In a recovering but still tough job market, we regularly hear from folks who have found themselves recently unemployed and in search of work. Our hearts really go out to these applicants during what is usually a very stressful experience! The first step is to take a breath. There’s hope for a new beginning and there are steps you can take to maximize your chances of getting right back into the workforce. Here are some thoughts to help you get started!
The place to start is with your resume. How long has it been since your last update? Dust off this document and craft it into the resume of a star candidate. Take some time to reflect on your recent experience and what this might qualify you for on the job market. The answers you come up with will help you to know which jobs to apply to, and that segues nicely into the next step!
Applying to Jobs
With resume updates and self-reflection crossed off the checklist, now it’s time to search the job listings and submit your brilliantly crafted resume. This part can be tricky, but a few easy tips can really simplify what otherwise could become a daunting process.
One way to really stay on track is to focus your efforts on the jobs that are a strong match for your experience and skills. Applying to jobs outside of your expertise can be challenging for a couple different reasons. First, it doesn’t maximize your chance of getting call backs on jobs, which can be really discouraging! During this process, we definitely want your morale to stay strong!
The second challenge is that applying to jobs that may not be a match probably means that you are applying to a higher volume of jobs. The downside here is that you spend time on quantity over quality, which could mean that you aren’t able to create strong applications for the jobs that are the best match for you. Creating a strong application is definitely key in landing the interview for the job of your dreams!
Never forget the importance of personal and professional networks! While traditional job-search methods are still valid, there are lots of folks out there who are finding out about jobs through word of mouth. Stay in touch with your contacts and keep an open mind. You never know what can happen!
It’s a competitive market out there, so it may take a little bit longer to find work now than it did several years ago. But with that said, there are definitely signs that things are improving! The search is far from hopeless, so stay positive and keep up all the great work with applications and resume submissions and you’ll find your way right back into the workforce.