Tag Archives: Job search

Resolving that these will be the best resolutions – ever

Here I go again writing down resolutions for the new year.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I know! I’m posting this very nearly on the last day of the first month of the year. Resolutions should come before the new year or very soon after the start of the year, not at the end of the first month.

I mean, after all, most people have made and broken their resolutions a dozen times over by now.

But I was tied up on the job search and other projects so I could not get to it the way I wanted.

And, yes, I considered making “improving time management” one of my resolutions. … But I ran out of time.

Each year most of us look at what we have done during the past year, perhaps cringe a bit, and vow never ever to do those things again.
We vow to stop smoking. To drink less. To work out more and drop those nagging 20 pounds. We promise to take more time for our families, for ourselves. We pledge to be better in everything we do.

But it hardly works out the way we plan.

That is OK. We are human. We are not perfect. A few flaws are part of our character.

And so is trying to fix those flaws.

Here are my resolutions for 2011. Well, my resolutions for 11 months of 2011, anyway:

1) Find fulfilling, meaningful, suitable work. I have been out of work since March 2009. That is much, much too long to be out of work, trust me. It is has been financially and emotionally devastating and demoralizing and frustrating and disheartening … you get the point.

Not long ago I saw a television news story about the passage of the extension of unemployment insurance benefits as part of the continuation of the Bush-era tax breaks. A fellow was interviewed who had just been laid off and said that if he did not have a job after a year, then he did not deserve the benefits.

Of course, he was JUST laid off as the economy seems to be making a move upward. It would have been interesting to talk to that guy if he had been in my situation.

I want to work and work soon. I have been working since I was a teen. I worked a green chain at 16 or 17 and held down three part-time jobs while going to college fulltime. I know how to work. And I want to work. I just need a chance to prove myself to others.

2) Be more diligent at updating this blog and my for-fun blog, “Coffeehouse Observer.” I wrote in an earlier blog entry that was going to be my No. 1 resolution for 2011 (“Vowing to be a better blogger … I promise,” “Letters From Away,” Jan. 1, 2011), but then realized there is nothing more important to me than finding work, as it has been for nearly two years. Being a more diligent blogger will have to be No. 2.

A head cold sort of derailed that effort for a while, putting me behind in other things that are of higher priority, such as finding a job. I blogged about that, too. (“Polishing up vow to be a better blogger – I promise … again,” “Letters From Away,” Jan. 13, 2011)

3) Which all sort of brings me to Resolution No. 3 – stop putting off eliminating procrastination from my life. Yeah, perhaps it should be No. 1 – especially since we are into the third week of the new year and most people have already broken their resolutions – but at least it made the top five.

Most years I make at least five resolutions. I can prove it because I’ve written about resolutions in the past as a blogger and before:

“Resolving to avoid resolutions this year … or not,” “Letters From Away,” Dec. 31, 2009 and

“Tips for sustaining a job search in 2010,” “Letters From Away,” Jan. 2, 2010.

This year, three seems plenty.

I resolve to do my best to follow the spirit – if not the letter – of these resolutions and perhaps dip into the old resolutions that have gone unfulfilled. And as with most things, better late than never at all.

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Vowing to be a better blogger … I promise

I seriously thought when I started “Letters From Away” that I would be able to update the content every day – something new every single day. I mean, how difficult could that be?

Pretty difficult lately, it seems.

It truly was my intention to update this blog daily with Maine news aggregation, commentary on Maine happenings – at least through the filter of newspaper websites, blogs and hearsay – and stories from my childhood growing up in Maine’s North Woods. There is plenty to write about.

Maine was in the middle of the same-sex marriage debate last year, its two U.S. senators are experiencing growing influence in Washington, the Maine Troop Greeters were the subject of a great documentary film, there were pretty exciting political races, and Maine continues to be a leader when it comes to alternative energy, especially land-based and offshore wind power generation and wave power generation. The scenic beauty – and the effort to keep it that way – also has given me fodder for this blog.

And that does not even touch on lobsters, lighthouses, moose, bears, mosquitoes, Moxie, weather, whoopie pies and Stephen King.

So, yeah, there has been plenty on which to write. Too much, in fact.

Two things have stood in the way lately – the continuing job search and the holidays.

Returning readers will remember that I have been a journalist for more than 22 years and that I was laid off in March 2009. I have been looking – so far unsuccessfully – for work ever since. I continue to search in the newspaper field, but from the start I also branched out to hunt for a job with nonprofits, green industries, government, and elsewhere.

