Settling down in Ellensburg after life on the road has been a challenge for many reasons. The strangest experience has been being unemployed though. I haven’t been unemployed since I was 16! While time will only tell if these tips are effective, here are some of the things that are helping me during the job hunt. Hopefully they will lead me to employment without the search leaving me exhausted!
1. Keep in manageable.
Even though you are not working, writing cover letters and resumes, pounding the pavement, and chatting with managers is a lot of work! Give yourself time and set reasonable goals. I started by doing research online to see was hiring and revamping my résumé. I just now started actually visiting businesses to drop off my application materials and speak with managers. Finding the right match for a job can take time.
2. Turn in a cover letter. Every time.
But you don’t have to write a new one for each business. Because I have a lot of experience working with coffee, I am applying to all the local cafés. It may seem like cheating, but using the same cover letter for similar positions will allow you to explain why that business should hire you, without losing hours on crafting new cover letters for each job. Just double-check to make sure you have changed all business and staff names! (I use Microsoft Word Find & Replace to help).
3. Keep a list of where you applied and when.
Jotting down where you left applications, resumes, etc, will make it certain that you don’t forget any place you applied. Writing down the name of who you spoke to and a quick summary of the information you got from them is also extremely helpful when following up. Also, knowing the date that you dropped off your application will give you a good idea of when you should call them again.
4. Have another project
Having another project going on while you job hunt can keep you from feeling discouraged and unproductive. It’s extra helpful if this project will help you with long-term goals, career or otherwise. For me, it’s been working on this blog and looking for other freelance writing opportunities. This way, even if I haven’t gotten any call backs that day, I still feel like I have accomplished something.
5. Do something fun (and cheap) at the end of the day.
After all your applications are turned in and all the classified ads have been read, it’s important to find a way to unwind and enjoy yourself. It’s nice to do something free or inexpensive to avoid compounding any money stress you may have. Getting a dollar cup of coffee at a local café and tooling around on the internet is a favorite of mine, but going on walks, having a movie night at home with friends, or making a nice dinner are all good options.
I will keep you updated on how well these tactics actually serve me in the field. Good luck to any fellow job hunters!