Approximately 12.2 million Americans across the country were unemployed in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that means competition is tough for good jobs. While looking for a new career can be stressful, there are steps you can take to make the process a little easier.
1. Modify your resume
When you find yourself unemployed, the time you would normally invest in your job should be completely redirected to finding a job and working on your professional image. Your resume is a crucial component of this image, which will naturally play one of the biggest roles in whether you get an interview and, ultimately, a job. Revise your resume and ensure that everything is accurate and up-to-date so employers have a detailed and honest representation of your professional history. Write a standard cover letter as a template and modify each one you attach to your resume with details specific to the job in question.
2. Purchase short-term health insurance
Your benefits disappear right along with your paycheck after losing your job, which puts you in a difficult position. On one hand, you want to have insurance for security in case anything were to happen, but you don’t want to commit to a long-term plan since you anticipate getting hired by a new employer in the near future. Short-term health insurance is the perfect solution for maintaining coverage during the interim. Having coverage can help reduce stress by giving you peace of mind in knowing you’re always covered, in case you should have any health problems during your unemployment.
3. Track contacts, and follow-up
Searching for a job can make you feel vulnerable and rejected by employers, but part of the lack of job offers may have to do with you not taking initiative with the job opportunities you already have. After sending out your resume, follow up on employers by calling a few days later to see if they’ve gotten a chance to evaluate you yet. Keep track of this information in a spreadsheet, so you can make a note about who you talked to and when. In some cases, this go-getter attitude could put your resume at the top of the stack. Or you may learn the position has already been filled. Although the latter isn’t ideal, at least you don’t have to wait next to the phone expecting an answer.
4. Use online resources
The professional world operates largely online, and that means your professional image must incorporate online mediums. From LinkedIn to Twitter to various blogging outlets, you can present a professional image and network with those in your industry by simply taking advantage of online resources. A new website called Meetup.com also provides an excellent outlet for finding networking events in your area, which could lead to job opportunities.
The lack of stability that comes with unemployment can easily cause anxiety and stress in your life, but these feelings can be mollified by taking a proactive approach to changing your situation. Despite the discouragement of high unemployment and frequent rejection, the most important thing you can do is maintain a positive mental attitude throughout your search. Staying positive and staying busy will help you change your situation and grow as both a professional and a person.
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