Today, I’ll talk about the unemployment process as explained to me in a career center. Now, it isn’t anything new to me, but there are certain things that have changed since the ’08/’09 era. So here are the top three things to keep in mind.
REA process – This is something kind of new. REA stands for Reemployment & Eligibility Assessment. Long gone are the days of your unemployment getting extended so you better be on your A-game. What’s happened is that the US government has started to take a true interest in reemploying its citizens, as many other countries have done for years. For a long while only about 30% of the unemployed had to take part in this assessment, now it’s grown to 80% and as a gentleman in the Brockton career center stated, it’s only a matter of time until everyone will be included. You are required to attend a seminar and sign up with a local career center. You will then be required to come back in and show how you’ve been looking for work, a little more on that below, show your resume and a sample cover letter to your assigned councilor, and sign up for a seminar. I suggest taking a look at all the centers around you as they might all have slightly different offerings. One near me even had an expert level LinkedIn course which I would be very interested in if time allowed. You won’t be able to get away by not taking these steps, because the threat of your unemployment ending if you don’t complete these actions is real!
Keep track of where you apply – Oh my gosh, I cannot state this enough. Someone who sat next to me in that first session had no idea where he applied and who he had interviewed with and now had to fill out a work search log as part of his REA process. First and foremost, who cares about the process? You need to have a spreadsheet or a folder on a thumb drive or on your computer that has a list of the places you’ve applied to. I create subfolders for the jobs I send cover letters to and then have another Word doc with the actual job description. I then move files to other folders titled Rejections or Interviews. Good grief, I’d have NO idea how to be at all professional and get ready for an interview if someone called me about a job I applied to but had no record of.
3 days, 3 different ways – The key to success in your work search log is to keep a running spreadsheet of where you’ve applied and when. Now the trick is, and you can’t get away with something else is that you have to list three different days and three different ways you looked for work. It’s a bit crazy in this day and age where everything is done online but you can be creative and call things something other than “web” and state that you’re networking. I will say that it has pushed me to do some “unconventional” things in order to achieve the three different ways.
Good luck and KEEP TRACK OF WHERE YOU APPLY!