How Many Jobs Should You Apply To Per Day?


The short answer is a nice big fuzzy, “it depends.”

Now of course the logical question you’re framing in your mind is what does it depend on? Am I correct? While setting goals for yourself is commendable and strongly encouraged, it’s not always the best strategy to set a number of jobs to apply to each day when you’re out of work. That may come as a surprise to some of my readers given that I’m an Employment Counsellor.

An effective job search is about more than just filling out applications and firing off resumes to organizations online or via email. In fact, a healthy job search allocates time to a number of activities which will keep you busy and productive.

Now while you may be driven to actually apply for employment, it’s not always the case that the person who applies for the most number of jobs is ultimately the first one hired. Nor is it the case that the one who applies for the most number of jobs is the one who lands in the right job; and that can lead to many job changes when the positions don’t last long.

Sure you should look for jobs daily. By all means set aside some time in the morning to see what new postings may have come out in the last 24 hours. You don’t want to miss an opportunity that you’ve otherwise kept your eye on and find it has some extremely short deadline to apply and then miss it. How unfortunate that would be! If you also look into postings once during the afternoon, you’re already doing a good job of staying on top of what’s available.

There are other things you should be paying attention to however; and it’s these other things that will keep you productively engaged in your job search and give you enough variety so you avoid discouragement. Here’s a list:

  1. References. Now is the best time to put together a list of the people you know who will vouch for your work performance. Current or former employers, supervisors and/or co-workers are excellent choices. You’ll need a minimum of 3 of these, including the correct spelling of their names, titles, company names, phone numbers and emails. By the way, send them a current resume to have on hand as well as a note of appreciation for their ongoing support.
  2. Social Media Profile. When applying for a position, many employers will turn to the internet and dig around to find what they can about you. If you started a LinkedIn profile but never really developed it much, now is a great time to devote some attention to developing and fleshing out your profile. Put in a little effort now and you won’t feel embarrassed about your profile later.
  3. Exercise. Job searching is stressful for almost everybody and it manifests itself in physical ways. Getting out for a walk, bicycle ride, the elliptical gathering cobwebs in the basement or a trip to the gym will not only improve your physical fitness but ward off aches and pains.
  4. Enjoy A Pastime. If you need permission to spend some time doing things you enjoy, here it is. Get out in the garden, work those knitting needles, pound those keyboards, pick up that paintbrush. Setting aside some time to do things which bring you happiness and keep up your sense of normal day-to-day living is strongly encouraged. Job searching need not be all-consuming.
  5. Practice Interviewing. I know, I know, I know. This is likely something you don’t enjoy and only want to do when absolutely necessary. Still, without practice and more practice, you’re not going to be at your best just winging it on the day of the big interview. You’ll feel mounting anxiety if you put off practicing and end up sitting in some Reception area wishing you had dusted off your interview skills earlier.
  6. Work Your Network. Networking is essential; engaging with other people, taping into their resources, gaining support and advice, drawing on their expertise and experience. Be it phone calls, face-to-face, over the net, etc., devote some time to reaching out. All those friends on FB and connections on LI you’ve been building are a good place to start.
  7. Diet. By diet I do not mean lose weight. What I do mean is pay attention to both the quantity of food you consume and the quality. When you’re off work, the proximity to your pantry and fridge is considerably reduced, and your trips to both may be much more frequent. If you don’t bring junk into the house in the first place it won’t be there for you to over-indulge in during those weak moments when you crave comfort food.

There’s more you could be doing for sure, but these 7 are a good start. Setting yourself an arbitrary goal of say, 8 job applications a day will either set you up to fail or have you applying at jobs you don’t really want at all just to meet this quota.

If you’re only applying to a single job every week or less you’ve got to step things up my friend. What I’m saying is balance is the key; apply for jobs that you’re truly qualified to do and motivated to do – absolutely. It’s equally important however to get out from in front of a monitor and keep living.

 

Ask The Right Questions Or Don’t


I am privileged as an Employment Counsellor to engage in meaningful conversations with people looking for employment. If you listened in on these, you’d hear me pose a number of questions and with each answer a clearer picture of the person would be revealed.

The trap someone in my place can easily fall into is to size up the job seeker in a few moments based on all the previous job seekers one’s worked with and miss what makes this person unique. The questions I ask and especially the ones I might not, can and do make all the difference in helping that one person find the right match; what they’re really after.

