Past Issues

May 18, 2009

Out of work? Time to update your job skills!

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Out of work? Time to update your job skills!

By Dave Cortese, MediaNews Group

Being unemployed or losing your job in this economy is a frightening ordeal. The feelings that come with the situation are all strong emotions and include anger, fear and despair. Having to pay a mortgage or rent and paying more for groceries doesn't lower the stress.

In today's job seeking market there are many different search tools and options out there. It seems like most people rely on the Internet. The Internet can get your resume out to hundreds of recruiters and employers. It's relatively easy and extremely time efficient. Of course what's easy for you is easy for many others. I am certain that thousands of others are sending their resumes to the same sites and companies. Studies have shown that the best way of increasing your chances of being hired is by leaving no stone unturned and most importantly by networking. Nothing beats having friends searching for you as well!

Here are a few key tips to put you ahead of the competition:

Update your skills

While you are looking for a new job, it is often a very good time to also update your job skills or perhaps learn new skills that would translate to a different industry. There are numerous excellent community colleges that are ready and willing to help you find new skills or a new career path. These colleges have great programs for career advancement, whether it's a technical certification, computer applications, or business careers. If you're interested in advancing your skills and education, follow this link and find the right school that works with your schedule today.

Networking continuously

Networking is a vital part of any job search. Networking events are happening continuously in the community. Check with your local chamber of commerce and visit community Web sites. Look for local job fairs and target the companies that are in your area of interest. One of the latest innovations is an online job fair. You can browse the exhibitors, ask questions and go at your pace in your own time. They are open 24/7. The key is to get out and talk to people. You never know who might hold the key to your next job. And remember, always keep a fresh stack of your networking business cards with you!

Government and County assets

Government Websites have most of their jobs posted and updated weekly. In fact many county and city libraries have a JobView Kiosk. At these kiosks, you can browse jobs, apply and even post your resume online. It is a free service provided for job seekers. Many local libraries also offer computer stations for you to access good employment information.

Dave Cortese represents Milpitas, North San Jose communities and parts of Sunnyvale on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

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