Think your company is doing OK?

Think you don’t need a current resume?

Don’t be surprised by a change in your job status. It’s smart in this economy to watch the market all the time, even if you feel safe.  Sign up for search engines to send a weekly email with local jobs in your field. Keep in touch with people in your network and make new contacts.

If you don’t want to make a move, at least be prepared. It’s smart. Just ask any Boy or Girl Scout. It’s even smarter in the present economy, because it takes much less change in the economy to tip a company the wrong way.

Here are three key tips:

1. Have a savings account. If that’s not possible, have a list of what you could sell quickly and easily if the worst happened.

2. Know your local resources. I’m not just talking about employers. Where are the church food banks? Clothing help for the kids for school clothes? Is there a pet food bank for dog food? Assess your needs and find the resources now. You won’t have weeks or months to search them out if you need them, and you don’t want those needs to interfere with your job search.

3. Set up job searches online now. Try different services and find out which ones pull the most in your field. Experiment. You can turn them off, or limit the updates once you find the best of the best. But, best of all, you won’t waste time going through all that when your next meal depends on finding a new employer. In the process, you may find the perfect job too.

Good luck.

Get Job Application Feedback Online

According to one article, Career Builder and Monster offer features that give feedback to job applicants who use their online services to apply for jobs. This offers you the opportunity to see how you compare to other applicants that use those services. It won’t help you learn anything about people who don’t go through the same service. However, this could net some valuable information. Just keep in mind that you need to use these services judiciously and correctly. Read the article linked to this post for more details and good tips.

Online job searches are best done with an organized plan and with resumes that are customized for the job and set up specifically for electronic processing. Using appropriate key words and a bit of SEO work can help your resume make it to the top of the pile too. Don’t overdo it, but don’t try to use a one-size-fits-all form either. If you need help, it’s worth a few dollars to get it done right. You can use those examples to learn to do it yourself once you see a professional do it.

People with higher-level technical and executive searches, who want to manage their own search, can still benefit from having someone help with the writing and planning and tracking.  The new features on Career Builder and Monster may, or may not, be of benefit. It depends on the industry and type of search. Today, electronic searches are waged all the way up the line. Networking is great, but a good search can find unexpected opportunities too. The people I talk to tend to use both.