Still nothing. Yet.

But I keep looking. And sending out cover letters and resumes and references and filling out applications. Even for jobs for which I am not exactly qualified and for jobs for which I am overly qualified.

Scanning dozens of job websites and bulletin boards takes time. Crafting cover letters and massaging resumes takes time. And with the way the congressional debate was going on the extension of unemployment benefits tied to the Bush-era tax credit, it seemed time really, really was running out. I felt the pressure to churn out more and more cover letters and resumes.

And that did not leave much time for blogging.

I still am not completely sure I qualify for the extension, so I have a despicable option in mind – cash out every piece of “retirement” funding I have left. Even at a 30 percent to 40 percent cut for taxes and fees, it might give me another couple of months for finding work. And there will be no retirement at all if I cannot find a job soon.

Holidays always jam up things a bit. I did not get presents for my family last years. There just was no money to spare.

There was even less money to spare this year, but I did not want to go without getting presents for my family for a second year in a row. That would be just too demoralizing for me. So I did what I normally do not do – I pulled out a credit card for my holiday purchases.

So there was time spent shopping for Christmas gifts. And there was time spent standing in lines that were longer than normal. And there was more time stuck in holiday traffic. And time spent wrapping gifts. And time spent standing in line at the post office to ship Christmas packages to Maine.

And around major holidays, job websites do not post jobs nearly as frequently as they do normally, which hampers the jobs search. It is a tale with twists and turns.

But the holidays soon will be a memory. And the job search should settle down to the same brain-numbing grind that it has been for nearly 22 months.

And hopefully I will be more diligent in updating this blog on a daily basis. Let’s make that my No. 1 resolution for 2011 – be a better blogger.

OK, make that 2011 resolution No. 2, because getting a meaningful, suitable job is the No. 1 resolution.

So, until the next time I see you in the blogosphere, see ya.

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Crossing fingers after phone interview marred by no bars, technical problem

I had a fairly good telephone job interview this morning, despite equipment problems on both ends.

And despite me stumbling over some of the questions.

Some of the problems started this morning when I tumbled out of bed and checked my cellular phone to make sure that it had charged overnight. I was immediately troubled to see no bars, not one.

“OK, don’t panic,” I said to myself, of course, leaving out here the expletives. “I’ll just whip up some congee, grab a shower, and check the bars again. Perhaps a T-Mobile tower is down or something and it will take a bit of time to get it up again. If all else fails, I’ll make a run to Starbucks, troll for a cell signal, and pirate some Wifi. And just sit in my CRV for the interview.”

Yes, I do sometimes have extended conversations with myself.

Congee, check.

Shower and shave, check.

Car keys, check.

Laptop and cell phone, check and check.

Cell phone bars, not so check. Still no bars.

So, off I went for the Starbucks. As I drove closer, I checked the bars and the signal seem to be coming in strong. Great!

I circled the Starbucks in the Miracle Mile in Stockton and head back to my apartment to go over notes before I planned to return to the Starbucks in time for my interview call.

Funny thing, though, as I drove back to the apartment – I started getting more bars. Eureka! A strong signal. Perhaps, just, perhaps, T-Mobile fixed the glitch and I’ll be able to receive the interview in a non-stressful environment sitting at my writing desk in the living room of my apartment.

There I sat for more than an hour going over “20 Most Asked Questions In A Job Interview” – of which, the interviewers would later ask only one of the “20 Most Asked Questions In A Job Interview” – and tried to relax just a bit before my 9:45 a.m. call.

Everything was going well enough when I took another look at my cell phone at 9:30 a.m. and – PANIC! No bars, again! Ugh!

I scooped up my laptop, a notepad, a couple of pens, and my cell phone and headed downstairs to the garage. There I jumped into my CRV, cranked up the engine, and headed – at only slightly excessive speed – to the nearest Starbucks where earlier I had found a strong signal and where I could pirate WiFi. (I say “pirate,” but Starbucks provides free WiFi. Using “pirate” is an attempt at making me more edgy. Did it work?)

I parked in the same spot I had earlier, but the cell signal was at only two bars. I didn’t want an every-other-word experience during the interview. I drove around the block trolling for a stronger signal and found one – very nearly in the same spot I had been before going around the block. Time: 9:44 a.m.

OK, quick drink of water. Pull out the computer for the notes on the “20 Most Asked Questions In A Job Interview.” Pull out the pad of paper to write down the names of the people on the search committee conducting the interview. Go online for a quick check of email.

