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4 Habits of Highly Effective Job Searching


About 3 weeks ago, I was laid off from my position due to company restructuring. I’m not gonna lie. The initial blow was painful. I’m still making a valiant effort to get back on my feet, but the job hunt has been unexpectedly fruitful. Some of it is luck and a lot of it was me leveraging my network and making myself as “marketable” as possible. That’s it!

Here are some things you can do to ramp up your search…

© Flickr User craftivist collective

Laid off? Start your Search ASAP

No, I don’t mean start flailing applications and resumes moments after you were laid off. That’s just cruel! By all means, take some time to grieve. When your head is in the right place, however, start taking some baby steps.

Make a brief announcement over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Group Text (use caution with that one) and let people know of your situation. There’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. In today’s economy, almost everyone has been in your shoes at one point or another. By asking your network (whether it be family, friends or former colleagues) to keep an eye out for you, you’ve already expanded your radar by 25 to 50%.

Rediscover Old Skills or Talents

Everyone has skills and talents outside of their professional background. Chances are good that you didn’t always wanna be a marketer, or a salesmen, or designer. You may have dabbled in creative writing, music composition or coding during college or in your spare time.

Regardless of the skill, there’s a very good chance that many those talents can help you stand out in a large crowd of job applicants. Make a list of your talents and skills and see if they can be applied to your industry.

Before moving to Indianapolis, my background was in Animation. When I found myself back in the job market, I found that more people were interested in my Animation and Graphic Design skills than I once thought.

Meet with Friends… Just ‘cuz!

I speak from personal experience that meeting up with friends is good for the soul. During your period of unemployment, you’ll probably feel down in the dumps and maybe a little insecure. All perfectly normal feelings, by the way.

After you’ve spent the full day sending out job applications, going on job interviews and the like take some time to meet with friends and just relax. Grab dinner, a beer or invite em’ over to your place to watch a movie.

Not only have I found hanging out with friends has done wonders for my self-confidence, but it’s a great way to get insights from people you know, trust and love.

Don’t be Afraid to Say Hello!

Meeting new people can seem daunting at first, but once you keep doing it, it becomes far easier. Your friends could make introductions for you, but some of the best contacts (and eventual friends) I’ve made were through networking events with total strangers.

When I went to my first ever networking event in Indiana, I was terrified to introduce myself to people. I kept thinking “they’re going to think I’m odd for saying hi. They don’t know me!.” I soon found out how wrong I was. Networking events are MADE for meeting new people!

It’ll seem a little awkward at first, but you’ll be surprised with how many people feel the same way you do. Heck, you can even joke about how “awkward” it is to be there. Being a little silly helps and it helps to break the tension.

Job loss in Indianapolis
© Flickr User chimonthy27

In a nutshell, successful job searching is simply learning to brand yourself and surround yourself with like-minded people. Submitting a million applications and meeting recruiters for coffee is nice, but I’ve personally found casual, friendly interactions to be more effective. You get to learn about other people, discuss the things you really like to do and that create bonds that recruiters and potential candidates probably don’t have just yet.

What are you doing or what have you done in previous jobs searches? Tell us in the comments!

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About the Blogger: Felicia Savage is a Digital Media Marketing Associate at PERQ, a marketing technology and promotions company based in Indianapolis. When she blogging and researching content, Felicia enjoys drawing, watching cartoons and looking up stupid cat videos, Check out or follow her on Twitter (@KittyHasFleaz.) to learn more about her!


Tue, April 22 2014 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Personal Organization

4 Responses

  1. douglaskarr April 22 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    Your network is the most amazing resource at a time like this. Tune up your LinkedIn profile, request endorsements from your previous customer and employers, and ask them to get the word out for you!

  2. robbyslaughter April 22 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    Doug, you are right! You might enjoy this post on a related point:

  3. lneidig46 April 22 2014 @ 8:21 pm

    Great post Felicia. As I recently was in the same boat as you, I can say you hit the nail on the head on all four points. I think the key is being diligent with your preparation – so you're ready and able to take advantage of an opportunity when one does come your way.

  4. Felicia Savage April 24 2014 @ 12:30 am

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Supportive folks like you are the reason why I love Indianapolis so friggin' much. I'm extremely grateful to be part of a community of smart, kindhearted people. 🙂

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