Finding a Job IS a Job!

by Michael Haberman on May 28, 2013 · 6 comments


As an independent consultant I am always in a “job search” so using social media, calling people, knocking on doors, interviewing (aka the sales call) is nothing new to me. Unfortunately at the beginning of May my wife, Sherry, joined me in the endeavor of looking for work. I asked her to write a post for me with her experiences so that others may learn. Knowing a bit about her will help you understand her experience. In my professional, albeit biased opinion, she is an extremely talented business professional. She has excellent business analysis skills combined with a laser focus. Her skill set includes Salesforce.com, which she has embraced with the work ethic she has always demonstrated. Those things have made her interesting to many. It is testament to the importance of keeping your skills current in order to keep yourself employable. Here now is her story.

Written by Sherry Haberman

Find her on Linked In

Find her on Linked In

 

What do you do after 25 years of working for the same company and now you’ve been laid off?  I am living that reality now.  After 25 years as a highly valued employee of an envelope manufacturing company, the past 5 years of continual downsizing finally hit me.  So now what?

Get over the depression—QUICKLY!!  This had NOTHING to do with performance.  Spend some time with family and friends who will help boost your ego!  But then get focused—your new job is FINDING A NEW JOB!!  Here’s how I’ve worked it so far.

A look at Week 1

  • Cleaned up the loose ends.  Completed all separation paperwork, filed any remaining medical claims, etc. so focus could begin on the task at hand
  • Got ‘connected’—Networking is the name of the game so I made sure all of my friends and former colleagues had my new GMail email address
  • GOT LINKEDIN–Already a LinkedIn member, I clean up my profile and started work to beef up my contacts.  When asked by many fellow employees how they could help, my #1 response was, connect with me, ‘endorse my skills’ and ‘write a recommendation’ for me on LinkedIn
  • Profile Picture-Made it more professional (thanks to a network contact).  This can be done by simply having a friend take a more professional picture with a smart phone and then post it
  • Established a goal—Mine is….“Find a new job before severance runs out”
  • Did some soul searching—What would my ideal next job be?  Made a wish list and prioritized it 
  • Had business cards made that included skills, contact info, and mentioned my LinkedIn profile
  • The Resume—Not having looked for a job in over 25 years it was definitely time to update and modernize.  I started with a template from a free on-line site, but had it reviewed professionally by 3 professionals (through my network).   Added a LinkedIn button to it, so when viewed on line the reader can click and go directly to my profile where they see the great things my friends have written about me.

Week 2

  • Posted resume on Monster, Indeed, and Dice.  These postings have drawn interest from recruiters for sure.
  • Began applying to specific jobs that I saw on LinkedIn. 
    • I wrote cover letters that were specific to the company to which I was applying. 
    • I did some homework about them on line and included tidbits of information in the cover letter so they knew that I had done so. 
    • I referenced the job description that I was responding to, and made bullet points about how I was qualified to fulfill the requirements of the position.

By the end of week 3 I have already had 3 phone screening interviews, talked with 3 different recruiters, and have had one face-to-face interview.  Expecting more great things in the coming weeks!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg May 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

Sherry,
Great post and I wish you all the best in your search. Having been in transition before and being Blessed to have met Mike and developed a friendship with him, I can tell you he is a great coach and inspiration. You are doing the right things and it is consistent, persistent actions on your part that will result in successfully landing in a role very soon. One thing I would add is to always be willing to help those you encounter who need help. Whether its a contact they need, help with a resume or, in some instances, an honest feedback session to help them out of a funk, be willing to do that. It will help you feel better and will help the other person as they move on with their journey. There are some excellent groups to attend and offer your expertise and assistance to while you build your network. I encourage you to explore some of these. Finally, I would highly encourage you that once you land, please don’t drop your network. Many people wen they finally land just become an introvert and drop their network. This is a huge mistake as you never know in this day and time when you might be in the same situation again. Keep the network well-oiled and continue to try to help those in need even when you are working.
I wish you the very best and if there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know.

Greg

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Sherry May 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I couldn’t agree more Greg! Some great points. I am definitely trying to help my former colleagues, some that I know are already in the same situation as me, but others who might not be ‘yet’, but could be down the road. I sent a link to this post to the HR manager that handled my separation and suggested that they might want to include it in the packet that is being given to all those being laid off. Also a great point about keeping up the network! Definitely this is something I’ve seen people forget/drop once they have that next job. I will definitely take up your suggestion about keeping that up. I’ve worked hard to build it and I do want to maintain it now that it’s in place. You’re right, I have a great mentor here!

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Trish Wyderka May 31, 2013 at 10:06 am

Great article, I have been helping my dad look for a job for the past year and a half, this article gave me some extra tips to pass on to him. As a sourcer for a recruting firm, I have been able to give him some insights he might not have known about. I have been trying to keep him motivated and not get in a funk. Thank you for the tips!

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Michael Haberman May 31, 2013 at 11:08 am

Trish, we are happy you found Sherry’s post helpful. Skilled, up to date candidates will always be in demand.

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Lisa Schott PHR June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Good luck to Sherry. But some recruiters haven’t gotten the message that ALL candidates should be treated like customers. Recently several people I know were contacted for interviews. They returned the calls AND sent email messages to arrange interviews. The recruiters who contacted them never got back to them to even say “thanks, decided not to schedule interview with you “. Really? Don’t they know that these experiences reflect poorly and mean that job candidates are a lot less likely to refer others to work there or buy products? I see this time and time again.

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Michael Haberman June 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Thanks Lisa. What many people don’t know is that reviews of such behavior can be left at various place, such as Glassdoor, that warn people of boorish behavior. Enough of that happens and the word gets around.

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