Contributed by Tim R..

After reading last week’s blog about Staying On Track When You Are Unemployed,  I felt like I had a few things to add about searching for work when you are unemployed or at any time when you are thinking of switching careers.

The blog talked about how futile it feels to send out resume after resume never receiving a response.  I agree.  As a hiring manager, I can tell you I receive hundred resumes for each job opening.  Looking through the resumes, you look more for resumes to eliminate than for interviews.  Very often, the resumes that move to the top of the pile are from people who were recommended to me from another employee or from an outside source.  But who do you tell and how do you tell them you are unemployed?

Other unemployed people – where do you find them? Many unemployment offices have group sessions once a month.  But you can form your own group.  Start one on Meetup. Choose a free place to meet such as a park or community center.  Talk to each other about the opportunities you are looking for and when you are out there you will keep their needs in mind.  Sound silly, but job hunt groups have a high success rate. You will also be providing moral support for each other. Be wary that it doesn’t turn into a pity-party.  Keep focused on the future not the past. (84% success rate)

Use your Network and start Networking.  Alert all your relatives, friends, ex-coworkers, alumni club (both high school and college), people in your community (hairdresser, dentist, etc), the people on your social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) abut what you are looking for (be specific in field and skills), any specific companies you are interested in and any other details you think are important. (80% success rate)

Knocking on the doors of companies you are interested in working for.  This works especially well with small companies as they tend not to have a large Human Resources Department.  Meeting you in person helps them remember who you are, see that you are sane and a go-getter.  They will keep your resume on file if they don’t have anything at the moment and yo will be one of the first people they will call.  (59% success rate)

Sending out resumes blindly only has a success rate of 7%. If you are looking for work, be sure to use your time wisely by using your connections and putting yourself out there.