Updated: Dec 26, 2018
Bereavement is incredibly difficult and painful. There are no words to quite describe the despair or loneliness that result from this tragedy. Something that often add’s onto the stress is your financial position.
Many widowed individuals lose half of their annual household income. Many others are at risk of losing the entirety of their income due to termination from their jobs as a result of absences during their grieving period. There are also many situations where the deceased was the primary provider in the household, so people are left without any income. All of these situations leave the widowed in a tough financial position.
If you’re in this situation and struggling to find a solution, you may consider looking for a new, higher-paying job. We want to connect you with the necessary resources to find the perfect job in your area. Visit our job-search page for links to resources, and continue reading for our best tips and tricks to help you successfully land your dream job.
Craft a strong resume
What qualifies you for the position that you’re applying for? Oftentimes, job postings mention which specific skills the company is looking for. These skills may include customer service, organization, or interpersonal communication— make sure to include these keywords in your resume.
Since they receive so many applicants each day, recruiters often use algorithms to sort through resumes quickly and efficiently. They will search by keywords that were included in the job description, so it’s important to use the same wording. Tailor each resume to the specific job you’re applying for rather than using a general resume.
You’ll want to emphasize what experience you have, and how this qualifies you for the position. Mention any previous job duties that are similar or identical to the new job, and emphasize your experience and knowledge of the processes. Additionally, if they list required knowledge of databases/applications or additional certificate requirements, be sure to include this in your resume. Again, you’ll want to use these keywords incase they are using a computer to sort through applicants.
Transferrable skills are very important for creating a strong resume. Include a broad overview of your job duties from your previous job. You can always dress-up the job description to make your resume sound more professional and related to the job you’re applying for. For example, previous experience working at a big-box retailer may seem unrelated to an engineering project-management position, but there are many transferable skills. These may include interpersonal communication and leadership competencies, which enable you to motivate and lead a team of other people. You may have managed a group of people and delegated tasks, which is transferable to project-management.
Statistics help to strengthen your resume. For example, if your career is in business administration and you helped to increase annual revenue by x%, then include this on your resume. Recruiters are impressed when you can provide analytics and benchmarked data to show your direct impact.
Create a personalized cover letter for each job application. This should expand upon the information on your resume rather than simply repeating it. This gives you a space to differentiate yourself from other candidates— what makes YOU special? Also, show off your knowledge about the company to show that you’re truly interested in the position. Mention something specific that you found on the website, or include a sentence along the lines of “based on my research of [company], I know that [3 skills] are extremely important to aid the company’s operations”.
Create a LinkedIn profile and differentiate yourself from other people. Post a professional headshot as your profile picture; avoid selfies, bad lighting, and other people being in the photo. Include a headline that sums up your career-specialization within your field. Ask your previous employers to endorse your skills. Include a detailed profile section that includes what kind of job you’re looking for, and sum up your resume experience. Add detailed information about previous job positions in the experience section; your responsibilities, what software/applications you used, what certifications you obtained, specific goals you achieved, etc. It’s important to keep your LinkedIn up-to-date, because recruiters use this as a tool to gain additional information about you as a candidate.
Network, Network, Network!
Did you know that more than 85% of positions are filled through networking? Find people you know (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) that have connections to recruiters or managers at other companies. Reach out to these people and tell them you’d be interested in working for their company. It’s a plus if your friend can attest to your skills/abilities, and personal introductions really help to get people further in the interview process.
There are so many online resources, like Indeed.com and LinkedIn, that allow you to upload your resume and cover letter online. This is the fastest and most efficient way to apply to multiple positions at once, and I recommend applying to multiple positions each week so that you have a better chance of hearing back. Find online resources here.
Thank You Letters
Always send a thank-you note after you interview for a position. This helps to differentiate you from other candidates, and allows you to talk about any experience that you may have forgotten to mention during the interview. Also, kindness gets you far in life— people want to work with others that they think they’ll get along with, so sending a thank-you letter will ensure that you leave a great first impression.
Develop New Skills
Have you noticed that many job descriptions mention a specific skill that you lack? If you can find the free time, you may want to consider working on your skillsets so that you can become the perfect candidate. For example, if you have never used a specific software, you may want to download it onto your computer or watch some video tutorials online so that you can understand how it works. This way, if you are asked in an interview whether you’ve used the software, you can say that you’ve done extensive research about how it works, and you know your way around using it.
Know that you have the experience, skills and work ethic necessary to do well in your new job. We believe in you. Good luck with your job search!