Want To Be A Great Employment Counsellor?


Now and again I hear people say to me, “I’m sure I could do your job; it doesn’t look that hard.”

That comment is one I take with a smile and usually respond with, “Thank you! I’m succeeding then in making it look effortless when in fact it takes a lot of preparation, planning, skills, experience and mental energy. If you’re ready to put in all the effort to continually get better every day, why not?”

Like any profession, you’ll find Employment Counsellors of varying abilities; some strong, others learning the ropes, many improving and some stagnating and using out-of-date techniques. Why should this field be any different from others?

Let me share what I believe are some of the key qualities, skills and traits which many of the very best of us hold. It’s a list that’s open to debate, but here’s at least this professionals take on the job from someone in the position. Please comment and indicate if you’re in the field now, in training to join us, receiving the help of an Employment Counsellor yourself or are considering the field. Dialogue and comments can be very productive!

  1. A good listener. While we hear similar stories from those we aid, no two people have exactly the same background and their path to the present is unique. The best of us remember that and listen attentively; picking up on the person’s interests, motivators, barriers real and perceived, hopes, goals and dreams. When we actively listen in the moment, we engage and establish credibility and hear what we’d otherwise miss.
  2. A positive influence. We often meet people in periods of desperation, frustration and hopelessness. It is imperative that we remind ourselves of the stress and pressure people are under. The faith they place in our ability to help; whether great or small is what we must take and work with. There’s great potential in those we help and we must through our actions bring out the best by encouraging and above all providing hope. We must influence action with positivity.
  3. Enthusiastic. Ah if you know me you just know this has to be in the list. Enthusiasm is contagious and infectious. I think it safe to say that most if not all learners hope to be in the presence of a teacher or mentor who goes about imparting their knowledge with energy and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means we embody and display the most desirable trait employers themselves are looking for in the people they interview; enthusiasm!
  4. Knowledgeable. Broadly speaking, all learners hope that those they learn from are sharing best practices, state of the art techniques and what is proven to work. The best of us are never above doing self-checks, reaching out to our colleagues, continuing to grow and learn ourselves. This is self-investment that keeps us relevant, imparting not what we believe works but rather what we know works; and yes there is a difference.
  5. Creatively flexible. Now here’s a key piece! The great in this profession know that when we identify a person’s needs, responding to them in a way that the person will both comprehend and come to own mean we may have to use a number of strategies to get the message through. How we were successful with one person doesn’t mean the same delivery will work with others. Our approach may have to be as unique as the people we help. Rather than expecting the learner to conform to our own style, we often change our approach to reach others where we find them.
  6. An appreciation of service. Just as we expect to receive great customer service when we are the customer, exceptional Employment Counsellors know that we are essentially service providers ourselves. We therefore practice good customer service skills; deliver on what we promise, work to satisfy both the customers wants and needs, share tips, advice and assure our availability when needed after service.
  7. Honest feedback. Great Employment Counsellors give honest feedback on what they see. Be it a résumé needing an overhaul, hearing self-defeating language in a mock interview or observing poor hygiene and clothing issues, a trusting relationship with those we serve will best allow us to provide the critical feedback that people need to hear. The best deliver this feedback from a helping perspective, choosing words with sensitivity but saying what needs to be said. Honest feedback can get to the heart of a problem quicker than dancing around an issue and wasting their time.
  8. Praising. The best praise when needed, ensuring the praise is legitimate not fabricated. We find what is good in others, encouraging them to do more of what is working in a person’s favour. Positive reinforcement of good behaviours, praising effort even when success isn’t necessarily forthcoming sets people up to eventually realize their goals. Remember looking for work is fraught with ups and downs, highs and lows, raised expectations and dashed hopes. As an Employment Counsellor, you just might be THE one person they are hanging all their hopes on until they can once again be self-sufficient.

So there you have it; a short list of some the essentials needed to be not just a good Employment Counsellor but a great one. And why not aspire to be the best you can be? Whether a Coach or Counsellor, the best look to get better and see room for self-improvement always.

Thoughts?

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Hate Resumes? This Is For You


So you’re looking for work or looking for a different job. That’s great news and I commend you for making a good decision to improve on your financial health; the job you are looking for will hopefully make things a whole lot better for you both in your wallet and in how you spend your time.

