-one networking and meeting with people.
- Develop a routine so you don’t get in a rut. Sure, take a week to gather yourself if you can afford to do so but don’t make that your new lifestyle. Get up in the morning as though have a job, shower, get dressed and get to work. Your job is finding a job. It’s too easy to lay around and feel pity for yourself. Get out of the house. Have lunch or coffee with old co-workers and new contacts. They probably don’t have a job for you but they might know someone who does and can provide some great ideas for your search.
- Avoid paying a firm that will “find you a job”. They are expensive and, in reality, you can find a job on your own if you put the work in.
- Be careful when talking with recruiter or headhunters. Some are very good and others are the used car salespeople of the industry. Remember they will build you up and tell you how great you are but they work for someone else. I have worked with a few who I trust and respect. Others will tell you whatever they can and then you never hear back from them.
- And finally, when you see a job you are interested in, do two things. Research the company thoroughly. Are they really the type of company you want to work for? What looks great on paper might not be reality. And second, look at your LinkedIn contacts to see if there are any 2nd or 3rd degree connections that can help you learn about the company and get you connected to some of the company employees.
For anyone searching for a new job, best of luck. For those that are working, be thankful for what you have.
Til next time!