When Your Job Search is Taking Too Long

Is your job search taking too long?  Are you still sending out resumes at a time when you thought that you would be happily settled into a job?  Here is a list of questions to ask yourself to help identify what is stalling your job search:

Is there a problem with the positions that you are targeting?  If you are overqualified or underqualified, employers will not view you as an ideal candidate.  Are there jobs available in your field?  When there are less positions available, the competition is even more fierce.

Is there a problem with your resume or cover letter?  Have somebody review your resume and cover letter.  There could be proofreading errors that are causing your application to be screened out.  Also, are you customizing your resume for each position?  If not then it is no surprise that you aren’t getting interview calls.

Is there a problem with your job search tactics?  Have you limited your job search activities to responding to online advertisements?  This method of job searching is less effective because your resume gets lost in the employer’s busy inbox.  Try to use strategies that give you access to the hidden job market.  The most effective approach is to get out there and meet people.  Join networking groups and connect with people in your field.  If you explain your situation to them, they might be able to give you some advice that will help you get your job search back on track.

Is there a problem with your level of focus?   How much time are you spending on your job search?  Are you taking a disciplined approach, spending at least eight hours a day, five days a week?  Or are you just putting in a few hours here and there?  If you aren’t fully committed to your job search, it will take much longer for you to be successful. 

Is there a problem with your expectations?  Are you expecting too much too soon?  Looking for a job is a process and job advertisements have natural life cycles.  If you are getting frustrated because you haven’t been offered a job after a few weeks, then you need to be more patient and adjust your expectations.  However, if you’ve been looking for a job for more than two months without any responses, then it’s time to take action.

Looking for a job can feel like a roller coaster ride; one day you are about to be offered a position, and the next day you find out that you didn’t get the job.  When the job search lingers on, it is easy to lose your motivation.   The key is to keep active, stay positive, and to know when it’s time to change tactics.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)


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