MENLO PARK, CA -- When people think of burnout, they tend to think of overworked employees, but those putting in long hours on the job hunt also may be affected, notes Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing firm placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals. According to Turner, weary candidates often suffer the same problems as overwhelmed workers, including reduced productivity and morale.
"It continues to be a very challenging time for job seekers, some of whom have spent many months looking for new opportunities," says Turner. "Switching gears and exploring different career avenues can help the unemployed re-energize and identify new leads."
Adds Turner, "Job seekers don't have to dramatically alter their strategies to be effective. For example, volunteering one or two days a week with a nonprofit isn't a big change, but it could have a major impact if the candidate acquires a new skill or meets someone along the way who can help him or her professionally."
Turner offered the following ideas for jump-starting a job search:
- Make the call. You may have sent out a flurry of resumes, but have you followed up on the phone? Find out who the hiring managers are, and call them to express your interest and discuss your qualifications.
- Divide your time. Many job-seekers focus primarily on searching job listings and sending out resumes. But networking is equally important. Spend at least half of your day reaching out to others and making new contacts.
- Put your work on the Web. A professional website providing work samples, a printer-friendly resume and your contact information can be an impressive job-hunting tool for any professional. A simple site is fairly easy to create, but if you're not web-savvy, consider hiring a local web design student to develop your site for you.
- Create a business card. Develop an attractive card to hand out that briefly describes your expertise and gives your contact information, including the URL to your professional website if applicable.
- Launch a publicity campaign. Submit articles in your area of expertise to local business and trade publications, or give talks to nonprofit groups or industry organizations. These activities can enhance your professional visibility and expand your network.
- Follow the laws of supply and demand. If your skills and experience are in low demand, identify the positions that are in high demand and try to acquire the necessary qualifications.
- Consider temporary work. Working with a specialized staffing firm can help you make new contacts and acquire additional job experience while earning a paycheck.
The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.