8 Smart Job-Hunting Tips
1. Get it out of your system.
It's OK to have a bit of a pity party if you get laid off, but just for a week or two. "Losing a job is hard on your self-esteem, and you're going to be emotional," says Johnson. Give yourself a little time to work through those feelings, then move on.
2. Ready your résumé.
Create a master résumé (if you don't already have one), then tailor different versions of it to each new job you apply to. "If you're a baby boomer, leave off your college graduation date and limit your experience to 15 years," suggests Johnson. Unfair as it is, ageism in hiring does exist. So play up your strengths: "Don't just list your responsibilities," says Johnson. "That will read like a job description. Instead focus on your specific successes and accomplishments. Detail results. People hire not just for what you did, but how well you did it."
3. Create a digital identity.
In this era of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, having an online presence is key, especially for people over 40. "It boosts your relevancy and is another way for people to find you," says Johnson. "If you want to use just one, make it LinkedIn. It's the most professional of the networking sites and is used primarily for business." List your experience and ask former colleagues to post recommendations.
4. Don't rely too much on the Internet.
"Job boards are a great way to find leads, but only 30% of your time should be spent online," says Johnson. "The bulk of your time should be used to make direct connections, which are even more important during a recession." The Internet is flooded with applications. These days, recruiters are more likely to find potential candidates through word-of-mouth.
5. Assess your skills.
Honestly ask yourself if you have the same know-how as someone in her 20s. Thanks to the economy, people of all ages are now competing for many of the same jobs. If you don't think your computer or technical skills are up to par, get additional training. "Check with your local unemployment office, community college or YMCA," advises Johnson. "They often offer free or low-cost training."
6. Start a job club.
Turn to Facebook, your church or your neighbors to reach out to others in your community who've also been laid off. Meet regularly to share your experiences, offer encouragement and hold each other accountable. "Everyone needs a support system," says Johnson. "A job club helps you stay motivated during your search."
7. Have the right attitude.
Know going in that your job search may take longer than expected. "Never tell yourself, 'Nobody's hiring' when you get frustrated," says Johnson. "That way of thinking just leads to giving up. You have to maintain a positive outlook. Constantly say to yourself, 'Someone has to get the job. Why not me?'"
8. Lower your expectations.
You want to find a new job with the same salary as your old job. Reality check: That may not happen. "Many times people say,I can't work for that amount!" says Johnson. "But a year from now you may wish you'd taken that lower-paying job. If you're offered a job that pays less than your last one, ask yourself if you can really afford not to accept it." Eventually, the economy will turn around and salaries will begin to climb. At that point, you can start looking for another job while bringing in a steady paycheck from the one youalmostdidn't take.
Video: Job Search: The Top 10 Ways to Job Search
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