By:  Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, Inc.

1.  Apply to one or more temporary agencies.  One of the best ways to keep working, even while looking for a permanent position, is to take a temp position.  There are temporary agencies for almost all kinds of workers, and depending on your location, you may find more than one that hires out people with your skills.

2.  Identify at least five prospective employers.  Conduct a search (via the phone book, Chamber of Commerce, Google, etc.) for prospective employers who hire job-seekers with your skills.  You should start locally, but understand you may need to expand your search to other locations.

3.  Find and apply to at least one job opening, everyday.  Using all the tools available to you – local job ads, industry-specific job boards, geographic-specific job boards, and general job boards – locate and apply to at least one job opening.

4.  Reach out to family and friends about potential job leads.  Even if you feel you have done this step already, make it a point to contact people in your network about any new job leads.  Ask the closest people to you to contact their family and friends to truly utilize the power of this tool.

5.  Schedule a meeting with a career expert.  If you’re having a hard time finding a new job, you may have a problem with your job-hunting tactics that you will never be able to identify without the assistance of a career expert.  Job-seekers have numerous choices – from local One-Stop Career Centers (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor) to local colleges and universities (especially your alma mater) to professional career coaches.

6.  Find additional people to add to your network.  Because networking is the most powerful job-search tool available to job-seekers, the more people you can add to your network of contacts, the more job leads you’ll uncover.

7.  Revise, revamp, and improve your resume.  Your resume is your most important job-search tool, and based on our experiences, just about every job-seeker has room for improvement in crafting a resume that will help you obtain job interviews.

8.  Sharpen your interviewing skills.  The job interview is your chance to shine – to sell your unique mix of experience, education / training, and skills to the hiring manager(s).  If you are going on first interviews, but never getting invited back, your interviewing style may be flawed.  Two of the most common flaws for job-seekers is failing to anticipate potential interview questions and not developing strategic responses to those questions.

9.  Apply to jobs that match your skill sets.  Don’t waste your time and energy applying to every job you see.  Apply to jobs that match your skills, experience, and training.

10. Follow-up all pending job applications.  Take the time today to contact all the employers with whom you have applied or had interviews.  Most employers view follow-up as showing interest and desire for the job, so do not be afraid to not only follow-up today, but again next week after (unless the employer tells you not to bother).

11. Read job requirements carefully.  Find out what you must do to apply for any position.  Consider the following: is there a specific website to apply on?  Do I have to email my resume or cover letter?  Do I need to apply in person?  Will they accept phone calls if I have a question?  Do I need to have my driving record, background, or credit reviewed to be considered for the position?  Again, look carefully at each description, knowing what you need to complete or send will allow your application to move forward in the process.