The job search is painstaking and cumbersome. Here are a few shortcuts to get you working again.

If you have recently become unemployed, the filing and search process can be overwhelming. Here are a few ways to lighten the load.

File for Unemployment

The longer you delay filing for unemployment, the longer you go without payment, which could hinder your job application process. Filing for unemployment should be acted upon after reading and understanding any legal papers you received at the time of departure from your employer, as stipulations may apply. The unemployment agency can also offer your state website listings of career opportunities.

Create a Resume

Websites like offer many resumes suitable for various professions, and several templates can be downloaded from Microsoft Office. There is no “right” or “wrong” summary, as long as the format is appealing and the content is truthful. Your resume can have more than one page.

The content you provide is the key to getting employers to notice you. (e.g., If you waited on customers in a restaurant, “customer service” would look nice on your resume).

Adhere to the “How to Apply” Rules

Some businesses allow you to fax your resume in but do not accept phone calls. Other companies bombard you with cumbersome forms and questionnaires before consideration. If asked for a referral letter, your local career center should be able to assist you. It’s not uncommon to see companies accepting applications/resumes through career agencies only, so be sure to read and follow the rules for each company you apply with.

When asked, “What position are you applying for?” answer with the job title/description you found in your search.

Keep a Portfolio

Be organized. Document each job search, application, phone call, and interview with dates, names, addresses, and phone numbers. When job numbers are given next to the job title, document those, too. Please keep a copy of your resume (it’s permissible to have more than one resume/cover letter when applying for various jobs).

Padfolios will keep you organized and have a professional look. Keep a few business cards in your portfolio if you provide your services. Artists, models, and photographers may prefer an art portfolio for presenting their work.

Other Tips for Finding a Job

Many individuals will apply for just one job, and they’ll wait to hear from one employer before moving on to the next. So instead of applying for jobs one by one, fill out several applications to promptly improve your chances of finding a new position.

Be attentive during phone conversations or in-person interviews. Ask questions about the work. Ensure that your verbal communications prove that you’re knowledgeable and competent.

If you feel you’re getting nowhere through job boards, try visiting a company’s direct website. Look for the “career opportunities” link for possible job listings and how to apply.