By Robin Ryan
Career Counselor and Best-Selling Author
Okay, admit it. You hate job-hunting. Lots and lots of people feel that way. Too often, fearful or discouraged job hunters project their gloomy attitude to those around them, while unresolved depression can add to your feeling that career options open to you are bleak. NOT TRUE!
Face facts. Most job hunts today last four to six months. Be on the look-out for these things that contribute to the blues:
unsupportive or dysfunctional personal relationships
moping (feeling sorry for yourself )
Here are six action steps that will enable you to fight back and take control over your future, and help you to get rid of the job search blues.
1. Assess your marketability. Define your strengths, your innate talents, and note the results you have achieved by using these on the job. Your resume, cover letters, and all employer conversations must emphasize how you can contribute to the company. Skills outdated? Now is the perfect time to take some classes, read books, and go to trade association meetings. Get the necessary training to develop your talents in new ways to open the door to new jobs and different industries. Building your future on your strengths is the fastest way to achieve great success.
2. Focus on future success. If something is not working, don't just mope around. Try something new, get professional career counseling, and take a job search class. Exercise -- walking is a good way to start the day because it lifts your mood, gets you dressed each morning and out of the house. It's productive, which is important. Listen to feel-good music -- it is a universal mood improver. Then when your mind is more positively focused, tackle your job search activities for the day.
3. Target your resume. Be concise using relevant information that outlines experience related to the job title you are applying for. Long general resumes are a BIG mistake. Showing your past actions and the results you achieved in your past positions is what employers want to see. Define and quantify results where you saved time or money, added to the bottom line, or made productivity improvements.
4. Use a cover letter. Employers complain that today's job hunters are lazy. They create NO effective cover letter at all, or a send a generic form letter. Potential employers want to see a customized letter that hits on how you have the skills for, and can perform well, in the job position available. Writing a good letter gives you a much better chance of getting an interview. Keep the letter focused on summarizing your top selling points, education, and work experience noting results you've achieved in past positions.
5. NETWORK! Talk to everyone you know. Ask specific questions to find people who can direct you to others inside companies that could possibly hire you. Ask contacts if they can identify someone internal so you can get that person to forward your resume on to human resources. That's a guaranteed way to get looked at and to get your search in high gear.
6. Be productive. When you are unemployed, you cannot spend every waking hour job hunting or you will get very depressed. Spend 25 hours each week on the search; then tackle some other constructive projects. Work at tasks where you feel you've accomplished something -- paint a room, plant some flowers, clean out your garage or closets, re-decorate the kitchen or put your photos in an album. These accomplishments will help you feel that you are making progress, even if the job search process is slow.
You need a solid job search enacted plan to get through this time successfully. Great opportunities are out there, and one has your name on it. Go for it!
Copyright 2009 Robin Ryan. All rights reserved.
Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah and Dr. Phil and has a busy career counseling practice providing individual consulting to clients nationwide. She is the best-selling author of: " 60 Seconds & You're Hired!", " Soaring On Your Strengths", " What to Do with the Rest of Your Life", " Winning Resumes" and, "Winning Cover Letters". Contact her: 425.226.0414, email: email@example.com, or visit her website: www.RobinRyan.com
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