With the uncertainty in today’s economy, you never know when you might end up amongst the statistics of the unemployed. Many of us never think about the need to update our resumes, or our interviewing skills until we find ourselves needing to look for work.
Don’t let your skills become stagnant; it only adds additional stress to the whole job search process.
During the course of your employment, you should be keeping track of your noted accomplishments, completed training or certificates. This might all seem too tedious, but remember it’s much easier to jot down specifics as you go rather than trying to draw from memory all of these events a few years later.
Here are some suggestions for keeping track:
You can hand write on the back side of your resume, listing bullets of your accomplishments. Maybe you were recognized as a top performer, or won the employee of the quarter. You may have attended work required systems training that generated a certificate. Make sure you note industry specific lingo or software terminology and keep updating this information. Once you find yourself unemployed, you won’t have to spend countless hours trying to recall the what, when and where.
Another great method is to keep a Career Journal. This journal would be specific to only your career and job history. As you have a new experience, writing about it in your journal logs the details freshly as it happens. When you go back to review this journal, you will recall the moment and place and your honest feelings about the experience.
Remember that while we are working, we are always learning new things and we acquire new skills and grow in our specific industries. This particular job may last for 20 years and take us well into retirement, or it could end suddenly due to a decline in the economy. Because nothing is guaranteed or permanent these days, it’s never certain when you will need to be ready to go out and start job searching again, so it’s equally important to keep your sales skills honed.
But I don’t work in sales, you think as you read this. Well think again!
In our personal lives, we are sales people. Our job is to effectively sell ourselves, our ideas and skills. We build solid relationships through our interaction with others and our ability to communicate clearly. And even if you aren’t in retail sales, selling used cars, or going door to door – remember we are all sales people, when looking for a job.
Our job is to sell ourselves!
Losing your job after twenty years can be quite frightening when you think about it. Where will you work next? What is the job market like? Where do I fit in if my job skills are in a specific industry that has gone under? These are all valid questions and real feelings and emotions that appear suddenly after you lose your job.
The easiest way to minimize the impact to those questions is by staying fresh, being informed and practicing effective interviewing skills, and techniques. Preparation is everything! You don’t have to be unemployed to work on improving these skills either.
A local Job Fair is great opportunity to meet people, size up the competition and learn more about the industries that are hiring and what types of candidates and skills they are looking for. It provides you with an opportunity to interview the companies that are participating, gaining insight and building relationships.
What better way to turn the tables? You have an opportunity to interview companies, learn about what they offer and their current openings and it’s a no pressure situation for you–you still have a job!
Coral Levang a Career Transition Trainer and contributor at Associated Content is a great source for information on the job search process and her content page offers a variety of articles on employability skills in today’s market and job search process.