For example ask the question, “So what job are you looking for?”, and I’m likely to get a simple job title. “Personal Support Worker”. This reply is correct, definitive and tells me nothing of the person themselves. If I worked in an environment where success was based solely on churning out resumes and getting people to apply for jobs measured my performance, this would be the fastest way to carry out that goal. However, that seems backwards measuring my success rather than the job seekers based on quantity and not quality.

There’s better questions to ask of someone looking for work; questions which are far more effective at assisting someone to find and keep employment. Better questions that get at the person themselves and their motivation for work.

When I ask, “So what do you want out of your next job?”, one will glibly state, “A pay cheque.” Another will say, “I want to find meaning in what I do”, or, “I want a job where I can make a difference; where I can really help others.” So of the two answers, which person would you rather have caring for you as a Personal Support Worker? I’ll opt for the person who is motivated by their wish to make a difference in the lives they’ll touch over the person working for a pay cheque.

Another good question I like to pose is, “Tell me about that job; what would you actually do?” I ask this question whether I have a really solid understanding of the daily functions of the role or not. This question is really designed to give me information on what the job entails from their perspective and how well that matches up with what employer’s set out as the responsibilities and job functions. Working in a Veterinary Clinic for example sounds appealing to those who like animals but many aren’t ready to keep their opinions and values to themselves when an owner comes to an agonizing decision to put down their beloved pet. It’s not all cuddling and grooming.

As I listen to someone describe the job they are after, I also focus my attention on not only the actual words they use but whether there is any passion or genuine love for the work described. This is most often revealed through a smile on the face, a softening of the eyes, a change in the pace of their words and some varying of the tone in their voice. Do they show and demonstrate some enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of doing this job or not? Some speak very matter-of-factly about their work of course and for many that’s exactly what it is; work.

Perhaps you’ve heard that expression, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? Well, even the most ardent worker who loves their job with all they’ve got will tell you they still make a significant investment in their time working to improve their productivity, working to keep their high standard of performance or working to keep up with best practices. Stop working at being your best and you rot. So if we all ‘work’ at work, why isn’t the experience of work the same for everyone?

Simply put, it’s what we put in and what we get out of it; investment and return. The best athletes aren’t just naturally gifted, they invest countless hours training, improving, working on elevating their performance to be the best they can be. The brightest often experiment and when they don’t succeed they embrace that failure and learn from what didn’t work to discover what will. So when I ask, “What are willing to put into the job?”, if they answer with the question, “You mean overtime?” that tells me volumes.

Here’s what I think about, “overtime”. I find that a person I work with will often end up over time securing a job which differs from the one they originally identified to me because having got to know them better, together we’ve found a better fit. In other words, with some question and answers, they’ve discovered that finding satisfying and fulfilling work is more than just finding a job.

If you believe that in this economy this kind of thinking is a luxury and one can only hope for a job and a pay cheque, you are entitled to that opinion. There are professionals who will gladly take your money and your time while mass producing your resumes.

As an alternative, let’s ask some probing questions; get to the heart of what makes you unique and find where you’ll truly live that passion that seems so elusive.

I’d love to hear your own thoughts on this. Please comment and share.

 

Reframe The Job Interview


Looking for a job, writing resumes, going to interviews, worrying about whether they will call you or ignore you; this isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. In fact, most of those I know see the process as a roller coaster of ups and downs, built up expectations and dashed hopes. In short, a stressful experience to be ended as soon as possible by getting a job.

When I ask job seekers to share with me what they find most annoying or unpleasant about looking for work they almost always tell me it’s the job interviews. They typically say they hate them, (and hate is a pretty strong word). Why does this word get used over and over to describe the experience? Typically it’s because of those feelings of nervousness, feeling judged, evaluated, setting themselves up to be accepted or rejected.

Imagine how the experience of the job interview, and more importantly the anticipation of the job interview became something to look forward to however; something you perceived as an enjoyable experience. If job interviews were fun wouldn’t you look forward to them even if, yes they still caused you some nervousness?

An analogy might help us out here….hmmm….what would work for us…? Ah ha! Think of going on a date with someone you’ve heard good things about. Better than a blind date set up by one of your friends, suppose you’ve got a date Friday night with someone you’re looking forward to meeting face-to-face. You’re looking forward to sitting down with them because what you’ve learned so far about them has your interest peaked. You hope that meeting them in-person they’ll live up to what you’ve found out so far. Are you nervous? Sure you are, but it’s a good nervous and the anticipation is a good thing.

