Kamis, 12 Agustus 2010

6 Ways to Find a Stimulus Job

by Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobs

Now that President Obama has signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law, money will begin flowing to local governments and industries -- and jobs will follow.

Where will these jobs show up, and how do you land one? According to Laurence Shatkin, career information expert and author of "Great Jobs in the President's Stimulus Plan," there is no clearinghouse for stimulus jobs.

"You'll generally be using some of the same tactics as you would in an ordinary job search," Shatkin tells Yahoo! HotJobs. "That means gathering information and building network connections."

There are, however, a few specific ways to make it easier to find a stimulus job:

Forget about searching for a generic "stimulus job" -- there's no such thing, technically. If the president's plan works as envisioned, government money will create jobs, directly and indirectly, across a wide variety of fields -- I.T., education, construction, transportation, health care, energy, and the "green" sector -- for both white- and blue-collar workers. Start by focusing on one or two industries that will likely benefit from an infusion of government cash and may need someone with your skills, then go about looking for specific sectors and companies that may be hiring.

Do your research.
Once you've narrowed your fields of interest, start your research on the Web to find out who may be hiring. If you're interested in green jobs, for example, type "wind turbine" or "solar jobs" or "retrofitting" in a search engine and see what comes up, Shatkin said. In addition to searching on Yahoo! HotJobs, you can check out industry-related networking sites: sustainablebusiness.com for green jobs, ihireconstruction.com for construction jobs, higheredjobs.com for education are just a few examples. Some of these are open to anyone, regardless of training, background, or credentials.

Follow the money.
If President Obama gives a speech in Indiana about retrofitting manufacturing plants, or Vice President Biden talks in Philadelphia about expanding travel infrastructure, listen up. That's a sign contractors in those areas -- possibly in your own city -- will be clamoring for their share of government largesse. The next step is finding out exactly who is getting that money. Check out your local newspaper daily to see what companies may be getting government contracts; the front page and the business section should have the details.

Cold call.
If you've identified an industry that sounds promising, call a company to see if they or any competitors are hiring. Who do you call? Not human resources, according to Shatkin.

"This is not a call to ask for a job necessarily, but rather to get some information and to network. To do that, you want to reach someone who actually makes hiring decisions, preferably the chief operating officer." Shatkin suggests calling before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. to lessen the chance of assistants running interference and "losing" your message.

Retrofit your resume.
Good news: You don't necessarily have to go back to school to land a stimulus-related job. Many positions will have on-the-job training, and others require no training at all, according to Shatkin. But to land one of these jobs, you would have a leg up if you tailor your resume to the industry. For example, if you are an accountant (or systems analyst, project manager, accounts payable manager, etc.) with experience in more than one industry, emphasize the field that most closely matches the job you're pursuing.

Plan for the long term.
Many of the stimulus-created jobs and careers will be around long after the economy recovers. Make sure you're ready for advancement by adding to your skill set now, recommends Harry Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University. "Even if you're going for a job that doesn't require training, you'd be better positioned for a long-term career if you diversify your skills by gaining additional training."

Shatkin and other job experts emphasize that jobs aren't going to flood the job market overnight.

"Job creation from the stimulus will be ramping up over the summer and throughout 2010," Holzer says. But if you do your prep work now, you can have the inside edge when the jobs do come online, and lay the foundation for a long-term career.

"In some newer fields, such as solar power, you can get in on the ground floor this year and be an 'old hand' in as little as three years," Shatkin says.

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