WASHINGTON (2/22/11--With the national unemployment rate at 9% in January, it’s still hard to find a job. And it could remain tough for a while: The White House predicts that the unemployment rate should drop to a more normal level of 5.9%, but not until 2015 (The Wall Street Journal Online
Feb. 14). If you’re not having luck with traditional job-hunting strategies, it might be time to approach your search from a new direction. Try one of these alternatives, reported by USNews.com
, to showcase your skills and ramp up your networking potential:
* Speak up. Are you an expert in some topic, career-related or otherwise? You probably can find a local organization that would like to hear you speak. Try your local Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, or professional organization. You’ll not only highlight your knowledge and skills, but you’ll also make new contacts. * Use LinkedIn Events. You may already have a LinkedIn profile, but the social network’s Events application can be particularly useful. Add the application to your profile to find professional events in your network, such as speaking engagements, conferences, and other programs. * Check out Quora.com. This up-and-coming social-media website allows users to ask and answer questions on a variety of topics. Getting involved on the site could help you make new contacts and find answers to career questions. Answering questions on the site also allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract attention from others in your industry. * Start a website or blog. Post your portfolio and resume, provide links to relevant social-media profiles, or blog about issues in your field. When potential employers search for you online, they’ll find positive results. Maintaining a site or blog also shows off your tech-savvy--a trait that employers like to see. * Join a group. Find an activity or group that appeals to your personal interests. Taking a break from the job search to do something you enjoy, such as a sport or hobby, keeps you motivated and refreshed. And you never know--a new contact from your softball team or book club might even know about the perfect job for you.
For more information, listen to “Keep Your Head When Facing Job Loss” and “Where the Jobs Are Now” in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center