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
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.
- 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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