Recently, I interviewed with Laid Off Lounge to provide their audience with some insight on how to stay focused and maintain a positive attitude during a job search. I have posted the interview here for our audience as well. Enjoy!
Tired of looking for a job? Tips to help you keep on keeping on
Have you sent out hundreds of resumes, spent hours researching a company or position, worked hard on a cover letter and never heard a word in return? Searching for a job gets old, fast. It can be discouraging and even depressing. Could there be a better way?
Recently Laid Off Lounge (LOL) sat down with Deanne Arnath, President and CEO of Career Wizards Inc, and an expert in career search strategies. We asked her about how to keep going in a job search that feels like it’s going nowhere.
LOL: What can people do to stay encouraged during a long job search?
Deanne: Many who are unemployed are used to a certain level of success, and are embarrassed to ask for help. Network with your family and friends. Make a list of people you know and call or write them and ask for help. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t get it. People can offer you encouragement and advice that will help you keep moving forward. Stay motivated. Make a job search to do list. People fall into looking for a job day and night and get discouraged. Complete your list and reward yourself for getting things done.
LOL: For those unemployed for a year or more, what is the first piece of advice you would offer?
Deanne: Don’t let yourself go. Taking care of your appearance helps you stay motivated and maintain a positive attitude about your search. Get yourself ready like you are going to work every day. Exercise. Exercise is a good stress reliever that will help you feel energized.
LOL: What does your business do differently to help people who are stuck in a frustrating job search?
Deanne: There are a lot of outplacement services that do not provide the tools job seekers need. Whomever you work with, it’s important that they actually care. We think that if you are not successful, we are not successful. Hire a service that you feel will offer you the type of support and guidance you need throughout the job search process. Focus on seeking out professionals that will help you put your best foot forward and make you more marketable to potential employers.
LOL: What should you do to help fill a long gap of unemployment in your resume?
Deanne: Unfortunately, there is hiring discrimination against the unemployed. The longer you are unemployed, the worse it is. Recruiters prefer those who are already employed. If you’ve been out of work for a while, keep your skill sets sharp. Get certifications in your field, add new software skills further your education, stay active in professional organizations, offer yourself as a business consultant, or start a small business. Do things that will add value for an employer.
LOL: What do you think of internet job searching?
Deanne: Internet resources are impersonal and vast; they can be a big black hole. Using just the Internet maybe the fastest way to get discouraged in your job search. Instead, get out and talk with people face-to-face. Walk in your resume in person. A smile and a handshake can be invaluable. Call to follow-up on your resume and get it out of the stack. As a bonus, getting out of the house and making contact with people will make you feel better.
LOL: What are the best resources available for long-haul job seekers?
Deanne: Unemployment lifeline is a great site. It links the unemployed to resources in their community. Your local state workforce center is important. Workforce centers offer free courses, information on community college programs, financial aid, workshops, and short-term training. Employing a professional resume writer and career coach can put you back on the right track to finding gainful employment.
LOL: What would you say to those who are out of work and out of patience with it all?
Deanne: Consider visiting a job seeker forum, or get together with friends or family and talk it out. It’s great to talk with those who can relate. Job seekers need to know they are not alone. If you’re used to success, it’s especially important to have others to uplift and be uplifted by.
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