We all know it can be a jungle out there to find
a job in a hurry, and most people would be in
a very, very difficult position financially if
they were suddenly thrown out of work.
According to a 2016 survey by Bankrate.com,
nearly 63% of Americans have no “rainy day”
savings for unexpected occurrences like a
$1,000 medical visit or even a $500 auto repair.
Faced with such an emergency, respondents
said they would reduce spending elsewhere
(23%), borrow from friends or family (15%),
or use their credit cards to bridge the gap (15%).
And in case you were counting on living comfortably on unemployment benefits, good luck! My state, Louisiana, has the third lowest maximum weekly unemployment benefit per week ($258) in the U.S., behind only Arizona ($240) and Mississippi ($235). Some nearby states have considerably higher maximum weekly benefits, including Arkansas ($457) and Texas ($426). It’s pretty easy to do the math and see that you can’t make ends meet with those amounts.
Once you are “on the street” looking for work by distributing resumes, and you need a new position fast, the first test is to evaluate whether you are landing enough decent interviews commensurate with your qualifications and experience. If you are not getting interviews, or not getting enough of them, you may have problems that need to be cleared up before resuming your job search.
First, your resume may not be up to par, and you may want to look into having it independently evaluated by a certified professional. Once you have evaluated and hopefully improved your resume, you will need to reevaluate your job search methods. Let’s say that you put your resume online, which sounds good… but where did you put it? There are good articles out there, including some that I have written, listing the best job boards and online search tools. You should also definitely make a list of some of the places you’d like to work, and begin to reach out to people who work there.
Then there is LinkedIn. If someone checks the LinkedIn network, are you listed? How good is your LinkedIn Profile? Perhaps most important of all, have you taken the time to really explore all of LinkedIn’s capabilities and start growing a healthy network of first-level connections throughout the industries and companies you are interested in exploring? Because of my profession as a career coach, and also because I was an early adopter of LinkedIn, I am currently in the Top 10 Most Connected in the state of Louisiana.
The worst thing you can do if you need to find
a a job rapidly is to be “sitting around.” I
always recommend that those who are in the
career building stages of their lives (and
everyone else too) should volunteer with
organizations that make a difference,
particularly those organizations with missions
that are related to their areas of interest. In
doing so, you will meet great people, have a
good time, contribute to your community, and
build valuable contacts that could help you in
your job search.
While all of these ideas can lay the foundation for initiating an effective job search, they may not as fast as you need in order to make ends meet. My suggestion is to consider taking a job in the evenings, perhaps in a restaurant or retail establishment. This would allow you to earn some much needed cash while leaving your days open for interviewing and job search activities. Here are a few suggestions, condensed into a list.Have your resume reviewed by a certified, professional resume writer.
- Improve and enhance the resume to meet today’s exacting standards.
- Evaluate better online job sites to post your resume and identify potential employers to research.
- Make a list of preferred employers, industries, and organizations in your area and begin gathering names of people to reach out to for advice.
- Join LinkedIn and begin building an online network of people who may be helpful to your job search.
- Volunteer with community groups to increase your presence and gain contacts.
- Get an evening job to earn some quick cash and leave your days open to job search and interviews.
New Orleans native Grant Cooper is Founder & President of Strategic Resumes®. Grant recently won the 2015 Career Directors International President’s Award at the CDI national conference in Orlando, FL. He has appeared as a career expert on CBS, ABC & FOX TV and contracted with the U.S. Air Force, Kinko’s, the Louisiana Dept. of Labor, the City of New Orleans, the NFL, the NBA, as well as universities, regional banks, celebrities, and major corporations nationwide. Grant’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org