NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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A New Job Search for a New Year

A New Job Search for a New Year


          Even though a number of indicators show that the economy is improving and the job market continues to expand, employers are continuing to be cautious and slow to hire additional workers and unemployment is still very high in some sections.

          For job seekers, this means they need to be especially resourceful and creative in their search for employment.  Job seekers have quickly found that it is not enough to send your resume to online career boards that might receive thousands of applications for a single position.

          If you are unemployed and been looking for some time, 2011 is the time to refocus your job search. Here are some strategies to refocus your efforts in the New Year:

          •Personal Contacts are Paramount. Some studies show that at least 60% of all jobs are found by networking. Network with everyone -- people who work in your field, neighbors and friends and those you know from social, civic and religious organizations. Don’t ask for a job –unless you know the person is actively hiring but do ask for information about how to proceed with your job hunt or improve your resume, and referrals to others who might be able to help.

          •Re-contact Hiring Managers in 2010. The holidays are always a slow period for hiring. Now that it’s January, managers have their 2010 budgets in place and in some cases may do most of their yearly hiring by the end of the first quarter. Resubmit your resume with a note to reconsider you for the original job opening and any new openings.

          •Give Your Resume a Makeover. Make sure your resume reflects current terminology for your field and includes all necessary key words. Ask a colleague in your field for constructive criticism. Also, utilize spellcheck or other wordsmith to check for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes you may not have noticed before.

          •Give Yourself a Makeover. Make sure that your interview outfit fits well, that your shoes are polished and that your hair is well groomed.

          •Treat job hunting like a job. Make your job search the first and most important priority of every weekday.  Make a schedule and to-do list and stick to it.

          •Consider freelancing, temp and contract jobs. All of these short-term employment solutions provide income but they also offer other benefits, including expanded opportunities to network.  And not to be overlooked is the fact that a short-term job gets you out of the house, with other people, and thus can help to keep your spirits up at a stressful time in life.

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