You can never read enough about job search. Every book and every article will give you new ideas, new strategies, new opportunities, or simply validate what you are already doing. Take control of your job search and develop a schedule that works for you. Get into a routine. Create a work space for your job search. If possible, do not try to manage your search from your kitchen table. Rather, designate a specific area to devote to your job search.

1.     There are five basic ways for people to find a job: the Internet, recruiters/employment services, networking, direct contact with employers and yes, some jobs are still listed in the newspapers.

a.       Many people look for jobs in the newspaper, but less than 20% of job seekers are successful using this method.
b.      Newspapers can be a useful tool in identifying job “leads” — companies that hire people to do the kind of jobs you want.
c.       Job seekers should also read the business section of the newspaper — where promotions and new company announcements are listed — to find growing companies.
d.      Look at companies that are advertising openings to see what kinds of companies hire for the type of job you’re interested in.
e.      With a local job search, don’t overlook local media. These organizations may provide access to employers who use radio, TV, and websites to advertise job openings.
f.        Read the news. A school bond issue means that in a couple of years, they’re going to need teachers, aides, support staff, and administrators. Look ahead.
g.       Tap into the so-called “hidden job market” by using direct contact. Figure out where you want to work and contact the company directly. 

2.       Part of looking for your next job is figuring out how you can be an asset to the company. Ask yourself – What am I good at? What am I not so good at? What do I like doing? Companies hire employees to solve a problem they have. Identify what problem the company is having and position yourself as their problem-solver.

a.       What do you bring to the table? This is what employers want to know. This is what you need to define. What sets you apart from others who have held the same job you had?
b.      What makes you unique? This can be the number of years of experience you have, special training, a broad network of contacts, or a special skill set.
c.       Clarifying where you’ve been successful, and which responsibilities were most enjoy- able, is critical information to a successful career transition.

3.       It’s easier to get a job if you have a job (any job — even if it’s not related to the job you want). One of the biggest problems with extended unemployment is that being unemployed can make it more difficult because the hiring agent may not see your experience or skills as up-to-date.

a.       Unemployed? Volunteer in your field. That way, your unemployment is spent doing something meaningful, while also keeping your skills sharp. (And it may lead to your next job!)
b.      If you’re having trouble finding a job, why not spend an hour or two a day taking some sort of class? Keeping your skills sharp during unemployment is critical.
c.       In today’s economy, chances are, your work performance had very little to do with your current unemployment. Don’t take it personally.

4.       Willing to move? There is no such thing as a global recession. When one part of the world is having a job market issue, another part of the world is flourishing.

a.       In a business world that is diminishing in size, relocation has becoming an increasingly critical component to successful job search.
b.      The two best things you can do to land a job in another state are: 1) Tap your contacts for any referrals you can arrange, and 2) Physically visit the state.

5.       For certain kinds of jobs, companies pay third parties (recruiters or employment agencies) to screen and recommend potential employees.

a.       Find recruiters in the phone book (under “Employment Agencies”). Search Google: Recruiter + [city name] + [job title]. Look in your industry trade journal for firms.
b.      Because the job seeker doesn’t pay a recruiter, sending a resume to employment companies is a good idea, but won’t always result in success — or even a return phone call.
c.       Recruiter relationships aren’t exclusive. Start with 2-3 and expand if you’re not getting results. But be honest if you’re asked who else you’re working with.
d.      Hiring agents must have a method of contacting you. You need to provide a phone number and an email address. 

Don’t take a “Denial Vacation” — the 90-day period directly following downsizing when most unemployed people think they are still okay. They are motivated but feel they don’t need to look for work yet. After being downsized, while it’s fine to take a week or two off to “catch your breath” before actively sending out resumes and interviewing, it’s important to start the job search process immediately. The average time it takes a dislocated worker to find a new job is 41 weeks. The sooner you start on your job search, the faster you’ll find your new job. Self-imposed deadlines can help motivate you. Put a date on when you’d like to secure your next job.  

Success in your job search is ultimately up to you. No one else can motivate you. No one else can interview for you. You can make great things happen.