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Help A Job Seeker Challenge  
10/31/2011 3:22:10 PM

Help A Job Seeker Challenge By Alison Munn, BioSpace.com

If you’ve ever been unemployed, you know how scary, frustrating and depressing it can be. In today’s economy, looking for a job is more challenging than ever. For the long-term unemployed, waking up every day and finding the motivation to send out more resumes, make more phone calls or prepare for a job interview requires high levels of patience and diligence.

Do you know someone who is unemployed? If you have a job, will you take our challenge to help someone who doesn’t? Helping someone find a new job can be the best thing you do this month. Your advice, assistance and network are of great value and your willingness to share this with a job seeker can make a big difference.

At BioSpace.com, we hear from discouraged job seekers every day and strive to give them the tools and advice they need to find a new job. A personal offer to help, however, can do more to boost an individual’s outlook about job hunting than anything else. At the very least, it gives someone who’s unemployed the opportunity to make connections, talk to people in their industry and get advice from those who can help.

There are many ways that you can lend a hand to someone looking for a job. Here are some ideas:

• Commit to meeting with a job seeker at least once this month. Lunch, coffee or even a meeting at your office can be highly beneficial. Even if your company doesn't have an available position, you can critique their resume and cover letter, brainstorm and share leads and tips in your industry.

• Participate in networking functions with a professional association. Most associations hold professional development events and lunches where you can lend your expertise to those who are either looking for a job or wanting to progress their career.

• Volunteer at a resume critique or career fair in your area. Many cities and chambers of commerce offer job seeking advice and resume critiques to the unemployed. As an employed professional, your help is invaluable and you may meet someone with experience in your industry that you can help personally.

• Stay in touch with your HR department so you know when new positions are listed. Share these new jobs with job seekers and pass on qualified resumes. Your company's recruiters prefer to hear about leads from their own employees; you will have a better sense of someone who can fit the culture of the company.

• Look through your contacts in LinkedIn and reach out to someone who you know is looking for a job.Keep up with your LinkedIn email notifications and offer to write a recommendation for a job seeker or connect them to someone in your network.

Based on the number of job postings we’re receiving on a daily basis, we are convinced that more people will be finding jobs and that high unemployment will be a thing of the past. Please take our challenge this month and do your part to help someone find a new job. Post your comments here and tell us what you’ve done. We interested in hearing some good stories about how you were able to make a difference.

About the Author

Alison Munn researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.