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The “u” Word

When I lost my job in early March, I found myself part of a group no one asks to join: the unemployed. After two months of searching in Kentucky, I found a position perfect for me. Here’s what to know should you face life’s same detour.

Ahead of the game
The most important things were what I did even before I lost my job. My emergency fund was in place and accessible. Experts suggest three to six months of living expenses. It provided me the comfort of not having to accept the first job available and allowed me time to consider options.

I sent my resume out immediately. The resume was already updated for this very moment. In this type of marketplace, you never know when you might need it.

Unemployment benefits
I filed my claim for unemployment via the Kentucky Office of Unemployment and Training Web site (http://oet.ky.gov/des/ui/ui.asp). Benefits are based on a number of factors, including length of service, pay, and reason for termination. Likewise, I began reviewing my COBRA options for continued health insurance coverage.

Getting creative
I quickly found I was not the only one looking for a suitable job. Frustrated, I took fate in my own hands. I combined my resume with a cover letter fit for these unprecedented circumstances and sent it out to nearly every financial services firm in the city. My cover letter read something like, “I know you aren’t currently hiring, nor do you currently have any open positions. But here is my resume anyway for your review. Thank you.”

People appreciated the aggressiveness I had in finding a position and soon I had meetings set up. It’s difficult to compete for the handful of jobs for which hundreds are simultaneously applying. My suggestion is to get out there and work it.


UNEMPLOYMENT IN KENTUCKY

* Unemployment rates rose in all 120 Kentucky counties between April 2008 and 2009.

* The jobless rate for Kentucky was 9.8% in April 2009.

* The hardest hit county was Magoffin at 16.7%. Fayette and Woodford counties recorded the lowest rates in the Commonwealth at 6.9% each.

Source: Work Force Kentucky www.workforcekentucky.ky.gov

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