Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Letter from the Maven mail

A reader writes:

I am job hunting, like every 1 in 10 people in Michigan. I have the usual stuff handled - resume updated and will customize for each position, cover letter ready to customize for each position and thank you letters customized for each position. Problem is that I don't see any positions. Any thoughts on where I can look?

Dear job seeker, Yes, I have plenty of thoughts. Let me post a few.

1. If you haven't, visit the Michigan Talent Bank. It's a website through the Michigan Employment Development Department. The site has a number of excellent listings and also allows applicants to upload information to be contacted directly by companies looking to hire. I am not a big fan of this passive kind of application process, so don't count on it. Pursue options you see on the Talent Bank vigorously.
2. Get Linked In. I won't spend a lot of time on it since multiple places have outlined the benefits. Read about Linked In here.
3. If you are looking for areas outside of your field, or would like to see where there could be growth, visit the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook, along with Career Guides.
4. Think about contacting your alma mater for connections and resources. Most colleges/universities have career centers. Use them if you haven't.
5. Consider volunteer and the non-profit world. As crazy as this sounds, you can meet some terrific people with more connections. Get out of the house and do something good. Visit Volunteer Match here. For non-profit, visit here the Idealist site for information and referrals.
6. Visit the temporary agencies in your area. It may not be exactly the kind of work you seek but it will keep you busy and generate some revenue. Plus you can potential meet people with other leads.
7. Think about places outside the norm. Colleges and universities are hiring but may not advertise in mainstream publications. Check out higheredjobs.com for jobs in higher ed or academic360.com for a listing of colleges and universities in your area.
8. Not all companies advertise. Find a business journal in your area and look at the companies in your area. Check out their website - see if they are hiring. And see if anyone in your Linked In connections works for any of your companies of interest. Ask for a referral or introduction.
9. Want a glimpse into the HR world? Visit alltop - it has a fantastic collection of HR blogs and information. http://hr.alltop.com. Any question you might have about anything human resources related is available by a click.
10. And lastly, consider the Federal Government. They are hiring too. While their application process is lengthy if you can follow their directions, you can surely do the work. Check out usajobs.gov.

Keep at it. You aren't alone and while that is small consolation, keep at it. I wish you the best.

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