Being Prepared And Persistent Pays Off When Job Searching

By: Karen Debus, PHR

Despite some fluctuation, the economy still seems to be in low gear. The national unemployment rate for June is 9.5%. While thousands of jobs may be available (the Census Bureau contributed a slew of additional jobs although they are only temporary positions), finding work has not been easy for most folks. It’s not uncommon to hear that people are sending out dozens of resumes and getting little or no response. Most financial advisors used to suggest having three to six months of living expenses (not just mortgage or rent) saved; now they’re saying it’s better to have six months to one year because it’s taking so long for people to find employment. So, how can people ensure their future employment and financial stability? Seriously considering whether or not making a move is affordable and being prepared to undertake a job search that will end successfully is a good start.

People who are fairly happy in their jobs, but typically keep their eyes open for other opportunities, are apprehensive. It’s understandable to be a bit trepidatious about looking for a new job during unstable market conditions. The fear is that, if hired, they might end up working for someone other than the person with whom they interviewed or the company will cut some of the benefits they initially offered, or the worst case scenario, the company will cut jobs or close its doors altogether. There are two schools of thought about just how much fulfillment a job should provide. It’s great to be absolutely passionate about a job, but more and more people are looking at their jobs as a means to pay bills and they are finding their passions in activities outside of their work. People who are happy should consider themselves fortunate. There is a long line of unemployed people, any one of whom would love to be in their shoes. Whether or not someone makes a change will be dependent upon factors such as whether or not there is a family to support and how much money is available to pay the bills.

It has often been said that “finding a job is a full-time job” and now that might mean working overtime. It’s a sales job, a numbers game. The more resumes that are sent out, the better the chances are of receiving a response. It may take a while to find the job, especially a dream job, because there are more people in the candidate pool. Persistence is a must.

Everyone should have a resume and keep it up to date. There are plenty of templates on-line that can be used to get started. Resumes writers are a great source, but will be a little more costly. Resumes should be viewed in terms of layout and design and content. They should be visually pleasing and state accomplishments, not just previous job descriptions. There shouldn’t be any grammatical errors. A resume may express an individual’s personality, but should be clear and concise, so it’s not difficult for the hiring manager to read. They spend a lot of time reviewing hundreds of resumes. They don’t want to have to decipher each one like they’re cracking some secret security code.

Candidates actions are being scrutinized from the moment they make contact with a company for employment. They are judged on their first phone call, how neatly and thoroughly they fill out their application, their appearance when they walk in the door, the content of their conversation during the interview, and their follow-up. Seeking the advice of a job coach, a friend who has hired employees before, or looking on-line for more information are great ways to become better prepared to slam-dunk an interview.

Whether employed or unemployed, keep the faith. It is not impossible to find a job, they are out there. Some different tactics may have to be utilized, but persistence and preparedness will pay off in the long run.

Karen Debus is the Human Resources Manager for Valley View Farms, a large independent garden center/ nursery/Christmas shop in Baltimore, Maryland. Over her 22 year career in staffing and employment, she has interviewed thousands of candidates and reviewed even more resumes. Karen reviews and writes resumes as a part-time business as well. She attended Towson University and the College of Notre Dame and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources.


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