July 28, 2009

Re-entering the job market is a full-time job

This summer, I have helped a number of people with their resume and the job search process. Several were former Dalton State College business students recently laid off in today’s job market. In addition, several professional colleagues with many years in the job market were also laid off from major companies needing fewer employees in a shrinking market.

The students are easier to assist with a few updates to their resume, the addition of their most recent job experience to their cover letter, and brainstorming companies and industries that might be hiring. Most of these students also have the option of graduate school if their job search proves not to be successful. Many still live with parents or do not have dependents or large monthly expenses so returning to school is often possible.

The professional and executive colleagues, on the other hand, are more challenging. The four I have recently met with called as they were networking with their contacts. I had met all four on various community committees and in area professional organizations. They were at the peak of their career in middle-to-higher-levels of responsibility in development, manufacturing, construction and financial services and all found themselves unfamiliar with navigating the job search and interviewing process after many continuous years in the workforce. The rules of work have changed and they were not prepared for their next step. They were all in their mid-40s and older and realized it was not a great stage in their life to be unemployed.

One executive mentioned that she did not anticipate her layoff and did not have time to retrieve her personal information and contacts from her company-provided smart phone or the database on her work computer. She cautions others to maintain your own contact list on your personal computer at home or on a cell phone you personally own and pay for. Having a hard copy of your contact list, printed from your electronic database, is another added measure of security.

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