6 Ways to Maximize Your Job Hunt After Losing Your Job
Losing a job is similar to any unfortunate loss you may encounter in life. You go into work one day and suddenly you lose your purpose, identity, and the way you pay your bills and support your family. In more severe cases, you may even undergo the seven stages of grief: shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and acceptance/hope.
While it’s not for everyone, some people make a career out of “fun-employment.” After you go through disbelief and shock, denying that you ever lost your job and (desperately) bargaining for it back, you might learn to accept the loss and gain some hope while on your search for a new opportunity.
You had a job for 15 years and you had no idea that searching for a new one is a full-time job in it of itself.
Perfect your LinkedIn profile
The new world of resumes. LinkedIn profiles should be professional and appealing, they should be a place someone wants to land on and that all starts with the profile picture. The picture should be polished, professional and include a smile, clean business attire and a simple background. In addition to a professional picture, everyone has the ability to turn on the option for “looking for new opportunities.” This allows hiring managers to see who is on the market. Finally, you can set up specific job alerts which triggers LinkedIn to send you an email alert whenever a job opportunity within your criteria opens up.
Network, Network, Network!
Swallow your pride and seek help! There are a ton of job-seeker events at libraries, MeetUps, conferences and evening happy hours. Having open, exploratory conversations with people who are employed is the best use of your time. Some people believe it could be a waste of time to speak to someone or interview for an opportunity you might not be interested in but it is important to keep an open mind, because you never know when an opportunity may arise. Every conversation is worth having when you are unemployed – what is there to lose?! It’s all about who you know!
Search the market
Get to know the market you recently left and are trying to get back into. You may have been out of it while you were at your former place of employment, and it is very likely that things have changed. Do research, stay organized and get familiar with new patterns and trends. Reach out to hiring managers, even if they aren’t hiring, to have those conversations and ask them quality questions. I would bet that when an opportunity does open up, they are going to remember you instead of searching for the right person. Gain knowledge, advice and information from the people you are meeting and speaking with; there is something to learn from everyone.
Technology in this day and age is far too advanced to not take advantage of. Use your iPhone or iPad to video yourself on a mock interview. This can help tremendously. Not everyone has great interviewing skills, even though they may have the ideal skill set needed for the job. Another good way to practice interviewing, is to meet with recruiters. While it is a formal meeting, it isn’t technically an interview. They are your advocate, so it’s a great way to get some honest, constructive criticism that you’ll take with you on your next interview. Remember to keep eye contact, deliver a strong handshake and remain calm throughout the discussion.
Be honest and transparent. If you get a call from a hiring manager about a job opportunity and they are presenting a position that is not within your comfort zone and you think it may not be a good fit, let them know. Promising to a date and time to meet and not showing up isn’t the best way to get your name around. Chances are, the market is narrow and people know people.
Last but not least, the monumental resume
While LinkedIn has taken over many aspects of the job hunting process, people will always request a paper form of your resume. This is usually the “first impression” to the hiring manager and one that you want to be lasting. Dates should be exact, formatting should be consistent and fonts need to be clear and readable. Considering it takes approximately 30 seconds for someone to glance over a resume, keywords are important and in my opinion, bullet points over full sentences are preferred as well. This part is similar to online dating, you have a second to grab their attention and you hope they are interested in learning more!
For more information on how to optimize your job hunt, sign up for Russell Tobin’s hiredbound email series.