Finding Work in a Still Struggling Economy

Finding a job is rarely easy. Oftentimes, job searches can take anywhere from several weeks to several months. And as millions have learned over the last couple of years, that process is even more arduous when the economy is struggling.

While there's no guarantees when it comes to looking for a job, there are steps men and women can take to increase their chances of finding a fulfilling career.

* Make a daily commitment. Finding a job is not a part-time endeavor. While those currently holding a job can afford to devote less attention to their search, those without work must treat the search itself as a full-time commitment. That means a daily schedule devoted to finding work, be it searching job banks and newspaper classified sections or contacting employment placement agencies. Whatever it is, there should be effort made every day to find work.

* Don't sit on leads. The job market is always competitive, and even more so in the current economic climate. Therefore, anytime those looking for work get a lead on a job opening they should follow up on that lead immediately. Just make sure not to hurry too much when following up on a lead. Be sure any resumes or cover letters are still grammatically correct and error-free.

* Tailor letters to each specific job. Many applicants use the same form cover letter when applying for jobs. While that's understandable, letters should still be altered a little for each job to which a person applies. Tailor each letter to the specific job, explaining how individual skills match the job opening. This won't require too much alteration or time, but it can make an applicant stand out among the masses who simply send the same form letter out regardless of the position.

* Network with friends, family and past colleagues. While some might feel ashamed to be out of a job, that should not be the case. Millions of people across the globe are unemployed as the world struggles to resuscitate a staggering global economy. When looking for work, don't feel ashamed to let friends, family and even past colleagues know of your job search. Many employed people are only employed today because they networked and it paid off.

* Don't be caught off guard. Those without work should not be caught off guard should they hear of a job opening in their desired field. Always have resumes ready to be sent out immediately, and revisit the resume and cover letter on at least a weekly basis to make sure both are current and as good as they can possibly be. Job openings don't last very long these days, and the applicant who's ready to jump on a job opening is the one who's most likely to land the job.