Searching for a Job? Use Your Time to Build Professional Resources

Dec 10 22:00 2003 Elizabeth Kirwin Print This Article

With ... figures at 6.1% in August, there is great concern among the jobless about their ... future. Though internet job posting seems ... and opens up new ... the com

With unemployment figures at 6.1% in August,Guest Posting there is great concern among the jobless about their financial future. Though internet job posting seems convenient and opens up new possibilities, the competition is so fierce, it is not unusual for an employer to receive 300-600 resumes for one posting. Since most companies do not have the staffing or time to answer these inquiries, job seekers tend to feel like they are casting their resumes into a great void. Steve Hall, a 14 year Certified Personal Consultant with Find Great People in Greenville, South Carolina (, has witnessed disappointment in internet job hunters. “When job seekers spend a great deal of time applying for jobs and receiving no word, it tends to weaken their self-worth,” said Mr. Hall.
Spending five to eight hours per day on-line searching creates a sense of isolationism, too. “Most job seekers would be better served to balance their time behind the computer with an effort to meet with people and build a network of professional resources,” said Mr. Hall. He suggests volunteer work geared toward the job seeker’s profession with a charitable organization. “For example, an accountant could visit the Red Cross, a state boy’s home, or a church and offer to do bookkeeping,” Mr. Hall suggested. “This would have professional benefits. It will keep professional skills sharp and enable the job seeker to build a soft skill -- which is interacting with people. By volunteering skills and expertise, the person may meet somebody that will lead to employment,” added Mr. Hall.
Another activity that could stimulate job leads is participation in a weekly network group. “If you want to start a group in your area, rally a support group through professional associations,” recommends Mr. Hall. It’s important to find people of like minds, with similar passions, and in close proximity for weekly lunch or coffee meetings. “This interaction with colleagues and peer groups will allow the job seeker to hear about positions that may not be posted.” said Mr. Hall.
Belonging to a network group composed of those with similar professional interests could make job hunting a little less stressful. The network group will also help internet job seekers overcome a sense of isolationism. Mr. Hall notes that participation in a focused group will be like “having more than your own two eyes looking for work for you.” Job seekers can learn how others interviewed correctly or incorrectly. Sharing professional resources is also key to success with this type of group. “Say a person in your particular group received a call for a job they were not interested in,” observed Mr. Hall, “perhaps the location, hours, or pay were wrong for that individual. It may be just right for someone else in the group.” A simple exchange of information could be a hot lead to a new position. “If you are at home alone, you’re only interested in yourself,” said Mr. Hall, “though it might be noble, it’s not always productive.”
Another effective strategy is partnering with a mentor or coach. “This person should be candid with you about what doesn’t work and what you don’t do well. A good mentor will also emphasize what is likeable about you and where your talents exist,” offered Mr. Hall. Mentoring and coaching are a focused way to grow professionally. “Try to find somebody who is in the trenches working in your profession,” recommended Mr. Hall. “Work with this person to help develop skills or approaches you may be lacking,” he added. Paying for a coach is one route, but it may not be an option for those on a tight budget. Look for coaches or mentors among an existing network of friends and associates, or through a friend of a friend. Aim to work with a professional who you admire and respect.
Combining all or some of the above techniques will help most jobless individuals gain a new perspective on their search for employment. Some of these methods will also expand their network once they re-enter their chosen profession. In an age when computers offer the jobless more access, it is still important to remember the advantages of face-to-face contact.

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Elizabeth Kirwin
Elizabeth Kirwin

Elizabeth Kirwin is a freelance writer and educator based in Asheville, North Carolina. Her articles have appeared nationally in magazines and newspapers.

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