You’ve been sending out resumes and filling out applications. You’ve done interviews, followed up with phone calls, and waited around. You’re trying your hardest, yet it feels like the search will never end. We’ve all been there at one point or another. Taking a break to regroup and redefine your goals could be the ticket to landing your next job faster.
Slowing down might seem counterintuitive. You need a job now, right? The urgency is totally understandable. Nonetheless, you don’t want to apply for jobs in a mad rush. Approach your search for work in a strategic manner.
It’s natural to feel desperate to secure work. Every day that you remain unemployed, you continue to get further behind. However, the worst thing you can do is start applying for every available position you see. That would be giving your precious time to low-yield activities and stealing it from the more productive things you could be doing instead.
Use your time to think about what sort of job might be best for you, because what will be a good fit for you is likely to be seen as a good fit by an employer. Plus, if you accept the wrong job, you’ll be unhappy, and you’ll find yourself searching for work again. Finding the right job now will help you obtain long-term employment.
When researching opportunities, make sure to look for positions that:
If you haven’t already done so, take the time to perform a full audit of your online presence. Data shows that 93% of managers look at a candidate’s social media before finalizing a hire. Over 55% said they decided against the hire after seeing the candidate's profiles. Too many people don’t realize the things they say on social media are holding them back.
It will take time, but it’s worth going through your online history to ensure it reflects the image you want to project. A good place to start is with a basic search engine. Search your name to see what comes up.
Consider deleting social media profiles you no longer use. If you’re active on social media, go back through your feeds and delete any posts that might be problematic. Anything related to politics or religion should generally go. Unless you're applying at a religious or political organization, such posts will likely hinder you. Large companies hire people from all walks of life, and they want everyone to get along.
You’ll also want to delete any posts where you complained about your boss or coworkers. A manager will not want to hire someone who thinks it’s appropriate to complain about the company in public.
Some people are naturals when it comes to networking. If you’re not a “people person,” you may have to put more energy into it. There’s good reason to do so. Statistics show managers fill up to 85% of jobs through networking. If you can make an impression on another employee, they may recommend you for a position.
If you’ve already spent time working in your chosen field, you have a list of former coworkers and bosses that you can connect with. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Not only could someone in your network help you get a job, but they could also recommend job opportunities you didn’t know about.
It's important to research each of your target companies and to get your insights about that company into your resume. Take the time to edit different versions of your resume for every company on your list. Be sure to customize both your resume and your cover letter.
Another important resume tip is to focus on the first few sections. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If the hiring manager has to read through a bunch of fluff to get to the important information, they’ll likely move on to the next resume.
Use the top portion of your resume to share your name, phone number, and email address. You also might want to include your LinkedIn account. Rather than listing out your objectives, write a summery of your professional experience.
If you’re feeling discouraged, take a short break to work on yourself and your resume. Hiring managers don’t respond well to desperation. Using the free time you have now to shift your attitude, grow your confidence, and improve the way you present yourself will work wonders.
Above all else, be conscientious about maintaining a positive attitude. It takes an average of 43 days to get a job, which means it could take even longer. You may need to pace yourself. Although this chapter in your life might be stressful, maintaining your strategic focus and staying hopeful will help put it all behind you.