All that stands in your way of getting a job offer it would seem is getting to meet the people who make the hiring decisions in the places you’d like to work. The thing is of course; and it’s easy to overlook – there are a lot of other people who are also hoping to meet the people who make the hiring decisions in the same places you want to work. Not only are you applying, but so are others. In fact, it’s the case these days that employers get about 75 – 150 applications for each job they advertise. That’s a lot of people competing for their attention!

I’ve sat down with two people this week who are looking for work and they couldn’t have greater differences of opinions when it comes to the value of resumes and how to go about looking for work. Let me tell you about each of them and you’ll see two different attitudes; and I assure you both are very real people, not just made up to make a point.

The first was a man in his 20’s with an extensive criminal record who has only ever worked under the table and done some volunteer work. He’s muscular, done general labour in the construction field and even a little cooking here and there. His job ambition? Anything. His thoughts on resumes? A waste of time and useless. He’s anti-resume because quite frankly he doesn’t like the idea of making one and doesn’t have the skills required to make one; skills like keyboarding, formatting, computer skills in general. What he doesn’t like he has no patience for.

When it came to putting together his resume, he sat beside me and actually told me to just make up stuff. “You know what to put down so just say I’ve worked at some places; it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.” He wanted one resume just to send to his Social Services Worker who strongly suggested he get one, but he wasn’t planning on using it at all, hence the lack of regard for what was on it. When completed, he sent one copy to her and walked out with none for himself – in fact he refused to take one. His plan? Go to job sites all over town and introduce himself in person until somebody would hire him.

Surprisingly, this might actually work for him. Someone will look at his muscles and plan to use him for the grunt work until he either injures himself, quits, returns to jail or they lay him off for the winter. He’ll be trapped in an entry-level, physically tough job with little chance of advancement and all the while becoming increasingly bitter and angered about his situation in life. His choice though.

The other is a woman with one child also in her 20’s. She sat down with me and said right off the top that she was here for help as she knows her resume is flawed and she wants to learn how to make it better.

First thing we did is quickly find a job she actually wanted to apply for using the internet which took us all of 4 minutes. An excellent investment in time. Next we targeted her skills and qualifications on the resume to match the job requirements for the position she wanted. Again and again as we went through her resume line by line she said things like, “I get it now, ugh, I can’t believe I made so many mistakes. I thought it was at least okay but now I see how I’ve been coming across to employers. No wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere.”

It takes a wise person to see how they’ve been making mistakes, admit those mistakes and then take the steps to eliminate making those mistakes moving forward. This woman is such a person. She not only left with a strong resume for the job she wanted to apply to, she left knowing how to change and edit that resume for any subsequent job she wanted to apply to; even if those other jobs had exactly the same title.

Look, I want you to be successful. I want you to use your time productively; not just making resume after resume without any success. I want you to make strong resumes that will get employers interested in meeting with you (interviews) so you can sell yourself in-person and then get an offer of employment. Then of course, you will no longer need to make a resume until such time as you want a promotion or different job to improve your happiness at work and your finances.

So here’s good advice for those smart enough to take it; don’t get someone to make a resume for you – get an employment professional to make one WITH you – someone who will empower you so you’ll know how to do it on your own in the future. This way, you won’t be dependent on someone every time you apply for a job. Put in the effort, pay attention and learn how to make a resume with a good attitude.

Does Your Job Make Life Better?


What purpose does your work serve? I mean, does it improve the quality of your life? What about the lives of others? I put it out there that if your work is not making your life better, you should be looking for something else – and fast!

This idea of making your life better in some way isn’t new. Whether it was the Industrial Age, The Crusades, why even all the way back to the early days of human civilization, people have always engaged in work activities that improved their quality of life. Going to war to preserve their lifestyle or freedom, creating some invention that would improve on whatever people currently had – it all made their lives better.

Okay so let’s look at us; you and me. We’ve got this general pattern where we depend entirely on others early in life and then develop into young people with hopes and dreams, testing our independence until we fly the nest and start relying on ourselves. We  make our own choices, and with each choice there are consequences great or small. Every choice we make seemed like a good idea at the time, and we made those choices to make our lives better; for the moment or long-term.

So is this why we become unhappy if we realize that our daily jobs don’t bring us the satisfaction and some sense of pleasure? The job itself may not be a fun one, but we justify continuing with it if what we get out of it improves our lives in some other way. Hence the money factor. Take a job not many would willingly do for the work alone, and attaching money to it will at some point attract enough people to perform the work you want done. Offer too little and you won’t attract the skilled people to do the work and the quality of the work will suffer.

