When Your Job Search is Going Nowhere Fast!

You’ve been trying to get a job, but you have yet to see any progress.  It is starting to feel like you will be unemployed forever!  How can you pull your job search out of this rut and get yourself back on track?  Here are some questions to consider:

Where are you being blocked?  So you haven’t been getting job offers, but what stage is causing you the most problems?  If you are getting job interviews but not receiving offers, then there is likely a problem with your interview skills.  However, if you aren’t even getting interviews, then there is an issue with either your application or the way that you’re conducting your job search.    

How many applications have you submitted in the last three weeks?  Just being stressed about finding a job can sap your energy.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t do anything to improve your situation.  After you’ve been out of work for a while, it is common for your motivation and activity level to dwindle.  Make a list of the applications that you’ve actually submitted over the past three weeks.  Considering that a full time job seeker should be sending out at three to five applications each day,  assess whether or not you’ve been active enough.  Remember, you can only be offered a job if you apply for it.

Outside of sitting in front of a computer, how have you been looking for jobs?  If the answer is, you haven’t, then you need to turn off the computer and get out there.  By only using online advertisements to find a job, you are forcing yourself to face the most competition.  Networking is the most effective way to find a job.  Attend events, request information interviews, and get back in touch with people who you’ve worked with in the past.  Put the word out there that you’re looking for a job and try to make connections in within your field.

Are you fully qualified for the positions that you’re targeting?  In today’s competitive job market, it can be difficult to even be considered if you don’t possess all of the job requirements.  Review the job descriptions of the last twenty positions that you applied for.  Are you missing any of the requirements?  If so, you should either see if there is some way that you can attain that skill or experience, or find positions that are a better match for your profile.

Have you had somebody review your resume?  Since you are looking at your resume every day, there may be mistakes on it that you don’t even see.  If you aren’t getting responses to your resume, it is a good idea to have someone take a look at it and see if there is anything that you’ve missed.  Remember that most employers will discard resumes with proofreading errors.

Have you considered applying for contract work or a temporary position?  If you haven’t already, it may be a good idea for you to consider applying for temporary positions.  Of course, your goal is to get a permanent position, but temporary work can help you to make networking contacts, and to reduce gaps in your resume.

When you’re in a rut with your job search, it can be hard to bounce back.  You slowly lose your motivation and your confidence, and you no longer get excited when you look at job advertisements.  Whenever you start to feel this way, you need to take a step back and reflect on what you can do differently.  The job search is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s important that you take the time to review the effectiveness of your job search strategy, and that you never ignore the way that you’re feeling.

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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