Job Searching: The Hard Part
There a comes a time with everyone when they have a down time in their job search. It’s hard to imagine anything more dispiriting than no responses to your applications. You desperately want new employment. You’ve made your resume, your cover letter, you’ve reached out to your contacts, you’ve hit the pavement looking for openings and there’s NOTHING. You’ve not gotten any calls or interviews (except from those pesky recruiters), much less job offers. You feel like you are stuck.
When I was knee deep in the giant pile of job search stuck, I tried these things out and sooner rather than later I found a fantastic opportunity.
Talk to people.
One of the most harrowing parts of the job search process is that so much of it is done online these days, without any room for human interaction. That can take its toll emotionally, and more importantly, psychologically. Reach out to former coworkers and ask to have lunch or coffee with them. Ask if any of their friends would like to discuss possibilities. Mine your LinkedIn contacts for people you could get together with face-to-face.
You can view it as networking, or simply as a chance to get face time with actual humans. Once you talk to someone, they can see you for who you are, and not words on a screen or on a piece of paper. Either way, it will bolster your spirits – and possibly lead to some new doors opening too.
Get feedback on your resume.
If your resume isn’t getting any bites, it very well could be that it isn’t the best. I know, I know, you’ve went to this person, or researched that thing, and your resume accurately represents you. Well, in that case, it just might. Perhaps that’s what your field is looking for. But, more often than not, having a fresh set of eyes looking at your curriculum vitae can make a world of a difference.
I’ll tell you what, I’ll even take a look at your resume for you! If you go over to my contact page, submit a response with “Resume Help” and a bit about you, and we can work together to get you in the best shape for success.
Freshen up your LinkedIn profile.
If you only follow one of the tips I’ve laid out for you in today’s post, make sure it’s this one. I’ll be 100% honest and tell you that my last couple of jobs have all been through LinkedIn one way or another. I made my profile my online resume. I asked my contacts to leave feedback on my page in exchange for feedback on theirs, I made sure that anyone that found my page saw that I was the real deal, that I knew what I was doing.
Make sure you always keep it up to date, follow groups in your industry, and post stuff! Not to mention, LinkedIn has a pretty robust job searching tool as well.
Broaden your search.
I am not suggesting you completely change industries. I am just saying, if you aren’t finding anything, maybe you have too much criteria holding you back from a great opportunity. My philosophy is to apply to jobs that I have even the slightest remote chance of being good at, and even some that are completely out of reach. The truth is, you never really know how things go on the other end.
Maybe there are things that you don’t like about a potential opportunity, maybe it’s too far of a commute...or you don’t have any direct report. Whatever the case, realize that some of these things are what I like to call “The Price of Admission.”
Let’s say for example, you found an opportunity that sounds great, but you have to babysit interns – which takes a way a lot of your work time to accomplish things. Well, if the job is great enough, maybe that is something you will have to “pay” for. Maybe the rest of the job makes it all worthwhile.
That’s something you will have to decide for yourself. There needs to be compromise, it’s just like any other relationship…it goes both ways.
Take care of yourself.
It is really disheartening to be stuck in a job search that doesn’t seem like it is going anywhere. That can rob you of some of your mental health and happiness, so make sure you take care of yourself.
Schedule time for you to exercise, relax and meditate, or get a massage. Whatever helps you deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy manner, that is what you should be doing. For me? It’s taking my motorcycle out for a multi hour adventure.
These things helped me with my job search. I made sure I used my connections and their connections to physically have discussions with whomever I could. I reached out to make sure my resume was dynamite. I abused LinkedIn and made sure I was represented in the best way possible. I opened up my search, I looked in other locations, other industries, trying to find a grasp of something I can do. I set some time up every day to apply to at least 10 jobs. Every. Day. Last of all I made sure that I had my head screwed on right the whole time. This may not be a fun time, but you can surely make the most of it!