job hunting
Image by Robert S. Donovan via Flickr

I had the opportunity, a few days back, to participate in a discussion with a few individuals who were currently unemployed. The general feeling was that in today’s economy it was hard to locate work because “Everything is now done with the computer“. I couldn’t talk long but I left my card with the group and promised I would write about it.

So, I explained, “Welcome to Job Hunting 2.0″. Some experts may say your network just might be the most important way to find a position today but with jobs so scarce, most networks are coming up empty. Possibly the best way to find another position is to accept that, “Everything is done on the computer” and adjust accordingly.

Yes, practically all companies now hide behind a website and every website has a career page where you can browse job openings and apply for positions within that company without ever leaving your home but that also means that everyone else can do the same thing so the competition for fewer positions is intense.

I also think it is terribly time consuming to go to each individual companies website, search their job openings, write a specific cover letter for that opening you are interested in, upload your resume and cover letter and then wait… and wait… and wait, wondering if the company ever received you application. Some people even follow up with HR departments to confirm their application has been¬†received. That’s a no-no because most HR departments are overwhelmed with applications and phone calls waste their time.

HR departments prefer to do their hiring this way. Walk-ins are now frowned upon. This is Job Hunting 2.0.

So what to do?!?

I have found that most people start their job searches on CareerBuilder, Monster or Linkedin. My instincts always told me not to do what everyone else is doing or you will never stand out. If everybody is using Careerbuilder or Linkedin, Twitter, Monster, Indeed, Jibberjobber, The Vault, Resume Rabbit, SnagaJob, Craigslist and even their local Labor Department websites how do you stand out? My other point is there are a ton of career websites out there. It can all get overwhelming, even for the tech savvy.

But you have to be tech savvy, even if you are not in a tech savvy industry. That’s just the way the market works today so, unless we have a huge solar flare that knocks out all of our technology, job Hunting 2.0 is here to stay.

Most people will tell you your new job is to find a new job so spend 40 hours a week doing it.

Yeah right! To that I say those people are crazy!

Remember we don’t do what everyone else does! My advice is to spend 20 hours a week job hunting and the other 20 upgrading your tech skills. Don’t job search from home! Start with your local libraries. Not only do your local libraries have wireless internet access but they also have computers available to the public. Most every library I have been too has row upon row of computer desks where you can sit down and work with no distractions.

Go Mobile!

Yes, the best places to get work done is in a public place. Starbucks in the morning to conduct your job search. Enjoy the coffee and the atmosphere, take advantage of the free WiFi. If you stay long enough you will eventually be offered free samples of some of their newest delectables. This strategy will also prevent depression! Trust me!

Take your cell phone with you. Make sure your cell number is on your resume. Take calls on the go. Stay active, stay busy, plan your day.

If you do get a call for an interview, the interview time should come out of your looking for work time. If you interviewed for 4 hours on a particular day, the next 4 hours are yours to learn whatever you want. Yes, I have done 4 hour interviews. I found that on this pace, after 4 weeks of applying for jobs I was steadily setting up 1-2 interviews a week, about 4-8 a month. After 2-3 months I’ve had maybe a dozen job interviews, out of that I got 3 job offers.

It’s numbers game and you have to be persistent!

Make a Plan and Stick With It

Plan your day, utilize every resource you can! Job Fairs are great to practice your interview skills, I highly recommend, but don’t expect to find a job at a fair. If you can, post at every temp agency you find. ¬†Post your best resume on every job board you can find. Spend 4 hours a day going to the websites of every company you might want to work for and apply directly at their site.

Spend the first 4 hours of a day actually applying for jobs and then the second half updating your tech skills. Take a free class at the library on Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, teach yourself something new over the internet, something that interests you. Never give up! ;)

You get The Idea?!?

Everyone’s game plan should be a little different. Develop your own, these are just helpful hints. Have some fun with your search, make it productive. Stand out from the crowd. As a little hint, I used my website to stand out. I have a very common name. Maybe you need to do that too.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!

If you need any help in your search I’m just as close as an email.