It was then that the phone rang. I let it ring again, popped open the cell phone, paused – “Hello. … Hello. … Hello!”

Nothing. Great! Well what else can go wrong?

I tried dialing back a couple of times, but all I got was the ear-piercing tone of a fax machine. Great!

OK, don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic … DON’T PANIC!

Oh, wait, the phone’s ringing again.

“Hello. … Hello. … Hello!”

Oh, crap, not again.

One more attempt to call them. More piercing sounds. OK, OK, OK, I’ll shoot an email to the person who arranged the interview. Under the circumstances, maybe – just maybe – we can reschedule the telephone interview.

The email was very nearly set to send when the phone rang one more time. By this time it was five or 10 minutes after the scheduled appointment

OK, don’t panic. Let it ring again.

“Hello”

“Hello, Keith. Sorry for that bit of technical problem …,” said the woman on the other end.

Sheesh, that was close. I’ve been out of work for 20 months now and I cannot afford to miss an interview for any reason.

The half-hour interview went well enough, I think, especially since it took place over the phone as I sat in my CRV with a laptop balanced on my knees.

I stumbled on a few questions. It’s a marketing job and my experience is in straight-up journalism, but several of the interviewers have newspaper experience, so they may have cut me some slack. They gave me verbal feedback and laughed where they should have, so it wasn’t all bad at all.

The job would be with a leader in its field and I think skills I honed as a columnist, opinion page editor, editorialist, and essayist could come in handy. The problem would be in having time to write about all the positive aspects. That’s a bit of a change considering all my work experience is in newspaper where much of the news is not good.

Well, I’m crossing my fingers. It appears it will be about 30 days before I find out if I was selected, so I’ll be patient and continue my search in the meantime.

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Oh, to be in search of a job – still

But I think things are looking up – at least, I think they are

Not a particularly great week for the job search. I was only able to get three resume packages out – one on Monday and two on Tuesday – and had only a view or two on resumes posted on various job websites.

But it was much better than a few very slow weeks that I have had during this search and my online portfolio has received more visits in the past couple of weeks than it has in months, so I remain upbeat that I will find employment.

I had a couple of days this week during which technical problems bogged me down. I use an HP laptop at empresso, the Stockton coffeehouse I frequent most often. And when certain other people are there running HP or Compaq laptops my WiFi seems to turn to mush and I can barely load even the best websites. There was a woman there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I could barely get anything done online when she was there.

(And on Thursday she spent most of her time there talking loudly on her cellular telephone. She wasn’t even working online that very much, she just had the laptop on and connected. I felt a mild urge to ask her: “Do you realize how very loud you are?!” But I’m not that confrontational.)

I also have a problem sometimes when nearby laptop user is using a similar wireless mouse to the Microsoft mouse I use. I’m guessing in both cases it is a matter of similar frequencies crossing over. (I’m not technically endowed so please forgive if does not make perfect technical sense. It does to me.)

When either problem happens I simply disconnect the wireless connection and work on something on my desktop. I’ve starting putting aside work that I can do in such instances. That helps keep the blood pressure down a bit.

Yesterday was sort of a throw-away day, too. I received a phone message late Thursday from the publisher of an East Coast newspaper. I had emailed them a resume package last week for an opening there.

Unfortunately, I did not notice the message until it was after 6 p.m. or so EST so I emailed her that I would return the call the following morning, which I did. I waited for a few hours yesterday for a return call and headed out to empresso when it got to be about 4:30 p.m. EST. Perhaps she’ll call on Monday.

Or not.

I make it a point not to let that sort of thing bother me too much. It would have been nice to get some job searching done yesterday, but that’s the way it goes.

I truly wish my portfolio was better, more stunning, more compelling. Much of my writing is not easily accessible online. Much of my carry involved moving pages, writing editorial, directing news coverage and reporters, for which there are no bylines. Anyway …

Next week I’ll get down to it again. Perhaps I can double the number of resume packages.

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Just another day as an unemployed journalist — another step forward

I hate this. I absolutely hate this!

Today makes 14 months since I was laid off from my job at The Record in Stockton, Calif. That is one year and two months; or 56 weeks; or 417 days; or 10,008 hours, give or take; 600,480 minutes.

Give or take. But who’s counting. Phew! …

I’ve written about this before, so I won’t belabor this too much. To make a long story – at 14-month long story – short, I had been a journalist at mid-sized newspapers in Northern California for 22 years. I had been working at The Record since 2006 when I was laid off March 5, 2009.

