With my husband hunting for a new job, I thought I would share some tips this week for others in the same boat.
- Think hard about your goals.
This is an area I’ve made sure my husband has worked hard on. Being laid off means to me that he may as well try to pursue some of the dream jobs he never really had the time for before.
- Don’t settle until you have to.
While my husband will have to take a job soon, that doesn’t mean he must settle for the first job that opens up to him. If he were doing that, he could well be working at Home Depot already. On the other hand, a point will come where we will really need that income to stay where we are.
I’ve been utterly shameless about telling people about the layoff. I’ve gotten ideas from a few people.
- Get help with your resume.
One of the few good things to come of this layoff is that his former employer did contract with an outsourcing company that is helping him really put a better resume together. With any luck this will help him land a better job than what he had before.
- Check Craigslist.
While scams do land on their job boards, so do a lot of legitimate jobs, especially if you’re not talking about working at home. We’ve seen some really interesting ones there.
- When in doubt, apply.
This one has been a bit tricky for my husband at times. In the past he has been too willing to say he’s not qualified for a job over small issues. This time he’s letting the potential employers decide if his qualifications are close enough. Of course, the one that he was a great match for except they wanted him to be able to speak Mandarin Chinese we skipped over. Some qualifications really do matter.
- Post your resume online.
Indeed, LinkedIn, etc. This may not get you much of anywhere, but there’s always a chance.
- Know how much risk you can afford.
A lot of the employers we hear back from on posted resumes are commission-only types, and potentially high pressure as well. If you don’t want to do that kind of work or risk not earning enough, don’t bother with them. But if you think you could do well and can afford the risk, go for it!
- Interview, even if you don’t think you’ll get the job.
Sometimes you will. Sometimes you won’t. Sometimes the interview will help you to realize that the job wouldn’t have been a good fit for you anyhow. And all interviews are good practice for the one that gets you the job you really want.
- Pay attention to the details.
Spelling counts. Grammar counts. Your appearance counts, even if you’re just dropping off your resume.
- Dress appropriately.
Know in advance how you are likely to need to dress for the job you’re applying for. You can dress a bit nicer than that for the interview, but dressing worse can be a big mistake.
- Turn off your cell phone during interviews.
You need to show that you understand the interview is the priority.
- Do your research.
It can really pay off to be able to talk coherently about the company you are interviewing with. This is especially relevant if they’ve recently released some big news.
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