Saint Louis University

Job Search Tips For The Downsized Job Seeker

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  1. Stay positive
    Losing your job can be emotionally draining and can erode your self-esteem. Make sure you spend some time with a career counselor so that you can work through your feelings prior to starting the job search. Employers can tell if you are depressed or negative, and no one wants to work around someone with these traits.
  2. Define your search
    Now may be the perfect time to try out your calling. If you could do anything in the world and money is not a concern, what would you want to do? Check out that career to see if it is a possibility. If you do not know the answer to the question, work with a career counselor who will help you figure it out!
  3. Develop excellent application materials
    Employers typically take about 30 seconds to review a resume and cover letter. That is why it is important to be as succinct as possible while highlighting key skills and experiences. Keep in mind that resumes should be no longer than two pages and only need to include the past 10 years of experience. Each time you apply for a position, make sure to target both your resume and cover letter to that organization and that particular job.
  4. Create a networking list
    Networking is the number one way to find a job, whether the economy is good or bad. It isn't necessarily who you know but who your acquaintances and friends know that can lead you to your next job. Make a list of relatives, friends, mentors, neighbors, and professionals. Let these people know that you are looking for a job and what kind of job you are targeting. Ask them whom you should be talking to.
  5. Print business cards
    Experienced job seekers create their own unique business card. Create yours that includes your name, contact information, and a few key words about your skills and targeted industry and job title. These business cards can be a great tool to distribute at social and networking functions and are easy to keep handy.
  6. Spend 40 hours per week on the job search
    Treat your job search as a full-time job. Awaken each weekday morning as if you were going to work. Designate a room in your home or apartment that is your "office" and spend seven or eight hours per day on the search. You can use that time to set up networking appointments, to talk with people on your networking list, send out resumes and cover letters, look at job search websites, update your marketing materials, go on informational interviews, etc.
  7. Prepare for an interview
    Conduct a mock interview with a career counselor. Make sure that you have an up-to-date and professional interview outfit. Try on your interview attire and critically review it. What first impression do you make?
  8. Never give up
    It typically takes three to six months to find employment. Longer in unstable economic times. With a focused and targeted job search plan, great marketing materials, and a positive attitude, your next career can be just around the corner!
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