Some Career Coaches or Employment Counsellors will inevitably ask the people they work with, “What would make you happy?” You see we get it. If you could share with us the work, job or career (substitute your word of choice) that would make your life better, then we could help you define the steps required to take you from your present situation to the reality of having the dream job you want. With the attainment of the job, you’ll be happy; your life would be better. So goes the theory.

The problem for many is they can’t answer the question, “What’s your dream job?” They honestly don’t know. It’s for this reason many people feel conflicted, confused, anxiety and ultimately voice this in statements like, “What’s wrong with me? I should know by now!” or the classic, “Everybody’s telling me to just get a job but I don’t know what I want to do.” Figuring out the, ‘want’ is really trying to figure out what would make life better.

After all, if you and I are going to invest 7 or so hours a day in some activity 5 days a week, presumably that investment of time should make our lives better. If the job we take doesn’t make life better, why are we still doing the work? Ah but then maybe it’s how we define a better life that is the real crux of the matter. If we hate the actual work we do with a passion – the exact opposite of what an employer typically asks for, but the job provides us with money that we then use to pay for rent, food, possessions and our lives improve on our personal time, some of us can then justifiably state that the job we hate makes life better.

Not all of us feel this way however. Some believe that the work they do is such a big part of their waking lives that it had better not only pay well, but the work itself has to bring them joy. The job has to be one they’d find fulfilling. However while some get out and try job after job trying to find  the right fit to improve their lives, others don’t. The ones that don’t make a decision not to do any work at all until they are fairly certain the job will bring them happiness. Not having ever done the work, they use their imagination to visualize themselves in a job, and with this limited knowledge or perception of what they believe the job to be, they make a decision to work or not in that job; usually deciding not to.

Researching a job or a profession is good advice to give you data you may find helpful in making a better informed decision on whether the job will make you happy or improve your life. All the research in the world can’t tell you how you’ll really experience that job however until you plunge into it. There are many variables like the supervision style of the person you report to, the comings and goings of co-workers that will affect the atmosphere, culture, location, hours of work etc.

If life is the best it can be keep doing what you’re doing – job or no job. If life isn’t as good as it could be with the work you currently do, and presuming you want it to be better, get going; you’ve only got so much time to improve your life through your work.

What do you think people?

If I’d Only Found This Career Sooner


Not too very long ago a gentleman I was working alongside and I were talking of all the various jobs and careers we’ve had.

When I got around to the position I hold now as an Employment Counsellor, he very kindly told me how well-suited I was to the position, and then said, “If only you’d found this career sooner.” I wasn’t really certain what he was referring to since that kind of statement implies some kind of regret on my part – at least from my perspective.

He then said that the jobs and careers I’d previously had were fine but since I’m good at what I do (for which I thanked him), I could have done so much more for a lot of people earlier in my life when I was doing other things. There I had to disagree, or if not entirely disagree, at least open up the possibility that he may be wrong in assuming that a younger me would have been equally as effective.

I believe people are a sum total of all their experiences to date. We are shaped by good and bad jobs we’ve had, people we’ve come into contact with as customers, clients and co-workers, our bosses etc. Every position we have held down and then quit, been terminated, been laid off etc. shapes us. Even now I am shaped and defined by all the people in my working life with whom I come into contact with.

I know I’m influenced by what I read, what I observe, what others say, how I’m treated, and most certainly by those who I help. My clients; all the people I listen to and all the stories they share with me shape me most certainly.

So then, the question to really consider is: “Would I be just as impactful and effective as he believes me to be today if I’d come to the profession earlier in life?” I think the answer is no. In my own case, I’ve worked in retail profit, provincial and municipal governments, recreation, youth organizations, been self-employed, social services; a wide variety of sectors. I’ve held positions at the top of organizations and been on the front-line. I’ve been terminated, quit, promoted, rewarded and had some poor leaders to answer to and some outstanding people to guide me. I am who I am as a sum total.

Take a favourite book of yours as, “The Lord of The Rings” is mine. Would Frodo be the same person at the end if he’d just had a pleasant walk through middle-earth to Mt. Doom where he’d casually drop the One Ring into the volcano? How boring a book would that to have read. He needed – and we with him – to experience all the rich and vivid characters he encountered and the trials he suffered that in the end made him stronger and the person he became.

