Monday, October 27, 2008

Ask Britt: 5 Tips for Job Seekers

In a recent interview for a magazine I was asked,

"What tips do you have for the unemployed who are seeking full time employment?"

I thought I'd share my answer with you:

1. Get support either from a professional career counselor or coach, or a friend or group of friends.

If you work with a friend, or group of friends, agree to meet once a month (or more often if you have the time). In person is best, but if the people you want to work with are across the country, you can talk on the phone, or set up a Skype conference call. Each person gets a chance to talk about what they would like to work on until your next meeting, and ask for advice about challenges they are facing. It’s helpful to have a designated note-taker to write down what each person says they are going to do so that at the next meeting they are held accountable.

2. Break everything down into small steps.

Part of the fear people experience when looking for new work comes from being overwhelmed. For example, if, “Update my resume,” has been on your to-do list forever, break it down into small steps you can take each day so it feels easier to achieve, like this:

a. Find and read my old resume.
b. Do research for 30-60 minutes about the best way to format my resume for the kind of job I'm looking for.
c. Add new experience to my resume (don’t worry about the format or language yet).
d. Spend 30-60 minutes on the format and language.
e. Show the resume to my friend or coach.
f. Incorporate my friend or coach’s comments.
g. Put it away for a couple days.
f. Give it a final edit.
g. Start sending it out!

3. Make a schedule. When you don’t have to be anywhere at a particular time, it’s easy for the day to fly by. Decide how much time you are going to spend each day looking for work, and stick to it. If you have a laptop, it may be less distracting to have your job search time at a cafĂ©, or the library so that when you come home you don’t feel guilty relaxing.

4. Network, network, network. The best way to get your resume to the top of the pile is to know someone at the place you want to work. Make a quick bullet list of the qualities of your ideal job. Email it out to your friends. Memorize it to tell people at parties who ask, “What do you do?” Create LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, and add friends colleagues as connections. Search the web, and on sites like, and for networking events in the fields you are interested in. If you want to work at a nonprofit, check out their volunteer opportunities, or search on VolunteerMatch.

5. Make a fun to-do list. It may feel like you’ll never get another job, but you will, and when you do, you’ll be kicking yourself for not taking full advantage of the free time you had. Make a list of all of the things you’ve wanted to do, but haven’t had the time. Once you’ve completed your scheduled job search time for the day, make time to have fun!


I've been helping people find work they love for 10+ years. You can learn more about my work at Email me your questions (please keep it to 50 words) about the do-good, or artistic work you are doing, or want to do, to Title your email, "Ask Britt: your question topic." I won't post your name, but I will post your question with my answer, so keep that in mind as you write if you don't want details in your question to identify you.

Photo Credit: Photo of me answering your questions (: taken by my hubs.


  1. Many Thanks
    Great Information

    The Infininity

  2. Very useful

    Ruben Harris

  3. Anonymous9:35 AM

    how about considering some net surfing about free sites to join where in you can search for a lot of jobs? i believe that this is also a good tip for job seekers.

  4. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Your advice is really helpful! Especially as for splitting the procedure of making a resume.

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