Energize Your Job Search
By Roberta Gamza, JCTC, JST, CEIP, Founder, CAREER INK (www.careerink.com)
Entering the job market is a daunting task, and even more so in today’s volatile economy. It is easy to get frustrated, angry and lose confidence as your job search yields little or no results. The following tips will help you stay on task, keep your spirits high, and maintain confidence.
- Expect your job search to take at least four months depending on the economic climate in your target industry, profession, and location.
- With so many highly qualified candidates for so few jobs, luck and timing will play a big part in the process.
- If you’re frustrated by a long unfruitful search, step back and breathe deeply. Do something fun or ego boosting and regroup. Now, evaluate your job search actions and resources.
- Are you approaching your job search as you would a work project? Do you have clear goals, an action plan, and measurements?
- Be clear and focused on the position you are seeking. An “I’ll take anything” strategy will work against you. Determine what positions you are qualified for and enjoy the most. Build a resume for each position.
- Identify and prioritize the companies you would like to work for and study them. Follow the hidden job market. Check local business journals and newspapers for announcements that will impact the local economy.
- If you are getting interviews from your resume, your resume works. If you are interviewing but not getting offers, then your interviewing skills need help. Seek professional help for your resume or interviewing skills if they are not working. Consider the cost of professional help an investment in your future. The sooner you are back to work, the sooner the investment pays off.
- Schedule your action plan. Allow time for research, correspondence, networking, and follow-up. Track your actions and results. Keep copies of your correspondence. Make notes about the outcome of your networking activities.
- Network! Network! Network! Be prepared to network and network often! It’s not only who you know but who knows you! Networking is the number one method for finding work. About 85% of all jobs are filled by networking while only 4% are filled through the Internet. Contact everyone you know and find out who they know in your target companies.
- If you’re networking, have a great résumé, and a solid strategy, but are not getting results, you are not alone. There are many reasons beyond your control for no response:
- The posting was an effort to test the market. No real position exits now.
- There is an inside candidate and the company must post the job according to policy.
- The funding for the position is under review or has been revoked.
- Re-organization or downsizing eliminated the position.
- The competition revealed many qualified candidates with the exact skill set required.
Remain confident. Looking for work is a full-time job. Schedule your day. Allow time for enjoyment. Stay focused on what you do well. Don’t let frustration or desperation take over and steer you off course. Approach your search just as you would any work project. Set realistic expectations and reasonable schedules. Be patient, but persistent. It will pay off.