Many people ask for career advice, saying they have been unable to find a job after a very long period of searching. They are simply convinced that there are no jobs out there. However, there ARE employers hiring in various industries and businesses. It really depends on how willing they are to work to find those jobs and in some cases, may need to completely rethink and re-tool what they are doing to find something new.
Well-meaning job seekers often use what recruiters call the “post and pray” method: sitting on the computer day after day, searching on the large job boards to see what jobs are available and just posting for them (apply by sending in their resume), praying someone will call back with a job offer. Unfortunately, the “post and pray method” is like playing the lottery. The odds are very much against someone actually seeing and selecting that particular resume out of the hundreds and hundreds they receive and actually making a call.
Sadly, in most cases, the company never calls back. It is not because the company or recruiters are insensitive and don’t want to help. They are literally swamped with hundreds or even thousands of resumes of people just like you applying for those jobs. Due to the sheer volume of resume submissions they receive coupled with numerous other business responsibilities vying for their attention, recruiters and hiring managers simply cannot review or respond to every single inquiry. Which is why you most often receive an automated response to your submission or inquiry.
However, you CAN do quite a few things to help greatly increase your chances of finding a new job. I won’t promise that it will be easy (it IS work) or that you will find a job quickly. But if you will start today and work at it like a job every day, go out and meet people face to face, and do constructive things to help build your skills, experience and knowledge, you will begin to find opportunities you didn’t even know existed (and some of them may find you).
Interesting statistic: Did you know that approximately 85% of all jobs are obtained by job seekers as a result of networking through someone they know or have met? Did you know that many jobs are never advertised? The hiring managers simply network with people they know who know others that they recommend for the job openings. Guess what? YOU can be that person!
Here are some things you can do right now:
1. Find one or more local jobs ministries and GO THERE on a regular to network live for leads, hear great speakers and meet others. (HINT: You will likely find your next job through someone you know.) For example, Roswell United Methodist Church has one of the biggest jobs networking programs in Atlanta, GA, for example, but there are many others. They offer free programs, resume reviews, LinkedIn Profile coaching, franchise information and much more. But the best part is the opportunity to do one-on-one networking with professionals that can help you with leads and carer advice.
2. Visit the Crossroads Career Network website, and download their free guide, Maximizing Your Career, which provides excellent advice on how to write your resume, how to review your skills and accomplishments and determine what you really want to do next, how to get through the tough time of job searching, how to present yourself properly and how to network, and tons of other great advice. You can also search for jobs there and find Crossroads Career Network meetings local to your area, too. It is a great resource!
3. Make a list of every acquaintance, friend, and colleague you know (make a list of names at least twice your age). Utillize social media to help you in making your lists to call (Facebook and Twitter friends lists). Then start calling them (do NOT email or leave a voice message…you must talk to them live), telling them in 30 seconds or less what you are looking for and ask them who they may know that they could refer you to for advice, information, and referrals. Do NOT ask them for a job. If they have a job for you they will tell you. Call through the entire list. Don’t forget to network even when you are at your church social, in the doctor’s office, at your child’s PTA meeting, at the grocery store in line, or wherever you may happen to be. This is now your job…
4. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete with a great headshot of you in business attire. Also, make sure your profile is loaded with as many keywords of your industry and position as possible. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? Sign up for one today on LinkedIn and start building your online network immediately! (HINT: Many recruiters go there to search for candidates for jobs). Make sure you are there to be included. You can also search for groups specific to your job or industry and sign up to get weekly emails and network with the people in that particular group.
5. Continue working on your education and keep your skills updated while you are looking. If you haven’t been doing this, start today. Do not put it off. Take courses, attend seminars, join a related organization and go to the meetings, etc. (Hint) Employers look more favorably at people who have taken the initiative to do something to help improve themselves and also help others while they are looking for employment. It can help give you an advantage over others they may be considering.
6. Become a volunteer leader in a church, ministry or other organization related to your industry (many of those on the leadership team or staff likely already have jobs and may know of other jobs or leads that they could help you network into). Helping others also gets you out of the house, takes the focus off yourself and your problems and will make you feel good about what you are doing to help someone else.
7. Consider becoming a consultant or starting your own business. If you are the self-starter type and enjoy being an entrepreneur, have strong sales skills, great initiative and the willingness to go out and find business that you can service, then maybe starting a business is right for you. There are many great, free resources for help and advice on starting businesses including the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE. Just Google it!
8. Ask for help. Realize that you cannot do this on your own; you will need others who can help you to find that new opportunity. Pray daily and ask for God’s help in bringing the right people and opportunities across your path.