And so he and I were back discussing his initial assertion. If perhaps like some of my peers, I’d have graduated from University and immediately become an Employment Counsellor, what would that ‘me’ really look like? It’s entire speculation of course because no one can say. I am confident in saying however that I’d be very different.  And in being different, I’d have a different impact on the people I serve.

Maybe – and just maybe – I’d be more black and white, right and wrong, “get a job if you want one like I did.” Maybe job searching would appear easier, maybe I’d be quicker to judge others, more naïve, convinced I could, “save them all”. I really can’t say. So why speculate? Well there is some value in the thinking process not because I could change anything in the past but because it serves to remind, clarify and give value to where I am in the present.

It is no less the same for you. Maybe right now you’re dealing with problems and long-standing issues of pain, guilt, sadness, fears, isolation etc. You’re wondering perhaps if there will ever come a time when you’ll emerge free of all the stuff that’s stressing you now be they poverty, abuse, addictions, unemployment, lack of education, housing, family dysfunction, relationship woes or any number of other issues. Whatever the issue or combination of issues, they are all shaping you at present.

Think of some iron a blacksmith wants to shape into a sword or a shoe for a horse. In order for it to be softened up and shaped into that useful tool, it has to first go through the hottest part of the fire – not just for a minute, but repeatedly until the contents can be forged into something stronger and only then does it get shaped and have value. Maybe you and I are the raw iron.

The big difference I suppose is that the Blacksmith has a plan when he puts that iron in the forge. He knows what he’s making. We on the other hand quite often don’t know what it is we would best ‘come out’ as after being tested. We start off thinking we’ll be a Recreation Supervisor as I did, and we later become an Employment Counsellor – a job I innocently didn’t even know existed in my early life.

Every so often, evaluate where your skills and experience plus your personal preferences might change your direction. May you have a wonderful – and not too safe – journey.

 

 

Overcoming Job Search Barriers


“What’s the big problem? Get out and get a job!”

Reading those words might instantly bring to mind someone who has said them to you in real life. They imply that getting a job is relatively easy; all you have to do is make up your mind you want to work, put in minimal effort applying for work and bring home a pay cheque. Ah, but you and I know it’s not that easy don’t we.

One of the very first things we must do is define what barriers stand between the goal we want and wherever our starting line is. By the term, ‘starting line’, here’s what I mean. Suppose two people are looking for work and both of them are being evicted at the end of a month by a landlord who needs the space for family members. One has the money to pay last month’s rent for a new place and one doesn’t. They both have a goal of getting a new place to live, but the one is much more ahead of the other and has an advantage in solving their mutual problem sooner. So one can focus back on the job search faster than the other.

Barriers are of two kinds really, those we are consciously aware of and those we are blind to. The one’s we are aware of could be for example, a criminal record, fear of interviews, limited experience doing the job we want. As for hidden barriers, it could be we have an undiagnosed mental health issue that other people can detect but we are not aware of affecting how we act, or we could have a resume we believe is good when in fact it’s very weak.

The huge difference between the barriers we are aware of and those we are blind to is that we can only work on improving things we know. Until we become aware of what has been previously unknown to us, it would only be by sheer chance that we could improve in an area like a poor resume.

Okay so a good place to start is to make a list with pen and paper of our known barriers to employment. Here’s some things to consider:

  • education
  • criminal record
  • communication skills
  • job-specific skills and experience
  • interview skills
  • references
  • expired certificates / documents
  • technological skills (computer)

This is a very short list and there are plenty of others but it’s a start. You might find this exercise discouraging at first, especially if your personal list is a long one. It might cause you stress just making the list and then looking at it suddenly realizing how many significant things stand between you and the employment you want. Take heart! Imagine how thrilled you’ll soon feel eliminating items from this list!

Now the second list is harder to compile. After all, how can you make a list of things which are hidden barriers to you? This is a tricky one and it requires objectivity and honesty, plus some bravery. You see in order to really find out what barriers to employment might be standing between you and the job(s) you are applying for that you aren’t aware of, you need to ask others for feedback. As hard as that might be to hear when your self-image and confidence is low, it’s very important and could be the difference in taking a long time to get hired or shortening that time significantly.

