Let’s say you’ve been unemployed for a while. A long while, at least six months. You were laid off from your Orange County company and were able to score a nice severance package and so you decided to “take it easy” for a few weeks, catch your breath, rest up, relax, maybe take in some of the Southern California day trips you’d been wanting to take, but never had the time.
And then a few weeks turned into six, then into two months and you woke up one morning and said to yourself: “Todays’ the day! I’m revamping the resume, taking a look at some job boards, maybe make a few calls.”
And you do start with gusto. But 45 minutes in to the resume redo, you decide to check Facebook. Then it’s on to the Fox News or CNN websites. Before you know it, it’s 11:30: can’t make any calls now; it’s time for lunch.
As you eat lunch at your desk, you browse your favorite sites. You look up again and it’s 2 p.m. How did THAT happen!? So you work for another 45 minutes and then take a break.
Break over, but it’s now 4:45. Contacts won’t be at their desks. You call it a day.
The Same Pattern, Day After Day
Three months in and you’ve revamped the cover letter, but you’re starting to get worried: that severance package won’t last forever.
So you make some calls and people are polite but you can her them yawning on the other end. They’ll let you know if they hear of anything.
You start applying to openings you see on the job boards. You carefully craft each cover letter to the position and tweak your resume for that particular opening, too.
Still, that sound you hear? Crickets.
Six months is coming in mere days and you’ve no prospects and you’ve gone on no job interviews and you’ve definitely received no job offers.
Panic is now your middle name.
Time to REALLY Get to Work!
Even if you’ve been diligently applying for jobs, networking, and so on but have no job offers or even interviews, well, we’ll be blunt here: it’s going to be a lot harder for you to get interviews/job offers. Not impossible; but definitely harder. In a way, employers will look at you as if you’ve been out of work for five years: “What’s wrong with you that you’re still unemployed?”
(Note to self: never again “take it easy for a few days” after being laid off. Start the job search within no more than a week after leaving your employer.)
Enough with the Bad News. Here’s What you MUST Do: You’re Going to Break Some Rules
- You’re going to approach companies directly (No more applying on job boards. You are DONE.) You’re going to find out who can hire for the type of work you can do and you’re going to contact that person directly.
- Once you get a name, you’re going to research the hiring manager. LinkedIn, Google, the company’s website. You’re also going to research the company’s website to see what its goals and challenges are and you’re going to Google the heck out of, finding everything you can about the company.
- Once you’ve done your research and you know the hiring manager’s name, you’re going to write her a letter. But not any old letter. Nope. Definitely not. Instead, you’re going to write a letter about a problem you figure the hiring manager has and how you can solve it for her. You could call this a “pain” letter if you like (go ahead, that’s what she calls it).
- People hire people to solve their problems and you’re going to state how your skills and experience can help a hiring manager solve that problem. And you’re going to ask for a meeting or phone call to discuss your capabilities in person (instructions on how to do this).
- Next you’ll place that letter (don’t fold it) with your resume in an 8.5 x 11-inch manila envelope and address it to the hiring manager.
- And you’ll do this again for several different hiring managers at different companies.
Results can happen pretty quickly once the letters go out. This takes considerable work upfront (finding names, research, crafting the letter, etc.) but hiring managers will contact you. After all, you’ve just shown them evidence that you can solve their problems! Not all of them, of course, but enough will and you’ll soon be headed out on interviews.
Whether you’re looking for a full-time position or some temporary assignments while you look for your next opportunity, Helpmates can help. We have dozens of job openings every day: take a look and if one or more look interesting, apply as instructed.