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Seven ways to jumpstart your job search


As we wrap up the first month of the New Year, many Americans continue to contemplate how they will pay their bills at the end of the month. At this point, it looks extremely unlikely that long-term emergency unemployment benefits will be extended and about 1.3 million jobseekers already have lost them.

If you are one of these many struggling long-term unemployed, follow these simple steps to revitalize and reenergize your job search.

  1. Network, Network, Network. Increase your exposure and get out from behind the computer. Long-term unemployed individuals are more than likely spending too much time looking for a job on the internet. 70-85 percent of job seekers find their next position through networking. Join networking groups, and increase your networking contacts by volunteering your services with civic, charitable, and religious groups. Continue attending professional association meetings or your local chamber events.
  1. Don’t discount part-time, temporary or contract positions. Many temporary and/or contract positions can lead to full-time employment. Alternatively, use a part-time position at a retailer as an opportunity to network in a different way – for example, say hello and chat with local business professionals as you prepare their morning coffee at the local coffee shop in downtown. 
  1. Double-check your References: What are your references telling potential employers. Make sure that your references are up to date on your skills and significant accomplishments. Provide wording and examples of your work to support your references. Help them; Help you!!
  1. Target the Industries that are hiring. The Denver Post recently posted that Technology and more specifically IT roles will be up 66 percent in the first six months of 2014 (http://ow.ly/sa0Zy). The healthcare industry has added more than 600,000+ jobs since the recession began. Also, check out manufacturing and service industries that are more than likely rehiring people who they may have previously laid off.
  1. Effectively Use Cover Letters. Always write a cover letter to accompany your resume but don’t just reiterate your resume. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate how you have kept your skills fresh since you have been out of a job. For example, list recent classes that you have attended or highlight your volunteer experience. Your cover letter should tell the reader that you are qualified based on their advertised needs.
  1. Be Proactive. Use social networking websites to identify contacts within targeted companies and possible jobs that have not been posted or advertised. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are particularly helpful for finding inside contacts.
  1. Focus on the immediate value you can bring to an employer. Communicate clearly your immediate impact if you were to be hired - what you can do for them right now and within your first three months on the job. Write a proposal including a performance pledge and a timetable for achieving business results.
  1. Check out the competition. Companies that have gaps in their management teams are more than twice as likely to hire people who have worked for their competitors.

Unemployed people are facing some historic numbers and formidable competition; however, when faced with this difficult situation, focus on areas that you are able to change, and this will increase your chances for success. Despite the odds, people are still landing jobs every day. Job-seekers need to continually make adjustments, and never give up!

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Shawna Simcik

Shawna Simcik, MA, CMP is genuinely passionate about utilizing innovative resources and market knowledge to drive organizational, career and individual excellence. As a founding partner at ICC Inc., she firmly believes that the success of a business lives and dies by its people. Acting as an extension to your internal resources, ICC provides people strategies for business results in the areas of Talent Management Consulting, Organizational Effectiveness and Compassionate Outplacement services.

Reach her/follow her/learn more at shawna@innovateicc.com @shawna_icc innovateicc.com or 855-865-4400.

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