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With federal unemployment benefit extensions ending soon, now is the time to job searches | Dollars and Sense

It's more important than ever for job hunters to maximize their job hunting strategy.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — After Saturday, Sept. 4, unemployment benefits go back to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic

That means standard payments will be available just 26 weeks of every benefit year, and federal unemployment benefits like Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment assistance, the $300 weekly boost that's been around since late December of 2020, will end.

The only exception is FED-ED, which will end on Sept. 11, although it already ended for some claimants on Aug. 7.

For many Californians, that pending loss of a safety net will kick their job search into high gear.

ABC10 spoke with José Moreno of El Concilio’s Cal-WORKS office in Tracy. He gave us a few tips to help increase the chances of success in any job search.

First, get organized.

“Create a job application spreadsheet or a Word document--wherever you might be more comfortable--and you want to have some basic information on there, like the company name, contact, email, the date applied," Moreno said. "When you're job searching, you're applying for so many different positions, it's easy to lose track of where you applied what the results were.”

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Next, get focused.

“Simplify your job search focus on quality and not quantity, only apply to legitimate positions that you're qualified for,” Moreno said.

Moreno also suggests setting up job alerts.

"Use your favorite job search sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn because they do offer a lot of built-in tools to keep track of various lists on different sites. And nowadays, a lot of people don't use a computer so they use their their smartphones. So I recommend that you download the mobile app, which might make it a little bit easier."

And once you land an interview, get prepared by studying the job description and doing research into the company.

“Use a job description as a guide," Moreno said. "This is a great way to prepare for an interview because it will give you the context to articulate your skills and experience and connect them to the company's mission and goals.”

RELATED: US jobless claims hit a pandemic low as hiring strengthens

While it's not possible to prepare for any question, there's one obvious one that every job hunter should be ready for.

“The no brainer is definitely the ‘tell me about yourself.’ That's the most common question that we see," Moreno said. "And when you get that question, you want to give a two-to-three-minute professional summary about who you are, and where you are in your career."

Finally, follow up after the interview or application.

"You might want to wait a couple of weeks before following up," Moreno said. "You also want to be very brief and clear. If it's an email, two, three brief paragraphs. If it's a phone call, keep it to maybe less than three minutes."

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