When you are looking for a job, how do you spend your day? Do you have a schedule that outlines how you will spend each hour, or do you just dive in and let the process guide you? Whatever your approach, here are some tasks that every job seeker should be making a priority on a daily basis:
Identify new job postings. It is to your advantage to be one of the first candidates to submit an application. Employers tend to give earlier applicants more attention and may even start interviewing candidates within a few days of posting a job. For that reason, you want to find out about available jobs right away. Start your day by identifying new leads and if any appeal to you, then get to work!
Go on social media. Social media should be an important component of any job search strategy. In particular, you should spend at least half an hour each day on LinkedIn making connections, participating in discussions, identifying potential contacts at your target companies, and building your online presence. However, be aware that social media can be a bit of a time thief, so make sure that you stay focused on your job search.
Customize your resume and cover letter for each position. You’re not going to get any offers if you’re not sending out applications, so this is where you should be spending a significant portion of your time. You need to study each job advertisement and create a unique resume and cover letter for each position. It takes a long time, but you will have a much higher response rate than you would by sending a one-size-fits-all resume and cover letter.
Do something to build your professional network. Networking is the most effective way to find a job. If you are going to be offered an amazing job quickly, it is most likely going to happen through your network. Commit to doing one thing each day to build your network. Whether you are having lunch with a previous colleague, attending an event, or doing an information interview with someone who works in the industry, you are significantly increasing your likelihood of finding an amazing opportunity.
Build your skills. When you unemployed, it is more important than ever to keep your skills sharp. You need to demonstrate to employers that you are on top of industry trends and that you have used this extra time as an opportunity to expand your skills. If you don’t have much money to spend, you can find free webinars, seminars, and workshops online, as well as through professional associations and community organizations. It’s also a good idea for you to read industry publications to show that your industry knowledge is up-to-date.
There is a distinct difference between being busy and being productive. You can fill every minute of your day with activities related to your job search and not get a single interview. If you have been working hard at your job search with disappointing results, then it may be a sign that you need to change how you are spending your time.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Cute Image at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)