Economic Market DOWN and Unemployment UP; Now what can I do?

This past week, we waited for the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, to give us some news. Instead, he essentially told us that we should wait and see what will happen. So where does that leave those of you who are worried about the economy, keeping your jobs or finding employment? How much do we need to rely on our leaders to make decisions for us in our daily lives? Mostly, what does that mean to those of you who are still looking for a job?

It means that we still need to do our own work to search and find jobs in a competitive and tough marketplace. Neither the Government nor the Federal Reserve is going to get you a job.  I work with people who are frustrated and fearful about getting a job. To boost their job search, I use two check lists that present a system in searching for a job. I divided the two check lists into terms of traditional and non-traditional job search strategies that help job seekers find the hidden job market. Finding the hidden job market requires creativity, courage and confidence to try different technologies and tools to connect with hiring managers.

I want to share these check lists. Each shows the top 5 strategies.

Traditional Job Search Strategies

  • Resumes (Chronological, Functional or Combination)
  • Network/Referrals (friends, colleagues, family, professional organizations and alma maters)
  • Research Job Postings (online, newspapers, professional magazines, etc.)
  • Skilled Interviews and Job Offer Negotiations
  • Follow-up and Correspondence (cover letters, thank you notes, broadcast letters, cold call letters, etc.)

Non-traditional/New Job Search Strategies

  • Online Connecting and Networking (Online Job Posting Site and Social Media Networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook)
  • Electronic Career Marketing Website (your own electronic portfolio)
  • Job Fairs and Special Events (many are now accomplished virtually)
  • Personal Professional Business Card (your mini-resume or calling card to help others remember you and refer you to job opportunities)
  • Informational Interviews (make contact, learn about different jobs, and create a connection and build rapport to get quality job referrals)

These are 10 strategies that will help you re-energize your job search. There are many others. One extra strategy is to “brand” your self. Branding can be a key element to market yourself so that you stand out from your competition. Another extra strategy is to find “survivor or bridge” jobs. Survivor jobs are recommended by some of the nationally known headhunters and recruiters. Finding a “survivor-bridge job” is a temporary employment solution that accomplishes two things: (1) it provides income to meet your life expenses and (2) it gets you out of the house and open to meeting people. These contacts can refer you onto a job opportunity.

It‘s important to find creative ways to fill unemployment gaps and find ways to practice new career skills. Doing so can improve your competitiveness and visibility as a job candidate. Creative strategies include negotiating corporate or government internships or working for a professional temporary staffing agency that specializes in your career field. Some choose independence by starting their own businesses and/or marketing themselves as freelancers. Many pursue this course only temporarily, shutting down when they find permanent employment. Going it on your own may be the answer, or it may be the ultimate survivor job. Only you can decide. Until you can find a job in your ultimate career field, sometimes baby steps are required to keep your skills and resume up to date and active.

Seeking a job can be seen as a challenge and an opportunity to reflect and grow, or it can be seen as a crisis and nightmare. Seek the positive path. You will find your reward.

Please post your thoughts and comments. Also, if you want to publish this blog article or print to share, please keep this copyright permission statement with the article. These articles on are joyfully shared to help others, but not to be used for profit or selling to others. Copyright 2011 Bette Novak, LifePath Associates LLC.

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