Why can’t a job interview be along the same lines? You do your homework and find out about the company you are interviewing with. You hope when you sit down face-to-face that they’ll live up to your expectations. Are you nervous? Sure you are, but again it’s a good nervous. You just might make a long-term working relationship out of this first meeting. You’re hoping to hit it off with them and them with you. Just like a first date, you spruce yourself up and look your best and come ready for conversation.

Now perhaps you can’t see any parallel beyond what I’ve described. In your view, it’s not like a date because in a first date each person comes with their questions, each feeling out the other and the conversation goes back and forth. Perhaps it doesn’t work for you personally because you view the job interview not so much as a first date but more like an interrogation from some spy movie where you sit on a cold steel chair under some intense light being grilled by some thug extracting all your information in the most unpleasant of circumstances. The worst part is that by submitting your résumé, you actually walked into this interrogation voluntarily!

Job interviews are like so many other things in life; how we perceive them in our minds goes a long way to how we will actually experience them. Imagine it to be an interrogation and that’s what it will be. Imagine it to be a fun enjoyable experience and it will be as well. Now I know it takes more than just picturing it as a positive experience to make it so, but when you shift your thinking to seeing interviews as good experiences to look forward to, you’ll also find putting in the work to make the experience a positive one is something you’ll undertake with enthusiasm.

That date this Friday evening? Likely you’ll get your outfit ready ahead of time, you’ll wonder what you’ll talk about and prepare yourself with a few questions for them. You also think about what you’ll share on this first date, probably putting your best qualities on display and concealing some of your faults until you get to know them better. You’ll think about what you’ll do, wonder how you’ll get out of it if things don’t go well, or if they do, you hope they’ll like you as much as you like them. When it’s over, you’ll hope they’ll reach out and ask to see you again or be receptive to your own follow-up.

Sounds like an interview to me! In fact, what if the term, ‘job interview’ was replaced with, ‘opportunity conversation’? What if you told yourself you have an upcoming conversation about an opportunity? It’s just a small thing perhaps but it’s one step of reframing this experience from the negative event you dislike into one that you could view as positive; something to look forward to even.

Conversations are one way we find out information and confirm what we’ve learned previously. For both you and the interviewer(s), this interview is an opportunity to sit down face-to-face and get to know one another. They’ve got your résumé and you’ve got their website and whatever your research has revealed ahead of time. Now they and you have a chance to ask questions, listen and rate each other, ultimately deciding if you have a future together and if so, under what conditions.

Tell yourself ahead of time this date is going to be a disaster and it likely will be. Envision it positively and it has a chance to work out and be enjoyable; for both of you.

Job Searching: Jean And Sarah’s Journey


Today I’d like to share the stories of two women I’ve been working with of late, both of whom have been looking for employment. While it may appear to the casual observer that both are job searching in a similar fashion, in reality they are taking very different ways to obtain work which will bring them happiness and security. While I’m telling you their stories, I’ve taking the liberty of changing up their names to respect and safeguard their confidentiality.

Interestingly I met both women for the first time when they accepted an invitation to participate in an intensive job search program I run. They’d both been searching unsuccessfully prior to our meeting and both seemed eager to find work. During the two weeks we spent together on a daily basis, both revamped their resumes, strengthened their cover letters and interviewing skills and both were encouraged to target their applications to specific employers rather than send out generalized applications. In other words, both got the same message and advice on how to ultimately land the jobs they were after.

Jean is pretty clear about her ultimate employment goal as she’s after a position in a Human Resources role. She’s got recent education, a positive outlook and while she has experience, it’s rather limited to her placements through school. Of course she has other work history to draw on, just not in her field of choice. Hey, everybody has to start somewhere right?

Sarah by contrast isn’t committed to any one employment goal. She’s got a wealth of experience in Office Administration but finds the routine familiarity of the job wears on her and she needs more stimulation and variety. She’s got great interpersonal skills, a positive friendly attitude and is also open to retail sales and working in a call centre, but if she had her way she’d love to make a living as a Singer. She’s got talent I will say, but whether it’s enough to pay the bills and earn a livelihood? That’s debatable.

As the two went about their job search, I noticed that both women got on well together and shared enthusiasm for the work involved which is always a good sign. They were both applying for jobs they felt they had qualifications for, and both got several interviews and job offers. Only one of the two however actually accepted a job while the other turned down opportunities and is still looking. Why you ask? Let’s look at that.

