Fear or Strategy in a Job Search

Photo by Jordan Perez Nobody

At a gathering of a group of 20 AmeriCorps members, we talked about the state of the job search in 2010. we discussed the history of the current recession and how a job seeker may feel looking at so many obstacles. This video of the unemployment moving map depicts the progression of the recession. Watch as the country goes from clear to almost black with the moving increases in unemployment from 2007 to the present.

Jason Alba explained those feelings well in his blog post, “Depression Clouds Everything”. Jason’s job loss happened in 2006 before the recession hit when there was much less unemployment.

But day after day, the rejection, the self-doubt, all the bad stuff that happens when your world is turned upside down, the emotions were clouding things. Judgment was clouded, because I was desperate. Performance was clouded because I was scared. I certainly wasn’t used to dealing with these emotions, especially week after week.

It was also somewhat depressing to go to network meetings with professionals in transition who were going through similar things. I was pretty amazed that I met people who were in the same laid-off boat I was, who were much more accomplished than me. Would this never end?? I didn’t want to be in this situation regularly!

Jason took the unemployment and job loss and transformed himself into an author, well-known blogger, speaker, and created products to help people facing the same feelings of being laid-off.

  • I shared some of my recent client successes and how to use informational interviewing to get find sources for jobs not on job boards or advertised in conventional resources. You need to move your resume to decision-makers through other channels to compete with the vast numbers of resumes most advertised positions receive today.
  • As I talked about keywords and accomplishments, I saw puzzled faces so I passed around my sample book  to show keywords used to create targeted resumes speaking to an individual’s skills, talents, and value proposition. One of the class members read keywords coupled with the resume headline to show how keywords can be tailored to the person and the occupation. A resume has to fit the person and incorporate their story.
  • A job seeker needs to recognize the value of thank yous. Steve, the director, told the group that at least one  member was selected for the AmeriCorps program because she sent a thank you note.

AmeriCorps members shared fears of how this recession affected them. In this current economy, you need different tools and strategies to find jobs, such as  networking, tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Over the course of the hour, they learned how to transform fear into strategy in their job search.

Have you been using these strategies?

  1. Informational Interviewing
  2. Keywords
  3. Targeted Resumes
  4. Thank yous


  1. Davina on April 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    “Transform fear into strategy.” Excellent, Julie! I believe thank you notes are a great way to stand out from the crowd; I’ve sent them before and I appreciate receiving them. In the arena of business, they add that personal touch, too.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Are You With Relationship? =-.

    • Julie Walraven on April 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Davina. The biggest hurdle most job seekers face is using the wrong strategies and then being disappointed when nothing seems to be working. The members seemed to buy in quickly that new strategies were necessary to gain success and be able to follow their dreams.

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Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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