New to the job search?


Here are the tips I picked up from the experts while in career transition June 2009-June 2010:

By Dave Weinstein

1. eMail Address: Get a 2nd eMail address & make it VERY business-like. No "" etc. Pick something that is as close to your name as possible using no numbers, punctuation, etc. Play around with various derivatives of your first and middle name/initial and you'll be surprised what's available. By the way, SWITCH eMail domains if you must; there's Yahoo, GMail, aol, Hotmail, your cable company, etc. Use it ONLY for your job search, while continuing to use your original eMail address for personal use. If you REALLY want to show how digitally contemporary you are, go to or any other domain registry and BUY your own eMail domain. A good friend of mine suggested that and I now have "" on my resume. How cool does THAT look to a prospective employer?? Modify your eMail signature to delete any advertising BUT do put in your cell number and LinkedIn URL.

2. LinkedIn: Establish your Linked profile ASAP. Post a professional headshot. Get 3-5 recommendations from former bosses & or former 
clients. Don't waste time with coworkers or subordinates' recommendations - it's meaningless. Modify your LinkedIn URL so it deletes the numbers then put your LinkedIn URL in your eMail signature.Start building connections quickly but ONLY to those people whom you know & trust.Remember, "Linking" to someone opens up your entire phone book to someone -make it someone that you have shared coffee with & trust!

3. BUSINESS CARDS: Order some simple business cards right away. will give you 250 for free; you only need to pay ~$7 for shipping. Get the minimum order quantity because you will think of improvements that you can incorporate into future orders. Simply list your name, NEW eMail address, cell number (don't use the word "cell"; it looks more professional without), and a brand title that describes your expertise but SPICE it up a bit by thinking of a brand name for yourself. Which looks better "Sales Manager" or "Sales Improvement & Motivational Expert"? "IT Professional" or Internet Technology Expert - I will get you wired up"? “Operations Executive" or "Production Efficiency Expert"? If you think hard but still cannot think of a brand moniker, contact me. Leave off your physical address. Make it simple & tasteful. Some people use the back of the business card to list 4-5 occupational specialties; this is especially useful for technical occupations. Add some simple tasteful artwork but  whatever you do, don't overdo it or it will be distracting to read. Use non-laminated stock so a recipient can write notes on it. Then carry an ample supply in your purse or wallet with the rest of your inventory in your car, NOT the home office. Remember you are now embarking on the most important selling campaign of your LIFE - the one where you sell YOURSELF! Be prepared at all times to sell yourself by having plenty of business cards available. Put your LinkedIn URL on your card.

4. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: File right away! Don't be ashamed - you have EARNED the right to collect from the taxes assessed in your previous paychecks.

5. CAREER TRANSITION TRAINING: If you are lucky enough to be sponsored in a corporate outplacement program, squeeze every single drop out of it that you can. First of all, they are expensive and second of all it's the last thing your ex-employer is giving you so take advantage of the opportunity it presents. Go to every single class you can. Do every online extra seminar that you can. Do it all as quickly as humanly possible so you can launch into your career search an educated & motivated person. You'll NEED it; the competition will be fierce! If you are not sponsored in an outplacement program, don't worry. There are no/low cost local alternatives. Many religious institutions sponsor career transition programs. Look on my LinkedIn profile for "CareerTransitionResources.Doc for a Naperville, IL-area listing. If you are not in the Naperville area, simply go to Google or any other search engine to search "career transition xxx" where xxx=your city name. Then USE these valuable resources! The Community Career Center in Naperville and LDS Employment Services in Lisle are two examples.

6. YOUR HEALTH: This is the PERFECT time to focus back on your health. You will need to be healthy to withstand the stress of your job search so if you already visit the gym regularly, go more often. If not, start going with your doctor's permission. Don't try to get back in shape overnight, you got OUT of shape over time and it may take that long to get BACK in shape. Don't go on a fad diet or waste your precious money on magic solutions. SLOWLY start correcting your eating behavior by eliminating candy; then in-between meal snacks; then high fat/calorie desserts; then high fat/calorie foods entirely. Whatever you do, do it after a lot of thought and with a firm commitment. Most frequent-dieters fail because they NEED to lose weight, NOT because they want to... Your mental health needs some attention more now than ever. Find a good friend's shoulder to cry on. If you were fired, it's traumatic so don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Some spouses may be able to be your "go to guy" but the experts recommend finding someone who is not so emotionally-connected to your situation. Release your anger and frustration over the situation. If that means punching your bed mattress, right on! Get some help from your clergy and/or a mental health professional. What's happened to you is hard to accept and you may need some help to successfully move past it. This is NOT the time to be a martyr. No one can, will and SHOULD take care of you mentally at this time BETTER than you. But be proactive, not reactive. One of my favorite sayings from a list of life recommendations is "control your OWN destiny of someone else WILL...". While this may sometimes seem like a hopeless time of your life, it actually is the time of your life when you have the MOST control. Instead of getting up each day and following an employer's published schedule, YOU now control your day so make it as successful as you can. One of my favorite business authors professes that now is the time when you are the CEO of your OWN company, in my case "Dave incorporated." If you have been subject to your previous company leadership's HORRIBLE decisions, NOW is the time to relish the fact that YOU decide how hard and smart you want to work at getting your next great job. You and you alone...

