On the clock

Need a job now? Here's the guide to finding work in 30 days

Posted: Monday, August 07, 2006

Finding a job as quickly as possible is a big challenge. Whether your temporary assignment is running out or you're 30 days away from that pink slip, there are a number of reasons you might need to find a job fast. Should the time arise where you need to find a job quickly, here are a few tips on finding a new job in 30 days or less:

Stay positive

It's easy to let panic set in under such stressful conditions, but your future employer wants to hire someone with a positive outlook.

"Don't push the panic button," says Vicky Oliver, author of "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions" (Sourcebooks, $10.95). "You might need a job in 30 days, but don't tell your prospects or you'll come off as 'desperately seeking employment.' Double-check your e-mails for tone. People like to hire optimists, and moaning about how you can't pay your bills is a real turn-off."

Oliver adds that this positivity should also be included in how you describe yourself to others.

"Refer to your layoff as being free," she says. " 'I'm free' sounds a lot more uplifting than 'I just lost my job, do you happen to have anything for me?' "

Get help

Going to a professional can help set you apart from the rest of the pack. Philip Wilson, president of HireExposure, an executive career marketing firm in TKTK, says to be creative when seeking out someone to help you.

"Get a pro to help you with your resume and cover letter, but don't use a resume writer," he says. "Put an ad up on Craigslist or eLance for a sales or ad copywriter to help you with your resume and marketing letter."

Wilson says a regular resume writer will turn out work that looks like everyone else's - not in your best interest for a situation like this.

"Ask an ad writer to help you write a resume or marketing letter as if they were writing some sales copy for you. This is a good trick to make sure you stand out from the crowd."

Use all your resources

If you're still at your job, use your office resources to make things easier for yourself.

"Use their computers, Xerox machines and administrative assistants to help you get your letters out," says Oliver. "Try to negotiate to keep your office space. It's always easier to look for a job when you already have one, and having an office is almost like having a job."

You should also use your time in the office to ask co-workers for networking help.

"Ask everyone who they know that can help you in your quest," says Oliver. "Ask each employee for five contacts, and build a family tree of contacts showing who the prospect is and who referred you."

Target the right people

Since you don't want lag time in your search, Wilson says avoid dealing with human resources recruiters if you can.

"Target hiring managers who are real decision makers in a company," he says. "If you don't already have a great network of decision makers, the best shortcut to locating a hiring manager is to get a mailing list from a list-broker. For a small investment you can get your name out in front of a thousand or more hiring managers and get interviews."

Wilson adds that you should make sure there's something in it for the hiring manager. "If you can figure out what is keeping this person up at night, tell them what you have done in your career to solve these problems," he says. "What results have you delivered? These are questions you must answer to get an interview."

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