Underestimating the severity of the downward dive in the economy, I assumed that I would be back to work within three months or so if I made finding a job my job. But three months came and went. And then six months. And nine months. And one year. Now, 14 months.

I have been looking for work every since – at newspapers, wire services, online news services, governments, green industries, nonprofits. I recently applied for a job at a greeting card company, which I’m sure my newspaper buddies will find as ironic as I find ironic. I mean, a long-time curmudgeonly crime and chaos reporter turned curmudgeonly copy editor turned curmudgeonly columnist turned curmudgeonly assistant news editor turned curmudgeonly opinion page editor – you get the point – is not your typical greeting card employee.

Over-qualified or undertrained, that’s been part of my problem. Oh, and trying to find a job in a really shitty economy doesn’t help.

I have applied for hundreds of jobs from sea to shining sea. Seriously, sea to shining sea, and a few places in between. My job search has centered on the West – California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Washington state – and my native New England – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Frankly, I’ve noticed that the greater the distance the job opening, the lower the chances that I’ll even get an email telling thanks, but no thanks, but I keep trying. Everything has to be about making a step forward every single day.

But – again, frankly – momentum has been a problem. The holidays took a bit of the wind out of my momentum sail – too many three-day weekends that stretched into four-day segments when job websites didn’t post new openings. And – again, frankly – there usually wasn’t many job openings to be posted, even without three-day weekends that stretched into four days.

But things are changing. Or so they say. The economy is picking up. Or so they say. And businesses and nonprofits and governments and everyone is hiring or at least planning on hiring. Or so they say.

I have noticed more and more job openings being posted on job websites and more friends and acquaintances are passing along more job openings.

And I am again gaining momentum and applying for more jobs. I even feel confident enough to be relatively selective in my job pursuit – the greeting card application notwithstanding. (Very frankly, that job would be pretty cool, despite the irony of a crusty, dusty newspaperman participating in something as soft and fluffy as the greeting card biz.)

I’m fed up with being unemployed.

I’m hungry to get back to work.

I’m ready, willing and able to get back to work.

I’m just hunting for a break.

I’m sure that I will be working again. I just want it to be now. Now would be good.

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Sometimes you just have to whack it

This is not adult  entertainment, so get you heads out of the gutter. This isn’t about whacking that “it.”

Readers – from Maine to California and back again – know I’ve been out of work for the past year. So, cable and satellite TV both have been well out of reach financially.

And, frankly, the cost of both even before I was laid off on March 5, 2009, from a newspaper job after 22 years of experience in the industry kept me from paying for either just on principle alone. The cost was and is unreasonable.

So I went with a digital TV converter and rabbit ears antenna. Rabbit ears were good enough for generations of TV-watchers, it was good enough – sort of – for me. It was not nearly acceptable for someone who loves to watch sports, movies and the assorted nature programming, but I had to make due.

When “broadcast” TV went digital, I requested and received a government coupon and then purchased an APEX DT250A TV Converter.

As such electronics go, it was inexpensive and cheaply made. Cheaply. And when I use “cheaply,” I mean the box the size of a hardcover book was a truckload of yak dung.

It worked well enough – as long as the rabbit ears were just so – for a couple months.

But Thursday night the box failed right in the middle of the “NCIS” rerun I was watching. Know this: No one comes between me and “NCIS,” not even NCIS Special Agent Jethro Leroy Gibbs. OK, maybe Gibbs might do it, especially after one of his trademark slaps to the back of the cranium, but you get the point.

But on Thursday evening the TV screen went snowy. Not just a flurry, but a storm the likes of those that have hit the East Coast this winter.

I did not have a remote in my hand – no, really, I didn’t have a remote in my hands – so I figured I had not mistakenly hit a button that might have caused the snowstorm. I checked the cable connections, the antenna connection, the power source, and then rechecked them twice. I was resigned to give up for the evening – it was late enough that going to sleep was a better option than obsessing over it any longer.

The next morning I took off early enough that I did not watch TV. I was off to the Empresso coffeehouse on Pacific Avenue in Stockton to continue the job search and blogging efforts. I have two versions of “Letters From Away,” one on WordPress and one on Blogger, and another about what I see at various coffeehouses I patronize, especially Empresso and Exotic Java, that I named “Coffeehouse Observer.”

