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I Need A Job Now! – Action Plan

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No matter your station in life, there are times when you simply say “I need a job now!” Perhaps you have been laid off recently and have bills piling up, or maybe you are new to the work force and really need to start saving up money for school, a house, a new car, etc. Really no matter what the situation, there are several things you can do to find a job quickly.

Help! I Need A Job Now! 

If you’ve come to the place where you have admitted that I need a job now, no matter what line of work it is in, that can be an overwhelming feeling. You may feel desperate, anxious, confused, among other things. Ideally,

you would find a job that fits your interests or experience, but right now that isn’t your chief concern. Here is an action plan to get some positive momentum rolling in your job search:

Don’t Give Up!

Perhaps this sounds obvious, but we hear numbers and stories all the time of those who have given up looking for work. I know it can be incredibly frustrating to send out resumes, make phone calls, and come up empty time after time. No doubt if you are reading this article you’ve contemplated giving up before.

However, think about it this way: what is your alternative? There really isn’t a viable one. Whether you are young or old, your station in life determines how much money you need to survive. If you have rent, a car payment, food to buy, etc. you need to find a way to make money. Everything else is a short-term solution that won’t bring you satisfaction in the end. Every time you hear about thousands of job seekers giving up hope, turn that around and think of how much less competition you now face. You can do this, but you have to stick with it.

Most Jobs Aren’t Advertised

As many as 80% of jobs are never advertised, according to CBS News. That means you may be going about your job search all wrong. So many job seekers say “I need a job now” and that translates into jumping on an online job site and sending their resume to every posting they see. They don’t bother writing a cover letter, checking to see if they are qualified, or anything else. They throw out 200 resumes and hope something good happens. If this sounds like you, you need a new plan.

I Need A Job Now - courtesy of recruitingblogs.com
If it were only this easy…

First of all, since this “strategy” is so easy, there are many people that do it. Is it any wonder most businesses don’t want to deal with that and decide to hire without broadcasting the job opening out to the world? Would you want to sift through hundreds of resumes for people that aren’t qualified? Of course not. So if online postings aren’t cutting it, what should I do?

Network. You may feel uncomfortable about this concept, but it is more critical now than ever. Companies prefer to hire based off of the recommendation of an employee they already value. There is typically a much better chance that a referred employee will be a good fit and work out in the long run. Therefore, you have to “network” by talking to your friends and family. Often they’ll know about jobs that aren’t posted yet, or maybe won’t be open until next week and can get you in touch with the right people.

If you are into social media like Linkedin and even Facebook you should use them as tools to keep up with others that you know. It is very simple to check out your “friends” or contact’s place of employment. Send them a quick message, even if it is someone you haven’t talked to in years, and see if they know any openings. Here is an example of what you could say:

Hi NAME,

How have you been? I hope all is well. I saw you are working at COMPANY NAME now – how do you like it? The reason I ask is because I am looking for a job and was curious if you knew of any openings. If so, please let me know and I may put in a resume if it is a good fit.

I appreciate it!

YOUR NAME

Not too tough, right? Simple, honest and to the point. Have 300 Facebook friends in your hometown? Why not send out 300 of these? Look, if you’ve said “I need a job now” you have to act like someone who needs a job now. Don’t do this tomorrow, start now. (I won’t be offended if you read the rest of the article later).

Pound The Pavement To Find A Job

Pounding the pavement simply means to get out there and hustle. Walk in local businesses with copies of your resume and see if they are hiring. If you don’t want to come right out and ask if they are hiring, start with some small talk about what they do. It is likely a small shop owner will really enjoy talking about their business to someone who seems genuinely interested. Ask good questions and listen. Then when appropriate, say something like “That’s awesome, I’d love to work at a place like this” and see what happens. You didn’t ask for a job, but if you stop talking right there they will come back with something like “well fill out an application…” Or “we are actually looking for someone to…” Or “well, we aren’t really hiring but stop by in 3 months and see…” That is progress!

The truth is, you’ve probably tried job fairs and online searches like we talked about earlier. However, you may not have really gotten out there and just went door to door like this. It probably sounds intimidating to you, but that also means not many people do it. Job fairs can work, but look at how many people are there with similar qualifications as you looking at the same jobs. Compare that to walking into a local business, striking up a casual conversation, and asking if there is anything you could do to help. Really, there is no comparison. After you’ve tried your network, get out there and pound the pavement. What is the worst that can happen? You learn a lot about businesses in your community, but you find out none of them are hiring right now. Okay… big deal. You move on to the next one.

Update Your Resume

If it seems as if you never get a response after sending in your resume, maybe it needs an overhaul. Look, you’ve already come to the conclusion that I need a job now. Whatever you’ve been doing hasn’t been working so maybe it is time to try something drastic. Think about this from the example of the person we talked about earlier who looks at hundreds of resumes. If you used a Microsoft Word resume template, how many resumes that look exactly the same as yours do you think they’ve seen already? Exactly.

Infographic Resume by Hagan BlountWhat about making a resume that is completely unique? Particularly if you have some graphic design skills, or (going back to that word again) have someone in your network that does. Why does a resume have to be a Word document? Check out this infographic resume designed by Hagan Blount. According to this post at St. Andrews University, a recruiter spends no more than 30 seconds reading your resume. I’ve seen some estimates where as little as 5-10 seconds are spent checking out a resume. This means you have to catch their eye immediately, if not sooner. Imagine if your resume was a graphically enhanced piece of work like we saw from Hagan Blount. Do you think a recruiter might spend a little more time looking at that than a Word template? Of course they would. They might call you just to see how you made that.

I know what you are thinking, and you are right, it will definitely take you more time to come up with a unique, visually appealing resume. However, the good news is that your competition is lazy. So most people won’t go through the trouble or expense (if you can’t DIY) to get it done. That is good news for you. Look, you need a job now, right? It is time to try something new. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You have to be willing to change up the approach.

If you can’t do something completely original, consider adding a photo of yourself on your resume and at least mixing up the fonts on the pre-made Word template. Again, these people have probably seen that template a million times so do something that may make it stand out a little bit.

A final thought about resumes: if you need someone to proofread your resume or even someone to come up with a unique document design for you, try Fiverr. I’ve used Fiverr for many random things, and the premise of the site is that people offer various services and everything cost $5. You can search “resume” and sort by the best rated, so you make sure you are finding things that others have reviewed positively. This is a quick and affordable way to get some help if you don’t know where to start.

One other great resource you should check out is Re.vu. Their tagline is “Don’t send a resume. Share your story.” This service lets you create an online landing page that you can link to which gives a visually appealing summary of your accomplishments. This is certainly something that can add an online wow factor for a prospective employer. It is free to sign up and can even pull in your data from Linked In if you’d like.

Get To Work

Alright, no more excuses. It is time to get to work. Get rid of any ideas you may have had about quitting, and remember your primary motivation for saying “I need a job now!” Next, start talking to people in your network. That network is bigger than you think and more easy to reach than ever before. Use some variation of our message above and reach out to your friends and acquaintances on Facebook and/or Linkedin. Then, get out there and pound the pavement. Leave your house and go meet business owners in person. If they aren’t hiring, they may know of someone who is. This gets positive momentum and the law of attraction working in your favor. Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Finally, get that resume overhauled. Once your pavement pounding and networking start moving, the next thing they’ll ask for is a copy of your resume. Send something that will stand out.

Have any tips to add for those who say “I need a job now” ? Feel free to comment below.

I Need A Job Now! - Action Plan by