This feedback has to provided by people who know you, know what you are after, and come from some kind of background where they would be qualified to know the characteristics of people who successfully attain what you are seeking. So asking your mom or brother, best friend etc. won’t likely get you the information you need. You might be better asking an Employment Counsellor, Job Developer, Employment Workshop Facilitator, or employer where you’ve been passed over if they’ll give you honest feedback.

Steel yourself. You might hear things which because they have been unknown to you, hit you hard and your first reaction might be to defend yourself and dismiss what you hear as entirely wrong. All that will do is silence the people who you asked and you’ll miss some very important clues to barriers you might actually need to work on.

Okay so you get your two lists. Now what? For each barrier, you now make a list of the steps you need to take to eliminate that barrier. If you lack grade 12, don’t just write down, “get grade 12”. Write down, “1. research schools I could attend. 2. get registration dates/fee schedules. 3. register 4. pay fees 5. attend (how long?). 6. graduate.” That barrier has steps which might be 10 minutes in length (step 1) and steps which could be 10 month’s in length (step 5).

As you progress through the steps you’ve identified, your confidence grows as you feel movement forward. You’ll need steps for EACH barrier and that’s a lot of steps to take which can be daunting to look at. The steps are still there though whether you write them down or ignore them. The sooner you get going, the sooner you’ll feel progress and a rebuilding of your self-esteem.

If you lack the ability to define your steps needed, ask someone who is in a qualified position to help you out and has the skills to plan with you what you can manage. The professionals I mentioned earlier are a good place to start.

Excellence In Trying Times Rewarded


Two retail employees who are soon to be out of a job demonstrated friendly, knowledgeable service last night while helping my wife and I. When they have every reason to be bitter and let their mounting stress show, they each made a choice instead to be the best they could be. What happened next? I found myself in a position to reward those attributes and give back.

Let me first take you back to my drive into work yesterday morning. On CBC radio there was a short story where an employee agreed to have his feelings shared as long as someone else’s voice was used and his name not mentioned. He talked of low morale, people concerned for each other, couples soon to be both unemployed, he himself planning on buying a home that now wouldn’t happen etc. Employees are quitting outright and everyone is job searching. Tough times for sure and possibly a cancerous setting to work in.

Okay so my wife and I are shopping along with all the other vultures, err…shoppers, looking for the big bargains promised. We actually showed up to buy a cube freezer and bar fridge for the basement we are renovating. As it turns out we couldn’t see if they were in fact on sale down that particular aisle, and so it became necessary to look for an employee. As I went looking down the aisles, I wondered what kind of reaction I’d get because they were hard to locate, probably in demand and might be exasperated with the sudden flood of people in the store to scavenge when we all apparently stayed away in droves causing the stores to close.

I found two women who were in the process of concluding a conversation with another customer. One of these looked to be in her twenties and the other in her fifties. As they turned their attention to me, I asked about the items and if they were in fact on sale as no sign could be found in that area. “Well let’s go find out” said the older woman and all three of us headed over to find out.

As we walked over, I said to them, “Sorry to hear about your jobs ending, and I understand you’ve been told not to say anything negative.” The older woman smiled, gave me a knowing wink and didn’t say a bad thing. “Well”, she said, we’re just trying to do our best under the circumstances.”

When we got to the two items, the younger of the two scanned the items, told us they were both on sale (only 10% unfortunately) and then we were told if we decided we wanted them, they could call one of the guys with a dolley to help get them to the front check out. I indicated we wanted them and she called for help.

It was at this moment my wife started talking with the older woman and saying how sorry she was to hear about the situation. That left me with the younger employee. “So what are your plans when the store shuts down?” I asked. “Well, I had been hoping to stay here for a long time and earn enough to head back to school and get more education. I’ve got a degree but I want to be a Professor so I need to get my masters. I might just decide to backpack around Europe though and look for work wherever I am and do the poor trip thing.”

Ever thought of getting help from an Employment Counsellor for example?” I asked, knowing full well that business cards with that exact job title were in my left pants pocket. “Well I live in a small town and there aren’t really any jobs there, so I’d have to drive, but my mom is going to need her car back if I haven’t got a job so I’m stuck.” She was right by the way; the town she named is little more than a dozen streets branching off a main road and the employment opportunities are next to nothing.

At this point, my wife and the other employee had rejoined the two of us and I asked the older woman what her plans were after the store closed and she was out of work. Her answer was that she really hadn’t thought that far and it wasn’t apparently because she was in denial but it appeared more like she was trying to just focus on the job for the moment.

