Lindsay Olson

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Positivity helps


Photo credit: Ianqui

Michael Melcher offers some good advice in the NY Times Shifting Careers blog about staying positive in your job search after a layoff. Being affected by a staff reduction isn't fun for anyone involved and for those who haven't engaged in a job search or interview process for an extended amount of time, they may even feel completely lost.

The typical person's job search starts with a resume re-write and then a scouring of online job boards to see what's out there. Resumes are sent into "the black hole" and with some luck, an automated response like this may be returned:

"Your resume has been forwarded to the appropriate department for evaluation. Should your qualifications meet our current requirements, we will contact you within the next several weeks for additional information or to schedule a personal interview. If there are no suitable openings at this time, we will retain your resume in our active files for future consideration."

But you never hear back even though your qualifications match perfectly.

As difficult as it may be to keep your chin up, it's a key to a successful job search. Melcher states, "People find new opportunities in recessions, but not people who spend a lot of time being depressed, whiny or angry."

Melcher's suggestions for dealing with non-responsiveness:

  • Act like a human being. The best antidote to feeling disconnected is to connect with people. Manifest as a person, not as an e-mail address.
  • Lessen your dependence on the Internet. If you are focusing solely on online applications, your job search hasn′t begun yet.
  • Assume that other people are busier than you are. A non-response isn′t a "no." It′s just a non-response.
  • Improve your own communications.
  • Make connections for other people.
  • Try Fedex.

You can read the rest of his post here.

In my opinion, the most important of these five suggestions is lessening your dependence on the internet job posts. Many companies do not post their open positions online, especially small or mid-size companies who may not have the budgets to subscribe to expensive job boards. Many recruiters (myself included) won't waste time posting open positions on job boards and chasing the same candidate pool as the job posters.

If you are relying solely on job boards for your job search, you are missing out on the majority percentage of available jobs out there. I'm not saying ignore them completely, but do realize the importance making real connections. Go to networking events (professional or personal), volunteer, be active in your social networks, reconnect with old colleagues and friends (this is something you should always be doing, even if you are happily employed!), meet your Facebook or Twitter friends for coffee, and find and build a relationship with a recruiting firm in your industry niche to keep an eye out for you.

How did you go about finding your last job?

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