Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Tip December 4, 2012

Photo from: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/hamiltom 


If you are having a difficult time dealing with being unemployed, you will gain confidence and hope from your job search activity. Stay organized and act on every lead as soon as possible without being overly hasty.  Note anything positive that happens during the day, whether or not it is job search related. Make your plan for the next day so that you have something to look forward to.

Looking for work is hard!  You can make it a lot easier by using an online job search system like the Lifeworks Fresh Transition Platform. Even if you do, you have other things you need to organize and pay attention to.  If you are using paper to track your job search then you must be even more diligent!  Email me if you would like samples of simple paper job logs.
Create a record keeping system
Create a record keeping system or use an online job portal for job searching and to keep track of your activities:

Calls and messages sent
            Companies and people contacted
            Responses received
Information gathered about companies and contacts
            Résumé s sent (and which version)
            Meeting and phone call notes
Thank you notes 
Create a workspace
You will want to set up a workspace where you can work without interruption – if possible a room separate from the rest of the house and family.  If you are limited in space set aside space in a bedroom. OR, if necessary use a box or tote to contain your supplies that you can set up in the living room or kitchen.  It is crucial that you keep yourself organized and orderly. You will find this will keep down the stress level as you get busier in your job search.

Family and friends should be aware that you will be spending time job searching and should not be interrupted when in your “space” – whether it is secluded or at the kitchen table.  Having a specific location to “work” will put you into active job search mode immediately and alert family members that you are not to be disturbed.

Create or use a professional email account
If you don’t already have an email address, you will need to set one up.  Use your name in the address so that employers know that your email is not spam when received – if you already have an email address, make sure it is professional and, again, it should include your name. If you do not have an email address including your name, you will want to consider setting up an email address just for job searching.

Create a signature for your emails – it should include the following information: Name, Address, Phone, and Email.  Avoid using stationary, background color, or other distractions

Create a professional phone message
Create a professional outgoing message – you should state your name and thank the caller for leaving a detailed message.  Use a service that picks up when you’re on the phone so that you will not miss any important employer messages.  Regarding ring-back tones – you should call yourself from another phone to hear what an employer will hear when he or she calls.  Try to avoid anything other than orchestral music and you should certainly not have any questionable songs or lyrics that might offend.

I highly recommend following the Job Search Checklist by Janis Ramey, www.technical-writing.net to guide you in your job search efforts.  It was developed for and by STC WorkQuest™ members.  You can obtain a copy here:  www.STCWorkQuest.org

Compile Samples and Certificates
List Samples and Certificates if you have them. If so, you might want to consider a Portfolio.  This is a bit more of a production than a résumé and is often organized into a folder with dividers and can be as simple or fancy as will get the job done.  As with some of the above sections, you may consider including unrelated certificates if it will enhance your presentation of yourself to the employer.

What keeps you organized?  Comment to let me know! 

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