Are You Being too Passive in Your Job Search?

How are you approaching your job search?  Have you been out there pounding the pavement every day?  Or are you taking a more gentle approach?  In this competitive market, you simply cannot afford to be shy.  You need to take the necessary steps to ensure that the employer will notice you among the hundreds (or even thousands) of other applicants.  If you are being too passive, it will take longer for you to get an interview.  Here are some signs that you might need to step up your job search:

You are doing everything over email.  If you have been able to conduct your entire job search in front of your computer while wearing your pajamas then you need to change your strategy.  When responding to online job advertisements and sending your application by email, you face more competition than you do using any other method.  When you make connections in person and access the hidden job market, you get a much higher response rate.

You are not following up on your applications.  What do you do after you send in your application?  Do you call the employer to follow up, or do you just sit back and hope for the best?  In this competitive job market, you need to make an extra effort to stand out from the herd.

You are not making use of your network.  Networking is the most effective method of job searching.  Employers are more comfortable hiring you if you’re connected to someone that they know.  Tell your contacts that you are looking for work and see if they know of any employers that may be hiring.  Also, get out of the house and start meeting new people; you never know who will introduce you to your next job.

You are not sending out enough applications.  How many applications are you sending out each week?  On average if you send out 50 applications, you will get 2.5 responses.  If you’re not sending out a lot of applications, it will take a long time for you to get a job offer.  While unemployed, you should be sending out at least five applications every day.  Also, don’t forget that you need to be customizing each application that you send out.    

Job searching is not for the faint of heart.  You need to ask for favours, introduce yourself, sell yourself, and call people to make sure that they haven’t forgotten about you.  It is necessary because if you don’t go through the motions, you may be unemployed for a long time.  So put on a smile and get yourself in the game; your next job may be just around the corner.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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