Getting organized for a job search

Someone we know described the feeling he had the moment he was told he was being laid-off a few weeks ago.

‘My ears started to ring, my chest got tight and everything around me seemed to fade into the background. It was as though my world stopped for a moment. I was numb as I went through the motions of listening to the woman from human resources explain my termination and eventually heading home. Two weeks later, the fog still hadn’t lifted. It’s hard to get a job search organized when you feel as though you’re under water.’ If you are one of the many unlucky Americans faced with a pink slip, don’t despair. Although it may seem like one of the worst times of the year to be income-less it’s extremely important to stay as optimistic and organized. If you take a few steps to stay organized in the job search and use your strengths to your advantage you will be more likely to impress employers and get a new job quickly.

Alicia on ‘To Take a Pay Cut or Not to Take a Pay Cut’

‘This is not a fun topic to deal with or discuss, but unfortunately, many companies are still hiring but paying lower salaries than even a year ago. Since the available jobs are few and far between right now, it’s important to take opportunities when they are available to you, even if it is for a couple of months until you can find something better. A friend of mine, who happened to be a recent grad of the University of Michigan, was struggling in his jobs search. No one would hire him for a livable wage. After weeks of looking, he finally took a job that paid less than he truly needed just to relieve some of the financial pressure. Five weeks later, he was hired by the same company in another, better paying position. The moral of the story: it is possible to go farther, faster if you take a lower-paying job and prove yourself as a valuable team player in the first few months.’

Sarah on ‘The Network Effect’

‘It might be a dog-eat-dog world, but dogs do run in packs and the ‘who you know’ definitely has an impact on getting a foot in the door or even hired. Contact friends in your child’s school, your religious groups, your recreation groups, or even friends from your old job who might have friends whose company is hiring. People who can pass on your resume or put in a good word for you can give you the boost to get hired over someone else. Also, if you use social networking sites, like, contact people who are in a similar profession, even if you haven’t talked to them in a while. Everyone is impacted by this economy so you never know what an old friend might be able to help you with.’

Here are three tips for tackling the job search process.

#1 Organize Your Resumes
Since most employers don’t have the time to read more than one page of a resume, you need to make sure you are putting your best foot forward for each employer. That means presenting each employer with a resume that highlights the specific experiences, skills and certifications/awards that are most relevant to the job at hand. Also, always take the extra time to write a cover letter as well. It shows you care about the position and are a dedicated worker. For resume and cover letter writing help, visit the career sites like and

#2 Check Out All Career Sites
Job boards can be overwhelming, but we encourage you to leave no stone unturned. Search the local newspapers for employment, mass search engines like and, and do a Google search for ‘career fair ____ (insert your city in blank)’. In addition, many people don’t realize that a single job posting can cost a company up to $800 dollars on sites like Therefore, small to mid-sized companies often post jobs on sites like or online versions of the local paper. The only thing to be on the lookout for: fraud and scam posts.

#3 Tap Into Hobbies
Do you post a blog for fun regarding one of your hobbies? Do you play a mean guitar? Freelance jobs like blogging or music lessons can be a great way to make some extra money while you are looking for a new job. You can find freelance jobs on craigslist, and even post your services there too.