Basic job hunting for the unemployed

You need to know where to look, when job hunting, and how to look.

If you haven't done this before, there are a few basic tricks you must learn:

Some job sites will be good, others will be quite useless. The job sites you need regularly have jobs in your line of work, and are easy to use. Some big sites are terrible, quite unhelpful, have old jobs on them, and are slow.

Category searches are usually best, just simple things like Administration or Accountancy, etc.

If you know any professional sites, use them.

They're a lot better than the big general sites, where you may have to wade through pages of material you don't need, and can't use.

You should be able to get through all the current ads pretty quickly, if you're well organized, and find the jobs you're looking for easily.

That means you can do the day's applications same day, and be ready for any new jobs tomorrow.

You can see why a routine helps.

Believe it or not, it is quite possible to be so disorganized that you can't even achieve an application a day.

One of the realities of job hunting for the unemployed is that there are other demands on your time. These start from the moment you register for unemployment benefits. They're also compulsory, and messing up your unemployment insurance isn't something you want to have to worry about.

If you're part of a job network, you'll find that the agency wants you for training, interviews with counselors, or external courses. You'll also find that these things can play havoc with your daily business of just being alive. You still have to get all your job hunting things done, and the day gets used up traveling, or doing some of the million other things you really have to do.

Interviews also consume time, productively, we hope, but you can assume at least three hours will be used up in the travel, interview and recovery phases.

That's why making absolutely sure you can do your job hunting in peace is so important. Time is being used up, and you're really chasing the problem, not catching it, if you have to be everywhere but looking for a job.

There's a further complication. You also need to be contactable for employers during the day. Nobody's going to mind leaving a message, but as you can see, that also involves more use of time in getting back to the employer, arranging times, or answering questions. Phone interviews are also getting much more common, and you need to be free for those. All of these things add up to more use of time.

The more you can do immediately, the less catching up you have to do.

When you're home, job hunting and getting things done, you're actually getting a lot more done than you might realize.