There are so many people seeking work right now. Whatever label you want to put on our current economic situation, one of its undeniable effects has been many out of work, leading to many seeking work.

Though I am a certified career coach, these tips are not just general intellectual ideas. They have been extracted from the lessons I learned these last few months during my own job search process. (After spending the Winter in Asia I came back to California and had to dive into manifesting a couple of day jobs to pay the bills while I keep progressing towards my big goals)

So- here they are.

1.    Intentionally target your ideal work situation and pursue them even if they have no Job Listings.

The truth is that most jobs are filled via “internal” connections within an organization before they ever get posted to the public. (internal meaning the friends, family and colleagues of those already working at the company) By the time a job gets posted on Craigslist or a job board, job site, or in the newspaper, it becomes victim to an overwhelming pile of resumes. Due to this huge load of qualified and overqualified resumes, your chances of standing out are pretty slim. So try another approach altogether. Ask yourself who you really want to work for and what you want to do. Choose what you have the most qualifications or the most passion for and get as specific as possible about your ideal job situation. Then do your research and single out a small group of target jobs and gather relevant information about the company and people in leadership. If possible, deliver your resume in person and make a friendly positive impression on anyone and everyone you meet during the process. Perhaps they have a position opening up in the near future, or are open to hearing what you have to offer. In any case, you have shown yourself to be pro-active and flattered them by choosing them specifically, so you have already set yourself well apart from the majority of the competition.

2.    If you can’t find a job, Create one.

If you get depressed looking at the list of available jobs and feel like you would not fit into any of them, then maybe you should try custom making a job to suite you. There are many ways you can go about creating a job. As is often true, the only limit is your imagination. Some Possibilities:  Volunteer for your favorite organization and offer to creatively fundraise to pay for your salary. Propose a position for yourself and then make it risk free by offering to work the position for a period of time for free to let them feel the benefits it will generate. Turn a hobby into a side job. Teach a class or workshop in something that you love/are good at. Basically, look for needs and opportunities everywhere and then get creative.

3.    Create a simple Follow-Up System.

It is very easy to attach a resume to an email and hope for the best. But it is relatively rare to be organized and persistent enough to actually follow-up. This is an easy place to set your self apart from the masses. Example of a very simple system: Create a Follow-Up List on your desk, and document the relevant info about the position you applied for and date you applied. Then schedule 2 or 3 follow-up communications in the week or two following your initial application. You want to be persistent in a friendly way and not become a nuisance. There are software applications and calendars, and phones and coaches and friends and many possible elements to utilize in customizing a system that works for you. Get creative in making your own follow-up system- and make sure to use it!

What about you? Any useful tips you have gleaned from your own experience?