It may take months to find a job, but consider doing volunteer work in the interim. Nonprofits will be looking for more volunteers as funds decrease, but their clients' needs increase.
Include your volunteer work on your resume. LinkedIn now provides a way to include volunteer experience in their online resumes. Their research has shown that 41 percent of people who make hiring decisions consider volunteer work as valuable as paid work when evaluating job candidates, and 20 percent made a hiring decision based on volunteer experience.
Some so-called volunteer jobs actually entail some pay. For instance, the PeaceCorps pays you while posted in another country and provides a paid benefit at the end of your service. Americorps usually involves a stipend to cover living costs plus an educational grant at the end of service, and TeachforAmerica provides a salary while you gain experience in teaching.
Look for an opportunity that will allow you to use your best expertise and skills. Look for volunteer jobs at online volunteer matching sites.
2. Freshen your skills.
Now is the time to learn that computer program you have been wanting to...Excel? PowerPoint? To improve a skill...Public speaking? Use books, Internet resources, or in-person or online classes to beef up your resume in these skills.
Don't give your next employer any excuse for not hiring you because you lack a needed skill.
7. Be realistic about how long your job hunt may last.
Get real about how long it may take to find a new job. An article at CareerBuilder.com suggests that you should "...expect it to take at least three months to find a job that pays $40,000. Add one month for every $10,000 more you want in salary." In the current economic situation, it may be much worse.
So settle in for the long haul, make a list of the things you will do to fight back, and keep your calendar full of activities that will lead you to your next job lead, interview, and, finally, that great job.