Experts have a surprising list of dos and don’ts for job seekers:
DON’T rely mainly on the Internet. That’s probably the biggest mistake, says John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement firm. Only 5% of jobs are filled that way. E-mailing resumes all day wastes daytime hours you can spend more effectively.
DO get in touch with everyone you've ever known, and try to meet new people too: 60% of jobs are found through networking. "Join every organization you can," says Challenger. "Participate in fundraising drives, get involved in local government. You'll do good in the world, and it will be good for you, too."
DON'T ask people if they know of a job opening. "That's a yes or no question," explains John Beck, vice president of global relations at DBM, a New York-based human resources consultant. "If the answer is no, the conversation is over." Instead, ask for advice. Get opinions about your resume. Describe your experience and skills and game plan, and ask what they'd do in your place. This makes it easy for people to respond -- and sooner or later someone will put you on the trail of an opening.
DON'T share your anger and frustration with anyone but your best friend. "No one wants an embittered, angry person as an employee or a colleague," says Beck.
DO highlight your portable skills rather than industry-specific knowledge. All industries need customer service, communications, marketing and supervisory skills.
DO join a support group where you can meet regularly with other job- seekers. It's the best cure for the feeling of shame most people have after losing a job. "Seeing bright, energetic, articulate people in the same situation helps you realize your unemployment isn't your fault," says Beck.