Fall Into These Healthy Job Search Habits

September 26th, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing, Job Search | No Comments »

fall job habits

Autumn is here, and although much of the vegetation is falling into hibernation that is no reason to let your job search remain dormant as well. As many companies start to wrap up their fiscal years and the holidays bring in new business and challenges, you can still grab their attention by maintaining the following healthy job search routines.

Never break out of the work mentality

A great habit to maintain during your job search is dressing as if you are going to work. Get up in the morning, shower, and dress in nice clothes before you take your place at your desk. You are more likely to work hard and stay focused if you feel like you are at work. Searching for jobs while in bed is not very conducive to a healthy work environment.

Focus on small goals

Of course you have the overall goal of getting a job, but that shouldn’t be your constant focus. Getting up every day constantly worrying about the endgame can demoralize you before you even start working. Try setting smaller, more attainable goals (such as revising a resume or finding a certain number of job lead) for the day.

Constantly update your resume and cover letter

E.B. White once said that the best writing is rewriting. Constantly revising your resume and cover letter is the best routine to fall into when hunting for a job. Not only because you can fine tune your grammar and style or add some new job skills and experience, but because customizing your applications will make you more attractive to each individual company. Mass produced resumes and cover letters are nothing more than spam to hiring managers.

Create a web of contacts

Networking is the key to unlocking a successful job search. Sure, you have a LinkedIn profile, but how often are you engaging with the users in your industry? Social media is a crowded place and simply having a profile set up is no more effective than an insect trying to command the attention of a human in Times Square. Get into the habit of joining group pages and participating in conversations with other users. You never know who you might digitally bump into.

Follow up

Are you sending in resumes yet never hearing back from companies? It might be because you aren’t asserting yourself enough in the process. Businesses are bustling places where resumes can and will be pushed aside, especially if a hiring manager is receiving quite a few of them. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, so make sure to follow up on your applications.

Sharpen those claws

If you have been out of work for an extended period of time your skills can rust from disuse, not to mention become outdated because of rapid innovation. Make sure you are keeping up with the latest technologies and scraping the rust off your skills every now and then.

Fill in the gaps

Employment gaps are hard to explain in interviews. This problem can be eliminated by taking on part time work, contracting, or volunteering. Keep yourself busy with work in your industry, no matter how your find it. Also, try knocking out a few personal projects to supplement your job search. Start a website or blog about the industry. Pursuing anything that keeps your mind alert and pertains to your field is a healthy habit to get into.

Watch the market

Companies don’t always post jobs right away when they are hiring. Keeping an eye on booming industries and knowing where the money is being invested can be a great strategy to getting your resume in the hands of a company before they even announce that they are hiring. You can and should proactively contact industry professionals to introduce yourself and inquire about possible positions. Doing so will get you out of the gate before the competition.

Treat your body well

Just because you are home 24/7 doesn’t mean that you have to spend every bit of your time indoors. Get outside and socialize, go for a walk, or exercise as much as you can. Don’t fall into the habit of sitting on the couch and eating chips all day. You will be surprised what a bit of healthy food and exercise can do for your morale.

Give yourself a break

Speaking of morale, when was the last time you stepped away from your desk and had some fun? Taking frequent breaks will keep you energized and allow you to work harder as the days drag on. Try to work for a solid 90 minutes then take a half hour to an hour break to recharge your mental batteries.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of wenabell via Flickr