After going through job and news websites, blogging a bit, and getting a few other online tasks done, I returned to the apartment in the early evening. I was in the middle of some mundane tasks – as if watching TV isn’t mundane enough – when I remembered that I would not be able to unwind watching TV.

I also remembered that there was one thing that I had not done the previous evening – whack it.

I turned on the TV and the APEX box, picked up the box, and gave it a couple of good whacks.

It worked.

I am watching an episode of “Criminal Minds” on the ION network as I’m writing this blog.

There you have it. Sometimes it simply pays to whack it.

Comfort food helps ease the sting of rejection

I’m feeling a little piled on lately when it comes to rejection. I batted 1.000 at the end of this week – a rejection notice each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

I’m not sure if it would have been any better if they had all arrived on the same day or if they had come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or if one of the notices had arrived today, Saturday.

I might have taken it hard – at least, harder than I am anyway – if I had not already moved all three of those jobs into my “REJECTION” folder on my laptop. I give jobs – or, rather, the agencies, organizations or businesses posting a job opening – about one month or so after applying for the job before pretty much giving up on that job. If I don’t hear back from them, I then move the job from “PENDING” to “REJECTION.” It had been a month or longer for all three without hearing anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Bubkes.

Note to human resources officials: Let job seekers know if you receive applications and resume packets, and give them a reasonable timeframe in which the hiring process will be carried out. That is especially true when the economy and jobs outlook is so tenuous, as it is now. It borders on cruel and unusual behavior to not contact people who are so very desperate.

I know, I know, I know, some openings draw many applicants. One of the rejection notices I received this week noted that the agency had received about 400 resumes for one opening. But some online or email application processes include an automatic reply that applications or resumes have been received. Including a mention in the email of a hiring process timeframe seems a reasonable request.

To be fair to the three organizations that rejected me last week, others did not even bother to acknowledge receipt of applications and resume packets. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Bubkes.

Listen, we jobseekers knows that you receive hundreds of applications and resume packets – we know, because we are the ones sending out hundreds of resume packets. We’re not asking for false hope, we’re just asking to be given word within a reasonable time whether we can expect to hear about our chances.

Note to human resources officials: I know there must be a reason – low-balling applicants seems the only reason, but there may be real reasons – for not including the salary range on job notices. But including such information helps a jobseeker sort through the openings he or she plans to apply for, thus eliminating for some potential employers a bit of the flood of applications and resumes for certain jobs.

Jobseekers’ time is valuable, too. It is incredibly demoralizing to go through the process of writing a cover letter, individualizing resumes and arranging references for a job opening only to find out midway or later in the process that the salary range cannot support a jobseekers’ cost of living.

I’m not talking extras, just the cost of living. In the past year I have applied for several jobs for which I later learned the accompanying salary would not or would barely cover just basic expenses, let alone health insurance or investment in retirement accounts.

OK, enough of the mini-rant on the job search. I remain optimistic that I will find a job, but not as optimistic as I once was. I am concerned before I find a job I will be forced into to find training for a career change. Which might not be a bad thing.

Oh, how did I handle the rejection? I made myself a very nice, hearty meal that turned around my attitude so I felt considerably – quite considerably – less rejected.

Here’s a tip, if you’re feeling a touch low, sauté some turkey sausage and onions and throw in some legumes, rice, spinach, carrots, garlic and chicken broth. Let it simmer so the aroma fills the home and then serve yourself a large bowl. Top with croutons and Asiago and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Comfort food is there to comfort, so let it do its work.

UGH! It’s been 10 months since being laid off!

Soon I’ll have to take off my socks to count the months I’ve been unemployed

Today marks 10 months since I was laid off from a newspaper job in Northern California.

Yes, 10 months! Ugh!

If this keeps up much longer, I’ll have to strip off my shoes and socks in order to keep track of how long I’ve been without work.

Frankly, I never thought I would be without a paycheck and benefits for this long, let alone for nearly a year. I grew up in a very blue-collar community surrounded by hardworking, blue-color family and friends with hardworking, blue-collar values.

I like those values. They are good values. And I have worked all my life to live up to those values.

But even those values were not enough to keep me working. I was laid off on March 5, 2009.

I have ranted on this before.

I also have written about the things for which I remain thankful.

But it is demoralizing to think that I could be without work for a year.

I believe I will find a job soon enough. I have 22 years of experiences in newspapers that can be used in other industries. My portfolio isn’t flashy and only provides a few samples of a very broad and extensive body of work, but it could be far more shabby.

