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Unemployed Clients - Teaching Job Seeking Skills
Unemployed Clients - Teaching Job Seeking Skills

Section 6
Job Search Resources

Question 6 | Test | Table of Contents |
Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

In the last section, we discussed what your unemployed client can include in their cover letter to help them obtain a new job. We also discussed questions you can ask your client and preparations they can make for their job interview.

In this section we will discuss how your client can put their best foot forward regarding communicating with potential employers. We will discuss contact information via email, telephone, mailing address, and web presence. We will also discuss how your client can effectively use LinkedIn to network with potential employers.

Laurie, age 41, was part of a company that was feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Laurie worked in the accounting unit. She had started as an intern in the company and had then moved up to management positions within the accounting department. Her employers had to cut back in that department.
To help Laurie prepare for being contacted by potential employers we discussed four ways Laurie might be contacted by a potential employers and what she could do to present her best self.

1. Email Address
I stated to Laurie, "Often an email is the first line of communication you have with potential employers. It is a good idea to use the same email for all your job-search activities so emails will all be available in one location. If you do this make sure the email address sounds professional." I reminded Laurie it is not ethical to use her old work email address for two main reasons: It is an abuse of her previous employer’s resources and it sends a bad message to potential employers. Before our next meeting, Laurie had set up her own professional sounding email account that used her first and last name which she only used for her job search.

2. Telephone
The telephone is most likely the second form of communication your client will use to interact with potential employers. I stated to Laurie, "It is important to choose a phone number that you can easily use and be reached at reach. This will probably be your cell phone. Before applying for jobs, it would be helpful to listen to your voice mail and make sure it is professional and appropriate." While in our session, Laurie and I created a professional sounding voice message that included her full name and the promise to call back as soon as possible. She recorded it in my office so she could avoid any distracting background noises. Do you have a Laurie who is looking for a job? Would it be a good idea to have them evaluate the greeting on their voice mail?

3. Mailing Address
I stated to Laurie, "You need to include your mailing address in your resumes and cover letters." When I mentioned this to Laurie, she brought up that there were some jobs that would be a longer commute and including her address may cause the hirers to question her long-term commitment to the job." However by hiding your address and thus a long commute your client is wasting their time and an employers time for a position that is not feasible.

4. Web Presence
I stated to Laurie, "It is important that you browse the internet and google yourself, to see exactly what your future employers will be seeing. There are some things that will be good to come up in your search and others that will be a detriment." I stated to Laurie that the following three pieces of information can be important. What shows on the internet?
1. current and past jobs?
2. your LinkedIn profile?
3. community activities?
Laurie did not have a LinkedIn account so after explaining how she could set up an account she established one before our next session.

I stated to Laurie "If your self-search turns up inappropriate remarks and photos either by you or your friends do your best to remove them. If it comes up in your search it will also come up in your potential employers’ searches."

Do you have an unemployed client like Laurie that can benefit from a discussion regarding how they can put his or her best foot forward online?

We will now move from discussing how your client can prepare their lines of communication for communicating with potential employers and begin discussing in detail how your client who is unemployed can set up and use a LinkedIn account to aid in their job search and networking.

Creating a Successful LinkedIn Account:

Laurie revealed to me in our discussion about her web presence, that she did not have a LinkedIn account. She told me, "When I was hired into my last job, the internet was hardly in existence. I never thought that I would have to worry about this since I felt so secure in my position there." Since Laurie did not already have a LinkedIn account we walked through the steps of setting up an account.

I realize that this is a course for mental health professionals, not computer techs. However, I felt it necessary to go into specifics regarding LinkedIn since many employers use this to do a background check prior to even considering an interview.

I walked Laurie through these eight basic steps of creating a LinkedIn account:
1. I first directed her to the site URL: linkedin.com to establish login and password.
2. I stated to her, "Take plenty of time to carefully create your profile. Think of this as an online resume, your first introduction, and your identifier to potential employers." Laurie took time to include all possible information that would help her job search such as all education and work experience, service she had done in her community, skills pertinent to jobs she was looking for, written works, and so on.
3. I then stated to Laurie, "Make sure to use keywords from your potential employer’s ad in your profile, as many as you can. These are specific words that will grab potential employers because they are specific things that are looking for. These are important ways that people like recruiters and hiring managers can look for potential hires."
4. I stated to Laurie, "Once you have your profile established, invite people you know to join your network." Laurie and I talked through a list of people she felt she could invite to enhance her professional presence. Her list included work colleagues, bosses, friends, family, classmates, neighbors, and etc. I continued by stating, "this list could also focus on individuals who are possibly in a position to help you search, have connections, and anyone who has anything to do with your industry.
5. To help your client find contacts, they can search through lists of company employees and university graduates. I stated, "You can also browse the connections of those you connect to. Often you share mutual acquaintances with people that you can connect with."
6. When inviting someone to join her LinkedIn network, I stated to Laurie "It is important to include a personal note, even if it is brief. You will be able to send a personal note when you click to invite them. This way, the person feels that personal connection and it does not come across as spam."
7. Once Laurie established her profile and made connections with her personal network, I stated to her "You can seek recommendations from your connections. This is important because it will strengthen your profile. All recommendations will show up on your profile and more importantly when someone like your former manager writes a recommendation for you, this will generate a notification to all of his or her contacts. This can draw positive attention to yourself. You can begin by sending a brief, positive message requesting a recommendation regarding your specific skills, knowledge, and/ or strengths."
8. Finally, I stated to Laurie, "Make sure to update your profile regularly as outdated and unused profiles will not be received well. Include posts on your latest accomplishments, activities, or thoughts. Updating your profile also serves to keep you in the front of the mind of those you are connected to because they will be notified of your new status."
Even if your client already has a LinkedIn account, reviewing these steps with them may help them improve upon their account or help them include something that they missed while first creating their account.

Job Searches on LinkedIn:
While LinkedIn includes a job search area, LinkedIn’s strength lies in one’s ability to network and establish connections while also obtaining organizational and employee information. Even within the job search, your client is able to find people in is or her network at the company. Your client can then ask his or her common connections for an introduction to a connection that could lead to an interview.

Do you have a client, like Laurie, who can benefit from an in depth discussion about how to establish and effectively use a LinkedIn account for their job search?

In this section we discussed how your client can put their best foot forward with their contact information through email, telephone, mailing address, and web presence. We also discussed how your client can effectively use LinkedIn to network with potential employers. In summary, the eight steps for your client to create a successful LinkedIn account are to establish login and password; carefully create a profile; use keywords found in ads; invite professional people you know to join your network; search for contacts; inviting someone to join her LinkedIn network; seek recommendations; and update your profile regularly.

In the next section we will discuss different types of interviews that your unemployed client might face and how to prepare for them. These types of interviews are telephone, in-person, follow-up, and panel interviews.

Source: American Library Association pg 9-11 pg 102-104.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
van Hooft, E. A. J., Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., Wanberg, C. R., Kanfer, R., & Basbug, G. (2020). Job search and employment success: A quantitative review and future research agenda. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. 

Hulshof, I. L., Demerouti, E., & Le Blanc, P. M. (2020). A job search demands-resources intervention among the unemployed: Effects on well-being, job search behavior and reemployment chances. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 25(1), 17–31. 

Johnson, M. A., & Leo, C. (2020). The inefficacy of LinkedIn? A latent change model and experimental test of using LinkedIn for job search. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. 

What are eight steps that you can go over with your client to help him/her create a successful and helpful LinkedIn account?
To select and enter your answer go to Test.

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