5 Ways to Conquer Your Job SearchAugust 5th, 2010 | Job Search | No Comments »
For many job seekers, the job market has been cold and unwelcoming for many rough months now, and that gap on their resumes is getting obscenely large. If this is you, there’s no doubt your job search has worn you down, so no matter how many times I tell you the job market – especially in IT – is getting better (which it is), my words of encouragement will fall on deaf ears.
Well, this is the official eviction notice to the cynicism that has taken up full time residence at the front of your brain. Your job search has been one big exhausting challenge, but now it’s time to punch it in the face once and for all.
It may be incredibly tempting to sleep in, watch TV, enjoy the sun, etc. But it’s easy to get sucked in further and further until your job search consists only of sporadic glances at job boards, the occasional resume, and the rare follow up phone call. The chances of this working for you are slim to none, and you’ll end up spiraling further into desperation.
So resist those temptations, and maintain a regular schedule. Wake up early, shower, make coffee, and get dressed for “work.” Make your job search your job, complete with duties and responsibilities. Structure like this does wonders for the brain, which will be a valuable resource in your job search!
Okay, so no one wants to be stuck on a 9-5 job search everyday, even if it is from the comfort of your own home. So get out of the house, and find yourself some face-to-face networking events through resources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, local community resources, and more. Be nosy (but not pushy); find out where people work, if they enjoy it, why their company rocks, and if they’re hiring. Treat these events like informational interviews and stay up-to-date in your industry. Be personable and memorable, and get your name out there. Results may not be instantaneous, but stick with it, and the value will eventually manifest itself in your life and career.
Remaining goal oriented in all arenas of your life, from giant goals to small accomplishments, will keep your ball rolling even if your job search is at a stand still. Your perseverance towards these goals – from household projects to marathon running – will eventually project into your job search. The more items you can check off your goal list, the sooner your career will be back on track.
4. Fill the Gap
Unfortunately, employment gaps are stigmatized, and in some cases, the tips above may not be enough. Many employers – especially in IT – worry that valuable skills risk being lost during such gaps. In these cases, your best bet is to fill the gaps immediately. Whether it’s volunteer work, temporary contract work, going back to school, or otherwise, be confident about filling the gaps with activities that maintain, improve, and even add to your skill set.
5. Have a Kit Kat
Even when you are employed, it’s easy to burn out if you don’t take a break once in while, and the same goes for your job as a job seeker. Take a step back and get some perspective if you feel overwhelmed and notice Cynicism lurking in the shadows. Take some time every now and then to revel in the fact that at least in this situation you don’t have to ask permission for time off. Take a break and refresh yourself.
–Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis