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In case of emergency…

Have you been recently laid off?

Here are some tips, gathered from an article by Joann Lublin, that appeared in the Wall Street Journal:

  • Don’t let anger stall your search.
  • Make finding a new job a full time job.
  • Stay focused; ignore your worries until a set time later in the day.
  • Don’t get caught in the trap of feeling productive while doing tasks around the house. Before you know it, a month will go by with no actual job searching.
  • Maximize strengths, minimize weaknesses.
  • Aggressively network, while appearing neutral.
  • Don’t share your panic or frustration, but network, network, network. While asking contacts for assistance, it is vital that you offer help in return.

Liz Ryan, a syndicated columnist and workplace advisor (www.humanworkplace.com), recommends the following job search schedule:

  1. Make a plan. You can’t apply for everything. You’ll want to zero in on a certain job-search geography, the types of companies you’ll be targeting, and, of course, the job titles/families that are closest to your experience and interests. You’ll need the plan first so that your resume, LinkedIn profile and job-search business cards (in Step Two, below) can ‘point’ in the direction you’ve identified.
  2. Get your materials together. Your sharp, human-voiced resume is the very first priority where your job-search toolkit is concerned. Your LinkedIn profile is next. Third, you’ll want a set of dedicated job-search business cards. A grownup email address (not luvcats@gmail.com) and outgoing voicemail 
message round out the materials’ list.
  3. How much time do you have? You’ll need to know how much time you’re willing to spend on your job-search every day (M-F) in order to create a schedule. Let’s say five hours per day is your target. That means you have 25 hours/week available for job-searching; that’s equivalent to a full-time job search, because job-hunt work is Very Taxing.
  4. Build your schedule. Here is Liz’s recommended daily breakdown:
    1. One hour/day of jobs-site research. Target: Apply for five new jobs every day M-F. Once you find a few jobs sites that seem to turn up 
the best opportunities (such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, and CareerBuilder.com) set up email alerts to send new job opportunities to your inbox.
    2. One hour/day of company research. You don’t want to apply for those five jobs until you’ve researched the companies that are advertising them. One hour/day gives you twelve minutes on each employer’s website and on LinkedIn to gather fodder for your pithy, customized cover letter. You’re looking for a specific person to write to, and a topical ‘hook’ for the first paragraph of your cover letter.
    3. One hour/day writing cover letters: You’ll use the previous hour’s research to construct a customized cover letter for each opportunity. Read more about customized cover letters at: 
    4. One hour/day assembling and sending out your five packets via snail mail. You can also use some of this time to write a second great
cover letter per opportunity, in case you decide to double up your direct-outreach efforts by sending a resume and cover letter into the Black Hole (the employer’s website or its on-line ad).
    5. One hour/day networking – that’s lunch, coffee, a walk around the block or some other face-to-face contact with a human being who can give you leads, ideas, and/or moral support for your job search. If you have a friend who’s game for a weekly get-together, sign up! Even if s/he has no ideas and no leads – the moral support is the most important element! Job-searching is hard, solitary, and often discouraging work.

If you get a burst of energy in the evening, there are “pure” employer research — that is, writing to companies who haven’t posted jobs — and online networking, which aren’t included in the above daytime schedule.

Keep your sense of humor, and remember that this, too, shall pass.

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