At this point I said I was in a position to make them an offer, and I pulled out the business cards and gave them one, stating that because they had such positive attitudes in trying times and provided good attentive customer service, I’d be happy to help them craft a resume and more free of charge. “Really?” said the older of the two. “Sure, why not?”

This story could be about me and doing a good deed but it isn’t. This story is really about two people who have not only good customer service skills but more importantly solid work ethics which govern how they perform under trying circumstances. Sometimes, good things happen to good people when it is most needed and least expected.

So if you find yourself in a fix, remember that’s when your character is revealed. And if by chance you can help somebody, seize that opportunity to do so.

Many Ways To Job Search


Looking for work? Not getting the kind of results you’d like? It could be that how you are going about job searching is part of the issue. One of the questions you might be asked by someone like myself when you first talk is how you are currently going about your job search.

Now many will of course use the computer. Sitting down and calling up job postings on a website is going to give you many jobs you can apply to. It’s important to realize however that the ease in which you have found all those jobs makes it equally easy for you competition to find the same jobs. So you’ve got lots of jobs and lots of competition for those jobs; the pros and the cons of conventional well-known websites.

Here’s something else you should know and remind yourself about; the more work required to dig and find job and career postings, the less people you have to compete with. Why? Simple really for three reasons; 1) not everyone knows how to go about unearthing those so-called, ‘hidden’ jobs, 2) some job seekers are too lazy to put in the effort required when there is no promise of return and 3) some job seekers who were once full of enthusiasm in their job search have become so frustrated they’ve eased up.

Now before you get too critical of number 2 above where I identify some job seekers as lazy, I want to tell you that the job seekers themselves are the ones who often tell me they’ve grown lazy; their words then, not mine. And hey, if they call themselves lazy, who am I to disagree with their own self-assessment?

Now employer research is often cited as an integral part of a job search strategy, but what does that really involve? Well, the easiest thing to do is once again sit at a computer and check out a company website. Look for the, “about us” tab or something similar. Take note of basic information like how they got started and when, what are their products and services, their values, mission statement, core beliefs, culture and size. Ask yourself if all that information jives with your own outlook.

Another way to go about job searching is connecting with people who either hold down the same kind of employment you are after or who work in the companies you have identified as ones you would ideally like to join. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if you could talk with these people, you’d get a good first-hand account of what it’s really like to work there? You could find out the good and the bad about jobs from people in those roles. And while one person isn’t enough to necessarily give you an accurate portrayal of what you would experience perhaps, the more people you speak to, the more you can sift through the feedback you get and land at an informed perspective.

This business of connecting is also potentially going to give you insights into job openings you’re never going to get any other way. Ever seen a job posting that gives you the skinny on the boss you’ll be reporting to or the dynamics of the team you might be part of? Of course not. However a current employee of an organization could reveal some key needs on a given team, and yes maybe something about the reputation of the person who supervises that group.

Two of the oldest ways about going about a job search are to walk in to businesses and hope to meet hiring personnel in person, and pick up the phone and engage people via a cold call. So let’s look at these briefly. In retail for example, many large companies have moved to on-line recruitment methods. So if you walk in resume in hand and ask to apply, they might turn you around and tell you to head for the nearest computer and apply on their website. However, even in these cases, if the person you spoke with is the Hiring Manager, they still saw you, how you dressed, watched your body language, and maybe what you had to say in those few precious moments. They might therefore write your name down when you leave and look for your application to have you in.

There is a good chance too that you might just land an on-the-spot interview because the person is impressed with your first impression and many employers are always on the lookout for people who understand service excellence.

The cold call goes in and out of favour. It’s more than just phoning up an employer and saying, “Are you hiring? No? Oh, okay then, well thanks anyway.” Cold calls could be to determine openings, but they could also be to set up a face-to-face meeting to introduce yourself in person and gather information.

You might also hook up with a temp. agency as many companies now use these organizations to pre-screen applicants and save them from being bombarded with phone calls, drop-ins, emails and faxes. Going through a temp. agency might not sit well with you, but it could be a short-term solution to getting in. Signing on with a Recruiter or Head-hunter is another strategy for many these days. They gather a pool of talent and link the talent to employers’ needs.

The best way to job search? Using many of the above ideas simultaneously.