Jean is the lady who accepted a job. Remember she was the one looking for an HR job and she had little experience in this role beyond what she learned in school coupled with a co-op placement. Jean realized that she was competing for jobs not only with others like her who have recently graduated with little experience but also with the many other people out there who have the experience she lacks and are working in other roles just waiting for HR job postings. That as it turns out is a lot of people.

While she kept applying to jobs which popped up for HR positions, she turned her attention away from just scouring the internet for these jobs alone. She realized that all companies have people performing HR roles, so she started looking for a large organization that is well-respected, stable and in her community. She shifted her thinking from finding an HR job to finding employment with a company of choice in any capacity to get inside. Once hired, she could then learn about internal postings and have an edge over those on the outside which would reduce the competition and at the same time provide her with an income.

Sarah on the other hand, for all her skills, remained torn between the Office Administration jobs she had the skills and experience for but didn’t love, the retail sales jobs she finds a lack of satisfaction in, and the call center jobs she can do but doesn’t get to use her creativity in. Of course there’s a music career that would bring the creativity and passion but is less stable and takes a lot to launch.

In a recent conversation Sarah said she had 7 interviews of late and 3 job offers but she turned them down. Why? Well one job was going to be 12 hour shifts which she felt too long. I pointed out that the 4 days she’d be working those shifts would give her 1 weekday to do whatever she was truly passionate about but it didn’t appeal.

While both Jean and Sarah applied for different kinds of jobs, to date it is Jean who is employed. She works for a large big box home improvement employer in their lighting department. She’s working to get past probation and ultimately has her eye on an HR job down the road working off the sales floor. She’s happy and still focused on her long-term goal which makes her sales job more than bearable.

Sarah’s main issue is not having yet decided what she ultimately wants. This  has left her conflicted, for when she moves towards something she likes, part of her realizes she’s moving away from something else she also likes and she gets nervous. So what happens? She retreats back to the middle for fear of making the wrong move and is paralyzed.

My advice? Settle on what you want and stay focused.

 

“Why Volunteer? I Need A Job!”


Some people are out pursuing careers while others are out looking for jobs. Why would volunteering; essentially doing the work without getting paid for it, be in anyone’s best interests who is currently out of work? After all, it won’t help pay the bills.

Giving others the benefit of your time through volunteering, (working without financial payment for your services) is – as those who volunteer will tell you – tremendously rewarding. You do benefit from giving of yourself, just not in the traditional sense of receiving financial compensation. However, if you scoff at the idea of working for nothing, you’ll be foolish to turn a blind eye to volunteering as it will strengthen your future employment applications. There are good solid reasons why employers like seeing volunteer positions on a resume and make no mistake; the best of employers see value in people who give of themselves in helping others.

So let’s look at volunteering in a rather odd way; a selfish way. What’s in it for you? This is a legitimate question; a good question! After all, when you’re out of work and need a job to pay the bills it does sound counter productive to just give away your time for nothing and as a result have even less time to hunt down work that pays.

Well for starters, volunteering keeps you connected to people. Whether you’re volunteering your time in a warehouse packaging food hampers or helping to build a home in your community for a family in need, you’re going to interact with people. If you have good people skills already, you’ll continue to develop and nurture those skills. If you aren’t really comfortable dealing with others in the first place, you’ll be in a position to start working on your interpersonal skills and ward off feelings of anxiety that come from a lack of interaction with others. It doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly go on to a career as a charismatic public speaker, but as most jobs do require some degree of social interaction; ie. the interview process for example, volunteering brings you into contact with others in a non-threatening way.

Guess what? You’re going to feel better about yourself too. Yep, you can get pretty down on yourself and Life in general when you’re out of work and keep getting rejected by employers. All those questions like, “What’s wrong with me?”, “Why can’t I get a job?” can lead to feelings of low self-worth leading to anxiety and ultimately depression.

When you volunteer, you’re wanted! People look forward to seeing you, they appreciate your skills and efforts. You start feeling connected to a cause, connected to others, welcomed and with this your self-esteem gets a boost. You’ll also find you’re picking up some skills from others, staying up-to-date with best practices and no matter what you are actually doing, you’re developing some good work habits that employers value. It’s true! You’ve got a schedule you’re expected to meet, responsibilities that you’re counted on to fulfill, and of course it’s hoped you’ll be punctual and accountable for your time. Make no mistake, it is volunteering but its’ volunteer work.

