Jobless and less and more, but also less

I wrote the following post for The Wall Street Journal blog “Laid Off And Looking” a little while back…

Getting Help After Multiple Layoffs

The piece discussed the Obama administration’s policy in Iraq and Afghanistan and the political and social repercussions in a nation fighting many battles at home and abroad. Or maybe it explored ways to avoid a collective “f**k off” from one’s network after repeated requests for job search help. I’m pretty sure it was the latter. But I’m positive the piece went over BIG! A month – and 17 magazine covers, twelve books, five feature-length films, three albums of show tune covers, two Jerry Springer appearances in drag and one line of unemployment-themed dolls carrying my likeness – later, and not much has changed. I’m huge in Sweden (not ABBA or Europe huge, but close), and still unemployed here. The good times continue to roll.

My post did resonate with some, which makes me all warm and fuzzy. (Self-medicating with my own special Crunk Juice – mouthwash and Mountain Dew – helps too.) And just yesterday the Inside Office Online blog – part of the Microsoft Developer Network – revived my teachings. Follow along, my children…

The care and feeding of your (jobs) network

Giving back to one’s network – helping those who help you – is as important now as it was last month. Times are still hard. Inside Office Online has partnered with career site Monster.com to help job seekers find work. The Office Online Career Center‘s “4 steps to find the right job” are…

  1. Plan a job search strategy
  2. Search for the right jobs
  3. Build a great resume
  4. Post your resume on Monster.com

I guess my plan could use a little fine-tuning…

  1. Apply to every opening possible because working beats eating canned dog food
  2. Consider every job that pays money for services rendered – even those that require late hours under the elevated subway – the right job
  3. Write “PAY ME TO WORK, I DO STUFF GOOD” in crayon on used cocktail napkins
  4. Tape my “resume” to telephone polls and stop signs near tall buildings

I joke because I love. But if finding work were as easy as they suggest, we’d all be happily employed and the recession but a distant memory. It’s not, and we’re not. And, um, it’s not. A productive job search requires a fair bit more subtlety, not to mention skill and luck. Their list is completely obvious, unhelpful and self-serving. But believe it or not the site does provide some valuable resources behind the marketing speak.

Included is a varied collection of resume templates, broken down by profession and career phase. There are more than I can shake a stick it, and I’m one talented stick shaker. The site also offers a job search log template in Excel. I couldn’t download it because my computer is Justin Long and not John Hodgman. But Excel is my preferred method of tracking resume submissions, and it works very well.

There’s also a ton of valuable content. An article on resume keywords jumped out at me; fortunately, I was able to fend it off with my superior linguistic (and stick) skills. Filling one’s resume with the keywords that hiring managers use to describe a position betters one’s chances of being considered for that position. This is sound advice. Another article talks about highlighting transferable skills when changing careers. Many of us are exploring multiple fields in a tough job market, and could use this advice.

Let’s not forget the job listings. Monster has a ton of them, which may or may not be helpful. In theory, all the tools found on the site will help turn one of them into a job. In practice, that may be true in some small way. Who knows? It can’t hurt to look around and fire off a few resumes. At the very least, job listings provide a sense of the job market’s current state. And maybe you’ll stumble upon the perfect position for that special someone in your network… a little gift to show you care.

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One Comment

  1. retired at 24 wrote:

    I am a capable professional, and know that I would do an outstanding job in any media related position. 16 million people believe this to be true but the ceos are idiots and the managers completely cluless with how to deal with the economic adversity.

    Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. codemunch (Vikash Singh) on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Jobless and less and more, but also less http://bit.ly/VRPsf

  2. What do you have to do to become a motivational speaker? on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 9:02 am

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