How to Apply for Jobs When You are Out of a Job – Part One

Regardless of your background, there can be no denying times today are tough. While unstable economies around the world have made it incredibly difficult for many people to find work, the recent COVID pandemic has made things worse. Here at Select Resumes, we have inevitably seen an uptick in people recently or about to be made redundant through no fault of their own. The positive way to look at this current situation is to know that there are lots of people in your shoes, so the old stigma of applying for a job when out of a job has been dramatically lessened, but there are still some obstacles to overcome, that, if you apply yourself, can reap the rewards – even during a pandemic.  

Even if you are fortunate enough to have a substantial financial cushion available, you probably still need to find a job as soon as possible. And unless you want to find yourself in this situation again in another 6-12 months, you will want to spend a proper amount of time vetting companies and positions to make sure they are the right fit for you.

The first thing to try and keep in mind is not to panic as time begins to drag on. If you give in to this understandable state, you will make matters worse, because any sense of strategy and common sense will fly out the window and you run the risk of applying for jobs that don’t suit your skills or making you resume an unfocussed mess in trying to please all readers at once.  It is a counterproductive and will only prolong your job-seeking in the long run

How do you best position yourself to apply for a job when you are out of a job?

Firstly, with so many job sites advertising the same role, you are liable to end up sending your resume to the same employers for the same position, and probably cancel yourself out in the process. Keep the panic down and be strategic, do some research, check the actual company websites for vacancies, and worry more about quality than quantity. It may be tempting to upload your resume and just sit back and wait, and that may well work, but it is much better for your sanity to take a proactive approach. 

The next thing to take on board is that applying for a job when you are out of a job is a job in itself. You should treat it with the same respect as when you come to the office. So, get up early, shower, and get fully dressed to maintain a professional mindset as if you were going to the office. The only difference is now; your responsibilities include being the first to evaluate new openings on job boards, follow up with recruiters and employment leads, reach out to your network, write emails and make phone calls.

If you think this sounds over the top, consider this – if you lost the chance to interview for a great job because someone else got the wheels turning first, that extra hour or two of sleep would not be nearly as satisfying.

Also, because a call or email with your next opportunity could come in at any moment, it is important to have a professional email address and voicemail. While it may have been acceptable to keep your adolescent Yahoo! or Hotmail account and witty voicemail while you had a job, you don’t want those kinds of easily changeable characteristics to leave a negative impression on hiring managers and recruiters and stand in the way. Also, if you do decide to sleep until noon, consider letting your professional calls go until you wash the sleep from your eyes and can talk without sounding like you just woke up.

An easy way to get your mindset in alignment with the task of getting a job is to consider your work as an hourly position. There are three main reasons for this:

First of all, the amount of effort you put into the job search will have a direct correlation with your results. Hourly employees get paid more when they work longer (remember overtime?). Job hunters find more opportunities and better opportunities the longer they work. The more effort you exert, the more rewards you will gain.

In the next part of this article, well explain more techniques and strategies to help you find a job when unemployed. 

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Re-entering the Workplace After the COVID Hiatus
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How to Apply for Jobs When You’re Out of a Job – Part Two