Another benefit is the good references you may be building up; references you could leverage and use to your own advantage when applying to paying jobs. References from the place you volunteer can speak to your cooperative attitude, your dependability, your work ethic and your willingness to learn. If one of your problems is out-of-date references or none whatsoever, this is a very good way to establish some current ones. Pass by on volunteering your time and how else are you going to get some references? Please don’t get friends to lie for you and pretend to be past employers – using friends for your own gain says much about your character if you do.

It’s not so unusual to find that paid employment arises out of volunteer experiences. Some organizations make a habit of hiring their volunteers when the opportunities arise. In this sense your volunteer placement is really one very long on-the-job interview. It could be that while the organization you volunteer with doesn’t have openings to hire itself, but those you volunteer alongside recognize your positives and pass your name on to their own employers where they work and tell you about openings you should apply to. Hey it does happen; more than you think!

Now lest you think that you’ll have no time to look for a paying job, I’m not advocating that you drop your job search and spend 35 hours a week donating your time. No, you can balance your time between job searching and volunteering – say one morning a week or twice at most. Volunteer organizations understand the need for money and most would pay you if they could. So letting them know you are really looking for paid employment but would like to donate something of yourself while you have some time is something they’ll understand.

Finally, if you haven’t worked in a long time – maybe never – the whole job search thing can be intimidating and downright scary. Volunteer your time and you’ll build some self-confidence and just feel good about yourself. This could be a key part in your long-term plan to gain employment for which you’re just not ready at the moment.

Volunteering makes a lot of sense. Giving of yourself can also be self-serving in a very good way!

Being Ready For Employer Phone Calls


When you’re submitting job applications in an effort to secure work, the likelihood that you’re going to receive phone calls from employers rises with the quantity of applications you’ve got out there. So I find it surprising to find so many job applicants get caught off guard and unprepared for those calls.

One of the things that impresses me every time is when I call a job seeker and find they have a pen and paper handy to write down any important information I want them to note. While I’m not calling them with the date and time of an interview for a job, this is exactly what an employer may do. The act of being prepared ahead of time in just such an event demonstrates to the caller that you are organized and have the ability to anticipate and prepare for just such an occasion.

I suppose the only thing that is worse than not having a pen and paper ready to take down some vital information when an employer calls is when you initiate the call yourself and then have to scramble for a pen and paper. Remember too that if you are carrying the phone with you in a frantic search for these items, every word you say and all the background noises can be heard too. All of these background noises and the length of time it takes you to find these things are individual bits of information that the caller is receiving and processing as they form an impression of you.

Now while some people would rather talk over a telephone than in person with someone from a company they’ve applied to, there are others who just don’t like it at all. Not surprising of course, as we all have our individual preferences. Whether you do or don’t enjoy phone conversations however, if they call you up, you’re going to have to get involved in them.

One of the best things you can do to ensure that the phone call goes well is to take control of the environment and what you have at hand long before the possibility of having an employer calls you. Like so many different aspects of job searching however, there are those who plan in advance and those who wing it on the fly – sometimes failing miserably to come off the way they want, losing their chance at landing the job in the end.

One suggestion I have is to look around your place and pick out the space you are going to feel most comfortable should they call. Let’s suppose it’s not going to be a quick 20 second phone call but a preliminary interview screening call, lasting up to 10 minutes where they’ll ask you a number of questions before determining whether or not to invite you in for a personal conversation. Look around; where would you like to be when that call comes?

For many people, sitting down at a table where you have everything you might need in front of you to bolster your confidence and reference your resume if you need to is a great idea. So knowing this, putting your resume in a folder you can quickly grab is excellent advanced thinking. While you’re at it, a copy of your cover letters is a good idea and to each one of these you can attach the relevant job posting. If you do this ahead of time and keep this folder in the same location at all times, when the phone rings you can rest assured that you’ll know exactly where this vital item is.

Of course if all your information is stored electronically on a laptop or other device, you’ll want it accessible, fully charged and hopefully you’ve organized your documents in such a way that they are easily retrievable. After all, you want to give the caller your full attention and respond accordingly.

Back to your surroundings for a minute. If you live alone you have 100% control over background noise. Pause the music, mute the television etc. before picking up the phone. If you live with others, have a conservation about the importance of incoming calls and get some cooperation from them in respecting your need for quiet during the call. If you have a private room you can retreat to quickly to take such calls the better. Just like practicing a fire drill makes things easier when it goes off for real, practicing when the phone rings is a good idea too, especially with young children.

