Free Sample Job-Seeker Follow-Up Letter After Job Interview And Rejection Job Searching in Turbulent Times

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Job Searching in Turbulent Times

Spring offers a good opportunity to spruce up, review and fine-tune every element of an employment search, from resumes to thank-you notes.

While you may be doing almost everything right, neglecting or mishandling just one or two pieces of the process could keep you from getting a job, especially in this ultra-competitive market.

Here, then, is a checklist that covers some of the major links in the job search chain:

THE RESUME

When was the last time you took a word-by-word, letter-by-letter look at your resume? Make sure it’s completely up to date and tailored to the types of jobs you are seeking. Resume writing is tricky business. “You have to provide just enough information to picque the hiring manager’s interest in learning more about you. But if you offer too much, they can make a snap decision that knocks you out of the running,” states Danielle Dayries, local Career Consultant and Resume Writer.

Make sure your resume is based on accomplishments rather than simply a job description. Also, have someone else look at your resume. If you cannot afford a career coach, give your resume to friends or family members to scrutinize.

REFERENCES

If you have not talked to your references lately call or e-mail them. Make sure they are still in the same jobs, and tell them you’re still looking. This helps expand your network, because references may know of job openings. It’s also a good time to consider whether to add or remove some people as references.

COVER LETTERS

Maybe you’ve set up a few basic templates in advance, but that’s not enough. Each cover letter you write should be geared specifically to the job for which you are applying.

STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER

It’s easy to spend 8 hours a day on the computer applying for jobs and feel like you searched for a job all day. Guess what – thousands of individuals saw the same job postings, dramatically increasing the competition and reducing the odds of securing a position. Solution: Network, network, network! Ms. Dayries recommends setting up some type of in person meeting every day of the week. This helps bring structure to your day, keeps you in touch with the outside world and prevents you from becoming complacent or depressed, she says. You are more likely to succeed through people you know or meet through networking, volunteering, or through professional or alumni associations.

“Lafayette has an abundance of opportunities to network on a professional basis. Attend a LEDA luncheon or the Lafayette Chamber monthly Business After Hours events. Make sure you gather as many cards as possible, email them a thank you and reminder about your career objectives with your resume and plant as many seeds as possible. One will grow!” states Ms. Dayries.

NOW – GO BACK TO THE COMPUTER AND DEVELOP AN ONLINE PRESENCE

Create a LinkedIn profile and populate it with as many contacts as possible and continually reach out to new ones. “LinkedIn uses the six degrees of separation theory; you never know who your contacts know and which one of these contacts may be hiring. Several of my clients have utilized LinkedIn and secured interviews and ultimately job, ” states Ms. Dayries. Also, ask previous colleagues and associates to write a recommendation for you on the site. And, while you’re at it, Google yourself and check Facebook or other social networks to make sure that nothing embarrassing shows up.

THE FOLLOW-UP

These days, it is common to apply for a job and never hear back from the company. Without being a pest, take the initiative by following up with a phone call a week or so after you apply. If no name is listed on the job posting, use research skills to find one. Or, if you know someone at the company, check whether that person will put in a word for you. You can also see if any of your LinkedIn contacts know anyone within the company and get a personal introduction that way.

INTERVIEWS

If you are getting plenty of interviews but no return calls or job offers, take a ruthless look at your Interviewing Skills. This is one area where investing in a career coach may pay off, Ms. Dayries said. But if you can’t afford one, try to find a job group or service that conducts free mock interviews. Dayries highly recommends tapping into the free services provided by The Lafayette Business and Career Solutions Center. In addition, the same day that you have an interview, make sure to send a thank-you note by e-mail or regular mail.

SUPPORT SYSTEMS

Finally, recognize that looking for a job – especially in a market like this – can take a psychological toll. Don’t take it personally if your job hunt is taking a long time. Many excellent job candidates, victims of the economic downturn, are in the same boat now.

Even in the best of times, a job hunt is often about rejection – and that can be hard to endure. Staying in touch with family, friends, professional networks and fellow job seekers can help you maintain a positive attitude and a sense of perspective.

“I’ve worked with many people who felt that their state of joblessness was a reflection of their character,” Dayries says, “I think that’s a mistake.” Instead, she advised, acknowledge that it hurts to lose a job. Give yourself a little time to wallow, but realize that in this economy, layoffs happen. Then pick yourself up and move on.

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