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What's the best way to get a loan from the bank? Make like you don't need the money when you hand in your application. Everyone knows that! Now try this one: What's the best way to get someone to give you a job? That's right; make like you don't need it.
Ah, but as anyone who has ever been on the unemployment line knows, that's easier said than done. Getting dumped - even if it wasn't your fault because the company went bankrupt - is always a downer. You just wouldn't be human if you didn't feel just a little less confident about the future, having to face prospective employers who hold the key to not only your future income, but your restored self-esteem. Isn't it ironic that just when you need your self-confidence most, you have to deal with a crisis that chips away at it.
Things aren't all that bleak; looking for a job is something everyone does at some point, and if you managed to talk someone into paying you a salary once, you've got an excellent chance of finding someone else to do likewise. What's needed now, however, is a battle plan, a system to get you from here, the unemployment line, to there - a good-paying, good-status job that will pay the bills. And if it's a system you need, your computer is just the tool to bring some order to what can often be the chaos of the job search.
You need a resume, cover letter, database of contacts that includes contact information, follow-up information, action items, etc. And when you think about it, organization really is key, because it gives you a sense of control and power in the midst of a situation in which you often feel powerless.
May I suggest, then, that you download a free program called Cvitae (http://www.semantis-software.com/), an organizational tool that will help you keep track of contacts and cover letters, help you write and send out a resume and give you useful tips on how to make your job search more effective. If you are doing a Web job search, you can also use Cvitae to capture job postings on the Internet more quickly, and put them into an integrated list with all your other possibilities. The program also has helpful tips on what to write and how to write it.
It feels good to know you're not alone in this. Of course, a program is just a program, and the motivation to face your job search has to come from inside. And there's no reason you couldn't use a plain old word processor to write resumes and cover letters. The value of Cvitae is in the sum of its parts; using it means that you're focused, you're primed for the search, and you're dealing with your situation head on. In other words, you're in control - and that means you'll be working again, very, very soon!
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