By the way, as obvious as it is, callers can’t see you unless you’re in a video call. Take advantage of this and make some cheat sheets. Write down 4 or 5 strengths you have that relate to the job. Highlight the job posting requirements. Maybe even go so far as to have prepared 3 or 4 questions you’d like to ask. Having these items at the ready and available to you within seconds of realizing who is calling goes a long way to bolstering your confidence and improving the odds that this confidence will come across on the other end of the phone.

Oh and if you are walking around with your cell phone, know in advance if you typically have dead zones in the house and avoid them.

Being ready in advance for employer’s phone calls reduces or eliminates the anxiety of being caught off guard and unprepared. So relax my friend, you can do this.

 

Computer Time Is Only 1 Part


Looking for a job again today? How are you going about it? With basic computer skills being in such demand in order to even apply for positions, too many are spending way too much time on their computers; neglecting to give time and energy to other activities. So in order to inform or remind you what a well-rounded and multi-pronged approach is to an effective job search, let’s look at some of the things you should be paying attention to.

Self-assessment. Know you’re strength and weaknesses, your preferred style of leadership and supervision. Understand how you learn best be it receiving instructions, observation or doing. Be able to articulate your problem-solving approach, your preference for working independently or with others and know what your work values entail. Do not overlook this critical step or you will find yourself in jobs that lack fulfillment; you’ll be far happier in an environment that fits your personal preferences.

References. Getting the names of a few people who can attest to your good work is only a small part of the attention you should be giving to your references. You’d do well to make sure each of these people receives a copy of your updated resume; that they understand clearly the kind of positions you are pursuing and the skills and experience which qualify you. You should make a point of thanking them regularly, bringing to their attention employers who are likely to call them and when doing so providing a brief description of those organizations and the specifics of what the job would entail. They’ll represent you far better this way.

Marketing. Consider yourself as a product which you as a Salesperson would pitch to a potential buyer. You have to be able to get past this notion that you are bragging when you are in fact really just accentuating your real value. Know your features and the benefits of your features. Don’t just say you have 6 year’s experience; extol the benefits of that experience! How will adding yourself to the company benefit them?

Attitude. The most qualified candidate is often passed over because of this one intangible. “Your qualifications were impressive by far, but we just went with someone we feel will be a better fit.” If you hear something like this, it could be that while your experience and skills were exactly what they want, your overall attitude left them questioning your attitude and your ability to mesh with others. So be honest with yourself or get others honest opinions; how are you coming across?

Interview Skills. Ah the big one. Spend all the time on the computer you want but eventually you’re going to have to ditch it and sit down face-to-face with someone or some people and converse. Way too many people admit they have weak interview skills and do absolutely nothing to improve on them, citing their dislike of interviewing as the reason! The only way to improve is with practice, listening to objective feedback and then acting on that feedback.

Health. Job searching requires mental and physical stamina. Do not ignore the importance of eating properly, getting some moderate exercise, finding some laughter in your day, setting aside some time to do other things you find pleasure in. Stressed? That’s not surprising or abnormal. But left without some intervention, stress can grow and dominate your days and nights. Pay attention to your health. Alcohol and drugs don’t remove problems; they only mask them and compound them.

Phoning. The phone is just one more tool in your job search strategy. For some reason many young people in particular are excellent when texting or messaging but dread making personal calls at all costs. Too bad buttercup. Ignore the phone and you give an advantage away to your competition who don’t like it anymore than you do but who nonetheless pick it up and make some phone calls. Ironically, when all your documents are spread before you during a call, you have an incredible advantage in being able to have everything nearby that will bolster your ability to speak intelligently about yourself.

Walk The Beat. While many applications have to be submitted online, there is a huge advantage in walking into an employer’s space, observing staff interactions, introducing yourself to anyone assigned to greet visitors or customers, and taking in the atmosphere of the place. You might even do such a good job making that first impression that your forthcoming application gets anticipated and pulled for an interview based on that connection and initiative you showed by walking in.

Upgrade Yourself. Very important point here. While you are unemployed, what are you doing to keep yourself competitively educated in your field? Take a night school class or some online learning. Volunteer your services one day a week, proactively initiate contact with those in the field (networking) and find out what’s trending. Don’t let things slip by ignoring your own personal development. It may not seem overly important at the time, but you’ll pay dearly for failing to invest in yourself.

Those with limited computer expertise will no doubt rejoice that here is an Employment Counsellor who thinks like them. Well, that’s not entirely true either. If you lack moderate keyboarding speed and accuracy you should practice. Know how to navigate the internet, complete online applications and target your own resume.

Whatever you find hard to do job search-wise, yeah that’s probably exactly what you need to do more of.