Being unemployed means being worried – about bills, about health insurance, about your future. And if weeks of job searching turns into months, it can really start to sap your self-esteem.
As with any other life goal, having a plan can help you become a more effective job seeker.
First Things First
Start with the immediate details.
- If you’re out of work, apply for unemployment. Indiana residents can find out more at in.gov/dwd/indiana-unemployment/file/.
- Learn about any benefit gaps you may have to fill, such as health insurance.
- If you have a 401k plan from your previous job, contact the financial institution that holds the account for information on how to roll it over.
Looking for a job can seem overwhelming. Focus on one smaller task at a time to make the search more manageable.
- Develop a job search plan. Start a list or spreadsheet to keep track of when and where you apply, who you contact, the date of your interview, and other details.
- Update your resume. You can find dozens of resume writing tips and design templates online or seek help from a professional. Microsoft Word also has built-in templates to get you started.
- Social media is an important element of today’s job search. The career-oriented social media network LinkedIn is a helpful resource with an active job board. Registration and many services are free.
- Write a skeleton cover letter. Perfect the basic introduction and background but be sure to customize the information for each application based on the individual job description.
- Organize any documents you need for your job search. Compile or update your portfolio, if your profession requires one. Consider putting it online and including the URL on your resume or cover letter.
- Attend job fairs appropriate to your field. Also, search for free online resources, webinars, and courses to enhance both your career and interview skills.
- Prepare for standard interview questions and practice interviewing. An online search for “common job interview questions” is a great place to start.
- Make sure you are prepared with a few questions to ask the interviewer, too. Again, an online search for “questions to ask in a job interview” will yield plenty of suggestions.
- Research a company before your interview. These days, employers expect you to know the basics about them before you walk in their door.
Take Care of Yourself
Stress and worry can take their toll, so it’s important to take care of your mental and physical health.
- Exercise and eat right. Both will help you maintain a more positive outlook.
- Your self-esteem, no doubt, has taken a hit. The Muse offers some helpful coping strategies.
- Job seeking itself can be a full-time job, but know when to take a break and do things you enjoy.
- Helping others can help take your mind off your own problems.
Partner with a professional.
For help with your job search, turn to an experienced staffing agency like Pro Resources Staffing Services.