As I said in Part 3 of my Laid Off series, times are hard right now. Fewer and fewer job notices are being posted, with more and more competition for each one. This means you may need to get creative in your job search. Start brushing off your networking skills and start making contacts. Remember, some of the best jobs never get posted outside the company. So, where to start your networking?
Friends, Family, & Coworkers
Seriously, some of your best opportunities may come from folks you already know. Send out an e-mail to everyone you know. Make a list of all your family, friends, coworkers, former-coworkers, former bosses, neighbors, people you’ve volunteered or sat on a committee with, people you’ve met at the dog park–well–you get my meaning. Send each e-mail individually and personalize each one. That doesn’t mean you can’t cut and paste the bulk of the message, but people will be more likely to respond if the message seems personal. Let them know you’re out of work and what you’re looking for.
As you move through your days, mention your job search to everyone you talk to. Don’t belabor the point, but just mention that you’re looking for work and ask them to let you know if they hear of anything coming up. You’d be surprised how often a casual conversation can lead to something. I got a job once early in my career by chatting with someone in the grocery line. Turned out she was leaving her job and her boss needed to hire a new assistant. She put in a good word for me, and I got the job.
Clubs and Organizations
This isn’t the time to retire from public life. Attend every club and organization meeting you know of and don’t forget to mingle, mingle, mingle while you’re there, mentioning in passing, of course, that you’re looking for work. Now, if you’re like me and a very far cry from a social butterfly, this can seem quite daunting. But it can help you get your foot in doors that you might not otherwise.
These days, as much networking can be done on-line as face to face. More sometimes. The advent of Social Media has revolutionized the way people Network. There are a number of social networking sites out there. Here are some of the ones I recommend:
Remember, whatever social networking platforms you choose, be sure to stay active. You need to build relationships and get to know people.
On-line Job Boards
While you’re on-line, don’t forget to submit your resume to job boards like Monster and Career Builder. It may not help, but it sure can’t hurt. It never did anything for me before when job hunting–until this job. I got a call out of the blue from a headhunter who found my resume on Career Builder. So you really never can tell where your next job will come from.
Have a Good Support Network
Outside of the job hunt, it’s nice to have a good support network as well. It’s a hard time when you’ve been laid off. Even if you know intellectually that it wasn’t your fault, it’s still easy to doubt yourself. Find a good support network of others in the same situation. Help each other out and just have people you can talk to who are going through the same thing. It can really help keep your spirits up while you look for work.