Many people are facing dire times during a prolonged economic downturn, which started by and large in late 2007, although depending upon your specialty, the beginnings of the recession started in the ‘80s with the outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs to other countries.  It was just a matter of time before white collar work got outsourced too.  The politics of the situation, though, do not change the reality for many people.  With bills to pay and many people out of work for two years or more with no unemployment benefits, philosophical discussions are a moot issue.  Solving the problem is tantamount.  For some, joining the military is an option, especially if you are younger, but for others that is not an option.

Although I cannot promise anyone a sure fire way that guarantees a job, I can tell you how to what the best strategies are, which will place you in the best possible position, so that you can get one of the few jobs, which are available.  You do not have to work hard, but you do have to put in time and be smart.  Okay, so let us begin.

The first thing that you should do is to discard old beliefs.  Sending out five or so targeted resumes that you research and know that you are qualified for every couple of weeks does not cut the mustard anymore, so to speak.  What you think of your qualifications is not as important as what the employer and recruiter thinks of your qualifications.  Apply to anything and everything within plausibility of your field.  You do not need to read the job descriptions.  You only need to glance at it quickly.  Your motto should be to throw enough things against the wall, so that not only will something stick, namely that you get an interview, but that you get hired too.  You need to make a nuisance of yourself.  Be heard.  You should send out several hundred resumes every other day.  In a month time period, you should have sent out several thousand.  Yes, you can do that and not spend more than a couple hours a day on the activity.  I will tell you how later in this article.

In most jobs, one does a varied number of things.  For instance, many people in white collar jobs have to do a bit of project management, even if you are not the project manager (PM).  Maybe you had to train people.  Did you ever have to write something?  What I am driving after is that you should explore working in a related field.  It does not matter what you think of your skills, but what the hiring manager thinks.  I say hiring manager, because you can work around recruiters.  They are two dimensional in nature, as are human resource managers.  By the way, being a human resource manager is another possibility.

Create one resume for each type of work.  Mention every job that you had, but emphasize skills in the area that you want to push.  Try to recollect back to your time and think if you did anything in that field, if even scarcely.  If you did, play that up.  Do a search on job boards and find industry buzzwords in the field.  Research what they mean.  You can do that by doing a Google search.  Add those buzzwords, which you feel comfortable.  Maybe you can study a bit those buzzwords and do some practice exercises with them, so that you know the lingo.

When the going gets tough, the tough should start working smartly and aggressively.  Craft one cover letter for each job type. Be willing to accept a small decrease in pay, if you get into high-paying field for which you really do not have that many skills.  You will be receiving remuneration for advancing your skillset and getting into a new line of work.  Be happy.  I did not say to sell yourself short.  You should never do that.

When the topic of distance comes up, act like you have been to that location a zillion times.  The answer should always be that the distance is not bad and that you can do that easily.  What difference is it to anyone what the actual time is?  You are not being paid for it, so why discuss that you will be on the road for an hour.   Be firm and reassuring that the distance is not bad and that you are experienced.

Work every job board and be prepared to talk with recruiters and human resource personnel when they call.  Never, and I do mean NEVER, discuss your job search and how it is going with anyone.  It is not their business.  When a recruiter asks if you have any pending interviews, be firm that you do not discuss your job search.  Act like a manager and the one that is in charge.  Take control of the conversation.  That includes finding out what the job position is.  Most recruiter will not initially give out this information, as they want to screen you to see if you have the skillset.  They may ask you to describe your ideal job.  Try to avoid getting angry or agitated. That only hurts you. Obviously, the answer is any job that pays and is close to home, but you cannot say that, sadly. Tell them what they want to hear. You must tell them that you want to work in that field for which they are calling.  How can you do that?   You do that by keeping track of which jobs you applied to and having the information at your fingertips indexed by company name and contact person.  If someone is calling you, more than likely it is because you applied for the job.

I will give you a word of advice.  Be very cautious about giving out your social security number and other key pieces of information.  You do not need to fill that out on an initial interview.  If it becomes serious, then provide it.  If a company requests it for tracking purposes, such as with Bank of America, I would think twice.  Companies like Bank of America do not care about you.  They could care less.  It is up to you to protect your own interests, just as they do their own.  I would think twice about applying for those types of jobs.  Maybe you want to if the situation is desperate enough, but I would still error on the side of caution.

