Valley Works: Tips for entering the job market

FRESNO, Calif.

But still, more than 55 thousand people filed for unemployment insurance last month in California. That means they are looking for work.

Getting a pink slip, especially in this economy, can leave some panic-striken, not knowing what to do next. Action News talked to a job specialist about how you can jump start your job search.

Anybody who has ever been laid off and thrust back into the job market will tell you it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Career Coach Susan Whitcomb works with them all the time.

"It can feel overwhelming and they get that deer in the headlights kind of response where do I start and so often they don't start," Whitcomb said.

Looking for work in today's job market can be overwhelming, so Action News sought out job expert Cathy Frost, with Bennet Frost Personnel, for some tips to help the newly unemployed jump start their job search

"The day you're laid off you need to start working on a plan about how you are going to go forward, not six months after you've been laid off," Cathey Frost of Bennett Frost Personnel Service said.

Frost says you should spend some of that time thinking about what you want to do next, what is your passion and take stock of your skills, then, spend some quality time putting together a well drafted resume. She believes the resume is so important that investing in some professional help is well worth it.

"It is the first entry into the door. If you can't put a good cover letter and a good resume you're shut down before you even start," Frost said.

Step number 2: make a list of everyone you know from members of your church to community leaders. Let them know you're in the job market.

"Don't be embarrassed to tell people that you're out of a job, that you're out looking and you need to work," Frost said.

Step number 3: network-.schedule informational interviews with at least five people per week. Follow-up with them and make sure you send thank you notes.

Step number 4: review job postings and websites of companies you are interested in daily, but frost says if you only look and apply for jobs online you will be disappointed.

"You go into a black hole; you have no idea what they are thinking," Frost said.

Step number 5: register for Facebook, LinkedIn and other group sites that are related to your area of expertise.

Step number 6: take care of yourself - exercise and eat well. Get up; get dressed, treat your job search like a full-time position.

"You've got to go out and make something happen, show people what you can do," Frost said.

Frost advises many of her clients to take temporary jobs, saying it's a good way to upgrade your skills and stay connected to the workplace.

Volunteer work is also a great way to connect with people and possible employers.

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