The job market is picking up. Although there are varied reports in recent news; proof positive is that the unemployment rate is declining and it seems that several companies are posting openings in record numbers for the first time in over 4 years. Although the economic recovery is underway, it will take some time to get the millions of displaced workers back to into the marketplace.
If you’re unsure of which firms are hiring in your area; do a simple search as to “companies hiring in (your town, your state)”. Also, monitor your local news reports, news papers for hiring and career fair announcements. Other sources are career and job sites such as Careerbuilder, JobFox, Indeed, SimplyHired, Monster, Dice, Facebook, and Twitter . Start by posting your updated resume and profile on these sites.
As I have mentioned before, it’s best to update your profile regularly (every 3-4 weeks, at the very least) to re-index your professional profile so it appears at the top of search results. Recruiters can’t find you if you’re not posting and updating your resume.
Media reports indicate that several major firms are hiring nationwide. Interestingly enough, I have been recently contacted by a few of these companies for local and out-of-town opportunities. You might research the following companies for openings in your area(s):
- Citi Group
- State Farm
- Time Warner Cable
- Wal-Mart Corp. (Headquarters, Arkansas)
- Wells Fargo Advisors
If applying directly to job postings, be sure to complete the online application in addition to uploading your resume. It may be a tedious task, but a necessary one. Otherwise, your profile may be flagged as “incomplete” and therefore, overlooked.
When forwarding your resume to recruiters, you should follow-up with them weekly or bi-weekly. This puts you on their radar and helps to build a rapport at the same time. With the sheer number of candidates and resumes they receive daily, it’s very easy to fall off their radar. Cultivate relationships with a few recruiters that you’ve come to trust. Preferably, those local to your area or the geographical area that you want to conduct your job search.
Speaking of which, be wary of out-of-town recruiters who want to submit you to their “direct client” in your area. They often request your contact information in detail and will never be heard from again. Or even worse, they may forward your contact number to some third-party scammers or start-up placement firm(s) who seldom take no for an answer. Yes, it happens!
Often times, smaller and out-of-town firms don’t have the working relationships with local hiring managers that local recruiters do. Others are only concerned with placing a warm body, fast in exchange for a commission check; instead of helping to meet your career objectives. These recruiters certainly lack integrity.
“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” Proverbs 2:6-8
I was laid-off just over a month ago and have since been blessed to work with very good recruiters for the most part. Although, I recently had the misfortune to work with one who had a lack of integrity and overall concern. I was under the weather; but had been interviewing consistently in recent weeks. [Please note: We should advise recruiters know if you’re near final stages of an interview prior to any agreement to be submitted for new opportunities]. Just when I had to reschedule a couple of final interviews due to my bout with a fever and the flu. When I asked one recruiter if I could have a few days to make a final decision due to (three) pending interviews. In short, the recruiter advised me, “No, my firm needs an answer ‘today! She further indicated that her ‘client will ‘track you [me] in their database and never extend an offer to you [me] again… NEVER, EVER, PERIOD! … Because ‘they’ take this kind of thing personally and will be very offended if you decline!” (Please note, her client is also one of the fortune 500 firms listed here in this post.)
But, I was so inclined to laugh at such a statement; unfortunately, I could barely speak and my sore throat would prevail. Just then, a quiet sweet voice inside reminded me “She just doesn’t know, that I have an ‘inside contact’ that transcends time, space, and her lack of integrity!” Did I mention, additional recruiters have already sinced phoned offering to submit my resume to the same hiring company. (The Lord God is so awesome!) Even in my feverish, flu-ravished, yet unemployed state, I would not be shaken by her statements.
Because I am confident in my faith that God has a plan for my career and my life. I also was thinking to myself, ‘No doubt, I am in need of a new job. But, I mean really?’ (“…the company will be offended?”)
By the way, let’s just imagine (if you will) a major corporation taking me personally. Oh yeah, sure they will! You can bet my next thought was “ If God is for me, who can be against me?” (I’ll take my chances with Him!)
“What, then, shall we say unto these things? if God is for us, who is against us? … ” The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me.” -Romans 8:31
A professional recruiter will a) notify you of new opportunities possibly before the hiring manager publishes them, b) submits your resume for multiple opportunities, c) gives you time to decide on the best offer (if needed) and d) wish you well in your job search, even if not with them or their firm. When you find a recruiter who will follow through with 3 out of 4 of these tasks on your behalf; you’ll recognize it immediately… Needless to say, that will be the one worth networking with for future opportunities.
Work with those recruiters who put forth the effort to follow-up with you. They will also do due diligence with hiring managers on your behalf. The reality is that they get paid when you get hired. It’s a win-win relationship for each party involved. Afterall, networking is about relationships.
Like any other relationships, professional networking goes both ways. Drop a line of congrats, when former colleagues are promoted or offer to post an endorsement for them. They will be inclined to do the same for you in the future. Invite them to become a part of your professional network(s) on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. It’s not only a good way to keep in touch with former colleagues, and meet others in your field, and respond to job postings; but. also a way to follow-up with recruiters who put forth the effort for you and notify all of them of your career status. Be sure to email and touch base with recruiters periodically and forward your resume each time you update it. Just because you might not get the first opportunity they submit you to… They may submit you for future roles. You never know when a new opportunity might present itself.
I believe that great opportunities await for those who believe in Christ Jesus.
Put your faith to work … Keep one another uplifted in prayer! Let me know how your job search is going or if I might help in any way. Til next time, I offer you this simple prayer:
A Prayer for the Unemployed
Dear God, be with us today in finding employment. Lead us to work that we love, and that has value. Guide us to a place with an atmosphere of respect and cooperation, in a safe and happy environment. Help us to find fulfillment mentally and financially. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (paraphrased, taken from http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com)
God’s Blessings to you in your job search!
Your Servant in Christ,
Kim A. Walker