Searching for a job effectively today cannot be done the old fashioned way.  Employers and recruiters have tools to help them, you should as well.  More than likely you have either a computer or a laptop. It is time that you get a software program which will help you do the chores related to finding a job. When checking into a software tool, your software tool should allow you to apply for jobs without opening a million tabs. It should assist you with your with resumes and a host of other things.

Be careful to not get flustered and throw up your hands doing a job search. Let us look at a common situation, where this happens. Remember, people will only see the end result, the final email, not all the hard work that went into applying for a job. Job boards are the most notorious, as far as being a pain in the rear.  Even so called simple boards, like Craig’s List, are a pain to use.  Take Craig’s List, in order to apply for a job, you must navigate to a job category and then open up jobs of interest on a separate tab.  You then have to open up a new blank email form, one for each job, and then fill out each piece of information that goes into an email, one by one. You can easily spend ten minutes to send out one resume.  The work does not end there, as you should keep track of this application, so that you can add information later on and retrieve information later on too. Yes, this part of the job search process is the most tedious and the most dreadful.

Be careful to not feel humiliated dealing with job boards, endlessly rewriting resumes, and especially talking with recruitment and employment contacts endlessly.  There is also the matter of a long period of your life, not knowing when money will flow again, without money, seeing your life put on hold.  That has an enormously damaging feeling to one’s psyche. To avoid these issues, even with help, you should do things that reinforce your sense of self-worth. For different people that can mean different things. Spend a portion of each week reinforcing your self-esteem. That will help you in your job search, as nobody wants to hire a loser.

You should also note that the best time to apply for jobs is the first thing in the morning, so that people see your email when they first get in.  If you send out emails on a Sunday or in the afternoon, it will get buried along with other people’s email.  Did you know that applying for a job on a job board merely sends an email to the person that took out the ad?  This restriction puts more pressure on you.

Okay, I suppose that I do not have to tell you, but dress well and dress to impress, even if you are a college graduate.  I do not say that lightly.  I talk from experience.   I was still at college, when I went for my first job interview.  I asked my father how I should dress.  He told me that I am a student and then will see me as such, so I should dress that way.  Not having anyone tell me different, I listened to him.  I was taken aside after the interview and given a talk to by the hiring manager about how to dress.  Needless to say, I did not get that job.  Speaking of learning things through the School of Hard Knocks, and I hold a PhD from that university graduated with high marks, you should listen to criticism and accept it if it is valid, but reject it if you do not feel that it suits you.  People say things to help you, but that does not mean that everything that someone says will help you.  You know yourself best, but do not be prideful and reject good advice.

If you want to dress well and on a budget, I would recommend JC Penney, if you happen to have one in your area.  They have great men’s and women’s professional outfits at great prices that anyone can afford.  I would also check out Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack.  Sometimes they have last year’s outfits at reduced prices.

When the phone rings and you start talking to someone, if you do not know an answer, do not try to bluff anyone.  That looks bad.  Jot down the question for latter research, but for the moment just say that you do not know.   The worst that can happen is that you blow the conversation, but will learn the question for the next person that calls.  Many company’s do a phone screen at first, so expect that.

More than likely, if you get the job, then you will get the offer within a day, most likely within a short time of the interview.  When interviewers keep interviewing, then they did not like you.  It is as simple as that, although they may interview other people and then get back to you, so you never know.

There is a job for everyone, just as there is that certain someone for everyone.  You have to be persistent and stay in there.  Keep up the education.  If there is a long period of unaccounted for time in your resume, add in short block to account for the period. I would recommend adding in some sort of education.  That can show people that your skills are still relevant.

The first step to finding a job is to stay focused and come up with a plan.  Decide that you will apply to jobs.  Do that like you would any other chore that you do every day.  The most important thing is to not get discouraged and remember that you are a valuable person.  Be creative.

By following these steps, you will see that the phone will start to ring and you will get interviews, both phone and onsite.  From there, it is up to you.  Be positive and smile at the interview.  Do not forget to shake the person’s hand.

Let me know your thoughts.  I would like to hear from you.  You can leave a comment on the blog or by sending an email via the site.

Sarah M. Weinberger
Butterflyvista Corporation

Butterflyvista is the maker of Jobfish 2010, a job search program to help the job seeker find a job. Just as the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market, Jobfish 2010 is revolutionizing the job search market. From help with your resumes, to working with the job boards, such as Craig’s List, applying for jobs, and so much more, Jobfish 2010 relieves the burdens of the mundane stuff, which usually frustrates job seekers beyond belief. Knowledge and organization is power, and Jobfish gives you both.