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Are you Working It?

wantads.jpgIf you’re unemployed, or even employed and actively looking for a new job, are you REALLY putting in the effort it takes to succeed?

If you’re like most Americans and Europeans, the answer is “no.”

Reported in Weddle’s excellent newsletter are the following statistics from a 2008 survey reported recently in  The Economist:

 Length of time Unemployed Workers Spend Looking for a Job (per day)

  • U.K.: 10 minutes
  • Sweden: 10 minutes
  • Germany: 10 minutes
  • Spain: 20-30 minutes
  • France: 20-30 minutes
  • U.S.: 40 minutes

In 10-40 minutes per day, what can you accomplish? Surf the web for the latest postings… dash off a couple of resumes… call one contact and give up when he or she has no leads for you.But just think what you could do if you devoted 2, 4, 6, or even 8 hours of your day to your job search – strategies and activities that will expand your horizons, your opportunities, and your results.

  • Prepare and practice your “elevator pitch” so you can smoothly and confidently deliver it during an interview, at a formal networking event, or to a casually met acquaintance.
  • Write out your greatest career “success stories” and practice relating them in a clear, compelling manner.
  • Create a list of 50 people you can contact and make 10 phone calls per day to complete the list in a week. (Use your new elevator pitch for best results.) Make a new list next week.
  • Review your resume and cover letters and edit/polish to perfection.
  • Identify and research 10 companies that might be a good fit for you. Use LinkedIn and/or your personal network to connect to decision makers (or anyone) at those companies.
  • Pick up the phone and call them! Use your referral as an introduction, then deliver a brief message about your potential value to the company. Ask for a meeting.
  • Start a new list of companies next week.
  • Read a book or online articles about trends in interviewing. Think about how you’ll respond, and practice your answers to tough questions.
  • Review your interview wardrobe and replace, repair, polish, mend, or iron anything that looks less than perfect.
  • Identify your top value points that you’ll want to communicate in your next interview. Focus on value to the company, not interest to you.
  • Make an interview “cheat cheat” of your top value points and keywords for your success stories. Practice your interview responses using just the crib sheet.
  • Call someone you know who’s unemployed and ask if you can be of help.

I could go on, but you get the point. Work the process and you’ll reap the rewards.

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