Recently Heather Coleman from the Ferndale Career Center asked me to make a short video with some tips for people in Detroit who are looking for a job.
As I did a bit of background research on the unemployment situation in Detroit (15.5%in March 2010) I could well understand how people who have been working hard at looking for a job could be disheartened and overwhelmed at the double-digit unemployment numbers and talk of hard times for job-seekers. This is a huge challenge for the city and one that the business and political movers-and-shakers have in order to get the economy back on track.
But when it comes each individual looking for a job for themselves, the task at hand is to get just one job, regardless how many other people are also looking for work.
In the video I recorded for the Ferndale Centre I went through three of my tips for job-seekers:
1. Focus on the fact that you only need 1 job.
Don't be distracted by the size of the unemployment statistic or the number of people who you know who are also looking for work. You need to be focussed on finding only 1 job. Your next job.
2. Apply for every job as if it's the only job you are applying for.
Potential employers don't know (or want to know) how many jobs you have applied for or how weary you are of the process. They want to be convinced that you are the best candidate for the job with the most chance of being successful in the role (and the least risk to them that you'll succeed!)
To do this you need to approach each job application as if it is the only and most important role you are applying for. Each cover letter and your resume should be adapted for each and every job.
3. If the job suits you - take it - even if it is not at the level you were working at previously.
If a role is suited to you because it gives you a regular pay-check, is in your area of expertise and is with a company you are happy to work for - apply for it and if you are successful - take it. Don't not apply or take a job because it is 'below' your capability. Don't rule a job out just because it isn't at the same level that you have worked at previously.
Cream, they say, rises to the top, and once you have your foot in the door with a new employer you will be able to demonstrate your skills and new opportunities will emerge. And even if you are from the school of worst-case scenario thinking - at least it will provide you with some income whilst you search for another opportunity. In tough economic times employers understand that you need to be practical and work and 'taking a step back' for a while will not negate your previous career advancements.
To all who are looking for work, it can be hard, it can be dis-heartening and it can be a process full of disappointments. There's no disguising that it's often not fun. Treat looking for a job as a job and do it as well as you would a job. And remember you only need 1!
PS There are more tips on how to 'get the job you want' in my book "Hot Tips for Career Chicks" available on Amazon!! :)