Or I could decide to go back to school, although I am not sure what I would study. Frankly, I’m really not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

If I had my choice, I suppose, I’d be writing a book. But I really am not sure what I’d write about.

I did spend quite a bit of time covering crime and I suppose I could dive into pulp fiction. Or not.

If I had a crystal ball, I would be able to read that I will either find a job in newspapers or with a news agency, or I will find a writing job of some kind with a government or nonprofit agency. I suppose my preference would be to work for a nonprofit agency.

Ever since being laid off, I’ve had some time to evaluate and re-evaluate – again and again – what I want to do in my next job. It would be good, I think, to work for an agency that does good. I regularly search the websites Idealist.org, Opportunity Knocks, Change.org and other nonprofit and green job websites.

And even if I do not get a job working for a nonprofit agency, I hope to do volunteer work once I get a job.

I know, I know, I know, I should be filling some of my free time NOW with volunteer work to have an answer for interviewers who ask: “So, what have you been doing since you were laid off?” But from the very beginning when I was first laid off, there were several very clear things in my mind:

1) It was not my fault that I was laid off. It was all about an economy in flux.

2) I was not alone in my unemployment. There are 15 million to 16 million Americans out of work – 15 million to 16 million!

3) I felt that looking for a job was a job. Looking for work is my work. I search about a dozen journalism-based job websites each day; I search Craigslist each day for writing and editing jobs, nonprofit jobs, government jobs, public relations jobs and more for California, Nevada, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island, and sometimes for Oregon, Washington state, Arizona and New Mexico; I search job websites for universities, public relations associations, federal government jobs and more; I search several nonprofit job websites; I search several green industry job websites; view various email job alerts and job newsletters; I have a LinkedIn profile and have used Facebook to reconnect to former colleagues; and my resume and profile are posted on several job sites. I put in the hours.

And I know a few things.

I know this: Things will be better for me in 2010 than they were in 2009. I’m not sure they could get much worse.

I know this: I am somewhat demoralized and sapped of energy from this protracted job search. I really could use something good happening to me and something good soon happening to me.

I know this: I am stronger today than I was before this happened and I will be stronger tomorrow than I was today. This will not claim me.

OK, enough of all this. I have a job to find, because I have no intension of taking off my socks to count off the number of months I’ve been unemployed.

Tips for sustaining a job search in 2010

I’ve been looking for work for a few months now. Nearly 10 months, to be exact.

And in that time I have signed up for quite a few email job search alerts and newsletters. One came today from Job.com and I thought I would pass it along. It listed job-search resolutions and some of them are worth considering. Here they are:

1. I will review which tactics did and did not yield results in 2009, and I will work to understand how I might improve in those areas that did not do as well as I had hoped.

2. I will set myself weekly goals during my job search and keep to their deadlines.

3. I will consider my job search a full-time job and will not become complacent with my current situation. I will prioritize my job search above television, video games or recreational internet use.

4. I will not spam my resume to companies where I am seeking employment. Instead, I will tailor my resume to each company, so that my relevant skills are stressed for each specific position of department. The company will know I am serious and intent on working there.

5. I will send thank-you cards after every interview, whether I thought the interview went well or poorly.

6. I will start attending more job fairs and networking events, including those that may put me outside of my traditional industry.

7. I will start considering a wide array of employment opportunities, instead of only the areas I’ve been used to.

8. I will provide or demonstrate my value to my newly-made contacts first, before asking for their help.

9. I will meet, whether by phone, direct e-mail, or in person, three new people who can help me in my job search each week.

10. I will not depend on my network to find a job for me, but will view it as one of several methods of finding employment.

11. I will become a fan of Job.com on Facebook to receive up to date job market information and exclusive career advice. [This is NOT an endorsement of Job.com or Facebook, although I have been using both in my own job search. I am using several dozen job websites and online service, of which Job.com is just one. – KM]

12. I will do volunteer work to keep myself busy, and to also answer the question interviewers will put to me regarding what I have been up to recently in my unemployment.

13. I will ask friends or family to give me full and honest criticism of my resume and of my interview tactics, even if it may be difficult to hear.

14. I will be open to exploring many new options in the job market, understanding that there may be interesting opportunities beyond my traditional field.

15. I will not become frustrated with my job search, or, if I do, I will not take out that frustration on my friends or family.

16. And, most importantly, I will not give up.

The last one on the list is perhaps the most important.