7. YOUR FINANCES: List your monthly living expenses on a sheet of paper & identify which ones can & need to stop. Don't worry - use your massage club membership as yet another incentive to job seek with vigor! Consult your tax expert before touching any investments.

8. TARGET EMPLOYERS: Go to your public library and ask how to use the "Hoovers" database. Then develop your list of target employers using Specific Industry Codes.

9. ACCOUNTABILITY GROUPS: This is a proven way to stay on track by meeting weekly with other jobseekers to share successes & failures along the way. Either find an existing one or start your own.

10. HANDBILL: Develop a handbill that briefly describes your specialties; what you have to offer a future employer; but most importantly, your target industries and specific target employers. Then print 100 of them at a copy store for all that networking you're going to do! Leave the copies in your car with your business cards - they're both useless in your home office.

11. NETWORKING: This is the biggie! This is the one single thing you can do to speed up your landing date. Search for local job clubs & transition group meetings, then GO to them! I give you my solemn promise that you will meet some of the most caring, sharing, nice, generous people in the whole wide world - FAR more giving than the selfish people that you USED to work with! There's an unspoken camaraderie among fellow jobseekers that you will learn to relish. Experts all agree that this is the answer to landing - NOT wasting your time in front of your computer. There are many "hidden" jobs that are never posted that you will ONLY find via networking. Plus, networking will help you burrow into the prospective employer's team for valuable hiring contacts. Plus, you will meet some great people!

12. LIBRARY: your local business librarian LIVES to help jobseekers! Get familiar with him/her and the vast resources your local library provides. ALWAYS have 2 sets of "books on CD" in the car to make your driving time most efficient. Also keep 2 books on your bedside table. Check out resources about career search, motivation, self-improvement, etc. Call numbers 650.1 for career search & 658.409 for motivation just might become your favorites! You may also find the library's computers quicker than your home one and a peaceful quiet business-like setting.

13. HEADHUNTERS: Whatever you do, do NOT pay anyone a retainer fee to look for a job for you. While prostitution is the oldest PROFESSION, the retainer-fee headhunting business may be the oldest SCAM in recorded history. (Hmm - see the connection?) These vultures are not regulated by the government and pathetically prey on scared, shocked people who just lost their jobs! Don't believe me? Find ANYONE who can tell you a documented truthful successful career transition story using a retainer-fee headhunter... If you find that person, consider using theirs; THAT is the 1 honest one!

14. JOBBOARDS: Most experts say that 60-75 minutes a day is the MOST time to spend on the internet searching for a job. You're competing with hundreds and even THOUSANDS of people for each job applying via job boards - that's not good odds. Use aggregators such as,,, etc. These aggregators crawl numerous job boards and compile the postings FOR you. Be wary of fee-based job boards such as Ladders, JobFox, etc.

15. RESUME: Next you need a good resume. If you are uncomfortable writing your own, you may want to consider paying an expert to write yours. However, be wary of high-priced internet-based resume services. I have heard good things about Lauren Milligan ( She's good & reasonably-priced. 

16. VOLUNTEERING: Not only will you feel good about yourself, but you will help others if you now volunteer. Not only that, but "I've been volunteering at..." Is the PERFECT answer to " what have you been doing while in transition?"

17. MEDITATION: Staying in touch with yourself spiritually is a proven way to deal with the disappointments and emotional roller-coaster of job search. St. Thomas the Apostle in Naperville, IL starts every meeting with the following non-denominational prayer: 

“Dear Lord: I am not sure where this job search will lead me, for whom I may toil or what I may be asked to do. I pray that you will provide to me the guidance to do what is right, to find a righteous and worthy opportunity, to earn my pay, and to contribute to my fellow workers and to our society. Lord, give me the strength to continue my quest, to provide for my family and to carry your word through my daily actions and deeds. Provide me with the opportunity to help others and to recognize the help I receive. I ask that you help other jobseekers who seek your support to become re-employed and to assist all others in their moment of need. And Lord, bless those less fortunate than I; those who have so little when I have so much. In your name I pray, Amen”