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While I like the freedom that freelancing provides when my kids have special events or there are weekday church activities, I have been in the market for another full time job for a year now.

I know the economy is still tough, and recognize that is part of the overall issue, so my question to you is “If you are in the same boat as me, what are you doing to change it?”

I have registered with all of the major creative staffing firms in my area, and even a few small ones that I really liked the feel of – but for all of the leads on positions (full time, part time and contract) that I’ve expressed interest in or have been recommended for, I have yet to be sent on a single assignment.

I have a running tab in my browser that shows me Craigslist job postings in my field across the entire Pacific Northwest, and another tab shows me a filtered RSS feed for freelance jobs across the entire US.

I’ve redesigned my Web site, keep my blog updated (both of which boost search rankings and therefore increase visibility) – postings from my blog even cross-post to Facebook for added visibility (both manually and automatically).

I’m very active on Twitter when it comes to searching for and contacting potential clients (Tweetdeck does a great job of auto-searching various phrases such as ‘looking for freelance illustrator’.) – Twitter has proven to be an invaluable resource for finding new freelance clients, and a great way to follow or contact decision-makers such as creative directors and HR departments in interesting organizations.

I’ve posted my resume and work samples on my web site for easy download by Art Directors, recruiters, etc. with links easily seen and “above the fold”. I’m also very a very active user with LinkedIn for professional networking.

For the 3-12 job contacts I’m making each week, I’ve made extensive use of Gmail’s “canned responses” feature in having pre-written cover letters, follow-up responses and illustration inquiries which are easily customizable and save hours of time recrafting introductions each time.

I also get regular articles to my inbox from eNewsletters and Web sites offering new and interesting ways to market myself and increase business – which have helped tremendously, even with the ideas listed above.

Still I sometimes feel like Captain Nemo chasing the elusive white whale…

Maybe unseen forces are at work here, but I thought I’d share this in hopes of 1) gaining new ideas from you about what you did to land a job during this tough economy, and 2) sharing ideas that I’ve had which you might not have thought of.

So please, any tips or tricks you can offer up, please do so.
Interesting thoughts, new approaches or action-steps you’ve taken – anything really. Maybe we can all help each other get back to work!

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