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Day 7 — Job Hunt

Day 7 -- Job Hunt

Monday always marks a psychological barrier for me. The beginning of a new week heralds, I hope, a new birth of jobs. But that’s not always the case. New jobs get posted every day, not just at the beginning of the week. But I don’t want to let go of the thought that new jobs will be waiting when I log onto my computer Monday morning. It’s the start of a new work week for everyone else, even the unemployed.

I have a friend who’s also unemployed, and she sent me her Monday job-searching routine. She’s categorized her job-search sites into national, regional and specialty. On Monday, she scours them all and tags the jobs she thinks she’s right for. She then categorizes those into top-, second- and third-tier jobs. On Tuesday, she applies for the top-tier jobs, sending out as many as four resumes but averaging about three a day.

During the week, when the posting of new jobs slows or are recycled on other sites, she sends out applications for the second-tier jobs. When she hits a new low, the third-tier jobs are next. She says that sending out resumes, even if she would really prefer not to work at those places, makes her feel like she’s doing something productive.

Over the course of four months, my friend has sent out more than 100 resumes but has only received calls from about three of them. She’s up for two jobs now, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one comes through. She has a family like me, and I know she’s tired of wearing holey underwear and eating grilled-cheese sandwiches.

My job search is much more erratic, though I’ve tried to borrow some of her tactics. I search my top job-search sites on Monday. But sometimes you miss something, or a job gets posted midweek, which is not uncommon. When that happens, I jump on it right away, sort of like a ravaged dog pounces on scraps thrown by a sympathetic diner. I’ve found that the fresher a job lead, the more likely you’ll get a personal email, either acknowledging your efforts (recruiters do that when you’re not right for a job but want to put you in their “database”), or requesting a phone interview, which is replacing the in-person interview as a first screen.

My tactic of jumping on leads immediately was recently validated by a recruiter who told me that she posted a managerial job in the hinterlands of West Virginia and within an hour she received more than 120 applicants. She was so overwhelmed that she took down the posting.

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