Posted by Brian McCullough
Unemployment seems stuck at 10% and it’s not getting better very quickly.
One unique feature about this recession seems to be that if you do lose your job, it could take you a long time to find another one. Every day there are more headlines about the long term unemployed and how tough it is out there if you’ve been laid off.
Almost half of those on unemployment have been collecting for over six months or more. As the BLS wrote in its report on April job figures:
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) continued to trend up over the month, reaching 6.7 million. In April, 45.9 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.
We’ve seen the same thing at ResumeWriters.com. We have clients that are coming to us as a last resort because they’ve been job searching for a solid year and have gotten nowhere.
What do you do if you’re one of the long-term unemployed?
One of my favorite job search tips that I often share with my clients is a simple one.
I’ve told you before that your job search should be organized. Hopefully that includes keeping records (a calendar, diary or journal) of the various places you’ve applied to. It’s important to keep track of who you’ve sent resumes to, when, what the response was, when you interviewed, and what the result might have been. This level of organization is key to an organized, strategic job search.
So, if you find yourself months into a job search and feel like you’re hitting a wall, try something simple:
Cycle back through your early applications!
After all, if it’s been several months since you made contact, things might have changed in the intervening time period. New positions might be open. New people might be in charge with new agendas.
This works even if your application was rejected. Doubling back and expressing interest again is a great way to show your commitment and strong desire to work with that company.
And if you interviewed with the organization (but didn’t get the job) even better! Hopefully they’ll remember you. That might even put your foot in the door a bit because you’ve already been through their hiring process once, so the decision making might be smoother.
So if you’ve got a list of companies you’ve applied to from several months ago, try the following:
- Send emails, drop post cards, pick up the phone and touch base.
- Remind the contact that you’ve applied in the past, and even though a connection wasn’t made, stress that you really respect their organization and are so motivated to work with them that you thought you’d give it another go.
- Keep organized and mention the date of your first application. Mention the position you applied for originally.
- Inquire about that position. But if it’s been filled, don’t skip a beat: ask if anything else has opened up that you might be a good fit for.
- Remind them you’re available and even suggest you’ll be in contact again after a period of time.
- If you’ve already interviewed with the person once, thank them for their time and suggest that you felt the first interview was so constructive it inspired you to call again.
- If you already interviewed with the organization, but with someone else in the company, don’t be afraid to mention that you’ve been interviewed before. It will tell this new contact that you know what to expect and have a bit more knowledge of their organization than some Jane Doe off the street.
- Finally, record this contact in you notes so that if you do have to cycle back again, you can make sure to wait an appropriate period of time.
Job search is not a one and done thing. Just because you weren’t successful the first time doesn’t mean you can’t double back and check the same waters a second, or even a third time!